<p>&quot;Dr. Ken&quot;</p>

"Dr. Ken"

Credit: ABC

DVR Gridlock 2015-16: Friday Nights

'Shark Tank' and 'Blue Bloods' will still probably rule the night

[As in years past, this week, I'm going to be glancing, night-by-night, at how the primetime schedules have changed after the network announcements at upfronts. I'll be looking at how the various changes will impact the ratings races on each night, as well as my own DVRing habits. Readers can chime in on how their own DVRs will be impacted. And yes, this brief series assumes that anybody still watches TV on their TVs. I'm old-fashioned. I'm also probably gonna ignore that I have a fancy new six-tuner DVR that means that I really don't have to make choices anymore. This will assume that I make choices for my own sanity.]

FRIDAY NIGHTS

8:00 p.m.
ABC: "Last Man Standing," "Dr. Ken"
CBS: "The Amazing Race"
The CW: "Reign"
FOX: "MasterChef Junior"
NBC: "Undateable," "People Are Talking"


9:00 p.m. 
ABC: "Shark Tank"
CBS: "Hawaii Five-0"
The CW: "America's Next Top Model"
FOX: "World's Funniest"
NBC: "Grimm"


10:00 p.m. 
ABC: "20/20"
CBS: "Blue Bloods"
NBC: "Dateline"

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<p>&quot;Halt and Catch Fire&quot;</p>

"Halt and Catch Fire"

Credit: AMC

'Halt and Catch Fire' showrunner on writing dynamic female characters

Jonathan Lisco teases the new season, starring this Sunday on AMC

AMC made "Halt and Catch Fire" sweat it out a little before giving the '80s-set computer drama a second season renewal last summer. The pick-up didn't come until several weeks after the first finale, far from standard operating procedure on cable, where renewals have been known to come after a big premiere, or sometimes even sooner.

"There's so much scripted material right now that to break through and find an audience that can frankly support of the metrics of a TV show is hard. So I was not sure. I thought it was 50-50," "Halt and Catch Fire" showrunner Jonathan Lisco told me when we sat down in January.

It was a slightly strange time to talk about "Halt," since the second season hadn't even begun production and at the TCA press tour panel earlier in the day, Lisco had teased a time jump taking the show from the uncertain events of the finale -- Donna and Cameron plotting Mutiny, Joe heading out into the wilderness -- to an even more nebulous place.

So while there are some teases for the new season -- hints about a couple added characters make a lot more sense having subsequently seen the first four episodes, which are really good -- we talked at least as much about aspects of the first season, including the evolution of Donna, introduced misleadingly as another disapproving cable wife, as one of the show's most loved characters.

"When we got what you might call 'critique' of the first couple of episodes, we all just said, 'Guys, do you need your whole dinner served up to you right now? We can't thwart your expectations unless we're going to mislead you a tiny bit at first,'" Lisco laughed. "So we were lulling people into that belief. But then the level of aggression came out and the path I think was influenced more by what people perceived to be the flaws in other shows than the flaws in our own, which is perfectly understandable and I don't begrudge anyone. But I'm glad that now people see how dynamic the female characters are."

We also discussed the legal stickiness of featuring a Macintosh last season and the historical stickiness of wanting to depict their fictional characters as brilliant, without letting them be part of discoveries made by real people.

"Halt and Catch Fire" begins its second season on Sunday (May 31). Check out my full Q&A with Jonathan Lisco below...

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<p>David Duchovny of &quot;Aquarius&quot;</p>

David Duchovny of "Aquarius"

Credit: NBC

Thursday Ratings: 'Aquarius' premiere, 'Wayward Pines' split hour

'Bones' is up and 'The Big Bang Theory' repeat is the night's top show

Fast National ratings for Thursday, May 28, 2015.

In their head-to-head hour, the third week of FOX's "Wayward Pines" topped NBC's "Aquarius" in the key demographic, but the premiere of the David Duchovny drama led overall. And that's the way the Thursday primetime race broke down as well, with NBC winning overall and FOX eking out a victory in the key demo.

The two-hour "Aquarius" premiere ended up at The Mulaney Line in the key demographic and, boding ill for NBC and for the drama's binging possibilities, the audience dropped with each half-hour.

"Wayward Pines," meanwhile, lost a chunk of overall viewership from last week, but was flat week-to-week in the key demo.

And, of course, Thursday's top show was actually a repeat of "The Big Bang Theory."

Let's get to the numbers...

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'T.rex Autopsy' Exclusive: A heart-y clip from NatGeo's dino-dissection

'T.rex Autopsy' Exclusive: A heart-y clip from NatGeo's dino-dissection

Crawley Creatures produced the life-sized tyrannosaurus rex

I've been on a wide variety of movie and TV sets over the past decade and I've seen some intriguing things. I've watched Avengers fight off alien invaders, Greek warriors setting sail for conquest, Freddy Krueger on the prowl for nubile teenage victims, marauding pirates, misunderstood evil queens and undercover police officers playing football.

There's nothing I can really compare to the experience last month of standing in an observation room at London's Pinewood Studios watching a quartet of trained paleontologists and veterinarians digging into the blood-spewing, organ-bursting corpse of a life-size tyrannosaurus rex, designed under the auspices of a slew of dino-experts and realized with foam, latex, rubber and all manner of other surprising ingredients by the team at Crawley Creatures under the watch of Jez Gibson-Harris, one of the men credited with bringing Jabba the Hutt to life.

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<p>&quot;The Player&quot;</p>

"The Player"

Credit: NBC

DVR Gridlock 2015-16: Thursday Nights

Shonda Rhimes and CBS' football and "Big Bang Theory" will still rule

[As in years past, this week, I'm going to be glancing, night-by-night, at how the primetime schedules have changed after the network announcements at upfronts. I'll be looking at how the various changes will impact the ratings races on each night, as well as my own DVRing habits. Readers can chime in on how their own DVRs will be impacted. And yes, this brief series assumes that anybody still watches TV on their TVs. I'm old-fashioned. I'm also probably gonna ignore that I have a fancy new six-tuner DVR that means that I really don't have to make choices anymore. This will assume that I make choices for my own sanity.]

THURSDAY NIGHTS

8:00 p.m. 
ABC: "Grey's Anatomy"
CBS: Thursday Night Football/ "The Big Bang Theory," "Life in Pieces"
The CW: "The Vampire Diaries"
FOX: "Bones"
NBC: "Heroes Reborn"


9:00 p.m. 
ABC: "Scandal"
CBS: Thursday Night Football/ "Mom," "Angel from Hell"
The CW: "The Originals"
FOX: "Sleepy Hollow"
NBC: "The Blacklist"


10:00 p.m.
ABC: "How To Get Away With Murder"
CBS: Thursday Night Football/"Elementary"
NBC: "The Player"

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<p>The series premiere of &quot;The Briefcase&quot;</p>

The series premiere of "The Briefcase"

Credit: CBS

Wednesday Ratings: 'Briefcase' premiere, 'MasterChef' lead Wednesday split

CBS sweeps primetime overall, while FOX leads in the key demo

Fast National ratings for Wednesday, May 27, 2015.

The series premiere of "The Briefcase" was Wednesday night's most watched show and led CBS to primetime victory overall, while "MasterChef" grew week-to-week and helped FOX eke out a slim nightly win in the key demographic. 

Wednesday notables also included a so-so debut for FOX's "Bullseye," a so-so second week for ABC's "Celebrity Wife Swap" and another night of steady-if-not-exactly-impressive returns for "500 Questions," which concludes on Thursday.

Let's get to the numbers...

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<p>Taraji P. Henson of &quot;Empire&quot;</p>

Taraji P. Henson of "Empire"

Credit: FOX

DVR Gridlock 2015-16: Wednesday Nights

Only 'Rosewood' and 'Code Black' interrupt the night's stability

[As in years past, this week, I'm going to be glancing, night-by-night, at how the primetime schedules have changed after the network announcements at upfronts. I'll be looking at how the various changes will impact the ratings races on each night, as well as my own DVRing habits. Readers can chime in on how their own DVRs will be impacted. And yes, this brief series assumes that anybody still watches TV on their TVs. I'm old-fashioned. I'm also probably gonna ignore that I have a fancy new six-tuner DVR that means that I really don't have to make choices anymore. This will assume that I make choices for my own sanity.]

WEDNESDAY NIGHTS

8:00 p.m.
ABC: "The Middle," "The Goldbergs"
CBS: "Survivor"
The CW: "Arrow"
FOX: "Rosewood"
NBC: "The Mysteries of Laura"


9:00 p.m. 
ABC: "Modern Family," "Black-ish"
CBS: "Criminal Minds"
The CW: "Supernatural"
FOX: "Empire"
NBC: "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit"


10 p.m. 
ABC: "Nashville"
CBS: "Code Black"
NBC: "Chicago PD"

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<p>&quot;America&#39;s Got Talent&quot;</p>

"America's Got Talent"

Credit: NBC

Tuesday Ratings: '5th Grader' returns low, 'I Can Do That' helps NBC lead

'America's Got Talent' is Tuesday's top show in all measures

Fast National ratings for Tuesday, May 26, 2015.

The 10th installment of "America's Got Talent" was down 13 percent from last year's premiere, while the launch of "I Can Do That!" came in below last year's launch for "The Night Shift," but NBC still dominated Tuesday in all measures.

Tuesday was a night of summer roll-outs, as FOX got a lackluster time period premiere for "Hell's Kitchen" and a weak return for the long-absent "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader," while ABC's "Extreme Weight Loss" return failed to make a dent. 

Over on The CW, in only its second airing without a new "Flash" as lead-in, The CW's "iZombie" was impressively stable.

Let's get to the numbers...

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<p>Priyanka Chopra of &#39;Quantico&#39;</p>

Priyanka Chopra of 'Quantico'

Credit: ABC

DVR Gridlock 2015-16: Tuesday Nights

Rob Lowe and John Stamos won't dethrone CBS' 'NCIS' duo

[As in years past, this week, I'm going to be glancing, night-by-night, at how the primetime schedules have changed after the network announcements at upfronts. I'll be looking at how the various changes will impact the ratings races on each night, as well as my own DVRing habits. Readers can chime in on how their own DVRs will be impacted. And yes, this brief series assumes that anybody still watches TV on their TVs. I'm old-fashioned. I'm also probably gonna ignore that I have a fancy new six-tuner DVR that means that I really don't have to make choices anymore. This will assume that I make choices for my own sanity.]

TUESDAY NIGHTS

8:00 p.m. 
ABC: "The Muppets"/"Fresh Off The Boat"
CBS: "NCIS"
The CW: "The Flash"
FOX: "Grandfathered"/"The Grinder"
NBC: "The Voice"


9:00 p.m.
ABC: "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D."
CBS: "NCIS: New Orleans"
The CW: "iZombie"
FOX: "Scream Queens"
NBC: "Heartbreaker"


10:00 p.m. 
ABC: "Quantico"
CBS: "Limitless"
NBC: "Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris"/"Chicago Fire"

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<p>David Duchovny of &quot;Aquarius&quot;</p>

David Duchovny of "Aquarius"

Credit: NBC

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 286 - 'Aquarius,' 'UnReal' and more

Dan and Alan review 'Halt and Catch Fire' and reveal their Summer Rewatch

The

Happy Tuesday, Boys & Girls!

Time for another installment of The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast. 

In this week's episode, we review NBC's "Aquarius," Lifetime's "UnReal" and the new season of AMC's "Halt and Catch Fire." 

We also answer a little mail and, in the process, we announce our Summer Rewatch for 2015.

This podcast is a little on the short side, but we did over three hours of podcasting last week, so... That's just how it goes sometimes!

Today's breakdown:
"Aquarius" (00:01:40 - 00:16:35)
"Halt and Catch Fire" (00:16:35 - 00:29:00)
"UnReal" (00:29:00 - 00:37:35)
Listener Mail: "Mad Men" and the Emmys (00:37:40 - 00:44:15)
Listener Mail: The year's best finales (00:44:15 - 00:53:00)
Summer Rewatch Announcement (00:53:00 - 00:57:00)

As always, you can subscribe to The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast over at the iTunes Store, where you can also rate us and comment on us. [Or you can always follow our RSS Feed or subscribe on IHeartRadio.] 

 

And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.

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