Inside TV+Movies with Daniel Fienberg
Restless Road, Alex & Sierra, Jeff Gutt and Carlito Olivero perform
I haven't used a Carlito Olivero picture this season. So... It's your lucky day, Carlito!
It's our penultimate "X Factor" Wednesday, kids! We're down to just four acts, but because "X Factor" doesn't have enough juice to boost another show were it to slim down to an hour or 90 minutes, we're getting a full two hours tonight. Will the remaining acts performance twice apiece? Thrice?
Click through and follow along for the full two hours of fun.
8:07 p.m. Apparently our first song was chosen by America. I'm having East Coast feed problems, so we'll see how much of this I actually get to watch. We'll also see how much of this I actually want to get to watch.
Familiarity reigns with the acting branch
Early, early, early Wednesday (December 11) morning, the Screen Actors Guild announced nominations for the 20th Annual SAG Awards, featuring a variety of acting and ensemble nominations across a slew of movie and TV categories.
Sepinwall already did a written analysis piece on the stick-in-the-mud SAG Award TV nominations, which basically shunned the outstanding new shows from the past year.
This gave me a chance to rant a bit about a couple new shows that SAG voters neglected and about the frustrating SAG Awards category system in which Maggie Smith
and Tatiana Maslany
would somehow be competing for the same nomination.
Check out the video above and our Winners & Losers gallery below. The SAG Awards will air on Saturday, January 18 on TNT and TBS.
'NCIS' and 'NCIS: LA' are Tuesday's most-watched
It's the most wonderful time of the year
CBS' latest airing of the "Victoria's Secret Fashion Show
" was down from last year's telecast among young viewers, but still led Tuesday night in the key demo, helping the network win in all key measures.
And remember that big bump "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
" got two weeks ago when "NCIS
" was away? It didn't last long. With "NCIS" back on the schedule, "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." plummeted to a series low on Tuesday. Having "S.H.I.E.L.D." back did, however, help give "The Goldbergs" and "Trophy Wife" a slight boost after last week's declines.
Finally, The CW discovered that the only thing that draws a smaller audience than a new "IHeart Radio" special is a repeat of a previously low-rated special.
On to the numbers...
'Mad Men' and Jon Hamm were entirely shut out
SAG Awards nominees Mayim Bialik and Jim Parsons of "The Big Bang Theory"
With three nominations apiece, "Modern Family
" and "30 Rock" also placed well with the SAG membership, which will announce their winners on Sunday, January 18. [If you include the Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble category, "Breaking Bad" actually earned four nominations, while "Game of Thrones," "Homeland" and "Boardwalk Empire" all join the pack with three.]
ER Docs discuss second half struggles, or lack thereof
Travis and Nicole of "The Amazing Race"
My interview with ER docs Travis & Nicole
Jasper went down a wormhole.
In the first half of the season, Travis & Nicole were one of my favorites, earning the nickname The Power Parents with a string of strong performances that proved they were both smart and physically able.
Then, though, as the season progressed the Power Parents seemed to struggle, particularly Nicole, who had a series of Roadblock stumbles and had to be bailed out by the willing assistance of eventual winner Amy. In the process, Travis became more and more critical of his wife's challenge contributions and much of the early audience support vanished.
After the last of Nicole's struggles, attempting to drop a bag of flour from a bush plane onto a target in Alaska, Travis & Nicole slipped to third, where they ended the season. Still, despite those difficulties, Travis & Nicole never finished lower than fourth in any Leg, a feat achieved by surprisingly few "Amazing Race" teams across the show's recent history.
In their exit interview, though, Travis & Nicole insisted that they didn't struggle and that what looked like struggles were actually a reflection of the enhanced competition of reaching the end of the Race. I'll admit that I wasted several minutes rephrasing a single question. It happens. Some of the answers to my rephrased question are good. So there's that.
The interview also contains discussion of the lessons Travis learned from watching himself on TV.
Click through for the full Q&A...
A TV mobster and TV cop talk Darabont, noir and more
Ed Burns and Jeremy Luke of "Mob City"
Last week, I posted my "Mob City
" interview with Ed Burns & Robert Knepper, who discussed playing a real-life and fictional mobster respectively in the TNT
drama from Frank Darabont.
The "mobster" hook gave a through-line to that interview. The pairing of Jeffrey DeMunn
and Jeremy Luke
offered no such through-line. DeMunn plays a fictionalized LAPD officer, while Luke plays the very real Mickey Cohen. DeMunn has worked with Darabont at every step through his career, while Luke is a first-timer in the Frank Darabont Repertory Acting Company.
The disconnect led to some amusing detours in the conversation, including which actress provided DeMunn's surprising inspiration and which video game experiences the two men share. They also discuss working with Darabont and the advantages of working in Los Angeles on a project like this.
Click through for the full Q&A, which was initially filmed for video, but ended up being audio-only. Apologies.
Production begins in Paris in January, so start casting!
Mia Farrow in "Rosemary's Baby"
Back in July at the Television Critics Association press tour, NBC
announced a slew of event series or miniseries productions that the network was moving forward on.
The Hillary Clinton miniseries, which actually had a writer/director (Courtney Hunt) and a top-tier star (Diane Lane) attached, fell apart spectacularly and is dead.
It's unclear where things stand on the adaptation of "Tommyknockers," which had Yves Simoneau attached to direct, or a Mark Burnett-produced story of the Mayflower landing.
One event series that's definitely moving forward is NBC's "Rosemary's Baby
." On Tuesday (December 10), NBC announced a formal greenlight for the miniseries, which is roaring towards a production start in January in Paris.
'Almost Human' ticks up, 'Sleepy Hollow' ticks down
The judges on "The Sing-Off"
After a long absence, NBC's rebooted "The Sing-Off
" returned to decent numbers and helped NBC cruise to Monday victories in all measures on a Monday laden with repeats and holiday programming.
FOX was the only other network with a full slate of new shows, as the network saw "Almost Human
" get an encouraging bump (anything other than a decline would count as encouraging), though "Sleepy Hollow
" was down slightly in its final new episode of 2013.
Meanwhile, The CW keeps airing these "IHeart Radio" specials and nobody keeps watching, with a One Direction hour the latest to tank.
[ABC had the football preemption in the Chicago market, which will likely lead to small declines in Finals.[
On to the numbers...
The Afghanimals discuss energy, Race ethics and more
Jamal & Leo of "The Amazing Race"
This week's string of "Amazing Race" exit interviews begins with my chat with the freshly completed run's most polarizing team, Leo
The self-described Afghanimals were the season's most reliably energetic and enthusiastic team and they made the season's most consistent alliance, working alongside Ice Queens Ally & Ashley from the very first Leg.
Of course, while some fans loved that Afghanimal energy, certain rival teams criticized Leo & Jamal for excessive gamesmanship and occasional white lies. Travis & Nicole took particular exception to Leo & Jamal's ethics and it's obvious that months after filming wrapped, the Afghanimals are still irked by certain things that Nicole in particular did in those last few Legs.
It's also obvious that Leo is frustrated by the way their "Amazing Race" run ended, specifically the inverted torso on a robot puzzle in Tokyo, a task he was doing himself while Nicole and Amy teamed up, a task that cost them a place in the final Leg and left them in fourth place.
In their exit interview, Leo & Jamal talk about why they were viewed by other teams as a threat, how they kept their energy up and their version of "Amazing Race" ethics.
Click through for the full Q&A and stay tuned for the three finalists over the next few nights.
Jerry Sandusky and Whitey Bulger docs, Alex Gibney's latest head for Park City
If you looked at last week's Sundance Film Festival
documentary slate and thought, "Sure, some of these look like fantastic and powerful documentaries, but are they seriously going to hold a Sundance without Alex Gibney
?" we're relieved to tell you that The Hardest Working Man in Documentary Filmmaking will be back for Sundance 2014
Sundance announced its full list of Documentary Premieres on Monday (December 9) and if you were missing the big names either in front of the camera or behind it from the competition slate, this is where they're lurking.