Inside TV+Movies with Daniel Fienberg
'Shark Tank,' 'Blue Bloods' are Friday's leaders
Fast National ratings for Friday, March 7, 2014.
Once again, Friday night returns were predictable: "Shark Tank" topped the key demo and led ABC to victory among young viewers, while "Blue Bloods" dominated overall and capped off CBS' primetime sweep in that measure.
There were some minor variations below the leaders, though.
Boosted by a strong installment of "Dateline," NBC's "Grimm" was up week-to-week overall and in the key demo, but "Hannibal" was down sharply.
FOX's "Enlisted" rose a hair in young viewers, but the military comedy couldn't boost "Raising Hope," which fell.
On to the numbers...
What leads to the quote 'I'm an actor, so I love to be degraded'?
[This interview contains spoilers for the current fourth season of "Shameless." Don't read if you're not caught up!]
Were there any justice or standards in awards voting, Emmy Rossum would already have a trio of Emmy nominations for her raw and fierce performance as Fiona Gallagher on Showtime's "Shameless."
She does not.
Fortunately, Emmy and Golden Globe voters should know that it's not too late and that Rossum has been doing some of her best work to date in the fourth season of "Shameless."
Although occasionally prone to questionable decisions, Fiona was always the glue that held the Gallaghers together, the responsible parental figure making sure lunches were made and utilities were paid. Sure she had questionable taste in men and she liked to get a little wild, but as the fourth season began, Fiona had her family on the verge of leaving the poverty line behind. She had upward mobility at a white collar job, a responsible boyfriend and a positive outlook.
Since that positive beginning, Fiona has been in a spiral that has included sleeping with her boyfriend's drug-abusing brother and, in a moment of unprecedented weakness, leaving a bag of cocaine out where wee Liam found it and overdosed. Jail and a plea bargain followed and when we left Fiona two weeks ago, she was realizing that even if she'd avoided prison, her life would never be the same.
Production on the "Shameless" season ended two weeks ago and I caught up with Rossum fresh off a brief vacation, where she tweeted that at least one fan accosted her on the beach to tell her she should be locked up for what she did to Liam.
And guess what? Rossum teases that Fiona has yet to hit bottom.
In the interview, Rossum talks about getting her mind around Fiona's descent this season and how she was able to convince herself that it all made sense for the character. She also discusses the maturation of young co-stars like Ethan Cutkosky and Emma Kenney and tells an unfortunate story about filming amidst the polar vortex this winter in Chicago.
Click through for the full Q&A. It's a good one.
Why was the 'beautifulest' Beauty such a threat?
The Beautiful People had to devour one of their own on Wednesday (March 5) night's "Survivor: Cagayan."
The Beauty Tribe held a big lead in Wednesday's Immunity Challenge, but squandered it and were forced to go to Tribal Council for the first time.
As votes were tallied -- twice, since there was a three-way tie the first time -- the power was all in the hands of Jeremiah. In a six-person tribe, he had the choice between sticking with an alliance of four and booting Brice, or aligning with Brice and Morgan to eliminate Alexis.
In the end, Jeremiah chose numbers and social worker Brice Johnston was eliminated, taking his purple pants with him.
The way Brice figures it, the other Beauty castaways felt threatened by him, specifically by his social game and by his effort in challenges and at camp. He left the game telling cameras that he didn't even remember the names of his tribemates.
In his exit interviews, Brice talks about his inner and outer beauty, explains why Jeremiah made the wrong decision and proves that he does, indeed, remember some Beauty names.
Click through for the full Q&A...
Dave Annable and Robert Buckley get in on the pilot game
It's time to squish together a couple pieces of casting news into one Friday (March 7) afternoon post, as Dave Annable and Robert Buckley have both landed potential series regular roles on network pilots.
Since both Annable and Buckley were last seen as regulars on ABC's short-lived "666 Park Avenue," it's almost like the fates wanted them to be mashed into the same story.
'The Following' also gets another season on FOX
Wow. FOX Entertainment Chairman Kevin Reilly wasn't kidding when he said he was "bullish" on low-rated Tuesday comedy "The Mindy Project."
On Friday (March 7) afternoon, FOX made a quartet of early renewals for the 2014-2015 season, with "The Mindy Project" joining relative no-brainers "New Girl," "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" and "The Following."
Don Draper and company return on April 13
AMC is getting aggressive with its end-of-week teases for the upcoming seventh season of "Mad Men."
On Thursday, AMC debuted the first essentially meaningless teaser for the season -- Don Draper getting off of a plane in a mystery location -- as well as a similar first image.
On Friday, AMC released some trippy new key art for the season, which will premiere on Sunday, April 13, kicking off a seven-episode 2014 run. The key art comes courtesy of graphic artist Milton Glaser.
'Once Upon a Time in Wonderland' returns weak
Fast National ratings for Thursday, March 6, 2014.
With "The Big Bang Theory" leading the way in all measures, everything in CBS' schedule was up on Thursday other than "The Crazy Ones," as the network ruled the night in all measures.
FOX's "American Idol" didn't take a big drop, but it was down slightly, failing to even make things competitive with "The Millers" ("Big Bang Theory" has had a massive advantage for a while) and again leading into a weak week for "Rake," which is being shipped off to Fridays.
After last week's big returns, both "Grey's Anatomy" and "Scandal" took big drops for ABC, but still easily won their hours in young viewers. It didn't help that "Once Upon a Time in Wonderland" barely made a ripple in its return.
Speaking of barely making a ripple, other than a solid bump for "Parks and Recreation," NBC's whole lineup barely made a ripple.
Finally, The CW's two dramas both rose, with "Reign" approaching series highs in young female demos.
On to the numbers...
Kodaline also performs as another singer faces elimination
Wednesday (March 5) night was a bad night for "American Idol."
It wasn't just the imbecilic studio audience sabotaging one performance after another with against-the-beat clapping.
And it wasn't just the performances themselves, which were generally poor, but not exclusively poor.
A big part of the problem was that the judges also seemed disappointed and uncomfortable with the tone being set. Harry Connick Jr., in particular, came across as more consistently dyspeptic than Simon Cowell ever did on his grouchiest of days. I've never seen a reality judge making so little effort to cover up the sense that he'd rather be some place else.
The big impact is that just about anybody could go home on Thursday. I'm assuming teenage girls will keep Sam Woolf safe, so he's the picture with this recap, but I had a hard time picking. I'd also have a hard time guessing which potentially eliminated contestants might get the Judges' Save. I know the judges worship at the altar of MK Nobilette, but after two straight lackluster performances and a Bottom Three finish last week, would they really waste the Save if MK isn't striking a chord? If Majesty were punished for the second half of last night's Coldplay cover, would the judges take pity? Would the judges keep remembering how good Jena "Gina" Irene was on her original song and ignoring that she hasn't come close to connecting in the same way with anything else?
Let's find out!
Seasons 6 and 7 will be 13 episodes apiece
[Insert your favorite "Archer" catchphrase/punchline here.]
"Archer" continues to hit the mark with audiences, so FX has rewarded the animated cult favorite with a two-season renewal. And how could you blame FX for being this bullish about a comedy that just landed a vocal cameo from Mr. Kenny Loggins?
The Thursday (March 6) renewal is for seasons six and seven of "Archer," with 13 episodes apiece.
"'Archer' is one of the best comedies on television and has played a significant role in the growth of the FX comedy brand," blurbs FX President of Original Programming Eric Schrier. "We’re grateful to Adam Reed, Matt Thompson and their team at Floyd County, and also our incredible voice cast, and are looking forward to supporting their work for at least two more seasons."
In the renewal announcement, Adam Reed adds, "I am figuratively over the moon."
The current fifth "Archer" season is averaging 1.93 million viewers, up 2 percent over last year, making it the show's most watched season to date. FX likes to give multi-run averages, so I can tell you that episodes are averaging 3.86 million viewers, including 3.02 million in the 18-49 demographic, in that metric.
"Archer" will wrap up this season on Monday, April 21.
And there's no word yet on Season 2 of "Chozen," if you care.
[Insert your favorite "Archer" catchphrase/punchline here.]
10-episode Season 2 will premiere in late 2014
Get ready for more upstairs/downstairs sitcom hijinks, because TBS announced on Thursday (March 6) that it has renewed "Ground Floor" for a second season.
One of last fall's pleasant comedy surprises, "Ground Floor" averaged 1.8 million viewers in Live+7 numbers, including 1.1 million in the 18-49 demo. That's not especially huge, but it still rated among 2013's top 10 basic cable sitcoms in the key demo.
The 10-episode second season will premiere in late 2014, picking up from the first season finale which potentially left our main character Brody (Skylar Astin) having made a pivotal decision in his ongoing struggle to balance work and new love Jennifer (Briga Heelan). Will everything be forever changed? Probably not!
In addition to Astin and Heelan, "Ground Floor," stars John C. McGinley, Rory Scovel, Alexis Knapp, James Earl and Rene Gube. The comedy is produced by Bill Lawrence, Jeff Ingold and Jeff Astrof. [Now if only Lawrence could get NBC to give "Undateable" a premiere date.]
Sepinwall and I reviewed "Ground Floor" back in this November podcast.