Pre-credit sequence. It's Night 35 and the Top 5 castaways return to camp. Carolyn is giddy. Mike is incredulous. Rodney is offended that Carolyn didn't tell him about the Idol, which is funny since Carolyn's offended that Rodney voted for her. They agree that without Idols or advantages remaining, everybody wants Mike out, which is especially funny since Mike was the only person to support Carolyn at the previous Tribal. But loyalty doesn't go very far when you're this deep into "Survivor."
Riding an impressive hot streak of originals, Comedy Central is looking to continue that momentum with a slew of summer premieres and returns including the long-awaited -- by some people, at least -- return of "Review."
Fast National ratings for Tuesday, May 19, 2015.
The 20th season finale for "Dancing with the Stars" led ABC to a Tuesday win overall, while the eighth season finale for "The Voice" helped NBC reign among young viewers.
Although they were both down double digits from the fall finales, the "Dancing" and "Voice" closers were comfortably Tuesday's top shows in most measures, though the first finale for "The Flash" was the night's top scripted show among young viewers and helped The CW tie for first on the night among men 18-49.
Let's get to the numbers...
Here's why we're being instructed to take Live+Same Day ratings less seriously now than ever before.
"Wayward Pines" premiered last week with 3.76 million viewers and a 1.0 rating among adults 18-49. Hitting The Mulaney Line for a premiere isn't especially good, but FOX already was able to spin the numbers as full retention of its "Bones" lead-in and not bad for a pilot that had already gone up early online and that was facing a slew of big finales.
Well, Live+SD figures are in and "Wayward Pines" went up nearly 90 percent to a 1.9 rating among adults 18-49 and 65 percent to nearly 6.2 million viewers, moving ahead of "Bones" in both measures.
That doesn't make "Wayward Pines" a huge spash but as summer limited run programming goes? It gives FOX something to be optimistic about.
FOX will let viewers have another chance to catch the "Wayward Pines" premiere on Thursday (May 21) at 8 p.m. and it'll be followed by the second episode, titled "Do Not Discuss Your Life Before," in the regular 9 p.m. time period.
HitFix has an exclusive scene from Thursday's new episode, in which we see Matt Dillon's Ethan poking around with the corpse he discovered in the pilot and Melissa Leo's Pam being deliciously creepy.
Check it out:
Happy Tuesday, Boys & Girls!
It's our special All-"Mad Men" installment of The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast.
It's nearly two-hours of "Mad Men" talk and we barely scratched the surface, frankly.
We talked extensively about the finale and answered a ton of your mail, but again, only some. Thanks for the great questions and whatnot!
So obviously this spoils "Mad Men." We also talked about the respective finales of "Mad Men" and "Breaking Bad," so there's a question that led me to mention the end of "Breaking Bad." That's the only other thing we spoil here, but it's a thing that happens.
We tried shifting from Skype recording to FaceTime here. For a while, it worked. At the end it didn't work so well.
Today's breakdown is simple:
"Mad Men" (00:00:00 - 01:58:00)
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Previously set for a nebulous "July" premiere date, the premiere for Season 2 of the FX vampire drama has been set for Sunday, July 12. "The Strain" launched its first season on July 13 last year. And "The Strain" will continue in its regular Sunday 10 p.m. slot.
Vaunted as the most-watched new cable drama of 2014, "The Strain" continues to be based on the series of novels from Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan, with Carlton Cuse as showrunner. With Live+7 data, the first season of "The Strain" averaged 6.28 million viewers, including 3.49 million viewers in the 18-49 demographic.
I was on the Toronto set of "The Strain" last month and while Season 1 stuck fairly closely to del Toro and Hogan's first book, it seems that Season 2 will be branching out in potentially dramatic ways, with possibly as much as half of the narrative arcs originating in the TV series. The original-to-TV storylines seem to concentrate on the collapse of various political and social institutions in the aftermath of the burgeoning vampire epidemic, which could potentially be interesting.
Changes for Season 2 include Max Charles replacing Ben Hyland as Zach Goodweather and Joaquin Cosio playing legendary luchador Angel de la Plata.
Oh and for fans of the books, you know how we kinda assumed that the character played by Stephen McHattie was Quinlan? Apparently that's not exactly the case...
We'll have more coverage of "The Strain" Season 1 as we get closer to the premiere...
Fast National ratings for Monday, May 18, 2015.
The latest season premiere for "The Bachelorette" helped ABC push past NBC and "The Voice" to win Monday among young viewers, while the first part of the "Dancing with the Stars" finale helped CBS win Monday overall.
Among other notables, "2 Broke Girls," "Mike & Molly" and "NCIS: Los Angeles" were both up in their latest season finales, while the series finales for "Stalker" and "The Following" were both down.
And The CW played a little how-low-can-you-go game with an airing of the film "Celeste & Jesse Forever."
Let's get to the numbers...
Fast National ratings for Sunday, May 17, 2015.
ABC's coverage of the Billboard Music Awards dominated Sunday night in all measures, crushing an impressive amount of original competition on the other networks.
With the Billboard Music Awards, "Game of Thrones" and the series finale for AMC's "Mad Men," it isn't surprising that late evening dramas "Battle Creek," "A.D. the Bible Continues" and particularly "American Odyssey" hit rather impressive lows.
Let's get straight to the numbers...
History repeats itself, first as a bad Disney inspirational underdog sports movie and then as the series finale for one of the greatest TV dramas ever made.
In 2014's "Million Dollar Arm," Jon Hamm plays a soulless sports agent who has lost his way and become a dead-eyed automaton, joylessly banging interchangeable bimbettes, but losing the true joy he once had. Only through importing two Indian baseball players and adopting a few key pieces of their approach to life is Hamm's character able to get his groove back, rediscover enlightenment. Thanks, Disney!
In Sunday (May 17) night's "Mad Men" finale, Donald Draper also had lost himself. But through appropriating a different kind of Indian culture, he's able to find enlightenment or cynically rediscover his mojo. No, the transcendental meditation that helps Don Draper realign after a nightmarish few weeks wandering in the desert, isn't really Indian culture, but if we're being completely honest the plot of "Million Dollar Arm" isn't actually all that inspirational either. A sports agent stages a reality show to find two Indian youngsters who are ultimately incapable of being major league pitchers, but they get to have a little fun and the agent gets to get his groove back, so everybody kinda wins.
I understand that this is probably a glib or cynical way of looking at the finale for a TV show that I've loved more than anything since "The Wire" went off the air and possibly, as I give it more thought, more than anything other than "The Wire" in the medium's history. But the primary reading that most people are getting from the "Mad Men" finale is one of cynicism, which isn't at all out of keeping with the show. [I also know that Esalen was kinda a pupu platter platter of philosophical approaches, but I wanted to make the "Million Dollar Arm" reference, so I Indianized it. Apologies.]
To say that Dan Foley has been one of the polarizing players in this "Survivor" season would probably be a misnomer, because the "positive" side of the pole hasn't been over-represented as far as fans are concerned.
From condescending chatter about how to talk to and apologize to women, to bullying behavior towards Sierra, to the particularly odd Tribal Council moment in which Dan compared being adopted to being a victim of abuse, the editors have had fun creating an unappealing carousel of moments with Dan, but also Rodney and Will.
Dan hasn't done so well with the men either, launching a feud with former ally Mike over a misunderstanding, and seemingly randomly calling Rodney's mother a whore.
Several months after an ouster in which Dan's two-vote Tribal Council advantage was negated by a surprising Idol play by Carolyn, Dan's got explanations or context for a lot of the things that made him look bad on "Survivor: Worlds Apart." Dan is capable of talking a blue streak and some of the Maine resident's justifications and whatnot seem reasonable.
And, to his credit, he doesn't claim that if he'd made it through this vote he was going to sweep through to the end to win the million, but he's given it some thought, just like he's given thought to why the editors have given him such a one-sided depiction this season. Dan is forthright and earnest, but not eager to play the hindsight 20/20 game that is a normal pastime for "Survivor" veterans.
[An apology: I did this interview on an upfronts morning with a 4:30 schedule announcement. I fully meant to ask about the abuse/adoption Tribal Council, but things were just slipping through my mind left and right. Sorry.]
We talked about regrets and how he'd play if he got a second chance. Hint: He and Popeye share a philosophy.
Click through for the full Q&A...