Inside TV+Movies with Daniel Fienberg
A physicist has approved of the solution to the NBC drama's riddles
BEVERLY HILLS - The routine has been the same for several years now: The producers of a highly ambitious mythology-based TV series sit down at the Television Critics Association press tour and swear that their shows won't frustrate viewers like so many before.
The producers of "FastForward" swore they wouldn't be "Lost." The producers of "The Event" swore they wouldn't be "FlashForward." The producers of "Terra Nova" promised they wouldn't be "The Event." Etc. Etc.
With that in mind, I'm pleased to report that the producers of NBC's "Revolution" not only swear that they know the answers to all of the show's questions, but they also swear that they're prepared to answer those questions.
Expect lots of optimism and a few mea culpas from NBC's chief
BEVERLY HILLS - NBC actually finished third for the 2011-2012 season. Well, NBC finished tied for third among adults 18-49 for the 2011-2012 season. That's the sort of optimism you can expect from NBC Entertainment Chief Robert Greenblatt when he meets with the Television Critics Association on Tuesday (July 24) morning at the Beverly Hilton.
Click through for the full live-blog...
Why wasn't he reduced to tears on the Comic-Con panel?
SAN DIEGO - Ah, Comic-Con interviews, the gift that keeps on giving.
You've already seen my Comic-Con interviews with Anna Torv
and John Noble
, which followed the emotional Hall H panel for FOX's "Fringe
." At that panel, Torv and Jasika Nicole were moved to tears discussing the Astrid-heavy "Making Angels" episode from last season, setting off a chain reaction that left Lance Reddick choked up.
In the press room after the panel, Joshua Jackson
and I discussed his lack of tears on the panel, but we also discussed his hopes for the fifth and final season of the FOX cult favorite, including a discussion of how Peter Bishop has evolved since the pilot.
Check out this interview and I think my interviews with Reddick and showrunner J.H. Wyman may be coming tonight.
"Fringe," of course, returns to FOX on Friday, September 28.
Has anything changed since the 'Fringe' cast was at Comic-Con last week?
BEVERLY HILLS - If it seems to you like I just live-blogged a "Fringe" final season panel just a day or two ago, you're close to right.
It's only been eight days since the tear-filled "Fringe" farewell at San Diego's Comic-Con.
Now? It's time for "Fringe" to say good-bye to the Television Critics Association press tour.
We won't cry.
Of course, we won't have Jasika Nicole on this panel to reduce everybody to tears.
Click through for the full report...
Will there be big 'Idol' announcements? Of course not, silly...
BEVERLY HILLS - By delaying FOX's Executive Session for mid-morning, we've already gotten a teaser of things to come when "Idol" executive producer Nigel Lythgoe said that he was still in negotiations for next season and hinted that Jennifer Lopez is only 99 percent likely to leave. In short: Expect no concrete answers on the "Idol" front from FOX Entertainment President Kevin Reilly.
But will he say? Click through...
What's next for the imprisoned Bates and more
BEVERLY HILLS - "You have excellent taste," Brendan Coyle tells me as we conclude our interview overlooking the pool at the Beverly Hilton.
The words sound familiar, coming from an actor who has become best known Stateside for playing emotionally tortured, physically hobbled, pathologically noble and expertly obsequious Mr. Bates on PBS' "Downton Abbey."
Of course, in this case, Coyle's words come with a wink, because I've just realized that he was one of the stars of the West End production of "The Weir," which I saw and loved in London shortly after its 1997 premiere. At the time, I didn't know Coyle or his co-star Michelle Fairley, now of HBO's "Game of Thrones." Now, 14-plus years later, I've taken the opportunity for a retroactive compliment for what happens to be a favorite project for Coyle as well.
Actually, other than his consummate politeness, Coyle seems very little like Mr. Bates. He dresses nattily, walks without a limp and -- and this will seem almost unfathomable for "Downton Abbey" fans -- he frequently smiles.
I got very few spoilers out of Coyle in our brief chat.
I know that Mr. Bates will spend some/much of Season Three in prison. But I don't know how much, exactly.
I also know that he knows what happened with Vera, the horrible late Mrs. Bates, but I don't know what he knows.
Click through for the full conversation...
Julian Fellowes and stars tease Season 3 for the Emmy favorite
"Downton Abbey" was already a moderate-sized phenomenon last July when we got our Season 2-previewing Television Critics Association press tour panel last summer. That was a big deal, but it's nothing compared to the build-up for Saturday's (July 21) TCA panel, which is the centerpiece of PBS' weekend, with a panel, an associated buffet dinner and a subsequent reception.
I already had a 10-minute sit-down with Brendan "Mr. Bates!" Coyle earlier this afternoon and I'll post that soon.
But here's the live-blog from the panel, which features creator Julian Fellowes, as well as many of the show's stars.
How hard will it be for Noble to top Walter Bishop in future roles?
SAN DIEGO - I've mentioned this before, but if John Noble isn't HitFix's Most Interview
ed Man, he's very close.
I've done four or five video interviews with the "Fringe
" star over the years, plus at least one long interview on the show's Vancouver set, where John Noble and I shared a key scene together
in the Season 3 episode " Do Shapeshifters Dream of Electric Sheep?"
On the list of contemplative, generous and sage interview subjects, Noble has to rank somewhere near the top. He's always given Walter Bishop and all of his incarnations an astounding amount of thought and anybody who thinks Noble's interest in the dimension-bending realities of "Fringe" is just an act has never tuned in to Science Channel's "Dark Matters." He truly relishes the nuances that "Fringe" has allowed him to explore.
Last weekend at San Diego's Comic-Con, I caught up with Noble after the final "Fringe" panel, a standing-room-only affair in front of 6000 passionate fans in Hall H. It's no wonder that the actor was, in his words, "numb" after the emotional experience.
In our four-plus minute conversation, Noble discusses the choices he's facing for the 13-episode fifth season, set largely in the future introduced in the "Letters of Transit" episode. He also discusses the particular challenge he's facing looking forward to life after "Fringe."
You've already seen my interview with Anna Torv
, but hopefully my chats with J.H. Wyman, Joshua Jackson and Lance Reddick will also be posting in the days to come.
"Fringe" returns to FOX on Friday, September 28.
Dan and Alan talk Emmys, 'Sullivan & Sons,' 'Breaking Bad' and more
Happy Thursday, Boys & Girls.
It's time for a special Emmy-heavy installment of The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast.
Just in case you haven't read my Winners & Losers gallery
or read Sepinwall's reactions
, we chatter for more than 35 minutes in celebration of Kathy Bates, random "Downton Abbey" supporting players and the absurd notion that "American Horror Story" is a movie or miniseries.
We also spend a few minutes tearing into TBS' dismal "Sullivan and Son" and then we do our usual "Breaking Bad" and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" chatter.
Here's the breakdown:
Emmy Nominations (00:01:40 - 00:38:20)
"Sullivan and Son" (00:38:25 - 00:45:15)
"Breaking Bad" premiere (00:45:25 - 01:04:40)
"Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (01:04:45 - 01:15:45)
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.]
And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.
'Justified' and 'Parks and Recreation' are less lucky
Actually, I got 44 of 61 nominees in the categories I predicted, which is a respectable 72 percent. I got all six of the Lead Actor Comedy nominees and six of seven Lead Actress Comedy nominees (and I shouldn't be responsible for not anticipating a tie.
As I guessed last night, one of my mistakes was underestimating the chances for "Downton Abbey." Joanne Froggat was, I believe, the only nominee who I didn't even place in my "Some other notable candidates" slide. Big ooops there. I also assumed xenophobia would give Elizabeth McGovern the advantage over the far more deserving Michelle Dockery, so... Yay!
A lot of the nominees that I missed -- folks like Jared Harris, Kathryn Joosten and Hugh Bonneville -- were relatively high up among contenders, but I know why I didn't predict them.
Anyway... I think that makes me both a Winner and a Loser on Emmy Nomination Morning.
Here's a gallery of other Winners & Losers.