Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 239 - Pre-Comic-Con Roadtrip Podcast

Dan and Alan talk Press Tour, 'Manhattan,' 'Halt and Catch Fire,' 'Orange Is The New Black' and more

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Happy Wednesday, Boys & Girls!

It's Comic-Con Eve, which can only mean one thing... Roadtrip Podcast!

Because Alan's latest medical infirmity caused us to miss a video show on Tuesday, we had lots to discuss in this podcast, including the last week of TCA Press Tour and WGN's "Manhattan." Plus, we're both caught up on "Halt and Catch Fire," so we talked about that. Plus, we both finished Season 2 of "Orange Is The New Black" and we debriefed on that. And, heck, we saw "Boyhood" on a slow Press Tour night, so that was discussed as well.

The conversation was good enough that I went through the EZ Pass lane on the toll road, causing brief confusion and panic. 

Plus, I'd say this is probably our least-worst Roadtrip Podcast on an audio level. That doesn't mean it sounds great. Alan is louder than I am, because he's holding the mic. And there's a lot of "room tone," courtesy of my 2002 Ford Focus. 

Oh. And we sing. Badly. 

Here's the breakdown:
Quick Comic-Con Preview (00:02:00 - 00:05:30)
Press Tour Breakdown (00:05:35 - 00:41:45)
"Manhattan" (00:41:45 - 00:50:50)
"Halt and Catch Fire" (00:50:55 - 00:59:05)
"Orange Is The New Black" Season 2 (00:59:05 - 01:12:20)
"Boyhood" (01:13:50 - 01:21:30)

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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<p>&quot;Food Fighters&quot;</p>

"Food Fighters"

Credit: NBC

TV Ratings: 'America's Got Talent,' OK 'Food Fighters' launch lead NBC Tuesday

CBS takes second overall, with ABC second in the key demo

Fast National ratings for Tuesday, July 22, 2014.

A strong performance by "America's Got Talent" and a so-so launch for "Food Fighters" helped NBC dominate Tuesday night in all measures.

With few other notables, procedural repeats helped CBS take second overall, while "Extreme Weight Loss" put ABC in second among young viewers.

On to the numbers...

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<p>Guillermo del Toro</p>

Guillermo del Toro

Credit: FX

Interview: 'The Strain' co-creator Guillermo de Toro on vicious vampires, erotic vampires and FX vampires

'Pacific Rim' favorite talks genre, gut punches and the freedom of TV

On Monday's (July 21) Television Critics Association press tour panel for "The Strain," Guillermo del Toro was asked about Bleak House, the supplementary residence he purchased to serve as a museum of sorts for his vast collection of toys, props, books and memorabilia mostly relating to his beloved horror, fantasy and sci-fi genres.

"Well, I have the same restraint collecting that I have eating," del Toro cracked. 

The "Pan's Labyrinth" and "Blade II" director has always enjoyed joking about his appetites, which extend beyond eating and collecting into intellectual and conversational realms as well. If, for example, you want to talk fairy tales with del Toro, you have to be prepared to discuss varied international histories for certain stories, while bringing in Bruno Bettelheim as well.

Last week, I posted a brief-ish report from a day on the set of del Toro's "Crimson Peak," just a sampling from the nearly two hours the director took with a small group of reporters, practically having to be dragged away to make his 2015 gothic tale. He just loves what he does and he loves talking about it and since del Toro is typically attached to a dozen projects at a time, that leaves endless room for discussion.

I had 15 minutes with del Toro on Monday to talk about "The Strain," the new FX drama based on del Toro and Chuck Hogan's novel trilogy about a ruthless vampire invasion of New York City. Even knowing I could only concentrate on "The Strain," that time was always going to be woefully inadequate, so I had to choose a topic.

Mostly, that topic was vampires. And since this is Guillermo del Toro, that means the talks about "Kolchak" and John William Polidori's "The Vampyre" as much as his own blood-suckers. We also talked about his earnest love for genre, the origins of his interest in subterranean worlds and his interest in doing more TV in the future.

It's a short interview, but it's a fun interview. 

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'Downton Abbey' Season 5 Press Tour Live-Blog
Credit: PBS

'Downton Abbey' Season 5 Press Tour Live-Blog

Michelle Dockery, Laura Carmichael and Joanne Froggatt lead the panel

The fifth season of "Downton Abbey" won't premiere on PBS until January 4, 2015. 

That's a long way away and, by that time, many of you will have already watched the full season through illegal means (or legal if you happen to live in England). 

On Tuesday (July 22) evening, the Television Critics Association is going to get at least a taste of Season 5. Since the show is still in production, creator Julian Fellowes is absent, sending Gareth Neame in his stead. 

Similarly, much of the cast is shooting Across the Pond, but we've got Laura "Lady Edith" Carmichael, Michelle "Non-Stop" Dockery, Joanne "Anna" Froggatt and Allen "Branson" Leech.

Click through and follow along with my live-blog. Don't expect too many spoilers.

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<p>Monday&#39;s &quot;MasterChef&quot;</p>

Monday's "MasterChef"

Credit: FOX

TV Ratings: Rising 'MasterChef,' 'Bachelorette' lead Monday split

'Under the Dome' hits a low, 'Hotel Hell' premiere is solid

Fast National ratings for Monday, July 21, 2014.

A season high for "MasterChef" and a solid premiere for "Hotel Hell" helped FOX win Monday among young viewers, while "The Bachelorette" drew Monday's biggest audience and led ABC to an overall nightly win.

And yes, that means that "The Bachelorette," airing its "The Men Tell All" episode, moved ahead of CBS' "Under the Dome" in total viewers as the Stephen King adaptation slipped to series lows. [Multiple TCA ratings panels this week have me conditioned to tell you that "Under the Dome" will certainly move ahead of "Bachelorette" once Live+3 numbers are factored in, which doesn't change the steadily dropping L+SD numbers for last summer's breakout hit.]

Monday also saw a bump for "American Ninja Warrior," which received an avalanche of publicity this week courtesy of Kacy Catanzaro. And while The CW's rearranged Monday gave "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" a bump, the comedies "Seed" and "Backpackers" are effectively DOA.

On to the numbers...

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'Fargo' Season 2 Renewal Press Tour Live-Blog
Credit: FX

'Fargo' Season 2 Renewal Press Tour Live-Blog

Producers Noah Hawley and Warren Littlefield tease Season 2

This was a "TBD" panel on FX's TCA schedule and, given the opinions, my guesses were down to either a "Partners" panel with Kelsey Grammer and Martin Lawrence or a "Fargo" renewal panel. Since "Partners" premieres early next month and Grammer and possibly Lawrence (I didn't see him, so I don't know) were at last night's FOX/FX party, that wouldn't have seemed to require "TBD" mystery. 

And, indeed, FX began the morning by announcing a "Fargo" renewal and John Landgraf demurred on several questions about Season 2 specifics, saying that Noah Hawley and Warren Littlefield would have more details later.

Don't expect THAT many details, but follow along...

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<p>John Landgraf</p>

John Landgraf

Credit: FX

Press Tour: July 2014 FX Executive Session Live-Blog

John Landgraf talks 'Fargo,' 'The Strain,' 'Tyrant' and more with the press

Thanks to "Fargo" and "American Horror Story: Coven," FX had a huge Emmy nomination haul two weeks ago. 

And with "Fargo" leading the way, the network still has some of the best reviewed shows on TV.

However, "Tyrant" and "The Strain" both drew mixed reviews, as did the comedies "Married" and "You Are The Worst."

FXX is still struggling to find an identity as it awaits a massive influx of "Simpsons" repeats.

And just last week, FX announced that it would no longer be providing L+SD ratings for reporters, preferring the fuller picture of Live+3 and Live+7 numbers.

So let's just say that FX President John Landgraf will have plenty to talk about on Monday (July 21) morning at the Television Critics Association press tour...

Click through and follow along...

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FX's renews 'Louie' for a shortened Season 5
Credit: FX

FX's renews 'Louie' for a shortened Season 5

Louis C.K.'s Emmy winning comedy-hybrid will return in 2015

FX's Emmy-winning critical favorite "Louie" has been renewed for a fifth season.

That's the good news that was announced on Monday (July 21) morning at the Television Critics Association press tour.

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TV Ratings: 'Big Brother' leads CBS Sunday as 'Rising Star' dips
Credit: CBS

TV Ratings: 'Big Brother' leads CBS Sunday as 'Rising Star' dips

'Unforgettable' builds on its overall lead-in to help CBS

Fast National ratings for Sunday, July 20, 2014.

After a few weeks of stability and growth, ABC's "Rising Star" dipped on Sunday, allowing "Big Brother" and CBS to claim primetime victories in all measures. 

ABC still finished second overall, though "America's Funniest Home Videos" played a bigger role than "Rising Star" did. 

FOX, meanwhile, was second among young viewers thanks to animation repeats.

On to the numbers...

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<p>Peter Rice</p>

Peter Rice

Credit: FOX

Press Tour: July 2014 FOX Executive Session Live-Blog

Peter Rice sets in to fill the executive vacuum with the TV Critics

Kevin Reilly is gone.

Dana Walden and Gary Newman won't be taking over and Chairmen and CEOs for the newly formed FOX Television Group until the end of the month.

That means that on Sunday (July 20) morning, our Television Critics Association press tour Fox Executive Session is with Fox Network Group CEO and Chairman Peter Rice, who hasn't met with us for several years and even when he did meet with us, it was always clear that he was far enough above the network's day-to-day that our questions weren't part of his thought process.

At least he'll be able to talk about the FOX executive restructuring, which will make for a buzz-y panel, I'm sure.

Click though and follow along...

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