<p>Terrence Howard and Matt Dillon of &quot;Wayward Pines&quot;</p>

Terrence Howard and Matt Dillon of "Wayward Pines"

Credit: FOX

'Wayward Pines' showrunner Chad Hodge on building paranoia and offering 'The Truth'

'Playboy Club' veteran discusses adapting Blake Crouch's novels for FOX

TV audiences crave answers and there's nothing dedicated viewers fear more than mythology-driven series that threaten to stretch out mysteries indefinitely or, alternatively, run the risk of getting cancelled without ever revealing the truth.

FOX's new drama "Wayward Pines" is definitely heavy on mystery. Secret Service Agent Ethan Burke (Matt Dillon) checks into a small Idaho town on an investigation and soon begins to realize that very little in Wayward Pines is what it seems to be. So what makes Wayward Pines unusual? What secrets are the residents harboring? And who knows these answers?

Well, one person who knows the answers is "Wayward Pines" showrunner Chad Hodge, who created The CW's "Runaway" and NBC's "Playboy Club" before discovering Blake Crouch's book and adapting it on spec as a potential 10-episode story back in 2013, before "Fargo" and "True Detective" made everybody in TV giddy on the event series model.

So Hodge knows where "Wayward Pines" is going and when I talked to Hodge about "Wayward Pines," I knew most of where the show was going, having read all but the last third of Crouch's third and final book in the trilogy. [I finished the third book a day later.] And while we couldn't talk about specifics, one thing we did talk about is the need to give viewers specifics and the fact that the season's fifth episode is very fittingly titled "The Truth." See, what's actually happening in "Wayward Pines" is a twist, but Hodge makes it clear it's not the totality of what the series is about. Getting answers is one thing, but how the characters respond to those answers becomes the second half of "Wayward Pines."

Although there's been a knee-jerk desire to compare "Wayward Pines" to "Twin Peaks," Hodge talks about his own inspirations, particularly Crouch's books and the challenges offered by this adaptation. He talks about using the limited model to get ahead on writing and how that helped with casting, plus the advantages of finishing shooting a year ago, including the serendipity of having shot with Terrence Howard before "Empire" and premiering after.

I'm looking forward to talking to Hodge in detail about some of the twists and turns and "The Truth" after it unfolds, but this is a largely spoiler free interview about the process of building paranoia and offering answers...

Give it a read before "Wayward Pines" premieres on FOX on Thursday, May 14...

Read Full Post
<p>Steven Tyler and Jax perform at the &quot;American Idol&quot; finale</p>

Steven Tyler and Jax perform at the "American Idol" finale

Credit: FOX

TV Ratings: 'American Idol' finale gives FOX a narrow overall Wednesday win

ABC still wins the key demo with 'Modern Family' and the 'Goldbergs' finale

Fast National ratings for Wednesday, May 13, 2015.

Once guaranteed to be one of the top entertainment broadcasts of the entire season, Wednesday's "American Idol" Season 14 finale gave FOX a slim overall win, but finished behind five other shows for the night in the key demographic.

"Idol" used to be an unstoppable juggernaut among young women in particular, but Wednesday's finale finished eighth for the night among women 18-49 and ninth among women 18-34.

The week-to-week finale bump for "American Idol" was a 0.1 in the key demo.

Keep in mind, though, that the "Idol" finale extended six minutes into the 10 p.m. hour, which isn't counted here. 

There was better news for NBC's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" and "Chicago PD," which both rose week-to-week, and for ABC's "The Goldbergs" finale, which was also up. Penultimate episodes for "Modern Family" and "Black-ish," however, were down.

Let's get to the numbers...

Read Full Post
<p>Jessica Chastain of &quot;Crimson Peak&quot;</p>

Jessica Chastain of "Crimson Peak"

Credit: Universal

Jessica Chastain thinks dark thoughts, makes beautiful music on the set of 'Crimson Peak'

The Oscar nominee could have played either role for Guillermo del Toro

TORONTO, ONTARIO. Deeply immersed in character, many actors are uncomfortable having even brief conversations when reporters drop by their sets. This goes double or triple when the thespians are playing dark roles, twisty roles, roles that require tapping into wounded places in their psyches.

It's mid-March 2014 on the set of Guillermo del Toro's "Crimson Peak" and Jessica Chastain is wrapping a candid conversation with a dozen reporters by giving a concert in her trailer. 

The keyboard sitting against one wall in the trailer spawns a question about whether or not Chastain's character, sporting the impeccably Victorian name of Lady Lucille Sharpe, plays the piano, but it's Chastain who volunteers to tickle the synthetic ivories. 

"Have you guys heard the lullaby?" Chastain asks without hesitation. We have not, of course. "Crimson Peak" is over a year away from an October 16, 2015 release date and neither images nor a trailer have been released yet. 

"Do you guys want to hear it?" She asks, even more eagerly.

A minute later after we've all rotated and gathered around Chastain and uncertainty sets in.

"You guys, I get really nervous. I'm going to mess up, probably," she warns us.

Read Full Post
Tom Hiddleston teases kink, creepiness and complexity on the set of 'Crimson Peak'
Credit: Legendary Pictures

Tom Hiddleston teases kink, creepiness and complexity on the set of 'Crimson Peak'

'Thor' veteran calls Guillermo del Toro a Giant Mexican Bear of Passion and Warmth

TORONTO, ONTARIO. As you've discovered if you've ever sent out a tweet containing the word "Hiddleston," the "Thor" star and British Shakespeare veteran has a legion of passionate fans.

On Guillermo del Toro's upcoming Victorian haunted house drama "Crimson Peak," Hiddleston was a late arrival, stepping in for one of the few actors capable of engendering comparable levels of online hyperventilation, Benedict Cumberbatch.

For Hiddleston, there was no hesitation when first his agent, then del Toro, then Jessica Chastain all called to woo him to play Sir Thomas Sharpe, a fading British aristocrat who brings his new American bride Edith (Mia Wasikowska) home to his familial estate as part of an attempt to reboot his fortunes, setting in motion initially creepy and eventually terrifying happenings.

"[T]here was no possible way I was going to say no," Hiddleston laughs, sitting in a prop warehouse near the Toronto sound stages housing the massive "Crimson Peak" sets in March 2014. "Working with Guillermo, who I’ve admired for so long, and the script itself was just brilliant. The screenplay was captivating and rich and sophisticated and terrifying. And the role was amazing and different from anything else I’d done. It was a very, very quick yes after that."

It should be no surprise that Cambridge-educated Hiddleston gives one of the best descriptions I've ever heard for his personable, larger-than-life director.

Read Full Post
<p>&quot;DC&#39;s Legends of Tomorrow&quot;</p>

"DC's Legends of Tomorrow"

Credit: The CW

CW chief talks 'Constantine' rumors, 'Legends of Tomorrow' and '100' plans

Mark Pedowitz also weighed in on the future of 'Supernatural' and more

Shortly after The CW announced its 2015-16 schedule absurdly early on Thursday (May 14) morning, CW President Mark Pedowitz took 20 minutes of questions from reporters about what is and isn't on the network's roster. 

The CW's fall features three hours of DC Comics-related programming -- if you include "iZombie" -- but several early queries related to things that aren't on the schedule, at least not yet.

Read Full Post
<p>&quot;Crazy Ex-Girlfriend&quot;</p>

"Crazy Ex-Girlfriend"

Credit: The CW

The CW's 2015-16 Schedule: 'Legends of Tomorrow' to midseason, 'Originals' joins 'Vampire Diaries,'

'The 100' and newly retitled 'Containment' also wait for midseason

The CW closed out the 2015 Network TV Upfronts on Thursday (May 14) morning by announcing its 2015-2016 schedule.

It's a schedule that mixes a couple nights of stability with some big moves, including the expected decision to hold "DC's Legends of Tomorrow" for midseason, along with the thriller "Containment," making "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" the network's only new series for fall.

Read Full Post
<p>&quot;Survivor: Worlds Apart&quot;</p>

"Survivor: Worlds Apart"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Survivor: Worlds Apart' - 'My Word Is My Bond'

Tribal Council is full of twists and turns

Pre-credit sequence. Tyler is gone, so is Carolyn in charge now? "Tribal tonight was a whole lot of fun for me," Mike says, giddy at breaking up The Six. He knows, however, that he either has to find another Idol or keep winning Immunity to stay around. "Everybody wants Mike gone," Dan says, claiming that Mike has proven to be selfish and self-centered, promising that he won't work with Mike, who has to be the hero. "Mike, he has to be the hero. It's the fact that he's so arrogant and he's so condescending," Dan insists, reminding us of his advantage and the alliance he thinks he's in with. "I don't trust Dan," Carolyn says, calling Dan the biggest threat other than Mike. Carolyn wants options and tells Mike that they have to target Dan next, if they can find the numbers. She also tells Mike about the nature of Dan's advantage, which confuses him for a while. "I am smack in the middle," Carolyn declares, still planning on booting Mike if he doesn't win Immunity. Well, this sets things up interestingly, I guess?

Read Full Post
<p>Your &quot;American Idol&quot; Season 14 Finalists</p>

Your "American Idol" Season 14 Finalists

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' Season 14 Finale - Nick versus Clark - Who wins?

Two men enter. 126 minutes later, one man is crowned as our penultimate Idol

Nick or Clark?

Clark or Nick?

Who will be crowned our 14th and penultimate "American Idol" winner?

And why must it take 126 minutes to find out? When "American Idol" was a colossus straddling the TV landscape, this sort of bloated spectacle wasn't just justified, it was practically necessary for FOX. Milk every blessed second out of "American Idol"! 

But Tuesday night's performance finale lost to "Undateable" in the 18-49 demo. That's a bit sad.

But maybe ratings will still perk up for the actual finale.

Follow along with me as we go on this lengthy journey to either Clark Beckham or Nick Fradiani's confetti-filled coronation...

Read Full Post
<p>January Jones of &quot;Mad Men&quot;</p>

January Jones of "Mad Men"

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 282 - 'Wayward Pines,' 'Bessie' and more

Dan and Alan also discuss the penultimate episode of 'Mad Men'


Happy Wednesday, Boys & Girls!

Skype was particularly nasty for this installment of Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, which took two days and countless segments to record. But at least week finished!

Our hope is to give you two podcasts this week, so this one is just FOX's "Wayward Pines," HBO's "Bessie" and Sunday's eventful penultimate episode of "Mad Men."

We'll try to jam five networks worth of Upfronts conversations into a Friday podcast or something. 

We'll see! 

But here's today's breakdown:
"Wayward Pines" (00:02:05 - 00:15:25)
"Bessie" (00:15:30 - 00:22:40)
"Mad Men" - "The Milk and Honey Route" (00:22:40 - 00:56:30)

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.

Read Full Post
<p>Melissa Benoist and Mehcad Brooks of &quot;Supergirl&quot;</p>

Melissa Benoist and Mehcad Brooks of "Supergirl"

Credit: CBS

CBS First Images: 'Supergirl' with glasses, 'Rush Hour' hijinks, 'Limitless' blur

Also check out the ensemble of 'Life in Piece' and Dr. Oscar Winner Marcia Gay Harden

CBS is clearly saving the first images of Kara Zor-El in motion for the "Supergirl" trailer premiering during the network's upfront presentation on Wednesday (May 13) afternoon, but we finally have our first normal images from the buzz-y pilot.

It turns out that glasses are as effective at disguising Kara as they are at obfuscating Clark Kent's identity. 

And it turns out that Kara's boss, Calista Flockhart's Cat Grant appears to be a very busy woman.

CBS announced its full schedule on Wednesday morning and also dropped a handful of pictures from its new shows.

You have Justin Hires and Jon Foo getting their respective Chris Tucker and Jackie Chans on in pictures from the midseason police dramedy "Rush Hour."

You've got Dianne Wiest and James Brolin leading a superior ensemble in "Life in Pieces."

There's Oscar winner Marcia Gay Harden in a frenzied ER in "Code Black."

And Jake McDorman is using his enhanced brain capacity to avoid another "Manhattan Love Story" in "Limitless."

Check out the full gallery of CBS images:

Read Full Post