<p>&quot;Gang Related&quot;</p>

"Gang Related"

Credit: FOX

Interview: 'Gang Related' showrunner Scott Rosenbaum on antiheroes, 'Shield' comparisons and more

How is the drama more 'Godfather II' than 'The Departed'?

I didn't have time to write a review, but if you've watched this week's Firewall & Iceberg video show, you know I like FOX's "Gang Related."

"Gang Related" comes on strong with a confidence that you don't expect to see from a show premiering a week after the network upfront season. The pilot, written by Chris Morgan and directed by Allen Hughes, is brash, explosive and features a strong cast ably chewing scenery. It is, in short, like a summer movie only on TV.

As often happens with the transition from pilots to series, subsequent episodes maybe don't have quite the same scale, but they still offer tight pacing, terrific use of LA locations and an interestingly twisty narrative focusing on Ryan Lopez (Ramon Rodriguez), a cop torn between his gang task force and the gang family (fronted by Cliff Curtis' Javier Acosta) that raised him. 

With most of Morgan's credits coming from the big screen, FOX brought in Scott Rosenbaum as showrunner for "Gang Related." While Rosenbaum's more recent credits include "Chuck" and ABC's "V" reboot, when he comes on-board an LA-set cop drama, it's immediately going to raise questions about one thing and one thing only: A little FX drama called "The Shield." The Shawn Ryan-created Emmy winner is one of the genre's pinnacles and Rosenbaum was there from the beginning, rising to the rank of EP and standing with Ryan, Glenn Mazzara, Kurt Sutter and Scott Brazil in the show's creative core.

I got on the phone last week for a lengthy conversation with Rosenbaum about his work on "Gang Related" and, naturally, "The Shield" was where I started and it comes up a lot. But "Gang Related" isn't "The Shield" and it doesn't do much good to compare the two shows, so Rosenbaum discusses many of the other things he tried to explore in his new gig. We discussed the challenges of making a good anti-hero in a post-Vic Mackey/Walter White world, the difficulties of making a network show without any chance for feedback and the advice he got from Kurt Sutter about reading reviews. He also explains FOX's expectations for "Gang Related" given that a 2014-2015 schedule was already announced without "Gang Related" being mentioned.

Click through for the full Q&A. And check out "Gang Related" on Thursday night...

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<p>The &quot;Survivor: Cagayan&quot; Top 4</p>

The "Survivor: Cagayan" Top 4

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Survivor: Cagayan' Finale - 'It's Do Or Die'

Spencer, Tony, Woo and Kass go head to head and somebody won

Pre-credit warning. I'm going to ignore these live segments, if you don't mind. This recap is already going to be horribly long if I cover the two-hour episode. At least I get to fast-forward through the lengthy season-long recap.

Also, this recap is so darned long that I had to paginate it. I won't be insulted if you just skip to Page 3 for the results and my Bottom Lines...

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<p>Jena Irene and Caleb Johnson of &quot;American Idol.&quot;</p>

Jena Irene and Caleb Johnson of "American Idol."

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' Season 13 - Finale - The Winner Is...

Did American choose Caleb Johnson or Jena Irene? Find out in two hours...

Ratings suggest that most of America skipped Tuesday's performance finale for "American Idol."

If you're just tuning in for Wednesday's two hours of guest appearances and very limited results, here's what you missed on Tuesday.

Bottom Line: Caleb Johnson versus Jena Irene? It's gonna be a close one. 


Click through and follow along for two hours of live-blogging!

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<p>One of these people won &quot;The Voice&quot; last night</p>

One of these people won "The Voice" last night

Credit: NBC

TV Ratings: 'Dancing,' 'Voice' finales lead Tuesday while 'Supernatural' tops FOX's 'Harry'

It's a weak start to the Season 13 finale for 'American Idol'

Fast National ratings for Tuesday, May 20, 2014.

The season finales for "Dancing with the Stars" and "The Voice" didn't exactly soar, but they still helped ABC rule Tuesday overall and NBC win the night among young viewers.

"The Voice" and "Dancing" were down 25 percent and 11 percent respectively from last spring's finales .

Actually, the only thing doing bigger-than-normal numbers on Tuesday was The CW's "Supernatural" finale, as FOX's "American Idol" stumbled for its performance finale and the network's "I Wanna Marry 'Harry'" proved to be neither the next "Joe Millionaire" nor even the next "The Next Joe Millionaire."

[The CW had a baseball preemption in Chicago, but still should easily top "I Wanna Marry 'Harry.'"]

CBS also struggled with a pair of primetime specials, though "Judge Judy Primetime" was still more successful than "Harry."

Combined with "Riot," "Harry" represents a second consecutive mega-dud of a summer premiere for FOX, which has to be mighty excited about the returns of "So You Think You Can Dance" and "MasterChef."

On to the numbers...

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<p>&quot;Survivor&quot; host Jeff Probst</p>

"Survivor" host Jeff Probst

Credit: CBS

Interview: Jeff Probst discusses the 'Survivor: Cagayan' season

Veteran host discusses Tony, the Tyler Perry Idol and his own evolving job

It's been a few years since I've talked with Jeff Probst either before a "Survivor" season or before a finale and I'd forgotten that I probably needed to request three or four hours as an interview time. Jeff Probst is in his 28th season of hosting "Survivor" and he still loves talking about the game, talking about his favorite players and the constant surprise that each season brings.

You may not agree with his take on things -- I tend to root more for the underdogs, while Probst's love and admiration for certain Alpha Dog contestants is famous/notorious -- but you can't doubt his passion, even if it's for something like this season's all-power Tyler Perry Idol, which has been the source of ample grumbling on my weekly recaps.

Tony, the finder of the Tyler Perry Idol, is a Jeff Probst kinda "Survivor" player, while death-cheating Spencer is the guy I tend to root for, but in this interview, we amply discuss what makes good "Survivor" drama. 

There were lots and lots of things I didn't get to in this interview and I'll try to request a longer block next time we get to talk, but it's still a good 20 minutes of Probst discussing the first All-Star-free "Survivor" season in recent years, his own shifting role as host, Tony's allure as a potential returning player, Amanda Kimmel's near-misses and what his quid pro quo will be from Tyler Perry.

Click through for the full Q&A. And check back for all of my "Survivor: Cagayan" interviews in the week after the finale...

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<p>The &quot;American Idol&quot; Season 13 Top 2</p>

The "American Idol" Season 13 Top 2

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' Season 13 - Finale Performances - Jena vs. Caleb

Jena and Caleb go head to head with three performances in

Welcome to the first half of the "American Idol" finale.

It's Caleb Johnson versus Jena Irene for the big prize, whatever that happens to be at this point in "Idol" history.

On Tuesday (May 20), each of the finalists will sing thrice.

On Wednesday, over two hours, we'll be treated to guest stars and group performances until we want to tear our collective hair out. Then somebody will win. And then I'll go recap the "Survivor: Cagayan" finale, hoping that Twitter doesn't ruin it for me first.

Let's get down to our Tuesday business...

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<p>&quot;The Maya Rudolph Show&quot;</p>

"The Maya Rudolph Show"

Credit: NBC

TV Ratings: 'Maya Rudolph Show' tops 'The Bachelorette' premiere on Monday

'Dancing' and 'The Voice' lead the regular Monday split

Fast National ratings for Monday, May 19, 2014.

The latest installment of "The Bachelorette" got off to a so-so start on ABC Monday, losing a huge chunk of its "Dancing with the Stars" lead-in and also losing to NBC's "The Maya Rudolph Show" special.

It's unclear if the OK numbers for "The Maya Rudolph Show" will inspire NBC to do more, though. While "The Bachelorette" squandered much more of the overall audience from its "Dancing" lead-in, it held onto more of its 18-49 lead-in and avoided the steep drop-off that plagued "The Maya Rudolph Show." And, proving the "Bachelorette" audience is the "Bachelorette" audience, the premiere did the same numbers as last year's launch, which came without a "Dancing" lead-in.

As per usual, NBC topped the night in the key demographic, while ABC led overall.

Among other notables, FOX got another week of "24: Live Another Day" declines, though the "Bones" finale was steady with last week. On the CBS comedy from, the "Mike & Molly" finale rose in viewers but dipped in the key demo, while "Friends with Better Lives" was up week-to-week even after being canceled.

On to the numbers...

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'I Wanna Marry 'Harry' star Matt Hicks on his FOX fairy tale and gullible American girls

'I Wanna Marry 'Harry' star Matt Hicks on his FOX fairy tale and gullible American girls

What would Fake Harry say if he ever met Real Prince Harry?

As a connoisseur of fairy tale-fueled FOX shows from "Joe Millionaire" to "Forever Eden" to "Paradise Hotel," the network's punctuationally challenging "I Wanna Marry 'Harry'" was right in my sweet spot.

And, after watching the premiere, I knew I definitely wanted to talk to series star Matt Hicks about the series, in which he has to convince a giggling coterie of love-starved American party girls that he's royalty, specifically that he's Prince Harry.

It also struck me that since Hicks' claim-to-fame for this series is his resemblance -- 99 percent, according to the show's facial recognition software -- to the man who is fourth in line to the British throne, merely doing my standard Q&A interview might give depth, but it wouldn't let you look at a guy who looks a bit like another famous guy.

Several things to keep in mind as you watch: Matt does, indeed, look somewhat like Prince Harry, but he mostly looks like Prince Harry if you only somewhat know what Prince Harry looks like. He admits without hesitation that this show wouldn't have worked with British women raised on daily newspaper and TV coverage of the real Harry. You also need to know that the pilot features a makeover that Harry-ifies him an additional amount, but this interview finds Matt in his natural condition.

In our chat, Matt talks about his pre-FOX background, how earnestly he was out there looking for love, why this premise works better with America girls and just how much gullibility was required. He also told me what, exactly, the conversation might be like if he ever met the real Prince Harry.

While Matt hadn't seen "Joe Millionaire," I told him about Evan Marriott's later confession that he behaved a bit like a douche on the show and he tells me what will keep him from behaving the same way.

Check out the full interview above. 

"I Wanna Marry 'Harry'" premieres on Tuesday, May 20 at 9 p.m. on FOX.

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<p>Jennifer Lopez performed at the Billboard Music Awards</p>

Jennifer Lopez performed at the Billboard Music Awards

Credit: Chris Pizzello/AP

TV Ratings: Billboard Music Awards crushes CBS' 'Good Wife,' 'Race' finales on Sunday

FOX takes third as NBC's 'Coldplay: Ghost Stories' fizzles

Fast National ratings for Sunday, May 18, 2014.

CBS' season finales for "The Amazing Race: All-Stars," "The Good Wife" and "The Mentalist" proved to be no competition for ABC's Billboard Music Awards telecast on Sunday night.

Each of CBS' finales got small audience bumps, but "Good Wife" and "Amazing Race" were both flat in the key demo, with only "The Mentalist" rising. Meanwhile, it was the most watched Billboard Music Awards telecast in 13 years.

The CBS finales weren't the only programming unable to compete with ABC's awards telecast. While FOX's "Family Guy" was Sunday's top scripted show among young viewers, that finale dipped week-to-week as did "Cosmos." And nothing NBC programmed was able to draw even a minimal audience, with "American Dream Builders" and a "Coldplay: Ghost Stories" special coming in impressively low.

On to the numbers...

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<p>Brendon &amp; Rachel of &quot;The Amazing Race: All-Stars&quot;</p>

Brendon & Rachel of "The Amazing Race: All-Stars"

Recap: 'The Amazing Race: All-Stars' - 'Do You Believe in Magic?"

David Copperfield helps Brendon & Rachel, Dave & Connor and Jen & Caroline

So... That was actually a Non-Elimination "Amazing Race" finale, right? 

They pretended they crowned a winner, but the reality is that they're going to do one more Leg next week and that Leg will be the one that actually determines which team wins the million dollars, right? 


Because if that was actually the finale for an alleged "All-Stars" season of "The Amazing Race," I'm about as irked as I've ever been by this show and y'all know that "The Amazing Race" frequently ticks me off.

That was just horrible. 

If there isn't another Leg next week, "The Amazing Race" just gave a million bucks to a team based on a Final Leg in which there were two Roadblocks that required absolutely no skill and an additional task that only required screwing in lightbulbs. There was no Detour, no cumulative memory-based challenge, nothing that made anybody exert themselves in any way.

I'm not going to waste much time recapping that finale, because the "Amazing Race" producers didn't put much effort into making that finale. 

More after the break...

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