<p>Jada Pinkett Smith of &quot;Gotham&quot;</p>

Jada Pinkett Smith of "Gotham"

Credit: FOX

Interview: 'Gotham' director Danny Cannon on Batman without Batman and more

Which '70s films inspired the visual style of the FOX pilot?

Earlier this month -- I've been bogged down with Emmy galleries for 10 days -- FOX hosted what the network called a "Tastemakers" screening of the new drama pilot "Gotham." Basically, that means "reporters and some talent" got to see the "Gotham" pilot at events in New York and LA.

I've already tweeted this and I'll go into more depth when I start my Take Me To The Pilots series next week, but I like the "Gotham" pilot. I have no clue what the show looks like by the eighth or ninth episode and I fear the five or six seasons of delayed gratification, but I think it's a well-made pilot and most of the stars -- particularly Ben McKenzie, Donal Logue and, in a minor surprise, Jada Pinkett Smith -- are quite solid.

A lot of the credit has to go to pilot director Danny Cannon, who worked with series creator Bruno Heller from the earliest stages and gives "Gotham" a look that blends realism with a comic book aesthetic, without being so dangerously ambitious that subsequent episodes are sure to let us down.

After the screening, I had a long conversation with "CSI" and "Judge Dredd" veteran Cannon about creating the look of "Gotham," replicating that look on a weekly basis and the staging of certain iconic franchise moments. We also talked about the inevitable frustration of a Batman series without Batman and the famous Batman villain he's looking forward to bringing to the show.

[The only spoiler in this interview discusses the opening scene of the pilot, which is the formative event Young Bruce Wayne's life. If you've seen ANY "Batman" story, you know what scene I'm talking about. If somehow you haven't... Well, it only spoils the first five minutes of the pilot.]

Keep going for the full Q&A... "Gotham" will air Mondays at 8 p.m. this fall on FOX...

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2014 Emmy Nomination Contenders - Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

2014 Emmy Nomination Contenders - Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

Will an 'Orange' star prevent Julia Louis-Dreyfus' three-peat?

Reminder: For our annual Emmy contenders coverage, Sepinwall does his personal preferences, while I handicap mostly in terms of likelihood of landing nominations. As usual, the first six slides in each gallery are my nomination predictions. The next eight or nine slides are the actors and shows most likely to sneak in, based on precedent, quality or something nebulous. And then at the end of each gallery, I tend to throw in a couple oddballs who have no chance at all of being nominated, but who I think deserve to be a part of the conversation, or might accidentally become part of the conversation, just because.

Our next category:

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A COMEDY

The four returning nominees in this category are locks and, unlike some of the Lead Actor in a Comedy locks, they're not just default favorites. And, unlike the Lead Actor in a Comedy field, there are a few very likely contenders to add nominations this year, starting with "Orange Is The New Black" star Taylor Schilling, who will be close to a lock unless Netflix drops the ball in some way. From there, voters could go with one of several new faces, category transplants and briefly displaced former winners. This is a fun category and unlike Lead Actor in a Comedy, it's not an embarrassing "Well, we've gotta nominate somebody" fun.

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<p>Missy Peregrym of &quot;Rookie Blue&quot;</p>

Missy Peregrym of "Rookie Blue"

Credit: ABC

TV Ratings: 'Big Bang' repeat, rising 'Hell's Kitchen' lead Thursday split

'Rookie Blue' premiere puts ABC in a close second overall

Fast National ratings for Thursday, June 19, 2014.

A solid week-to-week bump for "Hell's Kitchen" helped FOX win Thursday night among young viewers, while the night's overall leader continued to be CBS, powered by a "Big Bang Theory" repeat.

Among other notables, "Hell's Kitchen" helped "Gang Related" post a tiny gain as the drama tied with NBC's dipping "Undateable."

Meanwhile, ABC's "Rookie Blue" returned with soft demo numbers, but a solid overall audience and The CW also got OK returns for the Critics' Choice TV Awards.

On to the numbers...

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2014 Emmy Nomination Contenders - Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

2014 Emmy Nomination Contenders - Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

Jim Parsons looks strong, but will Andy Samberg challenge him?

Reminder: For our annual Emmy contenders coverage, Sepinwall does his personal preferences, while I handicap mostly in terms of likelihood of landing nominations. As usual, the first six slides in each gallery are my nomination predictions. The next eight or nine slides are the actors and shows most likely to sneak in, based on precedent, quality or something nebulous. And then at the end of each gallery, I tend to throw in a couple oddballs who have no chance at all of being nominated, but who I think deserve to be a part of the conversation, or might accidentally become part of the conversation, just because.

Our next category:

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A COMEDY

This is a weak field. Louis C.K. is Louis C.K. and I'll always express admiration for what Jim Parsons does on "Big Bang Theory," but otherwise you're looking at two Showtime stars who are favorites at least 75 percent by default and then your choice of decently regarded parts on shows very few people watched, well-regarded performances on shows that nobody watched or contenders who are only here because they won Emmys for better shows years ago. This is what happens when the stars of "Modern Family" are all "supporting" and the stars of the year's best new comedy, "Orange Is The New Black," are all women. This is a category that either needs an infusion of good new product next year or else needs voters to actually watch Andy Daly in "Review."

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<p>&quot;So You Think You Can Dance&quot;</p>

"So You Think You Can Dance"

Credit: FOX

TV Ratings: Big 'So You Think You Can Dance' bump lifts FOX on Wednesday

'Motive' rises double-digits for ABC

Fast National ratings for Wednesday, June 18, 2014.

A large, but slightly unexplained, bump for "So You Think You Can Dance" helped FOX dominate Wednesday primetime in young viewers and finish a close second to CBS' procedural repeats overall.

Also getting an unexplained week-to-week boost was ABC's "Motive," the only other original on a repeat-filled night.

If you're curious, "Motive" was up 15 percent overall and 25 percent in the key demo, while "So You Think You Can Dance" rose 31 percent in the key demo and 20 percent overall.

On to the numbers...

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2014 Emmy Contenders - Lead Actor in a Drama Series

2014 Emmy Contenders - Lead Actor in a Drama Series

Sure, it's McConaughey versus Cranston, but who rounds out the field?

Reminder: For our annual Emmy contenders coverage, Sepinwall does his personal preferences, while I handicap mostly in terms of likelihood of landing nominations. As usual, the first six slides in each gallery are my nomination predictions. The next eight or nine slides are the actors and shows most likely to sneak in, based on precedent, quality or something nebulous. And then at the end of each gallery, I tend to throw in a couple oddballs who have no chance at all of being nominated, but who I think deserve to be a part of the conversation, or might accidentally become part of the conversation, just because.

Our next category:

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA

When it comes to depth, here's how I describe the difference between the Lead Actor and Lead Actress in a Drama fields. There are absolutely more nomination-worthy potential Lead Actor contenders and I could make strong personal cases for at least 20, albeit with different levels of passion. But when I look at the potential nominees, I think there are maybe eight or nine actors with legitimate chances to actually earn nominations. The Lead Actress in a Drama list of candidates is much smaller, but that's the nature of the business. What sets that category apart is how deep -- 11 or 12 or 13 -- the list of conceivable nominees goes. So Lead Actor in a Drama is a great category, but I'm much more intrigued and mystified by what the Lead Actress in a Drama nomination field could look like.

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Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 235

Dan and Alan talk 'Game of Thrones,' 'Fargo,' 'Louie,' 'Rectify' and much more

The

Happy Wednesday, Boys & Girls. Time for an obscenely long installment of the Firewall & Iceberg Podcast.

Seriously. This is ridiculous. And it's my fault because I couldn't do a video show on Tuesday, which would have condensed some of these pieces to a more manageable length. 

But even if we'd split things over two shows, this week still featured finales for "Game of Thrones," "Louie" and "Fargo" and those were all going to deserve lots of conversation time. And we still had to talk about the "Friday Night Lights" episode in which Mrs. Coach tries to broil Alien Baby Gracie Belle in the Texas heat. And then there were four reviews we had to do, including "Rectify," which we love, and a trio of new shows, which we don't love.

In all, the running time here is 2:25, which may or may not be a record. So take your time. There's lots of good discussion, but nobody needs to listen to me and Sepinwall for 145 minutes straight.

Here's today's breakdown:
"Rectify"(00:01:20 - 00:12:30)
"Almost Royal" (00:12:45 - 00:19:20)
"Musketeers" (00:19:20 - 00:25:49)
"The Last Ship" (00:25:50 - 00:37:10)
"Game of Thrones" (00:37:30 - 01:13:10)
"Louie" (01:13:20 - 01:39:15)
"Fargo" (01:39:20 - 02:06:50)
"Friday Night Lights" (02:06:55 - 00:24:00)

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;The Night Shift&quot;</p>

"The Night Shift"

Credit: NBC

TV Ratings: NBC wins Tuesday with slipping 'America's Got Talent,' 'Night Shift'

The CW's 'Famous in 12' is wasting away

Fast National ratings for June 17, 2014.

Even without competition from the NBA Finals, NBC's "America's Got Talent" and "Night Shift" were both down week to week, but even in decline the two shows swept their hours and led NBC to Tuesday domination in all measures.

After benching "Riot" and "I Wanna Marry 'Harry,'" FOX got only marginal improvement from a quartet of comedy repeats, while the already tepid interest in The CW's "Famous in 12" may be dwindling.

On to the numbers...

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2014 Emmy Nomination Contenders - Lead Actress in a Drama Series

2014 Emmy Nomination Contenders - Lead Actress in a Drama Series

Threepeat for Claire Danes? Can Tatiana Maslany make the cut? Who drops out?

Reminder: For our annual Emmy contenders coverage, Sepinwall does his personal preferences, while I handicap mostly in terms of likelihood of landing nominations. As usual, the first six slides in each gallery are my nomination predictions. The next eight or nine slides are the actors and shows most likely to sneak in, based on precedent, quality or something nebulous. And then at the end of each gallery, I tend to throw in a couple oddballs who have no chance at all of being nominated, but who I think deserve to be a part of the conversation, or might accidentally become part of the conversation, just because.

Our next category:

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA

There are some great performances in the Lead Actor in a Drama field, but when it comes to  viable top-tier nomination contenders, no category can top Lead Actress in a Drama for depth. I only did 15 slides for this gallery, but at least 10 or 11 of them are legitimate contenders whose nominations wouldn't be even slightly surprising and then at least another two are former nominees who are still kicking around giving interesting performances.

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<p>Monday&#39;s (June 16) &quot;MasterChef&quot;</p>

Monday's (June 16) "MasterChef"

Credit: FOX

TV Ratings: 'MasterChef' rises, '24' dips and FOX leads Monday night

'Bachelorette' puts ABC in second for the night

Fast National ratings for Monday, June 16, 2014.

Posting week-to-week growth, "MasterChef" led FOX to a Monday win among young viewers, while even a declining episode of "24: Live Another Day" was enough to give FOX the primetime lead overall as well.

There weren't many other Monday notables. "The Bachelorette" was down a hair, but "Mistresses" was steady for ABC. "Beauty and the Beast" lost a couple viewers for The CW. And The CW's "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" repeat built on the original episode that opened the hour, for whatever reason.

On to the numbers.

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