Things get salty for the teams in Chile
My Non-Elimination Radar is probably only 75 percent accurate, though it gets much, much better as the season progresses and an NEL becomes a statistical inevitability.
I had a radar misfire last night, but I was extremely relieved that it was a mechanical error and not an accurate reading, because if Sunday's (October 6) installment of "The Amazing Race" had been a Non-Elimination Leg, you'd have gotten an angry, frustrated recap tonight.
Instead? I'll say that for an episode that began with an Equalizer and included a Detour in which neither task ended up being especially difficult, this was a pretty fun "Amazing Race" installment, albeit mostly if you happen to be a fan of boneheaded gameplay. Because if you like people doing inexplicably stupid things, ballsy-but-stupid things and just confusingly stupid things this could be your favorite group of "Amazing Race" contestants since whichever season featured the lovable Cowboys constantly going the wrong direction.
More after the break...
The season's first eliminated pair discusses their lone Leg
As they briefly indicated during their lone Leg, father-daughter Hoskote and Naina Venkatesh went on "The Amazing Race" in large part because Naina wanted to prove herself to her traditional, India-born father.
When I met with Naina and Hoskote before they departed, she proudly told me that he had agreed that in any point-of-contention on the Race, she would get to be the final arbiter, a prospect that she found unique and exciting for their relationship.
She was skeptical, of course, that he would be able to set aside his usual role as patriarch to be flexible, but she was also hopeful.
Unfortunately, Naina and Hoskote were eliminated after only one Leg and without getting to make any crucial decisions at all. They got on a later flight to Chile that put their pack of four teams behind the lead group of seven and then a problematic cab ride put them behind the other three teams and that was that.
In their exit interview, Naina and Hoskote lament having an elimination so out of their control and try to emphasize that what looked like a clue-reading gaffe in the episode's second Roadblock wasn't a gaffe at all. Naina also expresses her disappointment at not getting to prove herself to her father.
The full Q&A is after the break...
Plus thoughts on NBC and CBS comedies, 'Glee,' 'Ironside' and more
Ratings analysis catch-up: 'Super Fun Night,' 'Vampire Diaries' and more
I meant to do ratings analysis on Thursday afternoon, but things got busy. Then I meant to do ratings analysis on Friday afternoon, but news kept breaking left and right.
However, since I got started on analysis for both days, I might as well flesh things out and do a three-day look at the Final numbers.
In this jumbled installment, I compare "Super Fun Night" to its post-"Modern Family" predecessors, I reflect on Thursday comedy challenges for NBC and CBS, plus I speculate on what "Glee" could draw for next week's Cory Monteith tribute.
Click through for all the bulletpoints...
'Shark Tank' tops the key demo for the night
Fast National ratings for Friday, October 4, 2013.
The Friday ratings race is back to where it was for most of the spring: "Shark Tank" was the night's top show in the key demographic and led ABC to a slim victory among young viewers, while "Blue Bloods" was easily the night's top show in total viewers and led CBS to a dominant victory overall.
Overall, CBS was mostly consistent, with "Hawaii Five-0" posting small gains and the other two dramas dropping a little. Both "Undercover Boss" and, particularly, "Blue Bloods" also dropped among young viewers, though "Hawaii Five-0" was steady.
For ABC, although "Shark Tank" was down week-to-week, "Last Man Standing" posted small gains both overall and the demo, but didn't help the still-sluggish "Neighbors."
Also joining the "small declines" group was FOX's "MasterChef Junior."
On to the numbers...
Tyson's loved one discusses her quick departure from the game
In this "Survivor: Blood Vs. Water" season in which half of the contestants are returning castaways and half are their newbie loved ones, Rachel Foulger was the first newbie sent home.
With the return of Redemption Island, that meant that Rachel spent very little time actually with her tribe and got very little camera time, especially on a male-dominated group.
Still, because we know Rachel's wisecracking boyfriend Tyson from two previous "Survivor" stints, it was easy to like Rachel because of how emotional her departure made Tyson. After Rachel lost a domino-driven Redemption Island Duel on Wednesday's (October 2) episode, the worked up Tyson only had one question as he hugged her good-bye. "Did you have fun while you were here?" She insisted she did.
In our exit interview, the graphic designer/cocktail waitress discusses the decision not to ask Tyson to switch places with her for the Duel, the impact of Colton Cumbie quitting the game seconds before the Duel and Brad's dominance over her Tadhana tribe.
Click through for the full conversation...
James Spader drama has been a big Monday hit for NBC
Since FOX technically ordered a second season for "Sleepy Hollow," "The Blacklist" has become the year's first new show to get a full-season order.
NBC announced on Friday (October 4) afternoon that it has given a back-nine order to the freshman hit "The Blacklist," giving it a 22-episode full-season commitment.
'Scandal' repeats will air on Tuesdays at 10
We have our first casualty of the 2013-2014 season and its identity will come as no surprise to those who have been paying attention to early ratings.
ABC announced on Friday (October 4) that effective immediately, "Lucky 7" has been pulled from Tuesday nights at 10 p.m. and replaced with repeats of "Scandal."
The last six episodes will air over six weeks
The CW has formally announced that the final season of "Nikita" will premiere on Friday, November 22 airing at 9 p.m.
The six-episode conclusion will air over six weeks, running after new episodes of "The Carrie Diaries." The six-week run goes counter what "Nikita" star Maggie Q was telling reporters and fans at Comic-Con, but lines up with what CW President Mark Pedowitz told critics two weeks later.
That lines "Nikita" up for a December 27 series finale on The CW.
"Nikita" isn't a show that I've ever written about on a weekly basis, but I've tried to check in once or twice per season, since I continue to really respect both the work that Maggie Q continues to do, but also the relative production values that the show has continued to get on what has to be a relatively shoestring budget.
I thought the first half of the third season set up an interesting reversal-of-premise with Michael, Nikita, Birkhoff and Alex taking over Division and briefly going down the ethical rabbit-hole and channeling their own inner Amandas. Then, however, I felt like "Nikita" dodged all of the quandaries it introduced, particularly with Alex's shifting allegiances
and the mutiny at Division. Then the finale spiraled into a mess of nanotoxins, heart-stopping, President-assassinating and engagement-ring-ditching, leaving Nikita a wanted woman and a lone wolf, abandoning all of her chums and loved ones.
I don't think there was anything in the "Nikita" finale that couldn't be cleaned up within a week or two and The CW's teaser description for the season premiere indicates that Nikita won't be separated from her old team for long, but it also warns us that there's a larger conspiracy afoot, as well as the prospect of a global conspiracy.
Any "Nikita" fans out there? Is there anything you want to see or hope to see in the final season? Me, I figure we need at least one more Percy appearance. I know he's dead, but everybody on "Nikita" is, at most, "dead," since half of the plotlines seem to eventually lead to characters having their hearts stopped for various reasons.
What do you wanna see?
'Vampire Diaries' returns below last year, whole 'Sean' may not save NBC
Fast National ratings for Thursday, October 3, 2013.
"Scandal" kicked off its third season with series highs in all available demos on Thursday night, dominating "Elementary" and "Parenthood" for the 10 p.m. hour, but still not lifting ABC past CBS either overall or among young viewers for the night.
CBS was, once again, driven by "The Big Bang Theory," which dropped a little from last week, but still helped "The Millers" get a decent-but-not-spectacular sampling in its premiere. With a weaker lead-in, "The Crazy Ones" took a big drop in its second week, pushing "Two and a Half Men" down as well. It's notable that "Elementary" posted only a tiny decline from last week, despite a far skimpier lead-in.
The "Millers" premiere wasn't big, but it was much more impressive than the launches for NBC's "Sean Saves the World" and particularly "Welcome to the Family." "The Michael J. Fox Show" dropped as well.
Meanwhile, The CW started its fall roll-out with somewhat disappointing numbers for "The Vampire Diaries," which was up from May's finale, but nearly a million viewers shy of last season's premiere. That, in turn, meant that "The Originals," airing at a special time, got a smaller sampling than "Beauty and the Beast."
On to the numbers…
So, has Colton really changed? Was this season a victory?
Colton Cumbie won few fans in his run on "Survivor: One World," which included bold strokes of strategy, but many more accusations [founded] of racism and bullying.
When Colton returned for this season's "Survivor: Blood vs. Water," he was joined by his fiance Caleb and he professed to have a desire to change the way people looked at him. For one night, it seemed to be working, as Colton told his fellow castaways about his struggles growing up gay in the South and appeared to be winning sympathy.
It lasted for one episode. By the second week of the season, Colton was attempting to plot and scheme on a tribe of returning contestants who had no desire to get into that part of the game any sooner than necessary. If Colton temporarily removed the target from his back on the first night, it returned very quickly.
On Wednesday's episode, Colton lasted only five minutes. Before a Redemption Island Duel, he started crying and announced his decision to leave. "Survivor" host Jeff Probst then determined that Colton couldn't depart without being called a quitter multiple times and being told that some people shouldn't play "Survivor," they should just watch on TV. It was an unsparing assault from Probst and response on my episode recap has been mixed between people thinking the host was needlessly combative and people who felt that it was no more than Colton deserved.
In our second "Survivor" exit interview after an abrupt game exit -- Probst accused Colton of also quitting in his earlier season when he left the game for appendicitis that turned out merely to be an infection -- Colton discusses why, in the long run, this season was still a small victory and tries framing his exit as an attempt to take pressure off of Caleb. He discusses his frustration with his tribe and talks about his "Survivor" future.
Check out the full Q&A and draw your own conclusions.