'Dinosaur 13' and 'The Green Prince' will open the Festival
2014 Sundance Documentary Competitions showcase Nick Cave, Internet paranoia and more
Earlier this week, the 15 film Oscars Documentary shortlist was announced.
If you were at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, you might have caught the majority of the films on that list, including "Blackfish," "The Crash Reel," "Cutie and the Boxer," "Dirty Wars," "God Loves Uganda," "Life According to Sam," "Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer," "The Square," "Stories We Tell," "20 Feet From Stardom" and "Which Way Is the Front Line from Here? The Life and Time of Tim Hetherington."
And the 2013 Sundance documentary slate also included a slew of acclaimed films that [for one reason or another] didn't make the Oscars shortlist, including "Inequality For All," "American Promise," "Wikileaks," "After Tiller" and the Festival's big doc hit "Blood Brother."
In short, if you're a fan of mainstream documentaries, it's still hard to beat Sundance when it comes to catching world and American premieres for top notch documentaries.
On Wednesday (December 4), Sundance announced the competition slates for the the World and US Documentary Competition at the 2014 Festival, which will run from January 16-26 in Park City.
Since I end up providing the bulk of HitFix's documentary coverage from Sundance, the docs end up being the first category I look at, while our movie gang's got your look at the Narrative Competition films.
'Dads' and 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' get bumps
Fast National ratings for Tuesday, December 3, 2013.
An "NCIS" repeat was Tuesday's most watched show, as CBS was still able to win the night overall without a single new program, while the drop in competition helped both "The Voice" and "Chicago Fire" rise week-to-week in helping NBC lead among young viewers.
Airing without "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," ABC saw drops for "The Goldbergs" and "Trophy Wife."
Similarly, a "New Girl" repeat led to a drop for "The Mindy Project," but "Dads" and "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" posted small gains for FOX.
Finally, over on The CW, the competitive race between "The Originals" and "Supernatural" continued with the two dramas tying among young viewers and "Supernatural" holding the slimmest of leads overall. Either way, The CW is pleased since this was the network's most watched Tuesday in five years.
On to the numbers...
How satisfying was it for him to finish slightly ahead of brother Aras?
Could "Survivor" be heading for an "Aras vs. Vytas" season?
I have no inside information, but the dynamic between Aras, the easy-going former "Survivor" winner, and Vytas, his estranged ex-con, recovering addict brother, was one of the dramatic standouts in "Survivor: Blood vs. Water" and it almost seems like a no-brainer for the show to want one or both of the Baskauskas Brothers back in the future.
For years, Aras had family "Survivor" bragging rights, but he seemed to indicate that that was only payback for a childhood of bickering a bullying, setting up emotional wounds that were exposed in the oddest of moments, like a Sumo challenge at sea. But when the Merge arrived, the brothers were the tightest of alliances and seemed ready to run the game, except that everybody recognized how close they were and they were voted out consecutively. Aras lost the first post-Merge Redemption Island Duel and became the first member of this season's Jury and even though Vytas followed him to the Jury the following week, a new pecking order had been established.
In this week's "Survivor" exit interview -- pushed a few days due to Thanksgiving -- Vytas discusses beating Aras, his own post-Merge strategic errors, Laura's role in his Duel demise and his itch to play again.
Already? Yes. Already. James Spader drama will be back in 2014-2015.
In advance of the holiday season, NBC is making its list and checking it twice and the network has decided that the freshman drama "The Blacklist" has been very, very nice.
Yes. That was really convoluted, but this is really uncommon.
NBC announced on Tuesday (December 3) afternoon that "The Blacklist" has already been renewed for a second season, making it the second new show of the 2013-2014 season to get that vote of confidence.
Lack of 'Dancing' frees up some Monday viewers
Fast National ratings for Monday, December 2, 2013.
With "Dancing with the Stars" done for this installment, NBC's "The Voice" got a big week-to-week bump, as did "The Blacklist," which ended its 2013 run with its best numbers in months. The result was easy Monday wins in all measures.
[Note that NBC had the NFL preemption in New Orleans, so there will be some drops in Finals.]
Without ABC's viewer-hogging reality hit, CBS' "Mike & Molly," "2 Broke Girls" and "Mom" all rose slightly overall, though the absence of "Dancing" couldn't keep "Almost Human" from another small drop in its third week.
Meanwhile, holiday programming kept ABC in second overall and lifted "The CW" very slightly above its normal Monday averages.
On to the numbers...
'Christmas in Conway' is another Hallmark dud for ABC
Fast National ratings for Sunday, December 1, 2013.
After a string of excellent Sunday Night Football games, NBC had a minor dud between the the Giants and Redskins, but still held on to win the night among young viewers, while CBS capitalized on nearly an hour of overrun from the far superior game between the Broncos and Chiefs to win overall.
Meanwhile, ABC got tepid numbers for "Once Upon a Time" and weak returns for the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie "Christmas in Conway."
On to the numbers...
Eating cobra, boiling eggs and applying makeup come into play
I just wish there was a way to avoid the inevitability that plagued Sunday (December 1) night's "Amazing Race."
I knew it was a Non-Elimination Leg before we started watching.
You knew it was a Non-Elimination Leg before you started watching.
I can't say with absolute certainty that the contestants were able to do the math and know that it was a Non-Elimination Leg, but despite nearly constant references to timing during Sunday's episode, there was no sign that any of the four remaining teams felt an iota of urgency, so I'm guessing that they were reasonably confident on the math. When "Amazing Race" teams feel no urgency or drama, it's hard for people watching the show to feel much urgency or drama.
And that sucks when you have an "Amazing Race" Leg which, under different circumstances, would have been filled with amusing things. Instead, it was just teams shuffling positions ahead of what will be a much more exciting first hour to next weekend's finale.
More after the break...
Ice Queens discuss their alliance with the Afghanimals and more
The "Amazing Race" friends are all gone.
Earlier this "Amazing Race" season, we went through a four-week streak of eliminations for the various all-male teams. After the "Amazing Race" eliminations for Nicky & Kim and, this past week, Ally & Ashley, the season is now left with a married couple, a dating couple, a pair of cousins and whatever the heck Tim and Marie are.
From the outside, Ally & Ashley weren't necessarily the most likely candidates to finish as the season's top team of friends, but the LA Kings Ice Crew girls greeted every task with enthusiasm, made a smart alliance with Leo & Jamal and stayed competitive throughout.
And for a brief period in last Sunday's "Amazing Race" episode, Ally & Ashley were in the lead, until everything went haywire on a Detour in Indonesia. They went to feed elephants at a zoo without going to the market to get the food for the elephants. They had to make two trips between the market and the zoo due to difficulties transporting bulky sugar cane. And then just when it seemed like Nicole's problems at the Indonesian Roadblock might doom the powerful ER Docs, Amy guided her friend through the musical task, leaving the Ice Queens unable to catch up.
In this week's "Amazing Race" exit interview, Ally & Ashley discuss outlasting the other teams of friends, describe their alliance with the Afghanimals and talk about their big, brief blow-up.
Click through for the full Q&A...
'Raising Hope' is down, 'Dracula' is flat
Fast National ratings for Friday, November 29, 2013.
Lady Gaga may have failed on Thanksgiving, but Garth Brooks delivered strong ratings for CBS on the night after Thanksgiving, leading the network to Friday victories in all measures.
"Garth Brooks: Live From Las Vegas" had to lift CBS after an unimpressive hour for a pair of animated holiday anchors, which got crushed by two holiday cartoons on ABC.
Meanwhile, NBC's "Grimm" was down a little from its last airing and "Dracula" was basically flat.
On to the numbers...
FOX wastes episodes of 'Glee' and 'X Factor'
Fast National ratings for Thursday, November 28, 2013.
A field goal-heavy NFL showdown between the Steelers and Ravens helped NBC dominate Thanksgiving primetime in all measures, while NFL overrun and comedy repeats pushed CBS to second for Thursday night.
Meanwhile, FOX wasted new episodes of "The X Factor" and "Glee" on the holiday evening, while ABC's "Lady Gaga & The Muppets Holiday Spectacular" will not become an annual tradition.
On to the numbers...