<p>&quot;The Crazy Ones&quot;</p>

"The Crazy Ones"

Credit: CBS

DVR Gridlock 2013-14: Thursday Nights

Robin Williams, Michael J. Fox and Mary Queen of Scots spice up the night
[Over the next six days, I'm going to be glancing, night-by-night, at how the primetime schedules have changed after the network announcements at upfronts. I'll be looking at how the various changes will impact the ratings races on each night, as well as my own DVRing habits. Readers can chime in on how their own DVRs will be impacted. And yes, this brief series assumes that anybody still watches TV on their TVs. I'm old-fashioned. Check out last year's DVR Gridlock installments.]
8:00 p.m. 
CBS: "The Big Bang Theory," "The Millers"
The CW: "The Vampire Diaries"
FOX: "The X Factor" (and then "Idol")
NBC: "Parks and Recreation," "Welcome to the Family"
9:00 p.m. 
ABC: "Grey's Anatomy"
CBS: "The Crazy Ones," "Two and a Half Men"
The CW: "Reign"
FOX: "Glee," with "Rake" in the spring
NBC: "Sean Saves the World," "The Michael J. Fox Show"
10:00 p.m.
ABC: "Scandal"
CBS: "Elementary"
NBC: "Parenthood"
What's Changed: TV's most valuable night remains the night most likely to traumatize your hypothetical DVR. Unless you have a four-tuner DVR. In that case, if *any* night taxes your DVR, you probably watch too much TV. And yes, that's ME saying that. FOX is the only network keeping things the same on Thursdays, at least in the fall, with "X Factor" results that nobody watches leading into "Glee." "American Idol" results will return in the spring, leading into "Rake," at least for a while. ABC is 2/3rds stable with the resilient "Grey's Anatomy" leading into last season's surprise breakout "Scandal." The CW has given the post-"Vampire Diaries" slot to "Reign," which doesn't make much sense, but hey, they have to try something and you definitely can't say that they've ever failed with this kind of show before. While CBS is returning "The Big Bang Theory" and "Two and a Half Men" and "Elementary," the network is banking heavily on Robin Williams in "The Crazy Ones" and, to a lesser degree, Will Arnett in "The Millers." And, finally, NBC doesn't have a single show returning to the same slot as it was in last year, with "Parks and Rec" taking a different Thursday home, "Parenthood" coming over from Tuesdays and then a trio of variably high-profile new comedies, including the returns of past NBC favorites Sean Hayes and Michael J. Fox. So yeah. That's a lot of changes.
How the Ratings Race Is Impacted: CBS is taking the biggest risk. No question about that. This is a night that CBS wins and there's no reason to think that "Big Bang Theory" isn't going to continue to dominate its time period and rank as TV's most watched comedy. However, CBS has taken a night with no big weaknesses and created the potential for a gaping hole in the middle. If "The Millers" fails, will that impact "Crazy Ones"? And if CBS' big bet on Robin Williams fails, will that weaken "Two and a Half Men"? And given that "Two and a Half Men" is very likely to provide a weaker lead-in than "Person of Interest" did, what impact will that have on "Elementary"? Don't get me wrong. I know why CBS is doing this. The network needs to recharge its comedy lineup with "How I Met Your Mother" departing and "Two and a Half Men" on borrowed time. Setting up a new Thursday block gives CBS more seeding opportunities and it also let the network put an established hit in its only struggling Tuesday hour. You can try stuff like this if you're the No. 1 network. And if you're NBC... You keep throwing things against the wall, but with what hope of stickage? Unlike a lot of observers, I like the idea of putting "Michael J. Fox" at 9:30 because if it works, it gives a boost to "Parenthood," while "Parenthood" seems fairly likely to do better than most of what NBC has fiddled with in this slot for years. I don't see much upside to "Sean Saves the World," though, while as much as I love "Parks and Rec," I don't see it as being a fruitful lead-in for "Welcome to the Family." But if NBC can build the back half of the night, that's big. ABC's decision to air "Once Upon a Time in Wonderland" in the long-crippled 8 p.m. hour seems faulty. In that slot, the show gets zero benefit from its "Once Upon a Time" roots and goes against some of the toughest competition in TV. Programming "Wonderland" here shows a lot of faith on ABC's part, but why? The network hasn't even seen a full pilot. Dunno. I'm also baffled by the "Reign" thing. It doesn't seem to make much sense. Of course, I haven't watched "Reign." And as for "Rake," if FOX still believes "Idol" can function as an effective launch pad, this was a necessity, because FOX has no remaining dramas capable of serving as a viable lead-in, unless you count "Bones," which FOX apparently doesn't with the shift to Fridays.
My Predicted DVR: Yeah, Thursdays are impossible and it becomes an issue of relative convenience in off-network viewership. For example, because it's a breeze to watch NBC shows on Hulu, my 8 p.m. DVR will be "Vampire Diaries" and the CBS comedies, with "Wonderland" also getting a few weeks of Hulu viewing to prove itself. So that's impossible. But the 9 p.m. hour? No clue. Maybe "The Crazy Ones," "The Michael J. Fox Show" and "Grey's Anatomy"? Unless I somehow love "Reign"? And in the 10 p.m. hour, I'll be recording "Scandal" and "Elementary" and watching "Parenthood" on Hulu, probably. I guess.
How have the new schedules impacted your Thursdays?


<p>Blair Underwood of &quot;Ironside&quot;</p>

Blair Underwood of "Ironside"

Credit: NBC

DVR Gridlock 2013-14: Wednesday Nights

Will 'Ironside' or 'Super Fun Time' or 'Tomorrow People' shake things up?
[Over the next six days, I'm going to be glancing, night-by-night, at how the primetime schedules have changed after the network announcements at upfronts. I'll be looking at how the various changes will impact the ratings races on each night, as well as my own DVRing habits. Readers can chime in on how their own DVRs will be impacted. And yes, this brief series assumes that anybody still watches TV on their TVs. I'm old-fashioned. Check out last year's DVR Gridlock installments.]
8:00 p.m.
ABC: "The Middle," "Back in the Game"
CBS: "Survivor"
The CW: "Arrow"
FOX: "The X Factor" (and then "Idol")
NBC: "Revolution"
9:00 p.m. 
ABC: "Modern Family," "Super Fun Night"
CBS: "Criminal Minds"
The CW: "Tomorrow People"
FOX: "The X Factor" (and then "Idol")
NBC: "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit"
10 p.m. 
ABC: "Nashville"
CBS: "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation"
NBC: "Ironside"
What's Changed: Thanks in part to FOX's determination to keep renewing a talent competition nobody particularly cares about -- "X Factor," not "American Idol" -- Wednesdays are a good deal more stable than the couple nights that came before. FOX remains untouched. CBS remains untouched. Once again, ABC is using established successes "The Middle" and "Modern Family" to try to launch new comedies, a strategy that has had only limited success thus far, while keeping "Nashville," a DVR winner but a middling live performer, in its place. The CW keeps freshman CW-sized smash "Arrow" in place, using it to lead into the new drama "Tomorrow People." The only network changing more than half of its Wednesday lineup is NBC, with "Revolution" taking the 8 p.m. hour, Blair Underwood's "Ironside" remake at 10 p.m. and NBC's stubborn insistence on airing "SVU" in the 9 p.m. hour even though all indications have always been that it performs better at 10 p.m.
How the Ratings Race Is Impacted: The "Revolution" producers have always sworn that their show is a big-tent family hour. Now they'll get to prove it. NBC's needs from "Revolution" aren't that exorbitant. Nobody's asking it to return to its fall levels, only to do nearly what it has done in a dwindling spring and hold onto its robust DVR tallies. If it does that, it'll be a huge improvement over NBC's various comedy duds this year. If it fails to do that and takes a "Smash"-sized plunge without "The Voice," "Revolution" will be remembered as an epic flameout and little more. Otherwise, there's a lot of pragmatism on Wednesday. FOX, for example, knows that "X Factor" isn't likely to improve much, so the network is just hoping for another modest season and maybe a few drama hits elsewhere so that "X Factor" doesn't need to be brought back again. NBC can't honestly expect "Ironside" to improve much on what "Chicago Fire" did here last year, but if it can approach those levels while "Chicago Fire" takes the next step on Tuesday after "The Voice," it's a win. And The CW can't be expecting "Tomorrow People" to improve much on "Supernatural," but if "Supernatural" can boost Tuesday and "Tomorrow People" can near those numbers thanks to "Arrow," that's a win. And how much can ABC really expect "Super Fun Night" or "Back in the Game" to do in those sandwich slots? The answer: If either of them does a *smidge* better than "The Neighbors" or "How To Live Blah Blah Blah," that's a victory. [All bets on "Super Fun Night" are off if the network can redevelop the pilot *successfully*. I think there's breakout potential for a *good* Rebel Wilson comedy. A bad one could fail fast and hard.] In short, I don't see anybody making any big advances or huge declines on Wednesday this year. It's a night that's about enabling success elsewhere more than anything else.
My Predicted DVR: For me, a lot depends on whether or not I simply quit recapping "The X Factor" this year. I haven't decided yet. If I drop "X Factor," I then recap "Survivor" on Eastern Time and that leaves me with "Arrow" and maybe "Revolution" being recorded at 8 p.m. and "Modern Family" (and maybe "Super Fun Night" just due to convenience) and possibly "Tomorrow People" at 9 p.m. If I recap "X Factor," that then require another DVR slot for "Survivor" at 8 p.m. and probably drops "Revolution" from my rotation, which won't be a tragedy. At 10 p.m. I'll still be recording "Nashville" and we'll see about "Ironside," or if I just go with something on cable. 
How have the new schedules impacted your Wednesdays?

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 185

Dan and Alan talk 'Graceland,' 'Game of Thrones' 'Orphan Black' and more


Happy Wednesday, Boys & Girls. 
We like to switch back and forth on who cased Firewall & Iceberg podcasting delays. This week? Totally my fault. 
There's lots to talk about, though. TONS to talk about. In fact, this is the latest "longest podcast ever." Yes. We say that every week. But, like the universe, we are ever-expanding. 
This week's podcast features a review of USA's "Graceland," a strange amount of babble about the WGA's 101 Best Written TV Shows list and spoiler-laden discussions of "Orphan Black," "Game of Thrones" and "Mad Men."
We also debut this summer's Rewatch, with the pilot for "The Sopranos." Next week's pilots will be first installments of "Taxi" and "Cheers."
Here's today's breakdown:
"Graceland" (00:01:05 - 00:18:30)
WGA's Top 101 Shows (00:18:30 - 00:38:10)
"Orphan Black" (00:38:30 - 00:57:05)
"Game of Thrones" (00:57:05 - 01:15:10)
"Mad Men" (01:15:15 - 01:40:20)
Summer Rewatch: "The Sopranos" pilot (01:40:30 - 02:01:05)

And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.

<p>&quot;Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.&quot;</p>

"Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D."

Credit: ABC

DVR Gridlock 2013-14: Tuesday Nights

How will Joss Whedon's 'Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' impact the night?
[Over the next six days, I'm going to be glancing, night-by-night, at how the primetime schedules have changed after the network announcements at upfronts. I'll be looking at how the various changes will impact the ratings races on each night, as well as my own DVRing habits. Readers can chime in on how their own DVRs will be impacted. And yes, this brief series assumes that anybody still watches TV on their TVs. I'm old-fashioned. Check out last year's DVR Gridlock installments.]
8:00 p.m. 
ABC: "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D."
The CW: "The Originals"
FOX: "Dads," "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"
NBC: "The Biggest Loser"
9:00 p.m.
ABC: "The Goldbergs," "Trophy Wife"
The CW: "Supernatural"
FOX: "New Girl," "The Mindy Project"
NBC: "The Voice"
10:00 p.m. 
ABC: "Lucky 7"
NBC: "Chicago Fire"
What's Changed: Well, if you're ABC, *everything* has changed, as the network is going down the rare path of an entire night of newly introduced original scripted programming, all anchored by perhaps the most anticipated premiere of the fall, assuming you trust the Interwebs. Yup. Kids online are *psyched* for "The Goldbergs." After trying to launch a slew of new dramas out of "NCIS" and "NCIS: Los Angeles," CBS bucked conventional pre-upfronts wisdom and moved established hit "Person of Interest," rather than ordering "NCIS: Red." NBC is doubling up on reality by moving "The Voice" to 9 p.m. and putting in "Biggest Loser" at 8 and then hoping to turn "Chicago Fire" from NBC-sized hit to bona fide hit. FOX is keeping established success "New Girl" and established ratings failure "The Mindy Project" at 9 p.m. but leading into the two female friendly comedies with a pair of male-friendly comedies. And, finally, The CW is putting "Supernatural" on yet another new night, hoping that it'll combine with "Vampire Diaries" spinoff "The Originals" to produce a big bump. But really... It's all about "S.H.I.E.L.D." Duh.
How the Ratings Race Is Impacted: Everybody I know is psyched for "S.H.I.E.L.D." Everybody you know is psyched for "S.H.I.E.L.D." But honestly, are we making a big assumption that just because "The Avengers" was a mind-boggling smash that there's a mammoth mainstream audience out there eager to watch a not-exactly-superhero drama fronted by Clark Gregg and featuring a grand total of "zero" of the established Avengers? It's an astoundingly big question mark and it all comes down to a matter of scale, particularly when it comes to perception. Is "S.H.I.E.L.D." going to be a true phenomenon -- i.e. 15 million viewers and a 4+ rating in the 18-49 demo? Is it going to be a reasonable hit -- 10+ million and a 3+ rating in the 18-49 demo? Or is it going to get clobbered by "NCIS" and then have to pick up a huge DVR bump in order to be considered any kind of success at all? If it's either of the two formers, it could set up a good comedy block for ABC, but what are the odds that that will ripple all the way through to 10 p.m. with a no-name ensemble drama about lottery winners? Very low, I'd guess. CBS will continue to be a total viewer juggernaut thanks to the "NCIS" double-dose and "Person of Interest" has a fanbase of its own after two strong seasons of growth on Thursdays. Even if "PoI" falls from Thursday in a time period with lower TV usage and whatnot, it's certain to improve on both the audience and key demo numbers for "Vegas," "Golden Boy," "Unforgettable" and "Good Wife," among recent time period "favorites." So that makes CBS tough, while NBC will also be tougher, with "Chicago Fire" showing real growth potential with a boost from "The Voice." Heck, even The CW is going to be bigger, since even if "The Originals" doesn't approach "Vampire Diaries" levels, it only needs to approach "Hart of Dixie" level, while "Supernatural" will definitely improve on "Emily Owens" and "Cult" from last season. All of that means that with the other four networks growing, FOX could be in trouble. On the bright side, "New Girl" should be steady and "The Mindy Project" probably will be as well, although that's not so bright. "Dads" is going to struggle to even do steady "Raising Hope"-level ratings. So FOX's entire hope for improvement hinges on "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," which puts a lot of pressure on Andy Samberg, since as awesome as he is, we know Andre Braugher brings more positive reviews to the table than viewers.
My Predicted DVR: I haven't been overtaxed on Tuesdays for a while, but a bit of a logjam could be forming. "S.H.I.E.L.D." is a lock to get a DVR slot and I'll watch "The Originals" as a "Vampire Diaries"/Phoebe Tonkin fan. So that means "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" will have to be a Hulu/OnDemand regular. I'll stick with FOX's comedies at 9 p.m. and maybe add the ABC comedies depending on how they progress. In the 10 p.m. hour, with "Person of Interest" and "Chicago Fire," I have two series recordings, both both for what are effectively laundry shows. I'm not sure I do that much laundry. 
How have the new schedules impacted your Tuesdays?
<p>The cast of &quot;Sleepy Hollow&quot;</p>

The cast of "Sleepy Hollow"

Credit: FOX

DVR Gridlock 2013-14: Monday Nights

How will 'The Blacklist,' 'Mom' and 'Sleepy Hollow' impact your life?
[Over the next six days, I'm going to be glancing, night-by-night, at how the primetime schedules have changed after the network announcements at upfronts. I'll be looking at how the various changes will impact the ratings races on each night, as well as my own DVRing habits. Readers can chime in on how their own DVRs will be impacted. And yes, this brief series assumes that anybody still watches TV on their TVs. I'm old-fashioned. Check out last year's DVR Gridlock installments.]
8:00 p.m.
ABC: "Dancing with the Stars"
CBS: "How I Met Your Mother," "We Are Men"
The CW: "Hart of Dixie"
FOX: "Bones"/"Almost Human"
NBC: "The Voice"
9:00 p.m.
ABC: "Dancing with the Stars"
CBS: "2 Broke Girls," "Mom"
The CW: "Beauty and the Beast"
NBC: "The Voice"
10:00 p.m.
ABC: "Castle"
CBS: "Hostages"
What's Changed: After Sunday's really dull schedule and limited alterations, Mondays are somewhat overhauled. At least ABC is keeping things simple with "Dancing with the Stars" and "The Bachelor." NBC's got "The Voice," but after using the reality hit to unsuccessfully launch "Smash," "NBC" thought it had a genuine hit with "Revolution" this year, but after a spring of declines, "Revolution" is off to fend for itself on Wednesdays and the James Spader thriller "The Blacklist" is at 10 p.m. CBS is using "How I Met Your Mother" and "2 Broke Girls" to launch a pair of new comedies in "We Are Men" and "Mom," while "Hawaii Five-0" has been shipped off to Fridays in favor of an innovative, by CBS standards, revolving limited drama wheel of "Hostages" and then "Intelligence." Similarly, FOX will shift "Bones" to Fridays post-baseball and will then go with two new dramas in "Almost Human" and "Sleepy Hollow," at least until "The Following" returns at midseason, at which point anything could happen. And, finally, The CW has shifted "Hart of Dixie" back to Mondays, where it will be paired with the totally incompatible "Beauty and the Beast."
How the Ratings Race Is Impacted: On the surface, it would be fair to assume that the basics of the ratings race won't change. "Dancing with the Stars" will, barring a big drop, keep ABC in first overall, while "The Voice" will, barring a big drop, keep NBC in first overall. It's unlikely that "Dancing" will fall enough for any shifting to ensue there, though that franchise continues to skew older and older with each passing installment. Probably for one season, "Dancing" might get a bump -- or at least "Dancing" might stabilize -- as ABC rolls results into a lone Monday telecast. As for "The Voice," the perception is that NBC's singing show is on the upswing and FOX's "American Idol" is on the downswing and while that isn't untrue, the audience for "The Voice" loves the spinning chairs and likes every subsequent step progressively less to the point where recent live shows have been basically on par with spring performance installments of "Idol." While that's not a glowing trend, there's no reason to think the spinning chairs will decline any time in the near future, especially with the revolving mentor panel keeping things semi-fresh. Similarly, if it's any good, "The Blacklist" should be able to do what "Revolution" has been doing in recent weeks, which is "good enough." If it's not good, NBC has several midseason dramas ready to fill in there. CBS is the network taking the big risks, which will either lead to big rewards or create several gaping holes. "We Are Men" doesn't seem like an especially smooth companion to the final season of "How I Met Your Mother," but CBS has several midseason comedies -- "Bad Teacher" and "Friends with Better Lives" -- that might be more compatible if it fails. "Mom," on the other hand, looks like a good, broad match for "2 Broke Girls" and, if successful, could boost either the off-brand "Hostages" or the on-brand "Intelligence" as the season progresses. And The CW's Monday was such a disaster last year that almost anything will be an improvement, with "Hart of Dixie" sure to outdraw what "Gossip Girl" and "Carrie Diaries" did last year. The CW's decision to renew "Beauty and the Beast" was already slightly silly, but the choice to put the sure-to-struggle drama on Mondays guarantees what could be a big collapse.
My Predicted DVR: It's funny that in the 8 p.m. hour, the show guaranteed to have DVR space is The CW's pleasing-and-low-pressure "Hart of Dixie," which isn't "Gilmore Girls," or even "Bunheads," but it remains an effective-enough version of the old WB formula. I'll probably suffer through the last season of "How I Met Your Mother," while watching the FOX dramas on Hulu (or "Almost Human" proves worthwhile). The 9 p.m. hour has become really soft, suddenly. I continue to actively hate half of "2 Broke Girls" and to only periodically enjoy the other half, but it'll keep its DVR space, while I'll be able to give "Sleepy Hollow" a while to either settle into its lunacy, or to spiral further out of control. I'll keep watching "Castle" at 10 p.m. and I'm sure either "The Blacklist" or "Hostages" will claim my second 10 p.m. DVR slot, though it may take a few weeks of Hulu co-viewing to determine which one I drop. Or maybe "The Blacklist" and "Hostages" will both be awesome and I'll have to figure out a full Hulu/OnDemand rotation. Or maybe they'll both stink and I'll be able to do other things. Hope springs eternal!
How have the new schedules impacted your Mondays?
<p>ADHD Producer Hend Baghdady, Wolvesmouth Chef Craig Thornton and Head of ADHD Nick Weidenfeld</p>

ADHD Producer Hend Baghdady, Wolvesmouth Chef Craig Thornton and Head of ADHD Nick Weidenfeld

Credit: FOX

FOX teams with Craig Thornton's Wolvesmouth to tease Animation Domination HD

Seven courses of delicious food, plus 'Axe Cop'
FOX's long-gestating Animation Domination HD block will launch on July 27 with the comedies "Axe Cop" and "High School USA!," but FOX began the promotional rollout for the late-night block this past week with a series of high profile dinners at the ADHD offices.
The dinners were run by Los Angeles chef Craig Thornton's Wolvemouth. You can read all about Thornton and Wolvesden in this rather exhaustive New Yorker profile. To appreciate the challenge Thornton and his culinary cast faced at the ADHD office, you have to know that while the ADHD offices include room after room of brand, spanking new computers that represent the epicenter and totality of the animation operations, they don't include any kind of true kitchen space.
ADHD moved into its Sunset Blvd digs earlier this spring after extensive renovations to a space that can feature as many as 110 workers. Each upcoming show has its own computer space, while a high-ceilinged library features both coffee table-style art books and vintage early addition Hardy Boys mysteries. Previous in-house dining endeavors in the ADHD offices seem to have been limited by the power of two microwaves, but Thornton's team came equipped with a small deep-frier and toaster ovens and they were able to produce a seven-course meal that I assure you that I could never produce with all the deep-friers and to toaster ovens in the world.
Calling it "a weird partnership that you wouldn't expect," Thornton explained that he knew ADHD head Nick Weidenfeld from multiple Wolvesden meals and relished the opportunity to create a dinner that embodied the spirit of the yet-to-premiere ADHD, while also playing off the limitations to the kitchen space.
The non-edible highlight of the evening was a screening of the first installment of "Axe Cop," which Widenfeld boasted "never left the building" in its production process. If you know the conceit behind "Axe Cop" -- it comes from the mind of six-year-old Malachai Nicolle and adheres to exactly the loopy internal logic that implies -- you're likely to be amused by the animated result, which features a fine lead voice performance by a certain "Parks and Recreation" star who will go uncredited for confusing contractual reasons.
I'll have more on "Axe Cop" and ADHD when we get a little closer to premiere, but for now, I thought I'd use this blog as an Instagram page to post some iPhone photos of the Wolvesmouth meal, along with complete descriptions of the myriad ingredients and preparations. [These pictures are from last Wednesday night's dinner, which was followed by five subsequent dinners...]
Click through...
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<p>Hannah Ware of &quot;Betrayal&quot;</p>

Hannah Ware of "Betrayal"

Credit: ABC

DVR Gridlock 2013-14: Sunday Nights

Will ABC's 'Betrayal' shake things up? Ummm... No.
[Over the next six days, I'm going to be glancing, night-by-night, at how the primetime schedules have changed after the network announcements at upfronts. I'll be looking at how the various changes will impact the ratings races on each night, as well as my own DVRing habits. Readers can chime in on how their own DVRs will be impacted. And yes, this brief series assumes that anybody still watches TV on their TVs. I'm old-fashioned. Check out last year's DVR Gridlock installments.]
7:00 p.m.
ABC: "America's Funniest Home Videos"
CBS: "60 Minutes"
FOX: "The OT"
NBC: NFL Pre-Game
8:00 p.m. 
ABC: "Once Upon a Time"
CBS: "The Amazing Race"
FOX: "The Simpsons," "Bob's Burgers"
NBC: Sunday Night Football
9 p.m.
ABC: "Revenge"
CBS: "The Good Wife"
FOX: "Family Guy," "American Dad"
NBC: Sunday Night Football
10 p.m.
ABC: "Betrayal"
NBC: Sunday Night Football
What's Changed: Very little. Apologies for starting this project with the most boring night of the week. CBS' Sunday is untouched. NBC is still airing football. Other than not announcing anything animated for the 7 p.m. hour, FOX's Animation Domination isn't going anywhere. For the fall, the only new show is ABC's "Betrayal," which looks to capitalize on a "Revenge" lead-in that doesn't exist as the bloom continues to fall from that former rose. Things might get a bit more interesting in the spring when FOX is likely to introduce "Murder Police" and NBC will premiere the J.J. Abrams drama "Believe" and the Dermot Mulroney thriller "Crisis." I mean... Dermot Mulroney! Sunday will never be the same. But until that time, Sunday will be very much the same.
How the Ratings Race Is Impacted: It isn't. NBC will dominate all fall, while CBS will remain a competitive second in total viewers. In weeks with NFL overrun, people will complain, but CBS will also be a solid second in the 18-49 demographic, unless the overrun games were on FOX.  It's hard to know what it would take for "Once Upon a Time" and "Revenge" to halt the viewer erosion that didn't really set in last fall, but became increasingly problematic as the spring progressed. Some people had enthusiastic words about the "Revenge" finale, but with Mike Kelly departing, is it already too late? And will the thought of a Peter Pan-heavy season really reinvigorate "Once Upon a Time"? Yeah. Probably not. With no star power, a weak lead-in and a ton of competition from both network rivals and cable, "Betrayal" is dead. It has no chance at success at all. If ABC had faith in "Once Upon a Time in Wonderland" as a full-run series, rather than as a fill-in for the mothership, the network could have aired that at 9 p.m. and pushed "Revenge" to 10 and sacrificed "Betrayal" on Thursdays at 8 p.m. where nothing works anyway. Or, more logical still, ABC could have renewed "Body of Proof" and aired it at 10 p.m. on Sundays, where it would have done poorly, but almost certainly would have done better than "Betrayal" will do. I'm not ready to predict that "Betrayal" is going to be the first show cancelled, because ABC has let a bunch of weak shows air a bunch of episodes in this time slot, but I can't think of any new show on any network that has less chance of success.

My Predicted DVR: In the fall, things will remain unchanged. I'll still recap "Amazing Race" on ET, so that I can DVR FOX's 8 p.m. block and "Once Upon a Time," which remains just tantalizing enough that I'm not ready to quit. I'll stick with "The Good Wife" at 9 p.m. and then record "Revenge" in the fall, just to see how a new showrunner changes things. Assuming that "Revenge" continues with its Season 2 morass, I'll drop it at midseason for "Believe," which may or may not be good, but at least has a pedigree that demands some attention. I watch cable stuff at 10 p.m., either live or DVRed from 7 p.m. on East Coast feeds, but I'll give "Crisis" a couple episodes. 
How have the new schedules impacted your Sundays?
<p>Henry Cavill of &quot;Man of Steel&quot;</p>

Henry Cavill of "Man of Steel"

Credit: Warner Brothers

Henry Cavill channels Superman on the 'Man of Steel' set

'The Tudors' star chats with reporters about his DC Comics hero
When "Man of Steel" hits theaters on June 14, 2013, it's possible that Superman will make saving the world appear effortless, but on August 29, 2011, Earth's greatest superhero is sweating. 
That's not a criticism of the artist sometimes known as Clark Kent or Kal-El. Even the coolest of customers would wilt under the oppressive late-summer heat on the Plano, Illinois set of the DC Comics adaptation. And it's not like Superman is just sitting under an umbrella chilling and sipping a super-mojito. 
With background debris exploding into flame, Superman keeps trying to escape from a seemingly Kryptonian adversary, but every time he thinks he's gotten free, he gets dragged back in, possibly tearing up bits of the road as he goes. To create the illusion of a preternaturally strong tug of war, star Henry Cavill is attached to a harness and the harness is attached to a crane. Between the effort and the costume and the temperature, the scene might as well be taking place in an oven and between shots, an assistant rushes out to pat the Man of Steel down with a Mountain Dew-colored towel. It's an illusion-destroying act of charity. 
Initially, it looks like a simple shot and Cavill very politely declines hydration, but after enthusiastic director Zack Snyder requests more and more takes, the actor is soon cooling down with a bag of ice.
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<p>Zack Snyder</p>

Zack Snyder

Credit: AP

Zack Snyder makes Superman his own on the 'Man of Steel' set

'300' and 'Watchmen' director discusses the pressure he feels now
Dave's Tavern on Central Avenue in Plano, Illinois remains entirely unscathed after the disaster that has hit the rest of the town's main drag. 
As discussed in its own story, production on "Man of Steel" has turned Plano into Smallville, Kansas and, in turn, Smallville, Kansas has been turned into Ground Zero in a clash-of-the-titans-style conflict between Superman (Henry Cavill) and an assortment of rival Kryptonians and other mystery adversaries. 
Outside, the air is thick with the smell of well-supervised pyrotechnics, to say nothing of the usual summer heat. Squib detonations, gunfire and swarming helicopters present their own cacophony.
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<p>Henry Cavill of &quot;Man of Steel&quot;</p>

Henry Cavill of "Man of Steel"

Credit: Warner Brothers

'Man of Steel' Set Visit: Superman battles in Smallville streets

HitFix was in Illinois in 2011 on the set of Zack Snyder's film
It's late-August 2011 and a titanic struggle is underway on the main street of Smallville, Kansas.
It's hard to identify all of the featured combatants. 
Superman, of course, is easy enough to recognize, even if his garb is radically altered from when last he graced the big screen. 
Who is Superman fighting? 
That's a bit more complicated. His primary adversary currently appears to be a man in a motion capture suit with an attachment that suggests that he'll ultimately be far larger than what the naked eye can currently see. 
In the moment, it looks like Superman is not getting the best of this exchange. He's pinned back uncomfortably in a furrow in the concrete and he's being pummeled something fierce. Antje Traue's Kryptonian Fiora is also involved in the skirmish, but she's less tantalizing than the unknown MoCap man.
"This particular character we're not going to name for you, because we want it to be a surprise," teases "Man of Steel" producer Chuck Roven. 
That doesn't stop the journalists on the film's set from speculating, but I won't share any of those guesses, just in case we got it right. Over the course of a day of production, we may or may not have posited every single villain in the DC Comics universe and offered those suggestions to various producers, technicians, extras and interested locals without even a nod of confirmation or a shake of disagreement. The Superman universe is all about the hero's myriad powers, but on the set of "Man of Steel," enhanced strength, X-Ray vision and flight all pale in comparison to a higher power, that of producer Christopher Nolan. Although he's still in production on "The Dark Knight Rises" and isn't literally on the "Man of Steel" set, his secret-loving presence is felt and evoked at every turn in the form of The Nolan Clause, a gag order that seems only to have become more potent thanks to the Earth's sun and our gravity. 
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