Inside TV+Movies with Daniel Fienberg

Recap: 'The X Factor' Results Live-Blog - Down to the Final 4

Which 'X Factor' act did American and the judges send home?

<p>Melanie Amaro of &quot;The X Factor&quot;</p>
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Melanie Amaro of "The X Factor"

Credit: FOX

I've crowned Melanie Amaro as my "Probably Not Going To Be Eliminated" recap picture of the night. I feel somewhat confident in that. But after last week's shocking Drew/Astro eliminations? Anything truly can happen...

Click through for the results...

Recap: 'Survivor: South Pacific' - 'Ticking Time Bomb'

Ozzy and Cochran Duel, while Brandon ponders messianic 'Survivor'

<p>Thanks for the tears, Sprint!</p>
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Thanks for the tears, Sprint!

Credit: CBS
Pre-credit sequence. Cochran arrives on Redemption Island and a groggy Ozzy musters an unenthusiastic, "I'm sorry, buddy." Cochran is introspective. "The big move I made at the Merge in jumping over to Upolu, in retrospect may not have been the best move," Cochran says, feeling used and insulted. Ozzy tells Cochran that the way he can stick it to Upolu is by voting for him if he makes it to the end. "What if I demolish you at the Duel?" Cochran asks. Ozzy promises to vote for Cochran if, indeed, Cochran makes it to the end and reassures him that he has a chance of taking the Duel. "He really doesn't stand a chance," Ozzy dead-pans to us.
 

Recap: 'The X Factor' - Top 5 Performances Live-Blog

A double-dip of Rachel, Chris, Marcus, Melanie and Burrito Josh

<p>The &quot;X Factor&quot; Top 5</p>
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The "X Factor" Top 5

Credit: FOX

Oh come on, Drew fans... I'm sad too...

But surely it's time to wipe away the runny mascara and settle in for Wednesday (December 7) night's episode of "The X Factor," featuring two performances apiece from the "X Factor" Top 5. Yes, that means two performances from Chris Rene. Sorry about that. but it also means a double-serving of Burrito Josh.

Buckle in for the entire live-blog journey...

'Game of Thrones,' 'Parks & Recreation' crash stale 2012 Producers Guild TV nominations

Finally, an award 'Mad Men' is still eligible for

<p>Sean Bean of &quot;Game of Thrones&quot;</p>
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Sean Bean of "Game of Thrones"

Credit: HBO
The Producers Guild of America continues to stick by its antiquated practice of honoring television roughly seven months behind the curve, announcing its stale TV nominations on Wednesday (December 7) morning.
 
What to know why this is posted in my blog, rather than as a news story? Because in a news story, I'd be hesitant to express confusion at the PGA for the seemingly absurd decision to exist in a time warp for the TV awards and only the TV awards. At least in a blog post, I can register confusion.
 
[This year's Producers Guild nominees, plus the official PGA explanation for the eligibility window, after the break...]
 

HitFix Interview: Andy & Tommy talk 'The Amazing Race'

Popular snowboarders talk religion, racing and All-Stars hopes

<p>Andy &amp; Tommy of &quot;The Amazing Race&quot;</p>
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Andy & Tommy of "The Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS
Next Sunday night, the 19th installment of "The Amazing Race" will be won by either Ernie & Cindy, Jeremy & Sandy or Marcus & Amani.
 
Chances are good, though, that when fans of the show look back on the season, most of the memories will center on snowboarders Andy Finch and Tommy Czeschin.
 
Andy & Tommy won six of the season's first 10 Legs and in the 11th, they held what turned out to be too prohibitive of a lead when they approached the final clue before the Pit Stop. A misinterpretation of the message conveyed by a group of Panamanian dancers led the Snowboarders off on a wild goose chase. Meanwhile, two of the teams behind the Snowboarders made the exact same error, but due to cooperation between cab divers, they were rescued and Andy & Tommy, off on their own for much of the episode, went home.
 
During their "Race" run, Andy & Tommy won a legion of fans for their youthful enthusiasm and for their strengths across a wide variety of challenges. Devout Christians, they also polarized some of the show's audience, particularly after some comments made at a Buddhist temple in Thailand.
 
Between that polarizing quality, their surprisingly abrupt elimination and their string of dominant wins, Andy & Tommy seem like absolute no-brainers for the next time the "Amazing Race" producers feel like doing an All-Star season. And they assure me that they're ready for that shot.
 
Click through for Andy & Tommy's full exit interview, which covers their Race strategy, their religion and their elimination...
 

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 105

Dan and Alan review 'State of Play,' 'Bag of Bones' and 'Appropriate Adult' and answer mail

<p>&quot;State of Play&quot;</p>
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"State of Play"

Credit: BBC America

The
Happy Monday, Boys & Girls!
 
As you may have noticed, over the weekend, Alan became paranoid that we didn't have enough content for this week's podcast and aggressively solicited questions.
 
That's why, in addition to the miniseries "State of Play," "Appropriate Adult" and "Bag of Bones," this podcast answers five or six pieces of Listener Mail, only a small percentage of what we received. We'll try to get to more next week.
 
Today's breakdown:
"State of Play" (02:15 - 09:30)
"Appropriate Adult" (09:30 - 16:55)
"Bag of Bones" (17:35 - 27:40)
Listener Mail: The "Dexter" Twist (28:15 - 37:55)
Listener Mail: Old Cast, New Show (38:00 - 43:30)
Listener Mail: Episode Titles (43:35 - 47:45)
Listener Mail: "Saturday Night Live" (47:50 - 56:30)
Listener Mail: "Boardwalk" history (56:45 - 01:01:20)

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.] 

HitFix Interview: Chris Parnell talks 'Prep & Landing: Naughty vs. Nice' and 'Suburgatory'

'SNL' veteran talks animation, holiday favorites and reuniting with Ana Gasteyer

<p>Mr. Thistleton of &quot;Prep &amp; Landing: Naughty vs. Nice&quot;</p>
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Mr. Thistleton of "Prep & Landing: Naughty vs. Nice"

Credit: ABC
You've all heard the song: Santa Claus, he who is coming to town, is making a list and checking it twice and you may also have heard that he's able to ascertain the difference between people who are naughty and people who are nice.
 
But what if Santa Claus no longer had a reliable system for differentiating between good children and bad children?
 
That's the timeless conundrum explored in ABC and Disney's "Prep & Landing: Naughty vs. Nice," sequel to 2009's "Prep & Landing," which won four Emmys, including Outstanding Animated Program.
 
The new special features many of the characters from the original, but also introduces a slew of new characters, including Mr. Thistleton, creator of the vast database that enables Santa to find out who's naughty and also who's nice.
 
Voicing Mr. Thistleton is "Saturday Night Live," "Archer" and '30 Rock" veteran Chris Parnell, who's rapidly becoming an ABC favorite with "Naughty vs. Nice" and a recurring role on the network's freshman comedy "Suburgatory."
 
Click through for my conversation with Parnell, who talks about holiday classics, Disney magic and reuniting with Ana Gasteyer...
 

Recap: 'The Amazing Race' - 'We Are Charlie Chaplin'

Wire-walking, shoe-making, costume-wearing and a shocking conclusion

<p>Jeremy and Sandy of &quot;The Amazing Race&quot;</p>
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Jeremy and Sandy of "The Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS
Kurt Vonnegut's short story "Harrison Bergeron" is set in a 2081 in which all Americans have been mandated equal by virtue of a series of Constitutional amendments. The truly exceptional are equipped with handicaps, while the mediocre are sometimes elevated to positions far above their natural abilities, all in the name of this equality.
 
The world of "Harrison Bergeron" has nothing to do with the world of CBS' "The Amazing Race" and the results of Sunday (December 4) night's "Amazing Race" really weren't analogous to anything in "Harrison Bergeron." 
 
And yet, "Harrison Bergeron" came to my mind immediately as Sunday's "Amazing Race" episode ended and I looked at the last line of my notes, which read "Sometimes it sucks to be better than everybody else." 
 
That was my takeaway from Sunday's episode, though clearly there are better takeaways like, "You can only get away with being careless and not-so-bright for so long on a Race that occasionally rewards attention-to-detail," but that theme was ultimately less relevant than the first.
 
Sunday's episode was about the triumph of entirely accidental teamwork and the results came through a circumstance I'm pretty sure we've never seen before on "The Amazing Race."
 
Click through for a discussion of Sunday's episode...
 

HitFix Interview: Whitney Duncan and Dawn Meehan talk 'Survivor: South Pacific'

More discussion of Cochran's flip and Coach's Cult

<p>Whitney Duncan of &quot;Survivor: South Pacific&quot;</p>
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Whitney Duncan of "Survivor: South Pacific"

Credit: CBS
Another week, another "Survivor: South Pacific" exit interview with the tattered remnants of the formerly strong Savaii tribe.
 
As was the case with Jim & Keith two weeks ago, my latest exit interview is a twofer of evicted castaways who left the game grumbling about John Cochran and his apparently unsuccessful defection into the temporary warmth of Coach's Cult.
 
In this interview we've got frequently insecure Mormon college professor Dawn Meehan and not-especially-bashful country crooner Whitney Duncan, who had some of the harshest (most pixelated) words for Cochran after his flip-flop.
 
What do the two newest Jury members have to say about Cochran, Coach and Ozzy?
 
Click through for the full Q&A.
 
 

TV Review: Encore's 'The Take'

Tom Hardy fights a thin script and derivative direction in this British mini

HitFix
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Readers
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<p>Tom Hardy of &quot;The Take&quot;</p>
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Tom Hardy of "The Take"

Credit: Encore
You and your cadre of in-the-know film-loving buddies may love and revere Tom Hardy.
 
Hollywood agrees, setting up Hardy's Next Big Thing status with upcoming movies like "This Means War" and a sure-to-be-showy supporting turn in next summer's "The Dark Knight Rises."
 
Most Americans don't have the faintest clue who Tom Hardy actually is. 
 
Yes, he's the guy from "Inception" who isn't Leonardo DiCaprio, who wasn't on "Third Rock From the Sun," who wasn't a villain in "Batman Begins" and who wasn't the girl from "Juno." That's a thin layer of recognition, but it's nebulous.
 
For a few minutes, it looked like "Warrior" might be Hardy's breakout. Word out of early screenings was rapturous and a small circle of critics was briefly convinced that if "The Fighter" could earn Oscars and blockbuster status last year, the time might be perfect for a blue collar MMA "Rocky." Perhaps the decision to position "Warrior" for credibility, rather than visceral thrills led to a box office take somewhat short of what "The Smurfs" pulled in by the end of its first afternoon.
 
But if you missed Hardy's spectacularly creepy performance in "Meadowlands" (or "Cape Wrath," as it was called before Showtime decided American audiences couldn't handle such an awesome title), or his spectacularly psychotic performance in "Bronson," or his memorable, but spectacularly brief, performance in "RocknRolla," you haven't run out of chances to be the last person on your block to "discover" Tom Hardy.
 
If you can wait a couple more weeks, Hardy has one of the showier supporting performances in Tomas Alfredson's "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy," an evocative slow-burn adaptation of the John Le Carre espionage classic. But it's a good enough movie and its cast is ridiculously deep enough that Hardy only registers as an afterthought. 
 
Perhaps that's why Encore has scheduled the American premiere of the British miniseries "The Take" for this month: "The Take" is offers the fully immersive Tom Hardy experience. It takes less than four hours to watch the entire series and when it's over, there's really no way to talk about anything or anybody other than Hardy. I don't think that speaks particularly well for "The Take" as an overall television experience, but if you've looked at Hardy and had "What's the big deal?" doubt -- meaning you definitely haven't seen "Bronson" -- this should clear things up.
 
A few words on "The Take," which premiered on British TV back in 2009, after the break...
 

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