<p>Remember Natalie from &quot;Survivor&quot;?</p>

Remember Natalie from "Survivor"?

Credit: CBS

'Survivor' unveils 32 candidates for 'Second Chance' season

The Top 20 votegetters will star in Season 31 next fall

Rather than selecting returning players unilaterally and listening to fans complain about the latest return for Rupert or a confusing return for a castaway even superfans don't remember, "Survivor" has left the decision somewhat up to America to determine the 20 castaways for Season 31.

On Wednesday (May 6) at the end of the latest episode of the less-than-lackluster "Survivor: Worlds Apart," CBS formally announced what had long been rumored across the Interwebs. 

There are 32 candidates up for the "Second Chance" season. As the word "second" implies, this season will only be open to one-time former players who didn't win, so all of your Hantzes and Ruperts are out. Thank God.

Read Full Post
<p>Rodney of &quot;Survivor: Worlds Apart&quot;</p>

Rodney of "Survivor: Worlds Apart"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Survivor: Worlds Apart' - 'Holding on For Dear Life'

How far would one man go to have his birthday properly celebrated?

Pre-credit sequence. Shirin is gone, but thanks to Mike, last week's Tribal had some amusement and it's time to see what the ripples are. Everybody's trying to figure out who voted for who, with Mike cackling all the way. The Six go off into the jungle to scramble, which Mike loves, even if he wasn't invited. He knows he's safe with his Idol, so The Six will have to cannibalize. Dan is ranting and raving about knowing it was a bluff, while Tyler is trying to lecture Dan on basic strategy. "It's fine," Dan says, putting his hand on Tyler's chest in a threatening manner. Clueless Will is trying to explain to Dan why he voted for him and Dan also reassures him, in a Low-Rent Godfather kinda way. "I don't have too many lifelines remaining," Tyler says, vowing to vote for Dan again if he needs to.

Read Full Post
<p>&quot;The Mindy Project&quot;</p>

"The Mindy Project"

Credit: FOX

Developing: 'The Mindy Project' is out at FOX, but...

Hulu could prove to be the white knight for Mindy Kaling's comedy

Don't freak out "Mindy Project" fans, but the low-rated and [in some small circles] adored comedy will not be back on FOX for a fourth season.

I say "don't freak out," because although "The Mindy Project" has been cancelled by its original network, I'm hearing that conversations are taking place with Hulu about a multi-season renewal.

Read Full Post
<p>The &quot;American Idol&quot; Season 14 Top 4</p>

The "American Idol" Season 14 Top 4

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' Season 14 - Performances, Hometown Visits and Elimination

A jam-packed episode lets the judges, Scott Borchetta and the Idols choose

After last week's screwy episode, all bets are off on how Wednesday's (May 6) episode of "American Idol" will handle its performances and its elimination.

In theory, we've got three performances coming up from each contestant tonight, but will we get three performances from the Top 3 following a mid-show elimination? If that's the case, does that mean that one contestant will have gotten the visit home, but will still be booted without singing thrice? Or will we have 12 performances and four Hometown Visit clip packages, even though one singer was effectively a Dead Idol Walking on that visit, having already been eliminated by the voting, even if they didn't know it?

I have no clue. 

Click through and follow along as I inevitably become increasingly frustrated and eventually angry...

Read Full Post
<p>Rose McIver of &quot;iZombie&quot;</p>

Rose McIver of "iZombie"

Credit: The CW

Brainy CW renews 'iZombie' for Season 2

Rose McIver midseason dramedy has retained decently out of 'The Flash'

The CW already had very few shows on the bubble with upfronts looming next week and now the network has one fewer.

As was fully expected, The CW has picked up "iZombie" for Season 2, joining a daunting number of shows already renewed for next year. With so much inventory, The CW is not announcing an episode order or return timetable for the DC Comics adaptation.

Read Full Post
<p>Melissa Benoist as &quot;Supergirl&quot;</p>

Melissa Benoist as "Supergirl"

Credit: CBS/WBTV

'Supergirl' takes flight to CBS series order

Melissa Benoist stars as Kara Zor-El

It's not a surprise, but CBS has given a formal series order to "Supergirl," which will take its place somewhere on the network's 2015-2016 schedule, to be announced next week.

"Glee" and "Whiplash" veteran Melissa Benoist stars as Kara Zor-El, 24-year-old exile from the destroyed Krypton. She's only begun to recognize and embrace her superhuman abilities and embark on a career in heroism, much like her more famous cousin.

Read Full Post
<p>Brent Morin and Ed Sheeran on the live &quot;Undateable&quot;</p>

Brent Morin and Ed Sheeran on the live "Undateable"

Credit: NBC

TV Ratings: Small 'Undateable' live uptick, but 'NCIS' tops 'Voice' on Tuesday

'New Girl' finale rises, 'Person of Interest' finale falls

Fast National ratings for Tuesday, May 5, 2015.

An hour-long live episode of "Undateable" got a small uptick among young viewers as NBC split Tuesday night in the key demo, with CBS staging its regular Tuesday domination overall, led by "NCIS."

Despite much hype and high-profile guest stars, the "Undateable" event actually lost viewers week-to-week, but that was more a product of the continued late-season swoon for NBC's "The Voice."

"The Voice" hit a series low on Tuesday, as did CBS' finale for "Person of Interest."

Among other Tuesday notables, ABC's "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." ticked up, as did FOX's "New Girl" finale, while The CW's "The Flash" was down a tiny bit. All changes were pretty cosmetic.

Let's get to the numbers...

Read Full Post
<p>Lamorne Morris of &quot;New Girl&quot;</p>

Lamorne Morris of "New Girl"

Credit: FOX

'New Girl' Season 4 finale is all about refusing to make a 'Clean Break'

One character says good-bye and the writers generate deja vu

I write about "New Girl" only under two circumstances: When Sepinwall is hospitalized or when Sepinwall is on vacation. And even then, I still only write about "New Girl" under two circumstances: When it's a premiere or a finale and therefore there are plot points that maybe could stand some discussion.

Fortunately, Sepinwall is on vacation and, at least so far as I know -- Knock wood! -- his health is fine.

However, Tuesday (May 5) night marked the fourth season finale for "New Girl," so I guess "Clean Break" is as good a time as any to write a few words about the state of "New Girl."

"Clean Break." 

As it says above, "Clean Break" is the title of the finale. It's not "Clean, Shaven," as I initially typed, because "Clean, Shaven" is an intense film from recently prolific cable TV helmer Lodge Kerrigan, featuring a marvelous performance by Peter Greene. I mention this because rewatching the "Justified" pilot a couple weeks ago was a reminder of just how great Peter Greene is as an actor and how I wish that people weren't -- for perfectly good reasons -- terrified to employ him. In our era of cable TV anti-heroes, Peter Greene should have Emmys. I also mention this because at some point during this write-up, I'm going to type "Clean, Shaven" instead of "Clean Break" and I won't notice. Apologies in advance.

So yeah, the "New Girl" finale was called "Clean Break," but only because that was shorter than the "Birdman"-esque title "Clean Break: A Meditation On Why Some People Think This Show Needs To Move Forward, But We're Never Going To Move Forward And That's OK, Right?"

Let's talk a bit about "New Girl," eh? After the [clean] break, with spoilers for "Clean Break"...

Read Full Post
<p>Ray Romano hosted &quot;David Letterman: A Life on Television&quot;</p>

Ray Romano hosted "David Letterman: A Life on Television"

Credit: CBS

TV Ratings: 'Gotham' finale rises, David Letterman special fares OK on Monday

As usual, 'Dancing' leads ABC and 'The Voice' leads NBC

Fast National ratings for Monday, May 4, 2015.

ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" and NBC's "The Voice" both continued their spring downward trending, but even CBS' "David Letterman: A Life on Television" special and FOX's "Gotham" finale couldn't do anything to change the normal Monday pecking order. ABC ruled overall and NBC won the key demographic, same as usual.

The CBS primetime tribute to David Letterman attracted an OK-but-unspectacular audience, with a narrow 10 p.m. hour key demo win as its biggest achievement.

FOX's "Gotham" finale added a 0.2 key demo rating from recent lackluster airings and ranked as Monday's top show among men 18-49, though "The Following" then dipped week-to-week.

Let's get to the numbers...

Read Full Post
<p>Robin Lord Taylor of &quot;Gotham&quot;</p>

Robin Lord Taylor of "Gotham"

Credit: FOX

Crazy, operatic 'Gotham' finale spurs optimism for Season 2

Batman purists will remain outraged, but the Danny Cannon-directed finale was good fun

What if "Gotham" was not the TV series that so many of us thought we needed back in the fall, but what if Bruno Heller's twisty comic book drama has become the TV series we deserve now?

Look, if you're going to get hung up on Batman mythology, I'm powerless to tell you that "Gotham" became or ever will become a show that will make you happy. 

It's a prequel that almost cannot possibly ever line up with the version of the Caped Crusader that we know from either DC Comics, from the Christopher Nolan films or the early Tim Burton films. And that's frustrating. I can't tell you that it isn't. 

The Penguin is rising! The Riddler is cracking! Somebody who may or may not be The Joker is becoming dangerously unhinged! Even Harvey Dent looks to be a couple bum coin flips away from dementia. 

And Bruce Wayne doesn't look like he can do a push-up, much less a pull-up, much less work the salmon ladder, which The CW's version of the DC Universe has taught us we require in a masked hero. He's just a kid and barring a summertime growth spurt from David Mazouz, I'm not going to be willing to accept him stopping food-fights as a junior high lunchroom monitor, much less fighting crime.

The youth of wee Bruce Wayne has mocked viewers through the first season of "Gotham" and I don't see how that's going to change in a hurry. And I also get the feeling that series creator Bruno Heller has been mocking us with the character's juvenility, inserting a halting barely pubescent flirtation between Bruce and Selina Kyle to instigate head-explosions amongst the core fanboy audience. There's a certain madcap audacity to staging a "She's All That"-style moment in which Bruce Wayne is forced to do a double-take at the all-prettied up Selina seconds before going to a formal ball with a character who we think is supposed to be his future nemesis. 

And if you're a stickler for established character canon, there's just no way you're ever going to reconcile yourself to what Heller and company are doing on "Gotham." The alleged eventual hero is a fetus, the current hero doesn't even have a mustache, while our villains are ascending in ever-more-grotesque manners. If "Criminal Minds" has convinced us that there are 200+ active serial killers in the United States working and evolving at all times, "Gotham" seems to be suggesting that there are dozens of fledgling supervillains using Gotham as a pupa. "Gotham" is chaos.

But you know what? When "Gotham" is truly strutting it stuff, I dig it.

Read Full Post