Analysis: How can 'Sound of Music' solve a problem like NBC Thursday?

Analysis: How can 'Sound of Music' solve a problem like NBC Thursday?

More ratings discussion, analysis and a video!
Once upon a time, NBC's Thursday was the envy of all of the networks, a steadily churning assortment of comedy and drama hits. Then, gradually, NBC's Thursday became an embarrassment, an assortment of critical darlings and turkeys united only in what seemed to be a strange quest to fall behind The CW among young viewers.
Frequently this fall, NBC has succeeded in that unintended goal, with "Parks and Recreation" and "Welcome to the Family" often looking up at "The Vampire Diaries" in several key demos.
This Thursday (December 5), however, NBC found a way back to the top of the heap and the network did so without relying on "The Voice" or the Olympics.
The Final National ratings are in for NBC's "The Sound of Music" and they are fairly massive. The Carrie Underwood-fronted musical rose slightly from Fast Nationals with a whopping 18.62 million viewers and stayed steady with a 4.6 rating among adults 18-49.
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<p>Nicole Beharie and Tom &nbsp;Mison of &quot;Sleepy Hollow&quot;</p>

Nicole Beharie and Tom  Mison of "Sleepy Hollow"

Credit: FOX

FOX gives 'Sleepy Hollow' a 2-hour finale, adjusts 'The Following' premiere again

It's the third January switcheroo in six weeks for FOX
In the third revision of its January schedule in less than six weeks, FOX has fiddled a little with the first season finale of "Sleepy Hollow" and the second season premiere of "The Following."
Try to contain your surprise.
FOX announced on Friday (December 6) afternoon that "Sleepy Hollow" will now have a two-hour finale airing from 8 to 10 p.m. on Monday, January 20. To make that possible, an encore of "Sleepy Hollow" will now air on January 6 after a new "Almost Human."
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<p>Carrie Underwood and Stephen Moyer of &quot;The Sound of Music&quot;</p>

Carrie Underwood and Stephen Moyer of "The Sound of Music"

Credit: NBC

TV Ratings: 'The Sound of Music' soars for NBC on Thursday

It's NBC's best non-sports Thursday since several huge finale nights
Fast National ratings for Thursday, December 5, 2013.
Get ready for Kat McPhee in "Cabaret" and and Phillip Phillips in "Sweeney Todd," because NBC has a new hit franchise on its hands.
Thursday night's live broadcast of "The Sound of Music," starring "American Idol" veteran Carrie Underwood," delivered massive numbers for NBC across the board, even crushing CBS' "The Big Bang Theory" (overall, not in the key demo) as it won the night in all age ranges. 
[At the request of Alan Sepinwall, this ratings story will include no puns, so don't look for any jokes based on this being "'Music' to NBC's ears," "Solving a problem like NBC" or "A few of viewers' favorite things" or "'Music' offers a ray of golden sun."]
This was NBC's best non-sports Thursday in total viewers since May 13, 2004 (the night of the "Frasier" finale) and NBC's best non-sports Thursday among adults 18-49 since 2009 (the night of the "ER" finale).
Among the shows that took the brunt of the "Sound of Music" juggernaut were "X Factor," "Glee," "Big Bang Theory," "Grey's Anatomy," "Elementary" and "The Vampire Diaries," which all lost either overall audience, young viewers or both.
Oddly, "Once Upon a Time in Wonderland" was up slightly in young viewers, but that may be related to ABC having the NFL preemption in Houston.
On to the actual numbers...
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Golden Globes 2014 TV Contenders: Which shows are eying nominations?

Golden Globes 2014 TV Contenders: Which shows are eying nominations?

'Orange,' 'Orphan,' 'Cards' and 'Candelabra' will be hoping for nods
As anybody attempting to cull a Top 10 list knows, this has been a rather spectacular year for scripted TV, both in terms of the upper echelon -- "Breaking Bad" delivered one of the best send-off seasons ever -- but also in terms of depth, as I could substitute a Top 10 list of *new* shows for my overall Top 10 and still be very happy. 
That means that next Thursday (December 12) morning's Golden Globes nomination announcement will be especially unpredictable, given the Hollywood Foreign Press' penchant for shiny and new things.
Many of the big questions surround Netflix, which scored fairly big at the Emmys with "House of Cards" and now will look to make "Orange Is The New Black" into a player. But will the HFPA warm to the darkly funny, but deeply humanistic prison show? And will they warm to it as a drama? We'll see.
After being snubbed by Emmy voters, will this be a breakthrough for Tatiana Maslany and "Orphan Black"? 
And who will be this year's Callie Thorne or Piper Perabo, a bizarro nominee that nobody saw coming?
In this gallery, I've broken down the contenders in each TV category under Probable Nominees (basically the sure-things), Strong Contenders (the shows I'd expect to fill out each roster) and Dark Horses (worthy contenders and other oddballs). Unlike my epic Emmy previews, these aren't formal predictions.
Check out the candidates in the gallery below (and note that "30 Rock" and "Broadchurch" are among the random shows not eligible).
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<p>Restless Road of &quot;The X Factor&quot;</p>

Restless Road of "The X Factor"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'The X Factor' Season 3 Results - Down to the Final 4, plus Emblem3 performs

Little Mix also performs during another double elimination

It's time for another "X Factor" double elimination episode. 

Tonight's results had better be darned exciting, because at least so far, FOX has only teased performances from Emblem3 and Little Mix, which may not be enough to hold my attention through the pregnant pauses and awkward in-show commercials.

Click through to follow the fun...

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<p>Jewel performs on &quot;Christmas in Rockefeller Center&quot;</p>

Jewel performs on "Christmas in Rockefeller Center"

Credit: NBC

TV Ratings: 'Survivor,' 'SNL Christmas' lead Wednesday, while 'Arrow' gets a boost

ABC comedies hit season and series lows
Fast National ratings for Wednesday, December 4, 2013.
A heavily promoted episode of "Survivor: Blood vs. Water" drew a season-high audience for CBS and led the network to an overall win on Wednesday, but a pair of holiday-themed specials, including "Saturday Night Live Christmas" gave NBC a win among young viewers.
Like "Survivor," "The X Factor" aired last week to pre-Thanksgiving lows and bounced back a tiny bit, albeit not to the same level.
The CW drew a large audience and good demos for the introduction of the proto-Flash on "Arrow" and also got a little bump for "The Tomorrow People."
Finally, it was a low night for ABC's comedies, but "Nashville" was steady.
On to the numbers...
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<p>Hayden of &quot;Survivor: Blood vs. Water&quot;</p>

Hayden of "Survivor: Blood vs. Water"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Survivor: Blood vs. Water' - 'Rustle Feathers'

Tribal Council madness and a vocabulary lesson ensue
Pre-credit sequence. I'd completely forgotten that Caleb was voted out last week. At Kasama, it's Night 30 and Hayden has, once again, been blindsided by what happened in the last Tribal Council. He is, once again, very gracious about his cluelessness. But Hayden has a play in his pocket. To everybody around the fire, he announces, "I hope everybody here likes second place, because if Tyson goes to the end, he's winning," Hayden says. "Pure poetry," Tyson mutters. Hilariously, and with a big smile, Gervase explodes and announces that Tyson wouldn't be anywhere without him, but Hayden tells Gervase that he's just playing for second. "I've gotta do something, dude," Hayden tells the suddenly irked Tyson, who admits that he wishes he hadn't wasted his Idol. Tyson secures a fireside promise from his alliance that Hayden is out next.
Sour apples for Caleb. It's time for yet another Redemption Island Duel, pitting Tina, Laura and Caleb, who says he only has kind feelings for Katie and Hayden. Caleb whines that in the South, a man's word means something, but in Utah and Philly, it doesn't mean as much. Oh, cram it, Caleb. On to... CREDITS!
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<p>Jeff Gutt of &quot;The X Factor&quot;</p>

Jeff Gutt of "The X Factor"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'The X Factor' Season 3 - Top 6 Performances

The remaining singers do a diva song and a stripped down number

How was last week's Big Band Night?

I have zero clue. I said I was skipping the show and skip it I did. I know that Josh Levi and Lillie McCloud went home. And while I'm surprised that Carlito Olivero is still around, I'm not shocked. And I'm not shocked by any of the other results, really. 

Tonight's show is apparently two performances apiece, with one coming from a favorite diva and the other a stripped down performance. That means one more chance for Alex & Sierra to do "Falling Slowly." This has to happen at some point, right?

Click through for my full live-blog!

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<p>Ed Burns of &quot;Mob City&quot;</p>

Ed Burns of "Mob City"

Credit: TNT

Interview: Ed Burns and Robert Knepper discuss TNT's 'Mob City'

Famously Irish star discusses playing Jewish
Last week, I sat down with eight of the stars of "Mob City" at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel to talk about their new TNT drama, which premieres on Wednesday, December 4.
Unfortunately, technology went a bit haywire and the video portion of the interviews became corrupt and only the audio remains.
That means, tragically, that you don't get to see the look on Ed Burns' face when I began our conversion by explaining that I don't necessarily think of him as being the most Jewish of thespians.
Burns plays Ben "Bugsy" Siegel in the 1947-set drama, which focuses on the LAPD and it's war against organized crime. He is, of course, playing a famous real-life mobster previously played by the likes of Warren Beatty and Harvey Keitel.
For this interview, Burns was paired with Robert Knepper, who plays Siegel's violent sidekick Sid Rothman, a composite character.
Click through for the full discussion of the Frank Darabont-created drama. The other three interviews will go up next week.
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Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 213

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 213

Dan and Alan discuss 'Arrow,' 'Walking Dead,' 'Kirstie' and more


Happy Wednesday, Boys & Girls.
It's time for the audio installment of The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast. You don't have to look at us this time.
We covered some stuff in Tuesday's Firewall & Iceberg Video Show, but there was still plenty to fill an hour here. We talked about "Arrow," which Alan is now caught up on. We reviewed TV Land's "Kirstie." We answered a bunch of mail, including discussion of "Person of Interest," the frustrating arcs for Kalinda on "The Good Wife" and we talked a bit more about the "Walking Dead" finale.
No clue what next week's podcast will be, so we welcome more emails at
Here's today's breakdown:
"Arrow" (00:00:45 - 00:17:55)
"Kirstie" (00:18:00 - 00:24:50)
Listener Mail - "Person of Interest" (00:25:10 - 00:31:00)
Listener Mail - ABC's scheduling of "Mixology" (00:31:00 - 00:39:45)
Listener Mail - Kalinda on "Good Wife" (00:39:50 - 00:45:10)
Listener Mail - "The Walking Dead" finale (00:46:00 - 00:59:30)

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.] 

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


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