<p>Kevin Costner of &quot;Hatfields &amp; McCoys&quot;</p>

Kevin Costner of "Hatfields & McCoys"

Credit: History

TV Review: History's 'Hatfields & McCoys'

HitFix
C+
Readers
B+
Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton star in an old-fashioned miniseries
The theory at work in History's three-night, six-hour (including commercials) "Hatfields & McCoys" miniseries is a simple one: Roughly 130-ish years after its bloody roots, most (many? [some?]) Americas are aware that the Hatfield and McCoy families had a long-running feud, but they know nothing at all about the nature and the depths of said feud. 
 
What results is a lengthy litany of grievances and miscommunications that led to a series of deaths and placed the two clans and their names forever in our cultural lexicon. 
 
Produced by Leslie Greif, directed by Kevin Reynolds and written by Ted Mann, "Hatfields & McCoys" is an epic endeavor that manages to be exactly the wrong length for its intentions, which are simultaneously expansive, but limited.
 
As a point-by-point anatomy of a tragedy, "Hatfields & McCoys" barely makes it past its first night before the repeating cycles of violence become monotonous, a regrettable series of actions perpetrated with vengeful sameness by scruffy hill-dwellers who blend into a bearded mass in no time.  Wave after wave of "Then, just when things could have died down, this person stubbornly made things worse and additional chaos ensued" events crash down and at least for a while, all sense of dramatic escalation is lost. [Things go appealingly bonkers on the third night, but nearly all of the second night is half-baked romance and other filler.]
 
With its current duration, though, "Hatfields & McCoys" comes across as way more superficial than it should. The question of why, in 2012, this story requires six hours of primetime real estate is never fully answered. It's a laundry list of unhappy occurence unbound by a grander sense of purpose. If I'm sitting through that much programming, I either need to be consistently entertained throughout or I need to be left with some sort of compelling takeaway. "Hatfields & McCoys" falters in the former and strikes out on the latter.
 
While technically solid, studded with good performances and, as I mentioned, satisfyingly fun in its last segment, "Hatfields & McCoys" is too repetitive and too hollow to fully justify itself. It's "Game of Hillbilly Thrones" only with much lower stakes, which is odd what with it being real and all.
 
The miniseries has been smartly programmed for the end of Memorial Day weekend when scripted competition is sparse. In that context, I can give it a slim recommendation if the subject matter intrigues you. If you set your expectations low, it's an OK diversion, but who sets their standards low when six hours are at stake? [Other than professional TV critics, I mean...]
 
More after the break...
 
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<p>Emily Van Camp of &quot;Revenge&quot;</p>

Emily Van Camp of "Revenge"

Credit: ABC

DVR Gridlock 2012-13: Sunday Nights

How will your Sunday nights this fall be different?
[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.]
 
SUNDAY NIGHTS
 
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<p>The McCoys from &quot;Hatfields &amp; McCoys&quot;</p>

The McCoys from "Hatfields & McCoys"

Credit: History

Interview: Producer Leslie Greif talks History's 'Hatfields & McCoys'

TV veteran discusses landing Kevin Costner and shooting in Transylvania
Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton are the big stars featured in the poster for History's "Hatfields & McCoys."
 
The helmer of "Robin Hood: Prince of Tides" and "Waterworld" gets the "A Kevin Reynolds Film" credit.
 
But before any of those names, as the opening titles roll, the three-night miniseries is "A Leslie Greif Production."
 
The story of America's most famous family feud -- all apologies to Richard Dawson -- has been a passion project several decades in the making for Greif, the founder and CEO of Thinkfactory Media.
 
In addition to "Hatfields & McCoys," Thinkfactory is the company behind "Gene Simmons Family Jewels" and Lifetime's "Intimate Portraits," though Greif may be best known as one of the creators of "Walker, Texas Ranger."
 
I chatted with Greif last week about the long journey to bring "Hatfields & McCoys" to the small screen, the power that comes from Kevin Costner attaching himself to your project and why the story of these bickering clans remains potent to this day.
 
Click through...
 
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<p>Cat Deeley of &quot;So You Think You Can Dance&quot;</p>

Cat Deeley of "So You Think You Can Dance"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'So You Think You Can Dance' Season 9 Premiere - Dallas and New York Auditions

Cat Deeley, Nigel Lytho and company are back for another season

This is how I celebrate my first "American Idol"-free Thursday of the spring?

Weird, right?

Thursday (May 24) night is the two-hour season premiere of FOX's "So You Think You Can Dance" and, in honor of the season-starter, I'm gonna live-blog this sucker. I don't know if this will be a regular thing. In fact, I have my doubts for a few reasons:

1) I already know I probably won't be able to do next week, so I'm not going to get a Lou Gehrig-style streak going. 

2) I actually like "So You Think You Can Dance," but as a viewer. I'm not sure I feel the same way as a recapper. 

3) I don't know a darned thing about how to critique dancing, so I fear that my commentary will be full of empty words like "bendy" and "ab-tastic."

4) I don't know if anybody cares enough to read.

But for the purposes of the premiere? Let's get some live-blogging action going. And if you want more, read and comment and stuff...

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<p>Phillip Phillips, Jessica Sanchez and Ryan Seacrest of &quot;American Idol&quot;</p>

Phillip Phillips, Jessica Sanchez and Ryan Seacrest of "American Idol"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' Season 11 Finale - The winner is...

Would Phillip Phillips or Jessica Sanchez be our new Idol?

When it comes to predicting "American Idol" winners early, I have a mixed track record. 

I underestimated both Kris Allen and Lee DeWyze dramatically, but I also knew after last season's Top 24 performances that Scotty McCreery was going to be unbeatable. 

This season, back in January, I fought with clunky Park City wireless to recap the "Idol" premiere the night before the start of the Sundance Film Festival. You can check out my recap here and you can scan all the way to the bottom to see my reaction to Phillip Phillips. I didn't make any similarly hyperbolic statements in any subsequent audition recaps, so I had a hunch. But I also didn't want to believe that "Idol" would prove to be that excruciatingly predictable, so when it came time to lock in my winner for HitFix's "Idol" Fantasy Game, I settled on Jessica Sanchez the week the game began.

No matter who wins on tonight's (May 23) "American Idol" Season 11 finale, it won't be an underdog. Don't fool yourself into thinking otherwise. Phil-Phil has the familiar "Idol"-winning profile. Jessica has the familiar diva vocals. Either result will make total sense.

But naturally, it's gonna take us 127 minutes (according to FOX) to get there. 

Click through for the full, exhaustive live-blog. And join the conversation as we approach our results.

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<p>Phillip Phillips and Jessica Sanchez of &quot;American Idol&quot;</p>

Phillip Phillips and Jessica Sanchez of "American Idol"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' Season 11 Finale - Performances

Phillip Phillips and Jessica Sanchez go head-to-head for America's votes

It's "American Idol" Finale week!

After five months of auditions and performances and eliminations, we've come down an entirely logical finale: It's a showdown between the season's Best White Guy With a Guitar and the season's Most Talented Teenage Girl.

If you've been following "Idol" voting for a while, this is the matchup most likely to produce drama and this season does, indeed, seem to be up for grabs. 

My instinct is that although we may assume Phil-Phil is the favorite, for demographic reasons, he's more than capable of turning in a lackluster finale night performance, while Jessica is more than capable of dominating a head-to-head sing-off.

Click through for tonight's songs...

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<p>Hugh Laurie of &quot;House&quot;</p>

Hugh Laurie of "House"

Credit: FOX

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 130

Dan and Alan talk 'Community,' 'House,' 'Mad Men' and 'Men at Work'

The

Happy Tuesday, Boys & Girls.
 
Time for a fairly lengthy installment of The Firewall & Iceberg podcast, which includes a dismissive review of TBS' "Men at Work," plus thoughts on the "Community," "Grey's Anatomy," "Scandal" and "House" finales. We also talked "Mad Men" and, because a few people wanted to hear it, we talked "Avengers."
 
And we also announced the Firewall & Iceberg Summer Re-Watch show for 2012!
 
Since we spoiled a lot of things in a lot of sections, pay close attention to the times if you don't want things spoiled...
 
This week's breakdown:
Tessa's Mom Candidates (00:01:30 - 00:05:00)
"Men at Work" (00:05:00 - 00:10:45)
"Community" finale/Dan Harmon (00:10:45 - 00:28:00)
"Grey's Anatomy"/"Scandal" finales (00:28:10 - 00:45:45)
"House" finale (00:45:45 - 00:58:45)
Listener Mail - "Breaking Bad" premiere (00:59:00 - 01:03:45)
"Mad Men" (01:03:50 - 01:20:00)
"Avengers" (01:20:10 - 01:36:00)
Our Summer Re-Watch Announcement (01:36:10 - 01:39:25)
 

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.

<p>Ken Jeong of &quot;Community&quot;</p>

Ken Jeong of "Community"

Credit: NBC

Dan Harmon is out as 'Community' showrunner, David Guarascio and Moses Port are in

The long-expected bad news for 'Community' fans came on Friday night
The other shoe has dropped for NBC's "Community," its creative team and its fans.
 
One week after the co-mingled good news/bad news proposition of NBC ordering 13 additional episodes for the low-rated comedy while rumors swirled that showrunner Dan Harmon wouldn't be returning, it has been officially revealed that Harmon is out at "Community," confirmation that broke only a day after the three-episode finale that left many (most?) fans rhapsodic. 
 
In a traditional Friday news dump, word of Harmon's exit -- you can call it "firing" or just "Sony Pictures TV opting not to renew his deal" -- hit the Internet late evening Eastern Time along with the added information that "Happy Endings" and "Aliens in America" veterans David Guarascio and Moses Port will take over as showrunners for next season. 
 
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Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 129
Credit: NBC

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 129

Dan and Alan talk CBS and CW upfronts, plus spring finales

The

Happy Friday, Boys & Girls.
 
As promised, it's a bonus installment of The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast.
 
We start with CBS & The CW's upfronts and the news associated with that, then we answered a pilot of upfronts-related mail and then delved into a slew of finales, including "How I Met Your Mother" and "Smash."
 
In order to fit the "House" finale into our next podcast, we'll be waiting til Tuesday. But with two podcasts this week, we're sure you can wait that extra day. 
 
Oh and we didn't mention it on this week's podcast, but next week we're going to announce our Summer Rewatch. So GET EXCITED!!!!
 
Friday's breakdown:
Upfronts - CBS and The CW (00:00:50 - 00:25:30)
Upfronts-themed Letters (00:25:50 - 00:39:40)
"Parks and Recreation" finale (00:39:45 - 00:46:15)
"How I Met Your Mother" finale (00:46:20 - 00:54:00)
"Smash" finale (00:54:00 - 01:03:00)
"Suburgatory" (01:03:00 - 01:14:30)

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.

<p>Phillip, Jessica and Joshua of &quot;American Idol&quot;</p>

Phillip, Jessica and Joshua of "American Idol"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' Top 3 Results - Who makes The Finals?

Will Jessica, Phillip or Joshua be heading home? Well, yes. One of them.

I couldn't make a prediction.

At least not in the picture accompanying this recap.

Since the season began, each week I've been putting a picture with my Thursday recaps of one singer I was certain wasn't going home and every week I'e been right. That's not saying all that much, but still... 

This week, though, I can't do it. Either Jessica Sanchez, Phillip Phillips or Joshua Ledet is going home and I don't have a clue who it will be. So I made a handy triptych. I'm confident one of those three singers will be voted out.

Yup. See that limb? I'm way out on it.

Click through for the full recap of the unpredictable (or unpredicted) results...

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