<p>&quot;The Simpsons&quot; Season 26</p>

"The Simpsons" Season 26

Credit: FOX

FOX renews 'The Simpsons' through Season 28

Taking us one step closer to the apocalyptic reality implied by Don Hertzfeldt's season-opening couch gag, "The Simpsons" was renewed for two additional seasons on Monday (May 4) afternoon.

This latest renewal, which FOX called a "Double D'OHse" takes "The Simpsons" through its 27th and 28th season, which will bring Matt Groening's creation to 625 episodes.

"I've outlasted Letterman, Jon Stewart and ‘McDreamy,’ because I have something they don’t: a costly 200-donut-a-day addiction," blurbs Homer Simpson, who is a fictional animated character and not a real person capable of giving press release statements.

In its current season, "The Simpsons" is averaging 6 million viewers and a 2.7 rating among adults 18-49. It still ranks among the Top 10 shows on broadcast TV in men 18-34 and male teens.

This past weekend's episode was No.572 for the Emmy-winning favorite.

And, honestly, given the show's production timetable, I'm not sure how this was possibly news. 

But... At least two more seasons of "The Simpsons."

Woo-hoo!

Read Full Post
<p>&quot;The Magicians&quot;</p>

"The Magicians"

Credit: Syfy

Syfy sends 'The Magicians' to series

The adaptation of the Lev Grossman best-sellers will begin production in July

Syfy announced on Monday (May 4) that it has given a series order to "The Magicians," a drama series based on Lev Grossman's best-selling series of books.

Production on the 12-episode first season of "The Magicians" will begin in Vancouver in July.

Read Full Post
<p>The &quot;Lost Horizon&quot; episode of &quot;Mad Men&quot;</p>

The "Lost Horizon" episode of "Mad Men"

Credit: AMC

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 281 - 'Age of Ultron,' Upfronts preview

Dan and Alan also talk 'Mad Men,' 'Grace & Frankie' and 'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'

The

Happy Monday, Boys & Girls!

With Alan traveling this week, it's time for a slightly early installment of The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast.

In this week's episode, we preview next week's upfronts, we review Netflix's "Grace & Frankie" and we talk about/review "Avengers: Age of Ultron" and "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," with spoilers obviously.

And, of course, there was another great episode of "Mad Men" last night, so we discuss roller-skating Peggy, feminist Joan and more from "Lost Horizon."

And we'll be back next week... when we tell you we're back! Follow us on Twitter and whatnot.

Here's today's breakdown:
"Grace & Frankie" (00:00:55 - 00:13:20)
Upfronts Preview (00:13:20 - 00:26:30)
"Avengers: Age of Ultron" and "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." (00:26:30 - 00:42:15)
"Mad Men" - "Lost Horizon" (00:42:16 - 01:05:00)

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 or subscribe on IHeartRadio.] 

 

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

Read Full Post
<p>Tea Leoni of &quot;Madam Secretary&quot;</p>

Tea Leoni of "Madam Secretary"

Credit: CBS

TV Ratings: 'Madam Secretary,' 'Secrets and Lies' finales lead Sunday

'Last Man on Earth' finale helps FOX to second in the key demo

Fast National ratings for Sunday, May 3, 2015.

The finales for "Secrets and Lies" and "Madam Secretary" were Sunday's top shows in the key demographic and overall, respectively, and helped ABC and CBS win primetime in those measures.

"Madam Secretary" was actually down from last week in total viewers and "Secrets and Lies" was flat in the key demo, though the ABC drama rose in viewers and actually built a million-plus viewer advantage over "Once Upon a Time," which has been a recent development.

You know what else beat "Once" overall? "America's Funniest Home Videos."

Let's get to the numbers...

Read Full Post
<p>Ryan Phillippe in ABC&#39;s &quot;Secrets and Lies&quot; finale</p>

Ryan Phillippe in ABC's "Secrets and Lies" finale

Credit: ABC

'Secrets and Lies' Finale: So who the heck killed Tom Murphy? And who cares?

Did Detective Cornell finally get her man or woman?

When "Secrets and Lies" premiered on ABC in March, Sepinwall and I talked about it on the podcast, but nobody wrote a full review.

What I said in my Take Me To The Pilots entry and what I said on the podcast is what I'd have said in my review: In a year of close-ended shows using the death of a child as a catalyst for an investigation or an investigation of grief, "Secrets and Lies" was the most tawdry and sensationalistic, the one most prone to insulting the intelligence of viewers. 

Two months later, same as it ever was, "Secrets and Lies" ended its first season with a seemingly anti-climactic scene and then instructed viewers to go watch one extra scene either online or on some stupid ap or...

Screw that. 

Season 1 of "Secrets and Lies" ended with a slightly ominous car scene between Abby and Christy. Full-stop.

I don't care what happened in that "extra" scene they put online. 

I'm not ABC's monkey and "Secrets and Lies" isn't and wasn't a good enough show for me to be ABC's monkey. 

Anything that happened in that bonus scene that ABC's making people seek out like "Survivor" contestants on the trail of an Immunity Idol is, as Tina from "Bob's Burgers" would say... NON-CANONICAL.

I watched every second of "Secrets and Lies" and usually giggled maniacally at its stupidity, but I'm not going on a field trip to see more. 

After all, I knew who the killer was from the first episode...

[Whodunnit after the break...]

Read Full Post
<p>Things get rough for Phil Miller in the&nbsp;</p>

Things get rough for Phil Miller in the 

Credit: FOX

'Last Man on Earth' Finale: Will Forte explains that last shot and the season's learning curve

Series creator is aware some people didn't love Phil Miller

Sunday (May 3) night's "Last Man on Earth" finale brought Will Forte's Phil Miller full circle, which has been a long, 13-episode process.

First he was the last person on Earth.

Then Carol arrived and he was just the last man on Earth.

Then Todd came and he wasn't even the last man on Earth.

Then there were more people and soon he wasn't even the last Phil Miller on Earth.

Over 13 episodes, Phil went from alone, to living what he thought was the dream, to realizing his dream was a nightmare and, by the finale, he was sent packing by the community that he brought together and he was, briefly, isolated again before Carol look pity on him. 

And, at the very end of the episode, Phil Miller was going off to a different location with the woman he thinks he loves for now, but we discovered that he isn't the only member of his family alive and his brother (Jason Sudeikis, whose picture appeared in the pilot) is "The Last Man in Space," which would be a cool spinoff except that Sudekis is really busy.

Earlier this week, I watched the "Last Man on Earth" season finale and I sat down for a few minutes with creator/producer/star Forte to discuss the arc of the season and what the  outer space climax meant going forward. We also talked about Phil's development and the midseason lull in which some viewers turned on the character.

Click through for the full Q&A.

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

Shirin of "Survivor: Worlds Apart"

Credit: CBS

Interview: Shirin Oskooi talks 'Survivor: Worlds Apart'

Why is Shirin sure she had the votes to win if she hadn't been voted out?

On last week's "Survivor: Worlds Apart," several castaways talked about talking much-maligned underdog Shirin Oskooi to the end because of the assumption that nobody would vote for her.

This was crazy-talk and I figured Shirin would have been a lock for at least four votes.

"Five, bro! I had five Jury votes bro, five," Shirin was quick to tell me when we spoke after Wednesday's "Survivor."

Of course, the fact that we were speaking on Thursday meant that Shirin would actually be receiving zero Jury votes, because she was sent to join the Jury herself in a vote that at least had drama thanks to an Idol bluff from Mike. Sensing an inevitable vote against Shirin, Mike feigned like he was going to give the former White Collar member his Hidden Immunity Idol and suggested the ruling alliance would be wise to cannibalize itself. Mike's move caused a couple surprise votes to go against Dan, but he opted not to actually give Shirin his Idol and she went home.

Shirin still insists she didn't expect Mike's Idol and says that the minor upheaval was, itself, a small victory for Team Shirin.

In general, despite a number of unpleasant "Survivor" interactions, with the aforementioned Dan and more dramatically with Will, Shirin sounds positive about her overall experience.

She's very candid about the mistakes she made in over-aligning with fellow superfan Max to start the season and how she'll be a better player if she gets a chance at Cochran-esque redemption.

Oh and who was the fifth vote she was counting on?

You'll have to read Shirin's whole exit interview below...

Read Full Post
<p>&quot;Blue Bloods&quot; finale</p>

"Blue Bloods" finale

Credit: CBS

TV Ratings: 'Beyond the Tank' premiere, 'Blue Bloods' finale boost Friday split

Wanna know how 'The Messengers' is doing? Not great.

Fast National ratings for Friday, May 1, 2015.

The season finale for "Blue Bloods" was easily Friday's most-watched program and led CBS to victory overall, while "Shark Tank" and "Beyond the Tank" paced ABC's normal Friday key demo domination.

Friday's other notable was the lack of apparent preemptions for The CW, letting us see how numbers for "The Messengers" look without interference. The answer? Pretty awful.

Oh and apparently nobody watched last week's Bruce Jenner interview and thought, "Wow. I should be watching '20/20' every Friday now."

Let's get to Friday's numbers...

Read Full Post
<p>&quot;The Amazing Race&quot;</p>

"The Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'The Amazing Race' - 'Fruits of our Labor'

The teams head to Peru and experience a lot of potatoes

I've been reflecting on Friday (May 1) night's "The Amazing Race" for nearly 20 minutes now and I have to admit this: I have basically nothing to say.

So... Kudos, "The Amazing Race," for cutting together an episode so full of redundant, deja vu moments that I have very little desire to rant or rave or analyze. 

Another episode built around awkwardly wedged in product placement? Sure, why not? Yeah, we've been steadily plugging FitBit all season long, but why not throw in literally the least visually stimulating challenge built around the little fitness bracelets? Yes, tonight's math equation challenge was dull, but it was still less cringeworthy than what "Amazing Race" did with Ford and Travelocity this season. Whatever grace the show once had with product plugs has vanished and now I just cringe whenever a brand name is mentioned. But that's not new. It's been happening all season long.

Another episode built around the amusingly unpleasant interactions between Hayley and Blair? Sure, why not. I don't know how much of it is editing, but you can pretty much take to the bank that every episode is going to have at least one situation in which Blair marches ahead determinedly wrong or stubborn as Hayley runs 10 feet behind him protesting that they went past the correct turn/direction/location previously, with Blair totally ignoring Hayley's yapping and Hayley eventually being vindicated. And Friday's episode started with a vintage passive-aggressive bit of shunning from Blair and the same annoying-but-totally-justified mewling from Hayley. But that's not new. It's been happening all season. [At least Friday's episode also showcased Blair's strengths.]

And another episode in which the team working from the back of the pack never really had a chance to get back into the competition and departed with a drama-free whimper? Yeah, that's happened nearly every week this season. In a season without big, high stakes Detours and Roadblocks, it's been impossible for any pair to either succeed astoundingly at something or fail horrifyingly at something. I assume the producers were going for parity and they achieved it at the top, where three of the four remaining teams have won two Legs apiece and the other team has one Leg, but in negating the chances for excellence, you also negate the chances for failure and you're left without chances for big moves. That's not new. It's been happening all season.

And boy oh boy this all made Friday's Leg a bore.

More after the break...

Read Full Post
<p>NBC&#39;s &quot;Blindspot&quot;</p>

NBC's "Blindspot"

Credit: NBC

'Blindspot,' 'Chicago Med,' 'Heartbreaker' land first NBC series orders

Well, NBC also has 'Shades of Blue' and 'Telenovela' already ordered

TV observers know that while upfronts are the week after next, it's actually next week that ends up being the nonstop maelstrom of renewals, pickups and cancellations.

NBC, which will already get a headstart on the upfront week by announcing its full schedule next weekend, also decided to get a headstart on series pickups, ordering three drama pilots to series on Friday (May 1) afternoon.

Leading the way was no-brainer pickup "Chicago Med," joined by "Blindspot" and "Heartbreaker."

Let's get to what's what:

Read Full Post