<p>Will Arnett assists Julie Chen&#39;s completion of the Ice Bucket Challenge</p>

Will Arnett assists Julie Chen's completion of the Ice Bucket Challenge

Credit: CBS

TV Ratings: 'Rookie Blue' finale rises, but 'Big Brother' still leads Thursday

Of course, NFL preemptions mean these numbers will change

Fast National ratings for Thursday, August 21, 2014.

ABC got a bit of a bump for the two-hour finale of "Rookie Blood," but that wasn't close to enough to push the network past a "Big Bang Theory" repeat and the rising "Big Brother" on Thursday.

We will, of course, have to see how Thursday Night Football impacts the primetime numbers but, as usual, the answer is likely to be "some." ABC had the Philadelphia preemption, while CBS aired football in Pittsburgh. NBC had preemptions in Jacksonville and Indianapolis, but those probably won't matter very much.

On to the numbers...

Read Full Post
FXX's Every Simpsons Ever Marathon: Day 2 - HitFix Picks
Credit: FXX

FXX's Every Simpsons Ever Marathon: Day 2 - HitFix Picks

A magical drink, The Germans, innovative transportation and talking baseball make the cut

[As you probably already know, starting on Thursday, August 21, FXX is running the Every Simpsons Ever Marathon, running through all 552 episodes of "The Simpsons," plus "The Simpsons Movie." To aid in your viewing process, Team HitFix is selecting our favorite episodes from each day, plus an episode or two that you can skip and use as a bathroom or nap break.]

Picking episodes for Day 1 of FXX's Every Simpsons Ever Marathon was relatively easy. Yes, "The Simpsons" was quite fine right off the bat and it only improved as the show moved into its second season, but the fans here at HitFix were able to cobble together a clear list of favorites without any hugely disappointing exclusions.

Day 2 was far more difficult. We have five participants picking episodes here and we each snagged two favorites for the day, which stretches from "Bart's Dog Gets an F" through to "Last Exit to Springfield," or from Episode 29 through Episode 76. 

I think we represented many of the best episodes from this fertile early period, but if I had been about to select four or five, I could have easily done it. 

My greatest regret is that we didn't have room for "Selma's Choice," which has possibly my favorite opening of the entire series -- Homer's refusal to stop eating an extra-long sandwich leads to food poisoning and, as a result, Selma has to take the kids to Duff Gardens -- and it also has Lisa's "I am the Lizard Queen" trip. It's a glorious episode. But if I only had two picks... I'm solid on the two I picked. I wish we could have found room for "Radio Bart" and "Kamp Krusty" and "Stark Raving Dad," with its gloriously odd Michael Jackson cameo.

And here's the scary part: The next two days after this one are even tougher, as we move into what is generally accepted as the show's Golden Age.

Check out our recommendations and chime in with your own favorites...

Read Full Post
<p>One of Wednesday&#39;s &quot;Extant&quot; episodes</p>

One of Wednesday's "Extant" episodes

Credit: CBS

TV Ratings: Double 'Extant,' 'Big Brother,' 'Talent' highlight Wednesday

'Penn & Teller: Fool Us' drew a series high for the night

Fast National ratings for Wednesday, August 20, 2014.

"Big Brother" ranked as Wednesday's top show among young viewers and helped CBS win the night in that measure, while "America's Got Talent" led NBC to an overall victory.

CBS' double-dose of "Extant" was roughly consistent with recent airings and beat "Taxi Brooklyn" overall in the 10 p.m. hour. 

Among other notables, FOX's "So You Think You Can Dance" slipped again, while The CW's "Penn & Teller: Fool Us" rose again, though both variations were relatively miniscule.

On to the numbers...

Read Full Post
FXX's Every Simpsons Ever Marathon: Day 1 - HitFix Picks
Credit: FOX

FXX's Every Simpsons Ever Marathon: Day 1 - HitFix Picks

Which early 'Simpsons' episodes are we looking forward to catching up on?

On Thursday (August 21) morning at 10 a.m. ET, FXX is going to begin its Every Simpsons Ever Marathon, a showcase for 552 episodes of "The Simpsons," plus "The Simpsons Movie."

That's a lot of episodes and if you're a "Simpsons" neophyte, you may be intimidated by the sheer avalanche of yellow-tinged animation. 

Fortunately, we're here to help. The individual fans on Team HitFix are weighing in on one or two episodes per day until even we may collapse under the avalanche of comedic greatness.

And, since we know that nobody can watch 48 episodes per day and remain sane, we'll also recommend an episode or two that you might be able to skip each day if you need to shower, take a quick nap or show love to members of your family. 

Check out our recommendations and chime in with your own favorites...

Read Full Post
'American Horror Story: Freak Show' sets its October premiere date
Credit: FX

'American Horror Story: Freak Show' sets its October premiere date

Michael Chiklis is the big name joining the '50s carnival season

We always knew that the latest installment of Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk's "American Horror Story" would have an October premiere. All three prior installments did, so why should this one be any different?

Now, however, we have an actual premiere date for "American Horror Story: Freak Show."

Read Full Post

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 242

Dan and Alan discuss 'Intruders,' 'BoJack Horseman' and the Emmys

The

Happy Wednesday, Boys & Girls! I was traveling yesterday, so it's time for a slightly delayed installment of the Firewall & Iceberg Podcast. 

Fortunately, there was nothing timely that we missed yesterday, but we have reviews for Netflix "BoJack Horseman" and BBC America's "Intruders," which premiere on Friday and Saturday, respectively. We preview the Emmys a little and we also answered a piece of Listener Mail about writer credits.

And we have a trio of "Friday Night Lights" Season 2 episodes to celebrate this week, including "Pantherama!," "Seeing Other People" and "The Confession," which we discussed in a lengthy and amorphous blob.

Today's breakdown:
"BoJack Horseman" (00:01:10 - 00:09:15)
"Intruders" (00:09:20 - 00:18:40)
The 2014 Emmy Awards (00:18:45 - 00:37:30)
Listener Mail: Writing Credits (00:37:45 - 43:50)
"Friday Night Lights" Season 2 ReWatch (00:43:55 - 01:24:00)

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.

 

<p>&quot;Madam Secretary&quot;</p>

"Madam Secretary"

Credit: CBS

CBS doubles 'Madam Secretary' premiere to combat NFL delay

Tea Leoni drama is being protected from scheduling uncertainty

Well, this is one way to keep your new show from getting lost amidst an inevitable Sunday primetime delay.

CBS announced on Wednesday (August 20) that next month's "Madam Secretary" premiere will get a same-night encore to combat inevitable confusion caused by an NFL doubleheader.

Read Full Post
<p>Tuesday&#39;s &quot;America&#39;s Got Talent&quot;</p>

Tuesday's "America's Got Talent"

Credit: NBC

TV Ratings: Dipping 'America's Got Talent' leads NBC Tuesday, CBS repeats rise

CBS is a close second overall, but can't compete in the key demo

Fast National ratings for Tuesday, August 19, 2014.

With "America's Got Talent" carrying NBC to victory in all measures, Tuesday's other very minor notables included an audience bump for CBS' "NCIS" repeat and a drop for ABC's "Extreme Weight Loss."

NBC's "Food Fighters" got a tiny audience bump, while ABC's "20/20: From Hell" special attracted little interest.

On to the numbers...

Read Full Post
<p>&quot;MasterChef&quot;</p>

"MasterChef"

Credit: FOX

TV Ratings: 'American Ninja Warrior,' 'MasterChef,' 'Under the Dome' lead Monday

The CW had its best Monday since 2011

Fast National ratings for Monday, August 18, 2014.

As usual, "American Ninja Warrior," "MasterChef" and "Under the Dome" were among the Monday night standouts, as NBC, CBS and FOX were all able to claim little bits and pieces of primetime victory.

Meanwhile, the season premiere of "America's Next Top Model" wasn't especially high, but it combined with a pair of strong "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" episodes to help The CW to its best Monday overall since December 2011. This is reflective mostly on what The CW has programmed on Mondays over the years, but so it goes.

When it comes to Monday notables, "Running Wild," "American Ninja Warrior" and "Mistresses" were all down a little, while "MasterChef" and "Hotel Hell" both rose a hair.

On to the numbers...

Read Full Post
<p>Cam Newton</p>

Cam Newton

Credit: AP

TV Ratings: NFL preseason gets FOX preliminary Sunday win

'Big Brother' leads CBS to total viewers win

Fast affiliate ratings for Sunday, August 17, 2014.

Pre-season football and "Big Brother" led to a split in Sunday night's early ratings, with FOX winning the night among young adults, while CBS had the most overall viewers. Keep in mind, much of this is likely to change due to the live nature of football.

Read Full Post