<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
<p>Kristen Schaal of &quot;The Last Man on Earth&quot;</p>

Kristen Schaal of "The Last Man on Earth"

Credit: FOX

'Last Man on Earth' Finale: Kristen Schaal explains Carol's decision

How do Boris Kodjoe and Will Forte compare as on-screen lovers?

Boris Kodjoe versus Will Forte.

It's a romantic choice very few of us ever have to make, but it was the decision facing Carol Pilbasian in Sunday's (May 3_ season finale of "The Last Man on Earth."

Or, to put it a different way, Carol had to decide between Phil Miller and Phil Miller.

And, as the episode concluded, Carol chose Phil "Tandy" Miller, driving away from Tucson with her ex-husband heading who-knows-where with a guy who many, many fans found themselves really disliking around midseason. 

Has Phil changed just because he wrote a romantic song for Carol? Or was this just the latest example of Phil craving something he couldn't have?

We'll see in Season 2.

Last week, after watching an early screening of the "Last Man on Earth" finale, I sat down with Kristen Schaal to talk about Carol's choice, which the "Bob's Burgers" veteran is totally in favor of. 

We also discussed working with Boris Kodjoe, how co-star Mary Steenburgen references her Oscar and why Schaal isn't hoping for more screentime with the cow.

Click through for the full Q&A...

Read Full Post
<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."


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.'


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