<p>&quot;Penny Dreadful&quot;</p>

"Penny Dreadful"

Credit: Showtime

Showtime renews 'Penny Dreadful' for an expanded second season

Victorian horror mash-up has played particularly well online and OnDemand

Well, I guess I'm spending my afternoon catching up on the past two episodes of "Penny Dreadful." 

Showtime announced on Wednesday (June 3) morning that the Victorian horror mash-up "Penny Dreadful" has been renewed for a second season.

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<p>&quot;The Night Shift&quot;</p>

"The Night Shift"

Credit: NBC

TV Ratings: 'Night Shift' holds up well after 'AGT' as NBC rules Tuesday

The CW's 'Famous in Twelve' makes only a small ripple

Fast National ratings for Tuesday, June 3, 2014.

Both "America's Got Talent" and "The Night Shift" held up fairly well in their second weeks -- single-digit drops -- and combined to help NBC dominated Tuesday night in all measures. 

On the positive side of other notables, ABC's "Celebrity Wife Swap" finale was up from last week's episode, but "Extreme Weight Loss" was down to balance it out.

The CW's "Famous in Twelve" got off to a less-than-impressive start, but that weak performance is somewhat comparatively mitigated by the continued dwindling of the audience for FOX's "Riot" and "I Wanna Marry 'Harry.'"

And CBS procedural repeats continue to outdraw nearly everything else. 

On to the numbers...

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<p>Corey Stoll</p>

Corey Stoll

Credit: AP

Corey Stoll cast in 'Homeland' - Time to pre-freak about 'The Strain'?

Laila Robins also joins the Showtime drama for Season 4

It happens at least five or six times per year: Actor X, currently a regular on TV Show A, gets cast in TV Show B and fans of TV Show A freak out, because they know this means that Actor X's character is on the verge of dropping down an elevator shaft, getting attacked by bees or having a full episode dedicated to their "wedding."

You want to yell at Actor X's publicists and representation, "Yes, we know you want word to get out that your client is alive and working, but why must you ruin TV for your publicity needs?"

I guess the other alternative is that Actor X's casting in TV Show B means that TV Show A is about to be cancelled and Actor X is just a rat fleeing the sinking ship because, once again, actors like to work and are encouraged to seek steady paychecks.

That was a preamble to today's casting news that "House of Cards" Golden Globe nominee Corey Stoll is joining the fourth season of Showtime's "Homeland," which led to several confused or perplexed or concerned tweets regarding Stoll's future on FX's "The Strain," which hasn't even premiered yet. 

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<p>&quot;American Ninja Warrior&quot;</p>

"American Ninja Warrior"

Credit: NBC

TV Ratings: Rising '24: Live Another Day' and 'Bachelorette' pace Monday split

'American Ninja Warrior' is Monday's best among young viewers

Fast National ratings for Monday, June 2, 2014.

Breaking through an early summer of weak ratings, Monday night actually offered many glimmers of hope for the five networks.

At the top of the heap were ABC, which won overall with the rising "The Bachelorette," while FOX scored a narrow win among young viewers with building episodes of both "MasterChef" and "24: Live Another Day."

But that wasn't the only good news.

NBC's "American Ninja Warrior" got a good week-to-week bump and actually ranked as Monday's top show in the key demographic.

The CW's impressively reliable "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" did good numbers in its summer premiere and boosted the return of the inexplicably renewed "Beauty and the Beast" to numbers that almost could explicate the renewal. 

And "Mistresses" had an OK return on ABC.

On to the numbers...

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'Edge of Tomorrow' star Emily Blunt on making complicated action look 'effortless'

'Edge of Tomorrow' star Emily Blunt on making complicated action look 'effortless'

What was it like for the 'Looper' star to kill Tom Cruise repeated?

LONDON - The first thing that has to be said here is that Tom Cruise's suit from "Edge of Tomorrow" is heavy as heck. It's not just styrofoam or some space-age polymer and it certainly isn't Tom Cruise running around in a green leotard that will be replaced by CGI later.

It's metal. It's weighty. It's constricting. And it's really hard to breathe in, much less deliver a stand-up for HitFix, much less deliver dialogue or attempt to act.

Last week, on a rainy Monday outside of London (also known as "a normal Monday"), I was at Leavesden Studios where the bulk of "Edge of Tomorrow" was filmed and I got to try on Tom Cruise's actual suit from the movie. 

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<p>Peele and Key on &quot;Fargo&quot;</p>

Peele and Key on "Fargo"

Credit: FX

Interview: Jordan Peele on bringing 'Key and Peele' chemistry to 'Fargo'

Why was he surprised to be Pepper and not Budge?

One of the things FX's "Fargo" does best -- and it does many things well -- is taking disparate elements that, from the outside, don't seem like they ought to mesh and then folding them into the batter so fluidly that you can't believe you ever questioned their compatibility in the first place.

In this respect, "Fargo" is an expertly made frittata, somehow light and fluffy despite a seeming surplus of ingredients. 

The ingredients added most recently were Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key, known to Comedy Central fans as Key & Peele. Peele and Key made their first appearance in last week's "Fargo" playing FBI agents Pepper and Budge, introduced sitting in a car outside of an office building that is soon to become the scene of a major massacre. Yes, the character names made me thing of East-West Bowl. Yes, I briefly flashed to other skits from their repertoire -- "Soul Food," their "Wire" parody -- but that flash was ever-so-brief. In no time, Peele and Key were just part of the "Fargo" universe.

The process of integrating Budge and Pepper into the "Fargo" world continues in this Tuesday's episode, as we see the career ramifications from what Lorne Malvo did under their watch. 

I'm spoiling nothing when I say that this week's "Fargo" would be a good one to watch live.

With Key otherwise indisposed, I got on the phone this week with Jordan Peele to discuss how this paired role came about, their initial reservations and why "Fargo" is such a fertile space for acting experiments.

Check out the full Q&A...

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'Sleepy Hollow' stars Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie drop by the HitFix office for an interview

'Sleepy Hollow' stars Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie drop by the HitFix office for an interview

FOX stars discuss their wild 'Sleepy Hollow' year in our studio

With Emmy season approaching -- Ballots go out next week! -- FOX is making a pitch to make sure that voters don't forget how much they might have liked "Sleepy Hollow" when it aired in the fall and early winter.

TV critics didn't forget. Last week, "Sleepy Hollow" earned a Best New Show nomination for the Television Critics Association Awards.

In advance of a big Monday (June 2) evening event at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, "Sleepy Hollow" stars Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie stopped by HitFix's offices to chat about one of the biggest pleasant surprises of the 2013-2014.

When I saw the pilot last summer, I liked its unrepentant craziness, but wondered about its ability to retain that crazy across 13 episodes. Not only did the mixture of witchcraft, pseudo-Biblical mumbo-jumbo, American mythology and American history maintain its lunacy, but it built on its character relationships in amusing and sometimes emotional ways.

A lot of the credit for the show's grounded appeal goes to Mison and Beharie, who had an instant rapport from the pilot on.

In this sit-down at the HitFix offices, we discuss the unexpected success of the first season, the shocking cliffhanger finale and the importance of keeping that momentum going.

Although "Sleepy Hollow" is three episodes into production on the second season, we barely talked at all about that, because I didn't suspect they were going to be forthcoming with spoilers. And that's not really what I care about anyway.

Check out the first half of the interview above.

And the second half below. 

And look for "Sleepy Hollow" on Mondays at 9 p.m. on FOX this fall.

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<p>&quot;State of Affairs&quot;</p>

"State of Affairs"

Credit: NBC

NBC sets Fall 2014 premiere dates from 'Blacklist' to 'Constantine'

'Biggest Loser' comes early, 'Marry Me' and 'Grimm' go late.

NBC formally announced its fall 2014 premiere dates on Monday (June 2) morning and they're mostly in the officially Nielsen-dictated premiere week, with a few key stragglers including "Marry Me" and "Constantine."

Yes, that's pretty boring, but that's what comes from being TV's top-rated network. CBS has been hopelessly devoted to the official premiere week for decades.

There are a couple shows premiering early: Sunday Night Football kicks off on Thursday, September 4 and more linguistically appropriately on Sunday, September 7. And the 16th installment of "The Biggest Loser" starts on Thursday, September 11. 

Then the deluge begins the week of September 22.

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<p>Neil deGrasse Tyson of &quot;Cosmos&quot;</p>

Neil deGrasse Tyson of "Cosmos"

Credit: FOX

TV Ratings: 'Cosmos' and 'Bachelorette' lead Sunday split, while 'Enlisted' return fizzles

'60 Minutes' helps CBS win the night overall

Fast National ratings for Sunday, June 1, 2014.

ABC's two-hour "Bachelorette" special was weak outside of the series' normal Monday home, but still helped the network tie "Cosmos"-fueled FOX for the Sunday night crown among young viewers. Overall, CBS led the way with "60 Minutes," which was Sunday's most watched show.

Despite an admirable guerrilla promotional campaign from the show's creator and stars, canceled-but-beloved "Enlisted" failed to make even a small ripple in its return to primetime, coming in below a repeat of "American Dad." [The "Enlisted" demo number was steady with its most recent Friday airing back in March. But that's not exactly good news.]

There was better news, not that it matters, for NBC's canceled "Believe" and "Crisis," which were both up week-to-week. 

On to the numbers...

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<p>Scoot McNairy of &quot;Halt and Catch Fire&quot;</p>

Scoot McNairy of "Halt and Catch Fire"

Credit: AMC

Interview: Scoot McNairy on 'Halt and Catch Fire'

'Monsters' star also says we haven't seen Gareth Edwards' true capabilities yet

Scoot McNairy had a resume of TV guest spots and indie movie roles when he appeared as one of the two leads in the minimalist creature feature "Monsters." The low-budget film didn't exactly set the global box office on fire, but it served as a calling card for its director, Gareth Edwards.

It also positioned McNairy for a run of character actor ubiquity with memorable roles -- if you happened to see the films -- in "Killing Them Softly," "Promised Land" and "Touchy Feely." He has also become a Best Picture lucky charm with important parts in "Argo" and "12 Years a Slave."

McNairy transitions to TV leading man status in Sunday (June 1) night's premiere of AMC's "Halt and Catch Fire."

In the '80s-set computer drama, McNairy plays Gordon Clark, formerly promising computer wizard who has put many of his ambitions on hold to try to live a more stable life with his wife (fellow "Argo" veteran Kerry Bishe) and kids. Frustrated and disappointed at the direction his career has taken, Gordon gets recruited by newly arrived hotshot Joe MacMillan (Lee Pace) for an ethically problematic project that might be his second and last chance.

You've perhaps already seen my chat with Lee Pace about Joe's motivations and his skills.

Now, here's my conversation with McNairy about what drives Gordon, about reuniting with Bishe, about his own technical acumen and about the impact of "Monsters" on his career.

Check out the full Q&A...

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