All week long our writers will debate: Which was the greatest film year of the past half century. Click here for a complete list of our essays.
I was one of the first to select years for this particular exercise, which probably allowed me to select the correct year. The answer is, of course, 1974 and all other answers are wrong.
No matter what your criteria happens to be, 1974 is going to come out on top. Again, this is not ambiguous or open to debate.
We have to start, of course, with the best of the best.
Fast National ratings for Tuesday, April 28, 2015.
With "NCIS: New Orleans" coming tantalizingly close to moving ahead of the "NCIS" mothership, CBS dominated Tuesday overall and eked out the slimmest of victories in the key demographic.
It was a mixed Tuesday for superheroes. Despite an episode tying heavily into the sure-to-be-blockbuster premiere of the "Avengers" sequel and a "Dancing with the Stars" lead-in, ABC's "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." failed to get any bump. However, The CW's heavily promoted new episode of "The Flash" had a big night.
On the comedy front, FOX's "New Girl" continued to toe The Mulaney Line, NBC's "One Big Happy" slipped below for its finale and "Weird Loners" continued its struggling ways.
With "Weird Loners" so low, the regular CW lineup topped a FOX lineup of FOX's originals in most measures.
On to the numbers...
Happy Tuesday, Boys & Girls! It's time for another installment of The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast!
We podcasted late last week, Friday in fact, so it probably seems like we just had one of these. And we did!
But we've got a great "Mad Men" episode to talk about! And the return of Showtime's "Penny Dreadful."
And since new things are a bit light, we did our first Dan's Reality Roundup in a while and we answered mail including talk about this week's "The Good Wife" and... The Designated Hitter.
Here's today's breakdown:
"Penny Dreadful" (00:01:00 - 00:14:05)
Dan's Reality Roundup (00:14:05 - 00:41:15)
Listener Mail: Kalinda & Alicia on "The Good Wife" (00:41:35 - 53:30)
Listener Mail: The Designated Hitter (00:53:35 - 01:04:30)
"Mad Men" - "Time & Life" (01:04:35 - 01:34:00)
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.
Fast National ratings for Monday, April 27, 2015.
The time period premiere for CBS' "Stalker" couldn't come close to equaling the numbers for "Scorpion," but had little impact on a typical Monday on which "Dancing with the Stars" gave ABC the overall win and "The Voice" led NBC to key demo triumph.
In the psycho-heavy showdown between Kevin Williamson dramas, "Stalker" did manage to thump FOX's "The Following," though "The Following" continues to level well after hitting series lows a couple weeks back.
"Stalker," meanwhile, was up from its last Wednesday episode, and didn't cause a key demo drop for lead-out "NCIS: Los Angeles."
Let's get to the numbers...
Because Live+Same Day ratings don't matter an iota to the network's business plan, HBO has abandoned formal announcements Live+SD ratings, so Monday (April 27) morning represented HBO's first enthusiastic reveal of numbers for the April 12 premiere of "Game of Thrones."
Including linear plays, Live+7 DVR data, HBO OnDemand, HBOGo and HBO Now, the fifth season premiere of "Game of Thrones" has attracted 18.1 million viewers to date, up by 1.2 million from last year's premiere within the same period of time. Of course, HBO Now didn't exist a year ago, but last year the first four episodes weren't leaked illegally ahead of time.
Fast National ratings for Sunday, April 26, 2015.
Renewal hopes for "Secrets and Lies" continue to improve as the ABC drama outdrew "Once Upon a Time" overall and tied with "Once" among young viewers, helping ABC split Sunday night.
ABC may have won Sunday in the key demo, but "Madam Secretary" and "60 Minutes" helped CBS cruise to an easy overall win.
Other Sunday notables included an impressively consistent through-line for FOX's two-hour comedy block, plus NBC's "American Odyssey" falling to halfway between "zero" and "The Mulaney Line" in the key demo.
Let's get to the numbers...
"[H]appy people don’t make TV, most of the time," admits "Survivor: Worlds Apart" veteran Jenn Brown. "It's for drama. You want to see the fights. You want to see the people yelling. But the happy moments? There were so many great moments out there."
You wouldn't necessarily know about those great moments based on how Jenn went out of the game. Two episodes after an Immunity Idol play that represented one of the "Survivor" season's most exciting moments, Jenn was ready to leave the game and tried to convince people to vote against her. Instead, the castaways took the opportunity to get rid of major threat Joe. But one episode later, Jenn was leaving after a decisive vote that saw even allies Shirin and Mike vote against her.
Don't worry, though. Jenn was in on Shirin and Mike's votes. But at the time, she definitely left with a bad taste in her mouth.
"A lot of people sucked super-hard," she said at the time.
In her "Survivor: Worlds Apart" exit interview, Jenn sounds a bit more mellow about her fellow contestants, finding nice things to say about nearly all of them, though she definitely still holds a grudge against Will for his treatment of Shirin.
In our conversation, we talked about her evolving friendship with Shirin, her strategic frustrations with Joe and, most importantly, what the heck she won at the "Survivor" Auction, a giant concoction rendered unintelligible by the episode's editing.
Click through for the full Q&A with Jenn...
Fast National ratings for Friday, April 24, 2015.
It was clear that ABC's Diane Sawyer interview with Bruce Jenner was going to do big numbers, but probably nobody expected this:
The frank and exposing conversation with the Olympic legend, reality star and trans pioneer drew a mind-boggling 16.9 million viewers and a 5.2 rating among adults 18-49 for ABC. The Bruce Jenner interview crushed the competition in all measures as ABC swept Friday night.
A few of ABC's vaunted highlights:
*** This was the top "20/20" in all key demos -- the news key demo is 25-54, rather than 18-49 -- since 2000.
*** It was TV's biggest non-sports Friday broadcast in viewers and the 18-49 demo since 2003 and in the key news demo since 2005.
*** This was also the most social non-sports Friday telecast of all-time.
That's just an early sample and ABC is promising more numbers later.
Note that The CW had a slew of major market preemptions on Friday, so "Cedric's Barber Battle" didn't suddenly become a hit. The numbers are just inflated.
On to the numbers, including more demo details on the Jenner interview...
I want Hayley from "The Amazing Race" to be my new Waze voice.
Is that so much to ask?
FOX keeps teasing me with Waze voices from their shows -- Terry Crews, Tom Mison, Will Forte -- and then pulling them for no good reason. Right now I'm using Vlade Divac and as funny as Vlade has been at times over the years, his directions aren't amusing me and he bumbles "left" and "right" in ways that leave me a bit perplexed, which would cause a real problem were it not for the reality that I rely on Waze to give me a few major points, but I often ignore the little things, like when Waze tries to get me to take left turns onto crowded intersections without lights.
I want Hayley from "The Amazing Race" as my Waze voice so that she can keep telling me the correct way to go and I can follow my own path and every time I shoot by her preferred street, she can shriek at me and as I keep driving further and further past, she can tell me to slow down and listen to her, pausing only to swoon about different cute guys walking down to street, and finally she can just give up and yell, "I'm always right and you never listen!"
Yup. I want Hayley from "The Amazing Race" to be my new Waze voice.
I wonder how long it would take for me to have the hollowed-out eyes and shell-shocked expression that Blair is sporting at this point, a mien that says "If I win a million dollars, this will have been totally worth it, but if somehow we don't win and all we get is one stupid trip somewhere... TOGETHER... I'm gonna utterly snap on Phil Keoghan."
That's my major takeaway from Friday (April 24) night's episode of "The Amazing Race."
What? You got something more dramatic from the episode? Liar.
More after the break...