Congratulations, with myriad caveats, to "Game of Thrones" for becoming the most popular series in HBO's history, at least in some ways of measuring these things.
HBO proudly announced on Thursday (June 5) that the current fourth season of "Game of Thrones" is averaging a gross audience of 18.4 million viewers. That surpasses the 2002 season of "The Sopranos," which had an average gross audience of 18.2 million viewers.
Fast National ratings for Wednesday, June 4, 2014.
The Stanley Cup opener, an OT thriller between the Kings and Rangers, gave NBC strong enough demo numbers to lead Wednesday among young viewers, but the hockey showdown had much less juice overall where NBC finished fourth for the night. In total viewers, it was CBS on top, with a repeat of "Criminal Minds" standing as Wednesday's most watched show.
Game 1 of the Stanley Cup was down 29 percent from last year's Game 1 between Boston and Chicago, but that's at least partially a function of time zones given that much of this year's opener aired out of primetime in the Los Angeles market.
Among other notables, FOX saw only a small decline for the second week of "So You Think You Can Dance," The CW's "The 100" was steady in the demo (down overall) and ABC's "Motive" got a pretty big week-to-week bump for some reason.
LONDON - Tom Cruise remains one of the world's biggest movie stars and "Edge of Tomorrow" is being promoted around his presence. It hasn't been promoted with nearly the same aggressiveness that if you've ever wanted to see Tom Cruise die, "Edge of Tomorrow" has you more than covered.
"I loved killing him and he seemed to love being killed probably even more than I loved killing him," gushed "Edge of Tomorrow" director Doug Liman when we sat down at the movie's London press junket last week.
Liman is, indeed, very enthusiastic about the process of repeatedly killing the star of "Top Gun," "Risky Business" and "Mission: Impossible." He's also excited about this latest evolution in his career as a gifted action practitioner and the chance to branch out from the way he presented action in "Mr. & Mrs. Smith," "Go" and "The Bourne Identity."
I agree with HitFix's Drew McWeeny that, for the most part, Liman's efforts to creatively kill Tom Cruise pay off.
Check out my full conversation with Doug Liman above.
It's time for another installment of The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast.
On Tuesday's Video Show, we reviewed TVLand's much-anticipated "Jennifer Falls." Oh and we also talked about "Orange Is The New Black," "Silicon Valley" and Kevin Reilly.
Wednesday's podcast was going to be a bit light, but Sepinwall asked for questions, so we ended up with a bunch of questions to answer, plus a discussion of Sunday's "Game of Thrones." Oh and we also kinda reviewed TNT's "Murder in the First."
And then we unveiled this summer's Podcast Rewatch. Woo!
So lots to discuss.
"Murder in the First" (00:01:50 - 00:12:20)
Listener Mail - Phil Hartman (00:12:50 - 00:15:10)
Listener Mail - "Game of Thrones" production (00:15:10 - 0016:50)
Listener Mail - Movies-to-TV (00:16:50 - 00:24:40)
Listener Mail - "Fargo" vs. "True Detective" (00:24:40 - 00:37:45)
Sunday's "Game of Thrones" (00:37:45 - 00:55:45)
The Summer Podcast Rewatch Announcement (00:55:45 - 00:59:40)
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.]
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.
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.
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.
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.