Credit: FOX

FOX cancels 'Utopia'

Live-feeds will end on Sunday, while 'MasterChef Juniors' repeats go to Fridays

The inevitable axe has finally fallen for FOX's "Utopia."

FOX confirmed on Sunday (November 2) afternoon that the ambitious year-round reality series "Utopia" has been cancelled effective immediately.

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<p>Matt Ryan of &quot;Constantine&quot;</p>

Matt Ryan of "Constantine"

Credit: NBC

TV Ratings: 'Constantine,' 'Grimm' droop, 'Shark Tank' rises on Halloween Friday

'Blue Bloods' helps CBS lead primetime overall

Fast National ratings for Friday, October 31, 2014.

Despite a 10 percent drop in key demo TV usage, Halloween had no impact on "Blue Bloods" and CBS' normal overall Friday victory, while "Shark Tank" even rose week-to-week in helping ABC dominate among young viewers. 

Also rising on Friday were "The Amazing Race," "Last Man Standing" and "Hawaii Five-0," at least in total viewers.

But it should come as no surprise that Halloween took a big bite out of NBC's "Grimm" and an even bigger bite out of "Constantine" in its second airing. 

As ugly as NBC's "Constantine" numbers are, they're still pretty compared to what FOX's "Utopia" is doing these days. 

On to Friday's ratings...

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<p>Friday&#39;s &quot;The Amazing Race&quot;</p>

Friday's "The Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'The Amazing Race' - 'I Feel Like I Just Kissed a Goat'

The teams stay in Morocco where good directions are hard to find

Embargos and NDAs aside, in four or five months, I'll be able to let readers know why it was so amusing to me that "The Amazing Race" spent a second consecutive Leg traveling through Morocco on Friday (October 31) night.

That amusement held sway even though Friday's Leg was, as we've almost come to expect from "The Amazing Race" this season, a mixed bag of really good tasks, confusingly confusing tasks and gratuitously complicated tasks. It was a Leg that made me build more appreciation for the teams I already liked, gave a couple unexpected stars the chance to shine, but also failed to generate even an iota of tension or excitement surrounding its result. 

But I liked the scenery, I liked the Greeter with the chicken on his head and I'm sure that this "Amazing Race" episode set a record for most goat teat close-ups.

And, staring down an impressive wall of exhaustion, let's talk a little bit more about Friday's "Amazing Race" after the break...

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<p>A to Z</p>

A to Z

Credit: NBC

'A to Z' and 'Bad Judge' will end after 13 episodes on NBC

Low-rated comedies were both below the Mulaney Line this week

"A to Zed" is dead, baby. "A to Zed" is dead.

That would be funnier if you happen to be a Canadian "Pulp Fiction" fan.

NBC confirmed on Friday (October 31) afternoon that both "A to Z" and "Bad Judge" will complete their 13-episode runs, but won't go further than that. 

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<p>Baylor cries</p>

Baylor cries

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Survivor: San Juan Del Sur' - 'Make Some Magic Happen'

Baylor cries a lot and Dale attempts a big bluff

[Apologies for the late "Survivor" recap. I've done timely recaps from several far-flung parts of the world in the past, even with strange time zones in play. This week's complication was a near-complete lack of Internet access. But here's my recap anyway... Just for the completists!]

Pre-credit sequence. When we left things, Coyopa had just voted out Kelley for reasons only understood, and maybe not even then, by Mr. & Miss America Jon & Jaclyn. "Tribal was about as bad as it gets," says Dale, voice cracking, as he colorfully refers to complete strangers slaughtering his daughter. I like the rhyme, even if the sentiment confuses me. "It was the roughest thing I've ever watched my daughter go through," Dale says, vowing not to quit until he can't talk anymore. The next morning, Dale is still insecure, suspecting he's next, vowing to do something drastic. That thing is showing Jon his fake Idol, hoping it will give the rival alliance a couple sleepless nights. Dale is appropriately scared.

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<p>Thursday&#39;s &quot;The Big Bang Theory&quot;</p>

Thursday's "The Big Bang Theory"

Credit: CBS

TV Ratings: 'Scandal,' soft 'McCarthys' and 'Elementary' premieres pace Thursday

'A to Z' hangs on the precipice after another weak night

Fast National ratings for Thursday, October 30, 2014.

"Scandal" led ABC to a Thursday night victory among young viewers, while CBS held on to the overall title despite soft premieres for "The McCarthys" and "Elementary."

Even "The Big Bang Theory" was lackluster in its return to Thursday, though the boosted lead-in gave "Mom" a relatively high number.

Perhaps viewers were lured away by night-before-Halloween revelries, or maybe by the off-network Thursday Night Football action, but numbers were generally depressed throughout. 

The ugliest numbers were on NBC where "Bad Judge" slipped below The Mulaney Line to a 0.9 key demo rating and "A to Z" fell to a low enough key demo number that it may be time to keep an eye out for cancellation.

On to all of Thursday's ratings...

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<p>Madison Bumgarner</p>

Madison Bumgarner

Credit: AP

TV Ratings: World Series Game 7 dominates Wednesday for FOX

Final numbers won't be in until later, but America loved Madison Bumgarner

Fast National ratings for Wednesday, October 29, 2014.

A thrilling Game 7 of the World Series led FOX to a Wednesday night ratings win as dominant as Madison Bumgarner's pitching performance in relief, while "Black-ish" was up from last week and "The Mysteries of Laura" continued to slip.

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Credit: CBS

Review: CBS’ ‘Mom’ returns as one of network TV’s most unique comedies

Allison Janney’s Emmy-winning performance is only one highlight of this multi-cam dramedy
When I do my Take Me To The Pilots entries each summer, I try to make them an optimistic survey of the season's new network shows.
Yes, I tear a few awful pilots to shreds, but all appearances to the contrary, I'm a genuinely generous viewer of new shows, especially new comedies, since we all know that landing on solid footing is slightly easier for a drama pilot than a sitcom.
Whenever I look at a pilot, I say "What is the pilot? And what is the show it's likely to become?" And in that process, the multi-part third question, phrased in different ways, is, "What is the best version of this show and what is the worst version and which potential outcome is more likely?"
So I look at something like the "2 Broke Girls" pilot and I could acknowledge that if the show were to focus on Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs, if it were to find a clear through-line and stop wallowing in the blatant racism, xenophobia and complacent humor of the diner scenes, it might become a good show.
I watched a solid three seasons of "2 Broke Girls" before giving up on its ability or desire to become that better version of itself. Michael Patrick King and company are content with lazy stereotypes and double entendres and... That's their business. 
When it came to CBS' "Mom," last summer I wrote, "A version of 'Mom' that I would watch would continue to keep the recovery thread as close to the surface as possible, because that melancholy shading would benefit [Anna] Faris and also benefit Allison Janney, who is fine here, but isn't asked to do nearly enough." And I compared it to "2 Broke Girls," as if to pre-guarantee my disappointment, to cover for my resignation.
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<p>Kevin Zegers of &quot;Gracepoint&quot;</p>

Kevin Zegers of "Gracepoint"

Credit: FOX

Interviewer: 'Gracepoint' co-star Kevin Zegers on opening the door to suspicion

Check out two different interviews with the 'Gossip Girl' veteran

VICTORIA, BC. The fifth episode of "Gracepoint," the one airing on FOX this Thursday (October 30) night, features an absolutely dynamic scene between Kevin Zegers and Nick Nolte, exactly the kind of superb acting that's capable of carrying "Gracepoint" even if it remains a nearly beat-for-beat copy of "Broadchurch." [Two more episodes of similarity before, as promised, things deviate in Episode 7.]

Of course, I didn't necessarily know about the scene or when it would fit into the "Gracepoint" order when I sat down with Zegers in May in a leaky tent next to the British Columbia beach being used to shoot promotional images.

Instead, we talked about the approach Zegers was taking to his character, fledgling journalist Owen Burke, that would make him different from his "Broadchurch" equivalent." Specifically, Zegers emphasized his willingness to play Owen as a possible suspect in the murder of Danny Solano, making him at least a plausible killer, if not a likely suspect.

When I met with Zegers and co-star Jessica Lucas in May, I'd seen that Nick Nolte scene and we were able to discuss it on video.

So as I did with Michael Peña a few weeks ago, I'm doubling up on Zegers and Lucas interviews this week. 

Above, you can watch the two actors discuss their role and, specifically, the intimidation of Mr. Nolte.

And below, you can read my Q&A with Zegers from the "Gracepoint" set. 

"Gracepoint" airs on Thursdays at 9 p.m. on FOX.

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Eliza Taylor of "The 100"
Eliza Taylor of "The 100"
Credit: The CW

'The 100' star Eliza Taylor on the season's mysterious new status quo

Plus, several other cryptic teases about 'The 100' Season 2

VANCOUVER, BC. I didn't get to write about it, but The CW's "The 100" got off to a promising start last week. 

I didn't especially like the post-apocalyptic drama when it launched last spring, but I've come to appreciate its regular doses of oddly edgy lunacy -- unpredictably deaths, unpredictably gory deaths, inappropriately timed sexual conquests, etc -- and also plotting so exhausting -- Grounders and Reapers and Mountain Men, Oh My -- that whenever I attempt to pay attention to what's happening, keeping up requires so much effort I almost have to set my quibbles aside.

In the premiere, we saw Eliza Taylor's Clarke begin to try to unravel the mysteries of Mount Weather, a seemingly civilized group of radiation avoiders she just knows are suspicious. We're also suspicious, because any group that has Raymond "Arlo Givens" Barry as its leader is up to no good. Plus, when was the last time a pack of starving people in a dystopia environment encountered a well-fed group with ample supplies of chocolate cake without something sketchy being afoot.

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