<p>Percy Harvin returns a kickoff for a TD in Super Bowl XLVIII</p>

Percy Harvin returns a kickoff for a TD in Super Bowl XLVIII

Credit: Matt Slocum/AP

TV Ratings: Seahawks' Super Bowl XLVIII rout helps FOX rout Sunday night

Lots of people watch 'New Girl,' but we don't know how many yet
Fast National ratings for Sunday, February 2, 2014.
 
There will probably be no records for Super Bowl viewership this year after a Big Game that was a Seattle Seahawks rout starting from the very first play. Still, FOX dominated Sunday night in all key measures thanks to Super Bowl XLVIII. Duh.
 
The Broncos-Seahawks Super Bowl came in far below last year's Ravens-49ers game in preliminary Fast National ratings, but that's not especially reflective of anything, so don't make any judgments.  
 
It always bears repeating: These are not the ratings for the Super Bowl. These are time period ratings. For the first time in recent memory, the Super Bowl didn't make it into Pacific Time Zone primetime at all. So stay tuned for actual ratings this afternoon. The same is true with "New Girl," which aired its entire post-Super Bowl episode in primetime, starting at 10:20-ish for while, "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" started at 10:50-ish and then extended out of primetime.
 
The other three competing networks were up from last year, albeit not by so much that it's notable.
 
So stay tuned for real FOX numbers later. Here's what we have for now…
Read Full Post
<p>Super Bowl XLVIII</p>

Super Bowl XLVIII

Credit: AP

Super Bowl XLVIII Live-Blog: Commercials, trailers and 2014's Big Game

Chime in on your favorite ads and maybe even on some football

Super Bowl Sunday, Baby!

I'm not gonna lie: Going into the conference final games two weeks ago, there were two teams I would have happily been able to root for and two teams I was, at best, apathetic on. Naturally, the Patriots and 49ers lost, so I have only minimal rooting interest in the Super Bowl itself. I'm half-heartedly rooting for the Seahawks because I like Russell Wilson, as a USC fan I appreciate the good years Pete Carroll gave us (leaving aside the probation), and because I'm always willing to root against Peyton Manning.

Mostly, though, this live-blog will be about the commercials. I know they've all been available online this week, but I've skipped all of them, because what's the fun of a Super Bowl if you've seen all of the ads. I know there's something with a puppy and a horse. I've heard somebody about Tom Hiddleston and Jaguar. But the ads themselves? They're all gonna be new to me.

So click through and join the conversation! Or start the conversation if people aren't talking!

Read Full Post
<p>Donnie Wahlberg also directed Friday's &quot;Blue Bloods&quot;</p>

Donnie Wahlberg also directed Friday's "Blue Bloods"

Credit: CBS

TV Ratings: Big Friday for 'Shark Tank' and 'Blue Bloods' while 'Enlisted' and 'Bones' slip

'Carrie Diaries' finale duplicates last week's numbers
Fast National ratings for Friday, January 31, 2014.
 
All of the normal Friday champs had big nights, with "Hawaii Five-0," "Blue Bloods" and "Undercover Boss" all hitting season highs and "Shark Tank" coming in strong, albeit below last week's series highs, as ABC and CBS scored their normal primetime victories. 
 
While "Shark Tank" may have been down from last week, both "Last Man Standing" and "The Neighbors" were up for ABC.
 
And not only were they season highs for the CBS hour-longs, but you'd have to go back a bit to find any competition. For "Blue Bloods," it was its biggest audience since its series premiere. Yes. Series. And for "Undercover Boss," it was the biggest audience since last February.
 
FOX, in contrast, had a tough night with "Bones," "Enlisted" and "Raising Hope" all dropping, though the numbers for "Bones" were still quite respectable.
 
Finally, the season (series?) finale for The CW's "The Carrie Diaries" duplicated last week's audience in viewers and may have ticked up a hair in total viewers. We'll have to wait and see.
 
On to the numbers...
 
Read Full Post
<p>Jim Parsons and James Earl Jones of &quot;The Big Bang Theory&quot;</p>

Jim Parsons and James Earl Jones of "The Big Bang Theory"

Credit: CBS

TV Ratings: 'Big Bang Theory' thumps 'Idol' to rule Thursday while 'Community' holds

'Rake' takes a big drop for FOX
Fast National ratings for Thursday, January 30, 2014.
 
In their first head-to-head meeting of the season, "The Big Bang Theory" crushed "American Idol" as CBS rolled to primetime wins in all measures.
 
Among several Thursday notables, NBC's "Community" was able to withstand the new "Big Bang" episode, basically duplicating last week's ratings, which weren't exactly great, but sometimes you have to take good-ish news with grains of salt. "Parks and Recreation" was also stable with last week.
 
Meanwhile, "Rake" took a big drop in its second week, proving to be particularly weak in the young demos that have traditionally been the bread and butter for its "American Idol" lead-in.
 
Finally, "The Vampire Diaries" was down a hair for The CW, but "Reign" was flat week-to-week, with counts as good news for that network.
 
On to the numbers...
 
Read Full Post
<p>&quot;American Idol&quot; Omaha auditioner Simon Hauck. It seems unlikely that he's going to be good. But maybe I'll be surprised!</p>

"American Idol" Omaha auditioner Simon Hauck. It seems unlikely that he's going to be good. But maybe I'll be surprised!

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' Season 13 Auditions #6 - Omaha

J-Lo, Keith and Harry head to Nebraska to try to find the next superstar

Apparently we're nearly done with "American Idol" auditions.

And all in the blink of an eye!

Season 13 auditions conclude on Thursday (January 30) night with a talent showcase from Omaha. 

Will it be yet another night of talented guitar players? 

Click through and follow along!

Read Full Post
<p>Kenzie Hall of &quot;American Idol&quot;</p>

Kenzie Hall of "American Idol"

Credit: FOX

TV Ratings: Slipping 'American Idol' leads Wednesday, 'Arrow' rises for The CW

'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit' and 'Chicago PD' also rise
Fast National ratings for Wednesday, January 29, 2014.
 
"American Idol" posted another week of slight declines on Wednesday night, but still dominated primetime in all measures.
 
On a Wednesday that offered a mixture of repeats and originals, NBC's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" and "Chicago PD" capitalized on CBS repeats to rise, along with The CW's "Arrow" and "The Tomorrow People." Predictably, without their comedy hit lead-ins, ABC's "Suburgatory" and "Super Fun Night" were both down, as was NBC's "Revolution."
 
On to the numbers...
 
Read Full Post
<p>Harry Connick Jr.</p>

Harry Connick Jr.

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' Season 13 Auditions #5 - Salt Lake City

The judges head to Utah for yet another two hours of auditions

Just when I think I'm out of Utah, they pull me back in.

After a week in Park City covering the Sundance Film Festival (and still doing my "Idol" recaps), I'm back in Los Angeles, but naturally this week's Wednesday (January 29) audition episode comes to us from... Salt Lake City.

Whee!

Read Full Post
<p>David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel of &quot;Bones&quot;</p>

David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel of "Bones"

Credit: FOX

FOX renews 'Bones' for Season 10 and moves it back to Mondays

'Kitchen Nightmares' is returning to Fridays in late February
FOX has given "Bones" a pair of rewards for successfully moving to Fridays: Another season, plus a move back to Mondays.
 
Yes, the "Bones" Friday move was so successful that it lasted all of seven episodes, including this Friday's airing. "Bones" will then move back to Mondays starting on March 10.
 
And yes, this means yet another shift to FOX's spring schedule. My count may be off, but I believe this is the billionth alteration. [It's probably closer to the fifth or sixth. FOX wouldn't like me to exaggerate.]
 
This comes after years of threats of a Friday move and then the actual shift to Fridays on November 15. "Bones" struggled in its first Friday airing, but has subsequently provided a big boost for FOX on the difficult night. Naturally, it has done so well that it won't continue to air there. 
 
Instead, FOX will premiere a new season of "Kitchen Nightmares" in the Friday 8 p.m. slot, which it has proven its ability to draw roughly half of the audience that "Bones" has been pulling in the past few airings. 
 
This will be the seventh season for "Kitchen Nightmares," which will return on February 28. 
 
And yes, this is not-so-great news for "Enlisted," which got a nice little bump last week in its first airing at 9 p.m. but now will have to air after the less-compatible reality series.
 
But back to "Bones"!
 
FOX also announced that "Bones" has formally been renewed for a 10th season, which is far from a surprise.
 
Two weeks ago at the TCA press tour, FOX Entertainment Chairman Kevin Reilly was, to use the buzz-word of the press tour, "bullish" on the show's chances.
 
"We're negotiating on 'Bones' for another season," Reilly said at the time. "I would anticipate it would be back. We’ve got to make a business deal, but I think we’ll work that out. And I’m really excited. I’m really happy to say that. Stephen Nathan will be running that show next year Stephen’s been with Hart from minute one. Hart’s going to really be focusing on 'Backstrom.'"
 
So yes, everything's coming up Hart Hanson.
 
"Bones" will be taking the place of "Almost Human" on Monday nights, moving back into the familiar 8 p.m. hour after the robot cop drama wraps its first season on March 3.
 
"Almost Human" has been doing solid numbers in that Monday time slot and it remains to be seen what its future holds. Stay tuned!
Read Full Post
<p>Sullivan Stapleton of &quot;300: Rise of an Empire&quot;</p>

Sullivan Stapleton of "300: Rise of an Empire"

Credit: Warner Brothers

Sullivan Stapleton and Eva Green get fierce on the '300: Rise of an Empire' set

'Strike Back' and 'Casino Royale' stars discuss their historical epic
SOFIA, BULGARIA. I've learned few things from my years of movie and TV set visits, but one thing I know for certain: Never dine at an all-you-can-eat buffet with the Greek army.
 
It's early September 2012 at the Nu Boyana film studio on the outskirts of Sofia, Bulgaria and the Greek army is massing upon a repast of stewed steak, heavily sauced meatballs and unadorned, flaky white fish. 
 
There are also potatoes, rolls and platters of deserts, but looking at the soldiers flanking me on all sides, I have my doubts that any carbohydrates are being consumed in the meal room for "300: Rise of an Empire."
 
Craft service tends to be the great equalizer on a movie set, bringing together the burly Teamsters, wiry technicians and all but the highest echelon of stars, but on the "300: Rise of an Empire" set, there are some people out to make a point and that point involves more sit-ups and push-ups than I can wrap my mind around. 
 
Apparently there was a very recent truce called on the set, because buff Greeks and buff Persians are dining side-by-side. All are covered with dirt and dramatically oozing wounds and many have backs marked with loud red whip-lashes. Humility plays no role in this feast, as the warriors chow down in outfits that would make an Olympic diver blush. Oddly, there's a gender divide when it comes to modesty as a stunning woman at the soda station fills her cup dressed in a small, tightly cinched bathrobe. 
 
Read Full Post
<p>Eva Green of &quot;300: Rise of an Empire&quot;</p>

Eva Green of "300: Rise of an Empire"

Credit: Warner Brothers

Set Visit: '300: Rise of an Empire' filmmakers hope to build on '300'

Director Noam Murro and producers talk from the movie's Bulgarian set
SOFIA, BULGARIA. "Show no mercy and give no quarter!" bellows Eva Green, as she strides confidently out of a ship's state room, through a sea of masked men. Wearing a badass, fringed leather tunic with metallic highlights in front and spikes poking out of her back, she paces towards the camera once, twice, three times.
 
"Today, the last Greek ships will be destroyed," she announces over and over again. That first line remains the same with every reading, but Green keeps varying the second line, barking the order in different directions, varying the clarity and the emphasis. 
 
After each take, Green returns to her character's state room. Director Noam Murro isn't making refinements to Green's performance, though. The Persian queen Artemisia is assertive, loud and sexy and she's not the problem. The problem appears to be the obscured men referred to as proto-samurais. They're clad in heavy, layered armor and they're wearing matching versions of what seems to be a more bellicose version of the famed masks of Melpomene, the muse of tragedy. The masks, which come in several complicated pieces, are bedecked with threatening metal dreadlocks, so we may be comparing them to samurai, but a better antecedent might be The Predator. 
 
It's hard in here for a proto-samurai. To begin with, they have to be giving expressive performances, even though their faces are completely covered and they're almost entirely immobile. They can't remove the masks wearing their gloves and they can't remove their gloves without the help of assistants. So between shots, some of the proto-samurai remain in full costume, while others get help from scurrying assistants so that they can get water or scratch an itch. 
 
It probably won't be the case when "300: Rise of an Empire" is released, but on this September day in 2012 at Sofia, Bulgaria's Nu Boyana Studios, the proto-samurai are the stars of the movie. 
 
Read Full Post