Credit: NBC

TV Ratings: Decent 'Undateable' start helps NBC Tuesday, 'iZombie' is OK too

'One Big Happy' also contributes to NBC's primetime wins

Fast National ratings for Tuesday, March 17, 2015.

While it was "The Voice" and "Chicago Fire" that really paved the way for NBC's Tuesday wins, the "Undateable"/"One Big Happy" comedy block got off to an OK start and certainly didn't prevent those Tuesday wins.

"Undateable" and "One Big Happy" took advantage of a 9 p.m. hour in which "NCIS: New Orleans" and "New Girl" were in repeats, but still came in below the fall premieres for "Marry Me" and "About a Boy," though they were in line with the second week for those comedies, so we'll see how the numbers look next Tuesday.

Without a new "NCIS: New Orleans," ABC's "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." ticked up week-to-week.

Tuesday's other big premiere was The CW's "iZombie," which had a low-ish "Flash" return as its lead-in, but debuted to numbers comparable to what "Supernatural" had been doing in the time period. Helped by all of the competing repeats, The CW spent a rare night in second place among young viewers.

On to the Tuesday ratings...

Read Full Post
'iZombie' co-star Aly Michalka explains not noticing your roommate is a zombie

'iZombie' co-star Aly Michalka explains not noticing your roommate is a zombie

'Hellcats' veteran stopped by the HitFix offices to discuss her new CW series

A very odd thing happens to Olivia Moore in the opening minutes of The CW's "iZombie."

To be general, she becomes a zombie.

To be specific, her hair goes shock-white, her skin grows pale, she goes all raccoon-eyed, she dumps her perfect fiancé, she takes a major detour in her medical career and she starts eating brains.

Leaving the different organ consumption aside, most of Liv's changes are external and they're mostly very noticeable. 

One of the funnier things in "iZombie" is that while family and friends aren't utterly oblivious to the transformation, they're certainly oddly blasé.

In "iZombie," Liv's best friend and roommate Peyton (Aly Michalka) is busy starting her law career and I guess that somewhat explains how she's able to live with a zombie for several months without beginning to put together the pieces in any way.

Last week, Aly Michalka stopped by the HitFix studio to try to give an explanation for Peyton's limited awareness. 

I also chatted with Michalka about what drew her to "iZombie" and the chance to leap from her law-curious character in "Hellcats" to a full-blown lawyer for her latest CW offering. 

Check out the full interview above.

"iZombie" premieres on Tuesday (March 17) night at 9 p.m. on The CW.

Read Full Post
<p>&quot;One Big Happy&quot;</p>

"One Big Happy"

Credit: NBC

Review: ‘One Big Happy’ illustrates sad state of NBC comedy brand

'Undateable' is better, but still needs to become more consistent

With "Parks and Recreation" ascended to heaven, "Community" descended to Yahoo and "Marry Me" and "About a Boy" preparing to evaporate into the ether, you might say that NBC's comedy brand was in jeopardy.

That, however, would make the completely false assumption that NBC has a comedy brand. As the network heads into the heart of the Spring 2015 development season, NBC has a couple half-hour blocks of laugh-intended programming, which does not a "comedy brand" make. 

The network's confusion at its place-filling strategy is evident in the new Tuesday block of "Undateable" and "One Big Happy," which premieres on Tuesday (March 17) with the not insignificant boost of "The Voice," which NBC presumably hopes will prevent the ignominy of a network having to start 100 percent from scratch, comedy-wise, at the May upfronts. On the surface, "Undateable" and "One Big Happy" feel similar, at least if your concept of similar is "All multi-cam comedies are identical and therefore compatible," which seems to be NBC's theory. 

Read Full Post
<p>Tom Cavanagh</p>

Tom Cavanagh

'Flash' star Tom Cavanagh says being Reverse Flash was what drew him to the show

Secret-keeping has been a part of his life for six months now

Going back all the way to upfronts last May, Tom Cavanagh has been mighty coy about the secret identity of Dr. Harrison Wells. 

In January at the Television Critics Association press tour, he finally came out and said point-black that Wells is, indeed, the yellow-clad Reverse Flash and it was only last week that The CW finally came out and released the first image of Cavanagh in the yellow costume.

On Saturday's (March 14) PaleyFest 2015 purple carpet for "Flash" and "Arrow," I asked Cavanagh how long he's been keeping the secret and the answer seems to have been "The whole time."

In fact, as Cavanagh pantomimes in the interview posted above, it was the lure of getting to play Reverse Flash that caused him to stay in the room with the "Flash" producers last pilot season.

Cavanagh also talks about the challenges of secret keeping, his hesitation to sign a non-disclosure agreement and the process of actually getting to try on his Reverse Flash suit.

Check out the full interview above and also my chat with "Flash" star Grant Gustin and my interview with "Flash"/"Arrow" EP Greg Berlanti.

"The Flash" returns to The CW tonight (March 17).

Read Full Post
<p>The &quot;Man Seeking Woman&quot; season finale</p>

The "Man Seeking Woman" season finale

Credit: FXX

HitFix First Look: 'Man Seeking Woman' finale goes to the ends of the Earth

Season 1 is ending, but FXX renewed the Jay Baruchel comedy last week

FXX's "Man Seeking Woman" has its season finale on Wednesday (March 18) night at 10:30 with an episode titled "Scepter."

Fortunately for fans of the frequently absurd romantic fantasia, FXX announced a second season renewal last week for the Jay Baruchel comic vehicle.

Last week's "Man Seeking Woman," which FXX kept referring to as "Woman Seeking Man," was one of my favorite episodes to date. After eight episodes of often inspired, but occasionally repetitive, glimpses of heightened romance through the eyes of Baruchel's Josh, the episode titled "Teacup" inverted the formula and followed Britt Lower's Liz for 30 minutes.

Read Full Post
<p>The Season 20 &quot;Dancing with the Stars&quot; cast</p>

The Season 20 "Dancing with the Stars" cast

Credit: ABC

TV Ratings: Mixed 'Dancing' premiere eats into 'Voice' as ABC, NBC split Monday

'Scorpion' repeat easily beats FOX's 'The Following'

Fast National ratings for Monday, March 16, 2015.

The 20th season premiere for ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" was down from the September launch among young viewers, but up in viewers as ABC won Monday overall. And while "Dancing" took a bite out of "The Voice," NBC still had no trouble winning the night among young viewers.

Most of Monday's variations were very minor shifts, including slight down-ticks for "Mike & Molly" and "Jane the Virgin," but a tiny bump for "The Originals."

Let's just get to the numbers...

Read Full Post


Credit: Yahoo

Interview: 'Community' star Jim Rash on The Dean's sexuality, directing and more

What's in store for Dean Pelton and how does Yahoo "Community" feel different?

The cast of "Community" has come a long way from where they were when the comedy premiered on NBC in 2009 to where they are now as "Community" begins its latest rebirth on Yahoo. Not to take anything away from the career arcs of Gillian Jacobs, Danny Pudi or Alison Brie, but Jim Rash's journey from comic day player perhaps best known for a resemblance to Moby to beloved supporting performer, Oscar-winning screenwriter and acclaimed indie director seems like the biggest leap.

As the cast of "Community" has shifted in recent years, Rash's Dean Pelton has become increasingly central and as Rash's creative profile has grown, thanks to "The Descendants" and "The Way Way Back," he was able to write an episode in The Lost Dan Harmon-less Season.

The sixth "Community" season begins on Tuesday (March 17) on Yahoo and Rash has been able to add TV directing to his resume as he and Oscar-winning writing and directing partner Nat Faxon helmed a pair of episodes this season including the Dean-heavy second installment.

I sat down with Rash two weeks ago to talk about the different historical layers of "Community" and whether we're on "Community 2.0" or "3.0" or "4.0" this season, as well as his experience directing on the show. We also discussed the particular and unique creative environment that has allowed nearly every cast member to seek outside writing, directing or producing opportunities during various "Community" hiatuses. And we talked about what his plans are for when "Community" inevitably ends.

Click through for the full Q&A...

Read Full Post
<p>Grant Gustin</p>

Grant Gustin

Grant Gustin explains why 'Flash' won't get too dark, plus The 3 H's of 'Flash'

Why will 'Flash' be able to withstand a spinoff?

For all of its levity, "The Flash" has always had as its backdrop the death of Barry Allen's mother and his father's conviction.

Things took a darker turn in a recent episode when evidence suggested that Young Barry had witnessed time-bending Flash Barry on the night of the murder. This revelation meant two key things: The first, that time-travel was something that might become a part of Barry's skill-set, but the second being the sad knowledge that even by going back in time, Barry hadn't averted the tragedy.

It's the kind of morbid information that could linger as the season progresses, but on Saturday's (March 14) PaleyFest 2015 purple carpet, Grant Gustin told me that hasn't exactly been the case.

Read Full Post
<p>Greg Berlanti</p>

Greg Berlanti

Greg Berlanti compares 'Arrow'/'Flash' spinoff to 'The Magnificent Seven'

In our interview, the ubiquitous producer also explains how he can be so busy

This may not be 100 percent accurate, but if you cover the TV industry, hardly a week seems to go by without producer-writer Greg Berlanti having a pilot picked up.

The "Everwood" and "Brothers and Sisters" veteran has most recently been working to expand the presence of the DC Comics Universe on The CW. 

"Arrow" launched in 2012 and immediately became on of The CW's foundational hits.

"The Flash" was loosely spun out of "Arrow" this season and has become the sort of breakout smash The CW has been search for years, reliably topping some of its competition on other networks.

And it was only a couple weeks ago that it was announced that Berlanti and his team are developing an elaborate "Arrow"/"Flash" spinoff featuring a slew of characters from both shows, including Brandon Routh's Atom, Victor Garber's Firestorm and Wentworth Miller's Captain Cold.

On the PaleyFest 2015 purple carpet on Saturday (March 14), I began my interview (featured above) with Berlanti by asking how many of him there are. His answer, as is always the case, was to be generous about the importance of his collaborators, including Andrew Kreisberg and Marc Guggenheim.

Read Full Post


Credit: NBC

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 272 - 'Jinx' finale, 'Community' and more

Dan and Alan also review 'Bloodline' and 'Undateable'


Happy Monday, Boys & Girls.

It's time for an early-week installment of The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast.

We've got plenty to cover in this podcast, including the return of "Community" and "Undateable," the Netflix premiere of "Bloodline" and Sunday night's chilling series finale of HBO's "The Jinx."

We also answered follow-ups to a couple things we discussed in recent podcasts.

Here's today's breakdown:
"Community" (00:01:25 - 00:13:15)
"Undateable" (00:13:15 - 00:21:15)
"Bloodline" (00:21:15 - 00:32:55)
Listener Mail: TV Character Mt. Rushmores (00:33:10 - 00:40:00)
Listener Mail: Supporting Characters surpassing Leads on Great Shows (00:40:00 - 00:48:40)
"The Jinx" Finale (00:49:10 - 01:17:45)

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.

Read Full Post