<p>Kristen Bell</p>

Kristen Bell

Credit: Jordan Strauss/AP

Film Independent Spirit Awards 2015 Live-Blog

'Birdman' and 'Boyhood' go head-to-head for the last time before Sunday's Academy Awards

HitFix Award Gurus Kris Tapley and Greg Ellwood are both attending Saturday's Film Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday (February 21) afternoon in Santa Monica and they left me to handle HitFix's Independent Spirit Awards Winners & Losers list. 

And once I'm watching Saturday's show, I might as well be live-blogging Saturday's show as preparation for Sunday's Oscars live-blog, especially since is the last time that "Birdman" and "Boyhood" will be going head-to-head for Best Picture (along with "Selma" and "Whiplash") before the Academy Awards.

So follow along and say "Hi" in the comments below...

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<p>&quot;Blue Bloods&quot;</p>

"Blue Bloods"

Credit: CBS

TV Ratings: 'Shark Tank,' 'Blue Bloods' lead Friday while 'SNL 40' boosts NBC

NBC takes second in the key demo, but ABC and CBS get normal split

Fast National ratings for February 20, 2015.

As usual, ABC's "Shark Tank" and CBS' "Blue Bloods" led their networks to Friday wins among young viewers and overall, respectively.

It was a big night for both shows, as "Shark Tank" had its second biggest audience of the season and tied for a season high in the key demo, while "Blue Bloods" hit a season high among young viewers.

It wasn't all good news for the primetime winners, though, as "Cristela" dipped below The Mulaney Line and "Undercover Boss" shed viewers in its season closer.

Meanwhile, NBC's first encore of the "Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary" special -- expect many, many more encores before the real 40th anniversary in October -- outperformed the network's normal Friday lineup and put NBC in second for the night in the key demo.

And it was yet another solid, lead-in-free performance from "Hart of Dixie" on The CW.

On to the numbers...

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<p>The &quot;Two and a Half Men&quot; series finale</p>

The "Two and a Half Men" series finale

Credit: CBS

TV Ratings: 'Odd Couple' premiere, 'Two and a Half Men' finale boost CBS

'Slap' slips, 'Backstrom' and 'Idol' drop

Fast National ratings for Thursday, February 19, 2015.

A decent premiere for "The Odd Couple" and a solid series finale bump for "Two and a Half Men" helped carry CBS to a Thursday rout overall and to a tie with "Scandal"-driven ABC among young viewers.

With "Odd Couple" outdrawing last week's "Mom" in the 8:30 slot, "American Idol" took a drop for FOX, which in turn led to a drop for "Backstrom," which gave up last week's small gains.

Also looking ugly was the second week of "The Slap," which dipped below The Mulaney Line for NBC. Also staying below a 1.0 in the key demo was the third week of the struggling "Allegiance." Wedging between those two drama duds, "The Blacklist" hit a series low in viewers, but remained flat in the key demo.

On to the numbers...

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<p>&quot;Two and a Half Men&quot;</p>

"Two and a Half Men"

Credit: CBS

'Two and a Half Men' finale recap - The Truth About Charlie

Did Charlie Sheen show up? Did Angus T. Jones? Who got the last laugh?

CBS' "Two and a Half Men" ended on Thursday (February 19) night after 12 seasons and a whopping 262 episodes.

It was a show that relied heavily on puns and hack dirty jokes, a sitcom that went on far too long -- between five years and 12 years, depending on who you ask -- and ground a premise that was almost impossible to logically justify into the ground.

But don't take my word for it. 

Ask "Two and a Half Men"!

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<p>Trevor Douglas of &quot;American Idol&quot;</p>

Trevor Douglas of "American Idol"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' Season 14 - 'Showcase #2' - Completing the Top 24

Trevor Douglas and other 'Idol' hopefuls learn their fates

We're back!

Last night, "American Idol" filled half of its Season 14 Top 24, leaving another 12 House of Blues performances to hint at, another 12 Green Mile walks to tease and probably several more moments of awkwardness that hopefully won't be as bad as what went down last night with Maddie Walker and Rachel Hallack

Be decisive "Idol" judges! And don't dick little kids around.

And now... Thursday's (February 19) episode...

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<p>Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson of &quot;Empire&quot;</p>

Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson of "Empire"

Credit: FOX

TV Ratings: Inexorable 'Empire' rise continues against 'Mentalist' finale

The CW's 'Arrow' and NBC's 'Chicago PD' rise

Fast National ratings for Wednesday, February 18, 2015.

For the sixth straight week, FOX's "Empire" grew in viewers and for the fifth time in six weeks the odds-defying juggernaut rose among young viewers, joining the flat "American Idol" to help FOX dominate Wednesday in all measures.

Wednesday's series finale for "The Mentalist" was up from last week's episode in viewers, but down in the key demo, while "Modern Family," "Nashville" and "Stalker" were also down.

After finishing last week in a three-week 10 p.m. tie in the key demo, "Chicago PD" had first to itself after a nice bump, which was boosted by an up week for "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit." The CW's "Arrow" also rose.

On to the numbers...

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<p>The Season 3 premiere of &quot;Vikings&quot;</p>

The Season 3 premiere of "Vikings"

Credit: History

Review: History's 'Vikings' returns for Season 3 with something for everyone

HitFix
B+
Readers
n/a
From bearded macho-men to TV's fiercest female characters, there's a lot to like

History's "Vikings" returns for its third season on Thursday (February 19) night and through three episodes, I can safely say that Michael Hirst's saga of pillaging and migration remains everything it has been almost from its premiere. 

Over two seasons, "Vikings" has delivered solidly above-average thrills that exceed the requirements of its basic cable home. The show has a passionate audience already, but I'm reasonably sure there's a far larger audience out there that would get a kick out of "Vikings," because it really is one of those shows that check a wide number of demographic boxes.

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<p>Daniel Seavey of &quot;American Idol&quot;</p>

Daniel Seavey of "American Idol"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' Season 14 - 'Showcase #1' - Meet half of the Top 24

Competitors take the stage at House of Blues in a new 'Idol' round

And now for something completely different.

Slightly different?

For the first time, "American Idol" is doing a Showcase Round, featuring solo performances from the Top 48. How will the performances be laid out? How will the judges make decisions based on the performances? How many performances are we actually going to see over the next two nights?

Click through and follow my recap of Wednesday's (February 18) show as we find out the answers together...

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<p>Haz Sleiman of &quot;Killing Jesus&quot;</p>

Haz Sleiman of "Killing Jesus"

Credit: National Geographic Channels/Kent Eanes

'Killing Jesus' Exclusive: First look at NatGeo's Jesus, Pilate and more

We have your first pictures of Haaz Sleiman, Kelsey Grammer and more

Back in late October, I spent three days hovering in the corners of The Temple in Jerusalem, or at least perched to the sides of an elaborate set in Ouarzazate, Morocco watching production on National Geographic's "Killing Jesus."

I saw Haaz Sleiman's Jesus cast out some money lenders, watched Rufus Sewell's Caiaphas try to stir a mob against Jesus and witnessed Kelsey Grammer in priestly robes go up and down the same set of steps a dozen times. 

The third NatGeo adaptation from Bill O'Reilly's "Killing" series was directed by Christopher Menual and written by Walon Green and its cast is about as eclectic as one could possibly imagine, featuring Vampire Bill (Stephen Moyer as Pontius Pilate), Gimli (John Rhys-Davies as Annas), Sloan (Emmanuelle Chriqui as Herodias) and NBC Motorcycle Doctor (Eoin Macken as Herod Antipas).

I'll have much more on "Killing Jesus" as we get closer the Sunday, March 29 premiere date announced this morning by National Geographic. The three-hour telefilm will premiere in 171 countries in 45 languages.

But first, exclusive to HitFix, check out your first pictures of seven "Killing Jesus" stars/characters:

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<p>Tuesday&#39;s &quot;NCIS: New Orleans&quot;</p>

Tuesday's "NCIS: New Orleans"

Credit: CBS

TV Ratings: 'Fresh Off The Boat' rises, down 'NCIS' duo leads CBS Tuesday

'The Flash' beats NBC's 'Parks and Recreation' again

Fast National ratings for Tuesday, February 17, 2015.

"NCIS" and "NCIS: New Orleans" both dipped week-to-week, but CBS still swept Tuesday night for each primetime hour in all measures.

Beyond CBS, the night's top show was ABC's "Fresh Off The Boat," which improved on last week's 8 p.m. episode numbers, though the freshman comedy couldn't tease more than a so-so premiere out of "Repeat After Me." This was an important week for "Fresh Off The Boat," with NBC's "The Voice" likely to bulldoze the competition starting next Tuesday.

Meanwhile, there were small upticks for FOX's 9 p.m. comedies and a small downtick for NBC's "About a Boy."

And the penultimate week of "Parks and Recreation," went up a little, but still couldn't compete with The CW's "The Flash."

On to the numbers...

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