<p>Jay Ryan of &quot;Beauty and the Beast&quot;</p>

Jay Ryan of "Beauty and the Beast"

Credit: The CW

CW sets Summer 2014 plans including 'Beauty and the Beast' return

'Seed,' 'Backpackers' and Penn & Teller are also coming this summer

I've said it once and I'll say it again: If you love original filler programming on TV, Summer 2014 will be your Golden Age.

The CW is getting in on the summer programming act, which will come as no surprise to anybody paying attention to the network's steady hoarding of offerings like "Seed" and "Backpackers" and "Penn & Teller: Fool Us," as well as the available backlog of episodes for "Beauty and the Beast."

On Thursday (April 17), The CW set its summer slate, including the long-awaited -- by some people I'm sure -- return of "Beauty and the Beast," which comes two-plus weeks after the network's upfront presentation to advertisers, presumably cementing the drama's chances of a third season. [Short version: The CW makes its own rules, but several bubble dramas would appear to have a better chance of renewal than "Beauty and the Beast" and that doesn't even include spring success "The 100," which would have to really stumble to not get a no-brainer pick-up at this point.]

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First 'Orange Is The New Black' Season 2 trailer welcomes us to the jungle
Credit: Netflix

First 'Orange Is The New Black' Season 2 trailer welcomes us to the jungle

Lorraine Toussaint's Vee is gonna cause some trouble

The first thing you want to know about the first full-length trailer for Season 2 of Netflix's "Orange Is The New Black" is... June 6. Only six more weeks until one of the best shows of 2013 returns. But you already knew that, right?

Of course you did.

The second thing you'll want to know after watching the trailer: The song is Jamie N Commons & X Ambassadors' "Jungle" and yes, you definitely want to download it. [It seems to have something to do with a movie I'd never heard of called "Welcome to Yesterday" that has maybe been retitled "Project Almanac" and won't be out until 2015.

This trailer is, in my critical opinion, kinda awesome a huge two-minute leap forward from both the teaser that accompanied the premiere date announcement, but also the clip reel Netflix submitted for the show's PaleyFest appearance last month.

There are prognostications of doom -- "There's a storm coming." There's Piper being a badass -- "I am a lone wolf and a vicious one. Don't make me rip your throat out." There's a glimpse of Pornstache! A glimpse of Alex! 

There are hints of backstories for several favorite characters, but there are actually a lot of new faces in the trailer, fresh fish who may or may not prove to be important. One fresh fish who will definitely shake things up in Litchfield is Lorraine Toussaint's Vee, who appears to have a past with Red and who gets a terrific first meeting with Crazy Eyes. 

Check out the trailer above.

Yeah, get thee here, June 6!

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<p>Jarl Borg, or as I call him The Cheese</p>

Jarl Borg, or as I call him The Cheese

Credit: History

Interview: 'Vikings' creator Michael Hirst talks 'Blood Eagle' and targeting Paris

Hirst also discusses Lagertha's journey and King Ecbert's fate

On History's "Vikings," a show prone to extended battles, time jumps and portentous prophesies from a hideous seer, an unusual thing happened last Thursday.

I'll pause if you're not caught up on "Vikings" to let you depart, lest you be spoiled.

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<p>&quot;American Idol&quot; judge Jennifer Lopez</p>

"American Idol" judge Jennifer Lopez

Credit: FOX

TV Ratings: Dipping 'American Idol' leads FOX to Wednesday wins, while 'The 100' gets a bump

'Survivor: Cagayan' is Wednesday's top show in most measures

Fast National ratings for Wednesday, April 16, 2014.

With "Criminal Minds" and "CSI" both in repeats, "American Idol" was able to post week-to-week declines and lose the 8 p.m. hour to "Survivor: Cagayan," but still win Wednesday primetime in all measures.

Because the 8 p.m. hour remained competitive, a new "Arrow" posted no real gains for The CW, but against mostly repeats in the 9 p.m. hour, "The 100" was up over last week's "Arrow"-free airing and also returned to 2 million viewers for the first time since its second episode.

On to Wednesday's numbers...

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<p>Tony and Woo chat on &quot;Survivor: Cagayan&quot;</p>

Tony and Woo chat on "Survivor: Cagayan"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Survivor: Cagayan' - 'Bag of Tricks'

Even in a position, one castaway has to resist paranoia

Pre-credit sequence. After voting Morgan out, Solarrion is down to nine. As they return to camp, Tony knocks over all of the torches. He doesn't pick them up. In fact, he wants to cause a little more bedlam. He explains to Spencer that his alliance has been targeting people who don't deserve to be in the game anymore and he wants to know why he's been targeted twice (kinda, since no votes went against him the previous week). Tony says Woo's more athletic and LJ's more athletic and he wants to know why he's been targeted. Tony enjoys being a force of chaos for absolutely NO reason, so he starts demanding explanations for why the minority alliance didn't just come kneel before him and agree to vote Morgan out. Yeah, Tony. That's just how "Survivor" works. "But anyway, I appreciate the compliment," he tells them. He has a 6-3 advantage, but he knows that getting rid of sitting ducks is never that easy. He knows he could be gone tomorrow and he sounds prepared to split up his alliance if necessary. Foreshadowing, baby!

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<p>The &quot;American Idol&quot; Season 13 Top 7</p>

The "American Idol" Season 13 Top 7

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' Season 13 - Top 7 Performances - Competitor's Pick

The 'Idol' finalists sing songs selected by their rivals

I'm intrigued by Wednesday (April 16) night's "American Idol" theme, but I'm also expecting to be disappointed. 

As FOX put it last week, the theme is Competitor's Pick (we'll see if the word choice or punctuation change any) and the gimmick seems to be that each singer received a list of six potential songs selected by their rivals and they got to do one of those songs.

Unfortunately, the "Idol" Finalists keep pretending they're all lovey-dovey besties, which decreases the chances of straight-up sabotage or subversion.

But we can still dream, eh?

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<p>Bill Paxton on Tuesday&#39;s &quot;Marvel&#39;s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.&quot;</p>

Bill Paxton on Tuesday's "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D."

Credit: ABC

TV Ratings: 'S.H.I.E.L.D.' and 'Voice' rise on Tuesday as CBS procedurals hit lows

'Originals' and 'Supernatural' draw small audiences for The CW

Fast National ratings for Tuesday, April 15, 2014.

Rising episodes of "The Voice" and "About a Boy" helped NBC win Tuesday night among young viewers, while CBS' "NCIS"-led procedurals dominated overall despite hovering around series lows in the key demo.

In a special 9 p.m. airing, ABC's "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." got a solid demo bump and a tiny overall uptick, but couldn't do much to help the launch of "Celebrity Wife Swap."

Among other sluggish Tuesday offerings, FOX's "Glee" lost a few viewers from last week, while "New Girl" and "The Mindy Project" were on the low side. Both "The Originals" and "Supernatural" came in week for The CW as well.

On to the numbers...

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Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 226

Dan and Alan talk 'Fargo,' 'Orphan Black,' 'Mad Men,' 'Game of Thrones' and more

The

Happy Tuesday, Boys & Girls!

I'm away from Los Angeles getting my Passover on, so it wasn't possible to do a video show this week. Dry your weeping eyes! Instead, you get a 90-minute installment of The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, just like in the old days. 

And there's a ton of stuff to discuss in this week's podcast, starting with the Tuesday premiere of FX's "Fargo," the return of "Orphan Black" and WGN's new drama "Salem." We talk a bit about Stephen Colbert's big move and what Comedy Central could do with the post-"Daily Show" slot. We do our first in-season "Mad Men" review. And because some stuff went down on Sunday's "Game of Thrones," we discuss that a bit as well. 

Full show!

Today's breakdown:
"Fargo" (00:01:00 - 00:16:45)
"Orphan Black" (00:16:45 - 00:26:30)
"Salem" (00:26:30 - 00:35:45)
Listener Mail: Colbert and Comedy Central (00:36:10 - 00:43:25)
"Mad Men" (00:43:40 - 01:11:00)
"Game of Thrones" (00:1:11:00 - 01:31:45)

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.

 

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<p>Sometimes stinks on Monday&#39;s &quot;Friends with Better Lives&quot;</p>

Sometimes stinks on Monday's "Friends with Better Lives"

Credit: CBS

TV Ratings: 'Dancing,' 'Voice' lead Monday, while viewers pass over CBS' 'Friends'

'Bones' dips a little on first Passover night

Fast National ratings for Monday, April 14, 2014.

Why was this Monday different from all other Mondays?

Actually, it wasn't. 

"Dancing with the Stars" kept ABC in its regular position as Monday's most watched network, while "The Voice" helped NBC maintain its supremacy among young viewers, as The Seder Effect [Not a real thing] had no particular impact on primetime ratings.

The first night of Passover saw "Dancing with the Stars" rise slightly and "The Voice" remain relatively flat, which was more a product of last week's NCAA Tournament Final competition than anything else. If you like, though, you can try to interpret the week-to-week drop for "Bones" as related to the Pesach observance. [Note: This probably is not the case.]

Monday's big notable was the premiere of CBS' slightly shuffled comedy lineup, which was predictably less impressive without "How I Met Your Mother," though "Friends With Better Lives" certainly wasn't an out-of-the-box failure, even though it was CBS' lowest-rated and least-watched comedy.

Meanwhile, over on The CW, "Star-Crossed" continued its recent erratic performance, falling behind "The Tomorrow People" for the night and, perhaps, in the race for a pity renewal.

On to the numbers...

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<p>Billy Bob Thornton of &quot;Fargo&quot;</p>

Billy Bob Thornton of "Fargo"

Credit: FX

Interview: 'Fargo' star Billy Bob Thornton discusses going dark for FX

Has the 'Slingblade' Oscar winner considered writing and directing for TV?

On the Calgary set of FX's "Fargo" last month, most of the cast was there either shooting or dropping by on an off-day to chat with a group reporters. Billy Bob Thornton couldn't make it, but sent his regrets and expressed the desire to talk to all of the assembled scribes pre-premiere. That's the sort of thing you hear a lot in-the-moment, but doesn't normally come to pass. Things slip through the cracks and nobody's really to blame. People get busy.

Billy Bob Thornton followed through. 

After a series of crossed wires and adjusted schedules, the Oscar-winning "Slingblade" scribe checked in last Sunday morning, delayed only because he got caught-up watching early baseball, which immediately gives us something in common.

"You can imagine what I think about your team," Thornton drawls. He's famously a Cardinals fan. I'm not-especially-famously a Red Sox fan.

"You guys just creamed us twice," Thornton admits, referring to a pair of Boston World Series wins. "But I respect the Red Sox organization. Really good organization."

Thornton could talk baseball all day. The game he's been watching doesn't even feature the Cardinals. It's a low-scoring early-season game between the Tigers and Orioles and even though Thornton knows former Tigers skipper Jim Leyland, that's his only rooting interest. He just enjoys the game.

Thornton also just likes FX's "Fargo." His enthusiasm was evident at the Television Critics Association press tour in January and three months later his love affair with the small screen continues. Thornton has been very frank about the current state of the film industry, especially when it comes to the understated, personal projects he's attracted to as a writer and director. The "Fargo" experience, his first prolonged TV work since "Hearts Afire" back-in-the-day, has opened his eyes to the potential of both cable work and the currently trendy "limited series" model. 

He also has one of his juiciest parts in years playing Lorne Malvo, a mysterious and sadistic stranger whose arrival in Bemidji, Minnesota sets in motion a 10-episode whirlwind of murder and chaos that are thematically and tonally inspired by the Coen Brothers' "Fargo," if only sometimes linked to the movie. Malvo is equal parts terrifying and hilarious and Thornton is having a ball playing that balance.

Once we stopped talking baseball, Thornton told me about playing Malvo as a force-of-nature, the pleasures of working in TV and whether he's now inspired to target the medium for future projects.

Click through for the full Q&A in advance of Tuesday's (April 2) "Fargo" premiere...

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