<p>The &quot;American Idol&quot; Top 6</p>

The "American Idol" Top 6

Recap: 'American Idol' Season 13 - Top 6 Performances - Country & Rock Night

The remaining Finalists take on songs from a pair of genres

We're down to six on "American Idol" and the singers are doing double-duty on Wednesday (April 23) night.

Alex, Jena, Caleb, CJ, Jessica and Sam will each sing one song dubbed "Country" and another song deemed "Rock." 

Two quick thoughts:

1) Dexter Roberts picked the wrong week to go home. If ever a theme would have helped ease Dexter along in his "Idol" genre, this would have been it.

2) For all of the Judges' Save thing, this week's theme seems to doom Sam Woolf, doesn't it? I continue to suspect that Jena, Caleb and Alex are in their own voting class. And of the remaining three singers, who can pretty much go home in any order as far as I'm concerned, two of them can be comfortably classed in a country-rock niche and the other one is Sam Woolf. Either we're about to see some impressive theme cheating from Sam, or else he's doomed before he begins.

Or is he?

Click through for the whole recap and just chime in!

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Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 227

Dan and Alan talk 'Community,' 'Mad Men' and and Reality TV

The

Happy Wednesday, Boys & Girls! It's time for another installment of the Firewall & Iceberg Podcast.

On Tuesday's Firewall & Iceberg Video Show, we reviewed "Black Box," "Bad Teacher" and talked about recent episodes of "Scandal," "Parenthood" and "Game of Thrones."

That meant that the podcast included some news -- Amazon/HBO made a pact -- and Dan's Reality Roundup, as well as discussion of the "Community" finale and season, plus our usual "Mad Men" talk, which devolved in VERY strange ways at the end.

Today's breakdown:
Listener Mail: HBO/Amazon deal (00:1:10 -  00:8:50)
Listener Mail: Dan's Reality Roundup (00:08:55 - 00:21:00)
Listener Mail: Late-night homogeneity (00:21:00 - 00:25:45)
"Community" finale (00:25:50 - 00:39:05)
"Mad Men" (00:39:05 - 01:01:40)

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>Tuesday&#39;s &quot;About a Boy&quot;</p>

Tuesday's "About a Boy"

Credit: NBC

TV Ratings: 'Voice' and CBS repeats lead Tuesday while 'Supernatural' rises sharply

Without a new 'NCIS,' 'Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' adds viewers

Fast National ratings for Tuesday, April 22, 2014.

NBC's "The Voice" was down week-to-week, but it still combined with steady "About a Boy" and "Growing Up Fisher" to help the network win Tuesday in the key demo. Meanwhile, procedural repeats still dominated overall for CBS.

With "NCIS" airing repeats, ABC's "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." got a solid audience bump, but was actually down from last week's 9 p.m. hour in the key demo.

There were a few other notables on a repeat-filled evening.

FOX's "The Mindy Project," which gets very little good news, actually built on last week's overall audience and maintained its demo number despite a "New Girl" repeat (and a weak new "Glee") as a lead-in. 

Meanwhile, The CW's "Supernatural" opened up what I'm assuming is its widest gap over "The Originals." "Supernatural" was actually up 37 percent in total viewers, but I'm told the only preemption was in Syracuse.

On to the numbers...

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<p>Keith Carradine of &quot;Fargo&quot;</p>

Keith Carradine of "Fargo"

Credit: FX

Interview: Keith Carradine talks 'Fargo' and a 'Deadwood' anniversary

Has the Oscar-winning 'Nashville' star become 'venerable' yet?

CALGARY - If actors aren't monitoring when there shows are celebrating their 10th anniversaries, I've taken it upon myself to inform them.

Like in January, Method Man didn't know that the 10th anniversary of "Method & Red" is coming up this summer, but I told him. And now he knows! Assuming he remembers. Which he probably doesn't.

And in March, on the Calgary set of FX's "Fargo," I told Keith Carradine about the 10th anniversary of "Deadwood." He hadn't known, but he's more likely than Method Man to remember.

And yes, I place the 10th anniversaries of "Method & Red" and "Deadwood" on the same plane.

Playing Lou Solverson, father of Allison Tolman's Molly Solverson, Carradine is part of the soulful core of "Fargo." Yes, there's a spiraling assortment of increasingly violent crimes, but there's also the relationship between a father, a former cop now living a safer life behind the counter of a diner, and the daughter who followed in her dad's footsteps, much to his chagrin.

It's a bond that hits home for Carradine, son of acting legend John Carradine, brother of Dave and Robert, father of Martha Plimpton. He knows what it's like to be part of a semi-reluctant professional lineage. 

In our interview, he talks about that personal tie to the material, as well as his relationship with relative newcomer Tolman. Carradine speculates on the point at which an actor becomes venerable and discusses his theory on the passing of time vis a vis the "Deadwood" anniversary.

It's a great chat.

Watch "Fargo" tonight on FX and check out the full Q&A below...

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<p>Monday&#39;s &quot;The Blacklist&quot;</p>

Monday's "The Blacklist"

Credit: NBC

TV Ratings: Strong 'Blacklist' hold leads NBC to Monday split

CBS comedies, FOX dramas are steady for the night

Fast National ratings for Monday, April 21, 2014.

It's almost certain to change in Final numbers, but at least in preliminary figures, NBC's "The Blacklist" retained nearly its entire key demo lead-in from "The Voice" and outdrew the singing competition as well, carrying NBC to a Monday split.

Among other notables, "Dancing with the Stars" helped ABC win Monday overall, FOX's dramas held steady, The CW's dramas added a few viewers and CBS' new comedy block retained well.

On to the numbers...

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<p>Allison Tolman of &quot;Fargo&quot;</p>

Allison Tolman of "Fargo"

Credit: FX

Interview: 'Fargo' star Allison Tolman discusses being the dark story's hero

Molly Solverson is more than a bumbling cop for the TV newcomer

CALGARY - One week ago, on the eve of the premiere of FX's "Fargo," most of the stories focused on Martin Freeman and Billy Bob Thornton, the biggest names associated with the semi-adaptation of the Coen Brothers' Oscar-winning film.

I certainly posted my own interviews with Thornton and Freeman, so I participated in that blizzard of hype.

Having already seen the pilot, I knew the secret of "Fargo," which is that while Thornton and Freeman have the showy parts -- and they're both terrific -- the actual hero of the twisted story of murder, blackmail and revenge is wet-behind-the-ears local cop Molly Solverson, played by Allison Tolman.

Of course, Thornton has an Oscar and Freeman is simultaneously Watson and Bilbo Baggins, while Tolman is a total newcomer, a Texas-born, Chicago-based actress who had been concentrating on writing and sketch comedy before "Fargo" came her way. 

But now, after "Fargo" delivered a solid premiere for FX last week, it seems like the right time to shine the spotlight on Tolman.

I sat down with Tolman on a sunny March day on the "Fargo" set in Calgary shortly before she settled in to shoot a prickly scene opposite co-star Bob Odenkirk, who plays a less capable member of the Bemidji PD. The balminess of the weather that day -- temperatures perked up above freezing for the first time in months -- steered the initial conversation before we discussed the strange circumstances of her landing the role, Tolman's approach to Molly's investigative capabilities and finding the proper balance of comedy and drama for that "Fargo"-flavored tone.

Click through for the full Q&A and check out the second episode of "Fargo" on Tuesday (April 22) night on FX...

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<p>America shunned poor Katharine McPhee in &quot;In My Dreams&quot;</p>

America shunned poor Katharine McPhee in "In My Dreams"

Credit: ABC

TV Ratings: 'Amazing Race,' 'Good Wife' lead Sunday while 'Believe' and 'Cosmos' rise

ABC's 'In My Dreams' is another Hallmark Hall of Fame dud

Fast National ratings for Sunday, April 20, 2014.

On a sluggish Easter Sunday, "The Amazing Race" helped CBS claim victory among young viewers, while "Good Wife" led the network to its usual overall victory.

Even though it was down week-to-week, ABC's "Once Upon a Time" was actually Sunday's top show in the key demographic, but Hallmark continued not to be a successful brand for ABC, as "In My Dreams" was the network's latest Hall of Fame flop.

"In My Dreams" took the place of spring success "Resurrection" and the lack of 9 p.m. hour competition helped both FOX's "Cosmos" and NBC's "Believe" post week-to-week gains.

Note that this was the rare Sunday without any sports overrun for CBS, which gives the rare opportunity to look at the semi-actual numbers for the network's Sunday shows.

On to the numbers...

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<p>Brendon &amp; Rachel of &quot;The Amazing Race: All-Stars&quot;</p>

Brendon & Rachel of "The Amazing Race: All-Stars"

Recap: 'The Amazing Race' - 'Donkeylicious'

A Double U-Turn creates high drama in Italy

I don't know if you've heard me mention this lately, but I hate the Double U-Turn. I say the same thing every season.

I debated it with executive producer Elise Doganieri, who smiled and ignored me. 

If you get to the U-Turn and discover you've been U-Turned, you should be bounced directly to the other side of the Detour. When you get sent directly to jail in Monopoly, you've been sent DIRECTLY TO JAIL. You don't get to collect the $200 if you happen to pass Go, because it occurred in the process of the act that was sending you to Jail. The second the card says "Go to Jail," you've been boomeranged on your way to Jail. Period. Full stop. If you hit the U-Turn mat and you've been U-Turned... BOING. Off to the other Detour with you. The first act is to step on the mat and see if you've been U-Turned. If you have been? Done. No further action is allowed. The second act is to decide if you want to U-Turn somebody. When you say "Yes" or "No," your next act is to leave. But you don't get to penalize somebody else before you serve your own penalty. 

I totally get when people say, "But if we do things your way, it pretty much means that the team being U-Turned is sent home and that's why we do Double U-Turns now instead of Single U-Turns."

I don't care. That means that the U-Turn is a bad device, even if it produces  drama. Either fix it, or do away with it!

And I will not complain about the structure of the U-Turn again in this recap.

Click through for my full discussion of Sunday's (April 20) "Amazing Race."

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<p>Jessica and John of &quot;The Amazing Race&quot;</p>

Jessica and John of "The Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS

Interview: John & Jessica talk 'Amazing Race: All-Stars'

What actually happened with the Roman cab and the final footrace?

Well, at least things worked out better for Jessica Hoel and John Erck in their second run on "The Amazing Race." A little better, at least. 

In their first season, John & Jessica won the season's opening Leg and earned an Express Pass. Then, just a couple episodes later, they were eliminated with the Express Pass still in their back pocket after refusing to play the powerful Pass in a challenge where they remained convinced there were teams behind them long after they'd fallen into last place.

It was one of the more notorious pieces of self-immolation in "Amazing Race" history and that was probably what earned John & Jessica a second chance on "The Amazing Race: All-Stars."

This second run lacked the highs of that season-opening Leg victory, but they also lasted deeper into the Race and, when they went out, they were theoretically able to point the blame away from themselves. After all, they were in first place after completing the Gladiator Detour in Rome, but they got a cabbie who wasn't able to decipher the Route Marker and took them on an unplanned Roman Holiday. 

When I talked to John & Jessica after the Express Pass fiasco, they were very invested in trying to explain the logic of their mistake and to deemphasize the blunder. This time around, while they put some of the responsibility on the cabbie, they're both quick to admit the things they should have done differently both on their Italian Voyage, but also subsequently at the Spanish Steps Roadblock, a tough task that led to a footrace to the Pit Stop.

In this exit interview, John & Jessica discuss their regrets at how they handled the cab situation and they explain the logistics behind a close sprint to the mat. They're both chatty and, as with my first exit interview, I got in fewer questions than I often do in these interviews. That's OK. Their perspectives are still plenty interesting.

Click through for the full Q&A...

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TV Ratings: 'Unforgettable,' '20/20' pace Friday split, with 'Hannibal' up

TV Ratings: 'Unforgettable,' '20/20' pace Friday split, with 'Hannibal' up

'Kitchen Nightmares' and 'Whose Line Is It Anyway?' are down

Fast National ratings for Friday, April 18, 2014.

New episodes of "Shark Tank" and "20/20" helped ABC cruise to an easy Friday win among young viewers, while CBS rode a new "Unforgettable" and a "Blue Bloods" repeat to an overall win.

Beyond that, Friday featured only minor variations. FOX's "Kitchen Nightmares" was down in its second week, while "Hannibal" took advantage of a "Dateline" lead-in to get a small bump. The CW's "Hart of Dixie" and "Whose Line" both shed viewers as well.

[CBS notes that its scheduled was delayed a local telethon for 9 percent of the country. Take that as you will.]

On to the numbers...

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