Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 259

Dan and Alan review 'Peter Pan Live!' and midseason finales for 'Good Wife' and 'Walking Dead'

The

Happy Friday, Boys & Girls!

We delayed this week's podcast so that we could luxuriate in NBC's "Peter Pan Live!" and give it the critical deconstruction it so richly deserved.

So we did!

We also talked a bit about the long-since-past midseason finale of "The Good Wife, featuring a heated "Barcelona vs. Jail" debate. And we talked "Walking Dead" fall finale as well.

We'll be back early next week with the beginning of our End-of-the-Year podcasting cycle, as we celebrate The Best of 2014.

Today's breakdown:
"Peter Pan Live!" (00:00:45 - 00:21:30)
Listener Mail: "The Wire" in HD (00:21:45 - 00:30:00)
Listener Mail: Beards (00:30:00 - 00:36:25)
"The Good Wife" (00:36:30 - 00:50:25)
"The Walking Dead" (00:50:30 - 01:16:00)

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.

<p>&quot;Battle Creek&quot;</p>

"Battle Creek"

Credit: CBS

CBS sets 'Battle Creek' for Sundays, shifts 'CSI: Cyber' to Wednesdays

Vince Gilligan drama takes the former 'Breaking Bad' time period. On a different network.

CBS has finally set a premiere date and time period for the anticipated new drama "Battle Creek," from Vince Gilligan and David Shore, though it's a time period that was previously set aside for the now-on-the-move "CSI: Cyber."

The network announced on Friday (December 5) morning that "Battle Creek" is going to take the Sunday 10 p.m. slot beginning on March 1. "Battle Creek," which stars Josh Duhamel and Dean Winters was created by Gilligan, but has been entirely run by Shore ("House") with the "Breaking Bad" mastermind off co-showrunning "Better Call Saul."

Read Full Post
<p>Hook!</p>

Hook!

Credit: NBC

TV Ratings: 'Peter Pan Live!' falls hard from 'Sound of Music Live!' on Thursday

By the 10:30 half-hour under 7 million viewers were still around

Fast National ratings for Thursday, December 4, 2014.

NBC's "Peter Pan Live!" was no match for last December's "Sound of Music Live!" with ratings falling so hard and dramatically that the network started the morning with a defensive press release and statement from Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt.

These morning ratings stories never include network quotes/blurbs, but this is the first time in my memory that a network has tried to smooth over ratings before 8 a.m. on the West Coast.

"We're very pleased with the 'Peter Pan' ratings and it was a great night for NBC.  We won every hour, which hasn't happened on Thursday with entertainment programming since a year ago.  I'm proud to be part of a company that takes chances and creates big events, and that's exactly what we're going to continue to do," Greenblatt states. 
 
He continues, "We didn’t expect to reach the same rating as 'The Sound of Music' since that was the first live movie event of its kind in over 50 years.  But the high wire act of Peter Pan was a joy for everyone involved and I take my hat off to Allison Williams, Christopher Walken, the entire company, and our incredible directors and producers for three months of the hardest work I've ever seen.  I love these live events and we're already working on putting the next one together."

Quotes and justifications aside, "Sound of Music Live!" averaged 18.5 million viewers and a 4.6 rating among adults 18-49 in Fast Nationals last December. "Peter Pan Live!" averaged 9.13 million viewers and a 2.3 key demo rating in Fast Nationals last night, winning primetime among young viewers, but losing to football-inflated CBS overall.

The most disconcerting thing for NBC is that "Peter Pan Live!" drew an OK audience to start with and then plummeted by the last hour. Some viewers were curious, but they left. Heck, you might say the audience petered out. I wouldn't. But you might.

The quick football-related caveat would be that last year's Thursday Night Football game pitted the Jaguars against the Texans, a fairly weak matchup. Last night's game featured the Bears and the Cowboys and, almost certainly, drew a bigger audience. [CBS had the preemptions in both Chicago and Dallas.] That's not why "Peter Pan Live!"  did half the "Sound of Music Live!" numbers.

On to Thursday ratings...

Read Full Post
<p>&quot;True Detective&quot;</p>

"True Detective"

Credit: HBO

FX doesn't submit 'Fargo' as 'Transparent,' 'True Detective' lead WGA TV nominations

Wait. How was 'Leftovers' nominated for longform?

The Writers Guild of America announced the TV nominees for the 2015 WGA Awards on Thursday (December 4) morning and several new shows broke into the fields in a big way.

And, of course, there were a number of big WGA Award nomination head-scratchers. Specifically, where the heck was FX's "Fargo"? The answer is below.

Read Full Post
<p>&quot;White God&quot;</p>

"White God"

Sundance 2015 Spotlight entries include Cannes winner, Foreign Language Oscar contender

'White God,' 'Wild Tales' and more are coming to Park City

One day after announcing the World and US Drama and Documentary Competition entries for both, Sundance revealed the films in the Spotlight and Park City at Midnight programs, as well as the films and art installations that will be part of the New Frontiers program at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival.

Read Full Post
<p>Wednesday&#39;s &quot;Arrow&quot;</p>

Wednesday's "Arrow"

Credit: The CW

TV Ratings: 'Flash' bumps 'Arrow' to series highs as 'Survivor' leads CBS Wednesday

NBC's Rockefeller Center and 'SNL' specials are solid

Fast National ratings for Wednesday, December 3, 2014.

On one hand, CBS' double-dose of "Survivor: San Juan Del Sur" came in below season averages, but the two episodes still carried the network to an overall win and a tie in the key demographic.

NBC also tied for first among young viewers with "Christmas in Rockefeller Center" and an airing of the "Saturday Night Live Christmas" special. 

On the positive side of the ledger, The CW's "Arrow" capitalized on the second part of its crossover with "The Flash" to deliver season highs in all measures, including a series high among adults 18-49. Based on this week's crossover numbers, you can probably expect to see a lot more of that in the future.

On the negative side, ABC's full comedy slate was down on Wednesday.

Let's get to the numbers...

Read Full Post
<p>&quot;Survivor&quot; contestant Jon</p>

"Survivor" contestant Jon

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Survivor: San Juan Del Sur' - 'Kind of Like Cream Cheese' and 'Still Holdin' On'

Two castaways head home amidst a lot of relationship counseling

[Once again, I'm stuck doing a "Survivor" recap as CNN is showing an American city on the brink of revolt and as my Twitter feed is bursting with well-earned outrage and indignation. It's hard to see much value to this, but here it is.]

Pre-credit sequence. Eight are left as the castaways return to camp still shaking from the wild-and-crazy Tribal Council. Reed and Alec make it clear to Keith that he tipped Jon off on their plan and was responsible for all of the ensuing chaos. Ego temporarily vanquished, Alec is sad and disappointed. "Oh, there's nothing worse than angry girls," Reed warns them. Over with the girls, Natalie is gloating that she told Jon to play the Idol, saving the day, with Jaclyn trying to take some responsibility as well. Jon insists he was going to play it, which is pretty clearly a lie. Natalie's ticked off with Jon. And speaking of Jon demanding credit for everything, he tells Jaclyn to make sure that she gives him credit for the Idol-playing in the future, already making plans for a Jury situation in which he's still in the game and she, apparently, is not. Jaclyn is incredulous that Jon should be so insecure. "I was so mad when he took credit for something that I helped him to do," Jaclyn says, suddenly insisting to us that she's Top 3-bound. Ruh-roh!

Read Full Post
<p>Wes Nale of &quot;Survivor&quot;</p>

Wes Nale of "Survivor"

Credit: CBS

Interview: Wes Nale talks 'Survivor: San Juan del Sur' and Thanksgiving overeating

Firefighter expected his dad to use the Idol for him

In a Thanksgiving Eve episode of "Survivor," 23-year-old Shreveport firefighter Wes Nale was voted out after primary target Jon used an Immunity Idol. The remaining votes would have been split between Wes and his father, Keith, but Keith opted to play an Idol of his own, rather than using it to protect his sone.

It was appropriate for Wes to go home around Thanksgiving, in an episode in which he gave up a shot at Immunity in exchange for hot wings and beer, because so much of his game persona was edited around eating to excess. When he wasn't boasting about his chicken nugget-eating prowess, Wes was overeating at a Reward and then graphically regretting that decision.

Wes' "Survivor" depiction was so one-sided that it was almost surprising that his exit interview, delayed till the Monday after the holiday, had to be pushed back because he was actually on-duty at his firehouse. 

While waiting to be called out to a fire, Wes talked about expecting Keith to use the Idol on him, whether or not he made a mistake in not talking with Jaclyn and the challenge of playing "Survivor" with a life-long authority figure. 

And yes, I asked him about his Thanksgiving eating.

And no, he didn't disappoint.

Click through for the full Q&A...

Read Full Post
Sundance 2015 US Documentary Competition welcomes back 'Stardom,' 'Cove' Oscar winners

Sundance 2015 US Documentary Competition welcomes back 'Stardom,' 'Cove' Oscar winners

Bobcat Godthwait will be making his documentary directing debut

The Sundance Film Festival announced its four main 2015 narrative and competition slates on Wednesday (December 3) and the US Documentary Competition field is packed with Oscar winners and returning Park City favorites.

Leading the way, at least to some degree, is last year's Documentary Oscar winner Morgan Neville, whose "Twenty Feet From Stardom" was one of the openers at the 2013 Festival. Neville and Robert Gordon co-directed "Best of Enemies," which looks at the 1968 televised debates between Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley Jr. 

Read Full Post
<p>Marlon Brando</p>

Marlon Brando

'Chuck Norris,' Marlon Brando make the Sundance 2015 World Documentary Competition cut

Alien greeters, Chinese mayors and several Middle East docs also make the cut

A pair of high profile cinematic biopics lead the World Documentary Competition slate for the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, which was announced on Wednesday (December 3) afternoon.

Actually, leading off for the World Documentary Competition is "How To Change The World," one of four Day One films playing when Sundance opens on January 22, 2015. Directed by Jerry Rothwell, "How To Change The World" focuses on the original founders of Greenpeace and their 1971 protest in a nuclear test zone.

Read Full Post