The Fien Print's No.11-20 Best TV Shows of 2014 - 'True Detective,' 'Girls' and more

The Fien Print's No.11-20 Best TV Shows of 2014 - 'True Detective,' 'Girls' and more

Counting down TV's Second 10 with a lot of HBO and a lot of comedy

It's been a couple weeks since I unveiled my TV Top 10 for 2014 in video and gallery form and I think at the time I promised that a Second 10 and possibly a Third 10 were coming. 

Well, here's the start of that.

In case you've forgotten, my Top 10 for 2014:
10. "Game of Thrones"
9. "Shameless"
8. "Hannibal"
7. "The Americans"
6. "Rectify"
5. "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver"
4. "Mad Men"
3. "Orange Is The New Black"
2. "Review"
1. "Fargo"

A couple thoughts before getting to No.11-20 for 2014.

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<p>Monday&#39;s &quot;Mike &amp; Molly&quot;</p>

Monday's "Mike & Molly"

Credit: CBS

TV Ratings: 'Mike & Molly' pushes CBS past Charlie Brown-led ABC on Monday

CBS repeats also win their time periods

Fast National ratings for December 29, 2014.

Monday's top program, and Monday's only original program, was CBS' new "Mike & Molly," which combined with a slew of other repeats to help the network win primetime in most measures.

ABC with second with "Happy New Year, Charlie Brown!" and "Rudolph's Shiny New Year" leading the way.

On to the numbers...

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<p>Antonio Brown</p>

Antonio Brown

Credit: AP

TV Ratings: Bengals-Steelers carries NBC on Sunday as football also boosts CBS, FOX

Nobody cares about a 'Revenge' repeat marathon

Fast National ratings for Sunday, December 28, 2014.

A key season-ending matchup between the Bengals and Steelers helped carry NBC to its normal Sunday rout, holding off NFL-overrun-boosted nights for FOX and CBS. 

Otherwise, there wasn't much excitement on Sunday. So let's get down to business...

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<p>&quot;Caught on Camera with Nick Cannon&quot;</p>

"Caught on Camera with Nick Cannon"

Credit: NBC

TV Ratings: 'Caught on Camera,' '20/20' among Friday leaders

CBS' 'Now That's Funny!' special barely makes a ripple

Fast National ratings for Friday, December 26, 2014.

"Caught on Camera with Nick Cannon" and two hours of "Dateline" led NBC to a slim overall victory on the sleepiest of sleepy Fridays, while "Shark Tank" and "20/20" pushed ABC to a tie among young viewers.

The Nick Cannon special was, in fact, up from last week's "Caught on Camera" special.

The night's only other original was CBS' 90-minute "Now That's Funny! On Set With TV's Hottest Comedies," a Paley Center that attracted very little interest.

On to the unimpressive numbers...

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<p>&quot;Dr. Seuss&#39; How The Grinch Stole Christmas&quot;</p>

"Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas"

Credit: Universal

TV Ratings: Double 'Grinch' Christmas saves ABC Thursday

'Big Bang Theory' repeat tops the night overall

Fast National ratings for Thursday, December 25, 2014.

The animated "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" and the Jim Carrey live-action "Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas" ruled Christmas Thursday primetime, even if a "Big Bang Theory" repeat was still the night's most-watched show.

There weren't many other Christmas ratings notables, though ABC is saying that its NBA double-header was up double-digits from last year.

On to the primetime notables...

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<p>&quot;It&#39;s a Wonderful Life&quot;</p>

"It's a Wonderful Life"

TV Ratings: It's still a 'Wonderful Life' for NBC on Christmas Eve Wednesday

Jimmy Stewart classic is up from last year's NBC airing

Fast National ratings for Wednesday, December 24, 2014.

NBC's traditional Christmas Eve broadcast of "It's a Wonderful Life" paid its usual dividends, with the Frank Capra classic dominating primetime in all measures.

"It's a Wonderful Life" was actually up from last year's broadcast, when Jimmy Stewart and company actually lost to the Jim Carrey "Grinch" among young viewers and also lost to CBS procedural repeats overall. This year, CBS aired less potent drama and "I Love Lucy" repeats, while ABC aired comedy repeats, giving the advantage to a three-hour black-and-white film.

Let's get to the numbers...

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<p>Phil, Amy &amp; Maya</p>

Phil, Amy & Maya

Credit: CBS

Interview: Amy & Maya discuss their 'Amazing Race' win

They seemed like underdogs to us, but why were they so confident?

In the interest of time, I skipped out on the "Amazing Race" exit interview circuit, a decision I often regretted. I'd have loved to ask Lisa & Michelle about shoving and hypocrisy, or talk to Shelley & Nici about how their existing relationship hurt them out there or to discuss whether Kym & Alli felt annoyed at a surfing task being their demise.

I was more than happy, though, to rejoin the circuit to talk to the "Amazing Race" finale, especially when the victors turned out to be Food Scientists Amy & Maya, a pair I grew to really root for during the Race. 

No, Maya & Amy weren't the strongest team. In fact, they made it to the end without winning any of the first 11 Legs and only a "Keep on Racing..." Leg in Manila kept them around. But even if they seemed physically unlikely -- especially with a prior injury forcing Amy to limp her way around the world -- their enthusiasm never waned. They snuck through to the end on spirit and grit and then with a million bucks hinging on a final cumulative Roadblock, Amy capitalized on the most intellectually-driven challenge of the entire season to carry the pair to victory.

That excitable energy carried over into their exit interview, which touched on Amy & Maya's never-give-up moxie, their unlikely survival in the penultimate episode and the malady Amy was fighting for 12 Legs.

Click through for the full Q&A with the Season 25 winners of "The Amazing Race"... 

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Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 262 - Worst TV of 2014
Credit: NBC

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 262 - Worst TV of 2014

Dan and Alan discuss 2014's worst, from 'Mixology' to 'Mysteries of Laura' to the 'Homeland' finale


Happy Wednesday, Boys & Girls!

And Happy Holidays!

It's time for what will be our final podcast of 2014 and it's a crowd favorite.

Yup. For 87 minutes, we talked about TV's Worst of 2014. Some of this was covered in my Worst of 2014 gallery (below), but the back and forth is fresh!

Plus, Showtime's "Homeland" delivered a finale on Sunday that fit perfectly into this week's theme. Thanks, "Homeland"!

So it's a fun dose of Angry Dan and Angry Alan as we step back from our, "There's a lot of great stuff on TV" stance and remind you there's some awful stuff as well. [Podcast theme this week features music and lyrics by Linda Holmes, arrangement by Jeff Alexander.]

We'll be back in 2015.

Enjoy this week's podcast. It does have spoilers for some stuff. But only wretched stuff.

Today's breakdown:
TV's Worst of 2014 (00:01:25 - 01:14:15)
TV's Worst of 2014 - "Homeland" finale (01:14:20 - 01:26:35)

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>&quot;One Direction: The TV Special&quot;</p>

"One Direction: The TV Special"

Credit: NBC

TV Ratings: NBC's 'One Direction: The TV Special' fizzles as CBS, ABC split Tuesday

'NCIS' repeats dominate overall, while 'The Year: 2014' leads in the demo

Fast National ratings for Tuesday, December 23, 2014.

NBC's "One Direction: The TV Special" dominated Tuesday night among females 12-17, but failed to strike a cord in any other demographic as CBS repeats and ABC holiday specials ruled a sleepy Christmas Eve eve on Tuesday.

Repeats of "NCIS," NCIS: Los Angeles" and "NCIS: New Orleans" were Tuesday's most watched shows overall, while encores of "Shrek the Halls" and "Toy Story That Time Forgot" led in the key demo for ABC.

And NBC's three celebrity-driven specials all did the same weak demo number and drew under 3.7 million viewers.

On to the numbers...

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<p>Natalie Anderson of &quot;Survivor&quot;</p>

Natalie Anderson of "Survivor"

Credit: CBS

Interview: Natalie Anderson discusses her 'Survivor: San Juan del Sur' win

'Amazing Race' veteran on the advantages of being the Evil Twinny

We've reached the end of our "Survivor: San Juan del Sur" exit interviews.

Natalie Anderson began this "Survivor" season in a defensively position. Not only did she enter the game with a certain reputation from her two seasons on "The Amazing Race" -- "I know we have a lot of Twinny haters. There's no middle. It's either you love us or you hate us," she says -- but sister Nadiya was voted out first by her tribe. That left Natalie with notoriety and without a loved one in the Blood versus Water season.

What followed was a "Survivor" run that stood out both for Natalie's sturdy combination game -- She made big strategic moves, performed well in challenges and also found and used an Immunity Idol effectively -- but also for her major image overhaul. Coming into the season facing derision from some CBS reality fans, Natalie ended the season a very popular winner, almost universally well-received, at least from what I've seen online.

"It's really surreal to see happen because people are very, very... like they're very stuck in the way they thought about me and Nadiya from 'Amazing Race' if they didn't like me. And it's cool to see that now all my haters have become lovers. It's awesome," Natalie said when we spoke after last week's finale. 

In our exit conversation, Natalie talks about several of her most important moves in the game, as well as her nervousness about nearly torpedoing herself with an overly persuasive self-appraisal at the penultimate Tribal Council. She explains why she was better-suited for a long solo run than Nadiya would have been and she gives a slightly surprising answer for who she would have voted for if she'd gone home at Final 4.

Click through for the full Q&A.

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