<p>&quot;American Idol&quot;</p>

"American Idol"

Credit: FOX

TV Ratings: FOX's 'Empire' strikes big, 'American Idol' Wednesday premiere is soft

Hip-hop drama builds on its 'Idol' lead-in in the key demographic

Fast National ratings for Wednesday, January 7, 2015.

"American Idol" had its weakest premiere ever among young viewers and its softest overall launch since Season 1 on Wednesday night, but FOX is still giddy this morning after a huge premiere for "Empire," especially in the key demographic.

The Season 14 premiere of "Idol" drew 10.89 million viewers and did a 3.1 rating among adults 18-49 in Fast Nationals. For comparison purposes, last year's Wednesday "Idol" premiere averaged nearly 15.2 million viewers and a 4.7 rating among adults 18-49. Those numbers were, of course, for a two-hour premiere, as last year's "Idol" did only a 4.4 key demo rating and under 14.9 million in its first hour.

But, again, with a robust 3.7 key demo rating for "Empire," there's plenty to smile about at FOX. To be more specific, "Empire" is FOX's highest rated series debut since January 2012. That high-rated debut? "Touch."

[UPDATE: FOX got rushed Final Live+SD ratings and "Empire" ticked up to a 3.8 rating among adults 18-49, tying ABC's "How To Get Away With Murder" for the season's top debut.]

Wednesday also saw strong performances from ABC's early-night comedies, particularly "The Goldbergs," though a low night for "Black-ish" takes away some of that enthusiasm.

Let's get to the numbers...

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<p>Emily Brooke of &quot;American Idol&quot;</p>

Emily Brooke of "American Idol"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' Season 14 Premiere

Keith, Harry and J-Lo return to FOX's spotlight at the Nashville Auditions

"American Idol" is back for Season 14 and it's important to remind you: The last two winners have been Candice Glover and Caleb Johnson.

For the past few years, the ability to make stars has been the thing "Idol" has used to set it apart from the higher-rated "Voice." It's not like the coronation of Phillip Phillips, an artist with probably more album sales than every "Voice" winner combined, was that long ago, but in a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately business, "Idol" could use another breakout soon. [Note that ratings were WAY down for "The Voice" this past season, as the NBC singing competition appears to have peaked and be heading into the predictable slide that almost all competition shows eventually go into. While pundits love to talk trash about the decline in "Idol" ratings, folks were oddly silent about "The Voice" in the fall. Shrug.]

Expect more declines for "Idol" this season, but a breakout, incandescent star might help.

So let's get down to the business of recapping Wednesday (January 7) night's premiere! With FOX sending out screeners, the live-blog times line up with episode time-code and not with any time from a real clock. Oh and Thursday's (January 8) two-hour episode is vastly better than tonight's premiere. Stick around.

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<p>Season 2 of &quot;The Fall&quot;</p>

Season 2 of "The Fall"

Credit: Netflix

Press Tour: 'The Fall' creator expects Season 3, bemoans potential remake

"We share a common language," Allan Cubitt says

The second season of "The Fall" won't premiere on Netflix until January 16, so don't go spoiling things, fancy-pants British who have already seen all six episodes.

I'm certainly not going to spoil anything from the second season, which concluded on BBC One on December 17, but at the Television Critics Association press tour on Wednesday (January 7) morning, creator Allan Cubitt teased that a third season is likely, even if hasn't been formally announced.

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<p>&quot;Arrested Development&quot;</p>

"Arrested Development"

Credit: Netflix

Is the future bright for more 'Arrested Development?'

And will 'Jessica Jones' be coming to Netflix? News from the TV press tour

The January Television Critics Association press tour kicked off on Wednesday (January 7) morning in Pasadena with only the second appearance from Netflix and the first executive session with Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos.

Forestalling a series of predictable, pent-up questions about absent ratings numbers and whatnot, Sarandos kicked off his presentation with a slew of variable-sized announcements, including a second season renewal for "Marco Polo," a March 6 premiere for "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt," a March 20 premiere for "Bloodline," a May 8 launch for "Grace and Frankie" and, most surprisingly and notably, an April 10 premiere for the first of Netflix's Marvel-based shows, "Daredevil."

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<p>&quot;Marvel&#39;s Agent Carter&quot;</p>

"Marvel's Agent Carter"

Credit: ABC

TV Ratings: 'Agent Carter' outdraws 'S.H.I.E.L.D.' but can't top 'NCIS'

New Marvel series loses viewers with each half-hour

Fast National ratings for Tuesday, January 6, 2015.

The new year is off to a good start for CBS as, for the second straight night, the network's various procedurals neared or cleared season highs, led by the most watched "NCIS" since last February.

"NCIS" and "NCIS: Los Angeles" had no trouble thumping ABC's two-hour "Marvel's Agent Carter" in all measures. While ABC will happily note that "Agent Carter" outdrew "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." throughout, the 1940s-set drama suffered a dwindling audience at each half-hour.

Elsewhere, a good premiere for "MasterChef Junior" pushed "New Girl" to a solid performance, though "The Mindy Project" took a big fall from its lead-in.

On to the numbers...

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<p>&quot;Marvel&#39;s Agent Carter&quot;</p>

"Marvel's Agent Carter"

Credit: ABC

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 263 - 'Agent Carter,' 'Togetherness' and more

Dan and Alan review 'Empire,' plus new seasons of 'Girls' and 'Shameless'


Happy Tuesday, Boys & Girls.

It's time for the first Firewall & Iceberg Podcast of 2015.

We missed reviewing "Galavant."


However, in this week's podcast we have reviews of "Agent Carter," "Empire," "Babylon" and "Togetherness," plus talk of the new seasons of "Girls" and "Shameless."

Check back next week for an in-person podcast from TCA press tour and, in all likelihood, a video show of some sort. 

Here's today's breakdown:
"Marvel's Agent Carter" (00:01:50 - 00:15:05)
"Empire" (00:15:05 - 00:32:30)
"Babylon" (00:32:35 - 00:39:35)
"Togetherness" (00:41:20 - 00:52:35)
"Girls" (00:52:35 - 01:05:35)
"Shameless" (01:05:35 - 01:10:30)

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>Monday&#39;s &quot;Scorpion&quot;</p>

Monday's "Scorpion"

Credit: CBS

TV Ratings: 'Gotham,' 'Scorpion' start 2015 high, 'Bachelor' helps ABC split Monday

'State of Affairs' is down from its last airing despite 'Celebrity Apprentice'

Fast National ratings for Monday, January 5, 2015.

A slew of network favorites started 2015 on high notes as "Gotham," "Scorpion," "Mike & Molly" and "NCIS: Los Angeles" were among the shows delivering above-season-average performances on Monday.

"NCIS: Los Angeles" was particularly strong, delivering season highs in most measures and pushing CBS to a dominant overall win and to a tie with ABC, driven by the "Bachelor" premiere, the show's lowest rated premiere yet, in the key demographic. 

Although it was stuck in fourth among young viewers and third in the key demo, NBC also got a second consecutive solid night from "The Celebrity Apprentice."

On to the numbers...

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<p>Jake Johnson&nbsp;</p>

Jake Johnson 

Credit: FOX

Interview: Jake Johnson talks 'New Girl,' 'Jurassic World' and his Sundance return

New credits, Nick/Jess and the importance of Tran also come up

Whether it's an actor, producer, writer or director, it's always nice to sit down for an interview when your subject has good news.

Last month, I pulled up a booth on the Clyde's set -- Yes, the booths are disconcertingly moveable -- with "New Girl" star Jake Johnson hot on the heels of the announcement of the 2015 Sundance Film Festival schedule, which includes Joe Swanberg's "Digging For Fire," an ensemble that represents Johnson's co-writing debut. Johnson also co-stars as part of a rather astounding cast including Anna Kendrick, Orlando Bloom, Brie Larson, Melanie Lynskey, Sam Rockwell, Sam Elliott and Chris Messina among many many more names.

Johnson was excited about the Sundance announcement, as well as this summer's reunion with  his "Safety Not Guaranteed" director Colin Trevorrow on the slightly larger scale "Jurassic World."

And yes, Johnson is also excited about Season 4 of "New Girl." He has perhaps my favorite explanation yet for why the Nick/Jess relationship threw off the balance of Season 3, an interestingly selfless explanation at that. Johnson also had the simplest and cleanest response to my question about the new credits, one that didn't require five follow-up questions.

In the interview, we also discussed the rise of Tran as a key "New Girl" character and a potential business venture with Nick and Schmidt.

Click through for the full Q&A...

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<p>Pass Interference? Apparently not.</p>

Pass Interference? Apparently not.

Credit: AP

TV Ratings: NFL Wild Card dominates Sunday, 'Galavant' and 'Celebrity Apprentice' start well

'Madam Secretary,' 'Good Wife' and 'CSI' all win their hours overall

Fast National ratings for Sunday, January 4, 2015.

The last 55 minutes of a tight and controversial Wild Card game between the Cowboys and Lions spilled into Sunday primetime and proved huge enough to push FOX to a dominant performance in all measures, also giving big boosts to "The Simpsons," "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," "Family Guy" and "Bob's Burgers."

Numbers for FOX are, of course, tentative and subject to change.

With new programming returning on Sunday after holiday breaks, there were a slew of notables, including a very strong return for NBC's "Celebrity Apprentice" and good NFL-free audiences for "Madam Secretary" and "The Good Wife." ABC's fairy tale musical-comedy "Galavant" got off to an encouraging start on its own, though it was unable to serve as any kind of lead-in for "Resurrection" and "Revenge."

On to the numbers...

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<p>Zooey Deschanel</p>

Zooey Deschanel

Credit: FOX

Interview: 'New Girl' star Zooey Deschanel on goody-two-shoes vs. girl gone wild

FOX's comedy returns with its first 2015 new episode on Teusday

Audiences have only seen a small portion of Clyde's Bar, the "New Girl" location that has been a place of employ for Nick and Cece and a frequent hangout for the entire gang. 

Housed on the Fox Lot in Los Angeles, Clyde's actually has over a dozen comfortable booths, the full bar and several back rooms which, like much of the British paraphernalia on the wall, have never been seen.

A couple weeks back I dropped by Clyde's to chat with several of the stars of "New Girl" about the show's fourth season, which resumes on Tuesday (January 6) night.

Up first is my 10 minute chat with Zooey Deschanel, who discusses what went wrong last season with the Nick-Jess relationship, the pleasures of getting to act opposite a string of new potential love interests and the new opening credits that have raised some discontent among "New Girl" fans.

Stay tuned over the next couple days for my chats with Jake Johnson and Max Greenfield...

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