[In case you've Forgotten, and as I will continue to mention each and every one of these posts that I do: This is *not* a review. Pilots change. Sometimes a lot. Often for the better. Sometimes for the worse. But they change. Actual reviews will be coming in September and perhaps October (and maybe midseason in some cases). This is, however, a brief gut reaction to not-for-air pilots. I know some people will be all "These are reviews." If you've read me, you've read my reviews and you know this isn't what they look like.]
Fast National ratings for Thursday, August 7, 2014.
A "Big Bang Theory" repeat and a new "Big Brother" led CBS' rout on Thursday night, though the network had NFL preemptions for 22 percent of the country, which probably helped more than a little.
With preemptions or delays taking over such markets as New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Boston, CBS' numbers will certainly change -- "Mom" repeats tend not to do 2.0 key demo ratings -- but it probably won't matter in terms of the bottom line of Thursday rankings.
Meanwhile, there were some positive grace notes to Thursday's ratings, with small bumps for "Gang Related," "Working the Engels." There are NFL-based reasons for those bumps as well and there may also be, I suppose, an NFL-based explanation for the flat numbers for "The Quest" and "Rookie Blue." The NFL ruins everything. These ratings are concussed.
In addition, several networks had preemptions and delays for President Obama's address on Iraq.
So let's just say that as value-questionable as Fast National ratings normally are, these are extra-worthless.
On to the numbers...
Fast affiliate ratings for Wednesday, August 6, 2014.
"America's Got Talent" and "Big Brother" carried NBC and CBS to a Wednesday tie among young adults (though NBC won easily among total viewers), while "Taxi Brooklyn" and "Extant" continued their stalemate at 10.
It's a perfect Lady Edith moment.
I'm talking to Laura Carmichael a couple weeks back during the Television Critics Association press tour and early in our interview, she has to pause and take a call. She's all apologetic, but it's Ealing Studios and they've apparently forgotten that Carmichael isn't in England shooting "Downton Abbey," but rather she's Across the Pond promoting the upcoming fifth season.
That's the kind of thing that just doesn't happen with Lady Mary and CERTAINLY wouldn't have happened with Poor Lady Sybil, rest in peace.
But for Edith? Well, she's always had it harder. Lady Edith has reliably been forgotten, sneered at or grumbled about, but she perseveres.
"Julian [Fellowes] has a theory that some people in life are lucky and some people are not. And Edith has not been lucky," Carmichael laughs. "But I think, to her credit, it's helped her be a far more proactive person and the sort of a modern day woman in that way, because she hasn't laid down and let it all washed over her. She has gotten up and gone to work and created a life for herself."
Two seasons ago, it seemed like Lady Edith might have turned a corner. Yes, she was still subject to withering scorn from Mary and general apathy from her parents, but she seemed to have found a reasonably good man and she also had found a job.
But in Season 4, Michael Gregson vanished in Germany, leaving Edith to cope with an unplanned pregnancy, a plight that kept her so busy that she stopped mentioning her newspaper column entirely.
In our conversation, Carmichael explains what Edith was up to last year and the importance of being the keeper of your own character when you're one piece of a 17-person ensemble. She argues for Edith's growth and evolution over the years and talks about the change in reactions to her.
We won't be getting Season 5 of "Downton Abbey" until January, at least not via legal means. But since we started our conversation with Emmy talk and since there are no real spoilers at all, I'm posting now!
Check out the full Q&A...
Fast National ratings for Tuesday, August 5, 2014.
ABC's three-hour broadcast of "CMA Music Festival: Country's Night To Rock" helped the network to a slim Tuesday win among young viewers and put ABC in a close second to NBC among young viewers.
NBC still won the key demo despite week-to-week drops for both "Food Fighters" and "America's Got Talent."
On to the numbers...
Happy Tuesday, Boys & Girls.
After a week off, it's time for the triumphant return of The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast. Or, at the very least, it's time for a new installment of The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast.
Yes, we missed a lot of stuff last week and... Sorry.
And yes, we've kinda gotten behind on "Friday Night Lights," but we're doubling up next week.
This week, however, we have a pair of highly anticipated premium cable dramas in Cinemax's "The Knick" and Starz's "Outlander." We also answered a trio of questions, including one that let us talk about the finale of "Halt and Catch Fire."
And we talked about "Guardians of the Galaxy" because we have no problems talking about movies in the rare circumstances in which we both saw the same movie in the same week!
"The Knick" (00:01:05 - 00:18:00)
"Outlander" (00:18:00 - 00:33:15)
Listener Mail - Tonally at-odds credits (00:33:35 - 00:39:05)
Listener Mail - Vince Gilligan/Peter Jackson (00:39:10 - 00:44:15)
Listener Mail - "Halt and Catch Fire" (00:44:20 - 00:58:10)
"Guardians of the Galaxy" (00:58:20 - 01:17:05)
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.
The opening minutes of "The Knick" throw down a gauntlet.
We're introduced to Clive Owen's John Thackery and his distinctive mustache at a red filtered opium den in 1900 New York City. Accompanied by an anachronistic score from Cliff Martinez, Thackery heads off in a carriage, removing his white leather shoes to shoot up between his toes. In no time, Thackery has reached the Knickerbocker Hospital, where he's thrust into the middle of a placenta previa surgery, like all surgeries in the period, a harrowing and bloody prospect.
You're in or you're out. There are no in-betweens.
Steven Soderbergh, who directed (and shot and edited) the entirety of the first "Knick" season, wouldn't have it any other way.
"[T]he first seven minutes of the first episode contain the sort of DNA of the whole show. If you're not down with how those first seven minutes go you're going to have trouble, because I'm giving you the code for how we're going to do it," Soderbergh told me when we sat down at the Beverly Hilton during last month's Television Critics Association press tour.
Soderbergh, bless his heart, doesn't believe in short interviews and so, joined by Clive Owen, we discussed how a script by two veterans of "The Shaggy Dog" (Jack Amiel and Michael Begler) attracted an Oscar-winning director and an A-list film star and then how that project ended up at Cinemax.
The short answer? Soderbergh wanted it that way.
"Partly it's just probably a little self-serving in the sense that I knew that we'd be the big kid in a small school over there and I wanted that kind of personal attention," Soderbergh explained, simultaneously smiling and completely serious.
We didn't delve into Soderbergh's "retirement" because, let's be honest, the guy is just doing whatever he wants to do, wherever he wants to do it and it seems silly to quibble about whether he said (or somebody said on his behalf) that he was done with one medium or another. He's producing shows for Amazon and Starz. He directed the full season of "The Knick" and, as was announced within hours of this interview, he'll be directing a second full season as well. And "The Knick" looks and feels and moves like a Steven Soderbergh project.
In the interview, we talked about the show's treatment of its period setting and of the gory period surgeries, the value of the Cliff Martinez score and the pressures and panic moments associated with making five consecutive two-hour movies.
"The Knick" premieres on August 8. Check out the lengthy interview transcript below...
Fast National ratings for Monday, August 4, 2014.
"MasterChef," "American Ninja Warrior" and "Under the Dome" were able to help FOX, NBC and CBS all claim shares of the ratings pie on Monday night, while even ABC was competitive thanks to a so-so premiere for "Bachelor in Paradise."
"Bachelor in Paradise" was far below what "The Bachelorette" was doing for most of the summer, while "Running Wild with Bear Grylls" and "Hotel Hell" were also down week-to-week. "Under the Dome" was up very slightly.
On to the numbers...
Life is a whirlwind for the stars of Netflix's "Orange Is The New Black."
When they aren't journeying to Los Angeles to accept awards for the prison dramedy's first season which premiered in July 2013, they're still doing publicity for the second season which premiered in June 2014 and then, of course, there's the third "Orange Is The New Black" season, now in production.
That meant there was a lot of ground to cover when I talked to Uzo Aduba last week, starting with thanking her for dropping by the TCA Awards ceremony in July (she joked on Twitter that she, Taylor Schilling, Kate Mulgrew and Danielle Brooks were furloughed).
We talked about the Emmy process, which sees her going up against Laverne Cox and Natasha Lyonne for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series, including the selection of "Lesbian Request Denied" as her submission episode.
And we discussed Aduba's journey in the second "Orange" season, including her attempts to balance the line between Suzanne and Crazy Eyes.
The Emmy voting deadline is Wednesday, August 6, if such things matter to you. The Creative Arts Awards, the show which includes the Guest Actor categories, will be held on August 16. The second season of "Orange Is The New Black" is available in its entirety on Netflix. And Season 3 will premiere next spring/summer at some point.
Check out the full interview...
Fast National ratings for August 3, 2014.
The NFL Hall of Fame Game, the pro football preseason opener, helped NBC dominated Sunday night among young viewers and also hold off "Big Brother" and CBS for an overall win.
The Giants-Bills tilt took a small bite out of CBS's numbers (impacted very slightly by golf overrun), but mostly left things steady.
All numbers are subject to change, but this year's Hall of Fame Game appears to be down a comfortable margin from last year's preseason opener, which featured the Cowboys.
On to the numbers...