<p>Adelina Sotnikova of Russia</p>

Adelina Sotnikova of Russia

Credit: AP

TV Ratings: NBC's Olympics Thursday peaks late, while 'Idol' droops

Figure skating draws a 10 p.m. audience from Sochi
Fast National ratings for Thursday, February 20, 2014.
 
With the United States facing its first Olympics without an individual skating medal in decades, NBC failed to get a bump for the normally massive women's figure skating final, but still captured its third straight Thursday with coverage from Sochi. 
 
Because NBC saved most of the skating for the 10 p.m. hour, this was the rare night of Olympics coverage in which the last part of primetime was easily the most-watched hour.
 
The night's only other originals were the Top 13 reveal on "American Idol," which kept sinking, and another low-rated new episode of the struggling "Rake."
 
On to the numbers...
 
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<p>MK Nobilette or Justin Bieber? You decide!</p>

MK Nobilette or Justin Bieber? You decide!

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' Season 13 Rush Week - Top 13 Revealed

America picked 10 favorites and the judges will add three Wild Cards

When it comes to Thursday (February 20) night's "American Idol" results, I'm not confident on much. I know who I thought gave the best performances between the Top 15 Girls on Tuesday and the Top 15 Boys on Wednesday, but I don't know how America will respond.

I'm using a picture of MK Nobilette with my recap because I'm sure that even if America didn't love her, the judges will use a Wild Card for her. 

Beyond that? Well, let's see who makes the season's Top 13. Then I'm gonna go out and interview them.

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<p>Elisha Cuthbert</p>

Elisha Cuthbert

Credit: Jordan Strauss/AP

Elisha Cuthbert joins NBC's 'One Big Happy' family

This story is an excuse to post 'Happy Endings' clips
Remember how when "Happy Endings" premiered everybody was all, "But Elisha Cuthbert isn't funny, at least not intentionally." And then after one season we were like, "Wait. Maybe Elisha Cuthbert is funny if you use her correctly." And then after two seasons, we were like, "Wait. Elisha Cuthbert is just plain funny." And then when "Happy Endings" ended, we were like, "Get Elisha Cuthbert a new comedy, now!"
 
It took a little while, but a network is finally trying.
 
We can confirmed that Elisha Cuthbert has been cast in the NBC/WBTV comedy pilot "One Big Happy," a multi-cam sitcom from writer Liz Feldman.
 
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<p>Lucien Laviscount</p>

Lucien Laviscount

'Supernatural: Tribes' begins casting with 'Vampire Diaries,' 'Waterloo Road' vets

The CW's 'Supernatural' spinoff casts its first two leads and they're both pretty
The CW has officially begun casting on "Supernatural: Tribes" and in case you were concerned, they've gone "attractive" with the initial stars. 
 
The first two actors set for the "Supernatural" spinoff pilot are Nathaniel Buzolic and Lucien Laviscount. The two actors and their characters will be introduced in the April 29 episode of "Supernatural."
 
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<p>American Gracie Gold</p>

American Gracie Gold

Credit: AP

TV Ratings: Tiny Olympic bump for NBC Wednesday, while 'Idol' and 'Criminal Minds' get close

Didn't figure skating used to be more popular than this?
Fast National ratings for Wednesday, February 19, 2014.
 
Despite a reputation as the most popular of Olympic events, the start of the ladies figure skating competition from Sochi gave NBC only a small night-to-night bump on Wednesday, not that the less-than-impressive growth kept the network from dominating primetime in all measures.
 
In purely hypothetical terms, we'll see if NBC gets a bigger bump for Thursday's figure skating if early reports have either Ashley Wagner or Gracie Gold making a run for the medal podium.
 
FOX's second straight two-hour "American Idol" performance episode almost perfectly mimicked Tuesday's episode, but "Idol" was edged out by CBS' new "Criminal Minds" overall and only barely held off the procedural in the key demo.
 
On to the numbers...
 
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<p>Ben Briley of &quot;American Idol&quot;</p>

Ben Briley of "American Idol"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' Season 13 Rush Week - Top 15 Boys

Can the 'Idol' Men improve on Tuesday's lackluster performances

Things started fairly well on Tuesday's "American Idol," with decent performances from Majesty Rose and Kristen O'Connor. Then, the decline began. By the end, the judges were overpraising the emotional-but-unremarkable MK Nobilette and celebrating Malaya Watson's admirably personality-heavy performance just to make it seem like the night hadn't become a disaster. 

Has the pendulum swung back in favor of the "Idol" men? We'll find out on Wednesday night when 10 members of the Top 15 perform.

I'm assuming that Ben Briley *has* to perform, otherwise the judges are telling America, "Yo. Thanks for voting. We don't really care."

The question becomes how many White Guys With Guitars the judges will select to perform. If Ben is already going, for example, there's really no chance that Casey Thrasher, Alex Preston and Dexter Roberts are ALL gonna go. Is there? And when it comes to providing kibble for the show's young female core, could Spencer Lloyd, Briston Miller and Sam Woolf all get chances? Really?

Let's find out! 

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<p>Terrence Howard</p>

Terrence Howard

Credit: Arthur Mola/AP

Oscar nominees Terrence Howard, Judd Hirsch land pilot roles, but not together

FOX's 'Empire' and ABC's 'Forever' snag stars
Under normal circumstances, Terrence Howard and Judd Hirsch have very little in common, but for the purposes of Wednesday (February 19) afternoon news, they're both Oscar nominees who are getting into the pilot game. 
 
No. Hirsch and Howard are not getting into the pilot game together, though TNT's "Hirsch & Howard," featuring Judd Hirsch and Terrence Howard playing exaggerated versions of themselves and fighting crime would be a massive, massive hit. 
 
In the short term, though, Terrence Howard has landed the lead in FOX's hip-hop drama pilot "Empire," while Judd Hirsch will play a supporting role in ABC's drama "Forever."
 
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<p>This isn't a good picture, but you know why FOX made it available.</p>

This isn't a good picture, but you know why FOX made it available.

Credit: FOX

TV Ratings: Sluggish Olympics coverage tops Tuesday 'American Idol'

'Killer Women' finds a way to drop in young viewers
Fast National ratings for Tuesday, February 18, 2014.
 
After a couple bounce-back nights due to ice-dancing, NBC's Tuesday Winter Olympics coverage took a big drop, but still easily beat a special off-night performance episode of "American Idol."
 
Expect NBC's Sochi telecasts to get a big boost over the next two nights with the female side of the figure skating programming. 
 
There were few other notables on a repeat-filled Tuesday, though ABC's "Killer Women" somehow managed to lose 0.1 from an already impressively low young adult viewership. Also, The CW's encore of the "Star-Crossed" pilot very nearly equaled the audience for Monday's premiere.
 
On to the numbers...
 
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<p>Jada Pinkett Smith</p>

Jada Pinkett Smith

Credit: AP

FOX's 'Gotham' casts Jada Pinkett Smith as a sadistic gangster

'Matrix Reloaded' veteran will play Fish Mooney in the Batman prequel
Reminding us all what comes from making assumptions, FOX's "Gotham" has cast vicious mobster Fish Mooney and perhaps the gender-ambiguous name should have been a tip-off.
 
Jada Pinkett Smith has landed the key adversarial role as hot-headed gangster and nightclub owner Fish Mooney in "Gotham," the Batman origin story from Warner Bros. TV. And if you expected somebody different to be running the Gotham criminal underground, well that's just because of your own preconceived issues, since Fish isn't a character from within the DC Comics canon.
 
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<p>Just a sweet moment between brothers for hero Michael Corleone</p>

Just a sweet moment between brothers for hero Michael Corleone

Credit: MGM

Heroes vs. Villains: Where does Michael Corleone from 'The Godfather' fall?

Vicious killing machine or tragic victim of his family's legacy?
The NCAA basketball tournaments are less than a month away. Because it's obviously never been done before, HitFix is going to host its own tournament, but this battle won't take place between teams on Tobacco Road. We've got something more exciting in mind.  In our competition, the greatest Heroes from the worlds of television and movies will face off versus the greatest Villains.  

The committee is currently mulling over the brackets, but we need your help.  There are six characters who some would consider anti-heroes, but we know then need to part of the battle royale. Do they fall in the Heroes bracket or the Villains bracket? 

You decide.  You have 48 hours. Choose wisely.
 
 
Sepinwall started things off this morning with Walter White. That was a no-brainer. No matter how cool you think Heisenberg was, once he let Jane die and poisoned Brock, he was already way to the "Villain" side of the scale and once he orchestrated a jailhouse massacre, I think the conversation was over. In fact, those of you who called Walter White a "Hero" scare me a little. He's a "Protagonist," but he's not a "Hero."
 
I'm not sure that Michael Corleone is going to be much different. 
 
In fact, Walter White's orchestrated assassination of myriad incarcerated witnesses is pretty much a straight-up homage to Michael's orchestrated decimation of the heads of the other New York crime families in the first "Godfather" movie. And that's after he personally kills Sollozzo and McCluskey at a restaurant. Michael goes on to order the killing of his poor, spineless brother and instigate a number of murders that probably goes into the "countless" range. Oh and he closes the door on Kay. That's pretty evil and sad.
 
But it's not like he *wanted* to do any of this. I mean, Vito and Sonny? They're the venal villains of the Corleone clan. Michael's a war hero with no interest in joining the family business. He just wants to go to Dartmouth and marry Kay and be happy. And even after all of the stuff he does in the first movie, he has a plan to make the Corleone family entirely legitimate, but nooooooo. Every time Michael gets close, somebody else screws things up. As he famously puts it in "Godfather III," just when he thinks he's out, they PULL him back in. Sonny wanted to be a crime lord. Michael just wants to do what's right for his family.
 
So the question, as with many or most anti-heroes, becomes: Do we judge Michael Corleone on the sum of his actions or on the sum of his aspirations? If you go with the former, of course he's a villain. If you go with the latter, he's a tragic hero, laid low by the elusive boundaries of the American Dream. 
 
VOTE NOW, BELOW!
 
See also...
 
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