<p>&quot;The Amazing Race&quot;</p>

"The Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'The Amazing Race' - 'Smells Like Dirty Tube Socks'

The teams head to Manila and deal with fish, oxen and motorcycles

A note on "Amazing Race" travel:

If there are two flights to a location getting in an hour or two apart in the mid-morning or early afternoon, it's probably acceptable to worry if you're on the later flight. Those people ahead of you have a solid advantage and if they don't screw up, your chances of moving ahead of them are remote, though probably not nil. 

If, however, there are two flights to a location getting in an hour or two apart late at night, chances are reasonably good that you won't need to sweat it. Yes, there's always the chance, especially if the destination city is considered a night-life hot-spot, that your next task could be at a bar or club -- i.e. Sri Lanka last season -- but precedent suggests you're more likely to follow your clue to a sign telling you to have an unpleasant night's sleep waiting for something or other to open. Maybe you'll find yourself in a later departing group by 10 or 15 minutes, but you're getting into a place before business hours, so you're not going to be required to do very much, most times. 

There are no absolutes to these rules, but I'd say they're 90 percent reliable. I know it. You know it. "The Amazing Race" producers know it.

And if we all know it, what's the point in wasting the first 10 minutes of an episode on whether or not Dentists Misti & Jim made a big mistake in going to the Singapore airport to buy tickets to Manila rather than going to a travel agency and thus ended up on a flight getting in at 11:55 p.m. rather than 11:00?

This has been the case all season long on "The Amazing Race." Nobody's really had the chance to take courageous travel risks. Nobody's really made any idiotic travel blunders. And when there have been minor discrepancies in arrival times for various flights, they've almost always been followed by Equalizers either with additional legs of travel, or just with one of the aforementioned "Gates open at 7:30" signs.

But these are the things that we kill time with on "Amazing Race" Legs when everybody at home is pretty much assuming that a Non-Elimination Leg is coming.

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<p>&quot;The Odd Couple&quot;</p>

"The Odd Couple"

Credit: CBS

CBS sets 'Two and a Half Men' series finale, new 'Odd Couple' premiere

Will you be sad to see Jon Cryer and Not-Charlie Sheen go?

We already knew that "Two and a Half Men" was shedding its mortal coil after this, it's 12th season. Now, however, we finally know when the coast will be clear for viewers to return to CBS without fear of "Two and a Half Men" episodes or promos.

CBS announced on Friday (December 5) that "Two and a Half Men" will end with a one-hour series finale on Thursday, February 19 from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. The comedy, which won Jon Cryer a pair of Emmys and launched Charlie Sheen to "Anger Management," will have aired 262 episodes.

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Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 259
Credit: NBC

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 259

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


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.

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<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."

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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...

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<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.

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<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.

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<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...

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<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!

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<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...

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