<p>Reed does the splits</p>

Reed does the splits

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Survivor: San Juan Del Sur' - 'This Is Where We Build Trust'

Multiple Idols play a big role in an exciting episode

Apologies for the lateness of this recap. I went back to New England for Thanksgiving and, after six inches of wet snow, power went off late Wednesday afternoon and didn't return until late Friday afternoon. Fortunately, my exit interview this week was already holiday-delayed, so I'm right on schedule there. Anyway... Happy Thanksgiving!

Pre-credit sequence. Josh is gone. Jeremy is gone. So... Now what at Huyopa? Sloth! Is that supposed to be symbolic or just cute? Keith is confused by what happened at Tribal Council, because he was expecting Reed to be going home. He thinks Reed is still around because of... ummm... mathematical mess and other stuff that goes over Keith's head. Oddly, it has come to pass that Reed seems to either be in a dominant position, or else he thinks he's in a dominant position and he's musing on either sticking with Jon or, possibly, taking Jon out. Natalie feels that she can't trust anybody. Trying to build trust, Jon tells Natalie about his Idol. And now Natalie is also thinking of how she might possibly blindside Jon as well. Natalie decides to go on a quest for an Idol, thinking that her vague recollection of the Exile Idol clue might help her find an Idol that clearly nobody else could have already found. But I guess desperate times call for desperate measures.

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<p>Adam and Bethany of &quot;The Amazing Race&quot;</p>

Adam and Bethany of "The Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'The Amazing Race' - 'You're Taking My Tan Off'

The teams head to Singapore, where a Double U-Turn and a Fast-Forward loomed

Can we just skip to next week and the triumphant return of the "My Ox Is Broken" task?

I kinda wish that "Amazing Race" recycled the most difficult of challenges more frequently. Like the hay bale challenge from Season 6 and Season 15? That one could totally be done every five seasons. 

And if next week's ox return is triumphant, aren't we going to be annoyed that the show waited 20 full seasons before giving somebody else the chance to try to top Colin's Season 5 meltdown? I sure will be.

Fine. Let's not get ahead of ourselves. 

Friday (November 28) night's "Amazing Race" was probably the most purely entertaining Leg of the season. It had an exciting decision process on the Fast-Forward, an impressively photogenic Roadblock and a Detour that rewarded fans who like their Detours noisy and will probably infuriate anybody who stops to think about it for more than a second. And then we had extensive drama involving a final task and a Double U-Turn that will surely reward fans who like the pure good/evil binary applied by The Wrestlers and will probably frustrate viewers who like "The Amazing Race" to be played with thought and strategy and aren't particularly engaged by cartoonishly ignorant evil.

So was this actually a good episode of "The Amazing Race"? I... don't know. I really just can't tell with this show anymore. But there were definitely a lot of moving pieces in this episode and moving pieces keep episodes entertaining.

Let's recap!

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<p>Richard Sherman celebrates Turkey Day</p>

Richard Sherman celebrates Turkey Day

Credit: AP

TV Ratings: FOX's 'Cause for Paws' is solid, but NBC football leads Thanksgiving

Seahawks-49ers action tops Thursday in all measures

Fast National ratings for Thursday, November 27, 2014.

Expect to see a second "Cause For Paws: An All-Star Dog Spectacular" next year, because the FOX special drew solid Thanksgiving ratings, but it still couldn't compete with NBC's telecast of the NFL game between the Seahawks and 49ers.

Airing on Thanksgiving didn't hurt CBS' "Elementary," which was up from last week in the key demographic, but it did now favors for new episodes of "Mom," Two and a Half Men" and "The McCarthys," which falters without "Big Bang Theory" to lead the night.

The "Cause for Paws" numbers are presumably NFL-inflated, while CBS' NFL numbers are inaccurate as per usual.

[Pre-Thanksgiving Wednesday Notes: Due to power outages in New Hampshire, I didn't get to Wednesday's ratings. CBS led both overall and among adults 18-49 thanks to new episodes of "Survivor" (8.93 million and a 2.1 key demo), "Criminal Minds" (10.85 million and a 2.2 key demo) and "Stalker" (8.15 million and a 1.6 key demo). NBC's "Making of Peter Pan Live" drew a weak 3.02 million viewers and a 0.6 key demo rating. And FOX's new "Hell's Kitchen" (3.47 million and a 1.1 key demo) and "Red Band Society" (2.49 million and a 0.7 key demo) weren't especially impressive.]

On to Thursday's ratings...

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<p>Grumpy Cat</p>

Grumpy Cat

Credit: Lifetime

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 258

Dan and Alan review Grumpy Cat and 'Toy Story' holiday specials and more


Happy Wednesday, Boys & Girls!

If you're heading over the river and through the woods this Thanksgiving, here's a new installment of The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast to help you pass the time. 

In this week's installment, we reviewed Lifetime's Grumpy Cat Christmas movie, Pixar's "Toy Story" holiday special and, just in case we don't get to podcast by next Tuesday, Bravo's "Girlfriends' Guide To Divorce."

We also talked extensively about The State of TV Comedy and about "How To Get Away With Murder" in the aftermath of its fall finale thing. 

Here's today's breakdown:
"Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever" (00:01:30 - 00:09:15)
"Toy Story That Time Forgot" (00:09:20 - 00:15:10)
"Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce" (00:15:10 - 00:24:10)
Listener Mail: State of TV Comedy (00:24:35 - 00:48:10)
Listener Mail: The Correct Number of Cooks (00:48:15 - 01:01:40)
Listener Mail: "How To Get Away With Murder" (01:01:50 - 01:13:05)

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.

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<p>Your &quot;Dancing with the Stars&quot; winners</p>

Your "Dancing with the Stars" winners

Credit: ABC

TV Ratings: Big 'Dancing' finale leads ABC past 'NCIS'-led CBS on Tuesday

'Marry Me' and 'About a Boy' plummet against competition

Fast National ratings for Tuesday, November 25, 2014.

The latest season finale of "Dancing with the Stars" -- Somebody knows who won, we're sure -- helped ABC outpace "NCIS" and "NCIS: New Orleans"-led CBS on Tuesday night.

ABC is calling these the best "Dancing" finale numbers in four seasons, since November 2012.

The "Dancing" finale competition sent "The Voice" down and also took a big bite out of NBC's "Marry Me," "About a Boy" and "Chicago Fire."

With pre-holiday factors also probably playing a role, most of Tuesday's offerings were down, though  The CW's "The Flash" managed a 0.1 bump in the key demo, for whatever that's worth.

On to the numbers...

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

Monday's "Scorpion"

Credit: CBS

TV Ratings: 'Scorpion' rises, 'State of Affairs' droops on NFL-skewed Monday

NFL coverage plus Ferguson-based preemptions make a mess of ratings

Fast National ratings for Monday, November 24, 2014.

"Dancing with the Stars" led ABC to an easy Monday win overall, while "The Voice" helped NBC still win primetime in the key demographic despite a Week 2 dip for "State of Affairs."

On the surface, Monday's biggest non-winning winner was CBS, which replaced "The Millers" with a "Big Bang Theory" repeat and got improved numbers from both "2 Broke Girls" and "Scorpion," but with two NFL games on Monday, that means lots of preemptions.

To be more specific, CBS was preempted for Bills-Jets coverage in New York and a bit of Pennsylvania, while NBC was preempted in Baltimore and New Orleans for Ravens-Saints coverage.

In addition, coverage of events in Ferguson, Missouri also probably caused at least some preemptions in some markets in Monday.

And lots of preemptions means the inevitability of lots of changes for Monday when things shake out in Finals.

But for now, here are the preliminary numbers...

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Credit: NBC

NBC caps 'Constantine' Season 1 at 13 episodes

Network insists a second season is still possible

"Constantine" has become the first of the fall's new DC Comics adaptations not to get a full-season order from its respective network.

NBC sources confirmed on Monday (November 24) that Season 1 of "Constantine" will be capped at 13 episodes. 

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<p>Ian McKellen in the third &quot;Hobbit&quot; film</p>

Ian McKellen in the third "Hobbit" film

Credit: Warner Bros.

Ian McKellen spends his last day as Gandalf on the 'Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies' set

Oscar nominee reflects on his journey to Tolkien/'X Men' franchise star

WELLINGTON, NZ. Perhaps it's the blustery winterish weather outside and the relative warmth and stillness inside the vast, canvas-covered tent/structure that give Sir Ian McKellen comfort.

Maybe it's the lure of craft services dessert that give him cause to stay.

Or maybe the venerable thespian is just in an introspective mood.

Whatever the cause, as wind howls outside and various members of the "Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" crew scurry in and out of the door, accompanied by chilly gusts and intruding drizzle, McKellen holds court with a small group of reporters for nearly 45 minutes. Some of that time is spent on The State of Gandalf and the events that may or may not be on-tap for the third installment of Peter Jackson's second Tolkien-based trilogy, but far more of the interview is dedicated to deep reflection, delivered in the same authoritative and sonorous tone McKellen might use to repel orcs or deliver Shakespeare. 

It's early June 2013 on the New Zealand sound stages housing the "Hobbit" movies, but it's not just another day for the actor. He's come to set just to talk with us, but he's one day away from something more momentous: Tomorrow will be Sir Ian McKellen's last day shooting on "The Battle of the Five Armies" and, thus, it will be his last day of production as Gandalf the Grey.

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<p>Peter Jackson</p>

Peter Jackson

Credit: Evan Agostini/AP

'Hobbit' Set Visit: Peter Jackson stares down The Battle of the Five Armies

Oscar-winning director discusses CGI battles and the importance of pick-ups

WELLINGTON, NZ. On many films, directors build in a certain amount of time to do pick-ups after production is completed, a few weeks to return come back and lock down a few shots or even a few scenes that either didn't go perfectly originally or that they realized were integral to telling the story.

Peter Jackson doesn't do things the way normal directors do. Since he has generated billions of dollars for his studio partners and basically constructed a production empire of his own down in New Zealand, he gets to create his own definition for "pick-ups," which most filmmakers would probably call "basically making the darned movie."

It's early June 2013 on the set of what will come to be known as "The Battle of the Five Armies," the third film in Jackson's adaptation of "The Hobbit." A group of reporters is on-set for what everybody is calling "pick-ups," but that's a term Jackson needs to clarify.

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<p>Cowboys QB Tony Romo</p>

Cowboys QB Tony Romo

Credit: AP

TV Ratings: NBC's Cowboys-Giants game outpaces ABC's AMAs on Sunday

NFL overrun boosts CBS to high numbers as well

Fast National ratings for Sunday, November 23, 2014.

NBC's Sunday Night Football coverage of the game between the Cowboys and Giants easily controlled primetime in all measures, while NFL overrun pushed CBS to second overall and the American Music Awards telecast put ABC in second in the key demographic.

CBS' numbers include 30 minutes of NFL overrun, but the overrun was actually closer to 40 minutes for much of the country, so expect plenty of shifting when Finals come in.

Meanwhile, without any sort of NFL boost FOX had a sluggish Sunday including a predictably weak time period premiere for the first 7:30 installment of "Mulaney."

On to the numbers...

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