Pre-credit sequence. Let's see... It was Jeremiah who went home last? Sure. Sounds right. The Final 7 returns home. Jefra is exhausted, but she's feeling good about the decision she made to stay with Tony and that alliance. Kass is feeling smug about Spencer's Idol, which she claims she knew he had. [She did, indeed, voice those suspicions last week.] She's also feeling smug about knowing Spencer wouldn't give the Idol up, saying that a college-aged human male is "the most selfish beast on the planet." "I used my Idol and I used it wrong," Spencer laments. "Tonight we lost the battle, we have not lost the war," he insists of his dwindling alliance with Tasha. The next morning, Tree-Mail arrives and it includes billets of money. "Survivor" Auction! Trish is hungry and looking forward to eating. "FOOOOOD!" she howls. Tony, of course, knows that the auction will also include an Immunity Challenge advantage and he's determined to get it. "This is our life right now," Spencer says of the auction. He's not referring to bidding for peanut butter.
Several questions before Wednesday (April 30) night's "American Idol":
1) Why is the announced theme "America's Request" and not "America's Choice"? Is America going to make a suggestion followed by, "Pretty please?" and then Caleb Johnson's gonna be all, "Nuh-uh, America"?
2) FOX only said that the singers would be doing *a* song requested by America. What else will fill the time on Wednesday?
3) How excited do you think Alex Preston will be to have Jason Mraz as his mentor this week?
On to the full recap, after the break...
NATCHEZ, MISSISSIPPI. It's mid-December on the Mississippi set of "Get On Up" and it's possible that the hardest working man in show business is the young actor playing The Hardest Working Man in Show Business.
We're between shots in a scene recreating James Brown and The Famous Flames' iconic performance in the concert film "T.A.M.I. Show" and everything is resetting.
For Chadwick Boseman, though, there's no such thing as a reset. The cameras may not be rolling, but Boseman's feet keep shuffling across the shiny green linoleum of the Natchez Auditorium stage, which is standing in for the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. He only pauses to run over to the monitor to see how his footwork looks, but then he returns to the stage, dancing his way there and back.
Chadwick Boseman has become something of a perpetual motion machine, but if you watch old videos of James Brown, the rhythmic restlessness is one of the first things you'll notice about the Godfather of Soul as well.
When I mention this to the movie's choreographer Aakomon Jones, also playing one of the Flames, he's instantly gratified.
"That's literally where I start," Jones smiles. "Because we got into the cool slides and all that footwork and the spins and all that. It's just this thing that James Brown does when he's like driving the beat, he's clicking both heels, one into the other -- right-left, right-left, right-left. I worked with Chad on that for hours, maybe two days straight before we ever started trying to add flashes. I knew that if he got that, he had 60 percent of what James Brown is as a performer as far as quantity, because he does that throughout his entire performance. He'll flash here, he'll slip off to the fight and dance-break and he'll hit a spin or a split, but 75 percent of the time? He's right-left with the heels. That's what keeps the band locked in."
And Boseman is certainly locked in as well.
Director Tate Taylor, the man behind the Oscar-winning hit "The Help," is shooting James Brown's "T.A.M.I. Show" numbers as full, uninterrupted songs. [After editing, I highly doubt that's the approach Taylor will take, but I can assure you that at least in the moment, the performances are sustained.]
Boseman goes through the entirety of his "Out of Sight" performance, which includes spins, a split and ends with him on his knees as the crowd shrieks.
"Mr. Brown, would you like another?" Taylor asks. And every time, Boseman does, indeed, want another..
NATCHEZ, MISSISSIPPI. If you greet biopics with a certain amount of trepidation, "Get On Up" director Tate Taylor is right there with you.
"I’ve never been a big fan of biopics," the well-dressed helmer of "The Help" tells a pair of visiting reporters, pausing between shots in mid-December, more than eight months before the scheduled August 1, 2014 release date.
"The last one I really loved was 'Coal Miner’s Daughter.' I loved that," Taylor continues.
"Coal Miner's Daughter," which won an Oscar for Sissy Spacek, opened in 1980.
"For me I think what makes them successful is I approached this as, 'This is a movie about an amazing man. And, oh yeah, he’s James Brown.' That’s how I approached this, is who he was and what made him the man he was," Taylor explains. "And what I honed in on, what I thought was special is you can usually do a movie about someone’s drive to succeed and how they got there but what I think’s interesting about James Brown, is he didn’t want to go backwards. And that’s a fear, I think, I have and a lot of people relate to. Everybody can relate to that and that’s what made me think it would be accessible for audiences regardless of the music, is that fear of, 'Oh my gosh, what if this all goes away?' Not, 'Oh, I’ve done enough and I can coast.' Some people, they don’t want it to go away. And that’s what I really wanted to focus in on what it takes to keep it where you are and then reinvent yourself over and over and over."
Fast National ratings for Tuesday, April 29, 2014.
With "NCIS" routing "The Voice" overall and closing the gap among young viewers to a minuscule 0.2 rating, CBS commandingly won Tuesday in total viewers and was able to eke out a victory in the key demo.
There were mixed returns all around on Tuesday night.
On the positive side, ABC got demo rises for "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." and "The Goldbergs," "Person of Interest" grew on CBS and NBC saw a bump for "Chicago Fire." The CW also got a good week for the nested "Supernatural" spinoff and also for "The Originals."
On the down side, NBC's "About a Boy" slipped and FOX's "Glee" hit a series low.
And on the neither-good-nor-bad-but-different front, FOX's "The Mindy Project" improved on its "New Girl" lead-in both overall and among young viewers.
On to the numbers.
One of the questions we frequently get asked on Firewall & Iceberg is "Do Sweeps Periods Still Matter?" and the answer we always give is, "Kinda." They're not the almighty forces they once were, but they still matter.
Case-in-point? May Sweeps 2014! How many of your favorite shows have already ended for the season? "Community"! "Parks and Recreation"! "Scandal"! "Parenthood"! They're all done.
However, May still marks the end of the Official Nielsen 2013-2014 Season and it marks the start of the summer programming season, so between May 1 and May 31, there's a lot of programming we're looking forward to, whether it's a TV milestone like Baba Wawa's retirement, a big plot point on a favorite show like Christina's departure from "Grey's Anatomy," an movie event like HBO's "Normal Heart" or NBC's "Rosemary's Baby" or a new series premiere like "Penny Dreadful" on cable or "Gang Related" on FOX.
Here are 15 things we're looking forward to watching on TV in May and our feeble rationales. You're probably looking forward to 15 totally different things. There's too much TV.
What are you looking forward to?
It will be 13-episodes-and-out for the FOX robot procedural "Almost Human."
News of the "Almost Human" cancellation first broke on Tuesday (April 29) evening on Deadline.com and HitFix can now confirm that the J.J. Abrams-produced drama will not be back next season, a victim either of lackluster ratings or of FOX's already-aggressive plans for next season.
We're only two weeks from the birth of NBC's new take on "Rosemary's Baby" and, courtesy of NBC, HitFix has an exclusive picture of Zoe Saldana, who will be stepping into a modern version Mia Farrow's pixie cut for the Ira Levin adaptation.
As you can see from the picture above -- a very nice NBC-provided image that is NOT an exclusive -- the new "Rosemary's Baby" has been moved from New York City to Paris and the picture is presumably meant to make us sympathize with Patrick J. Adams' character, because we also would make some very dark pacts to get a Parisian flat with that unobstructed view of the Eiffel Tower.
In addition to Adams and Saldana, "Rosemary's Baby" stars Jason Isaacs and Carole Bouquet. The teleplay comes from Scott Abbott and James Wong, with "Europa, Europa" and "Treme" veteran Agnieszka Holland.
"Rosemary's Baby" will air its first two hours on Sunday, May 11 and the story will conclude on Thursday, May 15.
You'll note that in our exclusive gallery image (below), Saldana is wearing that same sleeveless red number. Credit to costume designer Pierre-Yves Gayraud and costume supervisor Catherine Boisgontier for the snazzy dress.
Happy Tuesday, Boys & Girls. No video show this week, so it's time for another installment of The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast.
There's lots to cover this week, including the series premiere of "Playing House," the return of "24" and "Louie" and the finale for "Parks and Recreation."
We also, of course, chatter about this Sunday's "Mad Men." It's what we do.
Here's today's breakdown:
"Playing House" (00:01:25 - 00:09:20)
"24: Live Another Day" (00:09:25 - 00:27:10)
"Louie" (00:27:15 - 00:34:05)
"Last Week Tonight with John Oliver" (00:34:10 - 00:41:45)
"Parks and Recreation" finale (00:41:45 - 00:58:55)
"Mad Men" (00:59:00 - 01:23:40)
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.
A&E has given a 10-episode series order to "The Returned" which, unlike ABC's "Resurrection," actually is a remake of the critically adored French zombie drama "Les Revenants."
"Lost" veteran Carlton Cuse wrote the pilot script for "The Returned" and he will executive produce the series with "True Blood" veteran Raelle Tucker.