Fast National ratings for Monday, October 13, 2014.
Monday night's 49ers-Rams game aired on one CBS affiliate and one CW affiliate, which may skew the final ratings a bit, but in preliminary numbers, the CW's "Jane the Virgin" had a promising debut, "Scorpion" stabilized after last week's big drop, "Big Bang Theory" was the night's most-watched show, and NBC won the night on the strength of "The Voice" and "The Blacklist."
Fast National ratings for Monday, October 13, 2014.
In the world of FOX's "Gotham," Future Batman is a sad middle schooler. Future Riddler is a puzzle enthusiast working for Gotham PD. Future Catwoman is an agile girl with trust issues. And Future Poison Ivy is just a kid with some interest in horticulture.
Perhaps that's why it's so much fun to watch Robin Lord Taylor strutting or waddling his stuff as Oswald Cobblepot. No, he isn't The Penguin, but Oswald is well on his way to being an ingratiating little budding psychopath.
"I don't know if there was ever a completely 'normal' Oswald," Taylor said when he stopped by the HitFix video studio last week, referencing the eccentric performance by Carol Kane as Mama Cobblepot as some of the origin for the eventual supervillain.
When last we saw Oswald, he was popping up at Jim Gordon's door, which is sure to cause awkwardness since so far as several crime lords know, The Future Commissioner Gordon shot Oswald and let his body wash away.
"I do think that Gordon is really the only person in Gotham City who Penguin trusts and, on top of that, he owes him his life and I don't think he takes that lightly," Taylor teases. In a little bit that was trimmed from this interview, Taylor suggested that Oswald isn't likely to feed Gordon a guilt trip about the crimes he's committed since Gordon let him go free. See, Oswald just wants a friend.
As vicious and an unpredictable as Taylor's Oswald is, though, the actor says we have a whole lot of darkening and craziness to go.
"I think we're 10 percent there," Taylor says of his journey to Penguin-dom.
Check out the full interview above.
And a new episode of "Gotham" airs Monday night at 8 p.m. on FOX.
Happy Monday, Boys & Girls.
Time for a slightly early-in-the-week installment of The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast.
We bumped this podcast up to Monday so that we could get in a review for The CW's "Jane the Virgin," which we both kinda like. It also adds some freshness to our discussions of Sunday's "The Walking Dead" and "Boardwalk Empire."
In this busy podcast, we also reviewed NBC's "Marry Me," discussed the first few "Parenthood" episodes of the season and answered a few pieces of Listener Mail.
Next week's podcast might be a bit later in the week so that I can catch up on a few things that I won't get to this week. That was just a warning. Worry not. A podcast will exist.
And here's today's breakdown:
"Jane the Virgin" (00:00:55 - 00:13:30)
"Marry Me" (00:13:30 - 00:21:50)
Listener Mail: FOX's fall struggles (00:22:20 - 00:31:20)
Listener Mail: Haircut-based TV declines (00:31:25 - 00:41:55)
"Parenthood" (00:42:00 - 00:53:00)
"The Walking Dead" (00:53:10 - 01:08:00)
"Boardwalk Empire" (01:08:00 - 01:28:00)
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.
America's appetite for brains, or at least our appetite for watching the living dead and their appetite for brains, remains unabated.
AMC's "The Walking Dead" returned on Sunday (October 12) night and set new highs for both the series and, by logical extension, for the network.
Last year, FOX ordered 13 episodes of "Sleepy Hollow" and decided to order a second season rather than giving the freshman hit drama a back-nine, which resulted in a nine-month absence between seasons, which may or may have resulted in the show's current Season 2 ratings drop.
This year, FOX has learned its lesson about not necessarily sticking to its guns when it comes to a successful first-year show.
Kevin Reilly told reporters repeatedly last spring that "Gotham" would only do 16 episodes in its first season.
When I spoke to "Gotham" star Ben McKenzie in August, he expressed relief at not needing to do more than 16 episodes.
And on Monday (October 13), FOX announced that "Gotham" has received a back-six pickup, bringing its first season to 22 episodes.
Fair enough! I guess this means we're getting a Rooney episode after all.
Fast National ratings for Sunday, October 12, 2014.
A one-sided Sunday Night Football rivalry game between the Giants and Eagles dominated Sunday primetime in all measures, with NBC's only competition coming from FOX, which was boosted by NFL overrun.
FOX's football overrun definitely played a big role in the week-to-week growth for "The Simpsons" and the ripple continued with "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" and even "Mulaney" rising in Fast Nationals.
Most of the night's other network returns were on the low side, with "Once Upon a Time," Resurrection" and "Revenge" all slipping for ABC and "Madam Secretary" and "The Good Wife" probably dropping for CBS, though football makes those CBS numbers a bit murky.
And yes, it's fairly certain that Sunday's top program was actually AMC's "The Walking Dead" premiere, but those numbers won't be available until later.
On to the network primetime figures...
It can't be ignored that "Mulaney" premiered last Sunday night on FOX and the ratings weren't especially good.
I got on the phone with creator-star John Mulaney on Thursday and made a promise up-front: I'd lead with quick ratings discussion and then never return to the topic and we stuck to it.
The bottom line on that subject: FOX is 100 percent behind "Mulaney" and the network knows things will turn around. And what else would anyone say after one week?
Mostly, we discussed the learning process on "Mulaney," which was originally developed at NBC, moved over to FOX and which is already far deeper into production than most freshman shows.
This week, in fact, found "Mulaney" working on its 13th episode, while Mulaney was also, at least according to Twitter, parlaying with old chum Bill Hader in advance of Hader's "SNL" hosting stint, so it's impressive both that he found time to chat all, but also that he politely apologized because production lunch break was delayed by seven minutes, making him late to call.
Instead of talking about ratings or following in the NY Times footsteps to talk about reviews, Mulaney and I discussed the transition from stand-up to sitcom structuring, the need to sometimes adjust his material to network commercial considerations and, in an amusing moment, the strengths and weaknesses of Mulaney's leading man.
Click through for the full Q&A...
Fast National ratings for Friday, October 10, 2014.
The series premiere of "Cristela" grew from an already-decent "Last Man Standing" lead-in to help ABC win Friday night among young viewers, while "Blue Bloods" was, as always, Friday's most watched show and led CBS to victory overall.
In its first airing as a Friday-only series -- Last week was still preceded by a Tuesday episode -- FOX's "Utopia" posted a very small gain, while ABC's "Shark Tank" was also up.
Also showing growth were The CW's episodes of "Whose Line Is It Anyway?"
On the down side, after rising a hair last week, CBS' "The Amazing Race" slipped back again.
On to the numbers...
The following exit interview contains more expletives than most of my "Survivor" exit interviews.
I sensed how things were going to go from John Rocker's cheerful response to my "How're you doing this morning?" greeting.
"Horses***! How you doing?"
In retrospect, "Survivor" fans should be less amazed that John Rocker's "San Juan del Sur" run ended this week in the aftermath of a post-Immunity Challenge shouting match with Natalie Anderson and more surprised at how little John Rocker needed to be bleeped during his three episodes.
While John Rocker frequently seemed to be a physical asset for his Coyopa tribe, that merely meant that he was a physical asset on a tribe that has started the season losing five-of-six challenges, including all three Immunities. And on Wednesday's episode, led by Josh and Wes, Coyopa decided that removing the John Rocker-sized target from the tribe was better strategy than maintaining strength.
Or is that not what happened? John Rocker still isn't sure. The former Atlanta Braves closer doesn't know why his tribe chose to vote him out rather than old-and-not-always-useful Dale, especially since his fellow castaways had gotten past the stigma attached to him since a 1999 Sports Illustrated article included racist, homophobic and xenophobic quotes. Or that's how John Rocker tells it.
"All you've gotta do is get to know me and you're gonna like me," John Rocker says.
There's little doubt that when you talk to John Rocker, you're getting John Rocker Unfiltered, whether he's giving the background on his shouting match with Natalie or trying to justify why and how he went home with an Immunity Idol in his pocket.
John Rocker is so very much John Rocker that I got to fewer than half of the questions on my tip list, despite going a few minutes over my regular time. He just had plenty to say.
And only some of it is suitable for small children. And I have to admit that lots of John Rocker's confusion at being voted out is similar to the confusion I expressed on his behalf in my Wednesday recap.
Check out the full John Rocker Q&A below...
"Bad directions are worse than no directions."
Those words of wisdom came from the Boston firefighter I believe was Mike during Friday (October 10) night's episode of "The Amazing Race."
There's the usual litany of things we/I always tell "Amazing Race" contestants to do: Learn to drive stick. Make sure you can swim. Read the freaking clue. Etc.
Mike's piece of advice is a good one and one that should be added to the permanent list. But maybe it should be amended somewhat. Yes, bad directions are worse than no directions, but a better phrasing might be: If you ask stupid people for directions you'll get bad directions. Because Friday's "Amazing Race" Leg didn't really come down to "bad directions" at all. The eliminated team got perfectly acceptable directions that just happened to lead them to a ridiculous place that had no connection to the desired destination.
More from Friday's Leg, which featured my new all-time favorite greeter, after the break...