'Gotham' elects a 'Heroes' veteran as its Harvey Dent
Credit: DC Comics

'Gotham' elects a 'Heroes' veteran as its Harvey Dent

FOX and WBTV believe in Nicholas D'Agosto

Yet another one of the most famous villains in Batman lore is coming to FOX in his nascent form.

HitFix can confirm that Nicholas D'Agosto has been cast as Harvey Dent in "Gotham," which has been a solid early success for FOX. D'Agosto will be a recurring guest star for the remainder of the first "Gotham" season with a series regular option for the second season which is, as of now, both likely and hypothetical.

Read Full Post
<p>Wednesday&#39;s &quot;Black-ish&quot;</p>

Wednesday's "Black-ish"

Credit: ABC

Ratings Analysis: 'Black-ish' down, 'Stalker' ties 'CSI,' plus Tuesday numbers

ABC's 'Selfie' and 'Manhattan Love Story' rise in Finals, while 'Forever' is soft

I started a Tuesday Ratings Analysis piece yesterday afternoon, but then a problem arose.

See, I dedicated the entire intro to the dire ratings for "Utopia" and its negative pull on FOX's Tuesday comedies and the necessity to finally give up on "Utopia" and shuffle lineup positions.

My solution was the one I've given a couple times before: Shift struggling Wednesday drama "Red Band Society," with its young female core and nothing else, to Tuesdays where it could at least bring those viewers to "New Girl." Put "MasterChef Junior" on Wednesdays either before or after "Hell's Kitchen" and just make it a Gordon Ramsay night. Let "Utopia" continue on Fridays and just plug your nose and look away.

Of course, as I reached the half-way point in the post, FOX announced that "MasterChef Junior" would move to Tuesdays and "Utopia" will remain on Fridays, where the network can plug its nose and look away. This was what I recommended on the morning after "Utopia" premiered when there was no way of knowing whether or not "Red Band Society" would succeed. It makes sense. Relaunching a low-rated scripted drama after a few episodes is vastly harder than just using playoff baseball to promote a new time period for a new season of a reality show.

The FOX announcement, followed by "Survivor" recapping duties put the kibosh on analysis. So this is now several days of Live+Same Day Finals analysis, which is a lot of bullet points. Sorry. Blame Dan Piraro. And if you don't know who Dan Piraro is... That's why this all happened.

Read Full Post
'Gracepoint' star Anna Gunn on deviations from 'Broadchurch' and 'Breaking Bad' Emmy wins

'Gracepoint' star Anna Gunn on deviations from 'Broadchurch' and 'Breaking Bad' Emmy wins

Emmy winner also discusses bonding with David Tennant

Earlier in the week, I posted my report from the Victoria, British Columbia set of "Gracepoint," which included highlights from interviews with stars Anna Gunn and David Tennant.

Those two interviews were done with a couple other reporters, so when I sat down 1:1 with Gunn a couple weeks ago, was able to try to steer our conversation in different directions. 

This was particularly easy, since on the set, I hadn't watched any episodes of "Gracepoint," but three months later, having seen seven episodes, I was able to ask about the developing partnership between Gunn's Ellie Carver and Tennant's Emmett Carver as they investigate the murder of young Danny Solano. I was also able to ask, in non-spoilery terms, about the deviations from "Broadchurch" that finally occur in Episodes 6 and 7.

"It was very exciting," Gunn says of seeing the changes. "I thought the original storyline of 'Broadchurch' was brilliant, but it was nice to know that they were going to do some different things so that those people, those viewers who had watched 'Broadchurch,' wouldn't feel like, 'OK, well we're watching the same... We know exactly what's going to happen.'"

And, given the timing, I had to ask about the recent Emmy winners for "Breaking Bad," which closed the book on its final season with wins for Drama Series, for Gunn and for stars Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston, which Gunn calls "a dream ending."

Check out the full interview above. [You also get to enjoy the moment when the light goes out on our camera and confusion briefly ensues.]

"Gracepoint" premieres on FOX at 9 p.m. tonight (October 2).

Read Full Post


Credit: CBS

TV Ratings: 'Stalker' premiere helps CBS top Wednesday as 'Black-ish' falls hard

'Criminal Minds' returns solidly to help CBS win in all measures

Fast National ratings for Wednesday, October 1, 2014.

The series premiere of "Stalker" retained enough of its "Criminal Minds" lead-in to win its hour and help CBS top Wednesday night in all key measures.

There were a lot of drooping numbers on Wednesday night, with "Mysteries of Laura," "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," "Chicago PD." "Modern Family" and "The Middle" among shows posting big declines. 

No Wednesday drop was bigger, though, than ABC's "Black-ish" decline of 24 percent in the key demo. ABC, in contrast, prefers to emphasize that this was the strongest Week 2 retention for any post-"Modern Family" comedy since 2009, which is also true.

Essentially flat was FOX's "Red Band Society," which makes it a Wednesday winner, if you don't look at how low the numbers are (or just concentrate on the 60+ percent DVR growth last week).

And speaking of numbers...

Read Full Post
<p>Virginia Kull of &quot;Gracepoint&quot;</p>

Virginia Kull of "Gracepoint"

Credit: FOX

Interview: Meet 'Gracepoint' star Virginia Kull

Theater veteran discusses getting emotional to play a grieving mother

VICTORIA, BC. Two of TV's biggest breakout performances of 2014 have come from Allison Tolman and Carrie Coon, a pair of thirtysomething actresses who seemingly arrived fully formed in "Fargo" and "The Leftovers." Tolman and Coon were relative unknowns, unless you happened to know your Chicago or New York theater, but it was instantly clear from their opening small screen moments that they were stars.

If "Gracepoint," FOX's 10-episode remake of "Broadchurch," is a hit, you can expect Virginia Kull to find herself in conversations with Tolman and Coon. While the Texas-raised actress has had brief and occasionally memorable guest turns on shows including "The Following," "The Good Wife" and "Boardwalk Empire," you probably won't know her unless you saw her in stage productions of "The Orphans’ Home Cycle" or "The Heiress" or "Dividing The Estate," among others.

In "Gracepoint," Kull plays Beth Solano, grieving mother to the young boy whose murder sets the drama in motion. If you've seen "Broadchurch," it's the Jodie Whittaker role and you know how much emotional heavy-lifting it requires.

Back in May, Kull and her knee-high rubber rain boots braved drizzle and muck to sit down for interviews near the "Gracepoint" set on Vancouver Island in British Columbia.

I met Kull without having seen her "Gracepoint" performance, but having heard raves from all of her co-stars. In the conversation, we talked about her detour to acting from a career in medicine and her gifts as an easy crier. We also talked about why her character will inevitably be different from Whittaker's, even if Kull is a big admirer. 

I've subsequently seen seven episodes of "Gracepoint" and I can vouch for what her colleagues told me. Kull is very impressive. 

Check out the full Q&A to get to know a bit about Virginia Kull before Thursday's "Gracepoint" premiere...

Read Full Post
<p>Wednesday&#39;s &quot;Survivor&quot;</p>

Wednesday's "Survivor"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Survivor: San Juan Del Sur' - 'Method To This Madness'

In which everybody knows about John Rocker and everybody wrestles over water

Pre-credit sequence. I really want an explanation for Josh and Baylor's Tribal Council votes. Will we get one as we return to Coyopa? Yup! Kinda! "There's a method to my madness. I put your name down," Josh tells Baylor, claiming his goal was "to further advance their alliance." He begs her not to be mad. "That was a smart move in a way, but it was also sketchy and scary that he didn't tell me before," Baylor says. Yeah. I still don't get what anybody was thinking.

Read Full Post


Credit: FOX

FOX shifts 'MasterChef Junior' to Tuesday, strands 'Utopia' on Fridays

Effective immediately, 'Utopia' has been shifted away from Tuesday

While it's not our first cancellation of the fall, FOX became the first network to correct a scheduling weakness, moving "MasterChef Junior" from Fridays to Tuesdays.

Read Full Post
<p>Tuesday&#39;s &quot;NCIS&quot;</p>

Tuesday's "NCIS"

Credit: CBS

TV Ratings: 'Selfie,' 'Manhattan' push 'S.H.I.E.L.D.' to a series low on Tuesday

'NCIS' leads CBS overall, while 'The Voice' helped NBC win the key demo

Fast National ratings for Tuesday, September 30, 2014.

"NCIS" added a few viewers from last week, while "NCIS: New Orleans" retained well in its second airing, leading CBS to an easy Tuesday win overall. However, both CBS procedurals were down in young viewers, as "The Voice" helped helped NBC to an easy victory in the key demo.

The night's big new premieres were ABC's "Selfie" and "Manhattan Love Story," which got off to less-than-impressive starts, but still easily beat FOX's "New Girl"/"Mindy Project" comedy block. Of more concern to ABC is the way that soft opening block may have contributed to drops for "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." and "Forever."

And although FOX's entire night was still untenably low, "Utopia," "New Girl" and "The Mindy Project" were all up a hair either in viewers, the key demo or both.

On to the numbers...

Read Full Post
<p>Monday&#39;s &quot;Gotham&quot;</p>

Monday's "Gotham"

Credit: FOX

Ratings Analysis: 'NCIS: Los Angeles' has a problem, 'Gotham' and 'Scorpion' do not

'Castle' returns to ABC with 'Castle'-esque numbers

Everything dropped on Monday (September 29) night. Or nearly everything dropped.

That wasn't surprising and it wasn't upsetting for most of the TV networks. TV shows premiere high and then audiences dwindle for roughly the same reasons movies premiere big and then fall off 60 percent. Getting people in the door isn't hard. The challenge is getting them to come back every week. 

But the TV business now is shifting so aggressively toward Live+3 numbers that it also stands to reason that while heavily promotion encourages live viewership, it's perfectly reasonably to expect that many of the shows that suffered week-to-week declines on Monday will recover those viewers when DVRs are factored in.

That's all a round-about way to say that CBS is probably very happy with the Week 2 performance for "Scorpion." The drama that I've dubbed "Katharine McPhee: Nerd Wrangler" premiered last week with 13.83 million viewers and a 3.2 rating among adults 18-49, coming out of a "Big Bang Theory" episode with 18.24 million viewers and a 5.4 key demo rating. In Week 2, with a "Big Bang Theory" repeat drawing 12.26 million viewers and a 3.1 key demo rating, "Scorpion," after a small bump in Final Live+SD totals, drew 13.36 million viewers and a 3.1 key demo rating. If ABC is throwing a full-on parade for the opening week numbers for "How To Get Away With Murder" and "Black-ish," CBS is surely naming a lunchroom special in Kat McPhee's honor.

The retention numbers are just astoundingly rosy for "Scorpion," at least for one week. Among adults 18-34, "Scorpion" did a 1.9 rating for its premiere and a 1.9 rating for its second episode, even though the difference between the new "TBBT" and the "TBBT" repeat was a 1.7 in that demo. Among women 18-49, "Scorpion" did a 3.4 rating for its premiere and a 3.4 rating in the second week.

There were some male demo drops for "Scorpion." Among men 18-49, it slipped from a 3.0 to a 2.7. Oh no! And among men 25-54, it went from a 4.4 to a 3.6. Well, that's a bit bigger, but... CBS will live. "Scorpion" got a decent, but not "Gotham"-esque, Week 1 DVR bump, so there's at least a chance that its Live+3 numbers could grow week-to-week.

But now, let's look at some of the shows that weren't as lucky as "Scorpion"...

Read Full Post
<p>Random people from &quot;How To Get Away With Murder&quot;</p>

Random people from "How To Get Away With Murder"

Credit: ABC

'How To Get Away With Murder' sets Live+3 records for ABC Thursday

All of Shonda Rhimes' Thursday hits pad their big numbers

"How To Get Away With Murder" has added a record-breaking Live+3 Day DVR haul to what was already a tremendous premiere.

The September 25 premiere of "How To Get Away With Murder" added 6 million viewers after three days of playback, which ABC is calling the largest-ever total viewer increase in Live+3 for a network telecast. Your previous record-holder? A January 2014 telecast of "Blacklist," which NBC likes to note has a disproportionate number of the largest-ever DVR audience bumps.

The DVR boost took "How To Get Away With Murder" from 14.3 million viewers in Live+SD to 20.3 million in Live+3. "HTGAWM" also got a sizable DVR bump among adults 18-49, rising 1.9 ratings points, or 49 percent, to a 5.8 key demo rating, up from a 3.9 Live+SD rating that was already a triumph. While it wasn't the largest volume gain in the key demo of any show from last week -- two "Big Bang Theory" episodes both added 2.0 ratings points -- it was the biggest freshman gainer in volume. It also moved "Murder" up to second among scripted programs for last week in Live+3 numbers for the 18-49 demo, behind only those episodes of "Big Bang Theory."

So yeah. ABC is pleased.

And how did the rest of ABC's lineup do with Thursday DVR figures? And what happened with FOX's "Bones"? 

Let's take a look...

Read Full Post