<p>Steven Sodebergh of &quot;The Knick&quot;</p>

Steven Sodebergh of "The Knick"

Credit: Cinemax

Interview: Steven Soderbergh and Clive Owen on building the world of 'The Knick'

What brought the period medical drama to Cinemax? And much more...

The opening minutes of "The Knick" throw down a gauntlet. 

We're introduced to Clive Owen's John Thackery and his distinctive mustache at a red filtered opium den in 1900 New York City. Accompanied by an anachronistic score from Cliff Martinez, Thackery heads off in a carriage, removing his white leather shoes to shoot up between his toes. In no time, Thackery has reached the Knickerbocker Hospital, where he's thrust into the middle of a placenta previa surgery, like all surgeries in the period, a harrowing and bloody prospect.

You're in or you're out. There are no in-betweens.

Steven Soderbergh, who directed (and shot and edited) the entirety of the first "Knick" season, wouldn't have it any other way.

"[T]he first seven minutes of the first episode contain the sort of DNA of the whole show. If you're not down with how those first seven minutes go you're going to have trouble, because I'm giving you the code for how we're going to do it," Soderbergh told me when we sat down at the Beverly Hilton during last month's Television Critics Association press tour. 

Soderbergh, bless his heart, doesn't believe in short interviews and so, joined by Clive Owen, we discussed how a script by two veterans of "The Shaggy Dog" (Jack Amiel and Michael Begler) attracted an Oscar-winning director and an A-list film star and then how that project ended up at Cinemax.

The short answer? Soderbergh wanted it that way.

"Partly it's just probably a little self-serving in the sense that I knew that we'd be the big kid in a small school over there and I wanted that kind of personal attention," Soderbergh explained, simultaneously smiling and completely serious.

We didn't delve into Soderbergh's "retirement" because, let's be honest, the guy is just doing whatever he wants to do, wherever he wants to do it and it seems silly to quibble about whether he said (or somebody said on his behalf) that he was done with one medium or another. He's producing shows for Amazon and Starz. He directed the full season of "The Knick" and, as was announced within hours of this interview, he'll be directing a second full season as well. And "The Knick" looks and feels and moves like a Steven Soderbergh project.

In the interview, we talked about the show's treatment of its period setting and of the gory period surgeries, the value of the Cliff Martinez score and the pressures and panic moments associated with making five consecutive two-hour movies.

"The Knick" premieres on August 8. Check out the lengthy interview transcript below...

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<p>&quot;Bachelor in Paradise&quot;</p>

"Bachelor in Paradise"

Credit: ABC

TV Ratings: 'MasterChef,' 'Ninja' and 'Under the Dome' pace Monday split

ABC's 'Bachelor in Paradise' lags behind 'The Bachelorette'

Fast National ratings for Monday, August 4, 2014.

"MasterChef," "American Ninja Warrior" and "Under the Dome" were able to help FOX, NBC and CBS all claim shares of the ratings pie on Monday night, while even ABC was competitive thanks to a so-so premiere for "Bachelor in Paradise."

"Bachelor in Paradise" was far below what "The Bachelorette" was doing for most of the summer, while "Running Wild with Bear Grylls" and "Hotel Hell" were also down week-to-week. "Under the Dome" was up very slightly.

On to the numbers...

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<p>Uzo Aduba of &quot;Orange Is The New Black&quot;</p>

Uzo Aduba of "Orange Is The New Black"

Credit: Netflix

Interview: 'Orange Is The New Black' star Uzo Aduba on Emmy hopes, Season 2 drama and more

How is the Suzanne/Crazy Eyes balance shifting?

Life is a whirlwind for the stars of Netflix's "Orange Is The New Black."

When they aren't journeying to Los Angeles to accept awards for the prison dramedy's first season which premiered in July 2013, they're still doing publicity for the second season which premiered in June 2014 and then, of course, there's the third "Orange Is The New Black" season, now in production.

That meant there was a lot of ground to cover when I talked to Uzo Aduba last week, starting with thanking her for dropping by the TCA Awards ceremony in July (she joked on Twitter that she, Taylor Schilling, Kate Mulgrew and Danielle Brooks were furloughed).

We talked about the Emmy process, which sees her going up against Laverne Cox and Natasha Lyonne for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series, including the selection of "Lesbian Request Denied" as her submission episode.

And we discussed Aduba's journey in the second "Orange" season, including her attempts to balance the line between Suzanne and Crazy Eyes.

The Emmy voting deadline is Wednesday, August 6, if such things matter to you. The Creative Arts Awards, the show which includes the Guest Actor categories, will be held on August 16. The second season of "Orange Is The New Black" is available in its entirety on Netflix. And Season 3 will premiere next spring/summer at some point.

Check out the full interview...

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<p>Giants&#39; QB Eli Manning</p>

Giants' QB Eli Manning

Credit: AP

TV Ratings: Giants-Bills NFL preseason opener leads NBC on Sunday

The 2014 Hall of Fame Game was down a hair from last year's action

Fast National ratings for August 3, 2014.

The NFL Hall of Fame Game, the pro football preseason opener, helped NBC dominated Sunday night among young viewers and also hold off "Big Brother" and CBS for an overall win.

The Giants-Bills tilt took a small bite out of CBS's numbers (impacted very slightly by golf overrun), but mostly left things steady. 

All numbers are subject to change, but this year's Hall of Fame Game appears to be down a comfortable margin from last year's preseason opener, which featured the Cowboys.

On to the numbers...

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<p>&quot;Marry Me&quot;</p>

"Marry Me"

Credit: NBC

Take Me To The Pilots '14: NBC's 'Marry Me'

Is NBC's new comedy another 'Happy Endings'? And is that a good thing?

[In case you've Forgotten, and as I will continue to mention each and every one of these posts that I do: This is *not* a review. Pilots change. Sometimes a lot. Often for the better. Sometimes for the worse. But they change. Actual reviews will be coming in September and perhaps October (and maybe midseason in some cases). This is, however, a brief gut reaction to not-for-air pilots. I know some people will be all "These are reviews." If you've read me, you've read my reviews and you know this isn't what they look like.]

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<p>&quot;Madam Secretary&quot;</p>

"Madam Secretary"

Credit: CBS

Take Me To The Pilots '14: CBS' 'Madam Secretary'

Tea Leoni has lots to work with, but the show needs more focus

[In case you've Forgotten, and as I will continue to mention each and every one of these posts that I do: This is *not* a review. Pilots change. Sometimes a lot. Often for the better. Sometimes for the worse. But they change. Actual reviews will be coming in September and perhaps October (and maybe midseason in some cases). This is, however, a brief gut reaction to not-for-air pilots. I know some people will be all "These are reviews." If you've read me, you've read my reviews and you know this isn't what they look like.]

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<p>&quot;Forever&quot;</p>

"Forever"

Credit: ABC

Take Me To The Pilots '14: ABC's 'Forever'

Immortal Sherlock Holmes drama is bland, but amiably bland

[In case you've Forgotten, and as I will continue to mention each and every one of these posts that I do: This is *not* a review. Pilots change. Sometimes a lot. Often for the better. Sometimes for the worse. But they change. Actual reviews will be coming in September and perhaps October (and maybe midseason in some cases). This is, however, a brief gut reaction to not-for-air pilots. I know some people will be all "These are reviews." If you've read me, you've read my reviews and you know this isn't what they look like.]

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<p>&quot;Red Band Society&quot;</p>

"Red Band Society"

Credit: FOX

Take Me To The Pilots '14: FOX's 'Red Band Society'

Pediatric hospital dramedy is a lot like 'Glee.' Is that a good thing?

[In case you've Forgotten, and as I will continue to mention each and every one of these posts that I do: This is *not* a review. Pilots change. Sometimes a lot. Often for the better. Sometimes for the worse. But they change. Actual reviews will be coming in September and perhaps October (and maybe midseason in some cases). This is, however, a brief gut reaction to not-for-air pilots. I know some people will be all "These are reviews." If you've read me, you've read my reviews and you know this isn't what they look like.]

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<p>Clive Owen of &quot;The Knick&quot;</p>

Clive Owen of "The Knick"

Credit: Cinemax

Clive Owen explains his 'Knick' mustache and being 'The David Bowie of a Hospital in 1900'

Cinemax drama premieres on August 8

A couple weeks ago at the TCA press tour, I sat down with Clive Owen and Steven Soderbergh for a 45-minute discussion about their new Cinemax series "The Knick," a medical drama set around New York's Knickerbocker Hospital in 1900.

Soderbergh directed the totality of the first season, which focuses on Owen's Dr. John W. Thackery, a visionary surgeon who augments his forward-thinking approach to his profession with additions to cocaine and opium.

As you might expect, it's a wide-ranging interview covering the show's journey to Cinemax, the approach to the occasionally harrowing medical rituals of the period, the pressures of doing five two-hour movies consecutively and the decision to use a trippy score by Cliff Martinez.

It's a great interview and it'll go up sometime next week, ahead of the show's August 8 premiere on Cinemax.

While the full Q&A will be posted, I wanted to whet appetites with a couple details from Owen about some of the external aspects of his character, details that already have people chattering, either based on the posters and trailers or, in the case of my Twitter feed, based on early screeners.

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<p>&quot;The Quest&quot;</p>

"The Quest"

Credit: ABC

TV Rating: 'The Quest' premiere is weak as 'Big Brother' leads CBS Thursday

'NY Med' adds viewers to help ABC to second overall

Fast National ratings for Thursday, July 31, 2014.

With "Big Brother" and a "Big Bang Theory" repeat leading the way, CBS scored its regular Thursday wins in all measures.

The night's big notable was ABC's "The Quest," which got off to a soft start, particularly among male viewers.

Thursday returns were on the low side, with "Big Brother" losing a couple viewers but remaining flat in the key demo, "Welcome to Sweden" dipping and "Gang Related" falling a bit without "Hell's Kitchen" as a lead-in. ABC's "Rookie Blue" was also down in viewers.

The news was slightly better for ABC's "NY Med," which rose a bit overall.

On to the numbers...

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