Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 220

Dan and Alan talk 'About a Boy,' 'Star-Crossed,' 'Growing Up Fisher' and more

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Happy Monday, Boys & Girls!
 
We interrupt your holiday for an hour of Sepinwall coughing!
 
No, I kid. Alan has a cold, but he set aside its ravages for a thrilling podcast covering this week's new shows -- "Star-Crossed," "About a Boy" and "Growing Up Fisher" -- plus some Listener Mail and other stuff.
 
Next week, the video show will return and the podcast will shift back to Wednesday. Unless Alan breaks something else. 
 
Today's breakdown:
"Star-Crossed" (00:01:50 - 00:13:50)
"About a Boy" (00:14:15 - 00:27:00)
"Growing Up Fisher" (00:27:05 - 00:39:20)
Listener Mail: Late-Night transition and location (00:39:45 - 00:48:15)
Listener Mail: Crossovers (00:48:20 - 00:56:10)
Greta Gerwig and "How I Met Your Dad" (00:56:10 - 01:02:20)

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.

 

<p>American ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White</p>

American ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White

Credit: AP

TV Ratings: NBC rules Sunday despite Olympics fatigue

Sunday's skiing and skating were way below last week's numbers
Fast National ratings for Sunday, February 16, 2014.
 
NBC's coverage of the Winter Olympics from Sochi was down significantly from last Sunday, despite significantly less network competition, though the coverage was up from a sluggish Friday and Saturday.
 
Facing a combination of skiing and ice dancing, the other networks mostly punted on Sunday with "60 Minutes" the only non-repeat competition. 
 
There was ample competition of cable, of course, and it seems inevitable that AMC's "The Walking Dead" easily beat the Olympics overall, not that we'll know for sure for a few hours.
 
On to the numbers...
 
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<p>Laura Prepon and Taylor Schilling in a scene from Season 1 of &quot;Orange Is The New Black&quot;</p>

Laura Prepon and Taylor Schilling in a scene from Season 1 of "Orange Is The New Black"

Credit: Netflix

Netflix sets 'Orange Is The New Black' Season 2 premiere for June

Prison dramedy was No. 2 in HitFix's Critics' Poll for 2013
Viewers who marathoned "House of Cards" on Friday and Saturday got a special unannounced surprise courtesy of Netflix.
 
Slipped in at the end of the "House of Cards" run was the first formal reveal of a second season premiere date for "Orange Is The New Black."
 
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<p>Patrick Chan came up short in his quest for Gold</p>

Patrick Chan came up short in his quest for Gold

Credit: AP

TV Ratings: Olympics coverage leads NBC on slow Valentine's Day Friday

'Enlisted' repeat outdraws last week's original
Fast National ratings for Friday, February 14, 2014.
 
Was NBC's Sochi coverage sluggish on Friday night because the men's figure skating competition yielded an American-free medal podium?
 
Were ratings low because Friday was also Valentine's Day?
 
Or was Friday slow just because it was Friday?
 
The answer is probably "All of the above."
 
No matter where you put the blame, Friday night yielded NBC's lowest numbers of the 2014 Olympics, even with normally reliable figure-skating as a centerpiece. Still, NBC beat the combined totals for the other four networks in all measures.
 
Thanks to the Olympics and Valentine's Day, the other networks took Friday off, basically, so there aren't any other real notables, though you may be interested that an encore of the "Enlisted" premiere outdrew last week's original? 
 
On to the numbers.
 
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<p>&quot;Transparent&quot;</p>

"Transparent"

Credit: Amazon

Interview: 'Transparent' creator Jill Soloway discusses her Amazon pilot

'Six Feet Under' vet talks gender identity, Jewishness and the Amazon process
[Warning: Read this interview after you've watched Jill Soloway's Amazon pilot "Transparent." It discusses the "surprise" of the pilot. Really, you can watch and enjoy the half-hour family comedy knowing the surprise, but if you like being 100 percent unspoiled, just check out the pilot and then come back.]
 
Usually there's a finite number of things to discuss when it comes to a half-hour comedy, but I probably had enough questions for "Transparent" writer-director Jill Soloway to fill an hour.
 
"Transparent" has been generally hailed as the cream of Amazon's most recent crop of pilots, which dropped last week. As with the first round of pilots, which yielded series orders for "Alpha House" and "Betas," Amazon is letting viewers watch all of the pilots and then weigh in with their feelings. That public sentiment will then factor into the decision-making process for the website. 
 
So far so good, then, for "Transparent," the story of a dysfunctional group of siblings (played by Gaby Hoffman, Amy Landecker and Jay Duplass) who are about to learn that their father Mort (Jeffrey Tambor) is actually Moira, a trans woman. 
 
Soloway, a "Six Feet Under" and "United States of Tara" veteran, has layered the pilot with sometimes sensitive, sometimes trenchant (sometimes both at once) observations about gender identity, sexuality, family ties, religion and Los Angeles. It's a pilot with a lot on its mind and a pilot that finds itself in the middle of a much bigger societal conversation.
 
I only got to the tip of those conversations, so you'll have to watch "Transparent" and rank it highly so that I can broach some more topics with Soloway after Amazon picks up a full season. Future topics will have to include the punny title, Gaby Hoffman's comeback, LA's East Side and more. But we covered some good ground.
 
Click through for the full Q&A...
 
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<p>Alyson Hannigan at the 2013 Emmys</p>

Alyson Hannigan at the 2013 Emmys

Credit: CBS

Alyson Hannigan sticks with CBS for Affleck/Damon comedy pilot

'Buffy' vet will join Tom Papa in 'More Time With The Family'
On the day that all of the "How I Met Your Mother" cast members were tweeting about the show's final table read, we can confirm that Alyson Hannigan is hoping to stick with the network, signing on for a comedy pilot.
 
CBS' "More Time With The Family" stars veteran comic Tom Papa, who co-wrote the semi-autobiographical script with Josh Goldsmith and Cathy Yuspa. Papa plays a man who changes jobs in order to spend time with his family, only to discover that nobody in his family particularly wanted that quality time.
 
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<p>Octavia Spencer</p>

Octavia Spencer

Credit: CBS

Octavia Spencer lands the lead in FOX's 'Red Band Society' pilot

Oscar winner bounces back after 'Murder, She Wrote' stalled
It's hard to keep an Oscar winner eager to do television down.
 
Less than a month after NBC scrapped plans to reboot "Murder, She Wrote" with Octavia Spencer, the "Help" star has landed the lead in FOX's hour-long genre hybrid "Red Band Society."
 
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<p>Jason Isaacs</p>

Jason Isaacs

Credit: Axel Schmidt/AP

Jason Isaacs will 'DIG' for USA, Jane Krakowski joins FOX's 'Dead Boss'

Two casting stories... One blog post!
Time for a pair of casting notices that have nothing in common, but are still getting stuck together in one blog post just because:
 
Jane Krakowski has landed the lead in FOX's comedy pilot "Dead Boss," while Jason Isaacs is set to topline USA's event series "DIG."
 
More details below...
 
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<p>Ari Graynor of &quot;Bad Teacher&quot;</p>

Ari Graynor of "Bad Teacher"

Credit: CBS

CBS sets 'Bad Teacher,' 'Unforgettable' premiere dates

'Crazy Ones' and 'Two and a Half Men' will swap time slots
We may already be well into midseason, but CBS had some scheduling moves to make on Friday (February 14), including a pair of premiere dates and some scheduling experimentation ahead of upfronts in May.
 
The announcements include premiere dates for the new comedy "Bad Teacher" and the returning drama "Unforgettable," plus a Thursday comedy shakeup.
 
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<p>Yuzuru Hanyu's record-breaking performance capped off NBC's Olympics primetime</p>

Yuzuru Hanyu's record-breaking performance capped off NBC's Olympics primetime

Credit: AP

TV Ratings: Figure skating gives NBC's Olympics coverage a small Thursday bump

'American Idol' dips, while 'Rake' stays low-and-steady for FOX
Fast National ratings for Thursday, February 13, 2014.
 
A smattering over coverage from the men's figure skating short program helped NBC's Thursday Sochi Winter Olympics coverage rise slightly from Wednesday's block. The Sochi numbers were still well below what NBC was drawing earlier in the week, but still easily dominated Thursday primetime.
 
The night's only other original programming came on FOX, where "American Idol" dipped below 10 million viewers and also dipped below a 3.0 in the key demo. While "Idol" edged out CBS' "Big Bang Theory" repeat among young viewers, the "Big Bang" repeat dominated overall. It's the tiniest of silver linings for FOX, but "Rake" didn't slip any further in its latest airing. 
 
Oh. Wait. ABC's "The Taste" is also original programming. It drew "Oops, we left the TV on to ABC" numbers on par with Tuesday's "Killer Women."
 
On to the numbers...
 
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