<p>American Gracie Gold</p>

American Gracie Gold

Credit: AP

TV Ratings: Tiny Olympic bump for NBC Wednesday, while 'Idol' and 'Criminal Minds' get close

Didn't figure skating used to be more popular than this?
Fast National ratings for Wednesday, February 19, 2014.
 
Despite a reputation as the most popular of Olympic events, the start of the ladies figure skating competition from Sochi gave NBC only a small night-to-night bump on Wednesday, not that the less-than-impressive growth kept the network from dominating primetime in all measures.
 
In purely hypothetical terms, we'll see if NBC gets a bigger bump for Thursday's figure skating if early reports have either Ashley Wagner or Gracie Gold making a run for the medal podium.
 
FOX's second straight two-hour "American Idol" performance episode almost perfectly mimicked Tuesday's episode, but "Idol" was edged out by CBS' new "Criminal Minds" overall and only barely held off the procedural in the key demo.
 
On to the numbers...
 
Read Full Post
<p>Ben Briley of &quot;American Idol&quot;</p>

Ben Briley of "American Idol"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' Season 13 Rush Week - Top 15 Boys

Can the 'Idol' Men improve on Tuesday's lackluster performances

Things started fairly well on Tuesday's "American Idol," with decent performances from Majesty Rose and Kristen O'Connor. Then, the decline began. By the end, the judges were overpraising the emotional-but-unremarkable MK Nobilette and celebrating Malaya Watson's admirably personality-heavy performance just to make it seem like the night hadn't become a disaster. 

Has the pendulum swung back in favor of the "Idol" men? We'll find out on Wednesday night when 10 members of the Top 15 perform.

I'm assuming that Ben Briley *has* to perform, otherwise the judges are telling America, "Yo. Thanks for voting. We don't really care."

The question becomes how many White Guys With Guitars the judges will select to perform. If Ben is already going, for example, there's really no chance that Casey Thrasher, Alex Preston and Dexter Roberts are ALL gonna go. Is there? And when it comes to providing kibble for the show's young female core, could Spencer Lloyd, Briston Miller and Sam Woolf all get chances? Really?

Let's find out! 

Read Full Post
<p>Terrence Howard</p>

Terrence Howard

Credit: Arthur Mola/AP

Oscar nominees Terrence Howard, Judd Hirsch land pilot roles, but not together

FOX's 'Empire' and ABC's 'Forever' snag stars
Under normal circumstances, Terrence Howard and Judd Hirsch have very little in common, but for the purposes of Wednesday (February 19) afternoon news, they're both Oscar nominees who are getting into the pilot game. 
 
No. Hirsch and Howard are not getting into the pilot game together, though TNT's "Hirsch & Howard," featuring Judd Hirsch and Terrence Howard playing exaggerated versions of themselves and fighting crime would be a massive, massive hit. 
 
In the short term, though, Terrence Howard has landed the lead in FOX's hip-hop drama pilot "Empire," while Judd Hirsch will play a supporting role in ABC's drama "Forever."
 
Read Full Post
<p>This isn't a good picture, but you know why FOX made it available.</p>

This isn't a good picture, but you know why FOX made it available.

Credit: FOX

TV Ratings: Sluggish Olympics coverage tops Tuesday 'American Idol'

'Killer Women' finds a way to drop in young viewers
Fast National ratings for Tuesday, February 18, 2014.
 
After a couple bounce-back nights due to ice-dancing, NBC's Tuesday Winter Olympics coverage took a big drop, but still easily beat a special off-night performance episode of "American Idol."
 
Expect NBC's Sochi telecasts to get a big boost over the next two nights with the female side of the figure skating programming. 
 
There were few other notables on a repeat-filled Tuesday, though ABC's "Killer Women" somehow managed to lose 0.1 from an already impressively low young adult viewership. Also, The CW's encore of the "Star-Crossed" pilot very nearly equaled the audience for Monday's premiere.
 
On to the numbers...
 
Read Full Post
<p>Jada Pinkett Smith</p>

Jada Pinkett Smith

Credit: AP

FOX's 'Gotham' casts Jada Pinkett Smith as a sadistic gangster

'Matrix Reloaded' veteran will play Fish Mooney in the Batman prequel
Reminding us all what comes from making assumptions, FOX's "Gotham" has cast vicious mobster Fish Mooney and perhaps the gender-ambiguous name should have been a tip-off.
 
Jada Pinkett Smith has landed the key adversarial role as hot-headed gangster and nightclub owner Fish Mooney in "Gotham," the Batman origin story from Warner Bros. TV. And if you expected somebody different to be running the Gotham criminal underground, well that's just because of your own preconceived issues, since Fish isn't a character from within the DC Comics canon.
 
Read Full Post
<p>Just a sweet moment between brothers for hero Michael Corleone</p>

Just a sweet moment between brothers for hero Michael Corleone

Credit: MGM

Heroes vs. Villains: Where does Michael Corleone from 'The Godfather' fall?

Vicious killing machine or tragic victim of his family's legacy?
The NCAA basketball tournaments are less than a month away. Because it's obviously never been done before, HitFix is going to host its own tournament, but this battle won't take place between teams on Tobacco Road. We've got something more exciting in mind.  In our competition, the greatest Heroes from the worlds of television and movies will face off versus the greatest Villains.  

The committee is currently mulling over the brackets, but we need your help.  There are six characters who some would consider anti-heroes, but we know then need to part of the battle royale. Do they fall in the Heroes bracket or the Villains bracket? 

You decide.  You have 48 hours. Choose wisely.
 
 
Sepinwall started things off this morning with Walter White. That was a no-brainer. No matter how cool you think Heisenberg was, once he let Jane die and poisoned Brock, he was already way to the "Villain" side of the scale and once he orchestrated a jailhouse massacre, I think the conversation was over. In fact, those of you who called Walter White a "Hero" scare me a little. He's a "Protagonist," but he's not a "Hero."
 
I'm not sure that Michael Corleone is going to be much different. 
 
In fact, Walter White's orchestrated assassination of myriad incarcerated witnesses is pretty much a straight-up homage to Michael's orchestrated decimation of the heads of the other New York crime families in the first "Godfather" movie. And that's after he personally kills Sollozzo and McCluskey at a restaurant. Michael goes on to order the killing of his poor, spineless brother and instigate a number of murders that probably goes into the "countless" range. Oh and he closes the door on Kay. That's pretty evil and sad.
 
But it's not like he *wanted* to do any of this. I mean, Vito and Sonny? They're the venal villains of the Corleone clan. Michael's a war hero with no interest in joining the family business. He just wants to go to Dartmouth and marry Kay and be happy. And even after all of the stuff he does in the first movie, he has a plan to make the Corleone family entirely legitimate, but nooooooo. Every time Michael gets close, somebody else screws things up. As he famously puts it in "Godfather III," just when he thinks he's out, they PULL him back in. Sonny wanted to be a crime lord. Michael just wants to do what's right for his family.
 
So the question, as with many or most anti-heroes, becomes: Do we judge Michael Corleone on the sum of his actions or on the sum of his aspirations? If you go with the former, of course he's a villain. If you go with the latter, he's a tragic hero, laid low by the elusive boundaries of the American Dream. 
 
VOTE NOW, BELOW!
 
See also...
 
<p>Briana Oakley of &quot;American Idol&quot;</p>

Briana Oakley of "American Idol"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' Season 13 Rush Week - Top 15 Girls

Randy Jackson makes his triumphant return and the Women sing

It's time for Rush Week on "American Idol."

No. I don't know what "Rush Week" means either.

Apparently it will involve live performances and it will involve Randy Jackson and it will also feature the judges eliminating people even before they perform? 

I'm confident that whoever the judges send home early from the Top 15 Women, Briana Oakley is going to perform. So she's my picture here.

Beyond that, click through and we'll experience this together.

Read Full Post
<p>Karen Gillan will be playing American in &quot;Selfie,&quot; so wave that flag proudly!</p>

Karen Gillan will be playing American in "Selfie," so wave that flag proudly!

Credit: BBC America

'Doctor Who' favorite lands ABC's 'Selfie' lead

Karen Gillan will topline the Emily Kapnek pilot
Karen Gillan, a Scottish actress so appealing she *almost* got me to watch "Doctor Who" regularly, is eying her first American network TV series gig.
 
Gillan has been cast in the lead role in ABC's comedy pilot "Selfie," which comes from "Suburgatory" creator Emily Kapnek and from Warner Bros. Television.
 
Read Full Post
<p>Jimmy Fallon and Stephen Colbert pose on the &quot;Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon&quot; premiere.</p>

Jimmy Fallon and Stephen Colbert pose on the "Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon" premiere.

Credit: NBC

Jimmy Fallon's 'Tonight Show' debut draws 11 million-plus

The audience is more than Conan's premiere, lower than Jay's exit
Airing in a special midnight time period after a wildly successful night of Olympics coverage, the debut of "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" got a reasonable strong sampling.
 
Ratings for a single night, especially a night with an Olympics lead-in and an atypical air-time, probably aren't especially meaningful and can be spun any number of ways, so take all of this with shakers full of salt.
 
Per Fast National Nielsens, "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" averaged 11.31 million viewers and did a 3.8 rating among adults 18-49. 
 
That key demo rating matched the number for Jay Leno's February 6 "Tonight Show" departure, but that episode aired at 11:35 also after a night of Olympics coverage. Leno's "Tonight Show" farewell also drew 14.64 million viewers. In the key demo, it tied the Leno exit for the top "Tonight Show" performance since Conan O'Brien's last episode in January 2010, which did a 4.4 key demo rating.
 
It was certainly Fallon's best performance, rising 71 percent overall and 73 percent in the key demo over his last "Late Night" episode.
 
The early numbers put Fallon right in line with Conan O'Brien's 2009 "Tonight Show" premiere in the key demo and ahead of the 9.2 million viewers who watched that Conan debut.
 
Check out our gallery of the Fallon "Tonight Show" highlights below:
<p>USA's 2-man bobsled team took the bronze</p>

USA's 2-man bobsled team took the bronze

Credit: AP

TV Ratings: Olympics leads Monday, 'Star-Crossed' launches OK and low 'Castle' drops 'Intelligence'

'The Following' and 'Almost Human' are steady for FOX
Fast National ratings for Monday, February 17, 2014.
 
With bobsledding and the finals for ice-dancing, NBC's Monday Olympics coverage was up from recent nights and dominated primetime in all measures.
 
For some reason, each of the networks decided to put up a fight on Monday, which featured plenty of new programming, including one series premiere.
 
That premiere, The CW's "Star-Crossed," wasn't huge, but it improved a hair on recent "Hart of Dixie" audiences, which is probably all The CW could have expected going against the Olympics.
 
Also oddly, after taking last week off against the Olympics, a new "Castle" returned to ABC and drew lowish numbers, but also took a bite out of the audience for CBS' only new show of the night, "Intelligence."
 
Finally, FOX's dramas were consistent with last week's numbers. "The Following" was up a tiny bit in total viewers, while "Almost Human" was up a whopping 0.1 in the key demo.
 
On to the ratings...
 
Read Full Post