<p>The premiere of &quot;The Flash&quot;</p>

The premiere of "The Flash"

Ratings Analysis: 'The Flash' premiere grows, 'Manhattan Love Story' sinks

New superhero drama enters conversation with 'Vampire Diaries,' '90210' and 'Gilmore Girls'

As you probably already saw, "The Flash" gave TV reporters a workout when it came to speed-related headline puns after a start that was unquestionably fast on Tuesday (October 7) night. [I went with a "Flashdance" pun, because I'm old.]

Well, the news just keeps getting better for the DC Comics series starring Grant Gustin. 

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<p>Grant Gustin as &quot;The Flash&quot;</p>

Grant Gustin as "The Flash"

Credit: The CW

TV Ratings: 'The Flash' dances to The CW's best debut since 2009 on Tuesday

'Selfie' and 'Manhattan Love Story' fall hard for ABC

Fast National ratings for Tuesday, October 7, 2014.

The CW has a splashy new hit in "The Flash," which huge across-the-board numbers and crushed the second weeks for ABC's "Selfie" and "Manhattan Love Story," drawing some of Tuesday's best numbers in several young demos, ranking as the night's second leading show among adults 18-34 and its top show among men of that age.

"The Flash" was The CW's most watched debut since "The Vampire Diaries" in 2009.

Of course, even with "The Flash" and also "Supernatural" having big Tuesday premieres, The CW couldn't compete with "NCIS"-led CBS overall or "The Voice"-paced NBC among young viewers.

Meanwhile, both "Forever" and "NCIS: New Orleans" were flat week-to-week in the key demo, which counts as a victory for a new show at this point in the season.

And with both of its lead-ins plummeting, it's no surprise that "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." could be looking at a series low.

On to the numbers...

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

"The Strain"

Credit: FX

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 251

Dan and Alan review 'The Flash,' 'The Affair,' 'Kingdom' and the first season of 'The Strain'


Happy Tuesday, Boys & Girls!

Time for another installment of the Firewall & Iceberg Podcast. 

There's lots to cover in this week's podcast, but don't worry, we still found time to discuss this week's breaking TV news about Showtime's "Twin Peaks" resurrection and NBC's development faux pas on a "Say Anything" sequel series.

We also reviewed "The Flash," "Kingdom," "Cristela" and "The Affair," several of which we liked.

And, finally, we discussed the finale for FX's "The Strain" and our thoughts on the first season.

Today's breakdown:
"Twin Peaks"/"Say Anything" news (00:00:40 - 00:16:00)
"The Flash" (00:16:00 - 00:25:30)
"Kingdom" (00:25:30 - 00:40:00)
"Cristela" (00:40:00 - 00:46:45)
"The Affair" (00:46:45 - 00:56:45)
"The Strain" finale (00:56:55 - 01:20:00)

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.

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<p>O.J. Simpson</p>

O.J. Simpson

Credit: AP

Ryan Murphy's empire grows with O.J. Simpson-centric 'American Crime Story'

Simpson Trial project was previously in development as a FOX limited series

No longer content to terrify FX viewers with tales of American horror, Ryan Murphy will now turn his attentions to gripping tales of American crime.

FX announced on Tuesday that it has ordered the first season of Murphy's new anthology series "American Crime Story," with the initial installment titled "American Crime Story: The People V. O.J. Simpson."

Based on "The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson" by Jeffrey Toobin, the first two installments of "American Crime Story" will be written by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski.

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<p>Katharine McPhee of &quot;Scorpion&quot;</p>

Katharine McPhee of "Scorpion"

TV Ratings: Big 'Scorpion' drop pushes NBC into Monday lead, while 'Sleepy Hollow' steadies

'The Voice' and 'Blacklist' help NBC claim Monday victory

Fast National ratings for Monday, October 6, 2014.

After posting an encouraging decline in its second week, CBS' "Scorpion" had a big Week 3 drop, combining with another weak performance from "NCIS: Los Angeles" to let NBC sneak in and win Monday in both the key demo and overall.

Just about everything, in fact, was in decline on Monday which meant that the 0.1 key demo decline for "The Blacklist" and a flat key demo week for "Sleepy Hollow" were both small victories, even if both shows were down in viewers.

"Scorpion" was off 19 percent from last week, while other shows with double-digit declines included "NCIS: Los Angeles," "The Voice" and "Gotham."

Transplanted to Monday, The CW's "The Originals" was the night's only return/premiere and it did solid key demo numbers, but failed to bring in a big audience. The CW is emphasizing time period improvement, noting "The Originals" bumped the Monday 8 p.m. average up 75 percent over last year.

On to the Fast National ratings...

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<p>Joseph Morgan of &quot;The Originals&quot;</p>

Joseph Morgan of "The Originals"

Credit: The CW

9 Thoughts on The CW's 'The Originals' Season 2 Premiere

Thoughts on Esther's plan, Phoebe Tonkin's accent, Rebekah and more

In retrospect, it wasn't all that shocking that it took less than a season for "The Originals" to usurp "The Vampire Diaries."

"The Originals" wasn't just a spinoff that took one character away from "The Vampire Diaries." For the better part of two season, Joseph Morgan was a menacing force on "TVD," while Daniel Gillies and Claire Holt supplied both charm and threat. [I'm not going to try pretending that Phoebe Tonkin's Hayley was any particular key cog in the "Vampire Diaries" machine, but y'all know I like Phoebe Tonkin.]

Stripped of Morgan, Gillies, Holt and Tonkin, "Vampire Diaries" was left with a fundamental adversarial weakness in its fifth season and the show compensated by doubling and tripling down on doppelgängers and by trying to make viewers care about Travelers, who were scary enough to make you clutch your passport if they sat next to you on a Eurail journey, but nothing more. In only a season, "Vampire Diaries" went from a show that constantly made fans say "Whoa" to a show that mostly left me saying, "Huh?"

In contrast, "The Originals" went through the sort of early series growing pains that every new show goes through -- Denizens of Mystic Falls were compelled to forget Stefan's time as a football stud -- in short order. There was a clarity of purpose that was admirable and understandable. See, vampires and werewolves and witches all wanted a piece of New Orleans' French Quarter. And who could blame them? Oysters! Po Boys! Gumbo! Jazz! Even if I couldn't always understand the in-fighting within the factions, I knew that vampires, werewolves and witches don't get along under normal circumstances and as those factions battled and a seemingly human faction interceded as well, that made for a clear narrative thrust. 

Did I still have problems with "The Originals"? Certainly. 

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<p>Jennifer Lopez</p>

Jennifer Lopez

Credit: Jordan Strauss/AP

Jennifer Lopez's NBC drama 'Shades of Blue' still exists, will be directed by Barry Levinson

'Homicide' vet has an Oscar and four Emmys

NBC announced the Jennifer Lopez drama "Shades of Blue" back in February, revealing that the police procedural had received a 13-episode direct-to-series order for the 2015-16 season. That was an impressive piece of longterm planning from the network, which was months from ending the 2013-14 season and only in the early phases of plotting its schedule for the 2014-15 season.

Given the foresight of the announcement, it's not surprising that nobody has really said much about "Shades of Blue" for the past eight months, which made it a pleasant surprise to get Monday's (October 6) release saying that not only does NBC remember that "Shades of Blue" exists, but a director has been hired, an Oscar and Emmy winner at that.

Per NBC, Barry Levinson will direct the "Shades of Blue" pilot and will serve as executive producer. Levinson will also "be hands-on and participate in the development process," which is a good thing is you're working on a police drama and you secure the attentions of one of the men behind "Homicide: Life on the Street."

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<p>Katia Winter of &quot;Sleepy Hollow&quot;</p>

Katia Winter of "Sleepy Hollow"

Credit: FOX

Interview: 'Sleepy Hollow' co-star Katia Winter on getting to know Katrina in Season 2

FOX star also discusses the challenges of Deep South production

WILMINGTON, NC. It's nearly half-way through production on the second season of FOX's "Sleepy Hollow" and Katia Winter is getting to scratch an itch.

Let's pretend that I'm being metaphorical and talking about the expanded opportunities for Winter's Katrina, who spent the first "Sleepy Hollow" as more of a recurring plot device than a recurring character. She'd show up in expositional flashbacks or she'd pop up to help cut a narrative corner through witchcraft, but it was hard to get a feeling for Katrina as a person, much less for Katrina and Ichabod as a couple.

Perhaps that's why a large segment of the "Sleepy Hollow" fandom was able to ignore that when they shipped IchAbbie, one of the principals was a man who was, at least ostensibly, happily married. 

Through the two episodes that have aired, we've already gotten more of Katrina as a human character than we got all of last season and the contemporary scene with Katrina and Ichabod last week was new for the show.

So let's say I'm being metaphorical.

I'm not. 

No, it's a steamy day in late August in North Carolina and the itch that Winter is scratching is very literal. She was out shooting in the woods the night before and, as seems to happen simply as a matter of course in such circumstances, she was eaten alive by unidentified insects. So as we sit talking about Katrina's expanded Season 2 role, Winter is going through a cycle of scratching and apologizing.

As you might guess, skin irritations aside, Winter is happy to find herself with a regular TV role this season, as well as a character she can sink her teeth into, like a chigger sinking its teeth into a Swedish actress in the forest. In our conversation, she discusses the tensions between Katrina and Ichabod, as well as Katrina's feelings for her Moloch-affiliated son.

And we talked about the bugs and humidity. It was hard not to...

Click through for the full Q&A... And catch a new "Sleepy Hollow" tonight at 9 p.m. on FOX.

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<p>Patriots QB Tom Brady</p>

Patriots QB Tom Brady

Credit: AP

TV Ratings: Bengals-Patriots game leads Sunday, 'Mulaney' tanks, 'CSI' dwindles

ABC's 'Once Upon a Time' is steady while 'Revenge' and 'Resurrection' struggle

Fast National ratings for Sunday, October 5, 2014.

NBC's Sunday Night Football matchup between the Bengals and Patriots dominated primetime in all measures, though it was down from last week's tilt between the Saints and Cowboys.

While down from last week, NBC wants you to know this was the best-ever Sunday Night Football telecast for a game featuring the Bengals.

Sunday's big debuts were a disastrous premiere for FOX's "Mulaney" and a "Bob's Burgers" premiere that wouldn't look good except that we can compare it to the launch for "Mulaney."

A number of shows dipped dramatically in their second weeks, with ABC's "Resurrection" failing to maintain the momentum for the new season of "Once Upon a Time" and CBS' "CSI" mothership looking very much like a drama on its last legs.

Note that CBS had some limited NFL delays in addition to its regularly scheduled half-hour delay on programming for the right side of the country.

On to the numbers...

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<p>Val of &quot;Survivor: San Juan Del Sur&quot;</p>

Val of "Survivor: San Juan Del Sur"

Credit: CBS

Interview: Val Collins talks 'Survivor: San Juan del Sur'

Latest castaway explains why Coyoga is so bad at everything

I've been too generous to Coyopa. That's been the takeaway from my first two "Survivor: San Juan Del Sur" exit interview of the season.

I've been paying too much attention to a couple very close performances in challenges and not nearly enough attention to the sheer number of challenge losses accrued by a tribe that is only a few weeks from the sort of Pagonging that could throw this season's Blood vs. Water twist out of whack.

Val Collins, the season's second booted castaway, doesn't suffer fools and, in the case of this interview, I got to be the fool in asking why things have been so tough for Coyopa when it didn't seem like it should be that bad a tribe.

"What? You don't think it looked like a bad tribe? Are you kidding me?" Val asked me, incredulous. "This couldn’t have been the worst tribe."

She makes a convincing argument and I guess I won't be surprised if Coyopa continues its losing streak.

Val, whose competitiveness will surely be missed, also makes a somewhat compelling argument for her double-Idol bluff and for why she was never able to recover from an initial stint on Exile Island.

In addition, in two seasons of Blood vs. Water exit interviews, no contestant has been as quick to say that, given the right opportunity, she would have cast a vote against her loved on, husband Jeremy.

For that reason alone, this season will miss Val.

Check out her feisty exit interview...

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