'Gotham' star Robin Lord Taylor says Oswald is 10 percent of the way to full Penguin

'Gotham' star Robin Lord Taylor says Oswald is 10 percent of the way to full Penguin

What's up with the Gordon-Cobblepot relationship going forward?

In the world of FOX's "Gotham," Future Batman is a sad middle schooler. Future Riddler is a puzzle enthusiast working for Gotham PD. Future Catwoman is an agile girl with trust issues. And Future Poison Ivy is just a kid with some interest in horticulture. 

Perhaps that's why it's so much fun to watch Robin Lord Taylor strutting or waddling his stuff as Oswald Cobblepot. No, he isn't The Penguin, but Oswald is well on his way to being an ingratiating little budding psychopath. 

"I don't know if there was ever a completely 'normal' Oswald," Taylor said when he stopped by the HitFix video studio last week, referencing the eccentric performance by Carol Kane as Mama Cobblepot as some of the origin for the eventual supervillain. 

When last we saw Oswald, he was popping up at Jim Gordon's door, which is sure to cause awkwardness since so far as several crime lords know, The Future Commissioner Gordon shot Oswald and let his body wash away.

"I do think that Gordon is really the only person in Gotham City who Penguin trusts and, on top of that, he owes him his life and I don't think he takes that lightly," Taylor teases. In a little bit that was trimmed from this interview, Taylor suggested that Oswald isn't likely to feed Gordon a guilt trip about the crimes he's committed since Gordon let him go free. See, Oswald just wants a friend. 

As vicious and an unpredictable as Taylor's Oswald is, though, the actor says we have a whole lot of darkening and craziness to go.

"I think we're 10 percent there," Taylor says of his journey to Penguin-dom.

Check out the full interview above.

And a new episode of "Gotham" airs Monday night at 8 p.m. on FOX.

Read Full Post
<p>The &quot;Felicity&quot; haircut</p>

The "Felicity" haircut

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 252

Dan and Alan review 'Jane the Virgin,' 'Marry Me' and talk 'Walking Dead' and 'Boardwalk Empire'


Happy Monday, Boys & Girls.

Time for a slightly early-in-the-week installment of The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast.

We bumped this podcast up to Monday so that we could get in a review for The CW's "Jane the Virgin," which we both kinda like. It also adds some freshness to our discussions of Sunday's "The Walking Dead" and "Boardwalk Empire."

In this busy podcast, we also reviewed NBC's "Marry Me," discussed the first few "Parenthood" episodes of the season and answered a few pieces of Listener Mail.


Next week's podcast might be a bit later in the week so that I can catch up on a few things that I won't get to this week. That was just a warning. Worry not. A podcast will exist.

And here's today's breakdown:
"Jane the Virgin" (00:00:55 - 00:13:30)
"Marry Me" (00:13:30 - 00:21:50)
Listener Mail: FOX's fall struggles (00:22:20 - 00:31:20)
Listener Mail: Haircut-based TV declines (00:31:25 - 00:41:55)
"Parenthood" (00:42:00 - 00:53:00)
"The Walking Dead" (00:53:10 - 01:08:00)
"Boardwalk Empire" (01:08:00 - 01:28:00)

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.

Read Full Post
<p>Zombies! From &quot;The Walking Dead&quot; Season 5.</p>

Zombies! From "The Walking Dead" Season 5.

Credit: AMC

'Walking Dead' Season 5 premiere sets AMC records

Zombie favorite returns above last fall's premiere

America's appetite for brains, or at least our appetite for watching the living dead and their appetite for brains, remains unabated.

AMC's "The Walking Dead" returned on Sunday (October 12) night and set new highs for both the series and, by logical extension, for the network.

Read Full Post


Credit: FOX

FOX extends 'Gotham' Season 1 to a full 22 episodes

Originally slated for 16 episodes, Batman prequel gets six more episodes

Last year, FOX ordered 13 episodes of "Sleepy Hollow" and decided to order a second season rather than giving the freshman hit drama a back-nine, which resulted in a nine-month absence between seasons, which may or may have resulted in the show's current Season 2 ratings drop. 

This year, FOX has learned its lesson about not necessarily sticking to its guns when it comes to a successful first-year show.

Kevin Reilly told reporters repeatedly last spring that "Gotham" would only do 16 episodes in its first season.

When I spoke to "Gotham" star Ben McKenzie in August, he expressed relief at not needing to do more than 16 episodes.

And on Monday (October 13), FOX announced that "Gotham" has received a back-six pickup, bringing its first season to 22 episodes.

Fair enough! I guess this means we're getting a Rooney episode after all.

Read Full Post
<p>The Eagles manhandled the Giants on Sunday</p>

The Eagles manhandled the Giants on Sunday

Credit: AP

TV Ratings: Giants-Eagles rout leads Sunday, while 'Once Upon a Time' tumbles

How big a bite did "Walking Dead" take out of the networks on Sunday?

Fast National ratings for Sunday, October 12, 2014.

A one-sided Sunday Night Football rivalry game between the Giants and Eagles dominated Sunday primetime in all measures, with NBC's only competition coming from FOX, which was boosted by NFL overrun.

FOX's football overrun definitely played a big role in the week-to-week growth for "The Simpsons" and the ripple continued with "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" and even "Mulaney" rising in Fast Nationals.

Most of the night's other network returns were on the low side, with "Once Upon a Time," Resurrection" and "Revenge" all slipping for ABC and "Madam Secretary" and "The Good Wife" probably dropping for CBS, though football makes those CBS numbers a bit murky.

And yes, it's fairly certain that Sunday's top program was actually AMC's "The Walking Dead" premiere, but those numbers won't be available until later.

On to the network primetime figures...

Read Full Post
<p>John Mulaney of &quot;Mulaney&quot;</p>

John Mulaney of "Mulaney"

Credit: FOX

Interview: 'Mulaney' creator-star John Mulaney on his FOX comedy's learning curve

What does 'Mulaney' creator John Mulaney think of his leading man?

It can't be ignored that "Mulaney" premiered last Sunday night on FOX and the ratings weren't especially good.

I got on the phone with creator-star John Mulaney on Thursday and made a promise up-front: I'd lead with quick ratings discussion and then never return to the topic and we stuck to it.

The bottom line on that subject: FOX is 100 percent behind "Mulaney" and the network knows things will turn around. And what else would anyone say after one week?

Mostly, we discussed the learning process on "Mulaney," which was originally developed at NBC, moved over to FOX and which is already far deeper into production than most freshman shows. 

This week, in fact, found "Mulaney" working on its 13th episode, while Mulaney was also, at least according to Twitter, parlaying with old chum Bill Hader in advance of Hader's "SNL" hosting stint, so it's impressive both that he found time to chat all, but also that he politely apologized because production lunch break was delayed by seven minutes, making him late to call.

Instead of talking about ratings or following in the NY Times footsteps to talk about reviews, Mulaney and I discussed the transition from stand-up to sitcom structuring, the need to sometimes adjust his material to network commercial considerations and, in an amusing moment, the strengths and weaknesses of Mulaney's leading man.

Click through for the full Q&A...

Read Full Post


Credit: ABC

TV Ratings: 'Cristela' premiere builds on 'Last Man' as ABC splits Friday

'Blue Bloods' leads CBS to overall victory, while 'Utopia' rises a bit for FOX

Fast National ratings for Friday, October 10, 2014.

The series premiere of "Cristela" grew from an already-decent "Last Man Standing" lead-in to help ABC win Friday night among young viewers, while "Blue Bloods" was, as always, Friday's most watched show and led CBS to victory overall.

In its first airing as a Friday-only series -- Last week was still preceded by a Tuesday episode -- FOX's "Utopia" posted a very small gain, while ABC's "Shark Tank" was also up.

Also showing growth were The CW's episodes of "Whose Line Is It Anyway?"

On the down side, after rising a hair last week, CBS' "The Amazing Race" slipped back again.

On to the numbers...

Read Full Post
<p>John Rocker of &quot;Survivor&quot;</p>

John Rocker of "Survivor"

Credit: CBS

Interview: John Rocker talks 'Survivor: San Juan del Sur'

Former Atlanta Braves closer discusses heading home with an Idol

The following exit interview contains more expletives than most of my "Survivor" exit interviews.

I sensed how things were going to go from John Rocker's cheerful response to my "How're you doing this morning?" greeting.

"Horses***! How you doing?"

In retrospect, "Survivor" fans should be less amazed that John Rocker's "San Juan del Sur" run ended this week in the aftermath of a post-Immunity Challenge shouting match with Natalie Anderson and more surprised at how little John Rocker needed to be bleeped during his three episodes.

While John Rocker frequently seemed to be a physical asset for his Coyopa tribe, that merely meant that he was a physical asset on a tribe that has started the season losing five-of-six challenges, including all three Immunities. And on Wednesday's episode, led by Josh and Wes, Coyopa decided that removing the John Rocker-sized target from the tribe was better strategy than maintaining strength.

Or is that not what happened? John Rocker still isn't sure. The former Atlanta Braves closer doesn't know why his tribe chose to vote him out rather than old-and-not-always-useful Dale, especially since his fellow castaways had gotten past the stigma attached to him since a 1999 Sports Illustrated article included racist, homophobic and xenophobic quotes. Or that's how John Rocker tells it.

"All you've gotta do is get to know me and you're gonna like me," John Rocker says.

There's little doubt that when you talk to John Rocker, you're getting John Rocker Unfiltered, whether he's giving the background on his shouting match with Natalie or trying to justify why and how he went home with an Immunity Idol in his pocket. 

John Rocker is so very much John Rocker that I got to fewer than half of the questions on my tip list, despite going a few minutes over my regular time. He just had plenty to say. 

And only some of it is suitable for small children. And I have to admit that lots of John Rocker's confusion at being voted out is similar to the confusion I expressed on his behalf in my Wednesday recap.

Check out the full John Rocker Q&A below...

Read Full Post
<p>Phil and a Giant Puffin on &quot;The Amazing Race&quot;</p>

Phil and a Giant Puffin on "The Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'The Amazing Race' - 'Get Your Sheep Together'

The teams head to Scotland and deal with sheep and ponies

"Bad directions are worse than no directions." 

Those words of wisdom came from the Boston firefighter I believe was Mike during Friday (October 10) night's episode of "The Amazing Race."

There's the usual litany of things we/I always tell "Amazing Race" contestants to do: Learn to drive stick. Make sure you can swim. Read the freaking clue. Etc. 

Mike's piece of advice is a good one and one that should be added to the permanent list. But maybe it should be amended somewhat. Yes, bad directions are worse than no directions, but a better phrasing might be: If you ask stupid people for directions you'll get bad directions. Because Friday's "Amazing Race" Leg didn't really come down to "bad directions" at all. The eliminated team got perfectly acceptable directions that just happened to lead them to a ridiculous place that had no connection to the desired destination. 

Oh well. 

More from Friday's Leg, which featured my new all-time favorite greeter, after the break...

Read Full Post
<p>Andrew Luck tries to escape J.J. Watt</p>

Andrew Luck tries to escape J.J. Watt

Credit: David J. Phillips/AP

TV Ratings: Colts-Texans game leads Thursday as 'Gracepoint' dips, 'Judge' steadies

Shonda Rhimes Thursday holds second even while falling

Fast National ratings for Thursday, October 9, 2014.

The Colts and Texans offered CBS' first competitive Thursday Night Football game in weeks (assuming viewers stuck in past the first quarter) and helped the network dominate primetime in all measures.

While all three ABC dramas were down, Shonda Rhimes Thursday still topped all of the night's scripted programming and was good for second across the board.

The night's best news, relatively speaking, was for NBC's "Bad Judge," which retained all of its premiere audience. While that audience still wasn't big, week-to-week flatness this early is a good sign. Also basically flat week-to-week were The CW's "Reign," NBC's "Parenthood" and FOX's "Bones."

The news wasn't as positive for NBC's "A to Z" or for FOX's "Gracepoint," which dipped below The Mulaney Line in its second airing.

On to the numbers...

Read Full Post