<p>The &quot;New Girl&quot; Season 4 premiere</p>

The "New Girl" Season 4 premiere

Credit: FOX

Ratings Analysis: 'New Girl' up from spring, 'Mindy Project' flat

Does the 'Utopia' bump mean anything for FOX?

As TV audiences become more and more fragmented, it's always amusing to go back and look at perceived failures from two or three years ago and muse on how grateful the networks work be to have those numbers now. 

It's a bit less common to go back only a year and look at the numbers a show was doing and go, "GOOD LORD. WHAT HAPPENED?!?" But it occurs.

Case in point: More than a few ratings observers have glanced at this morning's premiere ratings for "New Girl" and then looked back at last year's premiere ratings and gone, "GOOD LORD. WHAT HAPPENED?!?"

Last September, "New Girl" premiered with a 2.9 rating among adults 18-49 and 5.53 million viewers. By its finale in May, "New Girl" was down to under 2.4 million viewers and a 1.2 rating among adults 18-49.

Before going any further, it always has to be repeated: Few shows on TV get a larger Live+3 and Live+7 DVR bump than "New Girl." There. Acknowledged. 

And last year's "New Girl" premiere was also a reasonably big bump from where the numbers ended the spring before. 

But still... Mere justifications like "Well, the Nick-Jess relationship really wasn't clicking" don't quite do that sort of in-season viewer attrition justice.

We've already reported on Tuesday's (September 16) Fast National numbers for the "New Girl" premiere, but now let's look a bit deeper...

Read Full Post
<p>Tuesday&#39;s &quot;America&#39;s Got Talent&quot;</p>

Tuesday's "America's Got Talent"

Credit: NBC

TV Ratings: 'Utopia' rises but 'America's Got Talent' leads NBC Tuesday

'Big Brother' is steady in its second Tuesday airing

Fast National ratings for Tuesday, September 16, 2014.

The two-hour performance finale of "America's Got Talent" helped NBC comfortably beat "Dancing with the Stars"-fueled ABC and "Big Brother"-led CBS on Tuesday night. 

While the network only finished fourth overall and third among young viewers, FOX got some [tempered] good news as "Utopia" ticked up week-to-week, while the network would surely want a mention that the "New Girl" and "Mindy Project" premieres were both up from spring finales (but down steeply from last year's September premieres).

This may be a good afternoon to do some ratings analysis when Live+Same Day figures come in.

On to the numbers...

Read Full Post
How is 'Red Band Society' like 'My So-Called Life'? Wilson Cruz explains

How is 'Red Band Society' like 'My So-Called Life'? Wilson Cruz explains

And who wins in his Olympics of Sassy Nurse with Octavia Spencer?

On FOX's new hospital dramedy "Red Band Society," Wilson Cruz plays Kenji, a nurse who frequently gets to banter with Octavia Spencer's Nurse Jackson.

It's a dynamic that Cruz calls The Olympics of Sassy Nurse.

"It was automatic. I met Octavia on the set and it was as if I'd known her my whole life," Cruz says.

With "My So-Called Life" celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, it's notable that since that seminal teen drama, Cruz has largely eschewed regular TV roles, opting instead to concentrate his energies on a long-term advocacy role at GLAAD.

"I have to look at a teen show show through the prism of 'My So-Called Life' and I think this show comes as close as anything I've seen," Cruz told me when we sat down last week, admitting that he had thought he might be done with steady acting.

Instead, Cruz finds himself on the older side of a two-tiered cast of adults and kids with "Red Band Society." And do the "Red Band Society" kids even know "MSCL" anymore?

"I think a lot of them know and obviously the younger they get, the less they know. But don't worry, I fill them."

Check out the full Wilson Cruz interview above.

And check out my interview with "Red Band Society" co-star Rebecca Rittenhouse.

And "Red Band Society" premieres on Wednesday, September 17 night at 9:00 on FOX.

Read Full Post
Xosha Roquemore and Beth Grant discuss their wacky 'Mindy Project' characters

Xosha Roquemore and Beth Grant discuss their wacky 'Mindy Project' characters

Who has the crazier backstory - Beverly or Tamra?

On "The Mindy Project," we rarely get to spend time with Xosha Roquemore's Tamra or Beth Grant's Beverly outside of the office. 

Sure, we know details about Tamra's romance with Ray Ron, as well as her new fling with Morgan.

And yes, we know about Beverly's firing and subsequent rehiring, as well as off-hours activities including attendance at executions.

But can we truly say that we know Tamra or Beverly?

Get ready to finally get some insight into both characters.

Last week, I sat down with Roquemore and Grant and learned a few things about what makes Tamra a surprisingly good nurse and why Beverly hasn't exactly become an exemplary worker since returning to the job. 

The two actresses discuss the crafting of their characters' backstories and the little things that they've learned from lines that maybe didn't make it into episodes.

Check out the full interview above.

"The Mindy Project" returns to FOX on Tuesday, September 16 at 9:30 p.m.

Read Full Post
Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 246
Credit: NBC

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 246

Dan and Alan review 'Red Band Society' and 'Mysteries of Laura' and complete the Summer ReWatch


Happy Tuesday, Boys & Girls!

It's time for the first of what we expect will be two installments of The Firewall & Iceberg podcast this week.

We'll have an installment at the end of the week with a LOT of new show reviews, because otherwise next week will be utterly untenable. This podcast, though, only has reviews for FOX's "Red Band Society" and "Mysteries of Laura."

And then, we wrap up this summer's Podcast Rewatch, "Friday Night Lights" Season 2. We talk about the last two episodes of the season and then we have a lot of fun debating and ranking the worst characters and plotlines. I think it's a great wrap-up to a Summer ReWatch I quite enjoyed doing and we hope you did, too!

Today's Breakdown:
"Red Band Society" (00:01:00 - 00:11:50)
"Mysteries of Laura" (00:11:50 - 00:22:45)
"Friday Night Lights" Summer ReWatch (00:22:50 - 01:22:05)

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
10 Burning Questions for Returning Fall TV Shows - 'S.H.I.E.L.D.' to 'Sleepy Hollow'

10 Burning Questions for Returning Fall TV Shows - 'S.H.I.E.L.D.' to 'Sleepy Hollow'

Can 'New Girl' bounce back? Will a non-pregnant Kerry Washington change 'Scandal'?

Much of the attention each fall is paid to new shows. Which new programs will break out from the pack and become hits? Which dud will suffer the ignominy of being the fall's first cancellation? Which shows will grow to become assets in the TV landscape and which shows wasted all of their good ideas in the first couple episodes?

But let's not forget the dozens of shows that are returning to networks and cable before the end of 2014, because there are some entice questions to be asked.

Could a show like "New Girl" or "Homeland" pass through last season's creative rough patches to become favorites again?

Could a show like "The Good Wife" squander last season's momentum after too many big twists last year?

Will early-season time period trickery hurt "The Big Bang Theory"? Will nine months off the air hurt "Sleepy Hollow"?

What's in store for the few shows already heading toward their series finales?

Sepinwall and I field many of the Big Questions for Returning Shows in this gallery.

Read Full Post
<p>Gillian Jacobs</p>

Gillian Jacobs

Credit: Bravo

Gillian Jacobs and Judd Apatow will make 'Love' on Netflix starting in 2016

Don't worry, 'Community' fans, this doesn't Britta up Season 6

It's official: Confirming reports that have been floating around since the summer, Netflix announced on Tuesday (September 16) that it has given a two-season commitment to the new comedy "Love," which comes from Judd Apatow, among other producers.

[Yes, there's an old joke involving Marilyn Monroe's "Let's Make Love" that I want to make here, but I can't remember exactly how the joke went.]

Read Full Post
<p>Monday&#39;s &quot;Dancing with the Stars&quot;</p>

Monday's "Dancing with the Stars"

Credit: ABC

TV Ratings: 'Dancing' premiere, 'MasterChef' finale lead Monday

CBS' 'Under the Dome' rises week-to-week

Fast National ratings for Monday, September 15, 2014.

The 19th season premiere for ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" came in well below last September's return, but still dominated Monday night overall. ABC's "Castle" repeat in the 10 p.m. hour allowed FOX to move up for a primetime tie thanks to the season finale for "MasterChef."

"Dancing" was down by 23 percent from last fall's premiere, but a much acceptable eight percent from the most recently spring return. ABC wants to emphasize that this was the most watched series telecast since May. And of course it was.

CBS was second overall for the night thanks to a rising installment of "Under the Dome," while the "USA vs. the World" special episode of "American Ninja Warrior" carried NBC to third among young viewers.

On to the numbers...

Read Full Post
Lamorne Morris and Hannah Simone talk puzzling, modeling and 'New Girl' Season 4

Lamorne Morris and Hannah Simone talk puzzling, modeling and 'New Girl' Season 4

Plus, more details on Winston's basketball career

Season 3 of "New Girl" was a season of transition for Hannah Simone's Cece and Lamorne Morris' Winston.

For Cece, the season began with her discovering that she was being cheated on and saw her giving up on her modeling aspirations to become, at least in the short term, a bartender, before she left on a romantic dalliance with a younger man.

Meanwhile, Winston began to come to terms with his thwarted hoop dreams and seemed to find at least a temporary calling as a potential police officer, while putting his own needs second to those of his cat. 

Last week, I sat down with Morris and Simone to talk about the season of quarterlife crisis and the impact of those changes on Cece and Winston this season.

We also talked quite a bit about Winston's run of weekly peculiarities.

"I caught on probably once Max Greenfield said something out loud about it," Morris says.

And yes, the conversation contains plenty of talk about Winston's subpar basketball career and the allure of puzzling, complete with a brief chorus of the "Puzzling" song. 

The "New Girl" writers would do well to note that Morris and Simone are really funny together. 

"New Girl" premieres on Tuesday, September 16 night at 9 p.m. on FOX.

Read Full Post
15 most anticipated new shows for Fall 2014 - 'Gotham,' 'Flash' and more

15 most anticipated new shows for Fall 2014 - 'Gotham,' 'Flash' and more

Which of your most anticipated fall shows didn't make our list?

No, we're not going to try to convince you that this is the most promising fall for new TV in years.

If you've followed my Take Me To The Pilots series, you can already guess that there are a handful of B-grade and B-minus-grade pilots, several of which absolutely have the potential to get better than that, but all of which have the potential to drop lower.

If you're a fan of comic books, this is probably your fall, with "The Flash" and "Gotham" ranking among our favorite network pilots and "Constantine" having theoretical potential, though we'll have to see some episodes with the new female lead before drawing conclusions.

But don't think that networks have started programming only to 18-34-year-old men. "Jane the Virgin" and "How To get Away With Murder" are just a couple of the new network shows targeting different demos, while expanding our range to cable and streaming services let us look forward to the likes of "Transparent," "The Affair" and HBO's "Olive Kitteridge" miniseries.

Here are 15 new shows and movies we're looking forward to this fall, but they aren't the only things with potential. For example, FOX's well-acted "Gracepoint" takes a long time to get going, but by its seventh episode, it's not "Broadchurch" anymore. And we wouldn't rule out the possibility that the casts of "Selfie" or "Mulaney" or "Madam Secretary" could make those must-catch shows by December.

Check out our gallery:

Read Full Post