<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...

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<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...

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<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...

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<p>Viola Davis of &quot;How To Get Away With Murder&quot;</p>

Viola Davis of "How To Get Away With Murder"

Credit: ABC

'Black-ish,' 'How To Get Away With Murder' get full-season orders from ABC

Viola Davis, Anthony Anderson vehicles get the fall's first pickups

This is one time "The Flash" didn't move fast enough.

ABC has become the first network this fall to extend full-season orders, confirming the extended runs for "How To Get Away With Murder" and "Black-ish."

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<p>Wednesday&#39;s &quot;Arrow&quot;</p>

Wednesday's "Arrow"

Credit: The CW

TV Ratings: 'Arrow' returns up, 'Black-ish' rises, 'Stalker' falls on Wednesday

ABC takes the night in the key demo while CBS leads overall

Fast National ratings for Wednesday, October 8, 2014.

Week-to-week gains for the third episode of "Black-ish," a rarity in today's TV landscape, helped ABC eke out a slim key demo victory on Wednesday night. And although it slipped from its premiere, "Stalker" still helped CBS cruise to overall victory.

Although the drop for "Stalker" probably could have been worse -- its "Criminal Minds" lead-in also slipped -- the freshman drama went from tying last year's "CSI" launch in its premiere to follow below the former time period occupant.

Wednesday also saw a drop below The Mulaney Line for FOX's troubled "Red Band Society," as well as tiny dips for all three NBC dramas.

"Survivor: San Juan Del Sur" rose a hair for CBS, while "Modern Family" was up in viewers but down in the key demo.

Over on The CW, "Arrow" got off to a fine start for its third season, up from both last year's premiere and last year's finale, maybe the most interesting piece of the network's Wednesday was the nearly 2.1 million viewers who caught an encore of "The Flash," an encore audience that comfortably topped audience for "The Vampire Diaries" or "The Originals."

Let's get down to the Fast Nationals...

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<p>Kevin Rankin of &quot;Gracepoint&quot;</p>

Kevin Rankin of "Gracepoint"

Credit: FOX

Interview: 'Gracepoint' co-star Kevin Rankin on diversified roles from 'Undeclared' on

Would he ever want to play English-accented Herc in a British 'Friday Night Lights'?

VICTORIA, BC. It's early May on Vancouver Island and rain has temporarily trapped Kevin Rankin in a makeshift press tent just inland at Island View Beach Regional Park.

With several of his co-stars in rotation being interviewed, Rankin ends up sitting next to the heat lamp, which means sitting next to me for what turns out to be an in-depth conversation about both his work on FOX's "Broadchurch" and his eclectic and varied career. 

With his turns as rascally and resilient Herc on "Friday Night Lights" and gloriously unprepared-for-authority RA Lucien on "Undeclared," Rankin has the rare honor of having been part of multiple shows that earned the Firewall & Iceberg Podcast Summer ReWatch treatment. [Three, if you include "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," though his one-episode appearance came after the season featured in the podcast.]

Rankin has also had runs on shows including "Breaking Bad," "Six Feet Under," "Big Love" and "Justified," when he wasn't terrorizing the President in "White House Down" or assisting Matthew McConaughey to his Oscar in "Dallas Buyers Club."

On "Gracepoint," a FOX remake of the British "Broadchurch," Rankin plays Rev. Coates, a man of the cloth trying to steer a small town through its collective grief at the murder of a young boy. Is Coates just a shepherd caring for his flock, or does he have a personal agenda?

For an actor who has moved back and forth between hero-adjacent good guys and villain-adjacent henchman, it's a role that could absolutely go either way.

We covered a lot of Rankin's career in our 20-minute chat. Clad in a buttoned up brown cardigan, Rankin talked about his attempts to diversify his resume to prevent typecasting and how that has led to myriad responses when people recognize him in public. We talked about the pleasures of doing brief guest spots on established shows, but also the value in being with a show from the ground floor. And Rankin discussed the advantages and frustrations of kicking the wheels on being a network procedural regular. 

I think this is an interesting glimpse into the progress of a hard-working character actor.

The second "Gracepoint" episode airs tonight on FOX. The full Kevin Rankin Q&A is below...

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<p>Keith of &quot;Survivor&quot;</p>

Keith of "Survivor"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Survivor: San Juan Del Sur' - 'Actions vs. Accusations'

John Rocker goes Full-John Rocker in a heated Immunity Challenge

Pre-credit sequence. Coyopa returns to camp sans Val. Baylor has begun to realize that she isn't as safe as she thought she was. You have thought Baylor might have realized that earlier, but Baylor's not so good at following the flow of the game. She's still open to playing with anybody, but she isn't going to trust anybody. John Rocker figures that by giving Val insider information, he did everything he could. Josh, by the way, admits that he was the person who flipped his vote in the first round. Josh suspects Val and John Rocker of having colluded --  which they did --  though he isn't ready to bail on the All-Guy Alliance, putting Jaclyn and then Baylor in jeopardy.

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<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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