<p>Linda of &quot;Bob&#39;s Burgers&quot;</p>

Linda of "Bob's Burgers"

Credit: FOX

'Bob's Burgers' star John Roberts on the Emmy win and finding Linda's voice

Ahead of tonight's premiere catch up with the man behind Linda

John Roberts and I will always have our first "Bob's Burgers" interview as a memorable shared experience.

Before the show premiered, I sat down with Roberts, Eugene Mirman and Kristen Schaal about their yet-to-premiered FOX animated comedy "Bob's Burgers." I'd only seen a cut-down of the pilot, but that was OK. I asked a couple questions, but mostly I was superfluous. The three stars just went off on a series of monologues that presaged the deranged brilliance of the show itself and also include a new musical theme song for HitFix.

That's probably why when John Roberts sat down with me a couple weeks ago, he looked at the HitFix microphone, looked at me and immediately acknowledged our shared history.

Of course, the Roberts/Mirman/Schaal grouping was a unique alchemy and left to his own devices, Roberts isn't nearly as manic, which is OK. He's got the show to speak for him.

And "Bob's Burgers" is coming off its first animated series Emmy win, which very few people expected, including the people associated with "Bob's Burgers."

Roberts and I discussed that Emmy win, as well as FOX's support what what is a well-loved, but low-rated series.

"We're a quality show, which is good for FOX," Roberts deadpans.

We also talked about Roberts' favorite  "Bob's Burgers" guests, the ease of snapping into Linda's voice after all these seasons and more. 

As Sepinwall and I mentioned in our latest podcast, the "Bob's Burgers" premiere is just terrific. It airs Sunday night on FOX.

Check out the interview above.

<p>Andre Braugher of &quot;Brooklyn Nine-Nine&quot;</p>

Andre Braugher of "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"

Credit: FOX

Interview: 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' star Andre Braugher still isn't sure he's funny

'Homicide' vet discusses the process of transitioning from hard drama

Andre Braugher has a pair of Emmy wins for drama and one could easily argue that it's a minor travesty he only won one Emmy for "Homicide: Life on the Street." He's mastered a wide range of portrayals of heroes who are stern, capable and flawed, giving them authentic, raw life.

And at least for the foreseeable future, it's going to be hard to interview Andre Braugher without suddenly finding humor in his thoughtful and entirely earnest answers. 

Captain Ray Holt on "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" isn't Braugher's first role to feature humor. As he correctly notes, "Men of a Certain Age" offered him the chance to get humane, ego-free laugher and earned him two Emmy nominations, though they were technically for drama. Braugher's "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" nomination was his first for comedy and was a recognition of how swiftly Braugher has eased into the rhythm of the single-cam and how instantly proficient he has become at the fine art of the deadpan.

When Braugher discusses his initiation into the world of comedy, he's humble and introspective, but it's hard not to hear hints of Holt's deadpan, even if they're not at all intentional. When Braugher discusses how he needs distance from acting projects in order to evaluate his work, for example, I ask if, in five years, he'll finally be able to know if he's been funny on "Brooklyn Nine-Nine." 

"I will," Braugher responds. "In retrospect I'll be able to. Yes. History will finally confirm that that was a funny episode for me."

Braugher isn't going for laugher, but if you imagine Captain Holt saying it? Well, it becomes a bit hilarious. The same is true when Braugher initially forgets the name of the Candy Crush knockoff that was a key plotpoint in one "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" episode last season, followed by his pleasure at repeating the name when I remind him.

In our conversation, Braugher discusses what it's like to find himself at the funny people's table, to suddenly be a guy asked to deliver punchlines during the Emmy telecast. He talks about the way this role challenges his process and the co-stars who challenge him most.

It's a great conversation, but if you read the transcript with Captain Holt in your mind, you may laugh a little.

"Brooklyn Nine-Nine" airs on FOX on Sundays at 8:30.

Check out the full Q&A...

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From Stand-ups to Sitcom Stars - Some of our Favorites

From Stand-ups to Sitcom Stars - Some of our Favorites

From Jerry Seinfeld to Roseanne to Bill Cosby, here are some comics who did sitcoms right

Stand-up comedy predates the TV sitcom, but since network executives realized that you could take a person who was funny on-stage and build a series around them and capitalize on their established voice, they've been doing it. From Danny Thomas to Jack Benny to George Burns, many of the early TV comedy greats came nightclubs, vaudeville and any venue with a stage open to laughter.

And sometimes they've been failing hilariously. Back in the '90s, it seemed like every other network sitcom was plucking a comedian from the circuit hoping to find the next Tim Allen or Brett Butler or Roseanne. Most of them were not.

On Sunday, John Mulaney goes from "SNL" writer and stand-up favorite to FOX star. Here's Sepinwall's review.

Next Friday, Cristela Alonzo tries to parlay her stage audience to ABC success. 

Maybe "Mulaney" and "Cristela" will grow into sitcom classics. Maybe? Hmmm...

Here are a few of our favorite standup-to-sitcom transitions. Not all of the greats have been included. We wanted to leave you room to sound off with your favorites...

Check out ours:

<p>Friday&#39;s &quot;Amazing Race&quot;</p>

Friday's "Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'The Amazing Race' - 'When You Gotta Go, You Gotta Go'

Teams hit to Jolly Old England and mictation plays a small role in the drama

[This recap of Friday (October 3) night's "The Amazing Race" may be a bit rushed. I've got some Yom Kippur atoning to do. But I still want to do some honor to a decent enough Leg.]

As you may have heard from a unshaven, drunk, pot-belled WWII era manager, there is no crying in baseball.

Nobody has ever made the same claim about "The Amazing Race."

In actuality, there's a lot of crying on "The Amazing Race." 

And I'm not entirely without understanding.

Let's say you're an "Amazing Race" superfan and you've actually taken the time to study Race strategy and accumulate some of the skills that normally pay dividends and then you find yourself actually on "The Amazing Race" and in only your second Leg, you find yourself falling victim to a semi-unavoidable combination of current and lack of upper-body strength? 

I guess I can allow for some sniffling, especially if your commitment to remaining in the hunt goes so far as to let you put self-consciousness aside and urinate in a river while tittering Brits point and shame you.

On that note, though, if people are falling into the river left and right, why would you not just feign a topple into the drink, whiz away and then climb back up? On the scale of embarrassment goes, surely clumsiness is superior to public micturition. 

The problem with not doing "Amazing Race" exit interviews this season is that I'll never get to ask Nici about that decision.

[More after the break... With spoilers]

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<p>Nick Offerman on &quot;The Simpsons&quot;</p>

Nick Offerman on "The Simpsons"

Credit: FOX

Interview: Nick Offerman on his 'Simpsons' voice and TV life after 'Parks and Recreation'

Will Offerman be jumping into pilot season this spring?

I talked with Nick Offerman earlier this week and got the answer to the question I'm sure you're all wondering:

A ukelele. 

What? You weren't clamoring for details on the latest carpentry projects from Hollywood's endlessly busy Renaissance Man? 

Personally, I'm always interested in Offerman's woodworking, because I know the value he puts in maintaining that pursuit and skill -- it's not just a hobby -- while following a schedule that would exhaust a lesser man. On Offerman's recent/current slate: He's completing work on the final season of "Parks and Recreation." He's touring the country with his one-man humor/lifestyle spectacle "Full Bush." He directed the marvelous and star-studded video for Tweedy's "Low Key." He's apparently co-producing a documentary about writer Wendell Berry. He appeared in the summer blockbuster "22 Jump Street" and probably has another half-dozen movies coming out soon.

And this Sunday night (October 5), Offerman can be heard as a guest voice on "The Simpsons."

While Offerman is no stranger to FOX animation voices -- he produced and starred in "Axe Cop" and also was heard on "The Cleveland Show" and "Bob's Burgers" -- he describes the chance to guest on "The Simpsons" as "a pinnacle." 

In the episode, Offerman voices Captain Bowditch operator of The RelationShip, a vessel that gives fathers and sons the chance to learn to sail and to repair their relationships. And if you're surprised that Offerman is, himself, a passionate devotee of all things nautical, you haven't been paying enough attention.

Beyond talking about "The Simpsons" and carpentry, my interview with Offerman also covered the on-set emotions for the "Parks and Recreation" team, as well as his thoughts about this spring's pilot season and a return to TV.

It was a great chat, because Offerman is always great to chat with.

He can be heard on "The Simpsons" this Sunday. 

Check out the full Q&A...

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Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 250

Dan and Alan review 'Survivor's Remorse,' 'Homeland,' 'Mulaney' and several finales

The

Happy Friday, Boys & Girls! 

Time for this week's second installment of The Firewall & Iceberg podcast.

We covered a lot on Tuesday's podcast, but we still have reviews for "Mulaney," "Survivor's Remorse" and the new season of "Homeland." We liked one and disliked the other two... 

And we talked about last Sunday's finales for "Outlander" and "Masters of Sex." 

Oh and "Bob's Burgers" is coming back on Sunday and the episode is awesome, so we at least mentioned that...

Here's today's breakdown:
"Survivor's Remorse" (00:00:55 - 00:10:50)
"Bob's Burgers" (00:11:00 - 00:13:00)
"Homeland" (00:13:00 - 00:26:30)
"Mulaney" (00:28:05 - 00:41:05)
"Outlander" midseason finale (00:41:40 - 00:55:40)
"Masters of Sex" finale (00:55:40 - 01:13:30)

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.

<p>Packers QB Aaron Rogers</p>

Packers QB Aaron Rogers

Credit: ABC

TV Ratings: Thursday Night Football rout tops 'Gracepoint,' NBC comedy premieres

'Scandal' and 'How To Get Away With Murder' hold up well for ABC

Fast National ratings for Thursday, October 2, 2014.

Yet another dismal Thursday Night Football rout still helped CBS hold off the primetime competition as "Gracepoint," "Bad Judge" and "A to Z" all delivered lackluster debuts.

Meanwhile, although ABC's Shonda Rhimes Thursday lineup sported across-the-board declines, none of the drops were dangerously large as the network finished second in all measures. [Plus, all three ABC dramas rose last week in Finals, which has been a consistent recent trend for ABC.]

Oh and The CW had its first fall premieres, with "The Vampire Diaries" delivering solid demo numbers and "Reign" flopping. "The Vampire Diaries" was, in fact, up from last year's finale and beat NBC's "Biggest Loser" among adults 18-34.

On to the Fast National ratings...

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<p>&quot;The Vampire Diaries&quot; - &quot;I&#39;ll Remember&quot;</p>

"The Vampire Diaries" - "I'll Remember"

Credit: The CW

10 Thoughts on the 'Vampire Diaries' Season 6 Premiere

Bonnie and Damon are WHERE? Elena's taking WHAT?

I saw the Season 6 premiere of "The Vampire Diaries" last week and you've perhaps already seen my post with a handful of teases courtesy of showrunner Caroline Dries, who did a Q&A with a few reporters afterwards.

At the time, I held off on any spoilers beyond mentioning that just about everybody was handling the aftermath of last season's finale with varying degrees of sadness, self-hatred and mourning.

Now maybe I can talk a bit more about the premiere, which I thought was more mired in the aftermath of the Season 5 finale than progressing the narrative in ways I wanted to see in upcoming episodes.

I don't have time for a full review or recap, but after the break, I've got a handful of thoughts, all involving spoilers, obviously...

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'Gotham' elects a 'Heroes' veteran as its Harvey Dent
Credit: DC Comics

'Gotham' elects a 'Heroes' veteran as its Harvey Dent

FOX and WBTV believe in Nicholas D'Agosto

Yet another one of the most famous villains in Batman lore is coming to FOX in his nascent form.

HitFix can confirm that Nicholas D'Agosto has been cast as Harvey Dent in "Gotham," which has been a solid early success for FOX. D'Agosto will be a recurring guest star for the remainder of the first "Gotham" season with a series regular option for the second season which is, as of now, both likely and hypothetical.

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<p>Wednesday&#39;s &quot;Black-ish&quot;</p>

Wednesday's "Black-ish"

Credit: ABC

Ratings Analysis: 'Black-ish' down, 'Stalker' ties 'CSI,' plus Tuesday numbers

ABC's 'Selfie' and 'Manhattan Love Story' rise in Finals, while 'Forever' is soft

I started a Tuesday Ratings Analysis piece yesterday afternoon, but then a problem arose.

See, I dedicated the entire intro to the dire ratings for "Utopia" and its negative pull on FOX's Tuesday comedies and the necessity to finally give up on "Utopia" and shuffle lineup positions.

My solution was the one I've given a couple times before: Shift struggling Wednesday drama "Red Band Society," with its young female core and nothing else, to Tuesdays where it could at least bring those viewers to "New Girl." Put "MasterChef Junior" on Wednesdays either before or after "Hell's Kitchen" and just make it a Gordon Ramsay night. Let "Utopia" continue on Fridays and just plug your nose and look away.

Of course, as I reached the half-way point in the post, FOX announced that "MasterChef Junior" would move to Tuesdays and "Utopia" will remain on Fridays, where the network can plug its nose and look away. This was what I recommended on the morning after "Utopia" premiered when there was no way of knowing whether or not "Red Band Society" would succeed. It makes sense. Relaunching a low-rated scripted drama after a few episodes is vastly harder than just using playoff baseball to promote a new time period for a new season of a reality show.

The FOX announcement, followed by "Survivor" recapping duties put the kibosh on analysis. So this is now several days of Live+Same Day Finals analysis, which is a lot of bullet points. Sorry. Blame Dan Piraro. And if you don't know who Dan Piraro is... That's why this all happened.

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