<p>Vytas ponders</p>

Vytas ponders

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Survivor: Blood vs. Water' - 'Swoop In For The Kill'

Will Hayden break up with Kat for not making the Merge?
Pre-credit sequence. When we left "Survivor," Kat had signed her own execution papers and she was heading to Redemption. We begin on Night 16, as Kat is praising herself for not crying. "Apparently we had an issue with trust," Kat says, crediting Vytas for swooping in for the kill. In the Redemption shelter, Kat places the blame on everybody else for her ouster. She's worried, though, that Hayden will be disappointed with her. "No one wants to date someone who didn't make the Merge. He's gonna dump me," she laments. The next morning, she's finally crying. Now she's worried that Hayden will feel embarrassed and upset and ashamed of her. "We're like a team. He's my best friend," she explains. She's hoping that Hayden will still be on her side after the Duel.
 
Will you still love me tomorrow? The two tribes arrive at Redemption Island Arena. Hayden looks pensive at Kat's absence. She arrives and he looks pensive. She cries and begs him to come down and hug her. She apologizes repeatedly. Hayden says it's OK and shakes his head when she suggests he might be disappointed. "That's not the case. Our relationship is going to be fine," Hayden tells her, adding that his relationship with her is more important than the game. At this point, Jeff Probst leers suggestively and  offers Hayden the chance to swap in. And we go to credits.
 
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<p>Malin Akerman as a centaur!</p>

Malin Akerman as a centaur!

Credit: ABC

TV Ratings: 'NCIS,' 'Voice' lead Tuesday while 'Goldbergs,' 'Trophy' don't need 'S.H.I.E.L.D.'

Out-of-slot "X Factor" stumbles for FOX
Fast National ratings for Tuesday, October 29, 2013.
 
Tuesday night stayed true to form with "NCIS" leading CBS' normal overall sweep and "The Voice" pacing NBC's normal win among young viewers, but there were a number of wrinkles due to repeats and preemptions.
 
ABC, for example, got some OK news as "The Goldbergs" and "Trophy Wife" proved that they don't need a lead-in, staying stable or even growing despite a repeat of the "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." pilot starting the night. Neither comedy was huge and both benefited from FOX's lack of competing comedy, but as this column so often tells you, flat is always better than down.
 
Speaking of FOX and speaking of things falling, "The X Factor" offered a jam-packed show with 16 live performances, but airing out of the show's regular Wednesday/Thursday slots, the results were anemic. 
 
The other network airing originals, pun intended, on Tuesday was The CW and "The Originals" and "Supernatural" were steady.
 
On to the numbers...
 
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<p>Are Alex &amp; Sierra our generation's Sonny &amp; Cher?</p>

Are Alex & Sierra our generation's Sonny & Cher?

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'The X Factor' Season 3 - Top 16 Performances

Get ready for 16 performances in only 125 minutes

I have no clue how this is going to work. FOX has scheduled Tuesday (October 29) night's special "X Factor" for a hair over two hours and, in that time, the show has to make it through four Boys, four Girls, four Geriatrics and four Groups, plus commentary from four judges/mentors for all 16 acts, presumably.

It's also possible that we'll be sending four acts home tonight, though I can't begin to imagine where the time is for all of that.

Since this is the start  of the live performances and since it's not like there's a World Series game to watch, I might as well live-blog, so follow along at home!

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<p>Red Sox slugger David Ortiz</p>

Red Sox slugger David Ortiz

Credit: AP

TV Ratings: 'Voice,' 'Dancing' and World Series Game 5 battle on Monday

'Castle' and 'Blacklist' split the 10 p.m. hour again
Fast National ratings for Monday, October 28, 2013.
 
Another tight World Series game between the Red Sox and Cardinals gave FOX decent Monday ratings, but the baseball wasn't able to topple NBC and "The Voice" for the Monday ratings crown among young viewers.
 
FOX did still manage to win the night overall, holding off ABC, which had a narrow advantage over NBC in second.
 
The baseball game didn't take much of a bite out of the Monday competition, with "Blacklist" and "Castle" both posting tiny gains and most of the CBS comedies staying flat. The night's only notable decline came from CBS' "Mom."
 
On to the numbers...
 
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Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 208

Dan and Alan discuss 'The Returned,' 'Scandal,' 'The Good Wife' and more

The

Happy Monday, Boys & Girls! It's our second straight week of prompt-and-timely podcasting!
 
In this week's Firewall & Iceberg installment, we reviewed HBO's "Seduced and Abandoned" and Sundance's airing of the French drama "The Returned." We also checked in on buzzy dramas "Scandal" and, particularly, "The Good Wife."
 
Next week may be slow, so send mail! 
 
Here's today's breakdown: 
"Seduced and Abandoned" (00:00:45 - 00:12:35)
"The Returned" (00:12:35 - 00:28:30)
Listener Mail: Screeners with unfinished FX (00:29:05 - 00:38:15)
"Scandal" (00:38:40 - 00:54:50)
"The Good Wife" (00:54:50 - 01:21:20)

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.] 

And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.

 

 

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<p>The last out of World Series Game 4.</p>

The last out of World Series Game 4.

Credit: AP

TV Ratings: World Series Game 3, NFL overrun lead FOX to Sunday wins

'Once Upon a Time' is up for ABC
Fast National ratings for Sunday, October 27, 2013.
 
While NBC's Sunday Night Football coverage topped FOX's World Series baseball among young viewers, FOX also had NFL overrun on Sunday night, helping the network to ratings wins in most measures.
 
Due to the nature of live sporting events, of course, FOX and NBC's ratings are preliminary and subject to change, as are the numbers for CBS, which had some minor NFL delays in a handful of major markets.
 
The only network that probably won't have any major changes was ABC and despite all the competition, the network saw small gains for "Once Upon a Time" and "Betrayal."
 
On to the numbers...
 
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<p>Danny and Tim of &quot;The Amazing Race&quot;</p>

Danny and Tim of "The Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'The Amazing Race' - 'Get Our Groove On'

It's off to Poland where a Double U-Turn awaits
I'm a little distracted by Game 4 of the World Series, so I may need to make this recap really simple.
 
Sunday (October 27) night's episode of "The Amazing Race" was a clean and solid hour of TV, without delivering anything truly spectacular. The Detour options each had advantages and disadvantages. The Roadblock offered the potential to be exhausting, even if it was built entirely on luck. The Double U-Turn came into play the way the producers wanted it to (even if I remain frustrated by the logistics of its implementation) and helped add drama to the episode. And a team I mostly like went home, which was disappointing, but at least they were gracious about it and they have nobody in particular to blame other than themselves. 
 
So yeah. A decent "Amazing Race" episode is a decent thing to have, even if it isn't nearly as decent as if the Red Sox could figure out where they left the best offense in the American League.
 
More after the break...
 
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<p>Hunky Nostradamus</p>

Hunky Nostradamus

Credit: The CW

Ratings analysis: 'Dracula,' 'Reign' and 'Carrie Diaries' offer tasty tidbits

Which show drew a 0.0 among young male viewers?
"Reign" is my new favorite show on TV.
 
No, I didn't love the pilot in either of the versions I saw.
 
And no, I haven't watched the second episode yet. 
 
But I'm really loving the week-to-week numbers comparisons with "The Vampire Diaries." It's not that I want to criticize The CW for attempting to expand its audience reach, to do things that don't feel like our conventional idea of what counts as a CW show, but it's still sad/funny to look at the core audience's rejection of that attempt to try new things. 
 
"Reign" drew a semi-respectable 1.83 million viewers for its second airing, so I hope The CW will stick with it, so that I can keep looking at the numbers each week. 
 
In addition to eyeballing "Reign," this installment of ratings analysis also takes an early look at the results for NBC's "Dracula" and "Grimm," as well as the premiere of The CW's "The Carrie Diaries." The Friday analysis is based on Fast National figures, rather than Nationals, because Friday Nationals tend not to show up in my in-box til Monday, so take them with a grain of salt.
 
On to the data...
 
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<p>&quot;Grimm&quot; star David Giuntoli</p>

"Grimm" star David Giuntoli

Credit: NBC

TV Ratings: Solid 'Dracula,' 'Grimm' premieres help NBC split Friday with CBS

'Carrie Diaries' premieres low for The CW
Fast National ratings for Friday, October 25, 2013. 
 
NBC's lavish take on "Dracula" held onto the young viewers from a solid "Grimm" premiere, allowing the network to win Friday night in the key demographic.
 
Overall, of course, "Dracula" and "Grimm" were no match for "Hawaii Five-0" and "Blue Bloods," as both dramas added viewers week-to-week to lead CBS. And even though "Dracula" and "Grimm" were sturdy in the key demo, neither drama could top ABC's "Shark Tank."
 
Friday's other relative notable was the premiere of The CW's "The Carrie Diaries," which came in predictably low, given where the "Sex and the City" prequel was last spring.
 
On to the numbers...
 
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<p>Brad Culpepper of &quot;Survivor: Blood vs. Water&quot;</p>

Brad Culpepper of "Survivor: Blood vs. Water"

Credit: CBS

Interview: Brad Culpepper talks 'Survivor: Blood vs. Water'

NFL veteran takes exception to the vitriol lobbed in his direction
Playing in the NFL is hard.
 
I only mention this because twice in the past two weeks, I've done exit interviews with reality contestants who wanted to make it clear that nothing that happened in front of CBS' cameras was anywhere near as difficult as what they experience on the gridiron.
 
 
This week, it was Brad Culpepper from "Survivor: Blood vs. Water."
 
By most standards of measurement, Brad was the dominant presence for the first third of the of the "Survivor" season. The former Tampa Bay Buccaneer controlled the all-male alliance in the largely dreadful Tadhana tribe, a ringleader position that led to heated shouting matches and accusations of sexism during the regular weekly Redemption Island Duels. And when Brad was voted out, it was the season's most dramatic Tribal Council, a spur-of-the-moment frontside blindside courtesy of Caleb.
 
In an exit interview that got a tiny bit heated at times, Brad takes exception to the way he was characterized throughout the season and hints at even worse insults we didn't see. He discusses his approach to the game and how it put wife Monica at the center. And he explains which bad move he was referring to when Jeff Probst snuffed his torch at Tribal Council.
 
Click through for the full Q&A.
 
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