<p>Brendon &amp; Rachel of &quot;The Amazing Race: All-Stars&quot;</p>

Brendon & Rachel of "The Amazing Race: All-Stars"

Recap: 'The Amazing Race: All-Stars' - 'Do You Believe in Magic?"

David Copperfield helps Brendon & Rachel, Dave & Connor and Jen & Caroline

So... That was actually a Non-Elimination "Amazing Race" finale, right? 

They pretended they crowned a winner, but the reality is that they're going to do one more Leg next week and that Leg will be the one that actually determines which team wins the million dollars, right? 


Because if that was actually the finale for an alleged "All-Stars" season of "The Amazing Race," I'm about as irked as I've ever been by this show and y'all know that "The Amazing Race" frequently ticks me off.

That was just horrible. 

If there isn't another Leg next week, "The Amazing Race" just gave a million bucks to a team based on a Final Leg in which there were two Roadblocks that required absolutely no skill and an additional task that only required screwing in lightbulbs. There was no Detour, no cumulative memory-based challenge, nothing that made anybody exert themselves in any way.

I'm not going to waste much time recapping that finale, because the "Amazing Race" producers didn't put much effort into making that finale. 

More after the break...

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<p>Leo &amp; Jamal of &quot;The Amazing Race&quot;</p>

Leo & Jamal of "The Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS

Interview: Leo & Jamal talk 'Amazing Race: All-Stars'

The Afghanimals discuss getting lost, the Accidental Alliance and more

Once again, it was so close and yet so far for Leo & Jamal.

For the second straight season, the Afghanimals made the "Amazing Race" Top 4 and, for the second straight season, they fell just short of the finale.

Other than the consecutive fourth place finishes, though, this was a very different season for Leo & Jamal.

Last season, they were consistently marked men, targeted by other teams for their seemingly pointless little lies and manipulations, accusations that were probably overblown, but still detracted from the Afghanimal's consistent joy and enthusiasm at every turn.

This season, Leo & Jamal announced immediately that they didn't want to be viewed the same way and, indeed, they were more earnest and helpful throughout and, perhaps as a result, not only did their rivals not target them, but they were welcomed into alliances.

After going out last season following a frustrating Roadblock for Leo, this season's elimination was much simpler: They just got lost. They struggled going between the Leg's Roadblock and its Detour and they were unable to get back with the pack.

In their "Amazing Race" exit interview, Leo & Jamal discuss the very different ways that they finished fourth, including the misfortunes that sent them home, their tenuous ties to the Accidental Alliance and the advantages of racing two seasons in a row.

[Note: After the second question, Leo had to catch a plane and I completed the rest of the phone conversation just with Jamal. Leo answered a few questions via email and I've woven them into the transcript.]

Click through for the full Q&A...

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<p>Barbara Walters</p>

Barbara Walters

Credit: ABC

TV Ratings: 'Shark Tank,' 'Barbara Walters: Her Story' lead ABC Friday

'Hannibal' gets a small bump for NBC

Fast National ratings for Friday, May 16, 2014.

With CBS done with Friday originals for the season, ABC dominated the night in all measures with the "Shark Tank" finale and a two-hour special dedicated to the retiring Barbara Walters.

Among other Friday notables, NBC's "Grimm" added a few viewers for its finale, while "Hannibal" was up a hair in both viewers and the key demo. The CW had good nights for both the "Hart of Dixie" finale and "Whose Line Is It Anyway," but those numbers may be high enough to suggest preemptions.

On to the numbers...

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<p>&quot;The Amazing Race&quot; host Phil Keoghan</p>

"The Amazing Race" host Phil Keoghan

Credit: CBS

Interview: 'The Amazing Race: All-Stars' host Phil Keoghan previews the finale

Phil talks Brenchel, Dave & Connor, Caroline & Jennifer and more

"Amazing Race" host Phil Keoghan really wants to do an "Amazing Race" reunion.

I mention this, because in the two times I've talked to Keoghan in the past couple years, that is the only repeated point. "Survivor" has reunions after each season and Keoghan would like "The Amazing Race" to follow suit. 

Keoghan and I got on the phone last week to discuss the upcoming conclusion to "The Amazing Race: All-Stars," a season that is heading towards its conclusion on Sunday (May 18) night with Jen & Caroline, Brendon & Rachel and Dave & Connor still in the running for the big prize.

We talked about the biggest story lines surrounding each of the remaining teams. Is Dave's quest to become the oldest "Amazing Race" winner a notable one? Are Brendon & Rachel capable of actually being underdogs? And should we be dismissive of the Country Blondes because of the amount of assistance they've gotten from other teams?

We also discussed several of the season's other running important moments and themes, including the feud between Dave & Connor and Brendon & Rachel and the short-lived mixed partnership between Mark & Mallory.

Click through for the full Q&A... [I've also got a Q&A with Jeff Probst that'll go up before Wednesday's "Cagayan" finale...]

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<p>Trisha of &quot;Survivor: Cagayan&quot;</p>

Trisha of "Survivor: Cagayan"

Credit: CBS

Interview: Trish Hegarty talks 'Survivor: Cagayan'

Latest bootee discusses her fights and her big moves

There are many reasons to like Trish Hegarty's "Survivor: Cagayan" game. 

In short order, she was a key to blindsiding widely admired NBA veteran Cliff Robinson. Then she was part of a post-Tribal Council fight that led Lindsey to drop out, further shifting the balance of power.

Soon after, with the numbers looking bad post-Merge, Trish was a conduit to convincing Kass to betray her fellow brains and turn on Queen-for-a-Moment Sarah.

One could argue rather easily that those were the season's pivotal moves.

Despite that, the Boston-area pilates instructor hasn't always been embraced by viewers this season, lingering behind alliance-mate Tony in discussions of likely winners. It hasn't helped that vocal fights with Lindsey and, this week, with Kass were edited as "No winners here" brawls in which both sides looked less-than-ideal.

In the season's latest blindside, Trish went from powerful to snuffed after Kass and Woo reunited with Spencer to strike a blow against Tony's power. Then, in an unexpected twist, Tony also wrote Trish's name down.

In her exit interview, Trish discusses her big moves, her big fights and her big surprise at Tony's vote.

Click through for the full Q&A...

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<p>Corey Stoll of FX&#39;s &quot;The Strain&quot;</p>

Corey Stoll of FX's "The Strain"

Credit: FX

FX sets summer premieres for 'The Strain,' 'Tyrant,' 'The Bridge' and more

'Wilfred,' 'Married' and 'You're the Worst' also get summer premieres

Guillermo del Toro and Carlton Cuse's vampire drama "The Strain" finally has a concrete summer premiere date, as do the dramas "Tyrant" and "The Bridge." 

FX also set premieres for the new comedies "Married" and "You're the Worst," while FXX has scheduled the final season for "Wilfred." 

It's going to be a busy summer between both networks, though mostly for FX, which will be branching new dramas and comedies across a whopping four nights, including a foray into the high stakes drama terrain of Sunday nights.

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<p>The &quot;Big Bang Theory&quot; finale</p>

The "Big Bang Theory" finale

Credit: CBS

TV Ratings: Finale high for 'Big Bang Theory,' but 'Grey's Anatomy' rises little on Thursday

'American Idol' rises, while 'Rosemary's Baby' remains a failure

Fast National ratings for Thursday, May 15, 2014.

"The Big Bang Theory" had its most-watched season finale to-date, far above last year's finale which went against an "American Idol" send-off, and led CBS to easy Thursday wins in all measures.

As usual, primetime results were mixed.

On the positive side, "American Idol" continued its pre-finale rise with big week-to-week gains, with "Hell's Kitchen" also getting a bump for FOX.

On the negative side, "Rosemary's Baby" continued to be a major disappointment for NBC, though the second part of the high-profile miniseries was steady from Sunday's dismal second hour.

Then there are the mixed results.

Some observers will rave that "Grey's Anatomy" got a big week-to-week bump for Cristina's departure. This is technically true, but "Grey's Anatomy" was down steeply last week, so this week's gains still put the finale below the numbers from two weeks ago, which isn't such an impressive bump at all.

Similarly, "The Vampire Diaries" finale was up a hair from last week in the key demo, but down significantly from last year's finale and, in fact, "TVD" was down from last week in total viewers.

On to the numbers...

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<p>The &quot;American Idol&quot; Top 3</p>

The "American Idol" Top 3

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' Season 13 - Top 3 Results plus Scotty McCreery performs

Which two singers will compete in next week's finale?

One week from now, Season 13 of "American Idol" will be over. Actually, it will have been over for a day, since "Idol" will be shifting to its usual Tuesday/Wednesday Finale schedule, which allows FOX to slip in the season-closer on the last night of the 2013-2014 Nielsen season. Back when "American Idol" was the Biggest Show In All The Land, that used to be really meaningful.

Now? Meh. But it doesn't hurt.

Tonight's show will feature our Top 3 results, a performance by Scotty McCreery, plus long and tear-filled clip packages about the joys of visiting FOX affiliates in New Hampshire, Michigan and North Carolina.

Settle in and enjoy the hour-long ride...

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Credit: AMC

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 230

Dan and Alan discuss talk CBS and CW, plus 'Arrow' and 'S.H.I.E.L.D.' finales


Happy Thursday, Boys & Girls!

At least to some degree, we've survived Upfronts Week, so it's time for another installment of The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast.

After discussing the NBC, FOX and ABC upfronts in our video show on Tuesday, we cover CBS and The CW here. We also talked about Tuesday's "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." finale, Wednesday's "Arrow" finale and last Sunday's episode of "Mad Men."


Lots to discuss. Next week might be a tiny bit lighter, though, so we always welcome emails to FirewallIceberg@HitFix.com.

Here's today's breakdown:
CBS Upfront (00:00:30 - 00:19:05)
CW Upfront (00:19:05 - 00:27:40)
"Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." finale (00:28:10 - 00:45:50)
"Arrow" finale (00:45:50 - 01:03:05)
"Mad Men" (01:03:05 - 01:26:40)

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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<p>&quot;Criminal Minds&quot;</p>

"Criminal Minds"

Credit: CBS

TV Ratings: 'Criminal Minds' finale lifts CBS past FOX's rising 'Idol' on Wednesday

'Arrow,' 'Suburgatory,' 'Chicago PD,' 'Modern Family' are also up

Fast National ratings for Wednesday, May 14, 2014.

The "Criminal Minds" season finale got a big week-to-week bump for CBS, helping the network hold off FOX, with a boosted "American Idol," on Wednesday night.

There were actually lots of shows getting end-of-season -- finale or pre-finale -- bumps on Wednesday night.

ABC's comedies were all up on Wednesday, as was the "Nashville" season finale. "Chicago PD" rose for NBC. And the "Arrow" finale gave The CW a little bump as well.

On to the numbers...

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