<p>Alex &amp; Sierra perform on &quot;The X Factor&quot;</p>

Alex & Sierra perform on "The X Factor"

Credit: FOX

TV Ratings: 'X Factor' finale, 'Big Bang Theory' repeat lead Thursday split

'Charlie Brown Christmas' and 'SNL Christmas' draw
Fast National ratings for Thursday, December 19, 2013.
 
The third season finale of "The X Factor" led FOX to a rare Thursday night lead among young viewers, even topping "The Sing-Off" this time around. Meanwhile, though, CBS' repeat of "The Big Bang Theory" was Thursday's most watched show and carried that network to an overall win.
 
While "X Factor" certainly got a finale bump, it was down 45 percent from last year's finale in the key demo and by 36 percent in total viewers. FOX would prefer to point out that it was up by 42 percent over last Thursday in the key demo and delivered the best Thursday ratings since the start of October.
 
There were few other notables on Thursday, though holiday season encore airings of NBC's "SNL Christmas" and ABC's "Charlie Brown Christmas" both drew solid audiences.
 
Lets go straight to the numbers...
 
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<p>Monica of &quot;Survivor: Blood vs. Water&quot;</p>

Monica of "Survivor: Blood vs. Water"

Credit: CBS

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

Runner-up discusses her lone vote, husband Brad's bad edit
It may not quite equal Sue Hawk's "rats and snakes" speech from the original "Survivor" Final Tribal Council, but Monica Culpepper had a moment in Sunday's "Survivor: Blood vs. Water" finale that stands as its own definitive statement-of-values.
 
Well into a Final Tribal that became a referendum on Monica's sincerity and her possible ulterior motives, the "One World" veteran just broke.
 
"Have you all never met a nice person? Have you all never met someone who wasn't selfish?" Monica asked.
 
It perhaps says something that Monica received only one vote from the "Blood vs. Water" Jury, a nod from Vytas who was stubbornly sticking to his word to not give eventual winner Tyson his vote. 
 
In her exit interview, Monica discusses whether nice people can win "Survivor," why "Survivor" conspired to keep us from realizing how much everybody loved Brad Culpepper and why she's done actually playing "Survivor."
 
Click through for the full Q&A...
 
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25 Top TV Moments of 2013 - 'Breaking Bad,' 'Game of Thrones' and more

25 Top TV Moments of 2013 - 'Breaking Bad,' 'Game of Thrones' and more

If your favorite moment didn't make the cut, just yell at us
In various and sundry forms, from podcast to video, I've talked about what a great year this was for TV.
 
We've talked plenty about all of the great shows, but as a HitFix staff, we put our heads together and listed our 25 Top TV Moments of 2013. The only rule that we established was that we had to be limited to one moment per show. I could come up with 25 Top TV Moments from "Breaking Bad," but that wouldn't be fair. 
 
As a staff, we didn't vote or anything and people just shouted out moments they wanted to write up. As a result, we probably left out a bunch of your favorites, so feel free to chime in in the comment section with some of your favorites. 
 
And yes, there are probably some spoilers here.
 
We hope that you agree with *some* of our favorites.
<p>The &quot;X Factor&quot; Top 3</p>

The "X Factor" Top 3

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'The X Factor' Season 3 Finale - The Winner is...

It's judgement time for Alex & Sierra, Carlito Olivero and Jeff Gutt

We're only two hours away from the conclusion of Season 3 of "The X Factor."

And, sadly, we're down to the last two hours of Demi Lovato's run as "X Factor" mentor/judge. I hope they replay her performance rapping along to "Baby Got Back" as a tribute.

In previous recaps, people have accused me of being biased in favor of Alex & Sierra, as if they're not in some way biased toward whoever they happen to be rooting for. Since there are only two hours remaining in this season, I'll just own it: If Alex & Sierra don't win tonight, I'm burning this whole thing to the ground. [Disclaimer: I'm not sure that Alex & Sierra are going to win and I'm unlikely to burn anything to the ground.]

Click through for my full finale live-blog, as we spend quality time with Pitbull and Lea Michele and wonder if this is the last time we'll see "X Factor" or Simon Cowell on our TVs.

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<p>Miley Cyrus fascinates Barbara Walters</p>

Miley Cyrus fascinates Barbara Walters

Credit: ABC

TV Ratings: Barbara Walters' 'Most Fascinating People' leads ABC on a sluggish Wednesday

'Sing-Off' tops 'The X Factor' once again
Fast National ratings for Wednesday, December 18, 2013.
 
Viewers weren't hugely fascinated by ABC's broadcast of "Barbara Walters: The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2013," but they were at least vaguely interested, as the special was a sluggish Wednesday's top show in most key measures, leading the network to ratings wins.
 
Without any assist from "The Voice," NBC's "The Sing-Off" slipped somewhat, but still beat "The X Factor" and outdid NBC's latest Michael Buble Christmas special, which was in line with last year's weak performance. And speaking of specials that never draw big ratings, at some point CBS' has to cut ties with the "Home For The Holidays" series, which has positive aspirations, but draws astoundingly low ratings every year, falling even lower this year.
 
Meanwhile, The CW finally got OK numbers for an IHeart Radio special, as the "Jingle Ball 2013" telecast outdrew the network's various album release specials.
 
On to the numbers...
 
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<p>Gervase of &quot;Survivor: Blood vs. Water&quot;</p>

Gervase of "Survivor: Blood vs. Water"

Credit: CBS

Interview: Gervase Peterson talks 'Survivor: Blood vs. Water'

'Survivor' original and 3rd Place finisher talks about his Final Jury shutout
On the very first "Survivor," Gervase Peterson was an early favorite, but he fell victim to the Pagonging of his original tribe after the Merge, becoming the third member of the original Jury.
 
After spending 30 days in "Survivor: Borneo," Gervase had to wait 13 years to get another shot at "Survivor" and he mostly made it count, forming a strong core alliance and working it all the way to end and the Final 3.
 
Of course, getting to the Final 3 only does limited good if you face a Jury and get shut out, which is what happened to Gervase on Sunday's "Survivor: Blood vs. Water" finale. The respect of the "Blood vs. Water" Jury largely went to the season's winner, Tyson, who was credited as the architect and driving force of a powerhouse three-person alliance.
 
That perhaps doesn't give Gervase credit for what was the season's biggest tangible power shift, as he turned his back on outside-of-the-game friend Aras and helped lead two straight votes that swayed the season.
 
In his exit interview, Gervase explains why he picked Tyson over Aras, how he knew that the Jury wasn't going his way and why he perfects Old School "Survivor" to New School. 
 
Click through for the fill Q&A...
 
 
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<p>This season's &quot;X Factor&quot; Top 3.</p>

This season's "X Factor" Top 3.

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'The X Factor' Season 3 Finale - Performances

Alex & Sierra, Jeffrey Gutt and Carlito Olivero perform for the last time

If you're curious, I missed last Thursday's "X Factor" results show due to a weird combination of traffic between Baton Rouge and Natchez, wifi at an antebellum hotel and Slingplayer suddenly deciding to require a new plugin that my Mac OS wasn't prepared to handle.

I wasn't able to do a recap and I chose not to watch the episode, but I did see that Restless Road was sent home, leaving a Final 3 of Alex & Sierra, Jeffrey Gutt and Carlito Olivero. I'm confused by the latter, but it's possible that Simon Cowell is pushing Carlito deeper and deeper into the show in hopes of liberating himself forever from "X Factor USA."

In any case, I'm back for this week's two episodes and then that'll hopefully be it for me and "X Factor." I've said this before, of course, and FOX sucked me back in with Alex & Sierra in the premiere. 

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Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 214 - Best of 2013

Dan and Alan discuss their favorite shows of 2013

The

Happy Wednesday, Boys & Girls!
 
Apologies for the technical issues that prevented us from posting a Firewall & Iceberg Video Show yesterday and the timing issues that prevented us from having a podcast last week. However, this should make up for some of that neglect.
 
 
 
You may have seen our ballots in HitFix's 2nd Annual TV Critics' Poll
 
But that doesn't mean you can't also enjoy hearing us talk about our Top 10 lists and about the year's best TV for a regular-length podcast.
 
So that's what this is! It's our Best of 2013 Podcast.
 
Today's breakdown:
Best of 2013 - 00:00:00 - 01:14:45

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>Your &quot;Voice&quot; winners</p>

Your "Voice" winners

Credit: NBC

TV Ratings: Low 'Voice' finale, 'NCIS' lead Tuesday split

CBS wins overall, but NBC tops the key demo
Fast National ratings for Tuesday, December 17, 2013.
 
"The Voice" wrapped its latest installment far below the numbers for last fall's finale, but still high enough to dominated Tuesday night among young viewers. Overall, though, NBC couldn't come close to competing with CBS' three new procedurals, which ruled overall.
 
That was the full extent of Tuesday's original programming, as ABC, FOX and The CW all went with repeats.
 
On to the numbers...
 
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<p>Ciera and Tina [And Tyson] of &quot;Survivor: Blood vs. Water&quot;</p>

Ciera and Tina [And Tyson] of "Survivor: Blood vs. Water"

Credit: CBS

Interview: Ciera Eastin & Tina Wesson talk 'Survivor: Blood vs. Water'

Fourth and Fifth placers talk mother-voting, New School 'Survivor' and beating Tyson
Ciera Eastin came ever-so-close to getting her "Survivor" exit interview with her mother Laura Morett. 
 
For several Redemption Island Duels, Laura was dominating and seemed poised to return to the game, but in the climactic Arena showdown, former winner Tina Wesson was more successful balancing a vase on a teeter-totter.
 
That denied me a paired exit interview with Laura and the doting daughter who voted her out of the game, the only vote cast by a player against their loved one in this "Survivor: Blood vs. Water" season. Of course, we already know what they would have said, since they repeated their love for each other over and over through the season and in the reunion show, but I could have tried to stir up some trouble.
 
Instead, Tina and Ciera, the season's fourth and fifth place finishers were like a friendly mutual admiration society. 
 
In this exit interview, Ciera makes a pretty convincing case for her pair of not-entirely-successful big moves, as well as the possibility that she could have beaten Tyson if she'd made the Final 3, while Tina discusses the lessons she learned about New School "Survivor."
 
Click through for the full Q&A...
 
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