<p>Wednesday's &quot;Survivor&quot;</p>

Wednesday's "Survivor"

Credit: CBS

TV Ratings: 'Sing-Off' tops 'X Factor', while 'Survivor' leads CBS Wednesday

'Arrow' hits a series high with young men
Fast National ratings for Wednesday, December 11, 2013.
 
"Criminal Minds" paced CBS' easy Wednesday win overall, while "Survivor: Blood vs. Water" delivered the network's best demo numbers as CBS also won among young viewers.
 
"Modern Family" bounced back from lows in its most recent airing and helped ABC finish Wednesday in second in most measures, while "The Sing-Off" had NBC in third, despite the relative failure of "Kelly Clarkson's Cautionary Christmas Tale."
 
Meanwhile, "The X Factor" continued to limp to the end of another season on FOX, while "The Tomorrow People" squandered more than half of its lead-in audience from a strong "Arrow."
 
On to the numbers…
 
Read Full Post
<p>Michael Sheen of &quot;Masters of Sex&quot;</p>

Michael Sheen of "Masters of Sex"

Credit: Showtime

'Masters of Sex' and 'House of Cards' lead 2014 Golden Globes TV nominations

'Breaking Bad,' 'Behind the Candelabra' have big mornings
After Wednesday morning's staid and predictable SAG Awards nominations, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association fired back on Thursday morning with a far less predictable assortment of nominees, highlighting new shows, particularly on the drama side.
 
Meanwhile, the Golden Globes continued the recent award-giving trend to shun "Mad Men" and became the first group to begin freezing out Showtime's "Homeland," just one year after "Homeland" swept the main drama awards.
 
Read Full Post
<p>Tim and Marie of &quot;The Amazing Race&quot;</p>

Tim and Marie of "The Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS

Interview: Tim & Marie talk 'The Amazing Race'

Bickering exes discuss how they succeeded while shouting
As Tim Sweeney hit the mat on Sunday night's "Amazing Race" finale, a spontaneous cheer broke out. "Tim! Tim! Tim!" the other Racers yelled.
 
Had Tim and partner Marie won "The Amazing Race"? No. Marie completed the Million Dollar Flour Drop Roadblock well behind eventual Race winner Amy of Jason & Amy, as she and Tim settled for second place and the split of two exotic trips won for topping different Legs.
 
The cheer that went up?
 
"I think that was in appreciation for what I had gone through in sorta managing Marie's outbursts and anxiety and yelling and screaming, being able to handle that stuff," Tim said in his "Amazing Race" exit interview.
 
Indeed, Tim won many fans throughout the season for his ability to handle Marie, though Marie was not without some fans, appreciators of her bluntness and competitiveness. 
 
How long have Tim & Marie been like this? 
 
How close did they come to imploding on the Race?
 
Is Marie still mad at Nicky & Kim for getting on a standby list ahead of her?
 
And what was the showmance that we somehow never spotted during the season?
 
Click through for the full and amusing Q&A...
 
Read Full Post
<p>Monica muses</p>

Monica muses

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Survivor: Blood vs. Water' - 'Out On a Limb'

Is Monica about to become a key swing vote?
Pre-credit sequence. We begin on Redemption Island, as Katie arrives after her ill-fated rock-draw. Tina is happy to see her daughter, but sad that she's on Redemption. Katie gives a blow-by-blow on the rocking and both Tina and Laura agree that Katie did the right thing by taking her fate into her own hands, kinda. Even if she sorta stumbled into the rocks. "I would not be opposed to letting you win," Tina tells Katie about the upcoming Duel. "It's my daughter and that takes precedence over all things, even a million dollars," says Tina, who has previously won a million dollars.
 
Read Full Post
<p>I haven't used a Carlito Olivero picture this season. So... It's your lucky day, Carlito!</p>

I haven't used a Carlito Olivero picture this season. So... It's your lucky day, Carlito!

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'The X Factor' Season 3 - Final 4 Performances

Restless Road, Alex & Sierra, Jeff Gutt and Carlito Olivero perform

It's our penultimate "X Factor" Wednesday, kids! We're down to just four acts, but because "X Factor" doesn't have enough juice to boost another show were it to slim down to an hour or 90 minutes, we're getting a full two hours tonight. Will the remaining acts performance twice apiece? Thrice?

Click through and follow along for the full two hours of fun.

8:07 p.m. Apparently our first song was chosen by America. I'm having East Coast feed problems, so we'll see how much of this I actually get to watch. We'll also see how much of this I actually want to get to watch.

Read Full Post
News Update: SAG Awards TV nods ignore 'Orange Is The New Black,' Tatiana Maslany

News Update: SAG Awards TV nods ignore 'Orange Is The New Black,' Tatiana Maslany

Familiarity reigns with the acting branch
Early, early, early Wednesday (December 11) morning, the Screen Actors Guild announced nominations for the 20th Annual SAG Awards, featuring a variety of acting and ensemble nominations across a slew of movie and TV categories.
 
Sepinwall already did a written analysis piece on the stick-in-the-mud SAG Award TV nominations, which basically shunned the outstanding new shows from the past year.
 
In the HitFix Los Angeles offices, though, I interviewed Greg Ellwood about the movie nominees and then he turned around and interviewed me about the TV nods. 
 
This gave me a chance to rant a bit about a couple new shows that SAG voters neglected and about the frustrating SAG Awards category system in which Maggie Smith and Tatiana Maslany would somehow be competing for the same nomination.
 
Check out the video above and our Winners & Losers gallery below. The SAG Awards will air on Saturday, January 18 on TNT and TBS.
<p>It's the most wonderful time of the year</p>

It's the most wonderful time of the year

Credit: CBS

TV Ratings: 'Victoria's Secret' leads CBS Tuesday, while 'S.H.I.E.L.D.' drops big

'NCIS' and 'NCIS: LA' are Tuesday's most-watched
Fast National ratings for Tuesday, December 10, 2013.
 
CBS' latest airing of the "Victoria's Secret Fashion Show" was down from last year's telecast among young viewers, but still led Tuesday night in the key demo, helping the network win in all key measures.
 
And remember that big bump "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." got two weeks ago when "NCIS" was away? It didn't last long. With "NCIS" back on the schedule, "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." plummeted to a series low on Tuesday. Having "S.H.I.E.L.D." back did, however, help give "The Goldbergs" and "Trophy Wife" a slight boost after last week's declines.
 
NBC's "Biggest Loser" and "The Voice" also dropped with "NCIS" and "NCIS: Los Angeles" back, but "Chicago Fire" benefited from the lack of "CSI" and gained overall viewers.
 
Finally, The CW discovered that the only thing that draws a smaller audience than a new "IHeart Radio" special is a repeat of a previously low-rated special.
 
On to the numbers...
 
Read Full Post
<p>SAG Awards nominees Mayim Bialik and Jim Parsons of &quot;The Big Bang Theory&quot;</p>

SAG Awards nominees Mayim Bialik and Jim Parsons of "The Big Bang Theory"

Credit: CBS

'Breaking Bad,' 'Big Bang Theory' lead 2014 Screen Actors Guild Award nominations

'Mad Men' and Jon Hamm were entirely shut out
With semi-surprising nods for Mayim Bialik and Anna Gunn, "The Big Bang Theory" and "Breaking Bad" were among the TV leaders at Wednesday (December 11) morning's nominations for the 2014 Screen Actors Guild Awards.
 
With three nominations apiece, "Modern Family" and "30 Rock" also placed well with the SAG membership, which will announce their winners on Sunday, January 18. [If you include the Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble category, "Breaking Bad" actually earned four nominations, while "Game of Thrones," "Homeland" and "Boardwalk Empire" all join the pack with three.]
 
Read Full Post
<p>Travis and Nicole of &quot;The Amazing Race&quot;</p>

Travis and Nicole of "The Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS

Interview: Travis & Nicole talk 'The Amazing Race'

ER Docs discuss second half struggles, or lack thereof
My interview with ER docs Travis & Nicole Jasper went down a wormhole.
 
In the first half of the season, Travis & Nicole were one of my favorites, earning the nickname The Power Parents with a string of strong performances  that proved they were both smart and physically able.
 
Then, though, as the season progressed the Power Parents seemed to struggle, particularly Nicole, who had a series of Roadblock stumbles and had to be bailed out by the willing assistance of eventual winner Amy. In the process, Travis became more and more critical of his wife's challenge contributions and much of the early audience support vanished. 
 
After the last of Nicole's struggles, attempting to drop a bag of flour from a bush plane onto a target in Alaska, Travis & Nicole slipped to third, where they ended the season. Still, despite those difficulties, Travis & Nicole never finished lower than fourth in any Leg, a feat achieved by surprisingly few "Amazing Race" teams across the show's recent history.
 
In their exit interview, though, Travis & Nicole insisted that they didn't struggle and that what looked like struggles were actually a reflection of the enhanced competition of reaching the end of the Race. I'll admit that I wasted several minutes rephrasing a single question. It happens. Some of the answers to my rephrased question are good. So there's that.
 
The interview also contains discussion of the lessons Travis learned from watching himself on TV.
 
Click through for the full Q&A...
 
Read Full Post
<p>Ed Burns and Jeremy Luke of &quot;Mob City&quot;</p>

Ed Burns and Jeremy Luke of "Mob City"

Credit: TNT

Interview: Jeffrey DeMunn and Jeremy Luke talk 'Mob City'

A TV mobster and TV cop talk Darabont, noir and more
Last week, I posted my "Mob City" interview with Ed Burns & Robert Knepper, who discussed playing a real-life and fictional mobster respectively in the TNT drama from Frank Darabont. 
 
The "mobster" hook gave a through-line to that interview. The pairing of Jeffrey DeMunn and Jeremy Luke offered no such through-line. DeMunn plays a fictionalized LAPD officer, while Luke plays the very real Mickey Cohen. DeMunn has worked with Darabont at every step through his career, while Luke is a first-timer in the Frank Darabont Repertory Acting Company. 
 
The disconnect led to some amusing detours in the conversation, including which actress provided DeMunn's surprising inspiration and which video game experiences the two men share. They also discuss working with Darabont and the advantages of working in Los Angeles on a project like this.
 
Click through for the full Q&A, which was initially filmed for video, but ended up being audio-only. Apologies.
 
Read Full Post