USA-Portugal soccer sets record, 'Last Ship' draws big on Sunday
Credit: AP

USA-Portugal soccer sets record, 'Last Ship' draws big on Sunday

ESPN and Univision both get big audiences for key tie

The premiere of TNT's "The Last Ship" outdrew ABC's "Rising Star" launch on Sunday (June 22) night, but all other programming was overshadowed by the record-setting numbers for USA-Portugal soccer.

Yes, America. We love battleships and soccer simultaneously now.

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<p>&quot;The Girlfriend Experience&quot;</p>

"The Girlfriend Experience"

Credit: Magnolia

Starz orders 'The Girlfriend Experience' television series

Lodge Kerrigan and Amy Seimetz will write and direct

Is "The Girlfriend Experience" about to become the new "Fargo"?

Starz announced on Monday (June 23) that it has ordered a somewhat fascinating -- in concept, if TBD in terms of execution -- 13-part anthology series based on Steven Soderbergh's 2009 indie.

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TV Ratings: 'America's Got Talent' blunts 'Rising Star' premiere on Sunday
Credit: ABC

TV Ratings: 'America's Got Talent' blunts 'Rising Star' premiere on Sunday

'Enlisted' goes out with series lows for FOX

Fast National ratings for Sunday, June 22, 2014.

A special Sunday night airing of "America's Got Talent" did its job for NBC, carrying the network to Sunday wins in most measures and helping curb enthusiasm for ABC's heavily promoted "Rising Star" premiere.

The live nature, at least for much of the country, of the "Rising Star" premiere makes it very difficult to gauge the singing competition's actual audience on Sunday and ABC has already said that time zone adjusted figures will be available this morning. As soon as those numbers are available, this story will be updated. It seems likely both that actual numbers will be a bit higher, but also that the "Rising Star" premiere ratings will fall short of "huge."

[UPDATE: After ABC announced reporters to hold off on grand pronouncements on the success or failure of "Rising Star" until the network got adjusted Fast Nationals, the ratings are in and... "Rising Star" had the exact same numbers post-adjustment, basically. The two-hour block averaged 5.1 million viewers and a 1.5 rating among adults 18-49.]

Other than the "America's Got Talent"/"Rising Star" showdown (and an underwhelming Sunday premiere for "Wipeout"), Sunday's only notable was the [network] series finale for "Enlisted," which sunk below a million viewers and did a series low in the key demo.

On to the numbers...

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<p>Jada Pinkett Smith of &quot;Gotham&quot;</p>

Jada Pinkett Smith of "Gotham"

Credit: FOX

Interview: 'Gotham' director Danny Cannon on Batman without Batman and more

Which '70s films inspired the visual style of the FOX pilot?

Earlier this month -- I've been bogged down with Emmy galleries for 10 days -- FOX hosted what the network called a "Tastemakers" screening of the new drama pilot "Gotham." Basically, that means "reporters and some talent" got to see the "Gotham" pilot at events in New York and LA.

I've already tweeted this and I'll go into more depth when I start my Take Me To The Pilots series next week, but I like the "Gotham" pilot. I have no clue what the show looks like by the eighth or ninth episode and I fear the five or six seasons of delayed gratification, but I think it's a well-made pilot and most of the stars -- particularly Ben McKenzie, Donal Logue and, in a minor surprise, Jada Pinkett Smith -- are quite solid.

A lot of the credit has to go to pilot director Danny Cannon, who worked with series creator Bruno Heller from the earliest stages and gives "Gotham" a look that blends realism with a comic book aesthetic, without being so dangerously ambitious that subsequent episodes are sure to let us down.

After the screening, I had a long conversation with "CSI" and "Judge Dredd" veteran Cannon about creating the look of "Gotham," replicating that look on a weekly basis and the staging of certain iconic franchise moments. We also talked about the inevitable frustration of a Batman series without Batman and the famous Batman villain he's looking forward to bringing to the show.

[The only spoiler in this interview discusses the opening scene of the pilot, which is the formative event Young Bruce Wayne's life. If you've seen ANY "Batman" story, you know what scene I'm talking about. If somehow you haven't... Well, it only spoils the first five minutes of the pilot.]

Keep going for the full Q&A... "Gotham" will air Mondays at 8 p.m. this fall on FOX...

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2014 Emmy Nomination Contenders - Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

2014 Emmy Nomination Contenders - Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

Will an 'Orange' star prevent Julia Louis-Dreyfus' three-peat?

Reminder: For our annual Emmy contenders coverage, Sepinwall does his personal preferences, while I handicap mostly in terms of likelihood of landing nominations. As usual, the first six slides in each gallery are my nomination predictions. The next eight or nine slides are the actors and shows most likely to sneak in, based on precedent, quality or something nebulous. And then at the end of each gallery, I tend to throw in a couple oddballs who have no chance at all of being nominated, but who I think deserve to be a part of the conversation, or might accidentally become part of the conversation, just because.

Our next category:

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A COMEDY

The four returning nominees in this category are locks and, unlike some of the Lead Actor in a Comedy locks, they're not just default favorites. And, unlike the Lead Actor in a Comedy field, there are a few very likely contenders to add nominations this year, starting with "Orange Is The New Black" star Taylor Schilling, who will be close to a lock unless Netflix drops the ball in some way. From there, voters could go with one of several new faces, category transplants and briefly displaced former winners. This is a fun category and unlike Lead Actor in a Comedy, it's not an embarrassing "Well, we've gotta nominate somebody" fun.

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<p>Missy Peregrym of &quot;Rookie Blue&quot;</p>

Missy Peregrym of "Rookie Blue"

Credit: ABC

TV Ratings: 'Big Bang' repeat, rising 'Hell's Kitchen' lead Thursday split

'Rookie Blue' premiere puts ABC in a close second overall

Fast National ratings for Thursday, June 19, 2014.

A solid week-to-week bump for "Hell's Kitchen" helped FOX win Thursday night among young viewers, while the night's overall leader continued to be CBS, powered by a "Big Bang Theory" repeat.

Among other notables, "Hell's Kitchen" helped "Gang Related" post a tiny gain as the drama tied with NBC's dipping "Undateable."

Meanwhile, ABC's "Rookie Blue" returned with soft demo numbers, but a solid overall audience and The CW also got OK returns for the Critics' Choice TV Awards.

On to the numbers...

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2014 Emmy Nomination Contenders - Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

2014 Emmy Nomination Contenders - Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

Jim Parsons looks strong, but will Andy Samberg challenge him?

Reminder: For our annual Emmy contenders coverage, Sepinwall does his personal preferences, while I handicap mostly in terms of likelihood of landing nominations. As usual, the first six slides in each gallery are my nomination predictions. The next eight or nine slides are the actors and shows most likely to sneak in, based on precedent, quality or something nebulous. And then at the end of each gallery, I tend to throw in a couple oddballs who have no chance at all of being nominated, but who I think deserve to be a part of the conversation, or might accidentally become part of the conversation, just because.

Our next category:

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A COMEDY

This is a weak field. Louis C.K. is Louis C.K. and I'll always express admiration for what Jim Parsons does on "Big Bang Theory," but otherwise you're looking at two Showtime stars who are favorites at least 75 percent by default and then your choice of decently regarded parts on shows very few people watched, well-regarded performances on shows that nobody watched or contenders who are only here because they won Emmys for better shows years ago. This is what happens when the stars of "Modern Family" are all "supporting" and the stars of the year's best new comedy, "Orange Is The New Black," are all women. This is a category that either needs an infusion of good new product next year or else needs voters to actually watch Andy Daly in "Review."

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<p>&quot;So You Think You Can Dance&quot;</p>

"So You Think You Can Dance"

Credit: FOX

TV Ratings: Big 'So You Think You Can Dance' bump lifts FOX on Wednesday

'Motive' rises double-digits for ABC

Fast National ratings for Wednesday, June 18, 2014.

A large, but slightly unexplained, bump for "So You Think You Can Dance" helped FOX dominate Wednesday primetime in young viewers and finish a close second to CBS' procedural repeats overall.

Also getting an unexplained week-to-week boost was ABC's "Motive," the only other original on a repeat-filled night.

If you're curious, "Motive" was up 15 percent overall and 25 percent in the key demo, while "So You Think You Can Dance" rose 31 percent in the key demo and 20 percent overall.

On to the numbers...

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2014 Emmy Contenders - Lead Actor in a Drama Series

2014 Emmy Contenders - Lead Actor in a Drama Series

Sure, it's McConaughey versus Cranston, but who rounds out the field?

Reminder: For our annual Emmy contenders coverage, Sepinwall does his personal preferences, while I handicap mostly in terms of likelihood of landing nominations. As usual, the first six slides in each gallery are my nomination predictions. The next eight or nine slides are the actors and shows most likely to sneak in, based on precedent, quality or something nebulous. And then at the end of each gallery, I tend to throw in a couple oddballs who have no chance at all of being nominated, but who I think deserve to be a part of the conversation, or might accidentally become part of the conversation, just because.

Our next category:

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA

When it comes to depth, here's how I describe the difference between the Lead Actor and Lead Actress in a Drama fields. There are absolutely more nomination-worthy potential Lead Actor contenders and I could make strong personal cases for at least 20, albeit with different levels of passion. But when I look at the potential nominees, I think there are maybe eight or nine actors with legitimate chances to actually earn nominations. The Lead Actress in a Drama list of candidates is much smaller, but that's the nature of the business. What sets that category apart is how deep -- 11 or 12 or 13 -- the list of conceivable nominees goes. So Lead Actor in a Drama is a great category, but I'm much more intrigued and mystified by what the Lead Actress in a Drama nomination field could look like.

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Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 235

Dan and Alan talk 'Game of Thrones,' 'Fargo,' 'Louie,' 'Rectify' and much more

The

Happy Wednesday, Boys & Girls. Time for an obscenely long installment of the Firewall & Iceberg Podcast.

Seriously. This is ridiculous. And it's my fault because I couldn't do a video show on Tuesday, which would have condensed some of these pieces to a more manageable length. 

But even if we'd split things over two shows, this week still featured finales for "Game of Thrones," "Louie" and "Fargo" and those were all going to deserve lots of conversation time. And we still had to talk about the "Friday Night Lights" episode in which Mrs. Coach tries to broil Alien Baby Gracie Belle in the Texas heat. And then there were four reviews we had to do, including "Rectify," which we love, and a trio of new shows, which we don't love.

In all, the running time here is 2:25, which may or may not be a record. So take your time. There's lots of good discussion, but nobody needs to listen to me and Sepinwall for 145 minutes straight.

Here's today's breakdown:
"Rectify"(00:01:20 - 00:12:30)
"Almost Royal" (00:12:45 - 00:19:20)
"Musketeers" (00:19:20 - 00:25:49)
"The Last Ship" (00:25:50 - 00:37:10)
"Game of Thrones" (00:37:30 - 01:13:10)
"Louie" (01:13:20 - 01:39:15)
"Fargo" (01:39:20 - 02:06:50)
"Friday Night Lights" (02:06:55 - 00:24:00)

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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