Ice Queens discuss their alliance with the Afghanimals and more
The "Amazing Race" friends are all gone.
Earlier this "Amazing Race" season, we went through a four-week streak of eliminations for the various all-male teams. After the "Amazing Race" eliminations for Nicky & Kim and, this past week, Ally & Ashley, the season is now left with a married couple, a dating couple, a pair of cousins and whatever the heck Tim and Marie are.
From the outside, Ally & Ashley weren't necessarily the most likely candidates to finish as the season's top team of friends, but the LA Kings Ice Crew girls greeted every task with enthusiasm, made a smart alliance with Leo & Jamal and stayed competitive throughout.
And for a brief period in last Sunday's "Amazing Race" episode, Ally & Ashley were in the lead, until everything went haywire on a Detour in Indonesia. They went to feed elephants at a zoo without going to the market to get the food for the elephants. They had to make two trips between the market and the zoo due to difficulties transporting bulky sugar cane. And then just when it seemed like Nicole's problems at the Indonesian Roadblock might doom the powerful ER Docs, Amy guided her friend through the musical task, leaving the Ice Queens unable to catch up.
In this week's "Amazing Race" exit interview, Ally & Ashley discuss outlasting the other teams of friends, describe their alliance with the Afghanimals and talk about their big, brief blow-up.
Click through for the full Q&A...
'Raising Hope' is down, 'Dracula' is flat
Fast National ratings for Friday, November 29, 2013.
Lady Gaga may have failed on Thanksgiving, but Garth Brooks delivered strong ratings for CBS on the night after Thanksgiving, leading the network to Friday victories in all measures.
"Garth Brooks: Live From Las Vegas" had to lift CBS after an unimpressive hour for a pair of animated holiday anchors, which got crushed by two holiday cartoons on ABC.
Meanwhile, NBC's "Grimm" was down a little from its last airing and "Dracula" was basically flat.
On to the numbers...
FOX wastes episodes of 'Glee' and 'X Factor'
Fast National ratings for Thursday, November 28, 2013.
A field goal-heavy NFL showdown between the Steelers and Ravens helped NBC dominate Thanksgiving primetime in all measures, while NFL overrun and comedy repeats pushed CBS to second for Thursday night.
Meanwhile, FOX wasted new episodes of "The X Factor" and "Glee" on the holiday evening, while ABC's "Lady Gaga & The Muppets Holiday Spectacular" will not become an annual tradition.
On to the numbers...
'Survivor' also wins its hour, thumping 'The X Factor'
Fast National ratings for Wednesday, November 27, 2013.
With much of the competition taking the night off, CBS dominated Thanksgiving Eve in all measures with new episodes of "Survivor," "Criminal Minds" and "CSI."
Among the limited competition, FOX's "X Factor" and NBC's "Making of 'The Sound of Music'" special drew only limited audience as well.
And for whatever it's worth, The CW's airing of the holiday classic "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" did the same key demo rating as ABC's repeat of "Nashville."
On to the numbers...
Alliances splinter with Tyson at the center
Pre-credit sequence. It's Night 26 at Kasama and Ciera is reassuring the rest of her tribe that it's OK that she voted her mother out and it had to happen. "I'm surprised that Ciera chose water over blood, but Ciera has a plan and I don't think her mother is really a part of it," Katie reflects. Ciera, meanwhile, thinks this means that she'll be viewed as strong and trustworthy. And, indeed, Tyson respects her for the move, but she also now viewers Ciera as dangerous, which he presumably did not before.
The Eyes of Laura M. Tina and Vytas are on Redemption Island waiting to see who comes next. Hilariously, Laura approaches them whispering "Mom," faking out Tina, who had dreaded her daughter's arrival. Well-played, Laura. "I'm having a hard time defining how I'm feeling about Ciera writing my name down," says Laura, who is proud of her daughter, but not necessarily happy. Vytas, Tina and Laura all agree that, under the radar, Tyson is running everything. "Why isn't anybody voting him out?" Vytas asks. CREDITS!
Dan and Alan discuss 'Breaking Bad,' welcoming a special guest
Happy Wednesday, Boys & Girls. As promised, it's time for our All "Breaking Bad" Edition of The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast.
And, as promised, even though we posted our first Firewall & Iceberg Video Show yesterday, we're keeping the podcast alive.
If we're being honest, this week's Firewall & Iceberg is a bit of a technical nightmare, particularly in the segment with our Very Special Guest, which was supposed to be longer, but ended up being truncated because Skype kept crashing and at a certain point, we decided it was better to reach a closing point, rather than wasting his time any further.
Apologies for the technical problems and for what may be a slightly shorter podcast than we wanted. We've got lots more "Breaking Bad" questions from you and maybe we'll sprinkle them into future ordinary podcasts, randomly.
"Breaking Bad" (00:00:00 - 00:54:00)
And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.
'The Originals' ties a series high, 'New Girl' and 'Mindy' are up
Fast National ratings for Tuesday, November 26, 2013.
While some people suggested that pre-Thanksgiving was too early for "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," viewers disagreed and made CBS' special the night's top show among young viewers. ABC, meanwhile, won Tuesday night overall with "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." and the "Dancing with the Stars" finale.
I'm still waiting on a clear explanation for why "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." was up by 35 percent week-to-week in total viewers, but it was provisionally the drama's biggest audience since its premiere. It's hard to believe that the preemption of "NCIS" freed up that many viewers, but who knows?
The absence of "NCIS" hurt "NCIS: Los Angeles" and "Person of Interest" a little overall, but the CBS dramas held up well among young viewers.
Meanwhile, FOX's "New Girl" and "The Mindy Project" were up week-to-week among young viewers and, other than "Dads," FOX's comedies were all up overall.
Finally, over on The CW, "Supernatural" moved back ahead of "The Originals" overall, while "The Originals" maintained a slim advantage among young viewers.
On to the numbers...
Scenestealer discusses Shakespeare, Season 2 possibilities and marathoning
Crazy Eyes was introduced on "Orange Is The New Black" as the somewhat scary, seemingly unhinged inmate who takes a fancy to Taylor Schilling's Piper when she first arrives at the Litchfield Prison. Soon, though, we heard her poems and her "Swirl" song and Crazy Eyes became a source of comedy, as well as fear.
As with so many of the characters on the acclaimed Netflix original, Crazy Eyes didn't stay just one thing for very long. By the middle of the first season, as we learned to call her "Suzanne" and as we began getting hints at her internal struggles, the character took a permanent place as an audience favorite, delivering one priceless and revelatory moment after another: Meeting her surprising parents. Witnessing her unexpected Christmas Pageant talent. Watching her uncomfortably raunchy dance routine with Big Boo. Exposing her vulnerabilities to Piper. And, best of all, mining a deep cut from "Coriolanus" as a way of intimidating kids in a Scared Straight program.
Now, everybody loves Crazy Eyes.
I got on the phone last week with star Uzo Aduba, who has gotten caught up in the snowballing appreciation for a series that Netflix is calling a drama for the purposes of awards. [SAG Awards voters should seriously examine their sanity if they pretend they can find five drama ensembles better than the one on "OITNB."] The stage actress, a veteran of "Godspell" on Broadway, discusses the Suzanne/Crazy Eyes dichotomy, hints at more great moments in Season 2 and picks her own favorites from amongst the Litchfield inmates.
Click through for the full interview.
'Dancing' leads ABC overall, while 'The Voice' boosts NBC in the demo
Fast National ratings for Monday, November 25, 2013.
As usual, it was "Dancing with the Stars" helping ABC cruise to an overall Monday lead, while the stable "Blacklist" combined with "The Voice" (dropping in the demo, but rising overall) to give NBC the night among young viewers.
In its second week, FOX's "Almost Human" took a notable-but-not-extreme drop -- last week's airing wasn't against "The Voice," after all -- but the more concerning note would be a corresponding drop for "Sleepy Hollow," week-to-week.
And, over on CBS, the Monday comedies were a mixed bag as "How I Met Your Mother" dropped, but "Mike & Molly" and "Mom" were both up.
Finally, "Hart of Dixie" failed to get a Hanukkah-bump, which may just mean that I haven't watched the dreidl-centric episode on my DVR.
[CBS had the Monday Night Football game, but only in San Francisco, where the game would only have preempted the 8 p.m. hour.]
On to the numbers...
What does Vince Gilligan wish he could change?
There are many takeaways from Stuart Richardson's more-than-feature-length documentary "No Half Measures: Creating the Final Season of Breaking Bad," which is featured in the "Breaking Bad" complete series DVD set. But perhaps the dominant takeaway is that after roughly 135 minutes of exhaustively chronicled behind-the-scenes footage from the last eight episodes of "Breaking Bad," you know exactly how Vince Gilligan hugs.
And Vince Gilligan is a patter.
As the emotional season progresses in the documentary, one person after another has their final on-set wrap and one person after another gets patted on the back like they're infants and Vince Gilligan is a parent hoping for a satisfying belch.
That's why the documentary's most glorious moment [for me, anyway] comes half-way through production on "Felina," the series finale, when the hilarious Betsy Brandt -- it's mighty logical that she transitioned from this to a sitcom -- shoots Marie's last scene, gets her hug, pulls back and demands a real hug, sans patting, from Gilligan.
I kid. Actually, "No Half Measures" is full of great moments. With a running time that is, let's be frank, just a wee bit taxing on the ol' tailbone, "No Half Measures" manages to be simultaneously over-long, but basically indispensable for passionate "Breaking Bad" fans.
Sony Pictures TV screened the documentary for a packed and passionate theater of radio contest winners on Monday (November 25) night, ahead of the series DVD release and I was glad to see it as both a fan of the show and as a fan of the show who's still probably planning on doing an All "Breaking Bad" podcast later this week. Knock wood.
The screening was followed by a brief Q&A with Gilligan, Bryan Cranston, Dean Norris, R.J. Mitte, Bob Odenkirk and Lavell "Huell" Crawford.
Click through for a few more thoughts on the documentary and a couple highlights from the Q&A, including Gilligan's three "Breaking Bad" regrets, Odenkirk's nebulous excitement about "Better Call Saul" and Cranston's salute to fans and Crawford's tribute to Cranston's humility.