<p>Wednesday's &quot;Modern Family&quot; premiere</p>

Wednesday's "Modern Family" premiere

Credit: ABC

TV Ratings: 'Modern Family,' 'Criminal Minds' premieres lead Wednesday

'X Factor' rises big, even against strong competition
Fast National ratings for Wednesday, September 25, 2013.
 
Although it was way down from last year's premiere, the hour-long launch for "Modern Family" was Wednesday's top show both overall and among young viewers, though the return of "Criminal Minds" still helped CBS win overall.
 
On a busy premiere Wednesday, FOX got encouraging numbers for "The X Factor," which actually rose week-to-week despite enhanced competition, pushing the network to second in the key demographic. NBC, meanwhile, was reminded of how strong "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" can be, especially when it goes into the 10 p.m. hour.
 
Wednesday's only major premiere was ABC's "Back in the Game," which retained reasonably well from its "The Middle" lead-in.
 
There were no outright disasters on Wednesday, which resulted in the fall's most competitive four-way night so far.
 
On to the numbers…
 
Read Full Post
<p>Wednesday's &quot;X Factor&quot;</p>

Wednesday's "X Factor"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'The X Factor' Season 3 - Auditions #5

Simon, Demi and company are back for a third week of auditions

It's time for another two-hour installment of "The X Factor."

Once again, I recapped "Survivor" on East Coast Time, though that will change once "X Factor" goes live, unless of course people stop watching entirely. No. I don't mean "low-rated." This show is already that. I mean a collective and cohesive decision by the entire nation to watch ANYTHING other than "X Factor." Don't laugh. I could happen.

And now on to Wednesday's (September 25) auditions...

Read Full Post
<p>Colton of &quot;Survivor: Blood vs. Water&quot;</p>

Colton of "Survivor: Blood vs. Water"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Survivor: Blood vs. Water' - 'Rule in Chaos'

Colton becomes Colton again and somebody heads home
Pre-credit sequence. Interesting interpretation in the recap, suggesting that the men got rid of Marissa out of "vengeance." This is probably true, but it's much more passionate than the noncommittal audience-blindside we got last week. She arrives at Redemption Island, where she's hugged by Candice and Rupert, who have no clue who she is. "People had the audacity to put a frowny face next to my name like they were upset about it," says Marissa, who describes herself as "pissed off" and places the full blame on Gervase. Rupert is just glad that Marissa isn't Laura. Rupert and Candice agree that they're also pissed off. 
 
Read Full Post
<p>Jim Caviezel of &quot;Person of Interest&quot;</p>

Jim Caviezel of "Person of Interest"

Credit: CBS

Tuesday ratings analysis - 'S.H.I.E.L.D.' soars, 'Dads' dips and 'Interest' dwindles

A quick look at the numbers from September 24
Morning ratings are a race, with a dozen reporters rushing to quickly post numbers that we know represent maybe 40 percent of a show's actual audience. That race means less time for spot analysis and commentary, even on figures as incomplete as Nielsen Fast Nationals are.
 
This season I'm going to try doing some more ratings analysis as the days go along in addition to the regular ratings stories, which I generally try to make as balanced and contextualized as possible anyway. I'm also going to try doing more coverage of Live+3 and Live+7 figures when those become available.
 
I don't know how regular these pieces will be. Ideally they'd be daily for the next couple weeks until the numbers settle, but no promises. Somedays I may have 10 bulletpoints. Other days I may have three. We'll see. 
 
Fortunately, there's a ton to discuss about the Fast National numbers for Wednesday, September 24
 
Read Full Post
<p>Cobie Smulders appeared in Tuesday's &quot;Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.&quot; premiere.</p>

Cobie Smulders appeared in Tuesday's "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." premiere.

Credit: ABC

TV Ratings: 'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' is strong, 'Lucky 7' tanks and 'Voice,' 'NCIS' lead Tuesday

'Person of Interest' continues CBS' Tuesday 10 p.m. struggles
Fast National ratings for Tuesday, September 24, 2013.
 
Although it may have come in below the highest of expectations, ABC's "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." delivered TV's highest rated drama debut since November 2009 (that would be "V"). In addition, "S.H.I.E.L.D." helped generate good premiere numbers for "The Goldbergs" and, to a lesser extent,  "Trophy Wife," but couldn't help "Lucky 7," which takes an early lead in the race to become fall's first casualty.
 
For all of that, though, ABC didn't come close to winning Wednesday night. "NCIS" and "NCIS: Los Angeles" returned strong and helped CBS dominate overall, while "The Voice" and good numbers for "Chicago Fire" helped NBC win among young viewers.
 
There was plenty of bad news on Tuesday as well. FOX's "Dads," "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" and "The Mindy Project" all plummeted after decent premieres last week, while the transition to a new slot was anything but smooth for CBS' "Person of Interest," which continued the network's 10 p.m. struggles. 
 
Oh and "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" didn't perform nearly as well against competition as it did in the fallow summer months for The CW.
 
On to the numbers…
 
Read Full Post
<p>Olivia Colman of &quot;Broadchurch&quot;</p>

Olivia Colman of "Broadchurch"

Credit: BBC America

Interview: Olivia Colman and Jodie Whittaker talk 'Broadchurch'

BBC America drama finishes its first season on Wednesday
"Broadchurch" ends its eight-episode run on Wednesday (September 25) on BBC America. 
 
For American viewers patient enough to avoid just rushing to BitTorrent sites after getting hooked on this British murder mystery, answers are finally coming.
 
Yes, answers are coming in the death of Danny Latimer, but what are the chances that those answers will bring satisfaction to Detective Sergeant Ellie Miller (Oliva Colman) or closure to grieving mother Beth Latimer (Jodie Whittaker)? Well, that's what "Broadchurch" is really about.
 
Back in July at the Television Critics Association press tour, I sat down for 10 minutes with Colman ("Tyrannosaur") and Whittaker ("Venus") to talk about their twisty, emotional murder mystery, which was a sensation in the UK. The conversation took place before the premiere, but I didn't transcribe the interview in time and once I transcribed it, I realized it would be just as effective before the finale, since it really spoils nothing. 
 
So warm up for Wednesday's finale with my chat with Colman and Whittaker, after the break...
 
Read Full Post

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 202

Dan and Alan talk 'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,' 'Dexter' finale, 'Breaking Bad' and more

The

Happy Tuesday, Boys & Girls.
 
We went podcast-less yesterday due to Alan's ongoing hospital adventures -- He's improving! -- and also because of communication SNAFUs caused by Gmail problems. Sorry!
 
But we've got you covered today, with a fairly long podcast that includes brief chatter about Sunday's Emmys, reviews of "Marvel's Agents of S.H.IE.L.D.," "Trophy Wife," "The Goldbergs," "Lucky 7" and "Back in the Game," plus discussion of Sunday's weak "Dexter" finale and strong "Breaking Bad" penultimate episode.
 
Maybe we'll have one more podcast later this week. We'd like to have one more podcast this week. However: Der mentsh trakht un Got lakht.
 
Here's today's breakdown:
Emmys (00:01:10 - 00:13:45)
"Marvel's Agents of S.H.IE.L.D." (00:14:00 - 00:23:50)
"The Goldbergs" (00:23:55 - 00:28:45)
"Trophy Wife" (00:28:50 - 00:35:30)
"Lucky 7" (00:35:35 - 0043:25)
"Back in the Game" (00:43:30 - 00:48:50)
"Dexter" finale (00:49:15 - 01:04:30)
"Breaking Bad" (01:04:30 - 01:27:30) 

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.] 

And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.

 

 

Read Full Post
DVD Exclusive: How the 'Hannibal' team approached Hannibal Lecter post-Anthony Hopkins

DVD Exclusive: How the 'Hannibal' team approached Hannibal Lecter post-Anthony Hopkins

Mads Mikkelsen and series creator Bryan Fuller discuss making Lecter their own
When NBC ordered a drama series based on the events leading up to Thomas Harris' "Red Dragon," the big question from many fans was how Bryan Fuller and company would put their imprint on the iconic character of Dr. Hannibal Lecter.
 
After watching a full season of "Hannibal," those questions were gone. It's not that Mads Mikkelsen made anybody forget Anthony Hopkins' Oscar-winning performance, but the "Casino Royale" veteran's take on the creepy cannibal was nuanced, reptilian and terrifying in its own way.
 
"Hannibal" arrives on DVD on Tuesday, September 24 and HitFix has an exclusive clip of a bonus feature in which Mikkelsen and series creator Bryan Fuller discuss making Lecter their own.
 
Thanks to strong reviews and its unique international financing deal, rather than its precariously low ratings, "Hannibal" was renewed for a second season and will be back on NBC at a yet-to-be-determined time.
 
Check out the exclusive clip above.
Read Full Post
<p>James Spader of &quot;The Blacklist&quot;</p>

James Spader of "The Blacklist"

Credit: NBC

TV Ratings: Big 'Voice,' 'Blacklist' premieres lead NBC Monday while 'Sleepy Hollow' holds well

CBS' 'Mom' and 'Hostages' have weak Premiere Night launches
Fast National ratings for Monday, September 23, 2013.
 
Welcome to the 2013-2014 TV season!
 
There was plenty to report on the Nielsen-approved opening night of the new season.
 
On the positive side, "The Voice" returned above last fall's Monday premiere, building with each half-hour, beating "Dancing with the Stars" overall and prompting a strong premiere for "Blacklist," even if "Blacklist" came in below last September's "Revolution" premiere.
 
Speaking of positives, FOX's "Sleepy Hollow" held up very well in its second airing, especially among young viewers, even against far tougher competition.
 
Also positive, CBS got good numbers for the hour-long premiere of the final season of "How I Met Your Mother," which was a competitive second to "The Voice" among young viewers and equalled last fall's premiere.
 
That's where the good news stops for CBS, though, as "Mom" had a soft launch after "2 Broke Girls," which was down nearly a quarter from last year's premiere. "Mom," in turn, led into a very underwhelming premiere for the new drama "Hostages," which started weak and limped to a third place finish for the hour, certainly below CBS' hopes for the heavily promoted limited series, which may find itself even more limited if it doesn't perk up.
 
On to the numbers…
 
Read Full Post
<p>Ming-Na Wen of &quot;Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.&quot;</p>

Ming-Na Wen of "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D."

Credit: ABC

Interview: 'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' star Ming-Na Wen talks stunts, The Whedonverse and punctuation

How much does the 'E.R.' veteran know about Agent Melinda May?
The core premise of ABC's "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." is that although you know the big names in the Marvel superhero universe -- the Iron Mans, the Thors, the Hulks, the Captain Americas -- there's a vast infrastructure  of highly specialized agents protecting the globe, straddling the line between the ordinary and the extraordinary.
 
Fans of the recent hit Marvel films will certainly know Clark Gregg's Agent Coulson and they'll recognize at least one "Avengers" figure in the pilot (it's not being kept a secret anymore, but I'm not going out of my way to spoil anything here). 
 
Within the world of S.H.I.E.L.D., though, Ming-Na Wen's Agent Melinda May is a legend, though we don't immediately know why in the pilot, which premieres on Tuesday (September 24) night. We know she has a notorious past and that she now appears to be working a desk job within Coulson's team. It emerges very quickly, though, that when the situation requires, she still has "it," even if we're only starting to learn what "it" is or why she put "it" on the shelf.
 
A veteran of "Stargate: Universe," "E.R." and "The Single Guy," Ming-Na Wen is also one of the better known stars in a "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." cast dominated by relative unknows.
 
Last week, I got on the phone with Ming-Na to discuss crafting a character whose backstory is full of unknowns, her early experiences with being a part of the Whedonverse and whether or not she includes the periods in her show's title when communicating with friends.
 
Click through for the full conversation...
 
Read Full Post