<p>Ted Danson of &quot;CSI&quot;</p>

Ted Danson of "CSI"

Credit: CBS

TV Ratings: 'Criminal Minds,' 'CSI' help CBS dominate Pre-Thanksgiving Wednesday

'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...
 
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<p>Gervase and Tyson scheme on &quot;Survivor: Blood vs. Water&quot;</p>

Gervase and Tyson scheme on "Survivor: Blood vs. Water"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Survivor: Blood vs. Water' - 'Gloves Come Off'

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!
 
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Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 212 - All 'Breaking Bad' Edition

Dan and Alan discuss 'Breaking Bad,' welcoming a special guest

The

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. 
 
Today's breakdown:
"Breaking Bad" (00:00:00 - 00:54:00)

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.] 

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

 

<p>&quot;Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer&quot;</p>

"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"

Credit: CBS

TV Ratings: 'Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,' rising 'S.H.I.E.L.D.' lead Tuesday

'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...
 
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<p>Uzo Aduba of &quot;Orange Is The New Black&quot;</p>

Uzo Aduba of "Orange Is The New Black"

Credit: ABC

Interview: 'Orange Is The New Black' star Uzo Aduba talks Crazy Eyes and Suzanne

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.
 
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<p>James Spader of &quot;The Blacklist&quot;</p>

James Spader of "The Blacklist"

Credit: NBC

TV Ratings: 'Almost Human' dips, 'Mom' rises and 'Blacklist' steady on Monday

'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...
 
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<p>&quot;Breaking Bad&quot;</p>

"Breaking Bad"

Credit: AMC

'Breaking Bad' team shares regrets, final season love and a documentary

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.
 
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<p>Tom Brady is cold</p>

Tom Brady is cold

Credit: AP

TV Ratings: NBC's Patriots-Broncos thriller tops ABC's American Music Awards on Sunday

'The Mentalist' gets a big Red John bump
Fast National ratings for Sunday, November 24, 2013.
 
While the New England Patriots didn't complete their epic comeback over the Denver Broncos until well outside of primetime on the East Coast, the frigid thriller still delivered a second straight week of huge numbers to NBC, even if it came in below the Broncos/Chiefs tilt from the previous week.
 
Perhaps some of those viewers were siphoned off by the American Music Awards, which did strong numbers on ABC, pushing that network into a tie for second among young viewers with football-boosted FOX. It was the biggest AMAs audience since 2009, up 36 percent in total viewers and 32 percent in the key demo over last year.
 
Meanwhile, the climactic episode in the Red John arc delivered a view bump to CBS' "The Mentalist," even if the procedural finished last for its hour. It was the biggest "Mentalist" audience January.
 
On to the numbers...
 
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<p>Nicole struggles with an octave</p>

Nicole struggles with an octave

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'The Amazing Race' - 'Part Like the Red Sea'

Travis & Nicole and Ashley & Ally have very different issues in Indonesia
That was an exciting, drama-filled episode of "The Amazing Race," but it was also an episode so full of variably noxious self-righteousness and smugness that I ended up strongly disliking a team that had been a favorite previously and cringing through entirely too much of the hour.
 
I'm putting the balance of the episode too far towards "annoyance" for me to call the episode a success and I'm afraid that there's nothing Travis & Nicole will be able to do to work their way back into my rooting graces.
 
Oh well. 
 
I guess I'll recap the episode after the break, though I'm pretty wrung out from the end of that Patriots game.
 
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<p>Nicky and Kim of &quot;The Amazing Race&quot;</p>

Nicky and Kim of "The Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS

Interview: Nicky & Kim talk 'The Amazing Race'

The Bunnies discuss avoiding elimination Marie's grudge
It took a lot to get Nicky Getz and Kim DeJesus out of "The Amazing Race."
 
They finished last in two Legs, but it happened that those Legs were a "Keep on racing..." Leg and a Non-Elimination Leg. Then, in this past Sunday's Leg, it took a burnt-out clutch on an early task, a U-Turn and a Speed Bump to finally push them so far behind the rest of the pack that they couldn't catch up. 
 
Still, when Nicky & Kim reached Phil Keoghan, they were all smiles, echoing their upbeat approach to nearly everything this season, or everything other than Kim's regular freakouts at height-based challenges.
 
The wives of major league baseball players Chris Getz and David DeJesus, Nicky & Kim made for a likable pairing and no matter what Marie thinks, we saw no evidence at all that they did anything wrong in getting on the standby list first in Brazil. 
 
In this week's "Amazing Race" exit interview, Kim & Nicky talk about Marie's confusing grudge, Kim's acrophobia and some funny moments we never got to see on TV.
 
Full Q&A after the break...
 
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