<p>Katharine McPhee in &quot;Smash.&quot;</p>

Katharine McPhee in "Smash."

Credit: NBC

Press Tour: 'Smash' producers discuss season 2 revamp

New actors! A new musical! 'Bigger'! 'Younger'!

At NBC's executive press tour session this morning, network chairman Bob Greenblatt referred to "Smash" as "an unqualified success." When I asked him to qualify the success of a show that replaced its creator with a new showrunner, got rid of several castmembers, hired several new ones, is changing the stories and otherwise undergoing a significant creative revamp, Greenblatt insisted, "I can't qualify unqualified success."

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<p>NBC&nbsp;has relied a lot on &quot;The Voice&quot;&nbsp;to return to success this season.</p>

NBC has relied a lot on "The Voice" to return to success this season.

Credit: NBC

Press Tour: NBC executives celebrate success, talk 'Revolution,' 'The Voice,' 'Parenthood' & more

Can the network stay on top while 'The Voice' is on the bench until late March?

During the last golden age of NBC — so long ago that Warren Littlefield may have come on stage wearing an onion on his belt, which was the style at the time — the network's presidents  made an artform of filibustering their way through each press tour executive session, pummeling the press into submission with statistics and graphs and charts demonstrating NBC's unquestioned dominance in primetime, late night, mornings and possibly day-parts that had yet to be invented. It was their way to brag, but also to drain our spirits so we wouldn't have the energy to pounce on the network's few weak spots from the mid-'90s through the early '00s.

NBC chairman Robert Greenblatt didn't quite pull off that trick during his first press tour session since the network's return from the abyss, but his introductory remarks were significantly longer than they've been of late, featured lots of numbers illustrating NBC's success in the fall, and may or may not have ended with Greenblatt dropping the mic before taking our questions.

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<p>The cast of &quot;Cougar Town,&quot;&nbsp;which makes its TBS&nbsp;debut on Tuesday night.</p>

The cast of "Cougar Town," which makes its TBS debut on Tuesday night.

Credit: TBS

Press Tour: 'Cougar Town' crew happy to be at TBS

Same show, but now a network that will actually promote it

The "Cougar Town" cast and producers arrived at press tour with a clear message: Same show, same (easily mocked) title, new network — and a network that seems much more supportive than the old one.

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<p>The &quot;Cougar Town&quot; cast is coming to press tour, but will the mustaches ride with them?</p>

The "Cougar Town" cast is coming to press tour, but will the mustaches ride with them?

Credit: TBS

The show that never ends: Time for the Television Critics Association press tour

The networks get together to show off their mid-season wares

It's that time once again, boys and girls, for Dan, Liane and I get to camp out at the happiest place on earth: the Television Critics Association press tour!

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Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 164: 'Downton Abbey,' 'Justified,' 'Cougar Town' & more

Dan and Alan also review NBC's 'Deception' and the returns of 'Bunheads' and 'The Joe Schmo Show'

The

Happy New Year from your friends at Firewall & Iceberg Podcast! On our first show of 2013 — and our last before the start of the mid-season TV critics press tour — Dan and I review a bunch of new and (mostly) returning series, including "Downton Abbey," "Justified" and "Cougar Town." The lineup: 

"Downton Abbey" (00:02:08 - 00:18:45)

"Bunheads" (00:18:47 - 00:26:27)

"Deception" (00:26:28 - 00:33:20)

"Justified" (00:33:28 - 00:44:53)
"The Joe Schmo Show" (00:44:54 - 00:55:20)
"Cougar Town" (00:55:22 - 00:1:04:00)

 

 

 

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, download the MP3 file or stream it on Dan's blog.

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

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<p>&nbsp;Maggie Smith</p>

 Maggie Smith

Credit: PBS

Review: 'Downton Abbey' returns to PBS for season 3

HitFix
B
Readers
B+
Shirley MacLaine vs. Maggie Smith! More class conflicts! Tuxedos?
Late in the third season of “Downton Abbey,” loyal butler Mr. Carson is horrified to learn of a breach of etiquette committed by the ladies of Downton when they choose decency over decorum.
 
“Perhaps the world is becoming a kinder place,” suggests Downton’s housekeeper, Mrs. Hughes.
 
“You say ‘kinder,’” Mr. Carson huffs. “I say ‘weaker and less disciplined.’”
 
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<p>Monica Potter as Kristina in &quot;Parenthood.&quot;</p>

Monica Potter as Kristina in "Parenthood."

Credit: NBC

Review: 'Parenthood' - 'Keep On Rowing'

Kristina gets a haircut, Crosby gets a houseguest and everything gets messy between Julia and Victor

A review of last night's "Parenthood" coming up just as soon as my butcher looks at me like I have leprosy...

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<p>Jenna-Louise Coleman and Matt Smith in the &quot;Doctor Who&quot;&nbsp;Christmas special.</p>

Jenna-Louise Coleman and Matt Smith in the "Doctor Who" Christmas special.

Credit: BBC

Review: 'Doctor Who' - 'The Snowmen'

Jenna-Louise Coleman debuts (again) as the new companion (sort of)

A quick review of last week's "Doctor Who" Christmas special coming up just as soon as I am a lizard woman from the dawn of time, and this is my wife...

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<p>Will Alan's jokes about Katharine McPhee starring in &quot;Smash:&nbsp;The Smash Williams Story&quot;&nbsp;live on until 2013?&nbsp;Stay tuned.</p>

Will Alan's jokes about Katharine McPhee starring in "Smash: The Smash Williams Story" live on until 2013? Stay tuned.

Looking back and looking forward

Biggest stories of the year, most anticipated 2013 premieres, and more

Happy almost New Year, everybody! As you know, I took last week off to hang with my family (and eat a disturbing amount of milk chocolate in the wilds of Hershey, PA), but now I'm back to prep for the start of the Television Critics Association winter press tour, which kicks off on Thursday night.

I'll have a quick post on the "Doctor Who" Christmas special up shortly, but first I wanted to link to various TV-related things — some co-written by me, some not — that ran on HitFix in my absence, for anyone who was also away last week but has some time today before 2012 goes away:

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Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 163: Worst TV of 2012

Dan and Alan also talk about Glen Mazzara's exit from "The Walking Dead"

The

On the previous Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, Dan and I talked about our favorite TV shows of 2012. On today's podcast (likely our final of the year), we offered the dark side of that, with some of the worst and/or most disappointing shows of 2012, from a cross-dressing comedy everybody knew would be bad to a prestige cable drama we had such hopes for. The rundown: 

 

"The Walking Dead" without Glen Mazzara (00:01:00 - 00:10:55)

The Worst of 2012 (00:11:00 - 01:11:00)

 

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, download the MP3 file or stream it on Dan's blog.

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

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