Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 209

Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 209

Dan and Alan also discuss 'SNL' diversity and whether there's a TV version of the Mendoza Line


The all-"Breaking Bad" edition of the Firewall & Iceberg Podcast still exists at some indeterminate point in our future, boys and girls, but in the meantime, Dan and I did a more traditional installment this week, including discussing the return of "Mike & Molly" — which really turns into a long discussion of movie stars working in TV and vice versa — checking in on "Sleepy Hollow" and "Parenthood," and answering several of the excellent questions you guys submitted over the past week. (Please keep 'em coming!) And please vote for us in the Podcast Awards.

The rundown:

The New "Mike & Molly" (00:00:50 - 00:18:50)
"Sleepy Hollow" (00:18:50 - 00:32:40)
Listener Mail: Hattie & "Parenthood" (00:33:05 - 00:45:30)
Listener Mail: Race & "SNL" (00:45:35 - 00:54:55)
Listener Mail: TV's Mendoza Line: (00:55:00 - 00:59:30)


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, 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>Melissa McCarthy and Billy Gardell in &quot;Mike &amp;&nbsp;Molly.&quot;</p>

Melissa McCarthy and Billy Gardell in "Mike & Molly."

Credit: CBS

Will the 'new' 'Mike & Molly' make Melissa McCarthy a TV star?

Do movie stars automatically become TV stars? And do stars even matter in TV?

I'm not sure I've heard the word "new" thrown around as often in a marketing campaign for a show entering its fourth year as I have for "Mike & Molly" — or, as all the CBS promos have dubbed it, "The New Mike & Molly" — which returns tonight at 9. Though the ads don't entirely hide the fact that this is a show that has existed for several years, we're told over and over about all that's new about the new "Mike & Molly," as if emphasizing that thought enough might subconsciously convince the audience that this is a first-time debut.

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<p>John Goodman, Clark Johnson and friends in Amazon's &quot;Alpha House.&quot;</p>

John Goodman, Clark Johnson and friends in Amazon's "Alpha House."

Credit: Amazon

Binge or hold? Amazon tries both with 'Alpha House'

John Goodman political comedy will debut with three episodes at once, then go weekly

Back in the spring, Amazon tried to find a solution to the TV business' broken series development process by crowd-sourcing reaction to a group of new comedy pilots (some for adults, some for kids). All of the traditional networks do audience focus testing of their pilots, but not on this scale: all of the pilots were available to anyone with a good internet connection.  Decisions on which shows would be picked up would be based in part on how highly Amazon's customers rated them, and how many rated them, period.

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<p>Michael Sheen and Caitlin FitzGerald in &quot;Masters of Sex.&quot;</p>

Michael Sheen and Caitlin FitzGerald in "Masters of Sex."

Credit: Showtime

Review: 'Masters of Sex' - 'Brave New World'

Allison Janney is fantastic as Mrs. Scully turns to Masters and Johnson for help

A review of tonight's "Masters of Sex" coming up just as soon as I turn you in for 12-year-old library fines...

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<p>Rick (Andrew Lincoln)&nbsp;and Carol (Melissa McBride) on &quot;The Walking Dead.&quot;&nbsp;</p>

Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Carol (Melissa McBride) on "The Walking Dead." 

Credit: AMC

Review: 'The Walking Dead' - 'Indifference'

Two different road trips go poorly for Rick, Carol, Bob and the others

A review of tonight's "The Walking Dead" coming up just as soon as the color brings out my eyes...

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<p>On &quot;Boardwalk Empire,&quot;&nbsp;Narcisse (Jeffrey Wright)&nbsp;and Nucky (Steve Buscemi)&nbsp;go to the Cotton Club together.</p>

On "Boardwalk Empire," Narcisse (Jeffrey Wright) and Nucky (Steve Buscemi) go to the Cotton Club together.

Credit: HBO

Review: 'Boardwalk Empire' - 'Marriage and Hunting'

Van Alden, Chalky and Narcisse have all had just about enough, thank you

A review of tonight's "Boardwalk Empire" coming up just as soon as Mr. Roebuck apologizes to me personally...

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<p>Claire Danes as Carrie in &quot;Homeland.&quot;</p>

Claire Danes as Carrie in "Homeland."

Credit: Showtime

Review: 'Homeland' - 'Still Positive'

Carrie tries to turn the tables on Javadi, and Dana decides it's time for a change

A review of tonight's "Homeland" coming up just as soon as I take a taxi to a CIA safe house...

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<p>Jurnee Smollett, Peter Krause and Monica Potter in &quot;Parenthood,&quot;</p>

Jurnee Smollett, Peter Krause and Monica Potter in "Parenthood,"

Credit: NBC

Review: 'Parenthood' - 'The M Word'

Kristina scores at the debate, Crosby hates his minivan and Amber considers eloping

A review of last night's "Parenthood" coming up just as soon as I tell you I'm moving to Europe...

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<p>Lily, Barney and Robin may be gone, but the bar would remain in a reported &quot;How I&nbsp;Met Your Mother&quot;&nbsp;spin-off.</p>

Lily, Barney and Robin may be gone, but the bar would remain in a reported "How I Met Your Mother" spin-off.

Credit: CBS

Who wants a 'How I Met Your Mother' spin-off?

Does the world want or need an unrelated show called 'How I Met Your Father'?

How do the "How I Met Your Mother" creators plan to follow up a season misguidedly set entirely at Robin and Barney's wedding weekend? Reportedly, with a "HIMYM" spin-off.

According to Deadline, "HIMYM" creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas are collaborating with Emily Spivey ("Up All Night" creator and "Parks and Rec" alum) for a spin-off that, if picked up, would be titled... wait for it... "How I Met Your Father."

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<p>In &quot;The Returned,&quot;&nbsp;a dead girl comes back to life, but her family isn't universally happy about it.</p>

In "The Returned," a dead girl comes back to life, but her family isn't universally happy about it.

Credit: Sundance

Review: Sundance's 'The Returned' brings the dead back to life

The French import series continues Sundance's impressive move into scripted drama series

I first heard "The Returned" described as "a French zombie series," which is inaccurate. Though people rise from the dead, they are as they appeared and behaved before their initial demise. Though all are ravenously hungry when they reappear, it's for normal food and not brains.

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