<p>Marc Maron behind the mic on &quot;Maron.&quot;</p>

Marc Maron behind the mic on "Maron."

Credit: IFC

Review: Marc Maron heads to IFC with 'Maron'

Autobiographical sitcom from 'WTF' podcast host has strong echoes of 'Louie'

"Louie" didn't invent the idea of building a TV show around a comedian, nor sitcom-as-autobiography. ("The Dick Van Dyke Show" was drawn from Carl Reiner's experiences writing for Sid Caesar, for instance, while the Huxtable kids were modeled after Bill Cosby's own children.) What the FX series has done is to expand the limits of what that kind of show can be (it's simultaneously more expansive and more intimate than anything to precede it) and made comparisons inevitably unflattering to any show that tries to enter the same territory.

With "Maron," the new IFC series that debuts Friday night at 10, comparisons become even harder to avoid. Not only is it another confessional sitcom built around a self-loathing middle-aged comic, but the comic in question is Marc Maron, who's had a long, complicated, up-and-down friendship with Louis C.K., as dramatized briefly on a season 3 episode of "Louie" and as discussed in greater depth on a sprawling installment of Maron's essential interview podcast "WTF."

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<p>&quot;The Americans&quot;&nbsp;star Matthew Rhys in one of his many wigs.</p>

"The Americans" star Matthew Rhys in one of his many wigs.

Credit: FX

'The Americans' producers on marriage, spycraft and the wigs of season 1

Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields break down the FX drama's terrific first season

FX’s “The Americans” just concluded a superb debut season. I have a review of the finale here, and I interviewed executive producers Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields about the state of the Jennings marriage, the period, how production of the season was impacted by Hurricane Sandy and, of course, the wigs, all coming up just as soon as I ask if you like wallpaper...

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<p>Keri Russell as Elizabeth in &quot;The Americans.&quot;</p>

Keri Russell as Elizabeth in "The Americans."

Credit: FX

Season finale review: 'The Americans' - 'The Colonel'

The FBI plans a major bust and Philip and Elizabeth disagree on a big assignment

"The Americans" just concluded its first season. I interviewed producers Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields about season 1, and I have a review of the finale coming up just as soon as I have to fill out a form with 27 sections...

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<p>Julia Louis-Dreyfus in &quot;Veep.&quot;</p>

Julia Louis-Dreyfus in "Veep."

Credit: HBO

HBO renews 'Veep' for season 3

Julia Louis-Dreyfus political comedy in midst of second season right now

HBO has renewed "Veep" for a third season. The political comedy, starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus and created by Armando Iannucci, is three episodes into its second season, airing Sundays at 10 after "Game of Thrones."

I never got a chance to do an advance review of "Veep" season 2, though Fienberg and I discussed it at length on the podcast. I had liked but not loved the first season, and even though Iannucci made several obvious and welcome tweaks for season 2 — making Selina more relevant to the presidential administration, bringing in ace guest stars like Gary Cole and Kevin Dunn — I actually found myself laughing less frequently at the new episodes than the old ones. (And Cole has, so far, been a total bust, which didn't seem possible when I heard he'd be appearing this year.) But I'm glad it's continuing, if only because I enjoy hearing these fine actors wrap their tongues around Iannucci's clever, creatively profane dialogue.

I know some other critics feel this season's been stronger than the first, so I'm curious what all of you who are watching think. Is "Veep" better, worse, or the same as it was last year? 

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<p>Adelaide Clemens and Aden Young in &quot;Rectify.&quot;</p>

Adelaide Clemens and Aden Young in "Rectify."

Credit: Sundance

Sundance renews 'Rectify' for season 2

Slow-burning drama about former Death Row inmate has been one of 2013's best new series

Sundance Channel has renewed "Rectify," its great new drama about a Death Row inmate (Aden Young) unexpectedly released into a world he never expected to see again, for a second season, with 10 new episodes set to debut sometime in 2014.

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<p>Chris Messina and Ike Barinholtz on &quot;The Mindy Project.&quot;</p>

Chris Messina and Ike Barinholtz on "The Mindy Project."

Credit: FOX

Review: 'The Mindy Project' - 'Triathlon'

Mindy ponders a religious conversion, Danny tries to avoid his ex and the doctors compete with the midwives

A review of tonight's "The Mindy Project" coming up just as soon as we spend eternity together playing doubles tennis with Abe Lincoln and Tupac...

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<p>&quot;New Girl&quot;&nbsp;offers another college flashback with Nick (Jake Johnson)&nbsp;and Schmidt (Max Greenfield).</p>

"New Girl" offers another college flashback with Nick (Jake Johnson) and Schmidt (Max Greenfield).

Credit: FOX

Review: 'New Girl' - 'Virgins'

The gang competes to see whose first time was the most humiliating

A review of tonight's "New Girl" coming up just as soon as I freak you toward the bed...

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<p>On &quot;How I&nbsp;Met Your Mother,&quot;&nbsp;Barney goes gambling during his bachelor party.</p>

On "How I Met Your Mother," Barney goes gambling during his bachelor party.

Credit: CBS

Review: 'How I Met Your Mother' - 'The Bro Mitzvah'

The gang invites the wrong Karate Kid to Barney's bachelor party

A quick review of last night's "How I Met Your Mother" coming up just as soon as I talk about my night with Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young...

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Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 179: 'Family Tools,' 'Maron,' 'Game of Thrones' & more

Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 179: 'Family Tools,' 'Maron,' 'Game of Thrones' & more

Dan and Alan also review 'The Good Wife' finale and last night's 'Mad Men'


The network TV season is almost over, but this week's Firewall & Iceberg Podcast is a mix of finale and premiere talk, as we see how "The Good Wife" wrapped things up while looking at the debut of two new comedies, in addition to checking in on the midpoint of "Game of Thrones" season 3 and our usual "Mad Men" analysis.

The lineup:

"Family Tools" (00:01:25 - 00:16:25)
"Maron" (00:16:30 - 00:27:55)
Listener Mail - "Hannibal" & "The Following" (00:28:20 - 00:39:15)
"Good Wife" (00:39:20 - 00:54:45)
"Game of Thrones" (00:54:50 - 01:11:05)
"Mad Men" (01:11:10 - 01:33:25)

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>Julianna Margulies,Josh Charlies and Christine Baranski in &quot;The Good Wife.&quot;</p>

Julianna Margulies,Josh Charlies and Christine Baranski in "The Good Wife."

Credit: CBS

Season finale review: 'The Good Wife' - 'What's in the Box?'

The Illinois voters make their choice, and so does Alicia

A review of "The Good Wife" season finale coming up just as soon as I watch "Hostel 3"...

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