<p>Becki Newton and Neil Patrick Harris in &quot;How I&nbsp;Met Your Mother.&quot;</p>

Becki Newton and Neil Patrick Harris in "How I Met Your Mother."

Credit: CBS

'How I Met Your Mother' - 'Karma': Pour some sugar on me

Barney makes one move, and Ted, Marshall and Lily make bigger ones

A quick review of tonight's "How I Met Your Mother" coming up just as soon as dessert has fireworks in it...

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<p>James Spader as Robert California on &quot;The Office.&quot;</p>

James Spader as Robert California on "The Office."

Credit: NBC

Losing California: James Spader to leave 'The Office'

Actor wanted only a one-year tenure, but will he be missed?

Will the last one out the door at Dunder-Mifflin Scranton please turn out the light?

As first reported by Variety's Andrew Wallenstein, James Spader — who was brought in to give the show some star power in the wake of Steve Carell's departure late last season — will not return to the show when it presumably returns for a ninth season. "The Office" showrunner Paul Lieberstein told Wallenstein that Spader had only wanted to do a one-season arc.

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Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 117: Oscars, 'Awake,' 'GCB' & more

Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 117: Oscars, 'Awake,' 'GCB' & more

Dan and Alan also review Ovation's 'We'll Take Manhattan' and answer your mail

The

Dan and I are a little punchy at the start of this Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, thanks to lots of time last night spent watching and writing about the Academy Awards. We talk about Billy Crystal a bit, then move on to reviews of NBC's parallel worlds cop drama "Awake," ABC's Texas soap opera "GCB," Ovation's TV-movie "We'll Take Manhattan," and letters about the sorry state of NBC (a podcast perennial!), the current season of "Top Chef" and the strategy behind mid-season premieres.

The line-up: 

The Oscars (00:00:40 - 00:19:15)
"Awake" (00:19:15 - 00:35:15)
"I'll Take Manhattan" (00:36:50 - 00:45:00)
"GCB" (00:45:10 - 00:53:45)
Listener Mail - What caused NBC's plight (00:54:00 - 01:03:10)
Listener Mail - "Top Chef" this season (01:03:10 - 01:08:55)
Listener Mail - Why do networks put shows at midseason anyway? (01:09:00 - 0:1:18:00)
 
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>Academy Awards host Billy Crystal.</p>

Academy Awards host Billy Crystal.

Credit: AP

Review: Academy Awards telecast and host Billy Crystal lean heavily on nostalgia

HitFix
C-
Readers
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Timewarp quality leads to a not-so-wonderful night for Oscar
Of the nine films nominated for Best Picture at this year's Academy Awards, only "The Descendants" was set entirely in present-day America. Parts of "Midnight in Paris" took place in 2011, but it spent more time on the Hemingway end of things. And the other nominees were period pieces ranging from the turn of the millennium back to the 1920s.
 
It was a year where the Oscars had little interest in what was happening in the world today, and an Oscar telecast that had very little interest in what's happening in the movies today. It was a telecast that, over and over and over again, wanted to remind people of how much they used to love going to the movies — especially back in the days when the big winners were also box office hits that most of the viewing audience had seen. We got one montage after another whose only theme seemed to be "Movies: weren't they just swell when you were growing up?"
 
The nostalgia ran right through to the choice of host Billy Crystal, doing the same act he'd done 8 times previously, trying desperately to recapture the good feelings he got 20 years ago when Jack Palance did those one-armed push-ups. At one point, he even trotted out his old Sammy Davis Jr. impression from "Saturday Night Live," not recognizing that the reaction to blackface is a bit different a quarter century later.
 
But all that those grabs to past movie and Oscar glory couldn't disguise a lifeless show featuring a bunch of pre-ordained winners and Crystal looking repeatedly surprised that his jokes were dying.
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<p>John Ortiz as Turo Escalante in &quot;Luck.&quot;</p>

John Ortiz as Turo Escalante in "Luck."

Credit: HBO

'Luck' - 'Episode 5': Trust no one

Paranoia strikes deep in the season's midpoint

A review of tonight's "Luck" coming up just as soon as I confuse Judge Judy with Dr. Phil...

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<p>Shane (Jon Bernthal)&nbsp;and Rick (Andrew Lincoln)&nbsp;in &quot;The Walking Dead.&quot;</p>

Shane (Jon Bernthal) and Rick (Andrew Lincoln) in "The Walking Dead."

Credit: AMC

'The Walking Dead' - '18 Miles Out': Choose life?

Rick and Shane take a trip, and Lori and Andrea have a talk

A review of tonight's "The Walking Dead" coming up just as soon as I eat birthday cake and listen to "The Lord of the Rings" book on tape...

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<p>In &quot;Awake,&quot;&nbsp;Jason Isaacs partners with Wilmer Valderama in one reality and Steve Harris in the other, but occasionally paths cross.</p>

In "Awake," Jason Isaacs partners with Wilmer Valderama in one reality and Steve Harris in the other, but occasionally paths cross.

Credit: NBC

Interview: 'Awake' producers Kyle Killen & Howard Gordon

Can they make the NBC drama about a cop living in two realities work long-term?
We're less than a week away from Thursday night's premiere(*) of NBC's "Awake," which was far and away the best broadcast TV pilot I watched for this season. It conveniently brings together creator Kyle Killen, who was responsible for the best broadcast TV pilot I saw last season in FOX's "Lone Star" (which was canceled after two abysmally-rated episodes), and producer Howard Gordon, who co-created the best new cable show I watched this season in Showtime's "Homeland."
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<p>Rainn Wilson, Catherine Tate and Dave Koechner in &quot;The Office.&quot;</p>

Rainn Wilson, Catherine Tate and Dave Koechner in "The Office."

Credit: NBC

The Morning Round-Up: '30 Rock' & 'The Office'

Liz celebrates Leap Day, while Jim tries to escape a seduction

Reviews of last night's "30 Rock" and "The Office" coming up just as soon as I write lyrics to the song the cantina band plays in "Star Wars"...

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<p>Nick Offerman in &quot;Parks and Recreation.&quot;</p>

Nick Offerman in "Parks and Recreation."

Credit: NBC

'Parks and Recreation' - 'Sweet Sixteen': Signs of overwork

Leslie struggles to balance her two jobs in the first disappointing episode in a long time

A review of tonight's "Parks and Recreation" coming up just as soon as we talk minimum acceptable thread count for sheets...

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<p>Troy (Donald Glover)&nbsp;and the rest of the &quot;Community&quot;&nbsp;gang have reason to smile again.</p>

Troy (Donald Glover) and the rest of the "Community" gang have reason to smile again.

Credit: NBC

Why I miss 'Community': Because we're about to return to the prime timeline

With the return date announced, it's time to celebrate!

We officially have only three of these Why I Miss "Community" posts still to go, now that NBC has announced that the show will be returning to its old timeslot on Thursday, March 15. Not sure what I'll do for the other two yet, but the choice this week seemed obvious, as it's both one of the most celebratory moments(*) in the entire series and one that marks a departure from the Darkest Timeline: the final scene of "Remedial Chaos Theory."

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