<p>Alex (Elisha Cuthbert)&nbsp;and Brad (Damon Wayans Jr.)&nbsp;on &quot;Happy Endings.&quot;</p>

Alex (Elisha Cuthbert) and Brad (Damon Wayans Jr.) on "Happy Endings."

Credit: ABC

'Happy Endings' - 'Code War': Not on your (work) wife

The return of Max's high school girlfriend has ripple effects through the group

I'll get to the rest of the Wednesday comedies I watched in a little bit, but I'm enjoying "Happy Endings" so much these days that I feel it deserves its own space when I have the time to do so. A review of last night's episode coming up just as soon as I demonstrate that I'm no stranger to the three-hole punch...

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<p>Sometimes, &quot;Parenthood&quot;&nbsp;can drive Julia (Erika Christensen)&nbsp;to drink.</p>

Sometimes, "Parenthood" can drive Julia (Erika Christensen) to drink.

Credit: NBC

'Parenthood' - 'Sore Loser': You're the one that I want

The show goes 3 out of 4 with its stories, but the 4th is a doozy

A review of last night's "Parenthood" coming up just as soon as I hate all puns...

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<p>Zooey Deschanel and Justin Long on &quot;New Girl.&quot;</p>

Zooey Deschanel and Justin Long on "New Girl."

Credit: FOX

'New Girl' - 'Thanksgiving': New guy

Justin Long checks in as Jess' spiritually compatible new boyfriend

A review of last night's "New Girl" coming up just as soon as I put the turkey on permanent press…

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<p>Jax (Charlie Hunnam)&nbsp;and Kozik (Kenny Johnson)&nbsp;plan an attack on &quot;Sons of Anarchy.&quot;&nbsp;</p>

Jax (Charlie Hunnam) and Kozik (Kenny Johnson) plan an attack on "Sons of Anarchy." 

Credit: FX

'Sons of Anarchy' - 'Call of Duty': Blown up real good

Explosions, revelations and a face from the past highlight a 90-minute episode

A review of tonight's "Sons of Anarchy" coming up just as soon as I have a French bulldog named Ramon...

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<p>Maria Bello in &quot;Prime Suspect.&quot;</p>

Maria Bello in "Prime Suspect."

Credit: NBC

Requiem for a dead cop show: Why I'll miss 'Prime Suspect'

Maria Bello drama got much better, but won't be around much longer

The cold, hard truth of the TV business is that most new shows fail, and fail relatively quickly. But the kinds of early failures can vary.

First and foremost, you have your shows that deserved to fail, and conveniently did so. This season, for instance, the only people mourning the ends of "The Playboy Club" and "How to Be a Gentlemen" are the ones who worked on them (and maybe not even all of them). Bad idea and/or execution, and no one's going to miss it.

On the opposite end of the extreme you have those shows that spring into the world fully-formed, but that for one reason or another don't click with audiences. That kind of failure stings for the small group of people who watched, but at least they have a perfect collection of episodes to watch again and again on video. (My "Freaks and Geeks" DVDs and "Terriers" downloads say hi.)

In between you have all the shows that weren't terrible, but weren't instantly great, either. Maybe there's unrealized potential, maybe parts of it work and others don't, but it never really clicked and the people involved would probably be better served doing something else. ABC's "Mr. Sunshine" (yay) comes to mind.

And then there are the shows that are just starting to work out the bugs and become really, genuinely good when the plug gets pulled. "Journeyman" was one of those a few seasons back, where it took off creatively shortly before cancellation. And "Prime Suspect" -which isn't on NBC's mid-season schedule and is essentially a dead show walking - looks like another one of those. It became great, but only after almost everyone stopped paying attention.

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<p>Bob Costas was tremendous in interviewing former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky.</p>

Bob Costas was tremendous in interviewing former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky.

Credit: NBC

NBC's Bob Costas destroys Penn State's Jerry Sandusky in interview

Costas goes into full prosecutorial mode with alleged child rapist

For the last two weeks, I've been unable to look away from the real-life horror story that is the child rape scandal involving former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, and the cover-up allegedly perpetrated by legendary head coach Joe Paterno and various members of the administration (most of whom have been fired or put on leave). As a parent - hell, as a human - it's absolutely disgusting, and yet I keep reading every story, keep watching every clip, in the desperate but futile hope that it will eventually be revealed that someone, anyone, actually tried to do the right thing in this mess.

(If you've managed to stay away from this story, more power to you, and feel free to skip the rest. I just can't stop.)

Whatever Paterno and the administrators did or didn't do, Sandusky is the alleged monster at the middle of this, and I got queasy at the thought of NBC giving him a primetime venue in the form of a telephone interview with Bob Costas on last night's "Rock Center with Brian Williams." Yet, as with everything about this story, I couldn't look away. I had seen Costas go into interviews before where he so clearly felt he was on the side of the angels that he didn't do the proper prep work - like a 2001 HBO interview with Vince McMahon where McMahon ran circles around an under-researched Costas - and I worried that Sandusky and his lawyer might actually get over on Costas.

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<p>Robin (Cobie Smulders)&nbsp;tries to talk to Kevin (Kal Penn)&nbsp;on &quot;How I&nbsp;Met Your Mother.&quot;</p>

Robin (Cobie Smulders) tries to talk to Kevin (Kal Penn) on "How I Met Your Mother."

Credit: CBS

'How I Met Your Mother' - 'Tick, Tick, Tick': A three-hour tour?

Barney and Robin try to confess their sins, while Ted and Marshall eat a band sandwich

A review of tonight's "How I Met Your Mother" coming up just as soon as my ability to grow facial hair correlates with my ability to be a good father...

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<p>Troy and Abed on hiiiiaaaaatus!&nbsp;Boo on NBC&nbsp;for leaving &quot;Community&quot; off its mid-season schedule.</p>

Troy and Abed on hiiiiaaaaatus! Boo on NBC for leaving "Community" off its mid-season schedule.

Credit: NBC

NBC's mid-season schedule benches 'Community,' kills 'Prime Suspect,' brings back '30 Rock'

'Whitney' and 'Up All Night' swap places, and lots of other scheduling mayhem

NBC just put out its mid-season schedule press release, a flowery document that boasts of the return of "The Voice" and "30 Rock," the debut of the musical drama "Smash," a TV series version of "The Firm," the "Chuck" series finale on January 27th, and many, many, many timeslot changes.

Know what words the release doesn't contain? "Community" and "Prime Suspect."

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Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 102: Catching up on 'Homeland,' 'Boardwalk Empire,' 'Prime Suspect' & more

Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 102: Catching up on 'Homeland,' 'Boardwalk Empire,' 'Prime Suspect' & more

Alan and Dan also check in on 'The Walking Dead,' 'Parenthood,' 'The Good Wife' and 'Pan Am & answer your mail

The

The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast took a week off while I was sick, so we're back with an extra-long installment in which we catch up on a bunch of new and returning dramas now that we're several months into the TV season, and we also answer some mail and drop random references to Oscar Gamble's batting stance, Soul Glo and more.

The line-up: 

"Parenthood" -- 02:30 - 12:45
"Prime Suspect" -- 12:50 - 18:30
"Fringe" -- 18:35 - 26:00
"Good Wife" -- 26:10 - 34:45
"Boardwalk Empire" -- 34:50 - 42:20
"The Walking Dead" -- 42:25 - 48:05
"Pan Am" -- 48:05 - 57:50
"Homeland" -- 57:55 - 01:07:45
Listener Mail: Real actors vs. Characters -- 01:09:30 - 01:14:35
Listener Mail: Past TV moments if we'd had Twitter -- 01:14:45 - 01:21:15
Listener Mail: Reflections on "Scrubs" -- 01:21:30 - 01:28:20
 
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 at sepinwall@hitfix.com and/or dan@hitfix.com if you have questions you want answered on the show. Please put the word "podcast" in your subject line to make it easy to track them down amid the hundreds of random press releases we get every day.
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<p>Karine Vanasse, Michael Mosley and Margot Robbie on &quot;Pan Am.&quot;</p>

Karine Vanasse, Michael Mosley and Margot Robbie on "Pan Am."

Credit: ABC

The Morning Round-Up: 'Pam Am,' 'The Good Wife' & 'Fringe'

Checking in on the latest episodes of some weekend dramas

Once again, it's time for a (late) morning round-up, with brief thoughts on, in order, "Pan Am," "The Good Wife" and "Fringe," all coming up just as soon as you check my Spider-Man fanny pack...

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