<p>Tyrion (Peter Dinklage)&nbsp;and Sansa (Sophie Turner)&nbsp;struggle through a formal occasion on &quot;Game of&nbsp;Thrones.&quot;</p>

Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) and Sansa (Sophie Turner) struggle through a formal occasion on "Game of Thrones."

Credit: HBO

Review: 'Game of Thrones' - 'Second Sons'

The Lannisters throw a wedding, Daenerys faces a new army, and Stannis meets Gendry

A review of tonight's "Game of Thrones" coming up just as soon as I build a shrine to myself at the next brothel I visit...

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Upfronts 2013: 10 things we learned and 1 thing we didn't

Upfronts 2013: 10 things we learned and 1 thing we didn't

Promising pilots, puzzling scheduling moves and more

Upfront Week 2013 is over, and you can find all of HitFix's upfronts coverage — including schedules, analysis, new series photos and most of the trailers that advertisers were shown — here. Even after all five networks announced their fall and midseason schedules, even after we learned which shows were renewed and which were canceled, there remains a ton of uncertainty. Shows that looked good in trailer form might not work at full-length, and vice versa. A scheduling move that seems puzzling might turn out to be the most successful of the fall, and some decisions announced this week (say, FOX scheduling sitcoms on Friday) might never come to pass. 

But there are a few things that Fienberg and I feel more confident about today than we did a week ago, plus one thing we wish we had an answer for already (and would vastly prefer one answer to another about it):

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<p>Jenna-Louise Coleman as Clara on &quot;Doctor Who.&quot;</p>

Jenna-Louise Coleman as Clara on "Doctor Who."

Credit: BBC

Season finale review: 'Doctor Who' - 'The Name of the Doctor'

The Doctor uncovers Clara's secret and comes face-to-face with a surprising figure

A quick review of the "Doctor Who" season finale coming up just as soon as I retire and take up watercolors or beekeeping...

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Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 182: Upfronts, 'The Office' finale, 'American Idol' & more

Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 182: Upfronts, 'The Office' finale, 'American Idol' & more

Dan and Alan also discuss the recent finales of 'Survivor' and 'The Amazing Race'


As promised, Upfront Week led to a bonus installment Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, in which we break down the CBS and CW schedules, ride into Dan's Reality Round-Up to talk about the recent conclusions of "American Idol," "Survivor" and "The Amazing Race," and then talk for a while about "The Office' series finale and some of our favorite (and least favorite) moments from the life of the show.

The lineup:

CBS and The CW upfronts (00:00:55 - 00:30:10)
Dan's Reality Roundup (00:30:40 - 00:49:00)
"The Office" (00:49:00 - 01:38:00)

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>Jenna Fischer and John Krasinski in &quot;The Office&quot;&nbsp;series finale.</p>

Jenna Fischer and John Krasinski in "The Office" series finale.

Credit: NBC

Series finale review: 'The Office' - 'Finale'

Dwight gets married and the staff revisits the documentary in a lovely farewell

A review of "The Office" series finale coming up just as soon as I sell ceramic tile out of Newark...

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<p>Mads Mikkelsen as Hannibal Lecter.</p>

Mads Mikkelsen as Hannibal Lecter.

Credit: NBC

Review: 'Hannibal' - 'Fromage'

Lecter becomes interested in a local killer, and Will begins hearing things

A few quick thoughts on tonight's "Hannibal" — and other recent developments on the show — coming up just as soon as I take a hammer to my chimney...

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<p>&quot;The Office&quot;&nbsp;formula was so delicate that Steve Carell could make it work as the lead, but Ed Helms couldn't.</p>

"The Office" formula was so delicate that Steve Carell could make it work as the lead, but Ed Helms couldn't.

Credit: NBC

'The Office': A look back at a brilliant, volatile comedy mix

A show that shouldn't have worked instead became a great, popular, influential one

In an early episode of "The Office," Michael Scott has a client meeting at a local Chili's, accompanied by his very skeptical boss from corporate (and unrequited crush) Jan. Jan understandably views Michael in the same way we do after a dozen installments of the young NBC series: as a buffoon who is painfully, erroneously convinced of his gifts as a boss, as a salesman and, especially, as a comedian. The early part of the meeting couldn't seem to be going worse, with Michael continually disrupting every one of Jan's attempts to talk about making what could potentially be a huge sale, telling off-color jokes, playing Truth or Dare and pressing Jan for embarrassing details about the end of her marriage. It's another obvious Michael Scott disaster in the making.

And then to our amazement, and to Jan's, Michael pulls it off. It turns out Michael understood the client better than Jan did and was expertly bonding with him long before he first mentioned business. He makes the impossible sale, and even winds up spending the night with an impressed (and very drunk) Jan.

That, in a nutshell, is the American version of "The Office," which ends tonight at 9. By almost any reasonable argument, it had no business working, creatively or commercially. It was messy. It was problematic. At times it could be mortifying. And all the odds were stacked against it from the start. Yet here we sit, hours away from the show ending its run after nine seasons, 200-odd episodes, and a long stretch of critical adoration (even if these last few seasons have been pretty rough). And like Jan watching Michael close that sale, it's not hard to sit back, marvel and ask, simply,

How the hell did that happen?

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<p>Toni Collette and Dylan McDermott in &quot;Hostages.&quot;</p>

Toni Collette and Dylan McDermott in "Hostages."

Credit: CBS

Upfronts 2013: CBS tinkers with playbook with 'Hostages,' single-camera sitcoms

Some experimenting, but mostly the same old, successful CBS

NEW YORK -- Every year at Upfront Week, CBS represents stability in an unstable business. Where the other networks at Upfront Week seem to be in a constant state of turmoil, swapping out executives and casting about for a workable business model, CBS has had the same management team in place for 18 years, is the one broadcast network left that actually operates like — and has the audience of — a broadcaster, and runs a very predictable, very successful playbook. This will be the first season since 1991-92 that the network will finish a season in first place among adults 18-49, the demographic advertisers care about most.

So going into the upfronts, you could have made some easy predictions about what CBS would do: another "NCIS" spin-off, probably airing after the other two; a "Beverly Hills Cop" sequel (with Eddie Murphy in a recurring role) to appeal to multiple generations of viewers; lots of crime procedurals that could comfortably air repeats throughout the year; and another freshman class of traditional multi-camera sitcoms that won't get the buzz of the stuff that NBC, FOX and ABC do, but will get ratings that those networks would kill for.

You also would have been wrong on pretty much every front.

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<p>It was the &quot;New Girl&quot;&nbsp;kiss between Jess (Zooey Deschanel)&nbsp;and Nick (Jake Johnson)&nbsp;that spared season 2's creative surge.</p>

It was the "New Girl" kiss between Jess (Zooey Deschanel) and Nick (Jake Johnson) that spared season 2's creative surge.

Credit: FOX

'New Girl' creator Liz Meriwether on Nick and Jess, Schmidt's choice, and the fun of season 2

Has the show solved Winston yet? What stories would she redo?

"New Girl" was one of my favorite comedies on TV in 2012 (as I've said, if I had to make my top 10 list even a week later, it would've made the cut). It was actually even better in 2013, as a romance that I once was dreading when the show began hinting at it instead became the magnetic center of a series that had been satisfying but often uneven. I reviewed the season finale here, and I spoke with "New Girl" creator Liz Meriwether about how the show really found itself thanks to the Jess/Nick relationship, whether she feels they've solved Winston yet, what she'd like to do in season 3, and more, all coming up just as soon as the plan is to drop a badger on a priest...

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<p>Jess (Zooey Deschanel)&nbsp;and Nick (Jake Johnson)&nbsp;in &quot;New Girl.&quot;</p>

Jess (Zooey Deschanel) and Nick (Jake Johnson) in "New Girl."

Credit: FOX

Season finale review: 'New Girl' - 'Elaine's Big Day'

A badger gets loose at Cece's wedding, and Nick and Jess ponder their future

"New Girl" just concluded what's been a terrific second season. I spoke to creator Liz Meriwether about the finale, and about some big decisions along the way, and I have a quick review of the finale coming up just as soon as we make some pasta and really listen to my Coldplay bootleg from Rotterdam...

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