<p>Amy Poehler on &quot;Parks and Recreation.&quot;</p>

Amy Poehler on "Parks and Recreation."

Credit: NBC

Interview: 'Parks and Recreation' star Amy Poehler previews season three

On the long hiatus, Adam Scott and Rob Lowe, and Ron Effing Swanson

Amy Poehler couldn't be more excited to reintroduce America to Leslie Knope.

Leslie, the optimistic, super-competent civil servant heroine of NBC's "Parks and Recreation," has been in limbo since May, after NBC execs decided to hold the show for mid-season. (And this was after the cast and crew stayed in production after last season was finished so they would have episodes to air in the fall while Poehler was on maternity leave.) But the show is coming back on Thursday night at 9:30, in the best timeslot NBC has (after "The Office"), and Poehler is pumped for viewers to see these new episodes - not just because they're among the best stretches the show has had, but because so few people saw the show last season when (after a shaky first season) it established itself as TV's best comedy.

I'll post my review later today (UPDATE: here it is), but here's a transcript of my recent interview with Poehler, who spoke about her joy at having the show back on the air, about new co-stars Rob Lowe and Adam Scott (who appeared in the last two episodes of last season), about the joy of working alongside Nick Offerman as Ron Effing Swanson, and more.

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<p>Catherine McCormack in &quot;Lights Out.&quot;</p>

Catherine McCormack in "Lights Out."

Credit: FX

'Lights Out' - 'Cakewalk': What happens in Bayonne stays in Bayonne

Lights has a mess to clean up, with help from a shady new friend

A review of tonight's "Lights Out" coming up just as soon as I promise you I'll never date a reporter...

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<p>Will the new &quot;American Idol&quot;&nbsp;judging panel save the show?</p>

Will the new "American Idol" judging panel save the show?

Credit: FOX

'American Idol' Preview: Can Steven Tyler & J-Lo keep the ship afloat?

The judges, the singers, or preferably both, need to be much better this season

There are two separate, not necessarily equal, groups of on-air talent for "American Idol" - there are the contestants, and then there are the judges and host Ryan Seacrest.

It's been hard to gauge their relative value to the franchise in years past. At times, the caustic remarks of Simon Cowell, or the loopiness of Paula Abdul, seemed to be the main entertainment. At others, it was clearly the kids on stage.

Last year, both halves of the show went in the tank at the same time. Paula was gone, Simon had one foot out the door - and acted like it - Kara Dio Guardi was still overly defensive, Ellen DeGeneres was terrified and Randy Jackson was Randy Jackson, and therefore useless. And the finalists made up one of the more underwhelming groups of contestants the show has ever had.

Because of the lackluster on-air product, and because "Idol" was nearly a decade old, cracks finally started to appear in the show's armor. Ratings slipped (though not enough to take it out of the number one ranking among the 18-49 year-old viewers advertisers care about), audience enthusiasm seemed to wane (Seacrest rarely boasted about vote totals the way he had in previous years), and even FOX execs who usually had nothing but high praise for the franchise admitted that it needed a change.

And change - on both the judging and performing side of things - has indeed come in ways big and small as the 10th season is about to begin Wednesday night at 8 p.m.

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<p>&quot;Harry's Law.&quot;</p>

"Harry's Law."

Credit: NBC

'Harry's Law' - 'Pilot': In the ghetto

What did everybody think of the new David E. Kelley drama?

I offered my review of "Harry's Lawyesterday. Now it's your turn. What did you think of Kathy Bates, Nate Corddry, Brittany Snow, designer shoes and the usual David E. Kelley shenanigans?

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<p>Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski)&nbsp;has good reason to smile on &quot;Chuck.&quot;</p>

Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski) has good reason to smile on "Chuck."

Credit: NBC

'Chuck' - 'Chuck vs. the Balcony': Before sunset

Chuck tries to pop the question as the spy dramedy returns with a very strong episode

"Chuck" is back, and I have a review of tonight's episode coming up just as soon as I manserve you...

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<p>The gang tries to comfort Marshall on &quot;How I&nbsp;Met Your Mother.&quot;</p>

The gang tries to comfort Marshall on "How I Met Your Mother."

Credit: CBS

'How I Met Your Mother' - 'Last Words': Marvin's funeral had heart, but football in the groin had a football in the groin

Marshall copes with his grief in a well-meaning but uneven episode

My review of tonight's "How I Met Your Mother" coming up just as soon as I whip up a batch of my fancy tofu sushi bagels...

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<p>Sarah Shahi in &quot;Fairly Legal.&quot;</p>

Sarah Shahi in "Fairly Legal."

Credit: USA

Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 56: 'American Idol,' 'Parks and Recreation,' 'Being Human' and more

Press tour ends, and the reviews begin all over again for Dan and Alan


I'm back on the East Coast, but before I left California, Dan and I recorded one last in-person Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, in which we briefly touched on press tour but mainly offered up reviews and previews of a lot of the shows that are premiering this week. We already dealt with "Harry's Law" in a previous podcast, but in this one we cover: 

Final Press Tour Roundup -- 00:55 - 03:40
"Being Human"/"Skins" -- 03:45 - 12:30
"American Idol" Preview -- 12:35 - 24:30
NBC Thursday, specifically "Parks & Recreation" -- 24:35 - 36:45
"Fairly Legal" -- 36:50 - 44:10
"Onion News Network" and "Portlandia" -- 44:35 - 55:09 
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>Sam Huntington, Sam Witwer and Meaghan Rath in &quot;Being Human.&quot;</p>

Sam Huntington, Sam Witwer and Meaghan Rath in "Being Human."

Credit: Syfy

Review: Syfy's 'Being Human' & MTV's 'Skins'

Carbon-copy remakes of British shows where you wonder why they bothered

If it takes three to make a trend, then we have one in the TV business this spring: extremely literal, note-for-note American cable remakes of British TV shows.

Last week brought Showtime's bawdy family comedy "Shameless," in which that show's British creator relocated his original script to Chicago with only minor changes. Tonight brings two more: Syfy's "Being Human" (9 p.m.), about a werewolf, a vampire and a ghost who wind up sharing the same apartment; and MTV's "Skins" (10 p.m.), a raunchy high school soap about a group of hedonistic teenage friends.

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<p>William H. Macy in &quot;Shameless.&quot;</p>

William H. Macy in "Shameless."

Credit: Showtime

'Shameless' - 'Frank the Plank': Oh, Canada

William H. Macy gets more to do, but is that a good thing here?

My review of "Shameless" episode two coming up just as soon as I smell Drakkar Noir...

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<p>The wives aren't very happy on the &quot;Big Love&quot;&nbsp;season premiere.</p>

The wives aren't very happy on the "Big Love" season premiere.

Credit: HBO

'Big Love' - 'Winter': Actions have consequences

What did everybody think of the final season premiere?

I mostly said my piece on the early part of "Big Loveseason 5 in yesterday's review. Now the season premiere has aired, and it's your turn. For those of you who came back after last season's fiasco, did you feel that "Winter" was an improvement? How are you feeling about Bill Henrickson and company at this point? In particular, did you believe that Bill believes what he told Don near the end of the episode - and, if so, does that make up for any of the things he's done and said over the last year? Fire away.

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