<p>Andre Braugher and Andy Samberg in &quot;Brooklyn Nine-Nine.&quot;</p>

Andre Braugher and Andy Samberg in "Brooklyn Nine-Nine."

Credit: FOX

Review: FOX's 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' a fun police comedy

HitFix
B
Readers
C-
The 'Parks and Recreation' team pit 'comedy McNulty' vs. the former Frank Pembleton

At this time of year, it's important to remind you that writing advance reviews of TV shows is often as much fortune-telling as science. We are usually asked to analyze the merits of a new series based on a single episode, maybe two if we're lucky, for all the new network shows. (Cable channels work on schedules that often have entire seasons in the can before they air; I have access to six episodes of Showtime's upcoming, very promising, "Masters of Sex," for instance.) So we can look at the pilot episode and say what works and what doesn't, but there's also a lot of mysticism and guesswork involved: Will the writers sidestep the five obvious pitfalls laid out for them? Can this actor do more with their character than they show here? Is there any story to tell beyond this episode, or is it all downhill from here?

All of which is a roundabout way of saying that FOX's police comedy "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" is one of my favorite new shows of the fall as much for what's promised down the road as for what's actually delivered in the episode you can see tomorrow night at 8:30. As comedy pilots go, it's not an instant classic — though those are far more rare in comedy than drama(*) — but there are enough promising signs, both on-screen and off, to suggest it can get there in time.

Read Full Post
<p>Jeff Daniels as Will McAvoy in &quot;The Newsroom.&quot;</p>

Jeff Daniels as Will McAvoy in "The Newsroom."

Credit: HBO

Season finale review: 'The Newsroom'

The staff of 'News Night' learns its fate in an episode that plays like a series finale

A review of "The Newsroom" season finale coming up just as soon as I get the Allman Brothers back together...

Read Full Post
<p>Skyler (Anna Gunn)&nbsp;tries to protect Holly in &quot;Breaking Bad.&quot;</p>

Skyler (Anna Gunn) tries to protect Holly in "Breaking Bad."

Credit: AMC

Review: 'Breaking Bad' - 'Ozymandias'

Things fall apart in the series' most devastating episode ever

A quick review of tonight's "Breaking Bad" coming up just as soon as I sell that hideous crying clown...

Read Full Post
<p>Jeffrey Wright joins &quot;Boardwalk Empire&quot;&nbsp;as Dr. Valentin Narcisse.</p>

Jeffrey Wright joins "Boardwalk Empire" as Dr. Valentin Narcisse.

Credit: HBO

Review: 'Boardwalk Empire' - 'Resignation'

Jeffrey Wright makes a huge first impression as Dr. Valentin Narcisse

A review of tonight's "Boardwalk Empire" coming up just as soon as

Read Full Post
<p>The &quot;Q&amp;A&quot;&nbsp;episode of &quot;Homeland&quot;&nbsp;should do well at the Emmys.</p>

The "Q&A" episode of "Homeland" should do well at the Emmys.

Credit: Showtime

Emmys 2013 Predictions: Outstanding Comedy/Drama Writing

Can 'Q&A' lose? And which series finale has a better shot at the comedy award?

The 2013 Primetime Emmy Awards will be presented on Sunday, Sept. 22, starting at 8 Eastern on CBS, with Neil Patrick Harris as host. From now until Sunday (sometimes multiple times a day), Dan Fienberg and I will be making our usual picks for the major categories — for both what should win and what will (and keep in mind that Dan is much better historically at predictions than I am).

Next up, we're dealing with the comedy and drama writing categories. The former has a pair of series finales going against "Louie" and "Episodes," while the latter has the episode that could single-handedly lead to another huge night for "Homeland."

Read Full Post
<p>Michelle MacLaren directed the gorgeous &quot;Breaking Bad&quot;&nbsp;episode &quot;Gliding Over All.&quot;</p>

Michelle MacLaren directed the gorgeous "Breaking Bad" episode "Gliding Over All."

Credit: AMC

Emmys 2013 Predictions: Outstanding Comedy/Drama Directing

Will this signal the start of big nights for 'Homeland' or '30 Rock'?

The 2013 Primetime Emmy Awards will be presented next Sunday night, Sept. 22, starting at 8 Eastern on CBS, with Neil Patrick Harris as host. From now until Sunday (sometimes multiple times a day), Dan Fienberg and I will be making our usual picks for the major categories — for both what should win and what will (and keep in mind that Dan is much better historically at predictions than I am).

Next up, we're dealing with the comedy and drama directing categories. The former's an eclectic list that includes a couple of single-camera broadcast sitcoms, two cable half-hours that are arguably more drama than comedy, and whatever you feel like calling "Glee" this week. The drama category, meanwhile, includes some of the year's most intense hours, but doesn't have room for anything from "Mad Men" or "Game of Thrones."

Read Full Post
<p>Nicole Beharie and Tom Mison in &quot;Sleepy Hollow.&quot;</p>

Nicole Beharie and Tom Mison in "Sleepy Hollow."

Credit: FOX

Review: FOX's 'Sleepy Hollow' isn't afraid to be crazy

HitFix
B-
Readers
A
The first new show of the fall season may be good or it may be terrible, but it's not boring

I honestly can't tell you if FOX's "Sleepy Hollow," the first new show of the 2013-14 network TV season, is good or bad — and I've already watched the pilot episode (which airs Monday at 9 p.m.) twice. I suspect it's bad, and that it will be proven to be bad over the course of its first season. But if it's bad, it's in a memorable, weird, fun way. It's a show that goes for broke, does not apologize for its excesses and is never, ever boring. In a freshman class full of forgettable new dramas, it stands out by virtue of embracing every possible way in which it could go awry, because ultimately being boring is worse than being bad.

Read Full Post
<p>Can you write and record a theme song for the upcoming Firewall &amp;&nbsp;Iceberg video show?</p>

Can you write and record a theme song for the upcoming Firewall & Iceberg video show?

Contest: The Firewall & Iceberg video show needs a theme song!

Do you have the musical chops to introduce Dan and Alan's show?

From the beginning, Firewall & Iceberg has relied on audience feedback. We answer your questions most weeks. We took our name from a listener suggestion. A week ago, we asked for your feedback on the logo for a video version of the show that we're working on, hopefully to launch in October. (The winner, overwhelmingly, was the version with the classic color bars reminiscent of the audio podcast's logo.) And now we're hoping we have some musical geniuses in the audience who might want to provide the video show with a theme song.

Here's the deal: we need a 30-second music sample (and one that can also work at 10 seconds, depending on formatting issues that are still being discussed). It can have lyrics. It can have no lyrics. It can be heavy metal. Ska. Hip-hop. Barbershop. Whatever you think says "Firewall & Iceberg" (aka "Two guys bicker about TV") and is musical, send it to us. Dan and I will pick a winner, and that winner will be credited in the show, in addition to their song being played at the top.

Some legalese:

* Entrants must be the full rights owners of the song.

* Entrants must be willing to sign something granting HitFix the full rights to the song

* By submitting a song, you agree to the full contest rules which can be found here: Official rules.

All entries should be emailed to contest@hitfix.com

Read Full Post
<p>Michael Douglas as Liberace in &quot;Behind the Candelabra.&quot;</p>

Michael Douglas as Liberace in "Behind the Candelabra."

Credit: HBO

Emmys 2013 Predictions: Outstanding Miniseries or Movie

Will 'Behind the Candelabra' star power trump the competition?

The 2013 Primetime Emmy Awards will be presented next Sunday night, Sept. 22, starting at 8 Eastern on CBS, with Neil Patrick Harris as host. From now until Sunday (sometimes multiple times a day), Dan Fienberg and I will be making our usual picks for the major categories — for both what should win and what will (and keep in mind that Dan is much better historically at predictions than I am).

We'll begin the same way we did last year, by looking at the nominees for Outstanding Miniseries or Movie, which features one show that still arguably doesn't belong here ("American Horror Story"), a huge commercial hit ("The Bible"), a couple of HBO films starring multiple Oscar winners ("Phil Spector" and "Behind the Candelabra"), a prestige cable miniseries that might have turned into an ongoing series if its ratings were better ("Political Animals"), and the start of Sundance Channel's impressive push into original scripted series ("Top of the Lake"):

Read Full Post
<p>Jesse (Coby Bell)&nbsp;and Sam (Bruce Campbell)&nbsp;get into a jam in the &quot;Burn Notice&quot;&nbsp;series finale.</p>

Jesse (Coby Bell) and Sam (Bruce Campbell) get into a jam in the "Burn Notice" series finale.

Credit: USA

Series finale review: 'Burn Notice' - 'Reckoning'

Michael Westen's adventures come to an explosive end

"Burn Notice" has come to an end. I wrote about the series as a whole earlier, and I have a few  thoughts on the finale coming up just as soon as I smoke one more cigarette...    

Read Full Post