FOX has decided to hold the premiere of its new military comedy "Enlisted" from November until January, hoping that one of their most promising new shows — albeit not one of its flashiest or simplest to market — will do better if it debuts after a lot of promotion during the football playoffs.
A few years back, "SNL" did a game show parody called "What is 'Burn Notice'?," where confused contestants struggle to articulate a single detail about the popular USA drama. It was no "Dylan McDermott or Dermot Mulroney," but it hit on a key point about pop culture: sometimes, the biggest hits don't penetrate the national consciousness in the way that smaller ones do. "NCIS" is the most popular show on television, and a very good one, but I hear it discussed (by both TV critics and civilians) far less often than "Homeland" or "Scandal." And while the fictional "SNL" game show contestants couldn't identify a single thing about "Burn Notice" (one guessed it was "about a sexy doctor who can start fires with his mind"), I suspect even many people who've never watched a second of "Mad Men" could describe a few things about it, even though "Burn Notice" (which airs its series finale tonight at 9) was much more popular throughout its run (and even aired directly opposite "Mad Men" in their first season).
A quick review of tonight's "The Bridge" coming up just as soon as we're on Mars...
The "Better Call Saul" spin-off from "Breaking Bad" has just moved one step closer to reality, as AMC has signed a licensing agreement with Sony (the studio that produces and owns "Breaking Bad") for the spin-off — which will be "a one-hour prequel that will focus on the evolution of the popular Saul Goodman character before he ever became Walter White's lawyer."
AMC has canceled "The Killing" — again.
Twenty years ago tonight, FOX debuted a strange little show called "The X-Files." Its stars were virtually unknown — Gillian Anderson was only 24 when the pilot was filmed, and if you recognized David Duchovny at all, it was either as the cross-dressing FBI agent from "Twin Peaks" season 2 or as the man who read letters at the start of every episode of "Red Shoe Diaries" — and the format was an odd mash-up of science-fiction and police procedural, as FBI partners Mulder (the believer) and Scully (the skeptic) traveled the country investigating reports of paranormal activity.
Only four topics for this week's Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, but they were all meaty enough to add up to a good-length show, including the return of "Sons of Anarchy," the American premiere of Ricky Gervais' "Derek" on Netflix, some contentious "Breaking Bad" discussion and the conclusion of our summer pilot rewatch with "The Wire."
Note: While this is the 200th episode of the podcast, Dan objects to the notion of it being our bicentennial, since I recorded one podcast with Mo Ryan while he was out of the country. So whatever anniversary things we do (if any) will be on next week's show.
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.
A review of tonight's "Breaking Bad" coming up just as soon as we flip a coin for the honor...