<p>Game of Thrones Cersei Lena Headey</p>

Game of Thrones Cersei Lena Headey

Credit: HBO

Season premiere review: 'Game of Thrones' - 'The Wars to Come': Mance marching?

Varys and Tyrion have a new destination, King's Landing and Meereen are both in crisis, and Stannis makes Mance an offer

"Game of Thrones" is back for its fifth season. I published an overall review of the early episodes on Thursday, and I have thoughts on the season premiere coming up just as soon as they revoke my nobility...

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<p>Silicon Valley</p>

Silicon Valley

Credit: HBO

'Silicon Valley' fills Peter Gregory's big shoes in season 2

Tech culture comedy successfully deals with the loss of the late Christopher Evan Welch

The first season of HBO's "Silicon Valley" offered abundant comic delights, culminating in perhaps the most highbrow dick joke ever told. Almost everything that made the show a treat a year ago is present for the new season, which debuts Sunday night at 10, after "Game of Thrones" and before the terrific new season of "Veep." It's a pleasure to have the whole Pied Piper team back, and there's a montage in the season premiere featuring Thomas Middleditch's Richard and T.J. Miller's Erlich Bachman(*) visiting a bunch of venture capital firms is a wonder of uncomfortable comedy and clever crudeness.

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Credit: FX

Season premiere review: 'Louie' - 'Pot Luck': Fri-fri-chicky-chick

Louie's feeling lonely as Louis C.K. takes a back-to-basics approach to the season

"Louie" is back for a new season, and I have a review of the premiere coming up just as soon as I talk like the Penguin from "Batman"...

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<p>Silicon Valley</p>

Silicon Valley

Credit: HBO

Firewall & Iceberg, Episode 276: 'Daredevil,' 'Game of Thrones,' 'Louie' & more

Dan and Alan also review 'The Comedians,' 'Silicon Valley' & 'Veep'


Happy Thursday, boys and girls! Time for a bonus Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, in which we review a bunch of new and returning shows premiering between now and this weekend, including a comic book adaptations, two shows in which stand-up comics play themselves, and a very satisfying HBO Sunday trio.

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Credit: Pivot

Pivot renews Arctic thriller 'Fortitude' on eve of finale; watch an exclusive clip

Mystery set in a frozen glacier community has only gotten stranger, and better, as it's gone along

There will be more mayhem up on that glacier, as "Fortitude" has been renewed for a second season. The thriller, co-produced by Pivot here and Sky in the UK, is set in a remote Norwegian community in the Arctic archipelago. Its first season finale airs tonight at 10 on Pivot, and we have an exclusive scene from the very beginning of that finale embedded above.

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<p>Game of Thrones</p>

Game of Thrones

Credit: HBO

Review: 'Game of Thrones' gets better by bringing people together in season 5

Long-standing characters finally meet as the producers begin deviating from the books

The greatest strength of "Game of Thrones" has always on some level been the HBO fantasy's greatest weakness. Adapting the "A Song of Ice and Fire" novels by George R.R. Martin, producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have an entire world to play with, filled with rich and memorable characters in all manner of climate and circumstance. It's a storytelling embarrassment of riches, but the sheer number of characters and plotlines, and the great physical distance that separates them, at times makes the series feel like a collection of barely-connected vignettes, or like a guided tour of two continents, stopping in each port of call just long enough to glimpse what the locals are angry about this week.

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Credit: Netflix

Review: Netflix's 'Daredevil' quickly moves to the top of the TV superhero heap

The first series of Netflix's Marvel deal suggests the gamble will pay off big

The last few years, some network TV executives have tried to do away with the pilot process, ordering shows straight to series based on a script, or even an idea, rather than spending a lot of money filming a pilot episode before deciding whether it's good enough to order to series. This is essentially like deciding to build a house on land that hasn't been surveyed yet and hoping that it'll hold the structure. The results have gone about as expected: "Hieroglyph"(!) was pre-canceled before a second episode was filmed, NBC decided to sell "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" to Netflix rather than have to cancel it after three episodes aired, and other straight-to-series orders have been delayed, or similarly pre-canceled, or (as in the case of FOX's "Weird Loners") sent off to die quietly.

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<p>Keri Russell</p>

Keri Russell

Credit: FX

Review: 'The Americans' - 'One Day in the Life of Anton Baklanov': Honey, trap

Paige has more questions, Nina finds a secret stash, and Martha gets interviewed

A review of tonight's "The Americans" coming up just as soon as I look into the tip of your nose...

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<p>The Comedians</p>

The Comedians

Credit: FX

Review: Billy Crystal and Josh Gad in toothless TV satire 'The Comedians'

FX show would have been cutting edge stuff back in Crystal's Oscar hosting heyday

In 2012, when Billy Crystal returned to host the Oscars for the first time in years, he seemed surprised when so many of his jokes — many of them of the same type he deployed so effectively in his '90s hosting heyday — got a muted response from the audience. Again and again, his face seemed to be saying, They all laughed at this stuff before! What's changed?  Crystal certainly hadn't, but the culture had changed around him. What had killed in the '90s was mostly dying in the '10s. Timing is everything in comedy, including the era in which you tell certain jokes.

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<p>Julia Louis-Dreyfus in Veep</p>

Julia Louis-Dreyfus in Veep

Credit: HBO

'Veep' stars talk profanity, politics and Timothy Simons' 'first sex scene'

Video of last night's Paley Center panel with Julia Louis-Dreyfus and company

"Veep" returns for its fourth season Sunday night at 10:30 on HBO. Based on the four episodes I've seen, this may be the comedy's strongest season yet, as making Julia Louis-Dreyfus' Selina Meyer into the President of the United States — even if it may only be for eight months if she loses the next election — has only increased the enormity of her screw-ups, and raised the comic stakes for the series.

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