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<p>One of Wednesday&#39;s &quot;Extant&quot; episodes</p>

One of Wednesday's "Extant" episodes

Credit: CBS

TV Ratings: Double 'Extant,' 'Big Brother,' 'Talent' highlight Wednesday

'Penn & Teller: Fool Us' drew a series high for the night

Fast National ratings for Wednesday, August 20, 2014.

"Big Brother" ranked as Wednesday's top show among young viewers and helped CBS win the night in that measure, while "America's Got Talent" led NBC to an overall victory.

CBS' double-dose of "Extant" was roughly consistent with recent airings and beat "Taxi Brooklyn" overall in the 10 p.m. hour. 

Among other notables, FOX's "So You Think You Can Dance" slipped again, while The CW's "Penn & Teller: Fool Us" rose again, though both variations were relatively miniscule.

On to the numbers...

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It's official: Julianne Hough joins 'Dancing with the Stars" as 4th judge

It's official: Julianne Hough joins "Dancing with the Stars" as 4th judge
"My role is to encourage and be supportive, and to also be candid and honest and try not to beat around the bush, to be too politically correct," says Hough, whose duties will include judging her brother, Derek. "I want to give critiques so they can improve. I'm not there to be harsh or cause a controversy. I won't be mean or malicious. That's not who I am. That's not my role at all."

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Zingbot and the other Zingbot, Kathy Griffin

Recap: 'Big Brother' Wednesday - 5 Ways This Episode Ruled

Sometimes 'Big Brother' is boring. Other times it is thrilling, hilarious, and brilliantly stupid. This was one of those times.

I thought about it. Then I thought about it again. Turns out I'm not exaggerating or brainwashed (like Zingbot, our precious gyrating robot pal who visited the houseguests this week) regarding this week's episode. It really was fantastic, from the stupid Team America challenge to the POV game to the climactic final moment. Best episode of the season? Could be. Here are five reasons why. 

1. Donny is innocent but loves being scary as hell. 

For whatever reason, Donny has ended up outside the game's major alliance and there doesn't seem to be much of a way in. Our poor bearded chickadee. Sigh. But you have to give Donny "props" (quoth Zingbot) for using one of the few tools left in his arsenal: manipulation of the most impressionable person in the house, Zach. The little speech Donny gave Zach that planted necessary paranoia in his head about getting backdoored? Flawless. And also terrifying. Because Donny is terrifying. Here is the whole speech paraphrased:

"I do hope you win the veto, Zach. I had a special meeting with my alliance -- just me and a couple of napkins and a penny -- and we all agreed that you better win that veto. I don't really know nothing. Nothing at all, really. Truth is I just tied an old mitten to a weather vane, spun it around, and saw that it was pointing at -- well -- your demise, Zach. If you don't win, all I know is I got my mouth organ and a ditch down by the crossroads, and I'm prepared to give you a proper burial. Right proper with the sun shining and the vultures hovering and my cousin Myrna screamin' at God. You better win that veto, Zach. Or else the devil will exact his ultimate Zach Attack right up in this prairie barn."

And then Zach ended up on the block with Cody. Thanks for the tip, angelic/Satanic Donny!

2. Kathy Griffin is both a superstar and a superfan. 

Rare is it that outsiders get a chance to visit the "Big Brother" house during an active season and bask in the fluorescent glow of the gigantic Les Moonves ceiling portrait that only the houseguests can see. But Kathy Griffin is no ordinary outsider. The peerless comic visited the houseguests with our old pal Zingbot to prove that she is, in fact, the true Zing Queen (or in Russian: Czingrina). Griffin actually visited "The Talk" last year to discuss her feelings on BB15. "I don't care who wins," she said. "But I want to see a show about that jury house!" A sophisticated opinion from a true viewer, y'all. Sometimes I wonder if Amanda sat in that jury house vacillating between fingerpainting and punching herself in the face. She was not OK.

And it was awesome seeing Frankie react to Kathy's entrance. He clearly loved her. He also clearly thinks he's funny like her, which is a shame. I think Frankie would be bearable if he didn't insist on attempting humor ever. Every one of his confessionals amounts to, "WELL, NOW I'M USING A SILLY VOICE! ISN'T THAT SOMETHING? HMMMM?!" Unfortunately I stopped finding that technique funny at around the time my mom removed the "Sesame Street" mobile from my crib.

3. Zach's childish reaction to Kathy's zing could not have been gone better.

How cool was it that we got a round of zings from Kathy and the rehabilitated Zingbot? Double your rancor, double your fun. There were a couple of fantastic jokes in the mix, but the best of all was when Kathy asked Frankie, "Hey, what do you call someone who's not afraid to cry, wears pink, and cuddles with men? Zach!"

This is such an important part of the episode. First of all, Zach had no time to prepare himself for the zing, and God knows Zach can't handle a joke without 48 hours notice. While the other houseguests laughed it up, he scowled like the sensitive kid at the first grade lunch table who left his sandwich at home. Naturally Kathy decided to nuke his ass by walking over, leaning in, and hissing, "Zing, motherf*cker!" He laughed for a second, but it was a rough second. I don't have a problem with egomaniacs like Zach, but it is always, always, always funny to mock someone who refuses to laugh at himself. Thanks, Kathy, for approaching him like the bad colonel in "Cool Hand Luke" and needling him like the parking meter-clipping delinquent he is.

4. I don't think Victoria realized her robe was stolen.

Secretly the greatest part of this episode was not when Cody roamed the house shirtless searching for his disgusting hat or when Christine realized her marriage was in shambles because of Zingbot's wisdom; nope, it was when Caleb discovered the stolen Team America items in the recycling bin, began handing them back out to the houseguests, and Victoria realized for the first time that her damn robe was missing. At the top of the episode, Derrick -- who stole it -- said, "She wears this every day. She'll definitely notice it." But Derrick: Victoria hasn't even noticed that she's on "Big Brother." She thinks she's at a Barbizon modeling school graduation, and she's here to show us that she perfected her stare-and-pivot. Man, she is so effortlessly useless. How does she do it? She's giving the ultimate second-place performance, and you have to love her for it. Did I say love her? I meant try to remember her name.

5. Like it or not, Frankie's kiss-off to Zach was great.

For whatever reason, Frankie used the Power of Veto (after a tough puzzle challenge involving electrical tubing and Zingbot's malfunctioning personality) to save Caleb and screw over Zach, his biggest ally in the game. I'm not sure who that move impresses, but I'll tell you one thing: Frankie's rhyming rationale for why he picked Zach was righteous as hell. It wasn't quite a rap, but his flow was sick in a gay poetry slam way. His damning ode ended "So Zach, my friend, go and have a seat / It's time for you and Julie Chen to finally meet." Yow! Electric! Is it possible for Zach to worm his way out of this? If the power of rhyme is any indication, the answer is: Zach Attack ain't comin' back. 

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FXX's Every Simpsons Ever Marathon: Day 1 - HitFix Picks
Credit: FOX

FXX's Every Simpsons Ever Marathon: Day 1 - HitFix Picks

Which early 'Simpsons' episodes are we looking forward to catching up on?

On Thursday (August 21) morning at 10 a.m. ET, FXX is going to begin its Every Simpsons Ever Marathon, a showcase for 552 episodes of "The Simpsons," plus "The Simpsons Movie."

That's a lot of episodes and if you're a "Simpsons" neophyte, you may be intimidated by the sheer avalanche of yellow-tinged animation. 

Fortunately, we're here to help. The individual fans on Team HitFix are weighing in on one or two episodes per day until even we may collapse under the avalanche of comedic greatness.

And, since we know that nobody can watch 48 episodes per day and remain sane, we'll also recommend an episode or two that you might be able to skip each day if you need to shower, take a quick nap or show love to members of your family. 

Check out our recommendations and chime in with your own favorites...

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<p>The Bridge</p>

The Bridge

Credit: FX

Review: 'The Bridge' - 'Lamia'

Plots intersect and secrets are revealed on the best episode of the season

A review of tonight's "The Bridge" coming up just as soon as I plan a trip to see the fjords...

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ABC is developing a 'Derrick Storm' series based on 'Castle’s' novels

ABC is developing a “Derrick Storm” series based on “Castle’s” novels
Nathan Fillion’s fictional ABC character, Richard Castle, has published books in real life about a spy working for the CIA. And those best-selling “Derrick Storm” novels are coming to TV.


“Halt and Catch Fire’s” surprising renewal is part of trend of networks showing patience
As Josef Adalian points out, "networks like AMC and FX seem to be realizing that constantly churning their schedules, yanking every modest performer to chase the possibility that Something New will be that next big hit is a recipe for even lower ratings. Even broadcasters have gotten hip to the new reality: NBC is bringing back summer originals such as 'Welcome to Sweden,' 'The Night Shift,' and ‘Undateable,’ despite their decidedly so-so ratings."


How to survive a 552-episode “Simpsons” marathon
The writers offer 15 tips on making it through the next 12 days. PLUS: Uncut episodes will be shown, “The Simpsons” boss reveals his 5 favorites, here are 8 can’t-miss episodes.


Report: Picketing teamster told “Top Chef’s” Padma Lakshmi: “We’re gonna bash that pretty face in, you f*cking whore!”
The Bravo reality show has been the subject of protests for not hiring teamsters. A “Top Chef” crew member says of the incident, which happened in June: “She was scared."


Laverne Cox’s Wikipedia page was vandalized by someone on Capitol Hill
The “Orange is the New Black” star’s Wiki was changed from labeling her as "a real transgender woman” to referring to her instead as "a real man pretending to be a woman.” As a result, Congress has been banned from editing Wikipedia for 1 month. PLUS: Cox read a letter from a transgender woman in prison.


Comedy Central orders “@DadBoner”
The animated comedy will based on the Twitter feed of "a fictional middle-aged Michigan man separated from his wife who loves Bob Seger.”


Aaron Paul announces a “Breaking Bad” scavenger hunt before the Emmys
“Just wanted to do a little something to say ‘Thank You’ to everyone who has supported us thru out the years,” says Paul on Instagram. PLUS: A blindfolded RJ Mitte tries to guess cereals while blindfolded.


Craig Ferguson does the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
“The Late Late Show” host did it in honor of his audiobooks producer, who died today of ALS. PLUS: Hayden Panettiere confirms her pregnancy via the Ice Bucket Challenge, and the cast of “Gotham" cast also dumped water over their heads.


Pharrell is being sued for ditching a YouTube show for “The Voice”
The Happy singer allegedly committed to the YouTube show “ARTST TLK” before “The Voice” came calling.


Hallmark Channel’s Kitten Bowl II adds a Feline Football League
Kitten Bowl fans will be able to follow their favorite teams’ progress starting in November in anticipation of Su-Purr Bowl Sunday on Feb. 1.


“The Middle” books Richard Kind
He’ll help take out Sue’s teeth as her orthodontist in the season premiere.


BET wins lawsuit over a fan’s “The Game” Facebook page
BET hired the fan to maintain the Facebook page after it revived “The Game,” but soon their business relationship fell apart.


David Spade to star in Fox Sports 1’s “Fantasy Football Uncensored” show
The weekly show will feature and NFL on Fox insider Jay Glazer.


“Downton Abbey’s” Season 5 premiere will feature a surprising stunt
Producers have filmed what appears to be a shocking plot twist.


Ex-manager sues “Criminal Minds” star Thomas Gibson
The ex-manager claims he is owed “no less than $480,000 from his former client.


In a Reddit AMA, Seth Meyers explains why he tells a personal story after each “Late Night” monologue
"I wasn't something we planned as much as we discovered,” he says. "They don't come easy every day. There are times when it's a bit more of a struggle mostly because my days can be the same in the middle of a show week. I do find myself trying new things in hopes of finding something new to talk about.” PLUS: Meyers helped roll out the Emmy red carpet, and don’t expect a mass selfie on Monday.


Here are this summer’s TV winners and losers
Winner: Cinemax. Loser: Netflix. Winner: “You’re the Worst.” Loser: Halle Berry.


Kurt Sutter reveals how many “Sons of Anarchy” club members he’ll kill off in the final season
“Two club members will be dead,” he tells EW. “I don’t think there’ll be more than that.”


Jerry Seinfeld describes freaking out when a woman backed into his parked 1973 Porsche
“We could hear the sound of metal crunching — rare, classic, expensive, vintage metal, by the way — from across the street. A sickening sound to a car person,” said Seinfeld, who added: “I went home and put my head under the covers."


“The Bridge” never expected to parallel real life
"We do entertainment, not documentary,” says showrunner Elwood Reid.


Did “Switched at Birth” go too far?
Did the season finale turn you off?


“The Flash” casts Girder
"Star-Crossed” vet Greg Finley will play the role of Tony Woodward, AKA Girder.


Comedy Central has posted every “Broad City” episode online
Watch all of Season 1 now.


Kevin Frazier to co-host “Entertainment Tonight” with Nancy O’Dell
“The Insider” star replaces Rob Marciano.


Watch a preview of “Adam Devine’s House Party” Season 2, featuring Kristen Schaal
Kurt Braunohler and Nikki Glaser will also be part of the 2nd season.


Ricky Gervais: “I’m not ashamed” to be watching “Celebrity Big Brother” on my laptop
He adds: “(I’m so ashamed).”


BBC’s “Happy Valley” is now on Netflix
The six-episode series stars Sarah Lancashire as a cop coming to terms with the suicide of her daughter.


“Scandal’s” Joe Morton was stunned when he won an Emmy because he expected “Mad Men’s” Robert Morse to win
"My first reaction was a deep sigh of relief mixed with a bit of surprise,” he says. "Everybody wants to win, but you can come up with a million reasons why you won’t.”


Bravo spills “Top Chef” Boston details
“Top Chef All Stars” winner Richard Blais will help judge Season 12.


“iZombie” finds a replacement for Nora Dunn
Molly Hagan will take over the role of Olivia “Liv” Moore’s mom.


2 stars from ABC Family’s canceled “Twisted” land on “Tut”
Kylie Bunbury will reunite with Avan Jogia on the Spike TV event series.


“Vampire Diaries” star Nina Dobrev traveled Europe completely alone for a month and a half
“Everything I’ve done until now is because I worked my ass off,” she says. I never needed anyone — I just made it happen. Nowadays, I’m never by myself, whether I’m with 150 crew members on set, on a plane or at an event. I haven’t had any alone time for a while, and I wanted to get away and feel that way again.”


“iZombie” finds a replacement for Nora Dunn
Molly Hagan will take over the role of Olivia “Liv” Moore’s mom.


Presenting ‘90s sitcoms with the verbs cut out
From The Onion’s new Buzzfeed spoof, Clickhole.


See the “Saved by the Bell” publicity photos from 25 years ago
The cast looks “insanely young.”


“Selfie’s” John Cho takes a K-Pop selfie
"Getting pretty hardcore into K-Pop lately,” he tweeted. "Like, deep into it."

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Review: Chloe Moretz shines in surprisingly mature supernatural love story 'If I Stay'
Credit: Warner Bros.

Review: Chloe Moretz shines in surprisingly mature supernatural love story 'If I Stay'

Why is this teenage film more mature than many adult love stories?

Movies about young love are hard to pull off, and when they don't work, they can be cloying and obnoxious. Done right, though, there is something both lovely and piercing about them, and while I think "If I Stay" has to do a fair amount of juggling to get its premise to work, there is a cumulative power to it that I found undeniable and earned.

"Earned" is a big word for me in films like this. One of the biggest problems when you're making a film about love between people of any age is showing how love sparks between people and how it flourishes and doing it without giving in to short-cuts or cliche. How many times have you seen a supposed romance and the meeting is completely ridiculous? How many movies have you seen where you're supposed to just accept that characters have fallen in love because that's what the film needs them to do, not because of anything we see in the movie?

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'As Above/So Below' directors: guess that actor's claustrophobia helped his performance

'As Above/So Below' directors: guess that actor's claustrophobia helped his performance

Dowdle brothers talk about the mythology of their new thriller

PARIS - Walking through the Paris catacombs, it's hard to believe Hollywood hasn't mined this wonder more on the big screen.  There have been films that have tried, 2007's "Catacombs" being one of them, but its a rare few that have ever gotten access to shoot in the actual underground tunnels and quarries.  The upcoming thriller "As Above/So Below" is the exception.

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'American Horror Story: Freak Show' sets its October premiere date
Credit: FX

'American Horror Story: Freak Show' sets its October premiere date

Michael Chiklis is the big name joining the '50s carnival season

We always knew that the latest installment of Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk's "American Horror Story" would have an October premiere. All three prior installments did, so why should this one be any different?

Now, however, we have an actual premiere date for "American Horror Story: Freak Show."

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'American Horror Story: Freak Show' gets an Oct. 8 premiere date

“American Horror Story: Freak Show” gets an Oct. 8 premiere date
FX also announced a description of this season: "The year is 1952. A troupe of curiosities has just arrived to town, coinciding with the strange emergence of a dark entity that savagely threatens the lives of townsfolk and freaks alike…" PLUS: Watch the latest creepy teaser.


Winona Ryder, Jon Bernthal, Alfred Molina join David Simon’s HBO miniseries
Ryder will play the City Council president on "Show Me a Hero,” while Molina will play a fellow City Council member. “The Walking Dead’s” Bernthal will play a Harvard-trained lawyer.


Nick Offerman shares his “Simply Genius Shower Thoughts”
Check out the “Parks and Rec” star’s new series for Mashable.

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<p>Mira Sorvino in Intruders</p>

Mira Sorvino in Intruders

Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 242: Emmy predictions, 'Friday Night Lights' & more

Dan and Alan also review Netflix's "BoJack Horseman" and BBC America's "Intruders"

The

Happy Wednesday, boys and girls! It's a relatively slow time in the TV world, but we still had plenty to talk about, thanks to the Emmys taking place a month early due to NBC's football commitments, thanks to a couple of oddball premieres on Netflix and BBC America, and thanks to us choosing to discuss 3 — count 'em — episodes of "Friday Night Lights" in one sitting. (We'll do episodes 10 & 11 for next week's show.)

The rundown:

"BoJack Horseman" (00:01:10 - 00:09:15)
"Intruders" (00:09:20 - 00:18:40)
The 2014 Emmy Awards (00:18:45 - 00:37:30)
Listener Mail: Writing Credits (00:37:45 - 43:50)
"Friday Night Lights" Season 2 Rewatch (00:43:55 - 01:24:00)

As always, send questions to firewalliceberg@hitfix.com. 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, subscribe on IHeartRadio or stream it on Dan's blog.

There's also now a complete archive of all the podcasts to date.

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Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 242

Dan and Alan discuss 'Intruders,' 'BoJack Horseman' and the Emmys

The

Happy Wednesday, Boys & Girls! I was traveling yesterday, so it's time for a slightly delayed installment of the Firewall & Iceberg Podcast. 

Fortunately, there was nothing timely that we missed yesterday, but we have reviews for Netflix "BoJack Horseman" and BBC America's "Intruders," which premiere on Friday and Saturday, respectively. We preview the Emmys a little and we also answered a piece of Listener Mail about writer credits.

And we have a trio of "Friday Night Lights" Season 2 episodes to celebrate this week, including "Pantherama!," "Seeing Other People" and "The Confession," which we discussed in a lengthy and amorphous blob.

Today's breakdown:
"BoJack Horseman" (00:01:10 - 00:09:15)
"Intruders" (00:09:20 - 00:18:40)
The 2014 Emmy Awards (00:18:45 - 00:37:30)
Listener Mail: Writing Credits (00:37:45 - 43:50)
"Friday Night Lights" Season 2 ReWatch (00:43:55 - 01:24:00)

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 or subscribe on IHeartRadio.] 

 

And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.

 

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