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<p>&quot;The Night Shift&quot;</p>

"The Night Shift"

Credit: NBC

TV Ratings: 'America's Got Talent,' 'Night Shift' premieres help NBC rule Tuesday

'Supernatural' repeat ties 'I Wanna Marry 'Harry'" among young viewers

Fast National ratings for Tuesday, May 27, 2014.

"America's Got Talent" returned nearly flat with last year -- Down 3 percent if you want to quibble -- and combined with a respectable premiere for "The Night Shift" to help NBC score commanding Tuesday wins in all measure.

NBC wants you to know that "The Night Shift" had the biggest NBC summer drama series debut since... "The Philanthropist" in 2009.

Among other notables, "Extreme Weight Loss" premiered well enough to put ABC in second for Tuesday in the key demo, while CBS' procedural repeats buoyed an easy second place finish overall. 

Meanwhile, FOX's "I Wanna Marry 'Harry'" and "Riot" hit embarrassingly low levels, though "Riot" did it while rising from its previous episode. "Harry," stripped of its "Idol" lead-in, tied with a "Supernatural" repeat on The CW among young viewers. Ouch.

On to the numbers...

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'Downton Abbey' creator wants the show simulcast in the UK and the U.S. on the same day

“Downton Abbey” creator wants the show simulcast in the UK and the U.S. on the same day
Julian Fellowes was impressed by “Doctor Who’s” simulcast. “I want to have simultaneous transmission in America and Britain,” says Fellowes. “The difficulty that we have is that people are discussing the series as it happens online before America’s seen it and on the internet we’re all in the same company. It’s madness.”

“America’s Got Talent” returns to 11.9 million viewers, “The Night Shift” has a decent debut
“AGT” was down only a tenth from last year’s premiere, while NBC’s new medical drama attracted 7.8 million viewers.

LeVar Burton launches a Kickstarter to revive “Reading Rainbow” for the web
Burton says a web-based “Reading Rainbow” would be able to reach more of the world’s children.

“Big Bang,” “The Good Wife” among the Critics’ Choice TV Awards nomination leaders
“The Normal Heart,” “Fargo” and “Masters of Sex” also each scored five nominations.

Amy Poehler reveals the cover of her new book
"Yes Please” is due out Oct. 28.

RIP Maya Angelou: Watch her “SNL” prank show
Maya Rudolph starred in “Maya Angelou’s Prank Show.”

NBC recycles a past “Last Comic Standing” comedian on “America’s Got Talent”
Dan Naturman competed on Season 2 of “Last Comic" a decade ago, and now he’s competing on Season 9 of “America’s Got Talent.”

Meet the new “Real Housewives of New Jersey”
Amber Marchese, Nicole Mauriello and Teresa Aprea are replacing Caroline Manzo and Jacqueline Laurita.

Scott Wolf’s family becomes a Party of 5
The “Perception” star and his “Real World: New Orleans” alum wife Kelley welcomed their third child, a daughter, who joins two older brothers.

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<p>&quot;Orange Is the New Black.&quot;</p>

"Orange Is the New Black."

Credit: Netflix

Are you ready for the summer? (2014 edition)

Changing things up a bit with this summer's regular features

The broadcast network TV season officially ended a week ago, but there's still a healthy amount of new product on the air, whether things the networks actually care about ("24: Live Another Day") or things they're burning off in the slower summer months ("The Night Shift").

Starting in 2007 on the old blog, I began using summer as an excuse to revisit older series — or older seasons of series I had starting blogging about midway through — including, among others, "Freaks and Geeks," "Band of Brothers" and, more recently, early seasons of "The Wire" (here and here) and "Deadwood."

As the summer season approached, I spent a lot of time wondering what show to rewind this year. "The Sopranos" season 1 seemed an obvious choice, as did "Six Feet Under" season 1, and I briefly pondered doing "Lost" season 1 (since my blog began early in the second season). Ultimately, though, I decided I needed a break from the various shows (and kinds of shows) in "The Revolution Was Televised," and I also realized that between all the upcoming summer shows on cable and the fact that press tour and Comic-Con will be keeping me busy for nearly all of July, I needed to try something different just to make things manageable.

So we're going to have two different experiments this summer, and we'll see how they work out:

1)After Netflix releases all of "Orange Is the New Black" season 2 on June 6, I'm going to attempt to do periodic reviews (maybe weekly, maybe not; it'll all depend on my schedule), going two episodes at a time, then dealing with the finale on its own. Hopefully, I'll have time to have the first of those reviews ready to run sometime on June 6th (the season's first two episodes complement each other nicely), and we'll see how this works. "Orange" is my favorite of the Netflix originals, and it's also premiering in a slower period which makes trying something like this feasible, but I have no idea if the bulk of you are just going to marathon the whole thing the first weekend, then get impatient at the rate of the reviews, start getting into arguments in the comments about what is and isn't a spoiler, etc. But I wanted to try it, just to see what kind of discussion happens when we're all on our own schedules with a show.

2)Borrowing an idea from the podcast, where Dan and I spent last summer revisiting pilot episodes of classic series, I'm going to do periodic revisits of great sitcom episodes, of both relatively recent vintage and going all the way back to at least the '70s, and maybe even into the days of black-and-white TV. We'll be talking about what makes these episodes work, but also about whether they all hold up in the summer of 2014 (I haven't watched "Chuckles Bites the Dust" in forever, for instance; does it still feel like an all-timer?). I'll be sticking to things that are easily streamable, and I'm aware that different people have subscriptions to different services, but I will do the best I can on that front. Some weeks we'll do one episode of a show, some weeks we'll do two if there's either a two-parter or some kind of thematic link, and some weeks we won't do any at all because I'll be deep in the weeds in California. But I'll always tell you what the next homework assignment is and roughly when to expect to discuss it, and we'll start out with a pair of "NewsRadio" episodes that are both available on Hulu (and without requiring a Hulu+ subscription, though you will have to watch them on a computer and not on another device): "The Public Domain" and "Super Karate Monkey Death Car." These aired back to back in the show's fourth season; the latter features the show's single best joke, while the former is maybe my favorite overall episode (it's that or "Arcade," which unfortunately isn't streaming anywhere at the moment). We'll hit some more famous shows later on, but we're starting here because this show's online availability is so erratic and ever-changing that I wanted to discuss Jimmy James' book while it was still possible to do so. In theory, I'll have a post on that up next Wednesday or Thursday morning.

So that's the plan. Maybe next summer I'll do another vintage HBO show, or a British miniseries or something else, but this is what I was feeling right now, on top of whatever other current shows I wind up putting into the rotation for the summer. (I imagine "Masters of Sex" will be back there, for instance, but Sundays will be awfully tough with that, "The Strain," "The Leftovers," etc.)

Go forth and stream things, and we shall try to reconvene with our two summer TV clubs sometime next week.

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'Nashville’s' Hayden Panettiere is reportedly pregnant

“Nashville’s” Hayden Panettiere is reportedly pregnant
If her pregnancy with fiance Wladimir Klitschko is true, will Juliette Barnes also become pregnant?

Study: “Grey’s Anatomy” is turning people against organ donation
Researchers at Purdue University and the University of Illinois have released a study on “Grey’s” finding that “the majority of organ donation coverage on this program depicts doctors as vultures, eager to transplant organs from their patients.”

“America’s Got Talent” judges called security on Nick Cannon, who was auditioning in disguise
The judges had no idea that the angry mime who was rejected was their host.

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<p>Brendon &amp; Rachel of &quot;The Amazing Race: All-Stars&quot;</p>

Brendon & Rachel of "The Amazing Race: All-Stars"

Credit: CBS

Interview: Brendon & Rachel talk 'The Amazing Race: All-Stars'

'Big Brother' veterans were expecting more from an All-Stars finale

Does anybody still remember the "Amazing Race: All-Stars" finale? 

My apologies.

I'm apologizing both for how long it took me to get to these exit interviews -- Last week was a bear -- but really I'm apologizing because you still remember what was almost certainly the dullest finale in the 24-season history of the Emmy-winning juggernaut. 

Brendon & Rachel probably haven't forgotten the finale. That's because they made it all the way to the last Leg of "The Amazing Race" for the second time and, once again, finished in third. And this time, they didn't really do anything wrong. They got a bad cab driver. Yes, they got a little bit lost wandering around the Mirage in Las Vegas, but they were already behind the other two teams entirely because of their cabbie in a Leg that didn't feature a single challenge that allowed teams to wreath themselves in any glory at all.

Had they won, Brendon & Rachel would have been celebrated by their cadre of passionate fans and lambasted by their equally passionate cadre of haters, a polarization that should have been static after two seasons of "Big Brother" and a previous season of "Amazing Race." But I'll admit it: I kinda rooted for the entity known as Brenchel this season. They were kind to Margie & Luke when they had no reason to be kind. Rachel kept her bawling to a relative minimum. And in the controversy of U-Turn-Gate, I took Brendon & Rachel's side, because... Why not?

This was a filibustering interview, which shouldn't be a surprise, so there were a few questions I didn't get to ask that were on my list. That happened a lot with my finale-week reality interviews. This must have been The Spring of the Chatty Reality Competitor.

Still, Rachel & Brendon have things to say about the lame closing Leg, the disappointing All-Stars competition, their reality TV future and stay tuned for at least one vintage Rachel over-share towards the end...

Click through for the full Q&A...

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Review: Seth MacFarlane's 'Million Ways To Die In The West' is too many different films at once
Credit: Universal Studios

Review: Seth MacFarlane's 'Million Ways To Die In The West' is too many different films at once

But Charlize Theron gives it everything she's got and almost pulls it off

First, before we go any further, let's take "Blazing Saddles" out of this conversation, okay? It's not even worth bringing it in. "Blazing Saddles" is one of the finest comedies ever made. "A Million Ways To Die In The West" belongs in the same conversation as movies like "The Villain" or "Rustler's Rhapsody," a conversation about innocuous and uneven Western comedies. That's a fair conversation. That's a weight class where you can make comparisons and contrasts and there's some sort of common ground. But "Blazing Saddles"? Don't be silly.

"Ted" was a surprise to many people who bet against the idea of Seth MacFarlane making the jump to a successful big-screen movie. I think he set himself a much more difficult task this time out, but it seems like it was inevitable. After all, he is one of the primary performers on "Family Guy" and he's the voice of "Ted" and why wouldn't he eventually star in one of his films? After all, he's the co-writer, co-producer, and director of the movie. This is as much his voice as a film can be, so starring in it is the next logical step, right?

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Tori Spelling

Tori Spelling

'True Tori': Was the whole series fake or more real than intended?

In a world of scripted reality TV, is this real or more of the same?

In "True Tori," Tori Spelling and her husband Dean McDermott allegedly tried to do something different -- a reality television show about their marriage that stripped away the celebrity veneer and explored the gritty aftermath of McDermott's adulterous affair while filming the first season of "Chopped Canada" in Toronto. I use the word "allegedly" because, depending on who you talk to or what you read, it's either exactly what it seems or it's as scripted as a very special episode of "The Big Bang Theory."

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<p>Key &amp; Peele on &quot;Fargo.&quot;</p>

Key & Peele on "Fargo."

Credit: FX

Review: 'Fargo' - 'Who Shaves the Barber?'

Lester's trap is sprung, Malvo seeks revenge, and Key & Peele join the FBI

A review of tonight's "Fargo" coming up just as soon as that's the wrong part of the sentence to be focusing on...

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"The Real Housewives of New York City"

"The Real Housewives of New York City"

Credit: Bravo

'Real Housewives of New York City': It's a doggy funeral for Sonja

George could use some house training, too

It should be noted that the over-the-top doggie funeral at the end of this week's episode of "The Real Housewives of New York City" was probably the sanest moment in the whole show. At least no one was flinging booze or pulling hair or talking about oral sex. Yes, it was that kind of episode. Needless to say, George was involved.

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CBS yanks canceled comedies 'Bad Teacher' and 'Friends With Better Lives'

CBS yanks canceled comedies “Bad Teacher” and “Friends With Better Lives”
There are no plans to air the remaining episodes of both midseason shows.

E! passes on “Songbird” starring Bethany Joy Lenz and Rumer Willis
The music-themed drama from Craig Zadan and Neil Meron was loosely inspired by Diane Warren, with Lenz playing a singer-songwriter.

Don Johnson: I’ve written a college football TV script set in the ‘80s
"It’s called ‘Score' and it’s set in the ’80s,” says Johnson, "and it’s about the rise of big-time college football. I play this outrageous fucking coach who breaks all the rules and recruits basically criminals and everybody else and shoots the finger (extends middle finger in my direction) to the NCAA.

“Veep’s” Reid Scott set to lobby on Capitol Hill
He’ll speak with lawmakers on Thursday to convince the White House to reconsider using seismic air guns when exploring for oil and gas deposits in the Atlantic Ocean.

“Doctor Who” won’t get a female doctor for “political” reasons
A female Doctor will happen, says Steven Moffat, when the perfect female actress pops up in the showrunner’s head. You don’t mess with casting, says Moffat, "you don't cast for any other reason than for passion and for aesthetics. It's not a political decision, it's an aesthetic decision and will always be.”

For $350, you can binge-watch “Orange is the New Black” in a posh hotel
The Hotel Rouge in Washington, D.C. is offering a special room with a 50-inch TV that could be rented as you and your friends binge-watch the new season. For $500, they’ll add catering.

“Parks and Rec” is hoping Bill Murray “crashes the set” next season
Exec producer Michael Schur is trying to find inspiration in Murray crashing a bachelor party.

Rebellious teens are getting a reality show
The producers of “Real housewives” are seeking boys and girls ages 13 to 18 for “My Teen Life,” which follows teens who make their own rules and “party like a rock star.”

Robert De Niro made his documentary about his gay father not intending it to be for HBO
“I felt I had to,” he tells Out magazine. "I felt obligated. It was my responsibility to make a documentary about him. It was not intended to be on HBO. It was just something I wanted to do.”

WEtv creates a fake 'Society for the Prevention of Celebrity Divorce” ad campaign
The guerilla campaign throughout L.A. was aimed at promoting "Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars."

 Robert Morse initially wasn’t keen on "Mad Men's" song-and-dance number
"I was concerned, because I didn't want it to be Bobby Morse from 'How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying’ or any of the other musicals I did on stage,” he says, adding: "I was afraid that it would just look like something else entirely; I didn't want it to take you out of the show, you know? But then Matt (Weiner) said, 'No, no…it's going to serve to emphasize the episode's message.’”

Louisiana Tech students, faculty protest the university honoring Phil Robertson
The “Duck Dynasty” star was honored with the Tower Medallion, presented by the school’s alumni at commencement.

“The Flash’s” dad revealed
John Wesley Shipp has been tapped to play Henry, Barry Allen’s father.

“Game of Thrones’” Pedro Pascal says he’s responsible for Oberyn’s accent
He also reveals in a Reddit AMA that "Sansa Stark” is the funniest person on set and that his first scene he filmed was in Tyrion’s cell.

Melora Hardin joins Amazon’s “Transparent”
“The Office” alum will join Gaby Hoffman and Jeffrey Tambor about the family dynamics of three adult siblings.

Jim Nabors says goodbye to the Indy 500
The former “Gomer Pyle” star ended his tradition of singing "Back Home Again In Indiana” this year, prompting sadness from some Indianapolis 500 fans.

BBC was once concerned that David Tennant and Benedict Cumberbatch weren’t sexy enough
That was “Sherlock” and “Doctor Who” boss Steven Moffat’s recollection: "They said of casting David Tennant as Casanova, 'Damn, you should have cast someone sexier'. With Benedict Cumberbatch, we were told the same thing. 'You promised us a sexy Sherlock, not him.'"

Why name Wil Wheaton’s new Syfy show "The Wil Wheaton Project”?
“We couldn't come up with another name,” Wheaton says of his “The Soup” for nerds. "We had been calling it 'The Untitled Wil Wheaton Project' because we couldn't come up with a name. All the names we kept coming up with were stupid. They were too on-the-nose or too precious or too cute.”

Is reality TV dying?
The number of scripted broadcast shows is up 20% next season over last season.

“Jeopardy!’s” Arthur Chu was rejected by TBS’ “King of the Nerds”
Chu writes about being a nerd in the aftermath of the Elliot Rodger killings and the “#YesAllWomen’ hashtag.

Kerr Smith joins “The Fosters”
The “Dawson’s Creek” alum will play Callie’s biological dad.

Howard Stern: Embracing oddballs will keep “America’s Got Talent” from falling in ratings
“You do get the loveable kook who could break through,” he says as the 9th season launches.

Esquire Network hopes to grab guys with “Movies to Live By”
Each week starting June 5 with “All the President’s Men,” a movie will be shown that "men need to know to get through life."

Report: Lance Bass is being used to convince Lisa Vanderpump not to quit “Real Housewives”
The former 'N Sync star is Andy Cohen’s “secret weapon” in his attempt to get Vanderpump to return to the Bravo reality show.

NBC’s “The Night Shift” seems to working off a checklist of medical show cliches
TV’s newest medical drama, says Brian Lowry, "feels aimed at those who might have found 'Chicago Fire' too intellectually demanding. NBC is introducing the show amid a barrage of scripted summer fare, and stranger things have worked (especially with the more lenient requirements of the postseason), but for all the creative pulse that’s on display here, the network could just as easily have rerun a discarded series from the 1990s and labeled it 'New to You.’” PLUS: It’s bland and cliched, and it’s just like light beach reading.

Watch the trailer for A&E’s country rapper reality show “Big Smo”
Meet the king of “hick-hop."

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Credit: ABC

DVR Gridlock 2014-15: Tuesday Nights

What will the 'S.H.I.E.L.D.' move, 'Flash' premiere and 'NCIS' continuation mean?

[As is my recent tradition, over the next six days, I'm going to be glancing, night-by-night, at how the primetime schedules have changed after the network announcements at upfronts. I'll be looking at how the various changes will impact the ratings races on each night, as well as my own DVRing habits. Readers can chime in on how their own DVRs will be impacted. And yes, this brief series assumes that anybody still watches TV on their TVs. I'm old-fashioned. It also assumes that you/I only have a dual tuner DVR (plus occasional access to a Slingbox on ET. Check out last year's DVR Gridlock installments and the DVR Gridlock segments for 2012.]


8:00 p.m. 
ABC: "Selfie," "Manhattan Love Story"
The CW: "The Flash"
FOX: "Utopia"
NBC: "The Voice"

9:00 p.m.
ABC: "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D."
CBS: "NCIS: New Orleans"
The CW: "Supernatural"
FOX: "New Girl," "The Mindy Project"
NBC: "Marry Me," "About a Boy"

10:00 p.m. 
ABC: "Forever"
CBS: "Person of Interest"
NBC: "Chicago Fire"

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'Boardwalk Empire’s' Charlie Cox will play 'Daredevil' on Netflix

“Boardwalk Empire’s” Charlie Cox will play "Daredevil” on Netflix
Cox will play Matt Murdock, the blind lawyer-turned-crime-fighter in the drama from Marvel.

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