Watching Barbara Walters' final episode of "The View" was a little poignant, though not as much of a tearjerker as I thought it might be. I was too distracted by the returning 11 co-hosts taking the stage. Did anyone else notice that insincere air kiss Star Jones gave Barbara? Did Debbie Matenopoulos seem a little desperate for attention that Barbara didn't seem all that eager to give? Given the contentious nature of some of the "friendships" on the show, as well as the less-than-amicable exits, it was tempting to look for subtext even as Walters insisted she loved each and every one of the women sharing the stage with her.
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The craziness of upfronts week means that the Firewall & Iceberg podcast winds up on Thursday, but it's a good one, as Dan and I break down the CBS and CW fall schedules, discuss the strengths and weaknesses displayed in the "Agents of SHIELD" and "Arrow" finales, and try to unpack a very weird episode of "Mad Men." For those playing at home, this is the Amanda Waller comic book pic I show Dan, and you're probably better off not seeing the Kat McPhee Photoshopped pic that causes Dan such anguish. (Though it exists in the Twitter-sphere.)
There's also now a complete archive of all the podcasts to date.
Happy Thursday, Boys & Girls!
At least to some degree, we've survived Upfronts Week, so it's time for another installment of The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast.
After discussing the NBC, FOX and ABC upfronts in our video show on Tuesday, we cover CBS and The CW here. We also talked about Tuesday's "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." finale, Wednesday's "Arrow" finale and last Sunday's episode of "Mad Men."
Lots to discuss. Next week might be a tiny bit lighter, though, so we always welcome emails to FirewallIceberg@HitFix.com.
Here's today's breakdown:
CBS Upfront (00:00:30 - 00:19:05)
CW Upfront (00:19:05 - 00:27:40)
"Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." finale (00:28:10 - 00:45:50)
"Arrow" finale (00:45:50 - 01:03:05)
"Mad Men" (01:03:05 - 01:26:40)
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.
Of course, the stars of "My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding" (Thurs. at 9:00 p.m. ET on TLC) always keep it classy, and this exclusive clip is no different. It's hard to know who's right -- if Lacy has Alyssa "whipped" or vice versa -- but I'm guessing there's going to be an enormous fight when Lacy discovers the woman he wants to stay at home scrubbing his underwear is rubbing up against a male stripper in a seedy hotel room. Ah, romance!
By far, the press released that was sent out today by Alcon Entertainment is one of the strangest I've ever seen.
"Warner Bros-based Alcon Entertainment… has an offer out to Harrison Ford to reprise his celebrated role of Rick Deckard in its Ridley Scott-directed sequel to 'Blade Runner."
There's more in the release about the script by Hampton Fancher and Michael Green and how excited the producers are and how important it is for Harrison to return to the role, but I'm still just trying to wrap my head around the idea of sending out an official statement to the press to celebrate the idea that you made an offer to an actor.
The CW has released their extended trailer for the new fall show "The Flash" (viewers of "Arrow" got a sneak peek last night), and judging from these five minutes, things are looking good. Here are six reasons why you might want to tune in even if you're not a comic book superhero fan.
St. Louis Rams won’t be part of OWN’s Michael Sam documentary
The agent for the NFL’s first openly gay player, Michael Weiss, says the filmmakers never asked the Rams for permission to film at their facility because “we wouldn't put the Rams in that position.” He adds: "OWN's cameras would never be able to go to the Rams' facility to be inside the locker room, to get on the field, because nobody has those rights besides the NFL."
“Grey’s Anatomy” alum T.R. Knight joins Amazon’s “Hysteria” pilot
He’ll play the brother of Mena Suvari, who stars as a socially awkward psychiatrist/neurologist who investigates a girls’ high school technology epidemic.
Nielsen: Nearly 50% of all TV viewing comes from the heaviest 20% of TV viewers
According to Nielsen, a “heavy” viewer watches 705 minutes of television a day, or nearly 12 hours.
The Coen Brothers told FX's “Fargo” boss: "Look, we don't know television. It's your show -- just go make it”
Their only concern was the characters’ Minnesota accents, recalls exec producer Noah Hawley. "They read the first script, liked it, suggested a few lines and jokes, but that was the sum total of their creative involvement,” he says, adding that Ethan Coen’s reaction to the pilot was “yeah, good.” PLUS: Oliver Platt says of his “Fargo” role: "What Billy’s doing really smartly is, he’s riding the plot horse."
Jeff Probst: “Survivor” is changing things up for its 1st Wednesday finale since Season 1
"To start with,” he says, "I’ll be live from the beginning of the two-hour finale. I’ll also be live at the end of every act. I’ll be interacting via social media @jeffprobst with fans at home and in the audience. We’re endeavoring to make this more of a shared event rather than a passive viewing experience. I’m excited.”
Former “Scandal” star Columbus Short pleads not guilty to felony battery
The actor was arraigned this morning for felony battery in a club beating that seriously injured a man.
Is “Catfish” becoming contrived?
The MTV series may be affected by reality self-awareness.
Watch all 11 of “The View” co-hosts reunite
"This is a huge deal,” Whoopi Goldberg said of Barbara Walters, "because I think that you don't remember what you've done. You've done so many things and I don't think you really get how large this is, so we want to make sure you know it.” PLUS: What you didn’t see on TV.
"Orange is the New Black" promotes "Black Cindy"
Adrienne C. Moore becomes a series regular next season.
See the “Real Housewives of New Jersey” Season 6 trailer — with the Giudice indictment
Much of next season will revolve around Teresa and Joe’s 41-count federal fraud indictment.
“Devious Maids” book Gilles Marini
The “Switched at Birth” star and “Dancing” alum will appear in the season finale as possibly Roselyn Sanchez’s new love interest.
Dave Grohl is taking his “Sound City” concept onto the road. The release of Foo Fighters’ eighth album, and the band’s 20th anniversary, will be accompanied by an 8-part HBO series that chronicles the creation of the record and salutes the eight studios and cities in which it was created.
The Foos recorded one song each in a well-known studio in Chicago, Austin, Nashville, Los Angeles, Seattle, New Orleans, Washington, D.C., and New York. In addition to documenting the recording, in which notable local musicians joined in, each episode celebrates that town’s musical history and traces the influence the city had on the local legend sitting in with the band. HBO isn’t saying who the guests are. However, Buddy Guy is quoted in the press release, so we can count him in for Chicago.
Just as Foo Fighters switched it up and recorded 2010’s “Wasted Light” on all analog equipment in Grohl’s garage, they challenged themselves again with the new, still-untitled, album: Grohl did not write the lyrics until the last day in the studio in each city so as to absorb the local experience into the words, according to a statement.
The series will run in the fall in conjunction with the album’s release. No specific date for either has been announced.
CW boss: We’re no longer “the 'Gossip Girl' network”
CW is betting on having two superhero series, including “The Flash,” will help lure more men.
Watch CW’s new show trailers
Here’s an extended version of “The Flash” trailer, plus “Jane the Virgin.”
See all 11 past and present “The View” co-hosts together in 1 photo
"The View" alums returned today to honor the retiring Barbara Walters.
Why CW renewed “Beauty and the Beast” over the more higher-rated “Tomorrow People”
“Tomorrow People,” says CW chief Mark Pedowitz, “just didn’t have the same level of social engagement or digital that 'Beauty And The Beast’ had.” PLUS: “The Flash” pilot has an “Arrow” crossover, and CW may try another “Supernatural” spinoff.
Letterman tells Barbara Walters he regrets making fun of Monica Lewinsky
Lewinsky, he says, was “just a kid” during her affair with President Clinton. PLUS: Walters and Letterman make a "suicide pact."
“Arrow” promotes John Barrowman
He’ll become a series regular next season.
Tina Fey predicts Ellen DeGeneres will become the 1st female late-night host
Why? “Because she’s already wearing jackets,” she tells Seth Meyers.
“Criminal Minds” was last night’s most-watched show, “Nashville” finale was down 32% from last year
The 9th season-ender for “Criminal Minds” was only down 4% from last season.
Which “Clueless” star is joining Fox News?
Stacey Dash, who made headlines for endorsing Mitt Romney for president, is set to become a Fox News contributor.
“Idol” gets a bump for its 500th episode
“American Idol” saw its ratings rise 24% last night.
“Criminal Minds” boss explains the season finale surprise
Will there be a replacement?
See more “Orange is the New Black” character posters
From “Screw You” to “Squat & Coif."
Check out Steve Buscemi’s AOL “Park Bench” talk show
Episode 1 features an interview with Chris Rock.
Why “Nashville” did a more emotional finale this year
Creator Callie Khouri also tells what lessons she learned from Season 2.
Bob Odenkirk may come out with his 1st comedy album
"Bob Odenkirk – Amateur Hour” promises to contain "all the material he can print out or remember."
Watch George R.R. Martin on “Robot Chicken”
He voices a version of himself in “The Nerds” spoof on the Adult Swim series.
Jimmy Fallon transforms Lance Bass into a singing bass
Check out Big Mouth Lance Bass.
Fast National ratings for Wednesday, May 14, 2014.
The "Criminal Minds" season finale got a big week-to-week bump for CBS, helping the network hold off FOX, with a boosted "American Idol," on Wednesday night.
There were actually lots of shows getting end-of-season -- finale or pre-finale -- bumps on Wednesday night.
ABC's comedies were all up on Wednesday, as was the "Nashville" season finale. "Chicago PD" rose for NBC. And the "Arrow" finale gave The CW a little bump as well.
On to the numbers...
It's too early still for me to get into the blindfolded business of early awards-season projections, but I will share one hunch that I've had since January: that the redoubtable Brendan Gleeson will sneak a dark-horse Best Actor nod for his sensational performance in John Michael McDonagh's "Calvary." The very black ecclesiastical comedy, starring Gleeson as a rural Irish priest faced with an anonymous death threat from one of his parishioners, was a major critical hit at the Sundance Film Festival, and got further glowing reviews when it opened in the UK last month.