Latest Blog Posts

<p>Chris Messina and Mindy Kaling on Tuesday&#39;s &quot;The Mindy Project&quot;</p>

Chris Messina and Mindy Kaling on Tuesday's "The Mindy Project"

TV Ratings: 'NCIS' leads CBS Tuesday, 'Supernatural' rises and 'Mindy' tops 'New Girl'

'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' is up, 'Glee' is down

Fast National ratings for Tuesday, April 29, 2014.

With "NCIS" routing "The Voice" overall and closing the gap among young viewers to a minuscule 0.2 rating, CBS commandingly won Tuesday in total viewers and was able to eke out a victory in the key demo.

There were mixed returns all around on Tuesday night.

On the positive side, ABC got demo rises for "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." and "The Goldbergs," "Person of Interest" grew on CBS and NBC saw a bump for "Chicago Fire." The CW also got a good week for the nested "Supernatural" spinoff and also for "The Originals."

On the down side, NBC's "About a Boy" slipped and FOX's "Glee" hit a series low.

And on the neither-good-nor-bad-but-different front, FOX's "The Mindy Project" improved on its "New Girl" lead-in both overall and among young viewers.

On to the numbers.

Read Full Post
Alice Braga and Gael Garcia Bernal in "The Ardor."
Alice Braga and Gael Garcia Bernal in "The Ardor."
Credit: Cannes Film Festival

Six films added to Cannes lineup, with Gael García Bernal and Catherine Deneuve on the bill

But the Competition remains fixed at 18 features

It's customary for a few films to be added to the Cannes Film Festival lineup in the weeks following the initial announcement, raising cinephiles' hopes for whatever big-name prospect was left out to begin with -- and usually dashing them. A further six films were added today, the highest-profile of which is another French title: André Téchiné's "In the Name of My Daughter," starring Guillaume Canet and Catherine Deneuve. None of them, however, will play in Competition, which remains fixed at 18 features -- currently the lowest number since the 1990 festival.

Read Full Post

Jerry Seinfeld’s 'Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee' will reach a 9th season

Jerry Seinfeld’s “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” will reach a 9th season
Crackle has ordered four more seasons of the web series, on top of the unaired 4th and 5th season.

Tricia Helfer returning to Syfy to star in “Ascension” event series
The "Battlestar Galactica” alum will board a different starship playing the character of Viondra Denniger.

Syfy developing “Pax Romana” and “The Magicians"
They’re based on, respectively, the Jonathan Hickman graphic novels and Lev Grossman’s popular fantasy novels. PLUS: Syfy picks up adventure series “Killjoys."

Syfy teaming with “The Walking Dead’s” Robert Kirkman on “Clone”
The government conspiracy drama is based on the graphic novel.

Yvonne Strahovski to guest on “Louie”
The “Chuck” alum, who’s wrapping up filming “24: Live Another Day,” is shown in a promo driving Louis CK.

“Jeopardy!’s” Arthur Chu shed a lot of weight after being the butt of Twitter fat jokes
Check out his workout selfie.

Giancarlo Esposito receives a Hollywood Walk of Fame star
Watch the “Breaking Bad” alum and “Revolution” star’s uplifting speech.

“Supernatural” spinoff: What a mess!
“Bloodlines” makes a mockery of the original show, while also maintaining its horrible treatment of women. PLUS: “Supernatural” gets a small boost from spinoff.

Seth Meyers appears in a White House PSA to curb sexual assaults
Vice President Biden also enlisted Dulé Hill, Steve Carell and Benicio Del Toro for the public service announcements. PLUS: Watch Meyers roast the Time 100.

TLC renews “My Five Wives”
The polygamy reality show will be back for at least eight more episodes.

See “Parks and Rec’s” Nick Offerman as a young man, dressed as a hula girl
“Ron Swanson” used to look totally different.

Diane Keaton plays wine pong with Jimmy Fallon
"Can I try mine first just to see," she asked about taking a swig of her wine. "I want to make sure I'm getting the red wine."

Read Full Post
<p>Michael Gill, Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright in &quot;House of Cards.&quot;</p>

Michael Gill, Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright in "House of Cards."

Credit: Netflix

'House of Cards' season 2 in review: It gets weaker the more you watch

A ridiculous political potboiler that takes itself too seriously

The binge-viewing model that streaming video makes possible can work wonders with the right show. If you've never seen "Breaking Bad" or "The Wire" or "Boardwalk Empire" before and can plow through entire seasons in a weekend, the experience can in many ways be even better than if you had watched them weekly in real time when they first aired. Stories fit together more neatly, characters are easier to keep track of, themes and subtext become richer and more apparent.

Then there are the shows for which the binge is not their friend — where the more you watch of them in short order, the more glaring their flaws become and the less exciting their strengths seem. Ironically, one of those shows is the flagship creation of the leader in streaming video: Netflix's "House of Cards," where the more I've watched — and the closer together I've watched it — the lower my opinion of it has gone.

Read Full Post
Bob Hoskins in "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?"
Bob Hoskins in "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?"
Credit: Touchstone Pictures

Oscar-nominated British actor Bob Hoskins passes away at 71

The 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit?' star died in hospital of pneumonia

I'm hugely saddened to report that Oscar-nominated British actor Bob Hoskins -- the quintessential Cockney gent of latter-day cinema -- has passed away. Aged 71, he died in hospital following a bout of pneumonia.

Read Full Post
<p>When the primary image of your strongest female character looks like an outtake from a &#39;Penthouse&#39; photo spread, maybe it&#39;s time to have a chat about gender politics.</p>

When the primary image of your strongest female character looks like an outtake from a 'Penthouse' photo spread, maybe it's time to have a chat about gender politics.

Credit: 20th Century Fox/Lucasfilm Ltd.

Gender politics and the casting of 'Star Wars'

As rumors break of more casting to come, online emotion runs high

Two weeks ago, I was at WonderCon, and I got to spend a bit of time with one of my favorite people. She's got a ten-year-old daughter who is a nascent geek, and we talked a bit about her very mixed feelings about the iconography that her daughter is dealing with as she finds her way through pop culture right now.

I was struck by one story in particular. Her daughter's favorite character right now is the Black Widow, and my friend wanted to buy some original art for her daughter. Every single image she found, though, was exactly the sort of over-the-top cheesecake shot that you'd expect. No matter what pose they had her in, the emphasis was firmly on both boobs and butt, and my friend ended up so irritated that she had to finally commission an artist to draw the character with her shirt completely buttoned up.

Even so, there was a photo she took at WonderCon of her daughter standing with a cosplayer dressed as Black Widow, and that sheer geek joy that I remember so vividly from my own younger years and that I see on the faces of my own kids is just radiating off of her daughter in the image. To her, Black Widow is a hero, pure and simple, and all of the larger conversations about representation and exploitation don't factor in for her. To that little girl, she looks at Black Widow, and she sees someone who stands side-by-side with Captain America, someone who is strong and funny and capable, and that is incredibly important for every young person. It is important that kids (and adults, for that matter) be able to look at pop culture and see some reflection of who they are and where they're from, and for them to see that there is a place in this larger world where they will fit, no matter what it is that they want to do.

Read Full Post
May 2014 TV Events We're Looking Forward To - Finales, Premieres & More

May 2014 TV Events We're Looking Forward To - Finales, Premieres & More

Which 15 May TV events are we most anticipating this month?

One of the questions we frequently get asked on Firewall & Iceberg is "Do Sweeps Periods Still Matter?" and the answer we always give is, "Kinda." They're not the almighty forces they once were, but they still matter.

Case-in-point? May Sweeps 2014! How many of your favorite shows have already ended for the season? "Community"! "Parks and Recreation"! "Scandal"! "Parenthood"! They're all done. 

However, May still marks the end of the Official Nielsen 2013-2014 Season and it marks the start of the summer programming season, so between May 1 and May 31, there's a lot of programming we're looking forward to, whether it's a TV milestone like Baba Wawa's retirement, a big plot point on a favorite show like Christina's departure from "Grey's Anatomy," an movie event like HBO's "Normal Heart" or NBC's "Rosemary's Baby" or a new series premiere like "Penny Dreadful" on cable or "Gang Related" on FOX.

Here are 15 things we're looking forward to watching on TV in May and our feeble rationales. You're probably looking forward to 15 totally different things. There's too much TV.

What are you looking forward to?

Read Full Post
"The Real Housewives of New York City"

"The Real Housewives of New York City"

Credit: Bravo

'Real Housewives of New York' recap: Who's worse - Sonja or Ramona?

Are you surprised Heather is being sued?

Has anyone ever been institutionalized on any of "The Real Housewives" shows? If not, I think the ideal candidate for that prestigious honor might be Sonja, who puts the batcrap in crazy. While she's always been, shall we say, a colorful character, this week she seems to be living in such a delusional state I'm thinking someone should keep an eye on her, lest she starts thinking the concept of gravity is just negative thinking, and if she burns the right candle and calls to her spirit animal she can fly off the top floor of her townhouse.

Read Full Post
<p>Allison Tolman as Molly in &quot;Fargo.&quot;</p>

Allison Tolman as Molly in "Fargo."

Credit: FX

Review: 'Fargo' - 'A Muddy Road'

Molly meets Gus, Lorne takes over a job, and Lester meets Mr. Wrench and Mr. Numbers

A review of tonight's "Fargo" coming up just as soon as I buy a zombie kit...

Read Full Post

Fox cancels 'Almost Human'

Fox cancels "Almost Human"
The sci-fi drama from J.J. Abrams starring Michael Ealy and Karl Urban won't get a 2nd season.

Read Full Post
<p>&quot;Almost Human&quot;</p>

"Almost Human"

Credit: FOX

FOX cancels 'Almost Human' after one season

Karl Urban, Michael Ealy and Minka Kelly starred

It will be 13-episodes-and-out for the FOX robot procedural "Almost Human."

News of the "Almost Human" cancellation first broke on Tuesday (April 29) evening on and HitFix can now confirm that the J.J. Abrams-produced drama will not be back next season, a victim either of lackluster ratings or of FOX's already-aggressive plans for next season.

Read Full Post
<p>Maria Hill comes out swinging in this week&#39;s &#39;Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.&#39;</p>

Maria Hill comes out swinging in this week's 'Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.'

Credit: ABC/Marvel Studios

Trust emerges as the theme of the season in the new episode of 'Agents Of SHIELD'

And honestly, Ward's got to die now, right?

While I think it's sometimes reductive to argue that anything that runs 23 hours over the course of a year is "about" any one thing, it seems like tonight's episode of "Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D." helped focus the overall theme of this season's arc. It seems fitting considering this a show about a top-secret military organiation that has suddenly lost face, because it seems like more than anything, this is a show about trust.

As soon as I saw "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," it was obvious that there were going to be major changes in the Marvel universe, and I wondered how they're going to retain the title of this series next year. Several people wrote me to say that there will be a magical re-set button and everything will be back to normal by the time the start of next year rolls around. I would argue that the start of tonight's episode makes it pretty clear that is not the case. Short of putting out a press release that says, "The start of next year is not just going to re-set everything to zero. We promise," I'm not sure what else the producers could do at this point to make it clear that they are shaking things up permanently.

Read Full Post