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<p>Dayton is on to the Elite 8. They&#39;re pleased.</p>

Dayton is on to the Elite 8. They're pleased.

Credit: AP

TV Ratings: NCAA Sweet 16 leads CBS Thursday, while 'Vampire Diaries' stumbles

'Surviving Jack' gets an OK sample after a weak 'Idol'

Fast National ratings for Thursday, March 27, 2014.

While still coming in far below the normal standards set by CBS' Thursday lineup, NCAA Sweet 16 coverage at least helped CBS win the night in all measures, though with live events it's hard to tell which of two games was a big draw, etc. 

It was yet another lackluster week for "American Idol," which dropped in viewers and was flat in the key demo, making it now nearly even with "Hell's Kitchen." "Idol" was a good enough lead-in to help "Surviving Jack" get FOX's biggest overall comedy audience since the Super Bowl, though the Chris Meloni show's demo numbers were on par with the network's normal Tuesday sitcom sluggishness. 

ABC's entire lineup was up in the key demo, including "Once Upon a Time in Wonderland," though the low ratings for that soon-to-end drama were the reason ABC didn't win the night. "Parenthood" also got a small bump with two hours of "Hollywood Game Night" outdrawing the network's usual comedies.

Meanwhile, The CW's "The Vampire Diaries" was significantly down from last week and only barely topped "Reign." I don't have an explanation for that, but it's a 36 percent drop and a new series low. 

On to the numbers...

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<p>Morgan Freeman and Johnny Depp introduce a preview of &quot;Transcendence&quot; at Warner Bros.&#39; panel at CinemaCon 2014.</p>

Morgan Freeman and Johnny Depp introduce a preview of "Transcendence" at Warner Bros.' panel at CinemaCon 2014.

Credit: Warner Bros.

'Godzilla,' 'Jupiter Ascending' and 'Horrible Bosses 2' win WB's CinemaCon sneak

Plus: A short preview of "The Hobbit: There and Back Again'

LAS VEGAS - Disney had the cache of Marvel and Pixar.  20th Century Fox might brought the showmanship and, arguably, the best slate of movies.  Warner Bros., who was the last studio to present to the nation's theater owners Thursday afternoon, brought the star power.

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<p>Arnold Schwarzenegger is back in action movie mode, but to very different ends, in the new crime-thriller &#39;Sabotage&#39;</p>

Arnold Schwarzenegger is back in action movie mode, but to very different ends, in the new crime-thriller 'Sabotage'

Credit: Open Road

Review: Schwarzenegger leads a rowdy ensemble in the crazy sleazy action film 'Sabotage'

The latest from director David Ayer is unabashedly mean and dirty

From the moment "Sabotage" begins, it's obvious that David Ayer has something nasty in mind, but it's only once you've settled in and spent some time with it that the truly sleazy heart of "Sabotage" becomes clear. This is a movie set in a world where everyone is a giant piece of garbage, and even the ostensible hero of the movie is a horrible person, corrupt and broken and incapable of recognizing justice, much less dispensing it.

Ayer took a Skip Woods action script and turned it into something more distasteful, and I mean that with all due affection. This feels like the '80s action films where established icons suddenly showed up in these genuinely dirty movies, graphic simply for the sake of being graphic. "10 To Midnight" and "Tightrope" are two films that immediately jumped to mind when I saw this, or Stallone's "Nighthawks" or "Cobra." In this, Schwarzenegger stars as John Wharton, a badass DEA officer who leads a badass DEA strike team. He's earned the nickname Breacher because of how many impossible places they've taken down, and he's managed to build himself this totally fearless and insane group of human weapons. When something happens to Breacher that tests his faith in the job he's given his life to, he proposes a payday to his crew, and they put together a plan to steal a pile of cartel cash during a raid.

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"The Vampire Diaries"

"The Vampire Diaries"

Credit: The CW

'The Vampire Diaries' recap: Can Damon and Elena just be friends?

Do you really think Delena are that bad for one another?

As many times as Elena tries to convince Damon (and us) that they're bad for one another, I still can't say I'm convinced. In this week's episode of "The Vampire Diaries," our tortured couple gets to play the bad parents at Jeremy's parent-teacher conference, which Elena takes far more seriously than seems entirely necessary. Jeremy, to his credit, defends his cheating, fighting and failing by pointing out he can't exactly raise his hand and tell the teacher, "Sorry I missed class today; we were under a doppleganger invasion."  Maybe not, but that's way better than the dog ate my homework, isn't it?

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<p>&quot;Mind Games&quot;</p>

"Mind Games"

Credit: ABC

ABC pulls 'Mind Games' for 'Celebrity Wife Swap'

Kyle Killen and Christian Slater may need to look to cable

It has been another short network TV run for Kyle Killen. 

On Thursday (March 27) afternoon, ABC pulled "Mind Games" effective immediately.

That's what happens when you draw 2.06 million viewers and do a 0.7 rating among adults 18-49. Those were the numbers for this past Tuesday's airing of "Mind Games" and they proved to much for ABC to bear, especially with plenty of inventory on the shelf.

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Stephen Colbert accused of racism over a tweet

Stephen Colbert accused of racism over a tweet
"The Colbert Report's" Twitter account used a line from Wednesday's show, in which Colbert mocked Asian stereotypes, out of context. "I am willing to show #Asian community I care by introducing the Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever,” read the tweet, which prompted cries of #CancelColbert before it was deleted. Even Stephen Colbert weighed in, tweeting: "#CancelColbert - I agree! Just saw @ColbertReport tweet. I share your rage. Who is that, though? I'm @StephenAtHome" PLUS: Comedy Central manages "The Colbert Report" Twitter account, not "The Colbert Report."

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Credit: ABC

'Scandal' recap: Forget the kids, what about Mellie?

The plot spins around a family interview, but the real action is elsewhere

This week's episode of "Scandal" revolved around Fitz and Mellie's lovely plot devices, I mean children, Karen and Jerry. I bet you forgot Fitz and Mellie even had kids other than little Teddy, didn't you? Well, I'd want to forget about Karen and Jerry, too, as they just seemed to pop up for the sole purpose of undermining Fitz's campaign and, by extension, making poor Olivia feel like the maid. Teenagers!

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<p>Tom and Matt Berninger</p>

Tom and Matt Berninger

Credit: HitFix

Matt Berninger on 'Mistaken for Strangers': The good and bad luck of The National

Frontman and filmmaker-brother Tom Berninger talk crying on film

LOS ANGELES - The new film "Mistaken for Strangers" featuring The National certainly has a lot of the band in it. But it's not about The National. It's much more about singer Matt Berninger and his brother Tom, and the measure of success, particularly among siblings.

The National is made up of Berninger plus two pairs of brothers, with Bryce and Aaron Dessner, and Scott and Bryan Devendorf. When Matt invited his brother Tom to become a roadie on The National's frequently sold-out world tour a couple years ago, "I wanted him to bring his camera to maybe make some videos or stuff for our website. He didn't even know he was gonna be making a feature film at that point," Matt told me in our HitFix interview. 

No, "Mistaken for Strangers" did not turn out to be "a slick, cool profile" but a summary of Tom's struggle with feeling aimless and struggling with his own self-identity next to his successful indie-rock brother. It was a question of "at what point did I go down the wrong path," Tom explained in his own words, "a look into who I've become, and who I have become is not so bad, and I just had to roll with it."

That "look" included some cringe- and tears-inducing moments -- for the brothers as well as for the audience. Interviews with the Berningers' parents; footage of Tom getting fired from the tour;  Matt's frustrations with his brother; heady moments from the stage and behind it all took place just prior to and during the recording of the band's 2013 album "Trouble Will Find Me."

"When I was finishing the movie on his band, I realized a better movie was not having the band in it that much," Tom explained about this "soul searching." After the film debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival last year, he got feedback that he wasn't alone in this family or creative dynamic.

For the The National, they too have had periods of drought that made them ask serious questions about "rolling with it."

"We got knocked down a bunch at the beginning," Berninger said, after explaining what he meant in "Strangers" by saying his band's had "good luck."  "We kept clinging to the positive things. You can let bad luck stop you, or you can just ignore it," advising that when only two people showed up to the shows, to play your heart out to them. "There days when there were none..."

Those sparse gigging days seem to be gone. The band has release six full-lengths, gone on a number of successful tours and diversified by sometimes working on solo projects, film scores, soundtrack spots and, well, have become a "Bob's Burgers" holiday staple. The last three full-lengths have all been released in May, three years apart, but Matt said he wouldn't be surprised if the follow-up to "High Violet" may take a little longer.

Watch the full interview with Matt and Tom Berninger above to learn more about The National's recording process and what the band didn't want out of Tom's documentary.

"Mistaken for Strangers" heads to theaters, VOD and iTunes tomorrow (March 28).

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<p>Christopher Meloni and Connor Buckley in &quot;Surviving Jack.&quot;</p>

Christopher Meloni and Connor Buckley in "Surviving Jack."

Credit: FOX

Series premiere talkback: 'Surviving Jack'

What did everybody think of the new FOX comedy?

I didn't publish a full review of FOX's "Surviving Jack," but I did offer a few thoughts on the show — specifically about the strength of Christopher Meloni's lead performance — at the start of the long Meloni interview I published the other day. Now it's your turn. For those who tuned in tonight, what did you think? How would you compare it to either "The Goldbergs," "Growing Up Fisher" or the previous attempt to make a sitcom about Justin Halpern's father, "Feces My Dad Says"? Did you enjoy the period references? Did you find Connor Buckley funny as the kid? And will you watch again?

Have at it.

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<p>Jena Irene shined on Wednesday&#39;s &quot;American Idol.&quot; She&#39;s not going home tonight.</p>

Jena Irene shined on Wednesday's "American Idol." She's not going home tonight.

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' Season 13 - Top 9 Results plus Janelle Monae performs

Tonight's results show is only a half-hour! 30 MINUTES!

After years of threatening and promising and hoping, "American Idol" will actually do a half-hour results show tonight.


And if "Surviving Jack" isn't a disaster -- it's quite likable, give it a shot! -- we should have half-hour results shows for several weeks to come.


Let's get down to business, because this is gonna be a fast one. [That's what she said.]

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ABC cancels 'Mind Games' starring Christian Slater

ABC cancels “Mind Games” starring Christian Slater
This is Slater’s 4th network TV cancelation since 2008. “Celebrity Wife Swap” will take over the Tuesday timeslot starting April 15.

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"Deadliest Catch"

"Deadliest Catch"

Credit: Discovery

Exclusive clip: A first glimpse of 'Deadliest Catch''s new season

Season 10 kicks off April 22, but get a taste now

Just as the weather is warming up in much of the U.S., it's time time to start gearing up for the frigid, dangerous waters of "Deadliest Catch." The 10th season of the show begins next month (Tues. April 22 at 9:00 p.m. ET), and this first look at what's ahead suggests more danger, familiar faces, and a government shutdown.

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