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Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 220

Dan and Alan also discuss the late-night host transition, TV crossovers and Greta Gerwig on 'How I Met Your Dad'


It's likely the last Monday Firewall & Iceberg podcast for a while, as I should be mobile enough to return to my office for the video shows starting next week. Next week will be busy enough that we'll need two different shows to fit in all the premieres, but this week is fairly mild, with a new CW soap, a pair of disappointing NBC comedies and some mail — plus Dan clarifying his position on Greta Gerwig and "How I Met Your Dad" — among the topics.

WARNING: I cough. A lot. Just a cold, and hopefully it goes away by next week.

The rundown: 

"Star-Crossed" (00:01:50 - 00:13:50)
"About a Boy" (00:14:15 - 00:27:00)
"Growing Up Fisher" (00:27:05 - 00:39:20)
Listener Mail: Late-Night transition and location (00:39:45 - 00:48:15)
Listener Mail: Crossovers (00:48:20 - 00:56:10)
Greta Gerwig and "How I Met Your Dad" (00:56:10 - 01:02:20)

As always, send questions to 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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Did NBC ask Bode Miller to defend the NBC reporter who badgered him?

Did NBC ask Bode Miller to defend the NBC reporter who badgered him?

The skier was put on "Today" this morning to effectively come to the defense of reporter Christin Cooper. PLUS: NBC's primetime Olympic engine backfired in that interview.

"HIMYM" got the "Inside the Actor's Studio" treatment last night
The entire cast taped last night with James Lipton.

Jimmy Fallon's Week 2 "Tonight show" lineup revealed: Fred Armisen, Mike Tyson, Reese Witherspoon

In addition to reuniting with former "SNL" castmate Armisen, Fallon will have a reunion with Drew Barrymore, who will be appearing with Adam Sandler. Paul Rudd, Denzel Washington, Cameron Diaz and Shaquille O'Neal will also appear next week.

Bob Costas won't be 100% when he returns tonight, asks viewers to put up with his red eyes
"I'm not 100 percent, that's for sure, but if I waited until I was 100 percent, the Olympics would be over," he said this morning in a phone call to "Today." "So if the audience can put up with still a little bit of red eyes hiding behind the glasses, then I can put up with it for the next week, too." PLUS: Winter Olympics ratings are slipping.

Conan wishes successors Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers congratulations

"As the only man alive who’s hosted The Tonight Show & Late Night, I want to congratulate @JimmyFallon & @SethMeyers. They’ll both do great!" Conan tweeted. To which Meyers responded: "An honor to follow in your footsteps! Also, I somehow locked myself in a janitor's closet. Send help?"

"Game of Thrones" gets revenge in new Season 3 trailer
The latest trailer is all about vengeance. PLUS: "Game of Thrones" wall recreated in London.

Netflix: Behind the scenes when "House of Cards" Season 2 was released

The Netflix "war room" contained tweets reacting to the new season live on the wall.

Matt Damon sends a "butt fax" to Jimmy Kimmel
Also sent to Ben Affleck.

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<p>American ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White</p>

American ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White

Credit: AP

TV Ratings: NBC rules Sunday despite Olympics fatigue

Sunday's skiing and skating were way below last week's numbers
Fast National ratings for Sunday, February 16, 2014.
NBC's coverage of the Winter Olympics from Sochi was down significantly from last Sunday, despite significantly less network competition, though the coverage was up from a sluggish Friday and Saturday.
Facing a combination of skiing and ice dancing, the other networks mostly punted on Sunday with "60 Minutes" the only non-repeat competition. 
There was ample competition of cable, of course, and it seems inevitable that AMC's "The Walking Dead" easily beat the Olympics overall, not that we'll know for sure for a few hours.
On to the numbers...
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<p>Beyonce and Jay-Z performing</p>

Beyonce and Jay-Z performing

Credit: Matt Sayles/Invision/AP

Does it take two to make it to No. 1? Co-ed collaborations are in

'Event records' rule the charts so far this year

Perhaps Rob Base and DJ EZ Rock were right: It takes two to make a thing go right.

It’s still early days, but for all of 2014, the No. 1 slot on the  Billboard Hot 100 has been ruled by co-ed collaborations instead of solo artists.

Eminem’s “The Monster,” featuring Rihanna, ushered in the New Year at No. 1, only to be replaced by Pitbull’s “Timber,” featuring Ke$ha, and, for the last three weeks, Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse,” featuring Juicy J.

Also residing comfortably in the top 10 are Beyonce and Jay Z’s “Drunk in Love,” “A Great Big World’s “Say Something,” featuring Christina Aguilera, and Jason Derulo’s “Talk Dirty,” featuring 2 Chainz.

Such pairings aren’t new—during Top 40’s most recent rhythmic-leaning phase that lasted from 2010 to 2012, it seemed like almost every pop song had a hip hop artist joining in for an obligatory rap verse or two—but a growing number of collaborations have been reaching the summit.

In 2013, only 3 of the 13 songs that topped the Billboard Hot 100 were collaborations. Last year, nearly half —five— of the 11 songs that reached No. 1 were pairings featuring artists who don’t normally record together. So far in 2014, it’s been every song.

Is this all a coincidence or have we now entered an era where it takes an “event” record to top the charts?

In almost all cases, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. A song featuring Pitbull and Ke$ha appeals to a both of the acts’ fans, increasing the reach for the song. With Eminem and Rihanna’s “The Monster,” fans get a sequel of sorts to “Love The Way You Lie,” the pair’s 20110 smash, and the labels get a strong marketing hook as they can push the reunited pair. Same with Beyonce and Jay Z’s “Drunk in Love.”

In some cases, such as last year’s No. 1, Pink’s “Just Give Me A Reason,” featuring fun.’s Nate Ruess, the narrative of the song needs two people to tell the tale. In others, such as “Dark Horse,” the Juicy J’s rap provides a counterbalance to Perry’s singing. Last year’s “Hold On, We’re Going Home” from Drake, featuring Majid Jordan, helped bring Jordan to a bigger audience.

They don’t always work. “Can’t Remember to Forget You,” Shakira’s much-hyped pairing with Rihanna, is already falling back down the Hot 100 after only four weeks. Zedd’s “Stay The Night,” featuring Paramore’s Haley Williams, peaked at No. 18.

Clearly, solo acts don’t always need a partner to reach the top: Katy Perry got there just fine by herself with “Roar,” and Pharrell’s “Happy” looks good to be the next chart topper. Bear in mind, that comes after Pharrell spent much of last year in the Top 10 as a featured artist on Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” which spent 12 weeks at No. 1, and Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky,” both of which greatly increased his visibility, helping pave the way for “Happy’s” success.

Maybe one really is the loneliest number.

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<p>Spike Jonze</p>

Spike Jonze

Credit: AP Photo

Roundup: Spike Jonze's awkward TV moment

Also: BAFTA ratings down, and Patton Oswalt's Spirits plan

Most would say Spike Jonze is one of the more charming, genial people on the circuit, but even nice guys have their bad PR moments, and Jonze had his on the UK current affair show "Newsnight," where he clashed awkwardly with host Emily Maitlis. Avoiding her questions while probling her about her own emotional reaction to "Her," he eventually drew an admission that she was "moved," only for Maitlis to take to Twitter to call the film "a sad male festish fantasy ... like 'Lost in Translation' but nowhere near as good." Ouch. [The Guardian]

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<p>Sandra Bullock in &quot;Gravity&quot;</p>

Sandra Bullock in "Gravity"

Credit: Warner Bros.

'Gravity,' 'Captain Phillips' lead MPSE Golden Reel sound editing award winners

'Game of Thrones,' 'Sons of Anarchy' and 'Breaking Bad' win TV awards

Continuing its dominance in below the line guilds Sunday night was Alfonso Cuarón's "Gravity," which took the top honor of Best Sound Effects and Foley in a feature film at the 2014 Motion Picture Sound Editors (MPSE) Golden Reel Awards. "Captain Phillips," meanwhile, won for dialogue and ADR.

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<p>&nbsp;Kenya of &quot;The Real Housewives of Atlanta&quot;</p>

 Kenya of "The Real Housewives of Atlanta"

Credit: Bravo

'Real Housewives of Atlanta': Was NeNe out of line with Kenya?

If it was all for a good cause, what was NeNe's problem?

Remember when Kenya was NeNe's most loyal supporter? Yeah, well, that's over. I think there's plenty of wrong to go around in this situation, but this time I actually side with (eek!) Peter. Kenya's event was for charity, and while she made a mistake in not calling NeNe to tell her about the masquerade ball/bachelor auction, NeNe should have trusted her gut and stayed at home. By showing up only to throw shade and give a snippy little speech before stomping out, she looked far worse than a no-show.

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<p>Don't let anyone tell you that Robert Redford is reprising his character from 'Electric Cowboy,' because that would ruin the surprise.</p>

Don't let anyone tell you that Robert Redford is reprising his character from 'Electric Cowboy,' because that would ruin the surprise.

Credit: Marvel Studios

Soundtrack listing and toys reveal major 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier' spoiler

But we won't give it away

Merchandising for movies can be a double-edged sword.

On the one hand, merchandising can be a way to help sell a film, and it can also give fans of a film something to have as a reminder or a piece of the movie. There was a time when merchandising only really existed after a film came out, or in some very special circumstances, it would happen simultaneous with a film's release.

There came a point, though, where merchandising became a given and things started coming out before the movie, and that leads to some very particular problems. I will never forget about a month before "Return Of The Jedi" came out, when I found the novelization in stores. I couldn't resist. I bought the book, and I decided to keep it without reading it until the moment I could see the film. My mom, though, didn't have any problem reading the book, which I didn't realize until we were in the car a few days later. I was talking about "Star Wars," which was pretty much true all day every day, and I mentioned how curious I was to find out who "the other" was that Yoda had referred to, and my mom answered, "That's Princess Leia. She's Luke's sister."

To say I was upset would be an understatement. She didn't seem to realize what she'd done, but I was inconsolable. Since then, spoiler culture has only gotten more and more complicated to navigate, and these days, there are land mines that audiences have to worry about, and this weekend, things got particularly ugly for fans of the Marvel movie universe when both a soundtrack listing and a photo of the toy line revealed one of the biggest spoilers for "Captain America: The Winter Soldier."

I'm not going to repeat the spoiler here. I'm genuinely frustrated that I learned it, and I'm especially irritated that I learned it the way I did. Fans of "Star Wars" dealt with something similar when the soundtrack listing for "The Phantom Menace" was released early and there was a track called "Qui-Gon's Funeral." The "Winter Soldier" thing isn't a character death, but it's something that I would imagine is a pretty major reveal, and now, if you want to avoid learning it early, you're going to have to spend every moment between now and April 4th being extra careful for fear someone will put it in a headline (like MTV Films did) or just drop the info in a forum (which seems to be happening repeatedly).

Consider yourself warned, and if you do know the spoiler, please don't repeat it in our comments section. I have to say… I suspected something like this was true, but I really wish I'd had a chance to have the full impact of the moment happen in the theater.

"Captain America: The Winter Soldier" is in theaters April 4, 2014.

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<p>Richie (Raul Casillo)&nbsp;and Patrick (Jonathan Groff) share a day together in &quot;Looking for the Future,&quot; the fifth episode of &quot;Looking.&quot;</p>

Richie (Raul Casillo) and Patrick (Jonathan Groff) share a day together in "Looking for the Future," the fifth episode of "Looking."

Credit: HBO

Review: 'Looking' - 'Looking for the Future' and love and sex

Can character development overcome explicit sex?

Anyone complaining there hasn't been enough explicit sex enough on "Looking" had their wishes granted with "Looking for the Future." If that's all you've been waiting for, however, you'd miss the point of this excellent installment of the Andrew Haigh and Michael Lannon series.

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<p>The &quot;Girls&quot;&nbsp;spend a weekend on Long Island.</p>

The "Girls" spend a weekend on Long Island.

Credit: HBO

Review: 'Girls' - 'Beach House'

A ladies-only weekend is complicated by the return of Elijah

A review of tonight's "Girls" coming up just as soon as I prove via Instagram that we can still have fun as a group...

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<p>Lauren Cohan as Maggie in &quot;The Walking Dead.&quot;</p>

Lauren Cohan as Maggie in "The Walking Dead."

Credit: AMC

Review: 'The Walking Dead' - 'Inmates'

We catch up on what the rest of the prison escapees have been up to

A review of tonight's "The Walking Dead" coming up just as soon as I throw a dirty diaper into the forest...

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"Downton Abbey"

 "Downton Abbey" 

Credit: PBS

'Downton Abbey' recap: They're all just wild about Mary

Rose has big plans for Jack, but is he game?

I get it. Mary is the prettiest girl in all the land (or at least the land surrounding "Downton Abbey" and maybe a few other places. But really, is there anything about her to explain why every single guy (and let's remember, the ratio of women to men after the Great War was definitely in the guys' favor) is absolutely transfixed by Mary? Edith hasn't been on the market thanks to Michael, but with her new haircut she's no slouch in the looks department and is more than capable of serving up some sparkling wit. Granted, we haven't seen too many members of the upper crust outside of Downton, but man, Mary sure brings all the boys to the yard, doesn't she? 

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