Latest Blog Posts

<p>Blake Shelton and Shakira</p>

Blake Shelton and Shakira

Blake Shelton records country duet with fellow 'Voice' mentor Shakira

Latin singer reveals more details about the song

Just as he did with fellow “The Voice” mentor, Christina Aguilera, Blake Shelton has recorded a duet with Shakira.

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<p>Marvel's starting to rev up the hype for their big summer gamble, 'Guardians Of The Galaxy'</p>

Marvel's starting to rev up the hype for their big summer gamble, 'Guardians Of The Galaxy'

Credit: Marvel Studios

Star-Lord and his spaceship are front and center in new 'Guardians Of The Galaxy' images

This is just the warm-up for this week's new trailer

The ultimate public reaction to "Guardians Of The Galaxy" has been the subject of no small amount of chatter in the HitFix offices, and at this point, it's safe to say I am in the "it's going to sneak up on people and be a huge event" camp.

Sure, it helps that I've been to the set and I've talked to the people who made it and I have a bunch of stuff I can't share yet that has me feeling this way.

But beyond that, I think the stuff Marvel has shared with the public so far has been really appealing, and this is still just the tip of the iceberg. Just a little while ago, USA TODAY put up their exclusive sneak peek piece, a precursor to this week's official release of the trailer, and all three of the images they put up are, in my opinion, very exciting.

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Here's the 'HIMYM' cast presenting the Letterman Top 10

Here's the "HIMYM" cast presenting the Letterman Top 10

No. 3: "Someone finally points out that I don't sound like Bob Saget."

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<p>The Maiden Fair and also a Bear</p>

The Maiden Fair and also a Bear

Credit: HBO

Review: 'Game of Thrones' Season 3 DVD does right by The Red Wedding and more

Come for the seasons, stay for another charming Maisie/Sophie/Isaac commentary
The primary reason to get Season 3 of "Game of Thrones" on DVD when it drops on Tuesday (February 18) is, of course, Season 3 of "Game of Thrones."
HBO's George R.R. Martin adaptation has made my annual Top 10 list each year since it premiered and came in at No. 7 for 2013 in what was probably its strongest season.
Most of the Season 3 hype surrounded the long-awaited Red Wedding, which viewers were able to celebrate -- in a manner of speaking -- in the penultimate episode, "The Rains of Castamere." But that was hardly the only shocking standout in an admirably consistent season. There was the epic Daenerys-centric conclusion to "And Now His Watch Is Ended," the icy scaling of The Wall on "The Climb," long stretches of awesome scenes with Arya and The Hound, long stretches of awesome scenes with Brienne and Jamie, at least one epic butting-of-heads between Peter Dinklage and Dame Diana Rigg, several wargs, three dragons and one bear. And *then* there was The Red Wedding, which might have been the centerpiece of 2013's single best episode of television, were it not for "Breaking Bad."
If you skipped the season on HBO, either because you aren't a subscriber or you were waiting to binge, it's great stuff. And if you're already a fan of "Game of Thrones" and you like owning DVDs still -- there are a few of us out there -- you know that you probably want this one already and that's especially true if you're a Blu-Ray user, because the show's cinematography and visual effects look rather gorgeous in the format. 
That makes the DVD bonus features truly that: They're bonuses and after spending a day making my way through a slew of commentaries and behind-the-scenes featurettes, I'll just say that nothing here is essential, but there's an awful lot of good stuff that will supplement your enjoyment of the series, whether you're a fan of Martin's novels or you're choosing to experience Westeros primarily as a TV experience. At the very least, a deep dive into the bonus features will have you champing at the bit for new episodes, which are still a month-and-a-half away.
Click through for my review/overview of some of the bonus features. I'm going to probably spoil some things, so if you haven't watched Season 3 yet, you should just watch the season and then maybe check back here, if you happen to care still.
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NBC: We'd be foolish not to think about a future Olympics without Bob Costas

NBC: We'd be foolish not to think about a future Olympics without Bob Costas
"We said after Sochi we would start to think about what life after Bob might be," says NBC Sports chairman Mark Lazarus, "whether post-Rio, post-Pyeongchang, post-Tokyo, whenever he does not want to do it anymore. It is a big time commitment for a host. It is tons of research, tons of preparation and a ton of time away from your family. Certainly, we would be foolish not to be thinking about what a succession might look like. That is part of my job." PLUS: NBC Olympics boss defends the Bode Miller interview, the New Yorker's David Remnick talks about his unique role, and Costas describes his 6 days off the air.

"The Bible" movie has edited out scenes of the Obama-looking Satan character
Mark Burnett and Roma Downey wanted to avoid the controversy from "The Bible" miniseries.

Nat Geo opts not to proceed with an "Act of Valor" TV series
The cable channel won't make a TV series based on the Navy SEAL movie so that it could concentrate on other scripted programming.

Jimmy Kimmel congratulates Jimmy Fallon, says he looks forward to them growing old as late-night competitors
"I look forward to doing this side-by-side until our suits look funny and our hair turns white #FalPals," Kimmel tweeted.

"RuPaul’s Drag Race" renewed for Season 7
The pickup comes before the Season 6 premiere.

Nat Geo planning a tribute to the "Snake Salvation" pastor who died from a snake bite
National Geographic will air a one-hour special in tribute to Jamie Coots.

"The Americans" sent the media a mysterious manila envelope

Here are the details from the Season 2 press kit.

HBO "Rome" creator: "Game of Thrones" learned from our mistakes

"They learned a lot from a business commercial sense, what not to do," says Bruno Heller of "Rome," which ran fro 2005-07. "'Rome' was the first show HBO shot out of country with large budget that was period. The mistakes we made are the mistakes 'Game of Thrones' learned from. Many of the directors and producers are the same. Thrones is a brilliant show, brilliantly executed."

"True Detective" creator was most excited about what Matthew McConaughey said in last night's episode
Nic Pizzolatto delves into "True Detective's" best episode yet. PLUS: "True Detective" is delving into new territory, and reading the 1895 book "The King in Yellow" will help you appreciate the show more.

The problem with "House of Cards": Frank Underwood's enemies don't understand politics
Also, says David Weigel, "the media are completely oblivious to how Underwood cheerfully manipulates them." PLUS: Don't look for any deep meaning in "House of Cards," in praise of THAT scene, and why Claire Underwood is a feminist warrior antihero.

Barbara Walters: I call my vibrator "a selfie"
The 84-year-old Walters tackled "self-love" on today's "The View."

What "The Walking Dead" can learn from "True Detective"
While the HBO series is opening more possibilities, we seem to be getting the same from the AMC zombie series. PLUS: Michael Cudlitz talks "Walking Dead."

Andrew Rannells: "Girls" called me and asked me back 45 minutes after NBC canceled "The New Normal"
"I was supposed to do one episode," he says, "the North Fork episode, and then, as luck would have it, the show that I was on, on NBC, 'The New Normal,' was canceled."

Why HBO isn't Netflix's "bitch"
Talk of an HBO vs. Netflix rivalry is overblown.

Watch Conan chat with Ken Burns for 1 hour
It's the latest episode of "Serious Jibber-Jabber" with Conan O'Brien.

"Sharknado" was a hot topic of conversation at this weekend's Storm Chaser convention
"ChaserCon" also paid tribute to the stars of "Storm Chasers" who died last year.

Bus promotional posters in Topeka, Kansas feature "Big Bang Theory's" Sheldon Cooper

"No bus pants needed!" says the poster.

BBC America teases "The Musketeers"

"The Three Musketeers"-inspired drama starring Peter Capaldi, Santiago Cabrera and "Skins" alum Luke Pasqualino, debuts in June.

"Star-Crossed" proves how CW shows are like nesting dolls

"At the center of each is a weepy young-adult melodrama," says Mike Hale, "hidden inside a vampire show, a superhero show or a costume drama. The latest, 'Star Crossed,' on Monday night, uses science fiction as its shell." PLUS: "Star-Crossed" sadly underestimates its teenage audience, and Aimee Teegarden picks her fave episode of the 13 she shot.

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<p>Jimmy Fallon</p>

Jimmy Fallon

Credit: NBC

Why Jimmy Fallon could be the new Johnny Carson -- a uniter not a divider

Why Jimmy Fallon could be the new Johnny Carson -- a uniter not a divider
Ever since Johnny Carson exited in 1992, late-night has been divided into two apsect of Carson -- Letterman's cutting detachment and Leno's befuddled Middle American decency, says Owen Gleiberman. But Fallon could unite those two sides, as Carson once did. "Over the last two decades," says Gleiberman, "starting with the moment when Jay Leno launched his Attack Of The Nice Guy blandified makeover, 'The Tonight Show' has effectively been de-Johnny-fied, and Fallon, who is 24 years younger than Leno (and would be 49 years younger than Carson if Carson were still alive), represents a brand new generation — or maybe I should say a new-brand generation — in the dominance of late night. The amazing freshness of Fallon’s appeal is that he's looking forward, not back."

Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers will tape 90 minutes apart to eliminate "sound bleed" between studios
Meyers' "Late Night" studio will be just above Fallon's "Tonight Show" studio, and because of the way 30 Rock was built, sounds can bleed from one studio to another. So the solution will be to tape Fallon at 5 pm and Meyers at 6:30.

Can Jimmy Fallon continue masking his terrible interviewing skills with childlike games?
"One of Fallon’s problems is that he seems incapable of carrying on a conversation with a guest that consists of anything more than Fallon fawning all over him (or her)," says Adam Buckman.  As a result, he relies heavily on back-hallway footraces to relieve him of the apparent torture of talking to somebody. The last thing any late-night viewer needs is to be suddenly jolted into full wakefulness by a grown man — Fallon — suddenly breaking into a water balloon war with Tom Cruise."

Fallon will fill the positivity void in late-night
Jimmy Fallon, says James Poniewozik, represents a "radical departure from recent late-show history. The late-night recipe has been three parts vinegar ever since David Letterman transformed the genre more than 30 years ago… The comedy of crankiness and critique can be hilarious, smart, even passionate (see Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert). But it leaves a market opening for positivity. Fallon–who has made social media more central to his show than anyone but maybe Kimmel–has shown on TV what Facebook taught the online world: the power of the Like.

Can Jimmy Fallon be himself?
That's the big question, says Tom Shales. "He can do sketches, he can interview celebrities (he's made progress at curbing his sometimes excessive enthusiasm for fellow performers), he can ad-lib snappy banter with his sidekick-announcer (Steve Higgins) or the show’s brilliantly eclectic house band (The Roots, the only late-night band with a tuba)—but can he pass the ultimate if elementary test for hosting a late-night talk show: can he be ingratiating simply by being himself, and can he be simply himself while hosting a late-night network talk show? Based on his 'Late Night' track record, the answer would seem to be a ridiculously obvious yes."

Jimmy Fallon's "Tonight Show" can thrive with fewer viewers than Conan O'Brien's "Tonight Show"
That's because the TV landscape is totally different from when Conan's "Tonight Show" launched on June 1, 2009. Nowadays, fewer people watch TV live as they turn to DVRs and social media catch-ups the next day.

Michelle Obama and Will Ferrell may do something special together on "The Tonight Show"
"We might do a fun special thing with the first lady and Will Ferrell," says Fallon, adding that, yes, he and Justin Timberlake have something special planned.

Jimmy Fallon writes an article explaining how his "Tonight Show" will be different: "Not much"
"It's coming to New York," says Fallon. "That's the biggest change and you’re going to feel that. It will be noticeable. This is where I'm from, this is where I live and I relate to New Yorkers."

Fallon's "Thank You Notes" segment will air every Friday
Jimmy also confirms he's keeping the hashtag game.

Johnny Carson moving "Tonight" out of NYC was catastrophic, Fallon bringing it back is a huge win
"Carson's departure for Los Angeles was worse than deflating," explains Verne Gay. "It was catastrophic. The barbarians had scaled the gates. The philistines had triumphed. That's right: Hollywood had won. This represented the final cruel conquest of West Coast culture over East. As a final insult, 'Tonight' didn't even go to Hollywood, but to Burbank."

Fallon is inheriting a "Tonight Show" that is a shadow of its former self
Late-night viewership has been eroding for years. Can Fallon fight for survival?

NBC's former late-night boss has worked with all 6 "Tonight Show" hosts
Rick Ludwin worked at NBC for 30 years, until 2012, producing specials for Steve Allen and Jack Paar, while also serving as the liaison for Carson, Leno, Conan and Fallon.

Watch Jimmy Fallon's all-time most hilarious moments
From Debbie Downer to "Joking Bad." PLUS: Fallon's silliest moments, and there will be a new Brian Williams rap mashup.

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25 best Oscar-winning performances of all time

25 best Oscar-winning performances of all time

Heath Ledger, Julie Andrews, Jack Nicholson and who else?

We're in the 86th annual Oscar voting window and two weeks from today, we'll know the champions of the 2014 Academy Awards. Winners in the performance categories seem to be all lined up, though we've gotten a surprise in those four arenas the last couple of years. Maybe we'll get a few this year, too, but come what may, a quartet (or maybe more if there's a tie — who knows, given the events of this season) will join the echelon of Oscar winning actors dating back to inaugural victors Emil Jannings and Janet Gaynor on March 2.

With that in mind, HitFix's awards staff put our heads together to come up with a list of the best of, well, the best. We dug through the 325 actors and actresses to win (competitive) Academy Awards for screen performances over the years and we were left with 25 sterling examples from AMPAS' gallery of titans — well, in our opinion, anyway. Click through the gallery story below to see who came out on top and feel free to offer your thoughts and own picks in the comments section below.

Oh, and in the way of a teaser, the handful of names that juuuuust missed the list include Sissy Spacek ("Coal Miner's Daughter"), Faye Dunaway ("Network"), Liza Minelli ("Cabaret"), Dianne Wiest ("Bullets Over Broadway"), Cloris Leachman ("The Last Picture Show") and Philip Seymoure Hoffman ("Capote"). If those top-notch performances couldn't squeeze in, who did?


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Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 220

Dan and Alan talk 'About a Boy,' 'Star-Crossed,' 'Growing Up Fisher' and more


Happy Monday, Boys & Girls!
We interrupt your holiday for an hour of Sepinwall coughing!
No, I kid. Alan has a cold, but he set aside its ravages for a thrilling podcast covering this week's new shows -- "Star-Crossed," "About a Boy" and "Growing Up Fisher" -- plus some Listener Mail and other stuff.
Next week, the video show will return and the podcast will shift back to Wednesday. Unless Alan breaks something else. 
Today's breakdown:
"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, 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.


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2014 Winter Olympic Games

 2014 Winter Olympic Games

Credit: AP Photo

Monday's Must-see Winter Olympic events: Will the U.S. make ice skating history?

Have you seen the Jamaican bobsled team's music video?

Right now, the USA and Russia are neck-and-neck in the medal count (though we have a lot more bronzes than they do). But you know what's really cool? Bob Costas is coming back today! Hopefully with two eyes! And Bode Miller, the oldest alpine skier at Sochi, got a bronze in Super G and he's not done yet. Even if Christin Cooper keeps trying to make him cry about his brother and stuff. 

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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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