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<p>Shani Davis</p>

Shani Davis

Credit: AP

TV Ratings: Olympics coverage skates past 'American Idol' on Wednesday

'Idol' is down week-to-week and NBC is down day-to-day
Fast National ratings for Wednesday, February 12, 2014.
 
[Ratings were delayed this morning, forcing you to wait four full hours to learn what you could have already guessed. Sorry.]
 
For the second straight day, NBC's primetime Winter Olympics coverage was built around the quest for a gold medal three-peat that fell short. But just as audiences tuned in to NBC to see Shaun White's disappointment, speedskater Shani Davis' loss (and other coverage from Sochi) still drew big numbers.
 
As we move deeper into the Olympics, the other networks are offering less and less competition -- "American Idol" was the only other original and took a week-to-week dip -- which made it even easy for NBC to coast, even if Wednesday's Olympics ratings were on the low side.
 
On to the numbers...
 
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CW renews 5 dramas


CW renews 5 dramas
"Arrow," "Supernatural," "The Vampire Diaries," "The Originals" and "Reign" will all be back next season.

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<p>Stephen Amell of &quot;Arrow&quot;</p>

Stephen Amell of "Arrow"

Credit: The CW

'Vampire Diaries,' 'Arrow' lead early 2014-2015 renewals from The CW

'Supernatural,' 'Originals' and one surprise also get pickups
Getting way out ahead of the spring curve, The CW renewed half of its primetime lineup on Thursday (February 13), led by four shows you already knew they were going to renew, plus one small surprise.
 
The not-surprises first: The CW has ordered a sixth season for "The Vampire Diaries," a 10th season for "Supernatural," a third season for "Arrow" and a second season for "The Originals."
 
What? you figured any of those dramas were going to be on the bubble? No.
 
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Matt Lauer: 'I can't do this schedule for any prolonged period of time'


Matt Lauer: "I can't do this schedule for any prolonged period of time"
If Bob Costas' absence continues on, Lauer says he expects to get a day or two off. But NBC declined to say if Al Michaels or Dan Patrick would be available. "I don't want the fact that I’m doing double duty to impact the way we do the 'Today' show," says Lauer, who's had to miss out on attending Olympic events the past few days.


"How I Met Your Mother" cast will deliver the Letterman Top 10

Catch them on Monday's "Late Show." PLUS: Gold medalist Sage Kotsenburg is Dave's guest on Tuesday.


Why Netflix should release "House of Cards" Season 2 today, amid an East Coast snowstorm
Some people are snowed in, and have nothing better to do.


A "Scrubs" musical is still in the works

Bill Lawrence has an update on his proposed project: "We're negotiating with different theater groups who will hopefully put up the money for a year to pay the composers to develop (spec songs). Disney has nicely become a silent partner in giving the rights for us to go shop it. And the most fun thing for a theater junkie is we’ve already reached the stage that various composers have been submitting songs based on an outline that we put together for the type of stuff we would do."


"The Tonight Show" and "Late Night" had their best weeks since 1993 and 1992, respectively

Jay Leno's farewell gave "The Tonight Show" its biggest numbers since "Cheers" said goodbye in 1993. And Jimmy Fallon's final two "Late Night" episodes were that franchise's best since Johnny Carson's last week in 1992.


Watch "Inside Amy Schumer's" Season 2 trailer
Season 2, featuring Janeane Garofalo and Paul Giamatti, premieres April 1.


Al Roker gets in a Twitter spat with NYC's mayor

The NBC weatherman isn't happy with Mayor Bill de Blasio's response to the snowstorm.


Peter Dinklage covers Esquire's Style issue

Everybody wants a piece of the "Game of Thrones" star.


Bravo is launching the "Real Housewives" Awards

Twelve awards will be handed out next month, including "OMG-est Moment of the Year" and "Best Fight Locale."


No, Alex Trebek wasn't being racist last night on "Jeopardy!"
A question about the United Negro College Fund was misconstrued by some viewers.


HBO teases "Doll & Em" starring Emily Mortimer

The British comedy co-created by Mortimer and her friend Dolly Wells premieres March 9.

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<p>Drake is sad</p>

Drake is sad

Drake declares 'disgust' at Rolling Stone bumping him for Philip Seymour Hoffman

And he wonders why people don't like him....

Oh, Drake…Today, rap’s biggest malcontent decided he would take on a dead man.

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"Outrageous Acts of Science"

 "Outrageous Acts of Science"

Credit: Science Channel

The science you need to know for your Zombie Beer Apocalypse training

'Outrageous Acts of Science' is here to help

Wouldn't it be cool if all those viral videos that suck up your time had an educational purpose? That's the goal of "Outrageous Acts of Science" (returning for season 2 Sat. Feb. 15 at 10:00 p.m. on Science Channel). While they probably won't find an educational component to all those cat videos you watch, at least this week's episode will prepare you for the zombie apocalypse. You're welcome.

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Exclusive 'From Dusk Till Dawn' image finds the Gecko Brothers doing some banking

Exclusive 'From Dusk Till Dawn' image finds the Gecko Brothers doing some banking

El Rey Network's first original debuts on March 11
I'm mighty curious about Robert Rodriguez's El Rey Network, which he has described as basically a curated network driven by the sensibility of the "El Mariachi" and "Spy Kids" creator. 
 
Starting on Friday (February 14), El Rey Network will be doing the 24-hour programming thing, driven by cable rights to shows like "Starsky & Hutch," "Dark Angel" and "The X Files." Then on February 28, El Rey will begin Grindhouse Fridays.
 
El Rey gets really serious, though, on Tuesday, March 11 with the premiere of "From Dusk Till Dawn," an expansion of the universe created for the vampire film. 
 
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<p>'Listen to me. I've been through this all before. You're young, you're talented, you're a total peach... you'll work again. They'll blame this one on me way before anyone tries to blame it on you. Just keep smiling and when anyone asks, say 'well, the script was better.''</p>

'Listen to me. I've been through this all before. You're young, you're talented, you're a total peach... you'll work again. They'll blame this one on me way before anyone tries to blame it on you. Just keep smiling and when anyone asks, say 'well, the script was better.''

Credit: Warner Bros.

Review: Colin Farrell and Jessica Brown flounder in the complete failure of 'Winter's Tale'

Some bad films have to be seen to be believed

The moment I got home from my screening of "Winter's Tale," written and directed by Akiva Goldsman, the first thing I did was download the novel to my Kindle so I could read it. I made it four chapters before I set it aside, satisfied that whatever my problems are with "Winter's Tale" have little or nothing to do with Mark Helprin or his book. Mr. Helprin, you are free to go.

This is one of those books that people don't just like… they love it. It is important to them. When you talk to a fan of the book, they get evangelical about the experience they had reading it. I get that. There are plenty of books that have done that to me, and there are a few of them that I have considered trying to adapt as screenplays. The hard part of that is realizing that sometimes the very thing that makes you fall in love with something on the page may not translate in any direct way to film, a far more visual media. There are things I have read in books over the years that positively devastated me, but I am well aware that the power of the reaction I had is due in no small part to the language used, the precision of the way words are deployed, and something that is piercing as a metaphor becomes somewhat dopey when you see it brought to life by actual people.

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Lifetime cancels 'Drop Dead Diva' for the 2nd time


Lifetime cancels "Drop Dead Diva" for the 2nd time
The upcoming 6th season will be the drama's last, apparently for real this time. Lifetime first canceled "Drop Dead Diva" in January 2013 after Season 4, and then resurrected it three months later.

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'Ted' is in talks to visit 'Wahlburgers'


"Ted" is in talks to visit "Wahlburgers"
Mark Wahlberg, who's shooting "Ted 2," is trying to get Seth MacFarlane to lend his talking bear to the A&E reality show for one episode.


Seth Meyers: Stefon and I will reunite on "Late Night" -- "eventually"
"Bill (Hader) and I spoke during my last 'SNL,' and we do think he'll turn up eventually," Meyers said last night on "Watch What Happens Live." PLUS; Meyers' fave "SNL" moment was Amy Poehler's Sarah Palin rap.


Bob Costas: I expect to return before the Olympics are over

"I feel fine, which feels weird," Costas told Ryan Seacrest this morning, adding that he's been apprised of the "viral" nature of his illness. PLUS: Costas is out again tonight.


"The Ellen DeGeneres Show" will air live the day after the Oscars
Ellen says it's rare for her to do a live show, saying she's done "maybe twice in 11 years."


Obama will spend this weekend binge-watching DVDs of "True Detective" and "Game of Thrones"
"Where is my 'True Detective' and 'Game of Thrones'?" the president asked HBO CEO Richard Pleper on Tuesday night, at the White House state dinner for France.


Conan pays tribute to Sid Caesar

Turns out Conan O'Brien was influenced as a child by the comedy legend.


Stephen Colbert concludes he's the First Lady of France
Colbert pointed out that he sat next to Michelle Obama at the White House's state dinner for France, a seat usually reserved for France's first lady. But France doesn't have a first lady. PLUS: Colbert is auctioning off the microwave he stole from Bill O'Reilly.


"Orange is the New Black's" Crazy Eyes has a figure skater past

"I figure skated for like 10 years when I was a kid," says Uzo Aduba.


"Star Wars: The Clone Wars'" final season will be shown on Netflix

The streaming service announced that Season 6, plus all previous seasons, will be available. Season 6 debuts March 7.


An openly gay "Idol" contestant made the Top 30 for the 1st time
M.K. Nobilette, 20, said last night: "I'm very obviously gay, and there are always gonna be people in America … who will definitely hate me, but I think that in the last two years there have been a lot of things that have really changed that."


Watch the "Friday Night Lights"-"Parenthood" crossover
Crucifictorious lives!


"Workaholics" star Adam Devine will lend his voice to "American Dad"
He'll play an announcer at a karate tournament pitting Steve vs. Snot.


"The Bachelor's" Sean Lowe & Catherine Giudice reveal their honeymoon pics
Check them out in Bora Bora.

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<p>Lance lives!&nbsp;Jesse Plemons in part 1 of the &quot;Friday Night Lights&quot;/&quot;Parenthood&quot;&nbsp;webisode crossover.</p>

Lance lives! Jesse Plemons in part 1 of the "Friday Night Lights"/"Parenthood" webisode crossover.

Credit: NBC

Crucifictorious lives via 'Parenthood'/'Friday Night Lights' crossover

Landry meets Amber and Max in 'Friday Night at the Luncheonette'

Lance has returned to our lives, boys and girls, as the first part of "Friday Night at the Luncheonette," the digital crossover between "Parenthood" and "Friday Night Lights," was released this morning. One of several NBC web series designed to give fans a taste of shows that have been bumped for the Olympics (I wrote about all of them earlier this week), "Friday Night at the Luncheonette" connects the casts — and universes — of two different shows produced by Jason Katims. While keeping an eye on her cousin Max at the Luncheonette, Amber lets in a friend of a friend who happens to be everyone's favorite "FNL" serial killer, Landry Clarke and the members of his Christian speed metal band Crucifictorious.

After so many years away, it's nice to see Jesse Plemons slip so easily back into Landry's particular mix of geekiness and overconfidence, though I remain extremely afraid for the lives of both Amber and Max so long as they're in this guy's company.

Enjoy, and I'll let y'all argue about the continuity implications of Landry being on this show (and Amber wearing an East Dillon t-shirt) after so many other "FNL" alums have appeared in new roles (UPDATE: or, as HistoryOfMatt notes below, the absolute continuity nightmare of Amber being friends with Becky, given that they've both been in love with soldiers played by Matt Lauria).

UPDATE #2: The entire "Friday Night at the Luncheonette" video has been posted at NBC.com, and is embedded below the YouTube clip of part 1. Among the tidbits from later in the video are a brand-new description of Crucifictorious' sound, bassist Devon giving Max an unplanned birds-and-the-bees talk, an update on Billy Riggins' personal life, Amber suggesting an even deeper "FNL/"Parenthood" tie, and more. WARNING: the musical choice at the end may just make you cry.

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<p>Spike Jonze and Karen O at this Oscar nominees' luncheon earlier this week.</p>

Spike Jonze and Karen O at this Oscar nominees' luncheon earlier this week.

Credit: AP Photo/Jordan Strauss

Karen O to complete quartet of Best Original Song performances at the Oscars

All four nominated songs will be performed on the show.

Well, with Pharrell Williams, Idina Menzel and U2 already set to perform at Oscars, this was surely a formality: it'd have been a bit tacky to leave just one Best Original Song nominee out of the show, particularly one as lovely as "The Moon Song." But here it is in black and white: Karen O will perform the whimsical love theme from "Her" at the ceremony on March 2.

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