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'The Americans' returns to slightly above last season’s average

“The Americans” returns to slightly above last season’s average
The 1.9 million who tuned in was sharply down, however from the 3.22 million who watched the Season 1 debut, but DVR viewership should boost the final numbers.


“Parks and Rec” boss: Next season would be a good time to end the show
"We haven’t talked about it with NBC officially,” says Michael Schur, "but for many reasons — mostly just creatively in terms of where we’re building to this year — it would be natural if next year were the last year. I mean, you never know. We thought season 3 was our last year…. No decision has been made on that, but it wouldn’t surprise me if next year were the final season.”


“True Detective” creator shocked by Matthew McConaughey’s early “Unsolved Mysteries” role
“What?!?!? Had NO IDEA such a thing existed,” Nic Pizzolatto told EW by e-mail of McConaughey’s 1st acting credit, which has several similarities to the HBO series. “McConaughey never said anything about it, so he must not’ve remembered. That’s like eerie coincidence number #50. We’re in a hall of mirrors now, men…”


“Gilmore Girls” and “Scandal” alum Liza Weil joins “How To Get Away With Murder”
She’ll play an associate of Viola Davis on the legal thriller.


Clay Aiken’s Congressional bid is official
The former “Idol” runner-up submitted papers today to run for Congress in North Carolina.


Jimmy Fallon’s 1st week was “The Tonight Show’s” best since Johnny Carson said goodbye
About 10.42 million tuned in on average.


Introducing the new “SNL” Weekend Update team
Cecily Strong and Colin Jost went on “Today” this morning to talk about their new partnership.


Here’s every terrible joke from the “Mixology” premiere
Include the joke about rape.


CW finds its “Jane the Virgin”
Gina Rodriguez will play the title role in the Venezuelan telenovela adaptation.


“The Crazy Ones” and “Two and a Half Men” swap timeslots starting tonight
“Two and a Half Men” will kick off the hour at 9 pm.

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<p>First Lady Michelle Obama at a speaking event in Miami, which is also where she filmed a &quot;Parks and Recreation&quot; cameo.</p>

First Lady Michelle Obama at a speaking event in Miami, which is also where she filmed a "Parks and Recreation" cameo.

Credit: AP

'Parks and Recreation' finale to feature First Lady Michelle Obama

Mrs. Obama joins John McCain Joe Biden and another political celebs to meet Leslie Knope

Tonight at 8:30 Eastern, "Parks and Recreation" airs its first new episode since the Olympics, as well as the first new episode since Rashida Jones and Rob Lowe left the cast. It's terrific — the best one they've done since the season premiere — and I'll have a review of it up after it ends on the East Coast.

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<p>Matthew Rhys of &quot;The Americans&quot;</p>

Matthew Rhys of "The Americans"

Credit: FX

'Americans' Season 2 premiere numbers come in soft

Acclaimed drama was down from its series premiere, but up from end-of-year

Despite rave reviews -- including Sepinwall's written review and our joint podcast praise -- and aggressive promotion, the second season of FX's "The Americans" got off to a ratings start which can most politely be described as "soft."

Wednesday's (February 26) premiere drew 1.9 million viewers, including 863,000 in the key 18-49 demographic. 

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Michelle Obama will make a cameo on 'Parks and Rec's' season finale

Michelle Obama will make a cameo on "Parks and Rec's" season finale
The first lady filmed her scene on Tuesday during an appearance with Amy Poehler at a Miami park to promote her "Let's Move" campaign. President Obama has previously said he watches "Parks and Recreation" with his family.

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<p>In &quot;Hannibal&quot; season 2, does Mads Mikkelsen have total control over Hugh Dancy, Laurence Fishburne and Caroline Dhavernas?</p>

In "Hannibal" season 2, does Mads Mikkelsen have total control over Hugh Dancy, Laurence Fishburne and Caroline Dhavernas?

Credit: NBC

Review: NBC's 'Hannibal' serves up delicious second course

The Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham role reversal spices up the new season

The easiest way to appreciate the greatness of NBC's "Hannibal," which begins its second season tomorrow night at 10, is to look at almost any of the other serial killer dramas that are littering primetime, from CBS' unkillable "Criminal Minds" to FOX's moronic "The Following" to A&E's upcoming Chloe Sevigny-waster "Those Who Kill." There are too many of these shows, and almost all of them get off on the same fetishized scenes of bound-and-gagged victims whimpering while their leering abductor prepares to do something horrible to them, and almost all of them feature heroes who often seem too stupid to function, the better to allow their cackling opponents free rein.

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Ryan Murphy’s 'The Normal Heart' gets an HBO premiere date

Ryan Murphy’s “The Normal Heart” gets an HBO premiere date
The film starring Julia Roberts, Jim Parsons and Mark Ruffalo about the HIV-AIDs crisis in the 1980s NYC premieres May 25.


CNN’s Piers Morgan replacement: Rosie? Anthony Bourdain? Anderson Cooper? Rachel Maddow!?
The NY Daily News reports that Rosie O’Donnell is at the top of the list, though she denies it. Also being considered are Joy Behar, Ann Curry, David Muir and Star Jones.


Did “The Americans” show something unprecedented for basic cable?
There was one scene from last night's Season 2 premiere that may have never happened before on basic cable. PLUS: “Americans” producers answer questions on Reddit, “The Americans” has portrayed spying as what it’s supposed to be — scary, and last night’s season premiere sent three important messages.


Justin Hartley joins “Damaged Goods” on ABC
The “Smallville” alum will co-star in the comedy about two damaged men and two damaged women. PLUS: "Drop Dead Diva's" Carter MacIntyre joins USA's "Benched."


Jimmy Kimmel reveals 3 images from his celebrity-packed post-Oscar video
Here are pics of Tom Hanks, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.


TV Guide Network will show repeats of the current “Survivor” and “Amazing Race” seasons
The CBS-owned network will air the reruns on Saturday nights.


ABC will air a special on the “Avengers” sequel
"Marvel Studios: Assembling a Universe” will go behind the scenes of the comic-media empire.


Melissa Joan Hart makes a Nutrisystem video promoting her 40-pound weightless
The 37-year-old “Melissa & Joey” star unveiled her new figure while shooting an ad for Nutrisystem.


Dr. Oz becomes a grandpa after his “Chew” daughter gives birth to a girl
“The Chew” co-host Daphne Oz, Dr. Oz’s eldest daughter, welcomed her first child on Wednesday.

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'Survivor' stops its ratings decline

“Survivor” stops its ratings decline
The long-running franchise was actually up a notch after years of declining viewership. PLUS: “Mixology” lackluster in its debut.


"Game of Thrones" unveils threatening official Season 3 poster
"All Men Must Die."


Kerry Washington: “Scandal” twists had actors crying, screaming, laughing
“There are things that happen in the next couple of episodes that had the entire room at our table read crying,” she tells Ryan Seacrest "Things that had us applauding and screaming and laughing. I mean, we are shocked at every table read.”


“Breaking Bad’s” Dean Norris wants no part of “Better Call Saul”
“I don’t think they’ll let me do a little cable show,” the “Under the Dome” star says, adding: “I think that experience was that experience. I’m not a big fan of kind of revisiting something that has already been done. But I think it’s going to be awesome. So I can’t wait to see it.” PLUS: Hank reunites with Huell.


“The Bachelor” contestant/prosecutor Andi Dorfman takes a leave from murder trial
Does this mean she’s the next “Bachelorette”?


ABC to stream the Oscars online for the 1st time, but only for certain cable subscribers
The streaming will only be available in eight markets with ABC-owned affiliates.


Carrie Ann Inaba on Erin Andrews’ hiring: "I think it's going to change the vibe of the show a little bit”
The “Dancing with the Stars” judge, who was “floored” by the firing of Brooke Burke-Charvet, says of her replacement: ""I think that when she's asking questions she's going to push some buttons a little bit. I’m curious to see how that'll work.” PLUS: Ex-New York Ranger Sean Avery is reportedly competing.


John Rhys-Davies joins Fox’s “Hieroglyph”
“The Lord of the Rings” alum will star in the fantasy series set in ancient Egypt.


David O. Russell pulls out of ABC drama
The “American Hustle” director was going to make his TV debut with the drama “The Club.”


Sarah Michelle Gellar keeps a “Boston Legal” Candice Bergen sex doll in her dressing room
The doll originally belonged to Denny Crane, but Gellar stole it from David E. Kelley’s office.


“Sharknado 2” will involve the New York Mets
Shooting took place yesterday in Citi Field, featuring fake Mets fans.


Paula Deen compares herself to "that black football player who recently came out”
"I'm fighting to get my name back,” she says, comparing herself to NFL prospect Michael Sam. "I feel like 'embattled' or 'disgraced' will always follow my name.”


Adam Sandler sings about Drew Barrymore’s boobs on Jimmy Fallon
Sandler also made a reference to Barrymore starring in a movie with Fallon.


Jimmy Kimmel wears a suit made of rubber bands
Check out Kimmel’s Suit of the Loom, made by kids, to help fight cancer in children.


“America’s Court with Judge Ross” renewed for 2 seasons
Judge Ross will be back for Seasons 5 and 6.


BBC America orders “Mud, Sweat & Gears”
The vehicle transformation series will include stunt challenges and vehicle reconstructions.

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<p>The &quot;American Idol&quot; judges in their Wednesday costumes</p>

The "American Idol" judges in their Wednesday costumes

Credit: FOX

TV Ratings: 'American Idol' leads Wednesday, while 'Mixology' fizzles

'Survivor' premiere is up from last spring, 'Modern Family' is low

Fast National ratings for Wednesday, February 26, 2014.

Airing without Olympics competition, "American Idol" was flat among young viewers and rose slightly overall, leading FOX to primetime wins on Wednesday night.

"Idol" was able to hold off a solid premiere for CBS' latest "Survivor" installment, though it lost to "Modern Family" among young viewers in their head-to-head half-hour. ABC couldn't top FOX for that hour, though, because in one of the season's least surprising developments, "Mixology" didn't do a particularly good job of holding onto its lead-in. It should be noted that "Modern Family" was also very low for the night, so comparing "Mixology" to other Wednesday 9:30 comedies that had better lead-ins might not be especially illustrative. 

Meanwhile, NBC didn't get a very good return from "Revolution," the numbers were better for "Law & Order: SVU" and particularly "Chicago PD" later in the night.

"Revolution," "Nashville," "The Middle" and "Suburgatory" all tied series lows last night, but "Mixology" was the only show to deliver an actual series low. [Yes. That was a wee joke.]

On to the numbers...

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<p>Do not mess with Rollo as &quot;Vikings&quot; returns for season 2.</p>

Do not mess with Rollo as "Vikings" returns for season 2.

Credit: History

Review: 'Vikings' storms back for season 2

The adventures of Ragnar Lothbrok and friends remain more entertaining than they need to be

This is, you may have noticed, a very busy week for TV premieres, as the business unpaused itself in a big way the second the Olympics were over. February is now the new September, unless maybe January is the new September, which would make February the new January, and this is all so very confusing when all you want to know is when "Hannibal" is going to be back (that'd be tomorrow night at 10, and I'll have a review of the new season going up this afternoon).

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'The Dating Game' host Jim Lange dies at 81

"The Dating Game" host Jim Lange dies at 81
Lange, who hosted "The Dating Game" from 1965 to 1980, played host to celebrities like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Jackson and Steve Martin.

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

Sandra Bullock in "Gravity."

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Roundup: How this year's Oscar nominees reveal the gender gap

Also: Netflix's latest Oscar acquisition, and voters reveal their ballots

We're used to the familiar (yet valid) complaints about the shortage of female roles in contemporary film, but Kevin B. Lee has found a different way to measure the Hollywood gender gap -- and finds it perfectly demonstrated by this year's Oscar nominees: "One disquieting finding from my research is that this year’s lead actors average 85 minutes on screen, but lead actresses average only 57 minutes. (When you add in supporting categories, all competing actors averaged 59 minutes, while all competing actresses averaged 42 minutes.) Last year’s results were even more imbalanced: nominated male stars averaged 100 minutes on screen to the lead actresses’ 49 minutes." Sandra Bullock's 87% of screentime in "Gravity," meanwhile, is quite the exception. [New York Times]

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"Scandal"

"Scandal"

Credit: ABC

10 questions we want answered when 'Scandal' returns

It's been a long midseason break and we need info, now

It's been a long wait for new episodes of "Scandal," and we won't be getting a lot of new ones (just eight!) when the show returns Thurs. Feb. 26 at 10:00 p.m. thanks to Kerry Washington's pregnancy. Still, we trust creator Shonda Rhimes to answer all of our burning questions before battering us with a whole batch of new ones before the season signs off. 

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