Latest Blog Posts

Kevin McKidd on "Grey's Anatomy"

 Kevin McKidd on "Grey's Anatomy"

Credit: ABC

Interview: 'Grey's Anatomy' star Kevin McKidd talks Christina and Owen split

The actor says to expect things to get 'really tough and tragic'

When you meet Kevin McKidd, what's most startling (at least it is if you're a "Grey's Anatomy" fan) is the accent. Born in Scotland, McKidd's rich, rolling brogue sounds nothing like Owen, the lovelorn surgeon he plays on the show (which has a two-hour season premiere tonight at 9:00 p.m. ET on ABC). Though the actor has played many other characters memorably (fans will remember him from "Rome" and "Trainspotting"), after five seasons on the ABC show he's probably best known as Owen -- and that's just fine with him. During press tour I talked to McKidd about what's next for Owen and Christina (if anything after their split), if Owen will ever get out of denial about wanting to be a daddy, and whether or not he's really a frustrated rock star.


Read Full Post

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 203

Dan and Alan talk 'Crazy Ones,' 'Masters of Sex,' 'Michael J. Fox' show and more


Happy Thursday, Boys & Girls! As promised, there was too much TV this week for just one podcast, so it's a bonus Firewall & Iceberg.
With Alan out of the hospital, finally, we reviewed a slew of new shows, including "The Crazy Ones," "The Michael J. Fox Show" and "Masters of Sex," as well as the return of "Homeland."
Also, because we got a couple emails and podcast questions about it, we talked a bit about AMC's decision to split the 
Today's breakdown:
"The Crazy Ones" (00:01:20 - 00:14:15)
"The Michael J. Fox Show" (00:14:15 - 00:24:00)
Odds and ends including "Betrayal" and "Hello Ladies" (00:24:05 - 00:33:30)
"Homeland" (00:34:10 - 00:45:10)
"Masters of Sex" (00:45:15 - 00:53:00)
"We Are Men" (00:53:00 - 00:59:40)
Listener Mail: The splitting of "Mad Men" (01:00:10 - 01:08:10)

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.] 

And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.



Read Full Post

Gay 'Modern Family' writer teared up writing last night's episode

Gay "Modern Family" writer teared up writing last night's episode

"As I started writing, I became unexpectedly emotional," says Jeffrey Richman, one of two gay writers on staff. "I teared up writing it. I teared up hearing it read."

Kaley Cuoco gets engaged after 3 months of dating
"The Big Bang Theory" star and tennis pro Ryan Sweeting are set to get married.

Lorne Michaels writes about the birth of "SNL"

Read his piece in Vanity Fair reflecting on the year 1975.

Watch every bad thing "Breaking Bad" did to Jesse Pinkman
In 4 minutes and 23 seconds.

OWN nabs rights to "Lee Daniels' The Butler," starring Oprah Winfrey
There will be even more Oprah on OWN.

"Boy Meets World's" Danielle Fishel is writing her memoir
"Normally, This Would Be Cause for Concern" will be released in fall 2014.

Why Michael J. Fox and Tracy Pollan opted not to be married on "The Michael J. Fox  Show"
Fox's real-life wife will be playing a "sexy" neighbor on his new sitcom. Why? As Fox explains, "We talked about how it would be like being a family on TV and being a family at home… and a family on TV… and never having a break from it."

"Suite Life of Zack and Cody's" Dylan Sprouse: I'm not broke, but I am working at a restaurant
To clear up the air (which is admittedly pretty rude), I did not take this job because I 'lost all my money,' I am finacially secure," Sprouse explains on Tumblr. He says he "took this job as a way to primarily feed my over bountiful video game addiction."

Watch "South Park" spoof Alec Baldwin

His thumbs are homophobic.

Fox buys "Wife Nanny" from Jason Bateman
The "Arrested Development" star is teaming with Spike Feresten on a comedy about a sports exec who secretly hires a gay best friend for his wife.

ABC working on a modern-day "Houdini" cop drama
What if Harry Houdini was partnered with a female LAPD detective?

Robert Smigel recalls joining "SNL" in 1985, launching Conan and creating Triumph the Insult Comic Dog

Listen to Smigel chat with ESPN's Bill Simmons about his "Saturday Night Live's" glory days.

White rapper MC Serch getting a talk show tryout
He'll star in "Serch" in a January test run.

Actress joins "The Walking Dead"
Will Alanna Masterson play Tara Chalmers?

Style's "Tia & Tamera" and "Giuliana & Bill" are moving to E!

Both reality shows will debut on E! next month following Style's transformation into the Esquire channel.

Connie Britton organized a dinner with Tina Fey, Michele Dockery and Elisabeth Moss
Check them out at their pre-Emmys dinner.

Loretta Devine heads to USA's "Sirens"

She'll recur on the USA paramedic drama.

"SNL" creates YouTube channel for the rest of the world

The YouTube channel can only be accessed outside the United States, since Yahoo! has the U.S. rights.

Rupert Boneham stunned by his early "Survivor" ouster
"I would have never in a million years guessed I would be the first one out," he says.

"Law & Order: UK" renewed
The ITV drama will return for an 8th season.

Katherine Webb films a Carl's Jr. ad

Miss Alabama is extending her 15 minutes of fame, despite recently breaking up with the Alabama QB boyfriend who made her famous.

Read Full Post

Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 203: 'Homeland,' 'Masters of Sex' & more

Dan and Alan also review 'The Crazy Ones,' 'The Michael J. Fox Show' and 'We Are Men'


I have left the hospital, which makes this the first Firewall & Iceberg Podcast to be recorded in relative privacy in a couple of weeks. (I wasn't up for posting about the last two, but you can find them on Dan's blog here and here.) In this one, Dan and I tackle the rest of the notable premiere week premieres (some briefly, some at length), including my pick for the fall's best new show, and we dip into the mailbag to discuss the splitting of the final "Mad Men" season.

The rundown:

"The Crazy Ones" (00:01:20 - 00:14:15)
"The Michael J. Fox Show" (00:14:15 - 00:24:00)
Odds and ends including "Betrayal" and "Hello Ladies" (00:24:05 - 00:33:30)
"Homeland" (00:34:10 - 00:45:10)
"Masters of Sex" (00:45:15 - 00:53:00)
"We Are Men" (00:53:00 - 00:59:40)
Listener Mail: The splitting of "Mad Men" (01:00:10 - 01:08:10)

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, download the MP3 file or stream it on Dan's blog.

And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.


Read Full Post

'Boardwalk Empire' renewed

"Boardwalk Empire" renewed
HBO has ordered a 5th season of the prohibition-era drama.

Read Full Post
<p>If HBO&nbsp;hadn't renewed &quot;Boardwalk Empire&quot;&nbsp;again, Al Capone (Stephen Graham)&nbsp;might have gotten very cross.</p>

If HBO hadn't renewed "Boardwalk Empire" again, Al Capone (Stephen Graham) might have gotten very cross.

Credit: HBO

HBO renews 'Boardwalk Empire' for season 5

1920s mob drama has turned out to be a solid performer for the pay cable giant

HBO has renewed "Boardwalk Empire" for a fifth season.

“Thanks to Terry Winter, Martin Scorsese, Tim Van Patten, Howard Korder and their stellar team, 'Boardwalk Empire' remains in a class by itself,” HBO president Michael Lombardo said in a statement.  “I look forward to another electrifying season of this impeccably crafted series.”

Though "Boardwalk" has never turned into the Emmy juggernaut HBO might have hoped for, it's a solid ratings performer, it still picks up stray awards (like Bobby Cannavale's trophy on Sunday) and is off to a very intriguing start to its fourth season with the introduction of Jeffrey Wright as Harlem fixer Dr. Valentin Narcisse.

I'm a fan of the show and am glad it will be sticking around a while.

(Also, for those of you who will be in New York City next weekend, I'll be moderating a PaleyFest panel with Winter, Korder, Michael Kenneth Williams, Wright and Gretchen Mol.)

Read Full Post
<p>Britney Spears</p>

Britney Spears

Credit: AP Photo

Britney Spears' manager talks Vegas ticket sales and new album

Will she be lipsyncing or not?

It’s been a Circus (every pun intended) ever since Britney Spears confirmed her two-year residency at Las Vegas’ Planet Hollywood starting Dec. 27 last week.  Will she by lip-syncing? Are tickets tanking or flying out the door (as TMZ reported yesterday).

It seems, as far as tickets go, the answer is somewhere in between, and as far as lip-syncing, the answer is  open to interpretation.

Spears’ manager, Larry Rudolph, told Billboard that tickets were selling well: the VIP packages for the first 16 shows sold out rapidly, and that in terms of regular tickets, at least 40% had sold since they went on sale Sept. 20. For shows that don’t begin for another three months, that is a very healthy, strong start, especially in Vegas, which relies on walk-up business. In the media, we tend to get breathless press releases when shows sell out within 10 minutes of going on sale, but that is extremely rare: the vast majority of shows never sell out.  A quick visit to TicketMaster today shows there are still tickets available for every performance although TicketMaster cautioned that there  were “not many left”  in the 4,600-seat theater for the Dec. 27, Dec. 28 and Dec. 31 shows.

Rudolph said that sales were so strong that Caesars (Planet Hollywood’s parent) wants to put the next flight of shows on sale earlier than planned.

As far as the rumors the Spears will be lip-syncing (as she’s certainly been known to do and seemed to do so heavily on portions of her last tour), Rudolph said she will be singing live as much as possible and that she is receiving vocal and dance coaching daily. “The idea is to try to get her pretty close to 100%,” Rudolph said about live singing. “There might be some numbers where she's full out dancing with a (vocal) track underneath her, but there won't be any lip-syncing across the board on anything.”

Rudolph calls Spears’ new album, which comes out Dec. 3,  her ‘Ray of Light’ album, a reference to Madonna’s 1998 electronic-oriented set.  “[First single] ‘Work Bitch’ is a great example of a song that's from this album, but I don't know that it necessarily defines the album,” he said. “There's a lot of other material on here that is really rich. There's a ballad called "Perfume" that she recorded recently. Britney wrote it with Sia. It's a breakup song that's about wanting the next girl to smell your perfume on the guy afterwards...There are a couple other songs that have a really modern EDM vibe. I really think of this as Britney's 'Ray of Light' album -- it's kind of like that in a lot of ways. She wrote everything on the album with collaborators. There's one or two she wrote herself. That's something she wanted to do coming in. She wanted to make it very personal. They're all custom made for her, based on what's going on with her life and in her head.”

"Work Bitch" debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 yesterday at No. 12.

Are you excited for Spears' new album and Vegas show? 

Read Full Post
<p>Mads Mikkelsen in &quot;The Hunt.&quot;</p>

Mads Mikkelsen in "The Hunt."

Credit: Magnolia Pictures

Denmark's 'The Hunt, Italy's 'The Great Beauty' join foreign Oscar race

Two high-profile Cannes hits join the field as the deadline nears

Denmark may have teased out the process somewhat by releasing a shortlist of potential submissions, but there was never much doubt over what film they'd ultimately choose to represent them in the race for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. And so it was confirmed today: Thomas Vinterberg's moral melodrama "The Hunt," which premiered at last year's Cannes Film Festival, is the Danish hopeful. And one with good reason to be hopeful, at that; I'm hardly alone in thinking we could be looking at our winner here.

Read Full Post

'Revolution' and 'Modern Family' return down, 'SVU' up

"Revolution" and "Modern Family" return down, "SVU" up
"Revolution's" new timeslot resulted in a series low, but it was only down 10% from the season finale.

Jon Hamm on his upcoming surgery: "I've got a polyp on my vocal chord. It sounds worse than it is"
The "Mad Men" star, who begins filming the final season on Nov. 4, tells Jimmy Kimmel: "it doesn't sound as bad as how the National Enquirer reported it, which was that I was coughing up blood and probably have cancer."

"Breaking Bad" gets the Green Day treatment
Watch a "“Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" retrospective of the AMC series. PLUS: Watch a Lana del Rey-inspired tribute.

"The Neighbors" books Meredith Baxter and "Family Matters'" Reginald VelJohnson
They'll appear in the Thanksgiving episode as the parents of Jackie Joyner-Kersee.

Charlie Day had to change Danny DeVito's underwear on "It's Always Sunny" set
Day, Glenn Howerton and Rob McElhenney played the clip last night during a joint interview on "Conan."

Paul Wesley is dating a former "Vampire Diaries" co-star
Fresh off his split from wife Torrey DeVitto, Wesley has found romance with Phoebe Tonkin.

Bear Grylls fake fire stunt prompts firefighter false alarm

Grylls was filming "Bear Grylls: Escape From Hell" with fake flames when the fire department was alerted.

"South Park" tackles the NSA in an unexpected way
Last night's premiere focused on the public's behavior following the Edward Snowden revelations.

"Elementary" adds Laura Benanti

The "Go On and "Playboy Club" will guest on the CBS drama.

Read Full Post
<p>Wednesday's &quot;Modern Family&quot; premiere</p>

Wednesday's "Modern Family" premiere

Credit: ABC

TV Ratings: 'Modern Family,' 'Criminal Minds' premieres lead Wednesday

'X Factor' rises big, even against strong competition
Fast National ratings for Wednesday, September 25, 2013.
Although it was way down from last year's premiere, the hour-long launch for "Modern Family" was Wednesday's top show both overall and among young viewers, though the return of "Criminal Minds" still helped CBS win overall.
On a busy premiere Wednesday, FOX got encouraging numbers for "The X Factor," which actually rose week-to-week despite enhanced competition, pushing the network to second in the key demographic. NBC, meanwhile, was reminded of how strong "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" can be, especially when it goes into the 10 p.m. hour.
Wednesday's only major premiere was ABC's "Back in the Game," which retained reasonably well from its "The Middle" lead-in.
There were no outright disasters on Wednesday, which resulted in the fall's most competitive four-way night so far.
On to the numbers…
Read Full Post
<p>Catherine Deneuve</p>

Catherine Deneuve

Credit: AP Photo

Roundup: Deneuve honored by European Film Awards

Also: Ranking Ron Howard's oeuvre, and is this Lubezki's year?

I'll be attending the European Film Awards once more in December, and one of several good reasons to do so is that Catherine Deneuve will be in attendance. The French legend has been announced as the recipient of this year's EFA Lifetime Achievement Award. Hard to argue with that: from "Repulsion" to "Belle de Jour" to "Dancer in the Dark," Deneuve is an art house icon whose career spans multiple nations and generations. (No one else, after all, can claim to have worked with Bunuel, Polanski, Truffaut, von Trier and Ryan Murphy.) I've long argued that she should be near the top of the Academy's honorary Oscar list, not least since her lone Oscar nod (for "Indochine") hardly even represents a career high. Also receiving an honorary award at the ceremony will be Pedro Almodovar; shouldn't those two have collaborated by now? [EFA]

Read Full Post
<p>Lizzy Caplan and Michael Sheen in &quot;Masters of Sex.&quot;</p>

Lizzy Caplan and Michael Sheen in "Masters of Sex."

Credit: Showtime

Review: Michael Sheen & Lizzy Caplan in Showtime's 'Masters of Sex'

A smart, sincere look at the lives of sex researchers Masters and Johnson

Bill Masters is a sex researcher who admittedly doesn't know very much about sex. In one of the very first scenes of Showtime's excellent scripted drama "Masters of Sex" (Sunday at 10), which chronicles the pioneering real-life work of Masters and Virginia Johnson, Masters is puzzled to learn of the very idea of women faking an orgasm, and tries to press a prostitute named Betty for an explanation as to why she would practice such deception.

Read Full Post