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Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 190: 'House of Cards,' 'Hill Street Blues,' 'The Shield' & more

Dan and Alan also answer questions about 'Under the Dome,' guest performances' and Kitchen Confidential'


For a holiday week in which we didn't review a single new show, Dan and I somehow cooked up 90-plus minutes of Firewall & Iceberg Podcast for your Independence Day enjoyment, including a dip into the mailbag, a belated discussion of "House of Cards" season 1, and a double-length pilot discussion of "Hill Street Blues" and "The Shield."  Next week's homework: "The West Wing." 

The lineup:

Listener Mail - "Kitchen Confidential" (00:02:45 - 00:10:10)
Listener Mail - What "Under the Dome" means (00:10:10 - 00:15:20)
Listener Mail - Favorite Guest performances (00:15:25 - 00:33:30)
"House of Cards" (00:33:50 - 55:30)
Summer Pilot Rewatch: "Hill Street Blues"/"The Shield" (00:55:35 - 01:33:00)
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.
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<p>Robin Thicke</p>

Robin Thicke

Credit: AP Photo

Robin Thicke's 'Blurred Lines' makes it 4 weeks atop Billboard Hot 100

Thicke continues to block Daft Punk's 'Get Lucky' out of the top spot

Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” featuring Pharrell holds at No. 1 for the fourth week on the Billboard Hot 100, but that’s not where the good news ends: the song also becomes the first in six months to sell in excess of 400,000 downloads in successive weeks.

Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” featuring Pharrell holds at No. 2 (making it another in the long list of very popular songs that gets locked out of the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100).

Miley Cyrus’s “We Can’t Stop” refuses to stop in its march up the charts, as it rises 5-3 to make it Cyrus’s second-biggest Hot 100 hit behind 2009’s “Party In the U.S.A.,” which peaked at No. 2, according to Billboard.

Imagine Dragon’ “Radioactive” slips 3-4, while Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Can’t Hold Us,” featuring Ray Dalton creeps back up into the Top 5, inching 6-5.

In a week that sees no newbies entering the Top 10, Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise,” featuring Nelly, drives down two, 4-6. Justin Timberlake’s “Mirrors” holds at No. 7, as does Bruno Mars’ “Treasure” at No. 8.  Selena Gomez’s” Come & Get It” stays at No. 9 and Ariana Grande’s “The Way,” featuring Mac Miller,” rebounds into the Top 10, rising 11-10, one spot shy of its No. 9 peak.

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David Duchovny signs on for Comic-Con's "X Files" 20th-anniversary reunion

David Duchovny signs on for Comic-Con's "X Files" 20th-anniversary reunion
He'll be joined at the July 18 event by Chris Carter and Gillian Anderson. PLUS: "Sherlock" and "Orphan Black" will be at Comic-Con.

Kaley Cuoco & Henry Cavill: Here's your 1st look at the "Big Bang"-Superman couple

They were spotted this week going on a hike.

"Bunheads" still hasn't been canceled, but the sets have been torn down
ABC Family is seeing better numbers from new entries "Twisted" and "The Fosters," yet the cable network hasn't axed "Bunheads," which is a reason for some optimism.

NYC yanks permit allowing Jay-Z to perform on Letterman's marquee

The July 9th performance has been canceled. "The mayor’s office approved it, and then just like that, it got denied," a police source tells the NY Post, adding that cops were concerned about the potential for terrorism and the logistical nightmare of such a large crowd.

"Criminal Minds" books Camryn Manheim

She'll appear in the two-part season premiere.

Jason Sudeikis hints at "SNL" exit, says he had nothing to do with Jay Pharoah's tweet deletion

Without saying whether he's gone, Sudeikis responded to Pharoah's tweet that he was leaving, and adds of "SNL": "It's an emotional journey getting through a season, much less the final one."

"To Catch a Predator's" Chris Hansen's ex-mistress pens open letter about their affair

Former TV newswoman Kristyn Caddell claims she was fooled into thinking Hansen's marriage was miserable.

Ex-"SNL" intern sues

A former "SNL" intern and a former MSNBC intern are suing NBC Universal in the latest lawsuit revolving around overworked interns who aren't paid.

Watch a preview of "Sharknado"
Syfy's sharks meets tornados film debuts July 11.

Sandra Lee releases her first novel

The Food Network star's "The Recipe Box" is a romance novel.

Adam Carolla proposes to Jimmy Kimmel in honor of Supreme Court's gay marriage ruling
When Carolla proposed and Kimmel said he was already engaged, Carolla responded: "That skinny blonde bitch? I thought that was your Pilates instructor!"

David Hasselhoff: Convenience store pitchman
Watch his new music video for Cumberland Farms.

Rebecca Romijn is still called "Stamos"

"Oh my God, it happened to me last night!!" says Romijn, who divorced John Stamos eight years ago and married Jerry O'Connell in 2007.

Here are July 4th TV marathons

From "Pawn Stars" to "Food Network Star." PLUS: MTV to celebrate "Music Independence Day" on Thursday.

Beverley Mitchell shows off her baby

Check out the "7th Heaven" star and her four-month-old.

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<p>Justin Timberlake of &quot;Runner, Runner&quot;</p>

Justin Timberlake of "Runner, Runner"

Justin Timberlake dishes on the set of 'Runner, Runner'

Star talks R-ratings, character changes, Puerto Rico and more
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - The cast and crew of "Runner, Runner" have found an oasis in the otherwise downtrodden La Perla neighborhood. 
Up a steep hill -- I shudder to think of how the heavier parts of production navigated the tight and inclined alleyways of an area not designed for car or truck travel -- in what appears to just be the backyard of one of the area's nicer -- "Nicer" being a relative term -- the film has constructed a restaurant. In the background, extras pretend to eat and converse and make signs of mimed laughter, all having a terrific time sotto voce. Even further back, some patrons gyrate, dancing to music that isn't there. 
The relative silence is an accommodation for stars Justin Timberlake and Gemma Arterton. They're trying to have an important conversation, darnit. Timberlake's Richie, a former college student who becomes wrapped up in the murky world of off-shore gambling and online poker, and Arterton's Rebecca, a somewhat mysterious woman with ties to this semi-legal world, are having a getting-to-know-you dinner. They may be flirting. She may be trying to con him. He may be trying to work her for information. They may be flirting and conning and working all at once.
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<p>Gemma Arterton and Justin Timberlake of &quot;Runner, Runner&quot;</p>

Gemma Arterton and Justin Timberlake of "Runner, Runner"

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Set Visit: 'Runner, Runner' weathers storms and slums in Puerto Rico

Justin Timberlake/Ben Affleck thriller opens in September
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - Nestled between the historic city wall of Old San Juan and a rocky promontory into the Atlantic, La Perla is one of the more picturesque ghettos in the world. 
Originally build up in the late 19th century as a place-of-exile for variably non-desirable aspects of San Juan society -- cemeteries, housing for former slaves, refuges for the homeless and a slaughterhouse -- La Perla developed a reputation for crime and danger, an image built partially on fact and partially on the neighborhood's intended isolation from the main city. Today, asking San Juan natives about La Perla can get either graphic stories of violence, police apathy and DEA raids or else blank stares. 
But, like I said, there's beauty here and not just from the white-capped waves breaking on the shore, or even the Santa Maria Magdalena Cementery, in which the dead have a place of honor, a flower-studded outlook onto the ocean, and the living need only tip-toe through the eastern side of La Perla's gates to pay tribute to their departed loved ones.
The houses, stacked one on top of the other, crawling up the hill as if hoping for egress themselves, are vibrantly colored, creating a mosaic of purples and yellows and hot pinks. The architecture is diverse as well, with traditional archways sharing space with vast walls of block glass, a remnant of '80s style that leads me to pretend abodes were once the residences of towering criminals brought down by Crockett and Tubbs, never to return again. Rusted satellite dishes teeter atop the corrugated green roofs, but otherwise it could be almost any year in La Perla. Poverty is timeless. 
Although there's a strong law enforcement presence on the outside of the wall, I talk to denizens who say that the police mostly leave La Perla on its own, though those stories don't jibe with stories that speak of recent attempts at a cultural renaissance in the neighborhood, which has also been an enclave for "artistic types" over the years.
It's August of 2012 and, at this moment, La Perla is positively swarming with a different assortment of artistic types, specifically a Hollywood movie production. Directed by Brad Furman ("The Lincoln Lawyer") and starring Justin Timberlake, Ben Affleck and Gemma Arterton, the online gambling thriller "Runner, Runner" has taken over. 
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James Gandolfini's $70M estate will mostly go to his 13-year-old son

James Gandolfini's $70M estate will mostly go to his 13-year-old son
Gandolfini's 8-month-old daughter Liliana and widow will also get a large amount of "The Sopranos" star's assets.

Paula Deen's magazine will keep publishing
Cooking With Paula Deen's publication won't be suspended, said Deen's magazine publisher.

CBS says it does not condone "Big Brother" stars' racist and homophobic comments
As it's done previous, the network said: "We certainly find the statements made by several of the Houseguests on the live Internet feed to be offensive." PLUS: "Big Brother" model loses her job over her offensive comments.

Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech will be commemorated in a PBS documentary
"March on Washington" will air Aug. 27, on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the famous speech.

Watch Prince Charles voice a Dalek on the "Doctor Who" set
Charles and Camilla visited the "Who" set today, and he got to yell "Exterminate!"

John Barrowman weds
The "Torchwood" star married his longtime partner, Scott Gill.

"24" and "Sopranos" alum Louis Lombardi joins "Lost Angels"

He'll play one of Mickey Cohen's men on the Frank Darabont TNT drama.

"America's Got Talent" hits another season low
The NBC reality show nabbed 9.32 million viewers last night and beat "Big Brother."

Netflix expands its PBS programming
"Nova," "Secrets of the Dead" and several Ken Burns documentary will soon be available to stream, as well as several kids shows.

LeAnn Rimes shows off her "Anger Management" lingerie
Rimes tweeted her on-set experience throughout Tuesday.

"Luther" returns in UK to its lowest premiere viewership
About five million watched the Season 3 premiere on BBC.

Check out a "Dexter"-inspired cake
With Dexter Morgan wrapped in plastic.

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Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Alfonso Cuarón's 'Gravity' to open 70th annual Venice Film Festival

Eagerly awaited opener portends a starry festival lineup

Well, I think it's fair to say the Venice Film Festival has won the Opening Film contest this year. While Cannes had its parade slightly rained upon by the fact that their opener -- Baz Luhrmann's otherwise suitably sparkly "The Great Gatsby" -- was released in the US beforehand, their Italian rivals will be kicking things off on August 28 with a world premiere that happens to be one of the year's most anticipated films: Alfonso Cuarón's "Gravity." 

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"Big Brother"

 "Big Brother"

Credit: CBS

'Big Brother' recap: It's all about the veto competition

Elissa thinks she's made a friend, but McCrae stabs her in the back

So, one thing we do know about tonight's episode is we won't be seeing all the racist, homophobic, crappy things the hamsters are saying on the life feed. This is probably for the best, as we don't want to make knee jerk judgments against hamsters because they're making knee jerk judgments. The good news is that for some of the hamsters, their ignorance isn't simply limited to ridiculous and random hatred based on skin color and sexual orientation. No, some of these people can't spell. At all. For that, we can roll our eyes at the very least. 

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<p>Gru (Steve Carrell) and Lucy (Kristen Wiig) go undercover at a mall to flush out the thief of a special secret formula in 'Despicable Me 2'</p>

Gru (Steve Carrell) and Lucy (Kristen Wiig) go undercover at a mall to flush out the thief of a special secret formula in 'Despicable Me 2'

Credit: Universal Pictures

Review: 'Despicable Me 2' offers some big laughs, but the story seems mighty soft

Once again, the Minions steal the show

The original "Despicable Me" is still probably the best overall film that Illumination Entertainment has produced, but they're a young company. I think they tried valiantly with "The Lorax," but they had to add so much busywork to the lean and lovely Dr. Seuss story that it just felt padded. Their live-action/animated hybrid "Hop" is a little too willfully cute for my tastes, but it has more in common with the "Despicable" films, and the ways they're similar sort of define how I think about the company.

Pixar has the best story department in animation, even today, but what Illumination brings to the table is a non-stop joke machine sensibility, and that's what makes their films enjoyable. Even if they don't quite land some thematic point or connect the dots on an emotional arc, the jokes just keep coming, one after another, and way more of them work than don't. "Despicable Me 2" is a less emotionally resonant experience than the first film, but it is positively packed with laughs. There is a sweetness to the movie that works well enough to ground it in something identifiably human, and to be honest, I don't really need "Despicable Me 2" to be as emotionally devastating an experience as something like "The Spectacular Now." The laughs seem way more important to me, and I can't fault the film in that department.

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<p>Colonel Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey)&nbsp;and Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson)&nbsp;bond as part of Justice Forever in 'Kick-Ass 2'</p>

Colonel Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey) and Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) bond as part of Justice Forever in 'Kick-Ass 2'

Credit: Universal Pictures

Director Jeff Wadlow talks about the challenges of being the new guy on set for 'Kick-Ass 2'

We discuss the way real life and fiction collide in the sequel

BUCKINGHAMSHIRE - For the first half of my stay on set, I catch glimpses of Jeff Wadlow, but from a distance only. The soundstage I'm on is taken up largely with a rooftop set, and it's on the rooftop that Wadlow is busy staging and shooting the intense final fight between Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and The Motherfucker (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), something that's been brewing for two full films now.

It's not until lunch that I got the chance to really sit down and talk with Wadlow, and while he and I were unfamiliar with each other, he seemed immediately ready to discuss anything. I talked to him first about how many familiar faces I saw in every department, and how most of them had a fairly strong sense of what a "Kick-Ass" film should be since they were there for the first one. From Wadlow's script, I got the sense that he had an equally strong idea about what a "Kick-Ass" movie should be, and I asked him how he'd found the process of working with this full company as the newcomer.

"It's been great," he began. "I mean, I've been very lucky in that once they read the script they were in. And I think as you said, that was everything.  When there's talk of the sequel happening without Matthew directing… I heard from my agent, you know, that nothing was a done deal, and he didn't have options on the cast, which was not typical. Normally you have options so it's not really that much of an issue."

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<p>Title art has to go...</p>

Title art has to go...

Credit: The Weinstein Company... AND Warner Bros.?

Weinstein Company forced to rename 'The Butler' (UPDATED)

A century-old short film may have just cock-blocked Harvey

UPDATE (7/5): Okay, this is probably due an update by now. Fireworks on and offline over the holiday, it seems. Weinstein appealed, Lee Daniels begged (and got a private reply, which I'm stunned hasn't shown up somehow in the reporting given the pettiness of all of it) and now this Hollywood Reporter story pretty much lays out WB's beef. Straw/camel's back for them. Waiting on Weinstein retort.

EARLIER (7/2): Lee Daniels' "The Butler," the Precious" director's follow-up to 2012's sultry train wreck/masterpiece (depending on who you're asking) "The Paperboy," showed up here and there in our uncovered Oscar Contenders section earlier this week. I get a "Bobby" vibe from the film (and hey, I actually liked "Bobby"), but whatever. We'll see what it is when we do, but in the meantime, the film has some unexpected branding decisions to make.

Deadline reported yesterday that Warner Bros. was seeking to block usage of the title "The Butler," claiming copyright on a 1916 short film. I guess it turns out the film violated Title Registration Bureau rules by using "The Butler" and judgment was swift, levied today: The Weinstein Company has to find a new title for the film. The clock is ticking, too: the term has to be removed from all marketing by midnight tonight, so hang onto those posters, movie theater workers. They might be worth something.

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"So You Think You Can Dance"

 "So You Think You Can Dance"

Credit: Fox

'So You Think You Can Dance' recap: 'Top 20 Perform, 2 Eliminated'

Two dancers are cut, but still have to perform with their partners

The opening number is pretty great -- dreamlike, ethereal, a little spooky, and it makes great use of the stage. Dammit. Now I don't want anyone to go home! I'll get over that shortly, however. It's better to just accept the inevitable. Two dancers will be getting the axe, and there's nothing anyone can do about it now. 

Our judges are Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy, and Christina Applegate. I'm glad to see her back. She's made some insightful comments in the past, and it's always good to have another female on the panel, I think. 

Flashback montage from last week. I still wish Wayne Brady had taken his clothes off and danced with Cat Deeley. That would have been memorable!

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