Monday, October 20, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

POSTED: Wednesday, October 8, 2014, 12:05 PM
There’s a new runner in the Tuesday night field – The CW’s The Flash – and he’s out of the blocks fast.

The premiere drew 4.5 million viewers, and a 1.8 rating in the 18-49 year old demographic. By the CW standards that’s a massive hit, in fact, the highest series debut since The Vampire Diaries in 2009.

That means The Flash is solidly positioned for a third place finish. The NCIS franchise draws the most viewers and NBC’s The Voice pulls in similar ratings (despite half the audience size).

POSTED: Tuesday, October 7, 2014, 11:14 AM
Say what?
Radio stations used to have call-in contests where they would play tiny snippets of songs strung together in tight bursts and if you could name the five tunes in order, well, we had a winner.

I have a good ear and usually did well on those. Maybe not five for five, because they usually tossed in one soundbite comprised of a single note, but I got most of them.

I would assume I’d be better at a TV version of this old game, because, as my ex would tell you, pretty much all I do is watch television.


POSTED: Monday, October 6, 2014, 11:22 AM
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister in "Games of Thrones"

When Cersei walked nude through King’s Landing, she was surrounded by the Kingsguard and townspeople were forced to avert their eyes.

Except this was Lena Headey, the actress who plays perhaps the most dangerous Lannister on Game of Thrones. But the precautions were pretty elaborate anyway.

The show shelled out $50,000 a day, according to TMZ, to shoot Headey’s scene. More than 200 private security guards were hired to lock down the Croatian set and local shopkeepers in Dubrovnik were paid to keep their establishments shuttered.

POSTED: Sunday, October 5, 2014, 11:14 AM
Singer and songwriter Katy Perry watches the action between the Ole Miss Rebels and the Alabama Crimson Tide on October 4, 2014 at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford, Mississippi. (Photo by Joe Murphy (Getty Images)

There was excitement enough on Saturday in Oxford, Miss. as ESPN’s College Game Day crew made its first visit to the hallowed Grove. The occasion: Ole Miss was taking on the nation’s top-ranked tram, Alabama.

Then things got really wild, as state troopers escorted pop superstar Katy Perry through the riotous tailgaters up to the ESPN broadcast dias.

Dressed in a pink plushy-plush football jersey, Katy turned out to be a better handicapper than the show’s expert, Lee Corso. She correctly chose Old Miss to upset ‘Bama and Mississippi State to beat TCU.


POSTED: Thursday, October 2, 2014, 4:26 PM
The new series "Stalker"stars Maggie Q and Dylan McDermott as detectives investigating stalking incidents. (CBS)

The critics agreed: CBS’s Stalker with Dylan McDermott and Maggie Q is exploitively violent. Viewers agreed too: Give us some of that.

The cops vs creeps series bowed strongly on Wednesday night with more than 9 million viewers and a 2.0 rating in the prime demographic. In this era of diminished network viewership, those numbers are encouraging. It should be noted however that Stalker lost 2.47 million viewers from its lead-in, Criminal Minds,  the night’s most watched show.

In second place was ABC’s Modern Family with a story about the Dunphys visiting a college campus. It drew 10 million viewers. But there was worrisome news too. ABC thought it had finally found a strong show to pair with and follow Modern Family.

POSTED: Monday, September 29, 2014, 11:22 AM
Just when you thought all the Derek Jeter retirement was finally over, three kings of comedy weigh in with the last word. Chris Rock, Kevin Hart and Will Ferrell just put up this clip on Funny or Die.

Those are Hall of Fame funnymen, folks. Their tribute may be less glowing than you might expect. Each one acknowledges that the farewell tour for Jeter may have been excessive.

But the respect seems real as they tip their hats to the Captain.

POSTED: Friday, September 26, 2014, 12:26 PM
What do you do when the other network has a new NFL contract that threatens to gobble up the night (Thursday) with the most advertising dollars at stake?

If you’re ABC, you sing “Help me, Shonda/Help, help me, Shonda.”

What better counterprogramming could you hope for against the turf giant than a triptych of Shonda Rhimes shows?

POSTED: Thursday, September 25, 2014, 5:04 PM
"The Big Bang Theory" with Penny (Kaley Cuoco), Leonard (Johnny Galecki, right), and Sheldon (Jim Parsons). (CBS)

TV programmers have a basic, brutal philosophy: If you can help your lineup, great; but you must do everything in your power to degrade and destroy the competition.

Hence CBS’s announcement today. Mom, the Chuck Lorre sophomore sitcom starring Anna Faris will not be returning to the Monday night schedule this week as planned. Instead, for at least the next three weeks, The Big Bang Theory will show back to back episodes to lead off Mondays. Mom will be returning, but much later in the fall and on Thursdays.

The reason is simple. Monday was a temporary stop for The Big Bang Theory. The idea was always for CBS's biggest comedy hit to return to Thursdays when CBS’s Thursday Night Football schedule ends in late October.

About this blog

A true child of TV, David Hiltbrand has worked as a critic at People and as a columnist and editor at TV Guide.

Reach David at dhiltbrand@phillynews.com.

David Hiltbrand Inquirer TV Critic
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