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Fox series, 'American Idol' finale airdates

This image released by Fox shows Mindy Kaling,

(Credit: AP)

Fox has announced a slew of season finales, including "American Idol" - which, right on schedule, wraps mid-May (actually a week earlier than usual.) That's not news, but here are some other key series wrap dates:  "Bones" and "The Following" end April 29; "New Girl" and "The Mindy Project" (with Northport's own Chris Messina, above) May 7; "Glee," May 9; "AI, May 15 and 16; and there will be one hour finales for "The Cleveland Show, "The Simpsons," and "Family Guy" May 19. Ah yes, and "So You Think You Can Dance" arrives May 14. Go to this link for more info on Fox's newest shows arriving May...

Fox's 'The Goodwin Games' and office-based reality show get airdates

Actress Becki Newton attends the 2010 NBC Upfront

(Credit: Getty Images)

"The Goodwin Games" -- with Becki Newton and Scott Foley, but of greater note, created by Carter Bays and Craig Thomas -- finally has a date with destiny: Monday, May 20, 8:30. (Ah, very close but not quite opposite "How I Met Your Mother" at 8:30, but that's what contract stipulations are for.) As you may recall, "Games" is about some adult children who stand to inherit...

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'Duck Dynasty' is the new 'Jersey Shore'

Phil Robertson poses with a mouth-blown duck call

(Credit: A&E Network)

Umm, don't tell Morrissey but "Duck Dynasty" is officially one of the hottest shows on TV. It was seen by 8.6 million viewers last night, its third season premiere - which is some kind of crazy - and obliterated the major broadcast networks in those categories the networks love to talk so much about (young adults, etc. etc.) "Jersey Shore" reached this height before falling off a cliff, but there's no indication the "Duck" dudes are even close to such a fate. Expect this number to grow from here...

 The factoids, if you are of a mind to read them, via A&E:

  The 10PM episode garnered 8.6 million total viewers as well as 5.0 million adults 18-49 and 5.0 million adults 25-54. For the hour, Duck Dynasty averaged 8.6 million total viewers, 5.0 million adults 18-49 and 4.9 million adults 25-54, making both episodes the two most-watched series telecasts in network history among all key demos.

'American Idol' slips behind 'Modern Family' - a first

"Modern Family" Nominated: Outstanding comedy series

(Credit: ABC)

"American Idol" has won its time period on Wednesday for what has been (well) pretty much forever. But not last night: It fell to "Modern Family." Didn't fall by much, a 3.8 adult 18-49 rating to a 3.9 for "Mod," but enough to end an historic run. "Idol" has certainly sensed vulnerability in recent seasons here so this comes as no surprise (and "The Big Bang Theory" has won in head-to-head runoffs before and certainly will tonight), but this is a first for "Mod." A  handul of little things are going on in "Idoland" to boost fan interest/involvement, including a dramatically ramped-up Twitter engagement with viewers that began last night; and that "Idol Across America" run Friday. 

 What's that? From "Idol:" "The “mic” will start its journey in New York City on Friday, March 1, when host Ryan Seacrest will launch the two-week, 5,000-mile trek to the IDOL stage. Local “Idols” – fans, inspirational heroes, local officials and former IDOLs – will walk, run, bike, row, drive, skateboard, line-dance, roller-skate, skip, scooter and fly the “mic,” among other means of travel, from state to state with their friends and family cheering them along the way."

  Ah, and coincidentally what day will said mic arrive in Hollywood?

 Wednesday. 

Katie Couric to do Newtown, Conn., telecast Monday

Katie Couric will have a special edition of

(Credit: News 12)

Katie Couric, who had said she would focus on news events in her new syndicated program when warranted, makes good on that promise Monday with a special edition originating from Newtown, almost three months since the school massacre. The program note:

Broadcasting from the Town Hall in Newtown, Couric will explore the healing process for families and friends of the 26 lives that were lost...

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Dale Robertson dead, 'Tales of Wells Fargo' actor was 89

Dale Robertson, one of TV's classic western actors, has died after a long illness. He was 89 and had lived in his native state of Oklahoma.

Robertson was a very big star when westerns were a very big genre -- best known as narrator and star of NBC's "Tales of Wells Fargo" ('57-'62). Check out the clips below. He was in many movies. I've posted a clip from one movie, "Days of Fury," from a fan who says it  was "inspiration for "High Plains Drifter" and who am I to argue?

Robertson was classic TV rawhide in every respect: A big guy who had a hero rep (wounded twice in the war as an Army infantryman) and a very smooth on-screen persona. He did much TV work in recent years -- you may vaguely remember him in "Dallas" and "Dynasty."

'Duck Dynasty' sparks Morrissey, Jimmy Kimmel feud

Jimmy Kimmel hosts his ABC show ?Jimmy Kimmel

(Credit: AP)

Oh, now it's getting out of hand, people. What has the late night TV world come to when the former frontman of the Smiths -- Morrissey! -- gets in a name-calling contest with the current frontman of "Jimmy Kimmel Live!"?

Here's Morrissey's statement - as posted in Salon -- in response to Jimmy's statement -- as posted on his own show -- that he was happy to let Morrissey back out...

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Tina Fey as Oscars host? If asked, she will serve

Actress Tina Fey attends the 19th Annual Screen

(Credit: Getty Images)

By now, Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013, the question "will Tina Fey host the Oscars," is so old and tired that it's almost as dog-eared as  "How about that sexist Seth MacFarlane on the Oscars?!" But I do think I detected in Fey's latest denial on last night's "Late Show with David Letterman" the slightest opening of a door. Reason? She used the same joke about why she wouldn't do it ("too many dresses to try on") as in another interview promoting her most recent movie, "Admission."  

Of course when you  joke about something, that's the first sign you're deadly serious about it. Freud wrote whole volumes about this ("The Interpretation of Jokes;" "Civilization and its Discontented Jokes," and so on).

Plus, she went on and on last night about raising a very, very young child. Believe me, by next February, she'll be BEGGING to do the Oscars.

Here's the full Fey interview. Amusing.

Review: History Channel's 'Vikings' with Gabriel Byrne, Travis Fimmel

Gabriel Byrne has joined the cast of the

(Credit: HBO, 2008)

So, some of us have been wondering whether The History Channel's very first scripted series would be good or would be (ummm) "The Hatfields & McCoys." We now have an answer. But you're gonna have to read the review, posted below, to find out! (By the way, this is a huge huge deal for THC, for all sorts of reasons, notwithstanding the fact that it IS a departure, and for us Gabriel...

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'Duck Dynasty:' Are they 'animal serial killers?'

As you know, Morrissey called the "Duck Dynasty's"  Robertson boys "animal serial killers" the other day, then backed out on "Jimmy  Kimmel Live," and we in the TV trade had a one-day story. (Also, see this post from "Kimmel.") Beyond the fact that it's utterly amazing Morrissey even KNEW what a "Duck Dynasty" is, this does raise the question:...

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