June 21, 2014

David Letterman: Game Show Host

Mark Evanier, major domo at the estimable blog, News from Me, recently posted a wonderful link to an interview with a very young David Letterman, in which Letterman alludes to hosting a game show: http://www.newsfromme.com/2014/06/19/todays-video-link-1720/ As it so happens,the game...

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February 28, 2013

How a 'New Girl' Script Gets Made

TV critic Alan Sepinwall visits the set of New Girl to see how a rough draft is re-worked and re-worked and re-worked....

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December 03, 2012

Mark Evanier's Larry Hagman Story

It may be long, but it is so worth reading....

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February 27, 2012

The OTHER Award Show

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January 19, 2012

A Little Late, But...

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January 01, 2012

Happy New Year!

[Thanks to Sal Nunziato]...

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December 26, 2011

3 Tributes -- 3 Broadcasters

Why do you pay some broadcasters the big bucks? For coming through at the big moments. You can learn a lot about Bob Costas, Keith Olbermann, and David Letterman from their tributes to makeup artist Michele O'Callaghan. There are few...

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December 13, 2011

Louis C.K. on Reddit

If you are a fan of Louie, his FX comedy, or his standup, then you probably already know that Louis C.K. is now offering an original hour of standup via his website for $5. To help promote the concert, Louis...

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November 21, 2011

So You Want to Win At Jeopardy?

No problem! Here you go....

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September 14, 2011

Seven Great Returning Shows and How Newbies Can Still Get In On Them

I would only call one of these shows (The Good Wife) "great," but here's a guide to hop on a show that Vulture considers worth it even for newbies. This year, I'm going to give Parenthood another try....

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July 10, 2011

Finally! Curb Your Enthusiasm Returns

Tonight on HBO:...

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June 22, 2011

Tom Hanks Doing Something Or Other To Promote New Movie

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June 07, 2011

The Wee Warbler

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April 14, 2011

ABC Cancels One Life To Live and All My Children

The expected ax has fallen. I have some personal reasons for being depressed about these shows biting the dust. I watched both of them from inception, used All My Children as a "text" in my daytime television course, and had...

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April 12, 2011

Curb Your Enthusiasm Season 8 Preview

Our waiting has not been in vain: [Thanks to Brian Rose]...

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March 09, 2011

They Dance Sluggishly in San Jose

Highlights from the last episode ever of Record Hop: [Thanks to Classic Television Showbiz]...

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February 18, 2011

IBM's Watson: The Untold Story

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February 10, 2011

Chow Daddy!

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January 27, 2011

Fake Jeopardy Interview Intros

Better than the real thing. [Thanks to Joe Hass]...

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January 04, 2011

Larry Griswold

[Thanks to Mark Evanier]...

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December 19, 2010

Scrambled Eggs

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December 06, 2010

TV Tonight: Win Some and Lose Some

Two of my favorite shows are airing finales tonight. I hope against hope that this isn't the series finale of In Treatment, which might just be the best show on television. If you've missed it and have on demand, I'd...

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November 15, 2010

Product Placement on Days of Our Lives

Can we say BLATANT? Entertainment Weekly provides the video evidence....

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November 02, 2010

Newscast of the Year

Although maybe not appropriate for the Emmy reel: [Thanks to Michael Feldman]...

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October 25, 2010

Muppet Celebrity Lookalikes

[Thanks to List of the Day]...

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October 12, 2010

The Simpson's Opening Redux

In less than 24 hours, Fox pulled the Simpsons video from You Tube and all other sites but Hulu, where you can find it: Meanwhile, you can read an astute analysis of what it all means and how the Internet...

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October 11, 2010

Simpsons on the Couch 10/10/10

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September 30, 2010

The History of Hip-Hop

With Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake?!? Somehow, it works....

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September 26, 2010

Commercial of the Year?

For a UK-based department store. The beautiful vocal (of a song that I didn't think I liked) is by Fyfe Buckingham: [Thanks to Erin Palicki]...

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Don't Forget the Returning Shows

Amidst all the hoopla about the new network TV series (anyone see any shows they are truly excited about?), nights like tonight drive me nuts. I have two DVRs, capable of recording four shows. In the height of sports season,...

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September 03, 2010

The Man Who Made Fonzie Jump the Shark...

...defends himself....

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August 17, 2010

Televisions of the Future

Apple and Google are likely to duke it out in the future. The big losers might turn out to be the cable busines, whose cruddy DVRs, poor customer service, and high prices might finally come back to bite them....

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July 12, 2010

Harvey Pekar, RIP

Cleveland has just suffered a greater loss than Lebron James. The great comics writer, Harvey Pekar, is dead at age 70. Pekar chronicled the lives of working men and women in his beloved Cleveland. Harvey wrote many things besides his...

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June 01, 2010

Survivor Contract

Andy Dehnart, at Reality Blurred, published a contestant's contract. If you value your privacy, it might not be the show for you....

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May 21, 2010

Before Idol -- Crystal Bowersox at Age 13

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May 16, 2010

Gorilla Love

">Damian Aspinall and his old friend. [Thanks to Andrew Sullivan]...

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Gorilla Love

">Damian Aspinall and his old friend. [Thanks to Andrew Sullivan]...

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May 09, 2010

The Perfect Last-Minute Mother's Day Gift?

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April 11, 2010

Passive-Aggressive Commercial of the Day

Cullman Liquidation...

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March 24, 2010

"The Wire" as Text

In today's Slate, Drake Bennett chronicles the college courses about The Wire....

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March 21, 2010

Life

The Discovery Channel is "roadblocking" its sequel to Planet Earth, pre-empting regular programming on all of Discovery's owned channels (e.g., TLC, Animal Planet) tonight. I've seen the first episode, Challenges of Life, which airs tonight at 8:00 E.S.T.)and can...

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March 15, 2010

John Hiatt's "The Open Road"

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March 11, 2010

Reality Bites

Thursday is a crazy night for reality TV fans. Tonight, for example, you have the debut of True Crime with Aphrodite Jones on Investigation Discovery Network (a channel, I admit, I've never seen), Survivor, American Idol, Kitchen Nightmares, The Real...

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March 08, 2010

The Handsome Men's Club

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March 02, 2010

The Facebook Did

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February 23, 2010

Anthony Bourdain IS the Doctor

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February 19, 2010

For No Particular Reason

Chris Elliott as Jay Leno. [Thanks to Ken Tucker]...

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February 17, 2010

News for TV Majors...

...is the unlikely name of a useful compendium of TV links posted by Christine Becker, associate professor at the University of Notre Dame. No gossip here, but plenty of timely and valuable stuff about the business of television, including overnight...

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February 13, 2010

The Best TV Criticism Around...

...isn't in print, even though it's from magazine writers, Michael Slezak and Kristen Baldwin of Entertainment Weekly. I've raved before about Entertainment Weekly's website, especially PopWatch. Nothing on the site is as consistently perceptive and funny as Idolatry, in which...

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February 11, 2010

Jim Parsons for a Good Cause

With Zach Selwyn singing....

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February 02, 2010

Jimmy Fallon: Well Played

Amidst the Leno-O'Brien kerfluffle, Jimmy Fallon is still trying to figure out how to host a late-night show. After a rocky beginning, there have been true signs of life. He'll never be the world's best interviewer, but some of the...

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January 26, 2010

James Mitchell, R.I.P.

The actor-dancer James Mitchell, best known of late for portraying Palmer Cortland in All My Children for more than 30 years, has died. I did some consulting on All My Children, many moons ago. I met Mitchell several times, and...

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January 24, 2010

Betty White Rocks it at the SAG Awards

She's the Greatest....

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December 08, 2009

Good News and Bad News

The bad news: As the World Turns, now the longest running soap still on TV, has been canceled, although it's been given a long leash -- until September, 2010. To be honest, I never watched it regularly, but when I...

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November 22, 2009

Curb Your Enthusiasm

The finale of what I consider the best scripted show on TV is tonight at 9:00 p.m. Doubt my evaluation? You don't have to take my word for it. HBO 2 is running a marathon of this season's episodes starting...

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November 12, 2009

Glee over Modern Family

Troy Patterson, Slate's TV critic, argues that Glee, not Modern Family, is the best new comedy of the season. For what it's worth, I agree....

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November 03, 2009

The German "Sense of Humor"

Stereotype or reality? Both?...

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September 21, 2009

TV Tonight

This is the time of year when TV fanatics contemplate greatness in every time period, only to be crushed. I try to catch all the new series on network TV at least once, and revisit a few returning shows that...

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September 14, 2009

The New Fall TV Season

There are many promising new series, but I'm most looking forward to the return of Curb Your Enthusiasm, after a long two-year wait:...

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September 02, 2009

Eyewitness Clothes

Who needs Brooks Brothers or Ann Taylor?...

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August 07, 2009

Some Came Running

If you are a film buff and don't know about Glenn Kenny's blog, you should go there right now. Kenny, the former editor-critic of Premiere Magazine until its demise, is nothing if not opinionated. For example, check out his sort-of...

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August 02, 2009

John Cale on I've Got a Secret

Who knew? [Thanks to Bedazzled.com]...

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July 18, 2009

Walter Cronkite, R.I.P.

In honor of this venerable newsman's passing, the New York Times has assembled some of his most memorable moments....

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July 11, 2009

Soul Train Streamin'

An old favorite, Bedazzled.com, has just posted a bunch of cool YouTube videos of vintage Soul Train segments. You can't go wrong with any of the Soul Train line videos, but Love Train gets the nod for Don Cornelius's wicked...

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June 01, 2009

Cool Guys Don't Look at Explosions

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May 04, 2009

Susan Boyle Has Competition

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April 30, 2009

Weird Cross-Promotion of the Month

The View meets WWE Smackdown...

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April 20, 2009

Video for a Monday Morning.

Say Hey!...

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April 10, 2009

Cat Stevens/Yusuf

After his conversion to Islam, Cat Stevens has been a shadowy figure in the mainstream American press. Stevens, now known professionally as "Yusuf," is in the States promoting a new, soon-to-be released secular CD, Roadsinger. In the best episode of...

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April 05, 2009

In Treatment

Considering the usually depressing content, I don't think you can find a more fun drama on television than In Treatment, which starts its second season tonight with two episodes back to back (8:30 P.M. - 9:30 P.M., on HBO), with...

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March 28, 2009

Taking the Stage

It's been flying under the radar, but Taking the Stage is the most refreshing new MTV show since the debut of Laguna Beach five years ago. Following the romantic and artistic adventures of five seniors at Cincinnati's School for Creative...

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March 25, 2009

PopWatch

Continuing Website Week on Imponderables.com, I had to include my current favorite popular culture website: PopWatch, part of Entertainment Weekly's site. Popwatch includes a mix of breaking news, commentary, videos, interviews, and not a few blog entries written by performers,...

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March 20, 2009

Starz Tonight

I'm always astonished how few movies I want to see on the pay-cable channels. I'm paying for HBO, Showtime, and Starz, but rarely find myself watching anything on Starz. Last year, Starz launched Head Case, an improvised comedy about a...

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March 15, 2009

The First Barbie Commercial

This commercial was made only 50 years ago. It feels like one hundred. [Thanks to Bedazzled]...

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March 13, 2009

Jim Cramer on Last Night's Daily Show

Even if you haven't been following the "feud" between Jon Stewart and CNBC, ou owe it to yourself to catch a great half-hour of television. As I write this at 3:00 a.m., the Daily Show's website doesn't have the video...

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March 04, 2009

Pookie and King Tut

featuring the Animals and, of course, Soupy Sales: [Happy Birthday, Bro]...

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February 26, 2009

Smokey Robinson on Spectacle

If you missed last night's Spectacle, with Elvis Costello interviewing Smokey Robinson, you made a bad mistake. But it's not too late to rectify matters. It is being rerun tonight, on Sundance, at 8:00 p.m. and midnight, and Saturday afternoon...

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February 23, 2009

No Reservations!

Tonight, at 10:00 P.M. EST on the Travel Channel, Anthony Bourdain visits some of his favorite "Disappearing Manhattan" restaurants and food emporiums in New York, including my favorite, Russ & Daughter's on the Lower East Side....

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February 09, 2009

Reality Show Line of the Week

From Toddlers & Tiaras, TLC's new show about kiddie beauty pageants. During the "beauty" competition within the pageant, the host reads something about the kids in the 0-2 division. There isn't much to say about one-year-olds. So the descriptions are...

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February 02, 2009

Jim Parsons

I try to watch the first episode of every new network sitcom. Last year, I caught the debut of Big Bang Theory. I was looking forward to it because I enjoyed Johnny Galecki's work on Roseanne. After watching a...

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February 01, 2009

Paul McCartney Meets Stephen Colbert

.cc_box a:hover .cc_home{background:url('http://www.comedycentral.com/comedycentral/video/assets/syndicated-logo-over.png') !important;}.cc_links a{color:#b9b9b9;text-decoration:none;}.cc_show a{color:#707070;text-decoration:none;}.cc_title a{color:#868686;text-decoration:none;}.cc_links a:hover{color:#67bee2;text-decoration:underline;}The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30cBetter Know a Beatle - Paul McCartneyColbert Report Full EpisodesPaul McCartney AppearanceFunny Political VideosMore Funny Videos [Thanks to Jeremy Osner]...

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January 16, 2009

Friday Night Lights Is Back on NBC

Tonight. 9 o'clock. I have friends who are more excited about the last ten episodes of Battlestar Galactica's commencing tonight (10:00 P.M. on SciFi). To each his own....

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Ricardo Montalban

Even though he died this week, it's still hard to suppress a giggle when the name "Ricardo Montalban" is uttered. But I loved this story from blogger extraordinaire Mark Evanier, which makes Montalban a little more human and a lot...

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January 05, 2009

The Next Senator of Minnesota

[Thanks to Josh Marshall]...

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December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

A modest suggestion: After recovering from your Christmas feast, lie down on the couch and watch Elvis Costello's Spectacle at 11:00 P.M. on the Sundance Channel, when he hosts James Taylor. There may be greater artists than James Taylor, but...

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December 13, 2008

In Praise of Dexter

I know others would argue for The Shield or The Wire, but no TV dramas have given me more pleasure than In Treatment and Dexter, which airs its finale this Sunday on Showtime. Matthew Gilbert sings the praises of our...

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December 04, 2008

Spectacle

I totally expected Elvis Costello's new talk show, Spectacle, to be wonderful. It is. Last night, the show debuted with Elton John as guest, and as I hoped, the discussion was 95% about music. If you want to hear Elton...

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October 26, 2008

Digital Conversion Public Service Announcement

Haven't made the switch yet? We're here to help. Warning: ageist material. [Thanks to Debbie Puente]...

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October 23, 2008

Do Your TV Preferences Match Your Politics?

Nielsen has done the research....

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October 19, 2008

Adele

I was disappointed in SNL last night. Sometimes, I think the material is worse when the writers have a week off. Although Tina Fey and the presidential material has gotten most of the attention, the musical acts have been terrific...

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October 16, 2008

Edie Adams, R.I.P.

Very few performers combine comedy and music with the quality and finesse of Edie Adams, who just passed away. I was a big fan of her husband, Ernie Kovacs, and Adams was her sidekick on the show. I would be...

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October 13, 2008

TV Tonight

Besides the obvious broadcast network shows, some other offerings you might be interested in: On Ovation, Classical Star, a BBC import, tries to do for classical musicians what American Idol does for pop singers (three hours back-to-back). On Sundance, the...

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October 06, 2008

SNL Take 2

Another winner from SNL (Andy Samberg had a good night):...

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October 05, 2008

Mark Wahlberg Talks to the Animals

A much better than average SNL last night. This skit is unlikely to be singled out for a Peabody, but it made me laugh....

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October 03, 2008

Icons and Squids

Every day I look at the New York Times TV listings, and I usually find some program that interests me that I didn't know about or had forgotten about. In the latter category, tonight at eight is the premiere of...

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October 02, 2008

It's an Honor Just To Be Nominated By Your Peers

-->...

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September 19, 2008

Surreality from The Soup

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September 03, 2008

Whoops

Peggy Noonan and Mike Murphy, two Republican pundits/strategists, get caught with a live mic after they thought they were off the air:...

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August 31, 2008

Beauty and the Geek Game Theory

The show might have bitten the dust, but that doesn't mean it can't still inspire deep thoughts....

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July 28, 2008

90210

Can't wait for Fall?...

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July 07, 2008

Wimbledon Men's Final Rerun Tonight...

at 7:00 P.M. on ESPN Classic. It's worth the view, even if you know the result....

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TV Tonight

Network TV may be in the doldrums, but on a "slow" Monday night there's all kinds of good stuff to watch. Of course, the intellectual elite will be watching the finale of The Bachelorette, but there are many other treats:...

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July 05, 2008

PoliticalThought of the Day

Folks don't come here for political musings, but occasionally something vital occurs that I cannot refrain from commenting about. I'm very worried about Obama's position on the Lincoln bedroom....

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July 04, 2008

Need a Good Veep?

Chuck Hagel and Colin Powell have both been bandied about as possible vice-presidential candidates for both parties, but if McCain or Obama are looking for a true crossover running-mate, we have the man for the job. Happy 4th!...

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June 30, 2008

Ann Coulter's Nicorette, Bill O'Reilly's Mirror, and Katie Couric's Scarf

All this and more can be viewed at Harry Shearer's "Found Objects" outpost on mydamnchannel.com. The most famous treasure in Shearer's collection is the adventure of Dan Rather and his trenchcoat. Great stuff....

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June 16, 2008

TV Monday

Between baseball season and my obsession with the November elections, I haven't been blogging much about TV. And I'm far behind in my viewing, especially on reality shows. I'm curious about how Nashville Star has changed since jumping from USA...

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June 13, 2008

Crossing the Bridge

I haven't seen it, but have heard great things about this documentary about the modern Turkish music scene. Tonight on Sundance at 10:00 P.M. I'm firing up the DVR....

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June 06, 2008

Well, WE Have Family Feud

[Thanks to Christine Beagle]...

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June 03, 2008

Planet Green Debuts

Ever watched the Discovery Home Channel? Not me. And most likely, not you. So when Discovery Network decided to launch a new eco-themed channel, Planet Green, the powers that be decided to relinquish Home's digital cable space to Planet Green....

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May 22, 2008

American Idol Finale

In case you DVR'd it and missed the finale. Here are the last nine minutes:...

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May 16, 2008

One Good Reason To Pay Attention in History Class

I watched this live on Hardball yesterday. I've never seen anything quite like it:...

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May 01, 2008

The Potsie Syndrome

When bad things happen to TV characters... [Thanks to Jon Delfin]...

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April 24, 2008

David Gest (and Tito Jackson)

Now we see what Liza saw in him....

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April 06, 2008

If Jim Cramer Were a Meteorologist

His work would probably look (and sound!) something like this: [Thanks to Wesley McGee]...

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February 12, 2008

After the Strike

Will your favorite TV show return with new episodes this season? TV Guide offers some help....

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February 10, 2008

Grammys

I'm writing this well into the third hour of the Grammy's, before Amy Winehouse's live performance. As anything could happen, let me just observe that this is the best Grammy broadcast in recent memory. Someone, bless him or her, decided...

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February 07, 2008

3 Babies and a Man

If you haven't been following the adventures of Conan, Stephen Colbert, and John Stewart and a certain presidential candidate, you might want to take a look at these three videos....

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January 19, 2008

Don't You Wish You Lived in Cincinnati?

Not every Friday, of course. But on some Fridays, it's DANCE PARTY FRIDAY! [Thanks to Mark Jeffries]...

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January 15, 2008

Nothing To Watch on TV?

You must be kidding! Let's forget about scripted shows. Let's forget about the debut of American Idol on Fox. Or the pleasures (guilty or not) of reality shows such as The Real Housewives of Orange County, the reality show about...

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December 17, 2007

Strike, Schmike

To those who bemoan the state of television, my reaction is: Are you nuts? There are so many interesting shows on television, particularly nonfiction/reality stuff. I'm going out tonight, and have my two DVRs on overdrive. Will I like everything...

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November 20, 2007

Take That, Katie Couric

BBC News readers perform "All That Jazz" from the musical, Chicago....

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November 08, 2007

The Office on the Strike Front

Even though there were some scripts available to shoot, The Office was one of the first network sitcoms to shoot down production after the Writers Guild strike commenced. One of the best sources on the web for (admittedly pro-WGA) information...

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November 04, 2007

Seinfeld on King

I found a link to this video on Mark Evanier's wonderful website, News From ME Mark writes: Larry King used to brag a lot that he did zero preparation for his interviews...as if that was a good thing. It usually...

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October 30, 2007

Inside Inside Inside

James Lipton interviews himself and likes what he sees!...

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October 29, 2007

Heroes of the Writers Strike

What will writers do if the Guild strikes?...

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October 23, 2007

What's It Like To Eat at Hell's Kitchen?

James Hibberd, the excellent TV columnist, reports....

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October 15, 2007

High School Musical 3

What can I say? This makes me laugh....

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October 04, 2007

Top Chef Finale

Worry not -- no spoilers here. But I do think the two-part finale of Top Chef was the best ending of any reality show ever. No gimmicks --just strong contestants facing a challenge with serious, passionate judges battling over who...

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October 03, 2007

Missed That TV Show?

Forgot to videotape that show you wanted to watch? Did you suffer from a DVR malfunction? Relief might be on th way. TV Guide has launched Online Video Guide, a roundup of where you can find previously aired shows online....

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September 22, 2007

Sin City Law

The new Fall season is upon us and although so far I've seen nothing that has knocked my socks off from the Big 4, I've already found a show that I think is spectacular. Despite its unfortunate title, Sin City...

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September 14, 2007

Reality Check

I've previously expressed my enthusiasm for Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders, CMT's documentary/reality series about the competition to make the squad. In some ways, the competition is grimmer than NFL players trying to make the team on Hard Knocks. Surely, no head...

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September 10, 2007

Can Nice Guys Finish First on MTV?

Regular readers of this blog will know that despite my age and sex, I was a devoted fan of MTV's Laguna Beach, and have continued watching the adventures of Lauren on The Hills, now MTV's highest-rated show (new episodes appear...

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September 09, 2007

Curb Your Enthusiasm

I'm looking forward to many new shows this Fall, but none more than Larry David's masterpiece. Tonight at 10:00 P.M. on HBO....

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August 31, 2007

Author, Si; Book, No!

The good news is a gig on Oprah. The bad news is... [Thanks to Jon Delfin]...

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August 21, 2007

History of Paramount Television -- 1968-2006

The world of Paramount as seen through end-tags:...

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August 13, 2007

America's Got Talent

You're not going to find a talent contest/reality show cheesier than America's Got Talent, which makes American Idol look like Masterpiece Theater in comparison. But a strange thing has happened this season. The show features two wonderful performers. One is...

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August 04, 2007

Don't Wear a Red Shirt!

At least, if you are going to encounter Captain Kirk....

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July 29, 2007

The Simpsons in Arabic

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June 16, 2007

More Triumph

My nephew, the inimitable Michael Feldman, found this Triump gem on the World Wide Web. Triumph does weather....

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June 14, 2007

Triumph Does the Tony's

And nobody does it better....

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May 30, 2007

Gilligan's Island Meets Imponderables

At least the Professor meets us (see bottom of this page). Can anyone find the answer to the immortal Imponderable?...

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May 28, 2007

Right To Return

On this Memorial Day, let's not forget the Americans displaced by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Director/producer Jonathan Demme's Right To Return chronicles stories of those who have chosen to reclaim their homes and their neighborhoods. Right To Return will be...

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May 15, 2007

An Upfront Blog

'Tis the season when the networks announce their new schedules for Fall 2007. TV Week's James Hibberd's blog is a good place to follow the news. I especially like his May 14 account of NBC's Entertainment president, Kevin Reilly's, rundown...

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May 11, 2007

Yay for NBC!

Sorry for the relative dearth of postings. I'm working on a medical experiment -- doing first-person research on having a cold and bad allergies at the same time. What motivated me to move off the couch is the great news...

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May 08, 2007

51 Birch St.

I've got one of those package cable-Internet deals from Time-Warner that gives me scads of HBO, Cinemax, Showtime, and Starz channels. To be honest, other than watching Bill Maher, The Sopranos, and Curb Your Enthusiasm, I don't take much advantage...

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April 11, 2007

Sunrise/Sunset

Tonight's the season finale of Friday Night Lights on NBC, my vote for the best new scripted series on network television. Although it won a Peabody Award, highly unusual for a drama about high school football, the ratings have been...

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March 29, 2007

Maraka

Robert Smigel is a national treasure. Here's last week's TV Funhouse from Saturday Night Live....

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March 15, 2007

Watch Jeopardy on Friday

At least, the folks at Jeopardy are urging TV critics to pass on the word to readers. Sayeth the PR folks: *This Friday, March 16th, 2007...and for the first time in 23 years, "Jeopardy!" history will be made. * It...

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February 23, 2007

Oscar Telecast Spoilers

Crack TV critic Aaron Barnhart, proprietor of TVBarn, linked to an article by Nikki Finke that reveals many secrets about Sunday's telecast. This could be an interesting Oscars....

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December 25, 2006

My Christmas Gift To You

I come bearing gift. My favorite part of the Christmas season is looking forward to hearing and seeing Darlene Love perform Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)on the David Letterman Show. Here is her brilliant 2004 performance, along with Darlene singing...

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December 03, 2006

Are You in the Target Audience for Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip?

The Studio 60 Flowchart will tell all....

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November 28, 2006

TV Tonight

In today's New York Times, TV critic Virginia Heffernan points out that in its own stealthy way, situation comedies have made a big comeback -- at least in quality. Although there are far fewer sitcoms on the air than ten...

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November 15, 2006

Who Wants To Be a Cognitive Neuroscientist Millionaire?

The story of how "a researcher uses his understanding of the human brain to advance on a popular quiz show." [Thanks to James Gleick]...

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November 14, 2006

Docs on My Mind

If we can wrest you from the ecstasy of the Dancing With the Stars danceapalooza, you might be interested in four documentaries airing tonight: Thin, on HBO at 9:00 P.M., explores four women with eating disorders who seek treatment at...

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October 31, 2006

Saturday Night Unlive?

Jed Rosenzweig thinks so. Besides this intermittent but always interesting blog, Rosenzweig maintains another site for fans of backhaul satellite feeds. Want to know what the news business is really like? Check out the site....

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October 28, 2006

Saturday TV

Kobayahsi isn't just for hot dogs anymnore. With much less fanfare, the greatest competitive eater of all time is also a hamburger killer. Today, he competes for the 2006 World Hamburger Eating Championship (4:00 P.M., ESPN2) I'm not that much...

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October 10, 2006

Made

Is there a sweeter show on television than MTV's Made? Made gives reality shows a good name. For the uninitiated, Made chronicles the attempt of a high school student to succeed in some dream. By an adult's standards, these wishes...

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October 03, 2006

Friday Night Lights

I haven't seen it yet, so this is no personal endorsement, but when ace New York Times critic, Virginia Heffernan, gets so excited about a TV series, so do I. Here's the lead of her review in the New York...

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September 18, 2006

It's Not Easy Being Adorable for a Whole Hour

But Rachael Ray tried, strenuously, in the first episode of her new syndicated show. Will a hyperactive spitfire work for five hours a week in daytime? We shall see. Oprah, who has godmothered the show, is visiting tomorrow....

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September 12, 2006

O'Donnell vs. Couric vs. Vieira

Most of the attention in the network musical chairs has been on Katie Couric. As expected, her ratings were fantastic the first few days. One week later, she came in third in the overnight ratings (Monday), although CBS usually gains...

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September 10, 2006

The Wire

I've tried each season, but I've never been hooked by HBO's The Wire, which debuts its fourth season tonight. But I'm going to try again. I don't think I've ever seen reviews for a series as glowing as The Wire...

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August 31, 2006

The Simpons vs. Star Trek

Nobody's a winner....

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August 03, 2006

Conclusive Proof that Men Are Smarter than Women?

You be the judge....

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Bedazzled

The amount of video online is staggering, and a trip to YouTube can induce a migraine and overload. So it's always great when someone with an astute sensibility and an archivist's soul filters a part of what's "out there." Such...

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Jon Stewart Is Not God

But not everyone agrees....

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July 31, 2006

The Answer Is: Today's Link

The question is: Where can I find the Jeopardy Archive? [Thanks to James Gleick]...

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July 12, 2006

Who Hates the New Emmy Nominations Most?

The fashionistas!...

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July 10, 2006

Pee-wee isn't the Only Wacky TV Guy

Pee-wee's Playhouse rides again, starting tonight, on the Adult Swim bloc on the Cartoon Network (11:00 P.M. E.S.T.). And ABC's president of sales is wacky....

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June 28, 2006

Replay TV "PC Edition"

The folks who invented the DVR are fighting for survival (heck, TIVO, who "won the war," is fighting for survival) with their PC Edition. You can sign up for a free 30-day trial when it launches in September....

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June 26, 2006

Obsessed with "Lost"?

Some of my friends think that I'm obsessed with all televsion shows, but for whatever reason, Lost just doesn't grab me (even though I used to be pals with Matthew Fox's wife when they lived in New York -- she...

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June 24, 2006

Televisionary

This is a cool blog about television, written by, of all people, a young TV development executive....

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June 21, 2006

Tops of the Pops, RIP

Another victim of the fractured music scene....

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June 20, 2006

Lovespring International

For the first time ever, I found a show to watch on Lifetime, and it's the only new sitcom besides the American version of The Office that I like enough to watch regularly. Featuring an ensemble steeped in improvisational comedy,...

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June 14, 2006

Big Meower

Shows on Animal Planet I'm unlikely to watch include......

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June 12, 2006

What I'm Watching Tonight

Rock Paper Scissors Championship tonight on A&E (10:00 P.M. E.S.T.) Will Shortz, on David Letterman, promoting the documentary, Wordplay....

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June 07, 2006

Gervais Meets David

Perhaps the two funniest writers on television meet. And talk. We're all winners....

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June 06, 2006

Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares

I was a big fan of Bravo's Top Chef and look forward to Fox's Hell's Kitchen, which has a similar format with a little more hype and bombast. But if you want to have as good a glimpse into the...

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May 27, 2006

Tivo Hit LIst

Tivo calls this list it's "Most-Recorded Shows" but I don't think that's quite right. It's actually a list of the shows with the most "Season Passes" (shows that users ask Tivo to record automatically). This is a good measure of...

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May 16, 2006

TV Upfronts

May is always a big television month. It's the all-important May Sweeps (which is why series finales are more common than pollen) but also the upfronts, when the networks announce their new Fall lineups. Aaron Barnhart, the Kansas City Star's...

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May 04, 2006

Time To Clean Out That Hard Drive?

If you want to appear on MTV's forthcoming dating show, it might be a good idea to prune, at the very least....

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April 26, 2006

Must See TV: SNL

This week's Saturday Night Live is guaranteed to be the best episode in many, many years. How do I know? It's devoted exclusively to Robert Smigel's TV Funhouse segments. Record it now and avoid having to buy the DVD....

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April 25, 2006

Jim Henson & Kermit

In his blog, Mark Evanier links to a wonderful clip from The Tonight Show w/Johnny Carson: Jim Henson and Kermit, sitting on a chair, chatting and singing "It's Not Easy Being Green." Charming stuff....

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April 21, 2006

We'll Pass on Oxygen, Thanks

Could a TV concept be less appealing?...

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April 11, 2006

Make Him Watch TV

Go ahead. Make his TV day....

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March 28, 2006

EXTREEEEEEEEEEEEME Makeover Home Edition

The memo....

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March 08, 2006

Big Reality Tonight

Tonight is the finale of Project Runway on Bravo. But there are also three reality-show debuts tonight. Top Chef follows Runway, and attempts to do for chefs what its lead-in does for fashion designers. One obvious problem: we can see...

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March 07, 2006

8th and Ocean

A bunch of young models, male and female, live together in a house in Miami. We can already hear the pitch that solid it: America's Next Top Model meets The Real World. Doesn't sound too promising. But 8th and Ocean...

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March 01, 2006

"Did Nancy Grace, TV Crimebuster, Muddy Her Myth?"

The weekly New York Observer has always boasted excellent television reporting. Rebecca Dana is doing wonderful work in her NYTV column. This week, she takes on CNN's Nancy Grace's backstory -- Grace is not quite in James Frey territory, but...

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February 27, 2006

The only thing I'm sicker of than the Olympics...

...is the title of this blog entry from the blog of the Kansas City Star's crack TV critic, Aaron Barnhart. I think he is right on about the economics of the Olympics. For some reason, critics have been piling on...

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February 21, 2006

Nothing To Watch On TV?

On the contrary,there's altogether too much. The highest ratings, no doubt will go to American Idol, with the twelve female semi-finalists facing off. And the Olympics continue, with the women's short program in figure skating the biggest draw. But here...

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February 07, 2006

TV Tonight

Has there ever been a contemporary song played on more dramatic and reality shows than James Blunt's "You're Beautiful"? Tonight, Blunt appears as himself on the so-far disappointing Love Monkey (CBS at 10:00 P.M.). On PBS, in most markets, there...

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February 03, 2006

Documentary Alert!

Tonight, debuting on Discovery, check out what some critics consider the best documentary of the year, Grizzly Man, Warner Herzog's film about Timothy Treadwell, who lived, and died, with grizzlies. Not for the squeamish....

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February 02, 2006

Three Different Reality Shows

Tonight is the debut of Survivor: Panama -- Exile Island. I haven't watched much of Survivor in the past few years, but like a dutiful Popular Culture guy, I'll try again. I'm a little more enthusiastic about tonight's debut of...

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January 26, 2006

James Frey Alert

Guess where James Frey is appearing today? Oprah. This should be interesting....

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January 18, 2006

The Psychology of Reality

On the Morning News site, Keith Hollihan has written three fascinating articles about reality TV. His latest focuses on the psychological screening that contestants undergo before, during, and after the shows air. He interviews Mark Burnett's workhorse psychologist, and the...

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January 17, 2006

TV Tonight

Lots of interesting stuff on tonight. Of course, American Idol debuts tonight, with a 2-hour audition special. Independent Lens, on PBS, chronicles the travails of three girls dealing with the juvenile justice system in San Francisco. And Paula Poundstone makes...

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January 11, 2006

James Frey on Larry King Tonight

By now, I assume you know about the scandal involving James Frey and the falsifications in A Million Little Pieces. Perhaps this is shallow of me, but another nail in his reputation, as far as I'm concerned, is Frey's decision...

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January 09, 2006

For Your Viewing Pleasure

I haven't seen a second of it, but I'll be watching PBS three-part Frontline, "Country Boys," a documentary following two boys in rural Kentucky throughout their high school years. It's the kind of long-range documentary about "real people" that is...

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December 24, 2005

Christmas Time for the Jews

I'm finally imbued with the Christmas spirit. The subways are running again in New York, last night Darlene Love once again performed a transcendent version of "Merry Christmas (Baby Please Come Home" on David Letterman, and I saw Robert Smigel's...

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December 15, 2005

Celebrity Autobiography: In Their Own Words

Tonight on Bravo, Fred Willard, Cheryl Hines, Jay Mohr, Andrea Martin, Doris Roberts and other stars read from the renowned works of Sylvester Stallone, N' Sync, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Loni Anderson, and many more. I'm so there....

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December 12, 2005

World's Worst Weathermen?

The first one will do until a worse one comes along....

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December 07, 2005

A Charlie Brown Christmas Redux

So I watched ACBC again last night and loved it once again. Bill Nichols wrote a wonderful article about the making of the special, interviewing not only the producers, but the kids who voiced the characters....

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December 06, 2005

At 4:00 P.M., Prime-Time Looks So Promising

All kinds of shows sound promising on TV tonight. On A&E, Ted Danson stars in Knights of the South Bronx, a drama based on a true story about a teacher who turns his South Bronx classroom into a chess powerhouse....

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December 04, 2005

Good Sunday Viewing

On HBO2, this morning at 10:00 A.M. and repeated at 1:00 P.M. on Thursday, Imagine: John Lennon, a documentary by Andrew Solt with a voiceover narration by none other than John Lennon. And at 10:00 P.M., the debut of Showtime's...

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November 29, 2005

Tivo Launches Ad Search Capability

Why use Tivo to skip ads when you can use Tivo to find commercials?...

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November 22, 2005

Ted Koppel's Last Night

I needn't add to the hype. Tonight is Ted Koppel's final appearance on Nightline. The show has been at its best in the last month, often offering half-hour investigations into topics no other network show would touch. Most of the...

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November 14, 2005

Tonight Show -- tonight

It takes a lot to get me to tune in to the Tonight Show (I'm a Letterman fan), but tonight is an exception. Neil Diamond is promoting his new CD, and will be joined by Brian Wilson. Any live appearance...

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November 08, 2005

Nightline Tonight

In a few weeks, Ted Koppel leaves Nightline for good, and he has been doing his best to make sure we miss him -- when it hasn't been covering breaking stories, such as Katrina, Nightline has aired eccentric, wonderful shows....

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November 07, 2005

Yahoo Meets Tivo!

Replay TV has had this feature for many years, but finally, you can control your Tivo via the web....

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October 28, 2005

TV Squad

Here's a cool blog, written by a group of TV fans, full of tips, news, and annotated listings of what's worth watching every day. [Thanks to Laura Tolkow for the tip]...

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October 25, 2005

Still Fewer Excuses for Missing a TV Show

First there was the videocassette recorder. Then the digital video recorder. Soon, Time-Warner will enable you to see all of a TV show if you stumble upon it in midstream....

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October 17, 2005

The Colbert Report

Tonight is the debut of The Colbert Report. Who knows whether Colbert will be able to sustain a persona of an obnoxious megalomaniac on a daily basis? Colbert is an enormous talent, both as a writer and a performer, and...

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October 15, 2005

A Great Night for Art Movies on TV

The broadcast networks have conceded failure on Saturday nights. Viewer levels are so low that NBC, CBS, and ABC have chosen to play reruns (of course, Fox is airing the baseball playoffs). As a result, the premium cable networks have...

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September 29, 2005

Extreme Fakeover?

Tsk Tsk....

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September 26, 2005

American Masters "Bob Dylan: No Direction Home" & Curb Your Enthusiasm

Tonight, even this heathen will be watching PBS. At 9:00 P.M. E.S.T., American Masters "Bob Dylan: No Direction Home debuts Martin Scorcese's film about Bob Dylan. By all acccounts, it is terrific. I'm in a good mood. Curb Your Enthusiasm...

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September 20, 2005

Two New Sitcoms and a Modest Proposal

Four new sitcoms have come with buzz, and two of them debuted Monday night: How I Met Your Mother and Kitchen Confidential. My main constructive criticism applies to both: Relax and stop trying so hard. Both shows have attractive casts...

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September 19, 2005

Emmy Postmortem

As I expected, lots of folks on television forums are upset about the results of last night's Emmys. And not just fans. Arrested Development and Desperate Housewives lose to Everybody Loves Raymond? William Shatner and James Spader win for Boston...

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September 13, 2005

Two New Talk Shows and One Documentary

In the interest of science, I checked out Martha Stewart and Tyra Banks's new shows' debuts. I'm not sure a live studio audience suits Martha well, but so many of her instincts are good, such as not overloading her first...

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September 06, 2005

A Good Night on Television

There are all sorts of promising stuff on TV tonight, none of which I've previewed: On PBS, tonight's POV (check local listings for time), The Hobart Shakespeareans chronicles a remarkable teacher in Los Angeles who produces an original Shakespeare production...

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August 27, 2005

Best Reason To Stay Home on a Saturday Night

Dodgeball makes its TV debut on Cinemax tonight, 10:00 P.M. E.S.T. If you avoided Dodgeball in theaters because it sounded dumb, your instincts were only partly right. It is dumb. It's also hilarious....

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August 22, 2005

Bright Leaves

May I recommend a film that I haven't seen? The PBS documentary series, POV, has snagged the broadcast premiere of Bright Leaves, the documentary about tobacco directed by Ross McElwee. Don't expect a Michael Moore-type polemic against the industry, but...

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August 19, 2005

More Kept Blogging

An eagle-eyed reader of this blog (O.K., it was me) noticed that the blog of Seth, the winner of the reality show Kept, links to the blog of his pal and runner-up's, Austen. Austen is more articulate than Seth, only...

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August 18, 2005

Kept Blog

On the off chance that any of you followed the VH1 show, Kept, the winner, Seth, has a blog. Seth is 34, but his blog chronicles a life not unlike a parody of frat life....

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August 13, 2005

When She's Good, She's Great

New York Times television critic is coming into her own. It's refreshing to find a critic who "gets" television. I loved her piece about Laguna Beach. Heffernan rightly points out that this reality show is the most beautifully shot program...

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August 02, 2005

Hell's Kitchen

Finales of reality shows are usually busts, but last night's conclusion of the Fox-TV reality show was fabulous. No spoilers here, in case some of you haven't watched yet, but I will say that the lack of gimmicks and red...

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July 28, 2005

Reality TV is Busting Out All Over

Almost every night this summer, a new reality show or three debuts. Tonight, the high profile new kid on the block is David E. Kelley's The Law Firm, in which real lawyers try real cases and really get kicked off...

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July 19, 2005

TIVO's Latest Upgrade

This is an upgrade?...

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July 14, 2005

I Kid You Not

The Wolper Organization has announced a new reality series that will be shown on the A&E Network: God or the Girl which follows men as they struggle with the decision to enter the seminary. Sounds like the classiest show since...

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July 05, 2005

2 New Reality Shows Debut Tonight

And one of them sounds slight but promising. A&E has done little promotion for it, but Family Forensics is an interesting twist: "New real-life series about a Los Angeles police detective, crime scene investigator, and psychologist who conduct a two-day...

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June 25, 2005

The Education of Shelby Knox

It's been awhile since I've seen a documentary as uplifting and entertaining as The Education of Shelby Knox, which aired this week on the PBS series, POV, in many cities. The summary on the POV website puts it perfectly: "A...

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June 20, 2005

Celebrity Charades

All week long at 9:00 P.M. E.T./P.T., American Movie Classics is running a succesor to what was irresistible programming from the 1950s and 1960s -- Stump the Stars and Pantomime Quiz. Charades might not seem like a great spectator "sport,"...

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June 07, 2005

Keeping It Real

Debuts and season premieres of reality shows abound. Tonight, the Queer Eye guys take on the idiots, the Boston Red Sox. Tommy HIlfiger's The Cut debuts Thursday. But I doubt if any of these shows will be more entertaining than...

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May 24, 2005

Not On Cruise Control

Oprah Winfrey is a talented broadcaster, and often can be an incisive and tough interviewer, but put her in front of a star and she is horrifying. Yesterday, she engaged in her usual kissfest with Tom Cruise. Of course, T.C....

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May 19, 2005

Next Fall on TV

What will the Fall line-up look like? I like the way Laurel Krahn designed her grid to indicate new shows, programs that have changed time or days, and those standing still. And you can do worse than using her daily...

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May 12, 2005

John Lennon's Jukebox

I loved this Great Performances special on PBS (it will run and be rerun at different times -- check the PBS website for local listings). They had me at the premise: find and interview as many of the musicians as...

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May 06, 2005

Bill Bell, R.I.P.

A giant in the world of soap operas, William Bell, died one week ago today at the age of 78. Bell is best known for creating the highest-rated soap opera of the past two decades, Young and the Restless and...

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April 11, 2005

You're Arrested!

We don't think Carolyn would approve....

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March 20, 2005

Two Reality Shows Worth Watching -- The Contender and Intervention

The ratings are a huge disappointment, but the success of The Apprentice and Survivor notwithstanding, Mark Burnett's best show is The Contender (Sundays at 8:00 P.M.). I don't think there's anything NBC can do to convince most folks to watch...

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March 15, 2005

Project Greenlight Redux

The first episode of Project Greenlight is fantastic. It focuses on the choice of which horror script would be produced, and which director would work with that script. Right away, there are tensions between the Project Greenlight folks (Matt Damon,...

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Reality is Goofy

Sure, The Amazing Race and American Idol are on tonight, but are you really going to miss The Starlet tonight to catch them? Surely, we're dying to see the plight of young hopefuls whose ultimate dream is to garner a...

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March 12, 2005

Worst Use of English by a Human Being on Television

This prestigious award goes to Iyanla Vanzant, who on the March 10 episode of Starting Over actually said: "How can we re-language that?" Never one to use a simple two-syllable word when an awkward, pretentious turn of phrase will do,...

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March 11, 2005

Nightline Tonight

David Letterman is in reruns tonight so you have no excuse for not watching Nightline tonight. Without much fanfare, Friday nights on Nightline have become a pop culture treasure trove. Here's what's on tap for tonight, as cribbed from the...

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March 10, 2005

The Good, The Bad, and the Weird

I've been spending many hours a day responding to reader email. While I'm answering email, I always have the TV or stereo on. I was watching the local news at noon, E.S.T., only to hear that Michael Jackson did not...

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March 09, 2005

Is Yawning Contagious?

One of the most popular Frustables from my books is going to be discussed on the Discovery Channel's Mythbusters tonight at 9:00 P.M. and repeated at midnight. I'm curious to see if they interview Dr. Robert Provine, my main source,...

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March 08, 2005

Nightline on Blogging Tonight

"And as this program airs (and this e-mail is read by viewers), there's no doubt that bloggers will blog about it." I guess I just proved Nightline producer Zena Barakat right. Should be worth checking out....

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February 24, 2005

Two Out of Three Ain't Bad

Tonight, Tony Kornheiser (with Michael Wilbon) is a guest on The Late Show with David Letterman. If you've read this blog entry, you'll know why I'm so excited. Now if we can just get Larry David on the show, too,...

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February 22, 2005

Those Wacky Canadians

With celebrity memorabilia so expensive these days, it's great to find David Letterman's trademark so cheaply....

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February 08, 2005

Read the Fine Print

In the interest of science, I've been watching The Entertainer, the "reality" talent show on the E Channel. It's a disorganized mess, full of meaningless challenges that have nothing to do with what contestant would make the best Vegas headliner....

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February 04, 2005

Query Letters

When I worked at NBC-TV, I read more than a few horrendous pitches for television shows. After I left NBC and worked on the proposals for what became my first two books, I did a little consulting and read even...

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February 02, 2005

Eurotrip

I love a smart dumb comedy, and thanks to a tip from my nephew, Michael, I checked out 2004's Eurotrip, a surprisingly funny and eccentric movie in the Road Trip/American Pie genre (but much better than either, in my estimation)....

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January 30, 2005

Letterman on Carson

I was not a big fan of Johnny Carson's reign on The Tonight Show. In fact, I usually watched his failing competitors. But I've been fascinated by the television tributes to him on everything from the vulture-like coverage on the...

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January 29, 2005

Don't Get Me Started!

Please, don't let me buy this!...

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January 27, 2005

Movie Club with John Ridley

Just what we need. Another television show with folks sitting around talking about movies. In this case, we do. None of the four regular critics on this American Movie Classics show will displace Roger Ebert as a TV critic, but...

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January 24, 2005

Festival Dailies

This week, The Sundance Channel offers daily coverage of this year's Sundance Film Festival, starting tonight through Saturday at 9:00 P.M. E.S.T. While you're tuned to the Sundance Channel, you might want to check out Control Room, Jehane Noujaim's controversial...

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January 18, 2005

R.I.P. Ruth Warrick

A great woman died at her home on January 15. Ruth Warrick gained fame for playing the wife of Orson Welles in Citizen Kane, and in television for an amazing 35-year run on All My Children. Here is today's New...

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December 27, 2004

Dave on TV

I'll be on two national TV shows this Tuesday, December 28. I'll be on the last half-hour of tbe CBS Early Show, chatting with Tracy Smith about my new book, Do Elephants Jump? I'm currently scheduled for 8:42 A.M., E.S.T.,...

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December 25, 2004

Two Documentaries Worth Checking Out

I just watched The Other Final, a modest and charming film about a football match between the two lowest-ranked countries in the Federation of International Football Association standings (numbers 202 and 203): Bhutan and Montserrat. The Other Final will be...

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December 21, 2004

Two Movie Masterpieces

Two of my all-time favorite movies are on TV in the next 24 hours. Turner Movie Classics is featuring an eight-movie tribute to George Stevens, who directed his share of classics (Gunga Din, Woman of the Year), but his greatest...

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December 15, 2004

"I Kid You Not" Part 2

We were not alone in being grossed out by the premise of Who's Your Daddy?...

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December 14, 2004

I Kid You Not

My nomination for freakiest reality show premise ever: "Fox will have a new series on the air come January 3rd called Who's Your Daddy? with host Finola Hughes. If you're not familiar, here's the premise. A reality/unscripted series where one...

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December 13, 2004

The Shop Around the Corner

Why is it so difficult to make a good romantic comedy in the 21st century? In 1940, director Ernst Lubitsch got it right with The Shop Around the Corner, which is playing tonight on Turner Classic Movie. Watch Jimmy Stewart...

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December 10, 2004

Did I Hear This?

Last night on The Apprentice, Donald Trump congratulated the two finalists (who will remain unnamed so as not to spoil your potential enlightment and delight) for beating out one million applicants. One million? Hmmmm....

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December 08, 2004

Reality Show Scandal

L.A. Times finds that Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and The Simple Life aren't quite as real as advertised [registration at the L.A. Times might be necessary]....

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December 06, 2004

The 10 Least Successful Holiday Specials of All Time

It's that time of year. Let's just be thankful that some of the Christmas specials on TV aren't quite as bad as these. [Thanks to Paul Murray]...

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December 05, 2004

Oh, About that Henry Rollins Movie Show on IFC...

Never mind....

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December 04, 2004

Henry's Film Corner

It's been awhile since Ebert & Roeper have had any significant competition in the TV movie-talk arena. Tonight, on the Independent Film Channel, rock star (?) Henry Rollins hosts Henry's Film Corner. Might be worth checking out....

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December 01, 2004

Project Runway

For those of us that are bereft at the end of Manhunt: The Search For America's Most Gorgeous Male Model (which ended with the right man winning), we'll just have to content ourselves with the last few episodes of America's...

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November 30, 2004

The Fall of Ken Jennings

It's all over the Internet and TV, for that matter, that today is the day the two and a half million dollar man finally loses on Jeopardy. Watch the show, and then take a look at Nightline, which is devoting...

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November 29, 2004

Pet Star

How could I be so blind? Tonight, the third season of Pet Star debuts on Animal Planet. And I didn't even know this show existed. Fantasia? Clay Aiken? Who cares? Tonight we can see ladder-climbing and psychic dogs, and even...

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November 22, 2004

My Architect

My favorite movie of 2003 was a documentary. I enjoyed two other documentaries that were also nominated for an Academy Award for best feature, Capturing the Friedmans and Fog of War, but My Architect is the documentary that has stayed...

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November 19, 2004

Tonight on Nightline

Every afternoon in my mailbox, I receive an email that describes what story Nightline is likely to air that evening (subject to breaking news). Tonight's show sounds fascinating. Here's the scoop: X MARKS THE SPOT November 19, 2004 Everybody dreams...

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November 16, 2004

Reality Shows A-Poppin'

Tuesday night is a ridiculous night for reality television. The big news is the debut of The Amazing Race 6 on CBS (and I applaud the powers that be, even after winning two consecutive Emmies, for not using Roman numerals...

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November 14, 2004

Dayton Allen, R.I.P.

One of my comic idols, Dayton Allen, died last Thursday, a largely forgotten figure. Mark Evanier, who writes one of my favorite blogs in the blogosphere, news from me, posted a wonderful anecdote about Allen. Allen is best known as...

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November 11, 2004

Film School Finals

My favorite new reality show of the year, Film School, concludes its run tomorrow night (Friday, at 10:30 P.M. on Independent Film Channel). One of the four filmmakers has dropped out of school, and all three of the remaining film...

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November 09, 2004

It Had To Happen Eventually

But in England?...

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November 05, 2004

Two Docs Worth Checking Out

I'm off to the Mohonk Mountain House today for the annual Wonderful World of Words program. I may not have time or ability to blog until Monday. If you get the Sundance Channel, you may want to check out two...

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November 03, 2004

Escape to Reality

I spent the last 24 hours immersed in the election and tonight I'm going out and playing bridge (a nasty hobby. but someone has to playit). Just as well. Not sure I want to watch a depressing episode of The...

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October 28, 2004

RIP, CNNfn

CNN is finally pulling the plug on its financial network. Are there any lessons to be learned from its demise? 1. If you are going to start a copycat cable network, make sure that either you offer different or superior...

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October 27, 2004

Worst New Reality Show of the Season?

It isn't close. This distinction belongs to He's a Lady, which muddles an already shaky premise (which "average Joe" does the best job of passing for a "lady"?) by combining every reality show cliche known to mankind. It's worse than...

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October 25, 2004

Ashleegate Revisited

If you just can't get enough of the SNL scandal, visit this brand new Australian website that is covering the cover-up. Or the frame-up. Won't the lessons of Watergate and Milli Vanilli ever be learned?...

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October 24, 2004

Saturday Night, er, Live

Don't know how long it will stay up, but if you want a lesson the perils of singers working with prerecorded vocals, take a look at Ashlee Simpson on SNL last night, including the "cover-up" at the end of the...

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October 10, 2004

Sitcom Savior?

For the first time in my life, I'm not watching a single situation comedy on a regular basis. I've tried Arrested Development, Entourage, Will & Grace, etc. It's hard for me to sit through a half-hour of any of them....

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October 06, 2004

You're Wired!

She got fired from The Apprentice. She got fired from her real estate job. She was taped making anti-Semitic remarks. But nothing should shame Jennifer Crisafulli more than her annoying website....

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October 03, 2004

Two Guys Sitting Around Talking About Movies

When you think of Sunday morning talk shows, chances are politically oriented programs like Meet the Press or This Week come to mind. I watch a bunch of these public affairs show, along with that wonderful mix of politics and...

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September 28, 2004

Alternative Reality

Some of the best reality shows are on basic cabic. One of my favorites this year is Film School, on IFC (the Independent Film Channel). Four NYU graduate students, aspiring directors, struggle to mount a student film. The mechanics of...

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September 25, 2004

Why I'm Happy I'm Not a 12-Year-Old Girl

It's simple. If I were a 12-year-old girl, I'd probably think at least a couple of the boys in the cast of Complete Savages, were hot. And then I'd want to watch Complete Savages. This would be a bad mistake....

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September 21, 2004

Confessions of a DVR Owner

As Americans go, I own a refreshingly low two televisions. One is in my living room and the other is in my office. But I do have a digital video recorder to go with each TV, both capable of recording...

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September 20, 2004

Tony Kornheiser: Pardon the Sitcom

It pains me to agree with the TV critics that, at least based on the merits of the pilot, the new CBS sitcom, Listen Up, based on the life of Washington Post columnist/ESPN personality, is indeed pretty lame. Jason Alexander...

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September 19, 2004

The Broadcast TV Networks Have More than Each Other To Worry About

At one time, NBC had little to worry about at the beginning of the Fall season other than how it would fare versus CBS and ABC. Now the three broadcast networks have to worry not only about Fox, WB, and...

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September 14, 2004

Pat Croce: Moving In

I love games and am fascinated with reality shows, so you'd think that Survivor and Amazing Race would be favorites. Not really. My favorite reality shows are ones where the "characters" are just hanging around, interacting, direct descendants of MTV's...

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