• On 'Homeland,' The War On Terror Drones On
    On TV, as in real life, the War on Terror is a never-ending battle. With all due respect to the thousands of Americans working in our military and intelligence services waging this war in the real world every day, viewers can be excused for experiencing battle fatigue, especially when reflecting on all the War on Terror TV shows we've absorbed over the past dozen or more years. "Homeland" is one of them, and its return this past weekend on Showtime for Season No. 4 has me wondering if I have the stomach for another go-round of this.
  • Top TV Interviewers Could Learn A Thing Or Two From Andy Cohen
    The "mystique" of TV news just got tarnished as Bravo's Andy Cohen got the interview everyone else wanted and conducted it as well as anyone. The results were seen partially on Bravo Monday night in a 30-minute prime-time special featuring Cohen interviewing Bravo's embattled reality stars Joe and Teresa Giudice of "The Real Housewives of New Jersey," who received prison sentences last Thursday following their convictions on numerous counts of fraud.
  • CNN Faces News Channel Challenge, Fills Airtime With Non-News Programming
    What's a news channel to do with all those hours when no one's watching? Fill 'er up with non-news programming, that's what. In the past week or so, CNN's filler programs have been receiving attention in various stories about CNN President Jeff Zucker. Like it or not, CNN is a news channel where people expect to find news when they tune in.
  • Fox Sends A Better 'Mulaney' Episode To TV Critics, Saves Show
    Here's a good example of the pitfalls of TV-column writing: I was all ready to blast this new Fox comedy series "Mulaney" as one of the worst shows I had the misfortune to waste time watching this past summer. But then I decided to watch the series premiere I received recently from Fox on a DVD before writing today's TV blog. And guess what: The pilot that Fox is airing this coming Sunday night at 9:30 (8:30 central) is completely different from the episode that Fox provided to TV columnists last summer.
  • From 'A To Z': What's Wrong And Right About TV Comedy
    NBC's new comedy series "A to Z" manages to encompass just about everything that's wrong with contemporary TV comedy writing -- and everything that's right too. Romantic sitcoms featuring characters who are either 30-something or possibly 20-something and who meet cute and then date are something of a mini-trend in the new fall TV season -- and so far, "A to Z" is the best of the bunch.
  • Redskins Name Will Die Out On Its Own, Without FCC Intervention
    Those of us who are familiar with the FCC's history in the enforcement of "content" regulations don't really expect the commission to come out with a ruling banning the word "Redskins" on TV. The issue arises today because of the news that the FCC has confirmed it is considering a complaint petition recently filed at the commission about the Redskins team name.
  • From Silly To Profane: Publicity Materials Sent To TV Columnists Run The Gamut
    Maybe I'm old-fashioned, but the quality and permissiveness of some of the publicity materials I have received recently from various media companies are pushing the boundaries of good taste (to put it tastefully). And in other cases, some of the "news" releases I have been receiving make me wonder if TV can get any sillier.
  • Controversy Is Difficult to Generate When No One Gets Offended Anymore
    Is there really such a thing as "controversy" anymore on TV? The question arises in the wake of the "Daily Show" segment seen last Thursday night, in which "Daily Show" correspondent Jason Jones went in search of opposing viewpoints about the appropriateness of the Washington Redskins team name.
  • Just In Time For The Jewish High Holidays, Fox Celebrates 'The Simpsons'
    Give "The Simpsons" credit for audacity. The long-running Fox series returns for its 26th season Sunday night with a Jewish-themed episode airing smack in the middle of the Jewish High Holidays. It's a very special night for "The Simpsons." Not only is the show returning for season No. 26-- itself an achievement that boggles the mind -- but the Simpson family will get an extra hour of exposure a half-hour later when the special one-hour season premiere of "Family Guy" at 9 has the Griffin family contriving a getaway to Springfield, where they end up as guests in the Simpson ...
  • Thursday Night On ABC: How To Get Away With Garbage
    The verdict on "How to Get Away with Murder" is: guilty -- by reason of absurdity. Once you start piling on the secrets and shifting back and forth in time, you get the feeling that plausibility will not turn out to be this show's strong suit. "How to Get Away With Murder" is an un-pleasurable, one-hour exercise in cynicism that assumes that its audience agrees that when it comes to people, everyone is guilty of something.
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