On this Halloween day I have found myself contemplating the strange history of the Stephen King horror story "Carrie" -- as perfect a horror film as one could ask for in the mid-Seventies, and one that truly existed in the time that the story was written and the film was produced. I am somewhat surprised that young-skewing networks like The CW or MTV have not developed a "Carrie"-inspired television series, because that seems like an obvious thing to do. It would likely die a fast death, but that sad reality hasn't stopped the development of thousands of ill-advised shows. Horror-themed …
Just when critics and other industry observers think they understand television, a puzzle like the one Showtime's "Homeland" is at the center of comes along and forces them to re-evaluate basic assumptions about the popularity of quality drama. "Homeland" -- a complex psychodrama/thriller hybrid that distinguished itself in its first season as one of the best dramatic programs in modern television history and reaped numerous rewards as a result -- is this season transforming into something completely new, and not in a good way.
Who can really say whether Twitter activity tied to a specific program or network has any true value to anyone? How do we know the context in which tweets are tweeted? Is the sending of one or two tweets during a 30- or 60- or 120-minute program indicative of the level of engagement the sender may or may not have with the program itself? These are just a few of the questions that came to mind this morning while I was reviewing the list of the top five most tweeted upon programs last night (October 28) as provided by the …
NBC's "The Blacklist" isn't just a ratings winner or a critical success. It is also the first television series to perpetually push Live+7 audience measurement to the forefront of program evaluation by the press and other related businesses.
As if pop-up promotional graphics and network logos and on-screen reminders telling the viewer what he or she is watching weren't enough, now broadcast and basic cable networks alike are further cluttering their screens with tweets and Facebook messages from individuals who are not even identified by their real names.TV's social media cluster-frak is irritating when it compromises the enjoyment of an entertainment program. It is downright inappropriate when news programs on broadcast and cable networks use it as a way to pump up whatever they may be reporting or commenting on.
I can say without reservation that this Sunday's episode of CBS' "The Good Wife" is the most exciting hour of drama anyone will see on broadcast television this season. It is certainly the strongest broadcast hour of 2013 to date and the strongest episode in the five-year history of "The Good Wife." There are reasons why it is often the only broadcast series grouped by critics into the company of television's finest dramas, the rest of which happen to be on basic and pay cable.
The most interesting news in the television business yesterday had nothing whatsoever to do with any of the new season's new shows or anything happening on cable. It was CBS' announcement that it was putting together two episodes of a series that first aired in the Fifties and presenting them as a prime-time Christmas special on Friday, December 20. The episodes are from the classic comedy "I Love Lucy," which ran on CBS from 1951-57 and has continued to run in domestic and global syndication ever since.
It really isn't that much of a stretch to suggest that "The Blacklist" already belongs in the company of television's best dramas. All of a sudden, CBS' "The Good Wife" isn't the only basic cable-worthy drama series on broadcast. "The Blacklist" has soared in the ratings -- recently making history (according to NBC) when its September 30 episode became the first broadcast network show to add more than 6 million viewers to its total audience when Live +7 numbers were factored in.
I have championed AMC's "The Walking Dead" from the start, and I can't imagine not doing so for as long as it runs -- which will likely be many more years, given the record-breaking ratings that "Dead" has delivered this year, stomping all over everything else on television among adults 18-49 and heavily influencing the development and execution of many new series, commercials and feature films. But I have felt a few red flags trying to go up during the first two episodes of this history-making season.
Lost in the big fuss earlier this week about the titanic audience that tuned in for the Season Four premiere of AMC's "The Walking Dead" -- which drew 16.1 million viewers -- was the performance of "Talking Dead," the live talk show that follows every new episode of the zombie thriller. A total 5.1 million viewers -- including 2.6 adult 18-49 viewers -- watched host Chris Hardwick talk about the hour of horror that preceded his program.