Remember when daytime television was something to talk about? It wasn't so long ago that the broadcast networks offered compelling news and entertainment programming throughout the daytime hours that was at times more satisfying to watch than the comedies and dramas on their prime-time schedules. That isn't the case anymore. But there are bright spots.
It should come as no surprise that according to today's Twitter TV Ratings from Nielsen, "The Voice" last night was far and away the most tweeted-about program on television. Two and a half million distinct accounts viewed at least one of the 595,000 "Voice"-related tweets generated during the hour. There is no denying that the addition of Twitter to its process brought a new energy to "The Voice," even if it is the only big broadcast competition series at the moment that is not in need of any such assistance. After what I saw last night on "The Voice" I ...
"The Walking Dead" is simply too important a program -- not only for AMC but now for all of television -- for any of us to watch as it weakens without at least speaking up about it. I am fascinated by the influence the show is having not only on program development at other networks but on the conception and execution of commercials, too -- especially some of those that run during "Dead." But I am even more concerned about the show now than I was a month ago after watching the first two episodes of the season.
The best thing about "The Crazy Ones" is that it has turned into a television series unlike any other, just like certain other of Kelley's shows, especially "Picket Fences," "Ally McBeal" and "Boston Legal." It looks and feels like one of Kelley's dramas, but it is very much a feel-good comedy -- one increasingly filled with so much heart that you can't help but give in to it. Happily, it never feels like it's playing to a fickle young audience that it can't hope to reach. Everything about it is too smart for that.
This week's most interesting announcement about television programming concerned a new programming and scheduling agreement between Netflix, The Walt Disney Company and Disney-owned Marvel that will result in four new series franchises consisting of 13 episodes each on Netflix -- as well as a mini-series "event" that will bring together characters and stories from those four new shows. Each of the four series will be built around a Marvel Comics character with strong ties to the New York City neighborhood known as Hell's Kitchen.
The CW last night premiered an exciting new series that was not included in the network's upfront announcement last May, its panels at the San Diego Comic-Con in July, or at the 2013 Summer Television Critics Association tour. The new series is a mini spin-off of "Arrow" titled "Blood Rush" and is sponsored by Bose QC 20 headphones and SoundLink Mini speakers. New episodes are set to premiere each week during "Arrow."
Broadcast and basic cable network schedules during the next three weeks are going to be filled with documentaries and special news programs marking the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Overload seems to be inevitable, as does relentless repetition, no matter how the subject matter is explored. But there are two very different productions coming from National Geographic Channel that will in many ways stand out from the rest.
Nielsen's Daily Top Five and Weekly Top Ten Twitter TV Ratings continue to offer fascinating insights into Twitter usage during the "live" presentations of television programs while also calling into question whether or not the total tweet activity that particular shows generate warrants any special attention at all.
I wonder why American television doesn't have an entertainment-driven talk show in prime time? Daytime network schedules are being overrun by them, while celebrity-filled late night talk shows make as much news as anything else on television. But where is entertainment talk at an earlier hour, even if only once a week? The only network that offers grandly entertaining prime-time talk is BBC America -- and on Saturday night no less, where the reliably funny import "The Graham Norton Show" recently began its 14th season.
As the year begins winding down to a close, it appears there may suddenly be another new series worthy of recognition as one of the year's best: The supernatural chiller "The Returned," which debuted this week on Sundance Channel.