• 'The Walking Dead': TV's Mightiest Show Delivers A Knockout Episode
    AMC's "The Walking Dead" last night served up a storyline unlike any I can recall in a lifetime of television watching. Any doubts as to the impact of this hour were immediately eradicated when "Walking Dead" ended and "Talking Dead" began. Host Chris Hardwick and his guests, including Melissa McBride, had also been watching the show and they were clearly as shaken up by it as any viewer who did not have ice water running through his or her veins.
  • Hallmark Channel Pumps Up Its Portfolio Of Original Drama Series
    It seemed to me years ago that as basic cable networks moved with increasing frequency and support into original dramatic series programming, Hallmark was uniquely positioned to do something no other network was capable of or interested in doing: Adding to its schedule a variety of family-friendly dramas. Happily, Hallmark has finally taken the plunge with two scripted drama series, "Cedar Cove" and "When Calls the Heart," both of which have been successes for the network. They have done so well, in fact, that a third will join Hallmark's schedule on Easter Sunday -- "Signed, Sealed and Delivered."
  • A Profound Look At The Future Of Media - On An Episode Of 'The Waltons'?
    "The Waltons" used to be referred to as iconic, but I'm not sure if that's true anymore. I can't help but wonder if are there any millennials out there who have ever even watched this show. I'm writing this column because a recent episode shown on Hallmark Channel -- episode 17 from Season Nine, to be exact -- really hit home for me now, as a long-time television critic, in a way that it wouldn't have when it first aired. Titled "The Threshold," it dramatizes the arrival of television on Walton's Mountain in the late Forties and offers great futuristic …
  • 'House Of Cards': A 'Dynasty' For Our Day?
    Frank Underwood may remind me of J.R. Ewing, but the show "House of Cards" most often calls to mind, at least in its second season, is "Dynasty." In other words, "Cards" isn't as upscale and sophisticated as its most fervid supporters would have us believe; time and again, I have found that looking at "House of Cards" in a different way helps me to get past the one-sidedness of it all (the powerful crush the ordinary, over and over again) and the improbability of certain narrative turns, and instead enjoy all of the nasty behavior on screen.
  • Does ABC Have A Hot Supernatural Hit In 'Resurrection'?
    Where is "Resurrection" going? Only ABC can tell us, and it won't if it knows what's good for it. "Resurrection" isn't nearly as moody or atmospheric as "The Returned," but it is still an impressive production. Its overarching mystery is infinitely more seductive in the emotional sense than that surrounding Agent Coulson, and it can play out for many seasons if correctly handled. Meanwhile, I can hear top programming executives at every network ordering their teams to find the next supernatural success and have it ready to announce by May. Yesterday's vampires are today's zombies. Are werewolves next? Let the …
  • HBO's 'True Detective' Was A Perfect Short-Term TV Commitment
    The effectiveness and overall impact of HBO's "True Detective" -- the first-arc finale of which proved such a draw last night that it crashed HBO Go -- should be a signal to the television industry that there is success to be had in exploring new programming models. It is certainly true that audiences seem less interested in prolonged seasons of any series, especially when they are presented with perpetual preemptions, or in fall and spring seasons with a prolonged break in between. That break is an annoyance that stalls the momentum a show may have built up from September through …
  • Comedians Launch A Robust Promotional Tour For Upcoming NBC Sitcom 'Undateable'
    Bill Lawrence and Co. have put together a promotional blitz for his latest sitcom -- a new NBC entry titled "Undateable" -- well ahead of its network premiere, which has yet to be announced. If the pilot is any indication, the comic energy maintained between the four leads and their co-stars is as sharp and entertaining as their individual stand-up routines. It may not prove to be the funniest new sitcom of the 2013-14 season, but it looks to be much more accessible and satisfying than many of its freshman classmates. The young and heavily male Comedy Central audience ought …
  • USA Network Sharpens Its Edge With New Comedy 'Sirens'
    USA Network has recently been looking to stretch its identity a bit without compromising its reputation for engaging, easygoing entertainment. USA is still regarded overall as relatively edge-free. Once upon a time that was a good thing, but in the increasingly hard world of television entertainment, where everything must now shock or titillate if it is going to be honored with ongoing media attention and potential award recognition, edge is where it's at.
  • Will Additional Exposure On Hallmark Channel Help Boost 'The Middle?'
    "The Middle" is in many ways the best family comedy to come along since "Roseanne" and "Home Improvement." It's a solid performer as the leadoff entry in ABC's Wednesday night comedy block, but for reasons that continue to elude me, it has never enjoyed the robust ratings that it has deserved from the start. Last fall, repeats from its first four seasons began playing weeknights on ABC Family. This week, "The Middle" joined the nightly Hallmark Channel lineup as well. Maybe with all this additional exposure it will finally get the respect it deserves.
  • Record Ratings And Other Oscar Surprises
    There were all kinds of surprises throughout this year's event, from host Ellen DeGeneres orchestrating the first truly interactive moment between Oscar viewers and participants in the history of the Academy Awards to John Travolta unexpectedly becoming the most talked about celebrity of the night. The aftermath of these two "moments" has been even more interesting than the moments themselves. As of this writing, the Most Famous Selfie of All Time has passed three million tweets.
« Previous EntriesNext Entries »