Fox earlier this week announced that it will telecast a three-hour live production of the musical "Grease" sometime during 2015. If all goes well this will undoubtedly be one of the biggest television events of next year. It was only a matter of time before another broadcaster tried with a similar special of its own to duplicate the success NBC had last December with its live presentation of the stage musical "The Sound of Music."
As of January, I think CBS may have to show a little more love for "The Late Late Show" -- or whatever takes its place -- than it has in the past. Given all the excitement over at NBC, viewers have come to expect more from life at 12:30 a.m. The departure of the effortlessly witty Ferguson is a significant loss for CBS and for broadcast in general. He has been the most distinctive host in late night for many years.
When Edie Falco won the Emmy four years ago as Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for her starring role in Showtime's "Nurse Jackie," she was somewhat stunned to be honored with an award in a comedy category for a performance that was unarguably dramatic. Falco certainly tempers the often exasperating Jackie with a dark sense of humor, but it is generally buried several layers below the surface of her confounding persona. The show continues to ask the question "How can someone so good be so bad?" Falco's performance remains an award-worthy marvel throughout.
The best news about television today comes from BBC America, which this morning issued a press release declaring that the audience for last weekend's season premiere of the science-fiction thriller "Orphan Black" effectively doubled once live + 3 ratings were finalized. I'm only too happy to show some love for whatever reason for "Orphan Black" -- which in addition to being a damn fine character-based sci-fi thriller with more twists and turns than just about any other series on television is a grand showcase for the profound talents of its lead actress, Tatiana Maslany.
"Glee" bears little resemblance to the spirited and charming treat it was during its first two seasons. The premature fall of a once special show -- one that held the promise of advancing broadcast television, at least in the eyes of young people -- has been painful to see. Still, I couldn't help but check in Tuesday night to see Rachel Berry's big Broadway debut in "Funny Girl" in the episode aptly titled "Opening Night." But, perhaps as usual, this hour of "Glee" was ultimately as exasperating and off-putting as it was entertaining and spirit-lifting.
I'm hoping that Colbert might try to distance himself from all the other broadcast late-night guys and place a greater emphasis on adult engagement rather than perpetually playing to the kids the way Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan and Steve Harvey and others do on their daytime talk shows. He surely seems up to the challenge of being himself -- rather than his Comedy Central persona -- and keeping it real, as he demonstrated last night.
"The Gossip Table" and "Big Morning Buzz" deserve more attention (and higher ratings) than they are getting. "The Gossip Table" features a panel of five entertainment reporter-blogger-journalist folks who dish the day's celebrity news and play off each other like pros who have been working together for years. And the effortlessly charming and laid-back Nick Lachey seems to have been born for the "Big Morning Buzz" gig. The guy knows how to keep a live hour-long show humming right along, and how to get his guests talking, and how to relate to the "regular" folks on the street.
For now, it feels like the characters on "Mad Men" are living in some kind of bubble. They seem not to be preoccupied in their daily lives with the consistently combustible world around them that made 1969 one of the most tumultuous years in modern American history. I wish the season had started a little further into the year, so that the narrative might already be informed by Woodstock and Altamont, the moon landing, the Manson murders, continuing campus unrest, the Stonewall riots, the incident at Chappaquiddick, continued concerns about the Cold War and so much more.
AMC's "Mad Men" may be the go-to show right now for a look at the advertising business in the Sixties, but every now and then an episode of a classic series from that decade, like "The Flying Nun," offers an entertaining look into the machinations of Madison Avenue at the time.
We're just about five weeks away from the premiere of a new summer reality series with one of the most unreal premises ever: In Fox's "I Wanna Marry 'Harry,'" twelve American women will compete for the love and affection of a man they believe to be the one and only Prince Harry of Wales.