The reigning king of scripted broadcast summer fare is CBS' "Under the Dome," which begins its second season tonight. "Dome" took the industry by storm last summer with its robust ratings and general critical support. Tellingly, and very wisely, CBS did not whisk the second season of "Dome" out of the summer and shove it into the traditional broadcast season. Instead, it is staying on course, utilizing "Dome" as a foundation of sorts in its construction of a solid summer season of original programming. The strategy has already paid off.
Two new series are making their debuts on Sunday night -- 'Reckless' And 'The Leftovers' -- one on pay cable, the other on broadcast. Neither show is instantly addictive, but both are ambitious in their own way. I can't help but think that each one might have been better served by being developed for the other's medium.
One of the most powerful columns about television that I have read this year -- perhaps in several years -- is Huffington Post television critic Maureen Ryan's commentary about the sexual assault of women in popular entertainment This is a topic that is very much top of mind these days among critics and viewers alike. The disturbing treatment of two women in the first episode of the new FX drama "Tyrant," which premiered this week, was for Ryan the last straw. As she so succinctly says in her column, she has had enough.
When the nominees for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series were being announced, among them was "General Hospital" star Jane Elliot. I remember when Elliot won the Emmy in 1981 for her portrayal of Tracy Quartermaine, the character she has continued to play until this day. That was then -- and here we are now, able to watch the Daytime Emmys on any number of devices at any time and in any location we choose, presented over a medium that didn't even exist when Elliot was first honored.
The presentation of the 41st annual Daytime Emmy Awards on daytimeemmys.net -- this after the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences was unable to come to any kind of an agreement with any broadcast or basic cable network to carry the show -- was in many ways better than I imagined it would be. In fact, I had imagined the worst. But what I saw, while far from the glorious broadcast prime-time productions of old, was not at all difficult to sit through -- which places it above the often cringe-inducing Daytime Emmy telecasts in 2012 and 2013 on ...
I'm noticing a significant uptick in concerned comments by television critics and bloggers about the rising tide of graphic ultra-violence in television programming, which has been building for decades. Way back in 1971 on an episode of the now-classic comedy "Bewitched," impressionable young Tabitha became quite upset over something she was watching. What was so offensive as to make a young witch twitch? It was a show for kids featuring the puppets Punch and Judy, a novelty act dating back to the early 19th century, which in all of its incarnations was always very popular with children.
The Emmy excitement to come hinges on the choices that voting members of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences are making this week. So here's a handy guide designed to help recall the shows and performances from May 31, 2013 through May 31, 2014 that deserve recognition. Today's column calls attention to worthwhile comedy series and comedic performances that should not be overlooked.
We are nearing the end of the two-week period in which voting members of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences choose nominees for this year's Emmy Awards. Even if the Emmys are likely to be an anticlimax of sorts because of their scheduling, that won't compromise the excitement leading up to and immediately following the announcement of the nominations. All of that hinges on the choices voting members are making this week. So here's a handy guide designed to help recall the shows and performances from May 31, 2013 through May 31, 2014 that deserve recognition.
"Dominion" is more fun and more promising than any scripted effort the Syfy network has presented in years. Syfy President Dave Howe said at a press gathering in April that upcoming Syfy series would be "provocative" and "buzzy." I imagine "Dominion" will be both if it continues to balance the intimacy of the eternal struggle between good and evil at its core with the extreme warfare between angels and mankind. The nudity and violence won't hurt, either.
Summer's most interesting rom-com came to an end last night with the season finale of FX's "Louie." The entire fourth season of this show mostly played as one long story that drilled deeply into the lead character's feelings about and tentative relationships with women. Almost every episode made me think about what I was watching in ways that I found uncomfortable and exhaustive. I applaud the show for daring to expose certain truths about adult life that most television writers couldn't deliver even if they tried -- but I'm glad it's over.