What's the best TV show for an author to appear for driving book sales? A very informal consensus in the book biz seems to be "Charlie Rose." And a very close second is "CBS News Sunday Morning." The subject arose in several conversations held this week on the floor of BookExpo America '15. This is the annual gathering of book publishers large and small, in which upcoming and existing titles are promoted. This year's BEA was held at the Javits Center in Manhattan from Wednesday through Friday, May 27-29.
This week, I watched the summer quiz show on Fox called "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?" and was surprised to find out that the show doesn't exactly pit grown-ups against children in a battle of wits -- at least not directly. With the 2014-15 TV season "officially" ending last Wednesday (May 20), this is the time of year when new and returning summer series turn up on the networks. "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?" is one of the latter.
NBC's "Aquarius" is an exercise in making a terrible chapter in the history of American crime palatable for a young, modern, squeamish audience for whom the 1960s is as remote as the 19th century.
Some commentators have suggested that Discovery's misfortune with "19 Kids and Counting" was somehow inevitable -- that the networks of Discovery traffic in shows featuring characters so unusual that sooner or later they would be revealed to be concealing some odious past behavior. The impetus for this hypothesis is the discovery that Josh Duggar was the subject of a child-molestation investigation 12 years ago. Although he apologized for his "inexcusable" behavior in a statement issued last week, an admission of this type will never fly with the general public and TLC quickly issued a statement distancing itself from the Duggars.
What's replacing "Letterman" on CBS? Bet you didn't know this, but it's not Stephen Colbert -- it's "The Mentalist"! No sooner had David Letterman closed up shop on CBS Wednesday night than a rerun of "The Mentalist" took up his time slot the very next night. And reruns of this former CBS crime series, which ended its seven-season run on the network in February, are scheduled for 11:35 p.m. for the foreseeable future -- although it's possible that other crime-drama reruns will also be cycled in over the next few months.
David Letterman's final "Late Show" was self-indulgent and over-long, but you might also say he earned the right to take as much time as he needed to say his good-byes. And if the final show, seen Wednesday night on CBS, came across as a mish-mash, then so be it. His fans probably loved it and hung on every word and nuance because with each passing moment, the end was drawing near.
David Letterman's farewell show, airing tonight on CBS, had better be a work of staggering genius if Letterman is to live up to all the praise that has been showered on him. It's probably accurate to say Letterman brought a fresh perspective to the idea of the TV talk show -- one that represented more of an evolution than a revolution. For me, what set Letterman apart was the way in which we all felt we had come to know him personally, although we never actually did.
The George Stephanopoulos debacle now unfolding at ABC News is a symbol of the inappropriate chumminess that has set in between a certain class of journalists in this country and the people they are supposed to cover. It boils down to one key question: How can Stephanopoulos be in position to serve as the face of ABC's political coverage going into a presidential election season in which his friends the Clintons are playing a huge part -- with one of them, Hillary -- seeking the presidency?
"Mad Men" ended its run Sunday night on a surprisingly upbeat note. Most notably, Don Draper actually smiled -- an expression not completely unprecedented for him during the seven-season run of this series. Nevertheless, this particular smile seemed to indicate that Don had achieved a degree of inner peace, at least for now.
Can we do away with all the seat-saving at the upfronts, please? There, I said it -- and hopefully it's something that many are thinking in the wake of the New York upfronts, which concluded Thursday night with the NBC Cable event at the Javits Center. Don't act like you don't know what I'm talking about. It is a huge annoyance and everybody knows it. It is the saving of rows and rows of prime seats for colleagues, "team" members, friends and associates that occurs moments after the doors are thrown open for the upfronts.