Why shouldn't Rachel Dolezal be permitted to "be" an African-American women if that's what she says she wants to be? "I identify as black," she said Tuesday morning on "The Today Show" on NBC. That quote instantly became the insta-headline on most of the interview coverage -- her first since it was revealed earlier this month that she was birthed from 100 percent Caucasian parents, but has long referred to herself as a black woman. In the aftermath of the revelations, she resigned Monday from the NAACP, then flew to New York to be interviewed by Matt Lauer.
Despite the classic TV show's omnipresence, the folks at Hulu are promoting the upcoming streaming debut of "Seinfeld" as if it's the second coming. They bought the rights to stream every single episode of this show, which is, let's face it, almost everyone's favorite TV show -- the famed "show about nothing." In theory, the availability of every "Seinfeld" episode for viewing anytime, without regard to such a thing as a broadcast schedule, should have "Seinfeld" fans flocking to Hulu. But will they?
With David Letterman now out of the late-night picture, you might think the two Jimmies would be picking up his audience. But that might not be the case, if it's possible to draw this conclusion from the latest ratings -- the first meaningful weekly averages in the post-Dave era. Neither seemed to have collected viewership from the absence of Letterman.
The annual "Summer of Darkness" film noir festival on Turner Classic Movies started last Friday (June 5), anchored by two Ann Sheridan movies, "Nora Prentiss" and "Woman on the Run." The festival, which continues on Fridays through July 31, is one of those programming events worth mentioning because it illustrates the importance -- if not the indispensability -- of Turner Classic Movies, a television channel so unique that it stands alone in its own category: A basic cable channel that carries no commercials and shows no sign that it ever will.
It seems as if in retrospect, some years are more loaded with events and personalities we remember than others. To help us remember, several TV networks have been packaging our recent history into "decade" specials. So instead of a single year that "changed America," we have these 10-year periods packaged and promoted in a similar way. Now comes CNN with an eight-part docuseries about the 1970s, which starts on Thursday night (June 11), titled "The Seventies."
Jerry Seinfeld is outspoken on the subject of comedy, and he recently spoke out about one category of venues that comedians have become wary about -- college campuses. The reason: Political correctness is so dominant and rampant on college campuses today that comedians are no longer comfortable performing for collegiate audiences, Seinfeld said. In an interview on ESPN Radio, Seinfeld said comedians he knows try to avoid performing on college campuses because the audiences get offended so easily whenever the subject matter of a comedian's stand-up act veers into territory that is not deemed politically correct.
Bravo's new scripted comedy series "Odd Mom Out," about pampered wives on Manhattan's Upper East Side, could be seen as a scripted version of all the "Real Housewives" series that have long been Bravo's bread and butter. Based solely on tonight's premiere, I might have consigned the show to the trash heap of TV sitcom history, but after three episodes, the show grew on me. This was due mainly to the storyline of Episode 3, which had Jill and her snooty in-laws applying for entry into New York City's most exclusive cemetery.
A beard-shaving bit? Is this all Stephen Colbert could come up with for his CBS debut? Although his new "Late Show" won't premiere until Sept. 8, the Colbert era at CBS was officially launched on Wednesday -- exactly two weeks after David Letterman said good-bye. The first salvo in this week's Colbert launch took the form of a press release and a video -- the latter showcasing Colbert poking fun at his current hiatus from television since leaving Comedy Central last December during which time he grew a beard, which he was then shown shaving off. Yawn.
The premiere date is supposed to be June 24, but the premiere episode of "Mr. Robot" has been available for anybody to watch any time they please since May 28. So which is the real premiere date? Such are the questions that arise in the present TV era in which TV shows are still presented the old-fashioned way -- scheduled for a specific date and time -- but also launched online, sometimes on a much earlier date, as in the case of "Mr. Robot." This cyber-thriller is a centerpiece of USA Network's summer schedule.
If you were betting on Brian Williams never returning as anchor and managing editor of "The NBC Nightly News," then you may be poised to collect on your bet. It's the latest wrinkle in the Williams saga -- a report emanating first from CNN, and then getting picked up all over the place, that the top brass at NBC News are contorting themselves into pretzels over how to bring Williams back into the fold without actually returning him to his former role.