If the essence of television is to take you places you cannot go yourself, then Friday night's "Great Performances" on PBS represents a rare instance when the trip is well worth taking. Be prepared to be taken half-way 'round the world to a theater in Australia, where you will see performances by two of our most legendary actors in one of our best-loved plays, "Driving Miss Daisy."
The court of media opinion concerning Caitlyn Jenner's transgender transformation has spoken. And the media's verdict is: We're OK with that. But what about the court that is always a better measuring tool for the acceptance or rejection of social change - the court of economic opinion, as expressed in advertising and marketing?
Millennials, meet your king. He's Tutankhamun - "Tut" for short" - the boy pharaoh of archaeological legend who comes to life in a new six-part miniseries called "Tut," airing on cable's Spike for three nights starting on Sunday (July 19).
TV's - and the world's - growing acceptance of transgender people and their lifestyles reaches a milestone of sorts Wednesday night with the convergence of two separate pieces of transgender programming airing at the same time. One is the previously announced bestowing of a courage award on Caitlyn Jenner during a live, prime-time awards telecast on ABC. The other is the premiere of a new reality series on TLC about a transgender teen.
Denis Leary tries to turn up the shock volume to 11 in his new FX comedy about an aging rock star who hasn't had a hit in 25 years. The new show is called "Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll," a title constructed as one continuous word perhaps in an effort to encourage its promotion via social media. Or maybe not, since the show's Twitter handle is @sdrr, not @sex&drugs&rock&roll.
At first, it's easy to react skeptically to the prospect that a documentary has been produced about a decade that ended so recently. Isn't it too soon to put the first decade of the 21st century into historical perspective? The answer turns out to be no. This four-hour, two-part documentary on the 2000s -- airing Sunday and Monday nights (July 12 and 13) on National Geographic Channel -- makes a persuasive case that the years 2000-09 saw so much social upheaval that the decade can bear being labeled an "era" that stands on its own.
Just in case anyone is interested in clarifying the meaning of the phrase "softball questions," CNN's interview with Hillary Clinton this week contained two stellar examples. One of them was this, posed by CNN's Brianna Keilar: "Have you given any thought to the woman who should be on the $10 bill?" It's a "who cares?" question, as in: Who cares who Hillary Clinton wants to see on the $10 bill?
Whether you agreed or not with liberals Rosie O'Donnell and Joy Behar or rightie Elisabeth Hasselbeck, you knew where you stood with them. And you could rely on them for headline-making fireworks. When heated arguments did break out between these "View" co-hosts, you got the impression the dustups were real and the opinions expressed came from the heart. These days, however, no such drama appears to be emanating from "The View" -- at least not on-screen. Some are saying the malaise at "The View" is due to a more crowded field of competing, all-female talk shows on TV nowadays.
In an era of antiheroes, Ray Donovan might be the anti-est hero of them all. That's saying a lot, since the current pantheon of TV antiheroes includes characters like Tony Soprano, a stone-cold gangster, and Dexter Morgan, a psychotic serial killer. Ray Donovan -- the title character of Showtime's "Ray Donovan," which starts its third season this weekend -- isn't quite on par with some of these characters in the murdering department. But he's a classic antihero in the sense that he's wholly unlikable -- yet so charismatic that you can't take your eyes off him.
Can a pair of sacred ancient texts make it in a present-day medium that is decidedly unholy? At the moment, the answer would seem to be no. That's the verdict resulting from the confluence of two events, most recently the news reported in "The Hollywood Reporter" that NBC has canceled "A.D. The Bible Continues," its Sunday night biblical series from reality-TV producer Mark Burnett and his wife, Roma Downey.