Archive for December, 2015

My Year On The TV Beat: The Same, Only More So

December 31, 2015
Photo by Adam Buckman

Photo by Adam Buckman

By ADAM BUCKMAN

NEW YORK, Dec. 31, 2015 — What was your personal year in review?

It’s easy to compile lists at year’s end — the best this, the worst that: TV shows, books, movies. But it’s all so impersonal, isn’t it? Think about it: What do you care what someone else thinks was the best and worst in the past year?

The only year that really had any value was yours. What did you do? Speaking for myself, 2015 was a good year for journalism — mine, that is.

I wrote 275 columns for Television News Daily/MediaPost.com, 38 news stories and features for TVNewsCheck.com, four stories for AARP The Magazine — all on the subject of television — and one story for a neighborhood paper in Philadelphia, The Chestnut Hill Local, that was the most meaningful of all the stories I wrote this year.

It was the story of Cooperman’s Pharmacy, my grandfather’s drugstore, a fixture of its neighborhood for more than 90 years until it closed for good last spring more than 35 years after he died. Farewell.

Jessie J at the MTV upfront, April 22, 2015

Jessie J at the MTV upfront, April 22

The 275 MediaPost bylines included 27 stories from the New York “upfronts” (the TV and on-line programming presentations) stretching from February to May and ranging from Nickelodeon and MTV to Yahoo and Buzzfeed. Among the highlights: Performances by Jessie J at the MTV presentation at the Beacon — electrifying — and Ricky Martin at the Univision event at the Lyric — awesome.

Vast wasteland: TV convention, Las Vegas, April 13, 2015

Vast wasteland: TV convention, Las Vegas, April 13. Photo by Adam Buckman

The 38 TVNewsCheck stories included nine stories written in three days at all hours, including the wee-est hours of the morning, during the National Association of Broadcasters annual convention in Las Vegas in April — attendance: 100,000-plus (the two photos at the top of this blogpost and left are from that trip).

I got little sleep, ate few actual meals and walked many miles — through the vast exhibition space at the Las Vegas Convention Center in search of drone displays (which I found, and the sheer number of them was mind-boggling), down endless hotel corridors searching for meeting rooms, and on the sidewalks of Las Vegas between venues (when a cab was not convenient).

One day, as I walked from the Wynn to the Convention Center, somewhere in the vicinity of the Indoor Skydiving place, the city was hit by a rare weather phenomenon — a dust storm that kicked up the desert sand and sent it flying through the air, a glorious thing to behold (although not to ingest).

The entire experience of covering the NAB this year felt like … journalism. Unless you’ve done it, or you’re a journalist yourself, you cannot know how great it feels. I think gonzo is the word I’m looking for here …

I did six radio interviews this year — two with Geraldo Rivera on WABC, New York; one with Mark Simone and one with Len Berman and Todd Schnitt on WOR, New York; one with the great Larry Rifkin on WATR, Waterbury, Conn., and one with Brian Kilmeade on Fox News Radio.

I did three TV interviews — one on the WPIX/Ch. 11 morning show last February assessing the Super Bowl commercials (actually, we did two different segments); one on Al Jazeera America (about the Brian Williams mess at NBC) — my first time on this particular channel; and one for WNET/Ch. 13’s “MetroFocus” show about my book “JERK: How I Wasted My Life Watching Television.” This interview has been posted on the Ch. 13 Web site since last spring, but it has yet to air on the actual show. Perhaps soon …

I made two public appearances this year, both courtesy of the National Geographic Channel, which enlisted me to host and moderate the two panel discussion events the network staged at the Paley Center for Media in New York.  The panels varied widely, to say the least.

The first one was the world premiere screening last July of a portion of the four-hour NatGeo documentary called “The 2000s: A New Reality,” about the first decade of the 21st century.

You can watch the whole thing here:

It was a great privilege (and the world’s biggest hoot) to conduct live, on-stage interviews with this diverse group of newsmakers from that decade: Donato Dalrymple, the south Florida resident who gained fame as the man who plucked the young Cuban refugee, 6 year-old Elian Gonzalez, from the waters near Miami in 2000; Andy Grignon, part of the development team at Apple who created the iPhone; John Keller, ex-U.S. marine who saved lives during hurricane Katrina in New Orleans; Richard Hatch, famed winner of the first season of “Survivor” on CBS in summer 2000; Sherron Watkins, brave whistleblower who told the world about the Enron mess; and Jane Root, executive producer of “The 2000s.”

Nat Geo 10-29-15 aThe second one was the New York premiere screening on Oct. 29 of the NatGeo science series called “Breakthrough,” which aired over eight weeks this past fall. The panelists that night were Trish Aelker of Lockheed Martin, who directs the company’s efforts in the development of exoskeleton technology; Dr. John Dye, who fights pandemics such as ebola as the chief of the immunology branch of the U.S. Army’s Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases; Dr. John Schenk, one of the original innovators of MRI technology at GE; Laura Deming, an investor who puts her money in companies involved in lengthening human life spans; Eric Fitch, an entrepreneur and pioneer in alternative energy sources; Cindy Wallis-Lage, an expert in new water-conservation technologies; and “Breakthrough” executive producer Kurt Sayenga. An amazing night.

Also in the past year, I contrived the usual boatload of ideas for stories and books that I have not yet started to write, and possibly never will.  I added many songs to my personal playlist too, including these four: “Bang Your Drum” (Dead Man Fall), “Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again” (The Fortunes), the theme from “Up The Down Staircase” (Fred Karlin) and “Come Softly To Me” (The Fleetwoods).  Don’t ask me why.

Ever since Letterman said good-bye last May, I haven’t been able to get Everlong by Foo Fighters out of my head either.

adam-buckman-and-friend, New York, 12-14-15Of all the events of the past year, none could equal the reunion I had earlier this month (on Dec. 14) with this guy (the one in the photo at right) — a get-together that took 38 years to arrange, proof that miracles do happen.

Maybe I’ll run into some of you in 2016, on our way up the down staircase, always.

Contact Adam Buckman: adambuckman14@gmail.com

Read Adam Buckman’s book: “JERK: How I Wasted My Life Watching Television” … Read a sample on his Amazon book page HERE … Then order it today!

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The TV Follies of 2015: This Week’s TV Blogs

December 31, 2015
Presenting the last MediaPost TV blogs of 2015: Read all four of this week's blogs below.

Presenting the last MediaPost TV blogs of 2015: Read all four of this week’s blogs below.

By ADAM BUCKMAN

NEW YORK, Dec. 31, 2015 — This week’s TV blogs wrapped up the year with a look at the worst shows of 2015, and a rundown of the revered TV legends we lost during the year.

Then it was on to two renowned shows returning in the New Year — “American Idol,” which clearly has over-stayed its welcome, and “Downton Abbey,” perhaps the greatest TV show ever made, coming to an end in its final season.

Read all four of my MediaPost TV blogs from the final week of 2015, right here:

Monday, Dec. 28: Nothing Golden About This TV Era: This Year’s Worst Shows

Tuesday, Dec. 29: Farewell To Spock: Remembering The Legends We Lost In 2015

Wednesday, Dec. 30: Tone-Deaf Fox Lets Kanye West Spew F-Words on ‘Idol’ Premiere

Thursday, Dec. 31: Farewell To ‘Downton’: We Will Never See The Likes Of This Again

Contact Adam Buckman: adambuckman14@gmail.com

Read Adam Buckman’s book: “JERK: How I Wasted My Life Watching Television” … Read a sample on his Amazon book page HERE … Then order it today!

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2015: Brian Williams, Letterman and The Donald

December 24, 2015
Merry Christmas, everyone -- this week's MediaPost TV blogs.

Merry Christmas, everyone — this week’s MediaPost TV blogs.

By ADAM BUCKMAN

NEW YORK, Dec. 24, 2015 — The holidays are a time for reflection.

Looking back at 2015 this week, I wrote about the year’s top TV stories and the joys of writing about Donald Trump. In between, I commented on President Obama as the nation’s Comedian in Chief and asked in another blog post: What’s the connection between the new “X Files” and Adolf Hitler’s autobiography?

Read all four of my TV blogs this week on MediaPost.com, right here:

Monday, Dec. 21: Williams Or Letterman? It’s A Toss-Up For TV Story Of The Year

Tuesday, Dec. 22: First Funnyman: Obama’s A Comedian In Chief Getting Coffee

Wednesday, Dec. 23: Mystery of ‘X Files’ Episode With Same Title as Hitler’s Autobiography

Thursday, Dec. 24: For A TV Columnist In 2015, Trump Was The Gift That Kept On Giving

Contact Adam Buckman: adambuckman14@gmail.com

Read Adam Buckman’s book: “JERK: How I Wasted My Life Watching Television” … Read a sample on his Amazon book page HERE … Then order it today!

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Science Fiction and GOP Debates All in One Week

December 18, 2015
From Trump to J. Lo: Presenting this week's MediaPost TV blogs, below.

From Trump to J. Lo: Presenting this week’s MediaPost TV blogs, below.

By ADAM BUCKMAN

NEW YORK, Dec. 12, 2015 — Donald Trump served as bookends to this week’s MediaPost TV blogs, which started with a preview of this week’s fifth Republican debate on CNN and ended with a column declaring these GOP debates — the whole series of them — as the year’s best TV show.

All that, plus science fiction (“Childhood’s End”), Joe Franklin and J. Lo too. Read all five of my MediaPost TV blogs from this week, right here:

Monday, Dec. 14: This Again? Trump And Others Line Up For Fifth GOP Debate

Tuesday, Dec. 15: Remembering A Legend We Lost In 2015: Joe Franklin

Wednesday, Dec. 16: Sixty Years Ago, ‘Childhood’s End’ Author Predicted Media We Have Now

Thursday, Dec. 17: Coming Next Year, All J. Lo All The Time

Friday, Dec. 18: Best Show Of The Year? The Republican Debates, Of Course

Contact Adam Buckman: AdamBuckman14@gmail.com

Read Adam Buckman’s book: “JERK: How I Wasted My Life Watching Television” … Read a sample on his Amazon book page HERE … Then order it today!

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The Bubbly Hillbilly: Dolly Parton Rules on NBC

December 11, 2015
This week's MediaPost TV blogs: From "Telenovela" (upper left) to Bigfoot and Hitler (bottom) -- read 'em all below!

This week’s MediaPost TV blogs: From “Telenovela” (upper left) to Bigfoot and Hitler (bottom) — read ’em all below!

By ADAM BUCKMAN

NEW YORK, Dec. 11, 2015 — What a week to showcase the constant variety of TV — from a telenovela spoof on NBC (sorry, that one didn’t work for me) to a home-spun, hillbilly TV movie produced by Dolly Parton that scored great ratings Thursday night on NBC.

All this and more, in this week’s MediaPost TV blogs. Read ’em all right here:

Monday, Dec. 7: What’s The Spanish Word For ‘Bomb’? NBC’s ‘Telenovela’

Tuesday, Dec. 8: Dolly Parton’s Corn Pone Of Many Colors

Wednesday, Dec. 9: Gun Shopping Network Should Feel Right At Home On Gun-Saturated TV

Thursday, Dec. 10: As Year Comes To An End, NBC News Sails In Calmer Waters

Friday, Dec. 11: TV’s Wildest Goose Chases: ‘Finding Bigfoot’ And ‘Hunting Hitler’

Contact Adam Buckman: AdamBuckman14@gmail.com

Read All Five of This Week’s MediaPost TV Blogs

December 4, 2015
This week's MediaPost TV blogs -- top: America Ferrera in "Superstore," Queen Latifah in "The Wiz"; middle: "Born This Way" on A&E, "Childhood's End" on Syfy; bottom: Jay Leno on CNBC.

This week’s MediaPost TV blogs — top: America Ferrera in “Superstore,” Queen Latifah in “The Wiz”; middle: “Born This Way” on A&E, “Childhood’s End” on Syfy; bottom: Jay Leno on CNBC.

By ADAM BUCKMAN

NEW YORK, Dec. 4, 2015 — Free of charge (as always), here are this week’s MediaPost TV blogs, written by TVHowl’s Adam Buckman:

Monday, Nov. 30: Just In Time For The Holidays, NBC Opens ‘Superstore’ Sitcom

Tuesday, Dec. 1: Will Anybody Beat ‘The Wiz’? Handicapping This Year’s Musical On NBC

Wednesday, Dec. 2: ‘Born This Way’: Show Examines Reality Of Adults With Down Syndrome

Thursday, Dec. 3: Watch Commercials Like Everyone Else? TV Critics Are Exempt From That

Friday, Dec. 4: Jay’s In The Driver’s Seat As Letterman Grows ‘Darwin’ Beard

Contact Adam Buckman: adambuckman14@gmail.com


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