Archive for the ‘Oscars’ Category

Oscars And Upfronts: This Week’s TV Blogs

March 4, 2016
This week's topics: The Oscars, "The Real O'Neals," the start of New York Upfront season, "The Family" and "Damien."

This week’s topics: The Oscars, “The Real O’Neals,” the start of New York Upfront season, “The Family” and “Damien.”

By ADAM BUCKMAN

NEW YORK, March 4, 2016 — The Academy Awards, three new shows and the start of the spring ad sales season in New York were the topics this week of my five MediaPost TV blogs. Read them all, right here:

Monday, Feb. 29: Hectored By Hollywood: Joyless Oscars Were Hard To Endure

Tuesday, March 1: ‘Real O’Neals’: Show Goes From Dumb To Smart In Blink Of An Eye

Wednesday, March 2: Ready Or Not, Here Come The Upfronts

Thursday, March 3: With ‘The Family,’ Grim Storytellers At ABC Are At It Again

Friday, March 4: ‘Damien’ And ‘Bates Motel’: TV Shows As Movie Sequels And Prequels

Plus, these Upfront stories:

Nickelodeon Upfront (left) and George Lopez at the TV Land event in New York.

Nickelodeon Upfront (left) and George Lopez at the TV Land event in New York.

Nickelodeon, March 3: At Season’s First Upfront, Nickelodeon Stresses Star Athletes, Toy Tie-Ins

TV Land/CMT (Country Music Television)/Nick At Nite, March 4: Viacom Upfront Combines TV Land, CMT, Nick At Nite Into One Big ‘Family’

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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Roll Over, Fats Domino: This Week’s 5 TV Blogs

February 26, 2016
Presenting all five of this week's MediaPost TV blogs.

Presenting all five of this week’s MediaPost TV blogs.

By ADAM BUCKMAN

NEW YORK, Feb. 26, 2016 — “Downton Abbey,” Snooki, the Oscars, Fats Domino and Beethoven all in one week: The TV business is nothing if not varied, isn’t it? Read all five of my MediaPost TV blogs from the past week, right here:

Monday, Feb. 22: As ‘Downton Abbey’ Nears Finish Line, The Claws Come Out

Tuesday, Feb. 23: Couples Therapy: Snooki And Hubby Are TV’s Newest Home-Repair Duo

Wednesday, Feb. 24: Get Ready For The Academy Awards Of Race Relations

Thursday, Feb. 25: Fats Domino Documentary Reinforces TV’s Role In The Birth Of Rock ‘n’ Roll

Friday, Feb. 26: Roll Over, Beethoven, History Channel Is In The Comedy Business

Contact AdamBuckman: 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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And the winner is: Reliable Billy Crystal

February 26, 2012

Billy Crystal at the Oscars Sunday.

By ADAM BUCKMAN

NEW YORK, Feb. 26, 2012 — There’s something to be said for reliability.  And that’s what Billy Crystal brought to the Oscars Sunday night when he hosted the show for the ninth time.

What’s so great about reliability as opposed to, say, unpredictability?  The main thing is this: In the hours and days after the telecast, few will complain about the host this year — even those who don’t particularly care for Billy Crystal.  A year ago, the majority of the post-Oscar talk was all about how Anne Hathaway and James Franco flopped (especially him).  And in other years, “unpredictable” hosts such as David Letterman and Chris Rock were panned too.

But with Billy Crystal, you get a guy who takes on one of the hardest jobs in show business and then makes it look easy.  He’s a consummate entertainer — he sings (not perfectly, but good enough for a comic), he dances (sort of) and he knows how to get off jokes and one-liners that are neither too soft nor too sharp.  Instead, Billy tends to bowl ’em right down the middle, which is what this telecast demands and, seemingly, only he can deliver.

And deliver he did for a ninth time, starting with one of his trademark, pre-produced bits — an epic retrospective that opened the show, in which Billy turned up in scenes from all nine of the Best Picture nominees.  The most memorable moment in this bit: When George Clooney kissed him tenderly on the lips in a spoof scene from “The Descendants.”

After his grand entrance, which also included an elaborate song-and-dance routine in which Billy sang lyrics poking fun at all the nominated movies, he appeared at various times throughout the evening, got off a joke or two and then made himself scarce.  That’s also a talent he possesses: Knowing when to get on and off stage before the audience tires of him.

I loved his constant jabs at the theater the telecast was coming from — the former Kodak Theatre that no longer carries the name because the revered company is bankrupt.  I counted at least three references to Kodak’s plight when Billy renamed the venue “the Chapter 11 Theater,” “the Your Name Here Theater” and “the Flomax Theater.”

And I loved the way this veteran comic delivered his jokes.  “So, tonight enjoy yourselves,” he said near the beginning of the show, “because nothing can take the sting out of the world’s economic problems like watching millionaires present each other with golden statues!”

Later, he introduced presenter Christian Bale this way: “A dark knight, an American psycho, a charismatic crack addict [referring to some of Bale’s best-known roles] . . .   You’ll get to choose one on super Tuesday!”

And after a soaring performance by Cirque du Soleil (which really was mind-blowing), Billy said, “Wow, I pulled a hamstring just watching that!  Now it’s a party!  We got puppets, acrobats, we’re a pony away from being a bar mitzvah!”

As for the non-Billy moments, my favorite was the pre-produced bit with the 1939 “focus group” that critiqued “The Wizard of Oz.”  That bit’s participants included Bob Balaban, Christopher Guest, Eugene Levy, Fred Willard, Jennifer Coolidge and Catherine O’Hara — the tightknit group of comic actors from Guest’s movies such as “A Mighty Wind,” “Best in Show” and “Waiting for Guffman.”  That was a great surprise.

In the moments before the telecast began, ABC’s Robin Roberts caught up with Natalie Portman on the way into the theater.  And Portman, last year’s Best Actress winner for “Black Swan,” probably spoke for many of us when she told Roberts she was looking forward to the Oscar show because Billy Crystal had returned.

“We’re in good hands,” Portman said.  And she was right.

Contact Adam Buckman: adambuckman14@gmail.com


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