Archive for the ‘TruTV’ Category

Look! All Five of This Week’s MediaPost TV Blogs

December 2, 2016
From Trump to Dolly Parton and points in-between, presenting this week's MediaPost TV blogs.

From Trump to Dolly Parton and points in-between: Presenting this week’s MediaPost TV blogs.


NEW YORK, Dec. 2, 2016 — Back to normal after a short holiday week: This week’s MediaPost TV blogs looked at Trump and the media, a new Syfy drama series, Dolly Parton’s conquest of Christmas, the decline of basic cable, and a basic-cable bright spot, TruTV. Read ’em all below.

Monday, Nov. 28: Trump To News Media: You’re No Fun At All!

Tuesday, Nov. 29: Syfy Series Predicts: In Future, Corporations Will Control The Planet

Wednesday, Nov. 30: Good Golly, Miss Dolly! What Was Christmas Before She Came Along?

Thursday, Dec. 1: Fly-Over Country: Fading Basic Cable Is TV’s Low-Rent District

Friday, Dec. 2: New TruTV Tagline Tells Simple Truth About Its Programming

Contact Adam Buckman:

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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More Stories from NY’s Upfront/NewFront Season

May 11, 2016


Nine more upfronts and newfronts: Top: Outdoor Sportsman Group, ION; second row: Nielsen, Hulu; third row: Ellen Digital Network, BuzzFeed; fourth row: Time Inc., Newsy; bottom: TruTV.

Nine more upfronts and newfronts: Top: Outdoor Sportsman Group, ION; second row: Nielsen, Hulu; third row: Ellen Digital Network, BuzzFeed; fourth row: Time Inc., Newsy; bottom: TruTV.


NEW YORK, May 11, 2016 — Catch up with my coverage of the New York Upfronts and NewFronts from the last two weeks with these links:

April 28, Outdoor Sportsman Group: Outdoor Channel Seeks To Broaden Its Appeal This Upfront Season

April 29, ION Media Networks: ION’s Upfront Strategy: Deliver On Ratings, Earn Advertisers’ Trust

May 3, Nielsen: Nielsen Research Sheds Light On ‘Live’ Vs. Delayed Viewing

May 4, Hulu: Hulu’s Upfront Message: Think Of Us As TV, But ‘TV Redefined’

May 5, Ellen Digital Network: Ellen DeGeneres Dives Into Digital With Original Content Network

May 5, BuzzFeed, Hulu, Ellen Digital Network: Cold Coffee And A Giant Bug: Notes From This Week’s NewFronts

May 5, Time Inc.: Time Inc. NewFront Unveils New OTT Service, Expanded Video Offerings

May 10, Newsy: Newsy NewFront Presents 3 New Shows, Touts Multiplatform Reach

May 10, TruTV: TruTV Beefs Up Programming, Reduces Commercials For Upfront


Posted April 25: In Case You Missed Them, 8 More Upfront Stories

Posted April 4: Curated: All 9 of My March 2016 Upfront Stories

Contact Adam Buckman:

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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Drink Up: ‘Kocktail’ Time With Khloe Kardashian

February 19, 2016
This week's TV blog topics: Donald Trump, Craig Ferguson, Big Data, teacher sitcoms and Khloe Kardashian.

This week’s TV blog topics: Donald Trump, Craig Ferguson, Big Data, teacher sitcoms and Khloe Kardashian.



NEW YORK, Feb. 19, 2016 — This week’s MediaPost TV blog topics ranged from Presidents Day to Khloe Kardashian’s cocktail party show on the FYI network.  Read all five blogs right here:

Monday, Feb. 15: For Would-Be Presidents Day: A Couple Of Things About Trump

Tuesday, Feb. 16: History Channel, Craig Ferguson Join Forces For Late-Night Laughs

Wednesday, Feb. 17: Big Data Blowhards Predict Information Age Will Save Planet

Thursday, Feb. 18: Teachers Behaving Badly: Cable Sitcoms Go Back To School

Friday, Feb. 19: Make Mine A Double: Surviving ‘Kocktails With Khloe’

Contact Adam Buckman:

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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Read the Nation’s Best TV Blog: July 27-31

July 31, 2015
From Showtime's "Happyish" to Morton Downey Jr.: Presenting this week's TV blogs -- links below.

From Showtime’s “Happyish” to Morton Downey Jr.: Presenting this week’s TV blogs — links below.

NEW YORK, July 31, 2015 — This week’s output of TV blogs ran the gamut from the demise of Showtime’s “Happyish” to the revival of Morton Downey Jr. via a documentary coming to CNN next month.  In between, this week’s topics included Brian Williams and Jon Stewart, the Cosby mess, two new “handsome guy” sitcoms on Fox, and “The Carbonaro Effect” on TruTV.  Read all six with these links:

Monday, July 27: Loathsome Characters, Not Ad Biz Subject Matter, Doomed ‘Happyish’

Tuesday, July 28: ‘Newsmen’ Williams, Stewart Poised To Make Headlines In August

Wednesday, July 29: The Cosby Saga: No Requiem For This Heavyweight

Thursday, July 30: Fall Preview: Fox Tuesday Slate Is Good-Looking And Looking Good

Friday, July 31: ‘The Carbonaro Effect’: Nice Guy Finishes First

… All this and Morton Downey Jr. too — read this, only on Complicated man: Remembering Morton Downey

— Adam Buckman

Contact Adam Buckman:

Verbal rasslin’! Jesse Ventura blasts Sarah Palin

October 15, 2010

LITTLE GREEN MEN: Jesse Ventura takes a moment to contemplate the heavens during a UFO investigation this season on his TruTV series “Conspiracy Theory.” Photo: Hopper Stone


NEW YORK, Oct. 15, 2010 — There’s no conspiracy here: Just an outspoken former pro wrestler turned Minnesota governor who’s now hosting a TV series that purports to expose secrets the government doesn’t want you to know.  You got a problem with that?

He’s Jesse Ventura, once known as “The Body” in his wrestling days and now holding forth on TruTV on his show, ‘Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura,’ which starts its second season Friday (Oct. 15) at 10 p.m./9c.

The governor is passionate about conspiracies.  Last season, The Governing Body and his team investigated the persistent rumors that the U.S. government had a hand in planning the 9/11 terror attacks; that the CIA has a “Manchurian Candidate”-like program to turn ordinary citizens into assassins; and that a remote government-run facility in the wilds of Alaska is being used to develop a secret super-weapon capable of altering the weather.

In a free-wheeling phone interview from his Minnesota home, Ventura insisted that his show is turning up evidence of government wrongdoing that you can’t refute.  We also got the 59-year-old ex-gov to talk politics in this turbulent election season, and you won’t believe what this maverick of gubernatorial politics had to say about Sarah Palin and the Tea Party.

Do you consider ‘Conspiracy Theory’ to be an information show or an entertainment show? 

Gov. Ventura: It’s an entertainment show, but it is based upon facts.  Originally, when we had the concept for the show, we were going to show both sides of the conspiracy and allow the viewer to pick.  Well, when one side won’t cooperate in any way, shape or form, it makes it difficult to show their side.  And then I also felt, Hell, well, everybody knows the government’s side.  Why do we need to show that?  Let’s show the alternative side.  And I can unequivocally state this: In every conspiracy that I’ve done, the evidence seems overwhelmingly to support the conspiracy rather than the government when those two go head-to-head.

Before you became involved in the show, were you a person who was interested in the subjects that you’re now covering on the series? 

The only conspiracy that consumes me is the killing of [President] John Kennedy.  And the reason that happened was from wrestling, in a way.  Wrestling changed in the mid-’80s from us driving cars to flying in planes.  Well, if you’ve ever done a lot of plane-flying, you know that it’s so boring.  I mean, you’re in airports and planes everyday.  Well, I read.  I found a way to counteract that boredom is to read.  And so I got hooked on reading about the assassination of Jack Kennedy and every book I could get on it, I’d read on the plane.

‘Conspiracy Theory’ will tackle the JFK assassination later this season, but what can you possibly report that hasn’t been reported already about this story?

Here’s what’s new: On the episode this year, you will hear an audio, visual and written confession from a person who was involved [in the assassination plot] on his deathbed to his son.  Most people don’t lie when they’re dyin’!

On the premiere episode this Friday, about the mysterious government bio-research lab on Plum Island off the coasts of Long Island and Connecticut, you make quite an effort to go to the island by boat, even though the authorities frown on it.

I didn’t actually want to go to it.  I just wanted to get a closer look at it.  I didn’t want to set foot on this place.  There’s no telling what you’d catch.  . . .  Here’s the thing with Plum Island that irks me: It was created by a freakin’ Nazi!  [The show posits that the facility was founded in the early 1950s by a former Nazi bio-warfare scientist named Erich Traub who was recruited by the U.S. government after World War II.]  And nobody seems to care.  And this guy’s expertise was what?  Infecting ticks and mosquitos with biological weapons to unleash upon another country!

What is the aim of ‘Conspiracy Theory’?  OK, so you expose these conspiracies.  Then what?  Do you expect this exposure to effect change somehow?

I hope that it wakes people up to not sit and listen to mainstream media and our government – what I call soundbite news.  They don’t investigate nothing [sic].  And the point is, many of these stories have a lot more to them than what you get on soundbite news.  And I’m hoping to make people question it, to say, Are we being lied to?  And the other thing I want to show people is that you’re not allowed to ask the government a question and expect an answer.  Why?  Don’t we pay their salaries?  Don’t they work for us?

Let’s talk politics, governor, because it’s an election season, and a pretty dramatic one so far, due in part to the Tea Party movement.  Is it accurate to say that you still follow politics pretty avidly?

Oh, God, yes.  I have to doing this show.  I’ll put it to you this way about the Tea Party: Anybody that would put Sarah Palin to the top of their list will never get me.  She’s a quitter.

You’re not a fan of hers.  Why – because she quit her job?

You’re damn right.  She quit in the middle of her term.  That’s the contract you have with the voters.

Did you feel differently about her before she quit?

Well, I felt she was completely unqualified.  I had more qualifications than she did.  I had served as a mayor of a town [Brooklyn Park, Minn.] of 60,000 – hers [Wasilla, Alaska] was 10,000.  I had served as governor for two years when everybody wanted me to run for president in 2000, and I said I’m not prepared to be the president.  I haven’t even completed office as a governor yet.  Now, she never completed her office as governor.  She didn’t even get two years in hardly!  And she quit to get money.  Jesus, how do people not see that!  She saw greener pastures, said, Screw the people of Alaska, and went on to collect.

Maybe you can do an episode of ‘Conspiracy Theory’ about her.

I wouldn’t waste my time.

Would you ever consider a return to the political arena?

Well, you never say never.  I’ve learned that after 59 years.  Now, do I have any aspirations to do that at this moment?  No.  I’d rather do this TV show.  I feel I’m being as effective with this TV show as I would be if I ran for office because, remember, I’m an independent, so let me explain what it’s like for me in Washington.  I’m like the redheaded stepchild that shows up on the day they read the will.  That’s how welcome I am.  I now proudly state this: When I hit Washington now, people run faster from me than they do Michael Moore.

Contact Adam Buckman:

Out for justice: Steven Seagal and Jesse Ventura

November 30, 2009

Jesse Ventura consults a mysterious “umbrella woman” in his search for the truth about a  government facility on TruTV’s “Conspiracy Theory.” Photo credit: TruTV


NEW YORK, Nov. 30, 2009 — Two 58-year-old macho men are coming to TV on the same day, one strutting his stuff as a deputy sheriff and the other playing the self-described role of detective and truth seeker.

What is this – a conspiracy?  Well, that’s one theory, though this convergence of two long-in-the-tooth TV tough guys is better classified as a coincidence, which, come to think of it, is the best way to explain away the kinds of conspiracies “investigated” by Jesse Ventura and his “elite team” (his words) of researchers on “Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura.”

Ventura – the former Navy SEAL, pro wrestler and governor of Minnesota – goes in search of conspiracies starting Wednesday night (Dec. 2) at 10 p.m. on TruTV, while at the very same time, martial-arts movie man Steven Seagal starts his own crime-busting reality series (with the unpunctuated title: “Steven Seagal Lawman”) on A&E.

This scheduling can hardly be called a conspiracy, especially on the part of A&E, which will lead into “Steven Seagal,” more or less logically, with two hours of “Dog the Bounty Hunter,” with which “Seagal” is more or less compatible.  On TruTV, the premiere of “Conspiracy Theory” comes after several hours of “Operation Repo,” which seems to share nothing at all in common with Gov. Ventura’s fanciful search for the truth.

On Wednesday night’s “Conspiracy Theory” premiere, the governor conspires to learn the true purpose of a heavily guarded U.S. military facility constructed in a remote part of Alaska.  It’s a high-tech electric plant called HAARP (an acronym you can’t spell without AARP), which stands for High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program and has something to do with studying the interaction of electricity and the northern lights, or aurora borealis.

However, a handful of authors, self-styled scientists and local townspeople believe the government is using this facility to experiment with ways to wage future wars – by using a high-wattage “death ray” to knock out satellites, alter weather patterns and seize control of the minds of enemy combatants (and possibly some friendly ones).  Among other far-fetched claims, one of the governor’s researchers tries to demonstrate that this electric plant in Alaska had something to do with causing the tsunami that killed more than 230,000 people around the Indian Ocean in December 2004.  One of the researchers even makes the odd (some might say “insane”) claim that there were no earth tremors preceding the catastrophic wave, though experts around the world possess seismographic data indicating that the wave was caused by a powerful underwater earthquake measuring between 9.1 and 9.3 on the Richter scale.

After watching Gov. Ventura and his team roam the dirt roads of rural Alaska for a long and tedious hour, the only conclusion you can really reach is that, yes, the government isn’t exactly being forthcoming in explaining this facility’s purpose.  Along the way, Gov. Ventura says things like, “We’re out here in the wilderlands of Alaska,” mixing up the words “wilderness” and “hinterlands” in the same entertaining way Mayor Richard Daley of Chicago (the first one) used to say things like, “I resent the insinuendos.”

In the end, the “evidence” presented by Ventura and his researchers is not persuasive enough to have you believe the government is doing anything more nefarious at this outpost than wasting your hard-earned tax money – which is not exactly news, though it is irritating.

Steven Seagal is walking tall on A&E’s “Lawman.” Photo credit: Michael Muller

As far as taxpayers go, the taxpayers of Jefferson Parish, La., seem to be getting their money’s worth from their sheriff’s department, especially since one of their deputy sheriffs is none other than Steven Seagal, who has apparently played this unheralded, real-life role for close to 20 years.

Apparently, when he’s not busy making movies, a fully uniformed and accredited Seagal can be found riding shotgun in a Jefferson Parish patrol car in the wee hours of the morning, cruising through neighborhoods that he insists are under siege by gun-toting bad guys.  Whether or not a siege mentality has taken hold in the Parish’s rougher sections, on the first two half-hour episodes of “Steven Seagal Lawman” – both premiering back-to-back on Wednesday night – there certainly do seem to be a lot of gun-toters strolling aimlessly in the dark.

In fact, all Seagal and the rest of these deputy sheriffs have to do at any given moment to pinch a gun-toter is to suddenly stop their vehicles, yell “Hey, you!” at a passerby and before you know it, a chase ensues and a perp is collared – usually one who is, or was, armed (before dropping his firearm in mid-chase and then claiming it wasn’t his).

You could really describe “Steven Seagal Lawman” as “ ‘Cops’ with a movie star” since both shows traffic in the same thing: Perps, none of whom are ever wearing shirts, are nabbed in the middle of the night based on no other probable cause than an officer’s hunch that a person taking a stroll at three o’clock in the morning just might be up to something.  Then they are hand-cuffed and thrown roughly onto the hoods of squad cars, while their pants pockets get turned inside-out for loose joints and stray bullets.  The perps, all the while protesting their innocence, are then tucked into the backseats of the police cars.

Through it all, Seagal keeps a cool head, which he attributes to his life-long study of eastern philosophy.  On his new show, he is not above the law, but he is out for justice.  Says he, “We’re not here to beat up people.  We’re not here to lecture people on their morals or their ethics.  But we are here to enforce the law.  We are here to try to make the streets safe.”

Words to live by, from an action hero who was once “Marked for Death,” but “Hard to Kill.”

Contact Adam Buckman:

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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