Posts Tagged ‘Fox’

From Trump to Zorn, It Was Four Days of TV Fun

September 9, 2016

THIS WEEK’S MEDIAPOST TV BLOGS

Four blogs for a four-day week: (top) New comedies on FX, "Son of Zorn" on Fox; (bottom) Trump-Clinton non-debate, 9/11 remembered. Read them all, below.

Four blogs for a four-day week: (top) New comedies on FX, “Son of Zorn” on Fox; (bottom) Trump-Clinton non-debate, 9/11 remembered. Read them all, below.

By ADAM BUCKMAN

NEW YORK, Sept. 9, 2016 — In just four days, the MediaPost TV blog managed to review two new comedies on FX (they weren’t funny) and one new comedy on Fox (it was just weird); tried to make sense of the Trump-Clinton non-debate on NBC; and just said no to 9/11 commemorative specials. Read all four blogs right here:

Tuesday, Sept. 6: So-Called ‘Comedies’ On FX Contain No Laughs Of Any Kind

Wednesday, Sept. 7: In Fall Season’s Weirdest Show, Animated Warrior Takes Up Residence in California

Thursday, Sept. 8: Postmortem On Odd Non-Debate On NBC: So Who Won?

Friday, Sept. 9: Here We Go Again: Every Year At 9/11 Time, TV Overdoes It

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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This Year’s New York Upfront Tally: 36 Stories

May 20, 2016
10 more Upfrnt stories bring the grand total to 36 since the season began March 2. Read them all with the links below.

10 more Upfront stories for a grand total of 36 since the season began March 2. Read them all with the links below.

By ADAM BUCKMAN

NEW YORK, May 20, 2016 — The New York Upfront season is now over. It ended yesterday with the CW at City Center. Catch up with my most recent coverage of the Upfronts from the last two weeks with these links, and read all of my previous stories too (links below) — a grand total of 36 events covered since March 2. See you next year:

May 11, Upfront Week Preview: Final Upfront Week Isn’t The Big Bang It Used To Be

May 13, Screenvision: Screenvision Upfront Stresses ‘Impact’ Of The Moviegoing Experience

May 13, Univision preview: Univision Upfront Preview Unveils New Comedies, Dramas

May 15, Telemundo/NBC Universo: With Eye On Rival Univision, Telemundo Outlines Upfront Program Strategy

May 16, NBC Universal: NBCU Upfront Promotes Multiple Networks

May 16, Fox: At Fox Upfront, What’s Old Is New

May 17, ESPN: ESPN’s Upfront Mantra: Nothing Draws Audiences Like Live Sports

May 17, Univision: Univision Upfront Includes Netflix Deal To Co-Produce ‘El Chapo’ Series

May 18, Turner Networks: Turner’s Upfront Vow To Reduce Commercials Is Growing Industry Trend

May 19, The CW: CW Upfront Promotes Appeal To Both Sexes, Confirms ‘Supergirl’ Pickup

Previously:

Posted May 11: More Stories from NY’s Upfront/NewFront Season

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: 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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Super Bowl Winners & Losers, Plus HBO’s ‘Vinyl’

February 12, 2016

THIS WEEK’S MEDIA POST TV BLOGS

From Lady Gaga at the Super Bowl to next week's Westminster Dog Show on USA Network -- all five of my MediaPost TV blogs from the past week, below.

From Lady Gaga at the Super Bowl to next week’s Westminster Dog Show on USA Network — all five of my MediaPost TV blogs from the past week, below.

By ADAM BUCKMAN

NEW YORK, Feb. 12, 2016 — Presenting this week’s MediaPost TV blogs — the Super Bowl, TV’s apocalypse comedies, review of HBO’s “Vinyl” and previewing USA Network’s last dog show. Read all five, right here:

Monday, Feb. 8: From Halftime To Ad Time: Assessing This Year’s Super Bowl Telecast

Tuesday, Feb. 9: Apoca-Laughs Now: TV’s End-Of-The-World Comedies

Wednesday, Feb. 10: HBO’s Record-Biz Drama ‘Vinyl’ Is TV’s Next Great Show

Thursday, Feb. 11: All Hail Megyn Kelly, TV’s Top Newswoman – And From Fox, No Less

Friday, Feb. 12: Fox And Hounds: USA Readies Last Dog Show Before Move To Fox Sports

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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Where the Action Is: This Week’s MediaPost Blogs

February 5, 2016
All in one week: "Downton Abbey," O.J. Simpson, Bernie Madoff, "Grease" and a bearded foodie named Action.

All in one week: “Downton Abbey,” O.J. Simpson, Bernie Madoff, “Grease” and a bearded foodie named Action.

By ADAM BUCKMAN

NEW YORK, Feb. 5, 2016 — It was a very action-packed week of TV with column topics ranging from “Downton Abbey” and O.J. Simpson to Bernie Madoff and an f-word spewing foodie named Action Bronson. Read all five of my MediaPost TV blogs from the past week, right here:

Monday, Feb. 1: The Fall Of The House Of Downton

Tuesday, Feb. 2: The Juice Is Loose: FX Makes A Great Miniseries About O.J.

Wednesday, Feb. 3: Weeknight At Bernie’s: ABC Miniseries Tackles The Madoff Saga

Thursday, Feb. 4: Regular Ol’ Commercial TV Took Center Stage This Week

Friday, Feb. 5: Viceland Title Continues TV’s Campaign To Mainstream The F-Word

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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Wide World of TV: All Five of This Week’s Blogs

January 29, 2016
This week's TV blogs: Top - "Lucifer" on Fox, Kirstie Alley vs. Oprah; middle - NATPE programming session, Trump vs. Megyn Kelly; bottom - Mike Nichols.

This week’s TV blogs: Top – “Lucifer” on Fox, Kirstie Alley vs. Oprah; middle – NATPE programming session, Trump vs. Megyn Kelly; bottom – Mike Nichols.

OPRAH, KIRSTIE, TRUMP AND MORE

By ADAM BUCKMAN

NEW YORK, Jan. 29, 2016 — TV commercials emerged as the subject of two out of this week’s five MediaPost TV blogs. One blog dealt with the dueling weight-loss commercials of Oprah Winfrey and Kirstie Alley, and the other imagined a world without commercials at all — something that’s already happening in some corners of the TV biz.

Read these blogs, plus three more, with these links:

Monday, Jan. 25: Sympathetic Devil: Fox’s ‘Lucifer’ Has Roguish Charm

Tuesday, Jan. 26: Kirstie, Oprah In Heavyweight Battle Of Weight-Loss Commercials

Wednesday, Jan. 27: TV Without Commercials? That Reality Is Already Here

Thursday, Jan. 28: Trump’s Absence Tests Whether Debates Can Thrive Without Him

Friday, Jan. 29: Mike Nichols ‘American Masters’ Documentary Is Not To Be Missed

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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‘X-Files’ Redo, FX Clown Comedy Both Disappoint

January 22, 2016
This week's MediaPost TV blogs covered the annual NATPE programming conference, a new A&E reality show, Conan O'Brien, Zach Galifianakis and "The X-Files."

This week’s MediaPost TV blogs covered the annual NATPE programming conference, a new A&E reality show, Conan O’Brien, Zach Galifianakis and “The X-Files.”

By ADAM BUCKMAN

NEW YORK, Jan. 22, 2016 — This week’s MediaPost blogs ranged from clowns (“Baskets,” Conan O’Brien) to outer-space aliens (“The X-Files”). Read all five of this week’s blogs, with these links:

Monday, Jan. 18: Syndicator-Station Relationship No Longer Center Stage At NATPE Show

Tuesday, Jan. 19: In New Show, Trainers Gain Weight Just To Feel Empathy For Obese Clients

Wednesday, Jan. 20: Rediscovering Conan O’Brien, The Last Real Late-Night Host

Thursday, Jan. 21: ‘Baskets’ On FX: The Clown Comedy That Forgot To Be Funny

Friday, Jan. 22: Was This ‘X-Files’ Reunion Necessary? The Answer Is: No, It Wasn’t

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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Three New Shows, Yahoo and Obama’s Speech

January 15, 2016
Top: “Community” on Yahoo, “Second Chance” on Fox; middle: President Obama’s State of the Union speech, USA Network’s “Colony”; bottom: Showtime’s “Billions.”

Top: “Community” on Yahoo, “Second Chance” on Fox; middle: President Obama’s State of the Union speech, USA Network’s “Colony”; bottom: Showtime’s “Billions.”

THIS WEEK’S MEDIAPOST TV BLOGS COVERED IT ALL, PLUS AN INTERVIEW WITH HARRY CONNICK JR. 

By ADAM BUCKMAN

NEW YORK, Jan. 15, 2016 — It was a busy week of midseason premieres plus President Obama’s final State of the Union speech and an interview with Harry Connick Jr.

Follow the links …

Monday, Jan. 11: Yahoo’s Broken Promises: Shows Announced Last Spring Never Happened

Tuesday, Jan. 12: ‘Second Chance’? Not A Chance

Wednesday, Jan. 13: Obama Gave A Good Speech, But State Of The Union Was Dull TV

Thursday, Jan. 14: USA Network’s ‘Colony’ Asks: What If America Was Living Under A Dictatorship?

Friday, Jan. 15: Opening Scene Throws Wet Blanket On Showtime’s ‘Billions’

_____

Harry Connick Jr. 1-18-16

All this, plus my exclusive interview for TVNewsCheck.com with Harry Connick Jr. about his upcoming syndicated daytime show, right here.

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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‘American Idol’ Returns For One Last Go-Round

January 8, 2016
This week's TV blogs -- links below.

This week’s TV blogs — links below.

By ADAM BUCKMAN

NEW YORK, Jan. 8, 2016 — The new midseason arrived this week, with two returning shows — “American Crime” on ABC and “American Idol” on Fox — and two new ones, “Angel From Hell” on CBS and “Shades of Blue” on NBC.

Read all five of my MediaPost TV blogs from the past week — including Friday’s blog on how 1990s nostalgia could elect Hillary Clinton — right here:

Monday, Jan. 4: ‘American Crime’ Is Serious Television, But Is That What You Want?

Tuesday, Jan. 5: No Longer A Phenomenon, ‘American Idol’ Heads Toward The Finish Line

Wednesday, Jan. 6: Guardian Angel In New CBS Sitcom Is More Like An Alcoholic Stalker

Thursday, Jan. 7: Stop Or She’ll Shoot! J. Lo Hits The Streets In NBC Cop Show

Friday, Jan. 8: Urkelmania! How ’90s Nostalgia Could Elect Hillary

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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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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From Homerzilla to Supergirl: This Week’s Blogs

October 24, 2015
Wide World of TV: This week's MediaPost TV blogs: (top) Homerzilla, "Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris"; (middle) "Supergirl," IBM's Watson on "Jeopardy!"; and (bottom) "Wicked City," the worst new show of the fall season. Read them all with the links below.

Wide World of TV: This week’s MediaPost TV blogs: (top) Homerzilla, “Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris”; (middle) “Supergirl,” IBM’s Watson on “Jeopardy!”; and (bottom) “Wicked City,” the worst new show of the fall season. Links to all five blogs, below.

NEW YORK, Oct. 23, 2015 — A supermonster, a superheroine and a supercomputer headlined this week’s MediaPost TV blogs.

The week began with Homer Simpson as Godzilla in the 26th annual “Simpsons” Halloween special airing this Sunday night. Wednesday brought a review of next week’s premiere of “Supergirl” on CBS. And Thursday’s blog revisited the three-day battle of IBM’s Watson against humankind on “Jeopardy!” in 2011.

Meanwhile, Tuesday’s blog reported on the mediocre ratings for NBC’s big fall variety show “Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris.” And the week ended with a review of “Wicked City” on ABC — the worst new show of the fall season.

Read them all with these links:

Monday, Oct. 19: Homer As Godzilla In ‘Simpsons’ 26th Halloween Special

Tuesday, Oct. 20: Harris Gives It His All, But ‘Best Time Ever’ Ratings Are Elusive

Wednesday, Oct. 21: Plucky ‘Supergirl’ Dons Miniskirt And Tights To Save Television

Thursday, Oct. 22: Resistance Is Futile: When Watson Conquered Mankind On ‘Jeopardy!’

Friday, Oct. 23: ABC’s Worthless ‘Wicked City’ Should Be Tossed On TV’s Junk Pile

— Adam Buckman

Contact Adam Buckman: adambuckman14@gmail.com

It Makes Ya Wanna Scream: This Week’s TV Blogs

October 2, 2015
From "Scream Queens" (Abigail Breslin, upper left) to "Dr. Ken" (Ken Jeong, bottom), here are this week's MediaPost TV blogs -- links below.

From “Scream Queens” (Abigail Breslin, upper left) to “Dr. Ken” (Ken Jeong, bottom), here are this week’s MediaPost TV blogs — links below.

NEW YORK, Oct. 2, 2015 — The new fall television season continued with new prime-time shows, a new “Daily Show” host and a new way of spinning the ratings results.  I covered it all this week in my five TV blogs for MediaPost.com. Follow the links, right here:

Monday, Sept. 28: ‘Scream Queens’ Was DOA, Then Suddenly Alive, Thanks to ‘Plus 3’ Ratings

Tuesday, Sept. 29: Noah’s Arc: From Bad To Worse In ‘Daily Show’ Debut

Wednesday, Sept. 30: ‘Code Black’ On CBS: Stressed-Out Docs In World’s Worst ER

Thursday, Oct. 1: ‘Blacklist’ Tries To Turn New York Into D.C., But The Attempt Fails

Friday, Oct. 2: Doctor Turned Actor Plays Ill-Tempered MD Who’s A Real Pill

— Adam Buckman

Contact Adam Buckman: adambuckman14@gmail.com

Fall Season Gets Under Way: This Week’s Blogs

September 25, 2015
This week's TV blogs: "Minority Report," "Blindspot," "The Muppets," Brian Williams, "Heroes Reborn" and, on Friday, a late-night candidates' report card. Links below.

This week’s TV blogs: “Minority Report,” “Blindspot,” “The Muppets,” Brian Williams, “Heroes Reborn” and, on Friday, a late-night candidates’ report card. Links below.

NEW YORK, Sept. 25, 2015 — With the fall TV season having its official start this week, the emphasis was on reviews of new shows in three out of five of this week’s MediaPost TV blogs — Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.

Also this week: The return of Brian Williams and, to close out the week, a report card grading the presidential candidates’ appearances on the late-night shows this month.

Read all five of my MediaPost TV blogs from the past week with these handy, convenient links:

Monday, Sept. 21: Fall Season Begins With Three New Shows Monday Night

Tuesday, Sept. 22: New Fall Season, Night 2: ABC’s ‘Muppets’ Is Eerily Similar To ’30 Rock’

Wednesday, Sept. 23: Snarky Tweets Greet Brian Williams As He Returns For Pope’s Visit

Thursday: Sept. 24: ‘Heroes Reborn’: NBC Revives Show It Cancelled Five Years Ago

Friday, Sept. 25: September To Remember: Grading The Candidates On The Late-Night Shows

— Adam Buckman

Contact Adam Buckman: adambuckman14@gmail.com

From Disney to The Donald: This Week’s TV Blogs

September 18, 2015
From Walt Disney to Andy Samberg: Presenting this week's MediaPost TV blogs -- links below.

Presenting this week’s MediaPost TV blogs — links below.

NEW YORK, Sept. 18, 2015 — This week’s MediaPost TV blogs spanned the centuries — from the 14th (“The Bastard Executioner”) to the 20th (“American Experience: Walt Disney”) to the present day (“Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris”).

In between, there was time (and space) to consider NBC’s plan to replace Donald Trump with Arnold Schwarzenegger on “The Celebrity Apprentice” and to write a piece declaring the total victory of television on the eve of a new fall season. The thesis of that one: If TV is everywhere, then TV has won, right?

Read ’em all right here with the links below.

Monday, Sept. 14: Everyone In Media Should Watch This Four-Star Disney Documentary

Tuesday, Sept. 15: Middle Age Crisis: The Agony And The Anarchy Of ‘The Bastard Executioner’

Wednesday, Sept. 16: Your Show Of Shows: NBC’s ‘Best Time Ever’ Exceeds Expectations

Thursday, Sept. 17: You’re Terminated! Austrian Immigrant Replacing Trump On ‘Celebrity Apprentice’

Friday, Sept. 18: Smells Like Victory: On Eve Of A New Fall Season, TV Is Everywhere

— Adam Buckman

Contact Adam Buckman: adambuckman14@gmail.com

Four-Day Week in Review: 4 MediaPost TV Blogs

May 29, 2015
Four days, four columns: Catch up on all four of my MediaPost TV blogs from this week (excluding Memorial Day). Links below ...

Four days, four columns: Catch up on all four of my MediaPost TV blogs from this week (excluding Memorial Day). Links below …

NEW YORK, May 29, 2015 — The work week was only four days long, but this week’s columns managed to encompass everything from the upsetting “19 Kids and Counting” scandal to the annual Book Expo in New York. In case you missed them, read my four MediaPost.com TV blogs from the past week, right here:

Tuesday, March 26: ’19 Kids’ And ‘Honey Boo Boo’ Stories Are Not Typical Of Reality TV

Wednesday, March 27: NBC’s ‘Aquarius’: Yo, Dude, It’s Charlie Manson

Thursday, March 28: Summer TV Might Not Be ‘Smarter,’ But It Is Different

Friday, March 29: Informal Consensus Reveals Best TV Shows For Promoting Books

— Adam Buckman

Contact Adam Buckman: adambuckman14@gmail.com

Last Week on MediaPost: My 5 Blogs 5/11-5/15

May 16, 2015
That was the week that was: From David Letterman to Ricky Martin -- links to all 5 of my MediaPost TV blogs, below.

That was the week that was: From David Letterman to Ricky Martin — links to all 5 of my MediaPost TV blogs, below.

NEW YORK, May 16, 2015 — From David Letterman and Queen Latifah to M. Night Shyamalan and “Mad Men,” here are all five of my MediaPost.com TV blogs from last week:

Monday, May 11: How’s Dave Doing? We Asked His Friend, Tom Dreesen

Tuesday, May 12: HBO Movie About Singer Bessie Smith Is Off-Key

Wednesday, May 13: Small Town, Big Mystery: ‘Wayward Pines’ Is Top-Notch Miniseries

Thursday, May 14: Five Questions We’d Like Answered In The ‘Mad Men’ Finale

Friday, May 15: Juvenile Seat-Saving Must Cease, And Other Upfront Observations

— Adam Buckman

Contact Adam Buckman: adambuckman14@gmail.com

Curated: My 9 Stories From the NAB in Las Vegas

May 16, 2015
Press pass: The press room at the 2015 NAB Convention last month in Las Vegas.

Press pass: The press room at the 2015 NAB Convention last month in Las Vegas.

NEW YORK, May 16, 2015 — From the National Association of Broadcasters Convention in Las Vegas last month to the TV upfronts in New York (that actually began back on Feb. 26 with Nickelodeon and ended just last week, on May 14, with NBC Cable), it’s been a busy couple of months. Here are the nine stories I wrote — in three days, April 13-15 — at the Vegas NAB Show for TVNewsCheck.com:

Monday, April 13:

NAB President Reaffirms TV’s Value, Lists Challenges

Tuesday, April 14:

CBS All-Access All-Consuming for Affiliates

CBS Affiliates Seem All Aboard For All-Access

ABC: We Will Work With Affiliates On Streaming

Top of Mind for Fox Affiliates: ‘Empire,’ TV Everywhere

TVB: 2016 Political Bonanza May Start in 4th Quarter

Wednesday, April 15:

Affiliates Get Summer Schooling from NBC

Fox Affiliates OK on Fall, Worried About Future

Broadcasting’s Inevitable March to TV Everywhere

— Adam Buckman

Contact Adam Buckman: adambuckman14@gmail.com

5 Easy Pieces: A Look Back at the Week That Was

April 3, 2015
The week in review (clockwise from upper left): "Weird Loners" on Fox, prance-dancers on Oxygen, Bieber roasted, "Wolf Hall" on PBS, Discovery struts its stuff.

The week in review: “Weird Loners” on Fox, prance-dancers on Oxygen, Bieber roasted, “Wolf Hall” on PBS, Discovery struts its stuff.

NEW YORK, April 3, 2015 — Catch up with all five of my MediaPost TV blogs from this past week (March 30-April 3) with these links:

Monday, March 30: Fox Looks To ‘Weird Loners’ To Lift Tuesday Comedy Ratings

Tuesday, March 31:  NBC Cable Nets Prance Into Upfront Season With New Shows

Wednesday, April 1: Discovery’s Upfront Strategy: Global Reach, ‘Personal’ Presentations

Thursday, April 2: Comedy Central Declares Social Media Triumph For Justin Bieber Roast

Friday, April 3: ‘Wolf’ At The Door: Henry VIII Miniseries Is Suspense-Filled ‘Masterpiece’

– Adam Buckman

Contact Adam Buckman: adambuckman14@gmail.com

Joan Rivers’ own tragic history on ‘The Simpsons’

December 5, 2011

Krusty the Clown and agent Annie Dubinsky (Joan Rivers) in last Sunday’s episode of “The Simpsons” on Fox (Photos: Fox)

By ADAM BUCKMAN

NEW YORK, Dec. 5, 2011 — “The Simpsons” crammed a ton of TV history into that new episode seen this past Sunday night on Fox — not only spoofing Ralph Kramden and “The Honeymooners” and other iconic shows — but also featuring a storyline for guest-star Joan Rivers that cut close to the bone.

It was a story about a top comedy talent headlining a network TV show and the show’s headstrong producer, with whom the comedian has a close personal relationship.  In the episode, the producer — played by Rivers — threw her weight around so much on the set that network execs ordered the comedian, Krusty the Clown, to fire her, or else they would.

The story, no doubt devised with Rivers’ approval and possibly with her input, mirrored her own personal history — with Fox, no less — back in 1987.  That’s when she starred in a late-night show on the then-fledgling network — “The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers” — while her husband, Edgar Rosenberg, acted as executive producer.  When Fox execs ordered her to fire Edgar, she refused and they were both canned.  Three months later, he committed suicide — the worst tragedy of Rivers’ life.

And yet, there she was on “The Simpsons” spoofing her own tragic history — something only a comedian of her stature and experience would attempt.

In the episode, Krusty’s kids show got cancelled because he was so sadly behind the times (even referring in a meeting with network executives to “Percy Dovetonsils,” a character not seen on TV since the late Ernie Kovacs played him in the 1950s).  So Krusty linked up with Annie Dubinsky (Rivers), who was once his agent and girlfriend in the 1960s until he dumped her.  This past Sunday, she engineered his comeback after the cancellation.  But then, he had to fire her.

The whole episode dealt with the history of television, starting out with a Simpson family outing to the Springfield Museum of Television, which was closing and holding a memorabilia fire sale because no one apparently cared anymore about the early history of TV.  And, as Homer lamented, you don’t need to visit a museum anymore to see clips of old shows when you have the Internet.

At the museum, the family encountered an exhibit devoted to an old — and fictional — black-and-white show from the ’50s called “Fatso Flanagan,” which bore more than a resemblance to the old “Honeymooners.”  Homer and Marge even mimicked the famed “Baby, you’re the greatest!” scenes from “The Honeymooners” as Homer described how almost every comedy ever made for TV was based somehow on “The Honeymooners.”

It was an incredibly rich episode, and one that ought to put to rest, at least for now, rumblings from some critics lately that “The Simpsons” ought to be put out to pasture.  All we can say to that is this: Not yet, Fox — not yet.

Contact Adam Buckman: adambuckman14@gmail.com

‘Idol’ redo kills the very show it was meant to fix

September 23, 2010

Judge not lest ye be judged: New “American Idol” judges Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez, with judge emeritus Randy Jackson and Ryan Seacrest.

By ADAM BUCKMAN

NEW YORK, Sept. 23, 2010 — This is just comical.

A TV show loses a couple of cast members and suddenly, the powers-that-be decide the entire show needs a redo.  And not just any show, but the most popular show on TV for the better part of a decade.

It’s “American Idol,” and it just underwent a change that is so significant that you can’t honestly call the show “American Idol” anymore.  That’s how different the show is going to feel when it returns on Fox this winter with Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler sitting in the chairs where you once saw Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul.

So now the judges are J Lo, Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson.  What happened here?  Network executives saw their panel of judges breaking up — first Paula a few years back, and then Simon last season, followed by the temporary, “pretend” judges Kara DioGuardi and Ellen Degeneres quitting or getting fired (probably the latter).  And instead of attempting to re-create the lightning-in-a-bottle chemistry of the original three judges, they went out to find two celebrities — one a rock star and the other, well, who knows what she is — singer, entrepreneur, dancer, whatever.

Think of the contrast with the original panel of judges — Randy Jackson, who apparently played bass for Journey but who no one knew; Paula Abdul, the closest thing to a celebrity that the original group had, although she was a has-been; and Simon Cowell, some Brit with a buzzcut who by some miracle turned into the biggest star on American TV.

It was the chemistry between these three that put “American Idol” on the pop-culture map and kept it there right up until the time when the act started to break up, starting with Paula’s exit.  The key thing was: The original three judges were not superstars.  And we had no way of knowing beforehand whether we liked them or not.

Now they’re bringing in J Lo, who, truth be told, is not well-liked (though this gig will give her an opportunity to become better liked).  As for Tyler, he’s an unknown quantity in this role.  The thing you have to ask is: Will any of these judges give it to the contestants straight?  Or are they there to give all of them blind encouragement, whether they deserve it or not?

Love him or hate him, Simon was the voice of show business reality — when contestants had no chance of advancing, he told them.  He was just being honest.

And what about these superstar judges?  Will they have the enthusiasm to keep coming back season after season?  Or are we entering a new era of revolving superstars whose faces will change with each new year?

Contact Adam Buckman: adambuckman14@gmail.com


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