Posts Tagged ‘JERK: How I Wasted My Life Watching Television’

In Post-Convention Week, Trump’s In Two Blogs

August 5, 2016
This week's TV blogs -- from Colbert to Trump to Ailes and back to Trump. Read 'em all, below.

This week’s TV blogs — from Colbert to Trump to Ailes and back to Trump. Read ’em all, below.

By ADAM BUCKMAN

NEW YORK, Aug. 5, 2016 — It was a week without political conventions on TV.  As a result, the TV blog returned to normal, covering a variety of topics drawn from the diverse world of TV. And yet, Donald Trump still managed to become the topic of two of them. Read all five of my MediaPost TV blogs from the past week with these links:

Monday, Aug. 1: Stephen Colbert In Search Of Self

Tuesday, Aug. 2: Rubbernecking At A Trainwreck: The Donald Brags About His Ratings

Wednesday, Aug. 3: On TLC, A Kiss Is Still A Kiss, As Summertime Goes By

Thursday, Aug. 4: After Ailes, The Show Goes On At Fox News Channel

Friday, Aug. 5: The Greatest Donald Trump Story Ever Told

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 Thrilla in Phila.: The Coronation of Hillary

July 29, 2016

THIS WEEK’S MEDIAPOST TV BLOGS

The Hillary Show: Four out of five of this week's MediaPost TV blogs covered the televised Democratic Convention in Philadelphia. Plus, on Monday: "Sharknado"! Blog links below.

The Hillary Show: Four out of five of this week’s MediaPost TV blogs covered the televised Democratic Convention in Philadelphia. Plus, on Monday: “Sharknado”! Blog links below.

By ADAM BUCKMAN

NEW YORK, July 29, 2016 — It was a thrilla in Phila., a Democratic Convention in Philadelphia that provided four nights of television that closely followed four nights of Republican conventioneering a week earlier. For a TV columnist, it has been two weeks of televised politics, plenty to write about.

Read all four of my Democratic Convention TV columns for MediaPost with these links (starting with Tuesday):

Monday, July 25: Syfy Gets Some Help Promoting Its New ‘Sharknado’ Movie

Tuesday, July 26: Thrilla In Phila., Day 1: Comedian Wags Finger, Lectures Democrats

Wednesday, July 27: Thrilla In Phila., Day 2: Idiotic Celebrities And One Masterful Speaker

Thursday, July 28: Thrilla In Phila., Day 3: Dems Put The Party In ‘Political Party’

Friday, July 29: Thrilla In Phila., Day 4: The Coronation Of Hillary

PREVIOUSLY: Be sure to read all of my columns on the Republican Convention in Cleveland from a week earlier: “The Cleveland Trump Show” — find the links 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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TV Howl Extra: My Interview With Irritable Al

July 27, 2016
Sen. Al Franken speaking at the Democratic National Convention Monday (July 25) in Philadelphia.

Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) speaking at the Democratic National Convention Monday (July 25) in Philadelphia.

‘He had a voice like a cartoon frog’ — book excerpt, below, from JERK: How I Wasted My Life Watching Television by Adam Buckman

By ADAM BUCKMAN

NEW YORK, July 27, 2016 — Former TV comedian Al Franken made a splash Monday night at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, delivering a speech ripping Trump University and then appearing with Bernie Sanders supporter Sarah Silverman in an attempt to unify the Democratic Party behind nominee Hillary Clinton.

But many of us on the TV beat remember Franken before he was a senator, when he was just another comedy writer, a “Saturday Night Live” veteran, trying to make a living in the TV comedy biz.

This is the story of one of those efforts, an NBC comedy series called “Lateline,” and what Franken had to say to me in an interview the day after the show was cancelled in 1999. This story is excerpted from my book called “JERK: How I Wasted My Life Watching Television,” available on Amazon:

Chapter Five: CAVALCADE OF STARS

Part I

Click on the pic to visit my Amazon book page.

Click on the pic to visit my Amazon book page.

Another comedian who agreed to get on the phone to talk about the cancellation of his own show was Al Franken, who also wound up casting the blame on someone else – in his case, NBC.

Read “JERK: How I Wasted My Life Watching Television” by Adam Buckman: Order your copy today — right HERE!

Franken’s show was a sitcom called “Lateline,” a newsroom spoof in which he starred as a gung-ho but bumbling correspondent for a late-night news show modeled loosely on ABC’s “Nightline.”  NBC had just given it the axe and Franken had an axe to grind.  This was another instance in which I believed I had no chance of getting the star of a cancelled show (who in this case also happened to be the show’s creator and executive producer) on the phone to tell me why he thought his show was cancelled and how he felt about it.

But I put in the request anyway and, incredibly, an NBC publicist put Franken on the phone for me, even though Franken was furious about the cancellation and in no frame of mind to do an interview that would spare NBC’s feelings.  Instead, he unloaded on the network and the then-president of NBC’s entertainment division, Scott Sassa.

Al Franken in "Lateline."

Al Franken in “Lateline.”

“We made good shows,” Franken said calmly, sounding a little weary, at the outset of our conversation.  “I think NBC did a bad job in presenting it to the public,” he said, referring to the way “Lateline” had been scheduled.  The show had had a short, uneven history, premiering in March 1998 for just six weeks and then going away for a year.  It returned in March 1999 for a planned run of six more episodes, but five of them never aired after NBC cancelled the series the morning after the first one attracted one of the smallest audiences ever recorded by the network on a Tuesday night up to that time – 6.7 million viewers.

I then asked Franken about Sassa and whether the NBC president had called him personally to give him the bad news.  The question apparently hit a sore spot and Franken turned peevish.  No, Franken answered, Sassa did not call him.  “It would have been nice for Sassa to call me,” said Franken, who then basically called the head of NBC a liar.

At issue was a “promise” Franken insisted Sassa had made to him about NBC’s commitment to “Lateline.”  “I felt cold-cocked. … [He] promised me six shows,” said Franken, who characterized Sassa’s “promise” as “an explicit guarantee” that “Lateline” would have a run of six episodes to get on its feet.

“[Sassa] didn’t explain why he felt ethically that you can promise six and then pull [a show off the air] after one,” Franken complained.  (For his part, Sassa declined a request for an interview with me then, but an NBC spokeswoman denied Sassa had promised Franken anything.)

Franken then noted that it was unfortunate for the television production industry in New York for “Lateline” to be cancelled because it was one of only a handful of situation-comedies then being produced in New York City.  He then unloaded on me when it became apparent that I could not recall in that instant which other sitcoms were produced in New York.  As a result of this shortcoming, Franken basically called me an idiot who lacked the qualifications he felt were necessary for writing about television, though to my knowledge, the job of covering television as a journalist was one that Franken had never held.  I tried to explain to him that the identities of the other made-in-New York sitcoms (they turned out to be “Cosby” on CBS and “Spin City” on ABC) were irrelevant to our story.  And if they were relevant, I told him, then I would endeavor to report them correctly before the story got into print.

It wasn’t the first time I found myself explaining to someone that I wasn’t a walking, talking encyclopedia of television, that it was not important for me to know every little thing about television when conducting an interview such as this one.  The main concern for me, as with any journalist, was not necessarily to have every fact correct when you are interviewing a newsmaker and researching a story, though it certainly couldn’t hurt.  What mattered much more was getting it right by the time it appeared in the paper.  And I assured Franken it would be, though by this time, he had had enough of me and I had had enough of him.  After we hung up, I concluded that either Franken was having a bad day or he was basically an asshole.  I figured it was a little bit of both.

The story, headlined “Franken burns NBC bridge,” published on March 22, 1999, in the New York Post, was a great story for me, though I never learned how Franken felt about it.  However, I developed such a visceral dislike for him in the aftermath of that interview that I welcomed the occasional opportunities that arose later to take additional swipes at him.

Al Franken Parkay commercial.

Al Franken Parkay commercial.

One was an item I didn’t really have to write later that year, though I wrote it anyway.  “Former sitcom star Al Franken has landed on his feet – you can see him shoveling a forkful of steaming hot baked potato into his mouth in a commercial for Parkay margarine,” I reported on Oct. 25, in an attempt to write an item that would portray Franken as a has-been whose career had seen better days, but was now reduced to hawking margarine.

Franken went on to host a radio show on Air America, the short-lived liberal radio network.  When a condensed, one-hour version of the radio show, shot in the Air America studios on videotape, began airing in 2004 on the Sundance cable channel, I took up the cudgel again to describe him in a review as having “a voice like a cartoon frog.”  I also accused him of exhibiting posture unbefitting the profession of broadcasting, taking pains to write that Franken “slouches over his microphone like he has no spine” (my intention being to imply subtly that Franken lacked backbone, though I doubt anyone who read it ever caught this implication).  I never learned Franken’s reaction to this column either (if he ever even had a reaction), but he had backbone enough to run for the U.S. Senate in 2008, representing Minnesota.

[Excerpted from “JERK: How I Wasted My Life Watching Television” by Adam Buckman. Copyright Adam Buckman 2014 All Rights Reserved.]

Contact Adam Buckman: AdamBuckman14@gmail.com

Want more great stories from the TV beat? 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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Four Blogs On This Week’s Cleveland Trump Show

July 22, 2016
This week the Republicans, next week the Democrats: Read all five of my MediaPost TV blogs from the past week, below.

This week the Republicans, next week the Democrats: Read all five of my MediaPost TV blogs from the past week, below.

By ADAM BUCKMAN

NEW YORK, July 22, 2016 — The Republican Convention in Cleveland was the TV show to watch this week — which is why I devoted four out of five blogs to it since Monday. Read all five of my MediaPost TV blogs from the past week, right here:

Monday, July 18: With Snipers Making Headlines, USA Network Introduces A Series About A Sniper

Tuesday, July 19: The Cleveland Trump Show, Day 1: Making Special Effects Great Again

Wednesday, July 20: The Cleveland Trump Show, Day 2: Where’s The Showmanship?

Thursday, July 21: The Cleveland Trump Show, Day 3: As Ted Talked, GOP Lost Cruz Control

Friday, July 22: Cleveland Trump Show, Day 4: Candidate Gracelessly Accepts Nomination

Next week: A Thrilla in Phila.: The Coronation Of 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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Hot Summer Blogs: From ‘Mr. Robot’ to ‘Fargo’

July 16, 2016
From "Mr. Robot" to "Fargo" and the Emmy nominations, here are this week's MediaPost TV blogs.

Here are this week’s MediaPost TV blogs — links below!

By ADAM BUCKMAN

NEW YORK, July 16, 2016 — The week started with a look ahead to the second-season premiere of “Mr. Robot” on USA Network and ended with a look at this year’s Emmy nominations announced Thursday — of which “Mr. Robot” received six. Read all of my MediaPost TV blogs from the past five days, right here:

Monday, July 11: No Easy Answers As ‘Mr. Robot’ Returns For Season Two

Tuesday, July 12: Obnoxious ‘White House’ Doc Reveals How First Families Live Like Royalty

Wednesday, July 13: Characters Have Many Vices, No Principles In HBO’s ‘Vice Principals’

Thursday, July 14: As Conventions Near, Late-Night Gets Serious About Politics

Friday, July 15: Thank You, Networks, For Tallying Your Emmy Nominations So I Don’t Have To

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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Back By Popular Demand: This Week’s Rundown

July 8, 2016

ALL FOUR MEDIAPOST TV BLOGS: July 5-8

This week's TV blog topics included PBS's "Capitol Fourth" show and the mystery of the year-old footage, Donald Trump's TV habits, Gretchen Carlson's lawsuit against Roger Ailes, and the familiarity of this week's mayhem in the streets.

This week’s TV blog topics included PBS’s “Capitol Fourth” show and the mystery of the year-old footage, Donald Trump’s TV habits, Gretchen Carlson’s lawsuit against Roger Ailes, and the familiarity of the protest marches and violence in the nation’s cities this week.

By ADAM BUCKMAN

NEW YORK, July 8, 2016 — Presenting the return of the weekly rundown of this week’s MediaPost TV blogs — written by yours truly, Adam Buckman. Follow the links, below:

Tuesday, July 5: Complaints About PBS Rainy Night Fireworks Footage Are All Wet

Wednesday, July 6: Couch Potato-In-Chief: Grazing Around The Dial With Donald Trump

Thursday: July 7: Thanks To Carlson, Entire World Can Read Her Lawsuit Against Ailes

Friday: July 8: And The Beat Goes On: Mayhem In The Streets Revives Baby Boomer Memories

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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In Case You Missed Them: 8 More Upfront Stories

April 15, 2016
Recent stories from the New York Upfronts: (top) Freeform and Cadent; (second row) Azteca America and Bounce TV; (third row) TV One and Crackle; (bottom) BET and MTV.

Recent stories from the New York Upfronts: (top) Freeform and Cadent; (second row) Azteca America and Bounce TV; (third row) TV One and Crackle; (bottom) BET and MTV.

By ADAM BUCKMAN

NEW YORK, April 25, 2016 — Catch up with my coverage of the New York Upfronts from the last three weeks with these links:

April 8, Freeform: Disney’s Youthful Freeform Slots Late-Night ‘Later Bitches’

April 12, Cadent Network: Cadent Upfront Explores New Frontiers In TV Media Buying

April 13, Azteca America: Azteca America Upfront Highlights New Shows, Digital Initiatives

April 13, Bounce TV: Bounce Upfront Vows More Originals For African-Americans

April 14, TV One: On Eve of Upfront, TV One Makes Deal For ‘Empire’ Reruns

April 20, Crackle: ‘Break-Free Advertising’ Initiative Is Centerpiece Of Crackle’s Upfront Push

April 20, BET: Digital Relaunch Takes Center Stage At BET Upfront

April 21, MTV: MTV And New Management Team Announce 14 New Shows

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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Curated: All 9 of My March 2016 Upfront Stories

April 4, 2016
Nine upfront stories so far this spring: (top) Nickelodeon, TV Land/Nick at Nite/CMT, Game Show Network, (middle) National Geographic Channel, Pop Network, pop Op; Top: ot

Nine upfront stories so far this spring: (top) Nickelodeon, TV Land/Nick at Nite/CMT, Game Show Network, (middle) National Geographic Channel, Pop Network, Scripps (HGTV), (bottom) Hallmark Channel (Crown Media), Discovery Networks, Comedy Central.

By ADAM BUCKMAN

NEW YORK, April 4, 2016 — Presenting all nine of my stories from the New York upfront presentations in March. More to come in April and May. Follow the links, right here:

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

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

March 8, GSN (Game Show Network): At Upfront, Game Show Network Outlines Its Winning Strategy: Produce More Originals

March 15, National Geographic Channel: Nat Geo Leaps Into Upfront Season With Programming On A Global Scale

March 21, Pop network: Pop’s Upfront Pitch: We’re Growing, And Our Competitors Are Not

March 29: Scripps Networks: Scripps Networks’ Upfront Message: Our Viewers Buy What They See

March 31, Crown Media Family Networks (Hallmark Channel): Hallmark Upfront Emphasizes Family-Friendly Programming, Focus On Holidays

March 31, Discovery Networks: Discovery’s Upfront Pitch Touts Global Reach, Domestic Audiences

April 1, Comedy Central: Comedy Central Pushes 5 New Series, 10 New Specials

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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Busy Month Yields 18 Blogs and Stories … So Far

March 25, 2016

By ADAM BUCKMAN

NEW YORK, March 25, 2016 — Always busy writing on every conceivable subject related to television: Click on the photo montage to visit my ever-increasing archive on MediaPost.com. Then please stick around and read ’em.

MediaPost

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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Looking for Adam Buckman? Use the links below

March 4, 2016

Adam Buckman 1Looking for the latest from TV Howl’s Adam Buckman? Just click on his name below to visit his ever-growing MediaPost archive — adding new content everyday: Adam Buckman.

For more information about Adam Buckman, please visit AdamBuckman.com.

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

Contact Adam Buckman: AdamBuckman14@gmail.com

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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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.

THIS WEEK’S MEDIAPOST TV BLOGS

By ADAM BUCKMAN

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: 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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David Bowie, ‘Heroes’ and a Newspaper Rebellion

January 11, 2016

Heroes David BowieBy ADAM BUCKMAN

NEW YORK, Jan. 11, 2016 — In March 1993, I was present at a newspaper insurrection.

It probably still stands as the most notorious staff uprising in modern newspaper history.

And in the chaos of the turmoil’s climactic week, I found I couldn’t shake David Bowie’s song “Heroes” from my head – a phenomenon described today as an “earworm.”

As the drama of that week enveloped us all, I felt like I was in the company of heroes – these New York Post editors and reporters who felt obligated to fight back against uncaring, belligerent owners even though the odds of victory were very long.

The “heroes” label was not my creation. We were being lauded in other media that week for the brash stance we had taken, which reached its apogee on Tuesday, March 16, 1993. That was the day we published an edition made up almost entirely of stories and editorials blasting our then-owners, a New York parking lot magnate and notorious eccentric named Abe Hirschfeld, and a publisher from Harlem named Wilbert Tatum.

930316NYPost-cvrThe cover of that day’s edition was an enlargement of the picture of Alexander Hamilton, the Post’s founder in 1801, that used to be placed every day in one of the upper corners of the paper’s front pages. This time, he took up the entire page, with a dramatic teardrop placed just under the corner of his right eye.

I first laid eyes on this front page on a staircase as it was being delivered to the composing room on Monday evening.  Other than an elevator that was so slow no one could be bothered to wait for it just to travel to the floor above, this staircase in the old Post building at 210 South Street was the only other route between the fourth and fifth floors, and it was heavily traveled by editors going back and forth between the Post’s newsroom and the composing room, where printers pasted up the pages. As TV editor at the Post in those days, I used to go up and down these stairs about 20 times a night for close to five years.

On this particular evening, I ran into one of the Post’s editors about mid-flight – Tommy Ko – who held a rolled-up object in one hand that I took to be surreptitious, since this wasn’t the way Tommy had traditionally transported pages upstairs.

So I called him on it. I asked him what it was, and may have even guessed it was the front page for the next day’s edition. Citing a need for secrecy, he was reluctant to show it to me.

For the better part of an entire day, all of us had been engaged in putting together an entire issue of the paper blasting our owners.  The Post newsroom was on the fourth floor, just two floors below the executive offices on the sixth — which meant we were undertaking this rebellion virtually under the very noses of our owners.  Now it was close to press time and they were still clueless, and would remain so until the edition was published and on the street.

On the staircase, I pressed Tommy to unroll the page and I saw it for the first time. It was a glorious thing to behold and I was excited and anxious about the impact it would have when it hit newsstands late that evening and the next morning.

Among other things, this edition had a story on page three with the headline “WHO IS THIS NUT?” in something like 120-point type over a picture of Hirschfeld. There was also a story on the page about an incident at a Miami airport some time previously in which Hirschfeld was filmed by a local TV station in the act of spitting on a reporter. The spitting picture, a screen grab, was my one and only contribution to this edition of the Post. I had secured it from a source at CBS, which owned the Miami station whose news crew had filmed it.

“Rage, rage against the dying of the light,’ Dylan Thomas advised, and reporters and editors of The New York Post have taken the poet at his word,” said the New York Times in an editorial published the next day, on March 17. “Hemorrhaging red ink and on the brink of extinction, The Post hit the streets yesterday with a pungent, brassy issue that illustrated just what the city would lose if the paper shuts down. …

“Only The New York Post would publish an issue skewering its own boss. … In irreverence lies The Post’s charm, and a serious point: Money may be able to buy a newspaper’s real estate, computers and presses, but its soul belongs to the people who report, write and edit [it].”

In the midst of the tumult, David Bowie’s “Heroes” lodged in my brain, with its lyrics, “We can beat them, just for one day. We can be heroes, just for one day …” In my head, I was romanticizing the experience we were all having, perhaps as a counterpoint to the seriousness of the situation. We were all in danger of losing our jobs — and a whole lot more too — if the Post went down the tubes, which was where it seemed headed.

At around midday on one of the days of that week, I called a local radio station and requested that they play “Heroes” and dedicate it to the heroes of The New York Post. The station was WXRK, the one known as “K-Rock,” at 92.3 FM, because I knew someone who worked there.

Pete Fornatale played the song and my dedication, which I never heard since I didn’t possess a radio at the office. Many years later, after I had long forgotten it, Pete confirmed in a conversation that he played it that day. He remembered it, even if I did not.

Pete died in 2012. David Bowie died today in the wee hours of the morning. He left a catalogue of unforgettable hit songs and thousands, if not millions, of people each with their own memories.

P.S. The Post survived.

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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