Posts Tagged ‘National Geographic Channel’

Letterman Goes To India, Plus Four More TV Blogs

October 14, 2016
Another week, another five TV blogs for MediaPost: Read them all with the links below.

Another week, another five TV blogs for MediaPost.com: Read them all with the links below.

By ADAM BUCKMAN

NEW YORK, Oct. 14, 2016 — For once, politics did not dominate this week’s MediaPost TV blogs, although you might say politicians were the subject of at least three of them.

First, there was a recap of the second debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and, by week’s end, a look at Nick Nolte playing a fictional ex-president on “Graves” on Epix.  All that and David Letterman paying a visit to a politician too — Indian prime minister Narendra Modi on National Geographic Channel.

Read all five of my MediaPost TV blogs from the past week, below:

Monday, Oct. 10: TV Shares Blame For This Entire Disgusting Spectacle

Tuesday, Oct. 11: Angry Housewife In Toilet Town: Behold Fall’s Worst New Show

Wednesday, Oct. 12: Comedian Turned Statesman: Letterman Meets India’s Prime Minister

Thursday, Oct. 13: No Room For Fun As USA Network Dreams Of Drama Glory

Friday, Oct. 14: Nolte Is First-Rate Ex-Presidential Timber In ‘Graves’

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!

Miniature cover

Advertisements

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!

Miniature cover

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!

Miniature cover

Focus On Fall: This Week’s MediaPost TV Blogs

October 30, 2015
This week's MediaPost blogs. Read them all below.

This week’s MediaPost blogs. Read them all below.

NEW YORK, Oct. 30, 2015 — The new fall season was the focus of three of this week’s MediaPost TV blogs Monday through Wednesday. Then came a consideration of a live-exorcism special planned for Friday on Discovery-owned Destination America, followed by a look at a new National Geographic Channel series about breakthroughs in science and technology.

Follow the links, below:

Monday, Oct. 26: Two More New Shows This Week Won’t Brighten Dull Fall Season

Tuesday, Oct. 27: ABC Mines Lifestyles Of Decades Past For Modern-Day Shows

Wednesday, Oct. 28: Full-Season Order’ Scorecard: These Shows Are Sticking Around For Awhile

Thursday, Oct. 29: Discovery’s ‘Exorcism: Live!’: The Devil Is In The Details

Friday, Oct. 30: Breakthroughs In Science Are Explored In GE, NatGeo Co-Production

— Adam Buckman

Contact Adam Buckman: adambuckman14@gmail.com

‘2000s’ Newsmakers Convene for NatGeo Panel

July 13, 2015

NEW YORK, July 13, 2015 — Five newsmakers from the tumultuous decade of the 2000s came together on stage last week to talk about their stories and promote the new documentary in which they all appear — “The 2000s: A New Reality.”

The four-hour, two part doc premiered Sunday, July 12, on National Geographic Channel.  Part Two airs Monday night (July 13.

On hand were: 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; and Sherron Watkins, brave whistleblower who told the world about the Enron mess.

Also on the panel: Jane Root, executive producer of “The 2000s,” and me, Adam Buckman, who moderated this incredible, wide-ranging discussion held July 8 at the Paley Center for Media in New York.

Watch the whole thing, above.

— Adam Buckman

Contact Adam Buckman: adambuckman14@gmail.com

TV Blog Digest: All Five Of This Week’s Posts

July 10, 2015
From ancient times to the recent past: Read this week's TV blogs, below.

From ancient times to the recent past: Read this week’s TV blogs, below.

NEW YORK, July 10, 2015 — From the ancient world of the Bible to the first decade of the 21st century, this week’s MediaPost TV blogs ran the gamut from TV’s biblical epics on NBC and ABC to National Geographic Channel’s latest “decade” documentary, “The 2000s.” In between: the return of “Ray Donovan” on Showtime, a look at the continuing woes of “The View” and Hillary Clinton’s interview on CNN. Read all five of this week’s MediaPost TV blogs with these links:

Monday, July 6: Bible Gets Thumped As Networks Slam Brakes On Ol’ Time Religion

Tuesday, July 7: His Name Is Ray, But He’s No Ray Of Sunshine

Wednesday, July 8: ‘The View’ From Here: ABC Show Has Fallen Off The Pop-Culture Radar

Thursday, July 9: Let’s Get Serious: CNN Played Softball With Hillary Clinton

Friday, July 10: What Were We Thinking? NatGeo Sorts Out ‘The 2000s’

— Adam Buckman

Contact Adam Buckman: adambuckman14@gmail.com

Best 2012 recap you’ll ever read: MY year in TV

December 24, 2012

By ADAM BUCKMAN

NEW YORK, Dec. 24, 2012 — Let other critics waste their time on year-end lists of the Top 10 this and the Top 10 that.

My long experience in this business tells me readers aren’t interested in any of that.  What they really want to know is: How was my year in TV?

My year amounted to just shy of 600 stories.

Dennis Farina and Dustin Hoffman in HBO's "Luck" (Photo: HBO)

Dennis Farina and Dustin Hoffman in HBO’s “Luck” (Photo: HBO)

My favorite: The story of the HBO horse-racing drama “Luck,” and how it was cancelled due to the deaths of three horses.  I’ve been covering the TV business as a journalist for the better part of 29 years, and this one was a first — a TV show ceasing production due to animals being injured so grievously that they had to be put down.  It was a shame — for the horses, certainly, and also for anyone who, like me, happened to like the show.  Alas.

Odd as that story was, another one was even odder, and also sad: The attempted suicide of character actor Daniel Von Bargen, who’s been in a lot of movies and TV shows but was best known for playing George Costanza’s boss, Mr. Kruger, in the final season of “Seinfeld.”  There have been no updates on his health since the incident last February, and I hope he’s doing better.

The TV phenomenon of the year was Honey Boo Boo.

Warwick Davis in "Life's Too Short" (Photo: HBO)

Warwick Davis in “Life’s Too Short” (Photo: HBO)

My favorite scripted show of the year was “Life’s Too Short,” the reality-style comedy series about a dwarf.  Produced for HBO by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, this show had dwarf actor Warwick Davis suffering humiliation and embarrassment everywhere he went.  It was just savage.

The year’s most memorable TV event was Nik Wallenda’s tightrope walk over Niagara Falls on a Friday night last June.  ABC aired it and everybody watched.

My favorite non-scripted show (though it may have been scripted just a little bit) was “American Colony: Meet the Hutterites,” seen last summer on National Geographic Channel.  Though the Hutterites are not Amish, they were part of the whole “Amish” trend this year in “reality” TV shows.  “Meet the Hutterites” was by far the best of them, though, and I won’t soon forget plucky Claudia, her brother Quentin, their mother Bertha and all the rest of them.

I watched a lot of late-night TV this year, recapped “Saturday Night Live” after practically every show and endured, along with everyone else, the presidential campaign.  The nightly dissection of the battle on the news channels every night was a tough slog.  By contrast, the four debates this past fall — three presidential and one vice presidential — were among the year’s TV highlights.

I also watched too many violent TV shows — “Boardwalk Empire,” “Sons of Anarchy,” Dexter” and heaven knows what else.  It’s all a bit much, isn’t it?  The real world is violent enough.

I would like to thank the following personalities for illuminating interviews: Ray Romano, Chuck Lorre, Jonathan and Drew Scott (the HGTV twins), Mark Feuerstein, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Danny McBride, and Willie Robertson of “Duck Dynasty” (great guy).  I loved encountering about two-thirds of the “Celebrity Apprentice” participants last winter at 30 Rock.  Shout-outs to Lisa Lampanelli, Dee Snider, Clay Aiken, Paul Teutel Sr. and Victoria Gotti for a great afternoon.

I met Aaron Sorkin for the first time this year too, and he was a great interview.  I also came face-to-face with Wilson Phillips and all three of them were a pleasure to talk to, though their reality series on TV Guide Channel was short-lived.

You get the opportunity to meet a great many interesting people in this business — and two of the most interesting personalities I ever encountered were among the TV personalities who died this year.  I loved meeting Sherman Hemsley back in ’96, and years before that, Dick Clark, who posed for a picture with me back in ’83 when I was very young and very green, and he treated me like I was the most important person in the world.  This was a guy who knew how to be a celebrity.

"The TV Guys," WOR, New York, summer 2002. Bert's the one seated and holding a pair of headphones up to his ear (Photo: personal collection)

“The TV Guys,” WOR, New York, summer 2002. Bert’s the one holding a pair of headphones up to his ear (Photo: personal collection)

We lost Bert Gould this year, my co-host on the radio show we threw together in the summer of 2002 on WOR in New York.

For 13 glorious weeks, we were “The TV Guys,” two self-styled experts on the TV business who talked about television, interviewed a couple of celebrities (Larry David and Michael Chiklis, most notably) and took viewer phone calls.

Short-lived as the show was, it was a highlight of my professional life and in no small way I have Bert to thank for it.

Without his brashness and enthusiasm, this idea for a radio show about television — an idea he concocted while we were talking randomly about TV on a bus to midtown one weekday morning — would have gone nowhere.  As it was, it went somewhere, if only for a short time.  Thanks, Bert.

As 2012 comes to a close, I ask myself the same question I ask every year at this time: A year from now, will I be doing this again?  Really?  Surely, there is something more to life than television …

Contact Adam Buckman: adambuckman14@gmail.com


%d bloggers like this: