DAVID BIANCULLI

Founder / Editor

ERIC GOULD

Associate Editor

LINDA DONOVAN

Assistant Editor

KARLE DUNBAR

Social Media Manager

Contributors

ALEX STRACHAN

TOM BRINKMOELLER

GERALD JORDAN

MONIQUE NAZARETH

CANDACE KELLEY

GABRIELA TAMARIZ

DAVID SICILIA

NOEL HOLSTON

JONATHAN STORM

 
Save 50% off on 26 weeks of The New York Times Digital
 
2010
Jul
30
 
 
Since AMC got into the one-hour drama series business, it's made one masterpiece after another. One was Mad Men, the other was Breaking Bad, and both are still on the air. Starting Sunday night at 8 ET, they're joined by a third new series, a modern-day spy thriller called Rubicon. Is it another TV triumph? Too early to tell. A TV show that should be watched? Most definitely...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2010
Jul
29
 
 
Though I'm a huge sports fan, there are still athletes and events I don't know anything about -- until I see films about them in ESPN's 30 for 30 documentary series. The Birth of Big Air just premiered in conjunction with the current X Games, and now I'm fascinated by high-flying BMX innovator Mat Hoffman...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2010
Jul
29
 
 
How great is it when DVD resurrects TV shows that you'd forgotten even existed? That's what happens this week with The Mothers-in-Law, the 1960s sitcom pairing Eve Arden and Kaye Ballard as the title neighbors, normally warring yet suddenly stuck together by their progeny's surprise elopement...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2010
Jul
27
 
 
Dearest TV Worth Watching Readers: Since I (unintentionally) opened the Pandora's Box topic of the female psyche in current music videos two weeks ago, out sprang the multi-headed Hydra of Miley Cyrus, Christina Aguilera and Katy Perry. Our Fearless Leader of this website, and my long-time mentor, had clearly lost part of his towering mind -- the Smothers Brothers book having taking such a toll on him, he threw these women onto my lap for some kind of understanding and critique...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2010
Jul
26
 
 
There's a great Yiddish word for Dan Schorr: noodge. Either a noun or a verb depending on context, the word describes both a kind of conduct and the kind of person who engages in the conduct. The most apt definition I found for "to noodge" is "to annoy with persistent complaining, asking, urging, etc." You can quibble about style, but I'd argue that great reporters have a lot of noodge in them...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2010
Jul
26
 
 
Cable is pulling out some big guns this year to run head-to-head with the networks' traditional fall premieres. Established faves like Dexter and Sons of Anarchy return, joined by promising newcomers like Boardwalk Empire and Terriers. Cable even has a late-night talk show featuring some Irish comic named Conan. Here's a look at just a few of the cable arrivals announced for fall...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2010
Jul
23
 
 
If you love TV and you've got plans to do something else the week of Sept. 20, change 'em. The broadcast networks are loading up a "fall premiere week" like they haven't done in ages. A whopping 68 shows will either debut or return for new seasons the week of Sept. 20-27. That Thursday night alone, there are 14 series/season premieres across the five major networks...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2010
Jul
23
 
 
In honor of longtime CBS newsman and recent NPR commentary stalwart Daniel Schorr, who died Friday morning at 93, National Public Radio will air an hourlong tribute hosted by Robert Siegel on Friday night...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2010
Jul
23
 
 
Sunday's season premiere of AMC's period drama series Mad Men begins with Jon Hamm's Don Draper being interviewed by a reporter for a trade journal, who asks Don an innocuous puffball question as preparation of a profile about the successful advertising-agency executive. But because of what we know about Don's past -- and what most people around him DON'T know -- that puffball turns into a potential hand grenade...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2010
Jul
22
 
 
Thursday night at 9 ET on USA's Burn Notice, Burt Reynolds guest stars as a retired spy targeted by a Russian hit squad. Michael and his crew come to the rescue -- in a crisp TV "buddy movie" so delightful, it all but demands a string of sequels...
 
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 

Good news, TVWW readers: David’s new book from Doubleday, The Platinum Age of Television: From I Love Lucy to The Walking Dead, How TV Became Terrific is available on Amazon for $20. (Paperback will be available September 5th, here.)

Doubleday says: “Darwin had his theory of evolution, and David Bianculli has his. Bianculli's theory has to do with the concept of quality television: what it is and, crucially, how it got that way."

"The Platinum Age of Television is an effusive guidebook that plots the path from the 1950s’ Golden Age to today’s era of quality TV. For instance, animation evolved from Rocky and His Friends to South Park; variety shows moved from The Ed Sullivan Show to Saturday Night Live; and family sitcoms grew from I Love Lucy to Modern Family. A high point is the author’s interviews with Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Norman Lear, Bob Newhart, Matt Groening, Larry David, Amy Schumer and many others...Bianculli has written a highly readable history." —The Washington Post

 
Select TV