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

 
 
2011
Dec
31
 
 
By now you've read a number of year-end columns by television critics, naming their choices for the ten best programs of 2011. Here are ten that haven't shown up in many (if any) of those lists, yet still deserve special recognition...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
Dec
31
 
 
I was a TV critic back in the late 1970s -- pre-cable, pre-Hill Street Blues -- when compiling an end-of-year Top 10 required massive amounts of generosity to fill out the bottom half, at least. But let it be said that, in 2011, not even two different Top 10s can contain all the worthy television that's out there to enjoy...In fact, when you put all the lists together, it's more like -- and more than -- a Top 40...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
Dec
30
 
 
As I type this, I'm about to host the final two Fresh Air programs of the year: Friday's Fresh Air with Terry Gross on NPR, and its sister show Fresh Air Weekend, which airs guess when. And they're both fun shows. Fresh Air Weekend is a critics' roundup for 2011, which has Maureen Corrigan on the year's best books, Ken Tucker on the year's best rock music, David Edelstein on the year's best movies -- and me, Jerry Mathers as the Beaver, on the year's best TV...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
Dec
29
 
 
On the verge of extinction two years ago, Hamilton's CHCH staked its future on news. It was a good move. The Jackson/Hunter Street home of Hamilton TV station CHCH seem a lot happier and more upbeat these days. “It’s nice to be at a place now that is expanding and growing and hiring, rather than one that is imploding,” confides Brian Wood, a veteran on-air personality. “I’m very pleased to see it like that — and to be still a part of it.” “The
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
Dec
28
 
 
It's been a week since American Horror Story concluded its first season -- more than long enough, in my book, to talk about it. But if you want to protect yourself from exposure to what's happening on that fine, bold FX series, then stop reading. Especially since I want to talk not only about what happened last week, but what's going to happen next season...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
Dec
27
 
 
The annual CBS telecast of the Kennedy Center Honors, this year's edition of which is broadcast tonight (Tuesday) at 9 ET, is something I always recommend, and never miss. It's great artists saluting other great artists, and it's the truest example of a true variety show that exists on TV today...And this year, by coincidence, I can claim to have seen three of them in person -- watching one perform on Broadway, having a private conversation with another, and being musically serenaded by a third... as I ate breakfast...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
Dec
27
 
 
And you thought Christmas was over. Not on TV, it's not. A holiday miracle on Quantum Leap, Christmas trees hijacked on The Dukes of Hazzard, secret Santas on the strip in Las Vegas, and Art Carney's smart Santa sack on The Twilight Zone -- they're among the holiday tales still to come...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
Dec
25
 
 
Merry Christmas, and happy holidays, to all. I don't try to get my hopes up too much when I stagger downstairs on Christmas morning to see what's waiting for me under the tree. But does it have to be the same damn cat that's been living here for 114 years, and refuses to die, and thinks of the tree as some halfway house between being indoors where it's warm and outdoors where she can kill things?...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
Dec
24
 
 
Happy holidays! I just received a great gift from one of our faithful and generous TV WORTH WATCHING readers -- and thought I'd share it with you, along with another well-timed holiday bonus. First, sent along by TVWW reader Sanford Sklansky, is Darlene Love's first Christmas appearance on David Letterman's show, way back on NBC's Late Night with David Letterman in 1986...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
Dec
23
 
 
I should have put this in tonight's Best Bets, but it deserves its own special place anyway. Tonight (Friday, Dec. 23) on CBS's Late Show with David Letterman, it's the 2011 edition of Letterman's always wonderful, tradition-filled Christmas show. Darlene Love, once again, will sing "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)," Jay Thomas will tell his Lone Ranger story and, with Letterman, try and knock a giant meatball off the top of a Christmas tree...
 
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 

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.

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