DAVID BIANCULLI

Founder / Editor

ERIC GOULD

Associate Editor

LINDA DONOVAN

Assistant Editor

KARLE DUNBAR

Social Media Manager

Contributors

ALEX STRACHAN

GERALD JORDAN

CANDACE KELLEY

TOM BRINKMOELLER

MONIQUE NAZARETH

GABRIELA TAMARIZ

DAVID SICILIA

NOEL HOLSTON

JONATHAN STORM

 
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2011
Feb
28
 
 
Even if you were hoping for the timeliness of The Social Network to upset the staidness of The King's Speech at Sunday's 83d Annual Academy Awards, the ABC telecast provided drama until the end -- and lots of nice moments, and story angles, and even some welcome changes to carry over for next year...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
Feb
25
 
 
With the Oscars arriving Sunday night, and several parts of the world in upheaval from revolutions or earthquakes, there's no better time to look for a different perspective than now, and no better place than England -- with BBC News for the latter, and Ricky Gervais for the former...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
Feb
24
 
 
Beatles night on Fox's American Idol didn't please please me -- the judges were much more impressed than I. But at the end, as the trio of judges began whittling the ranks down to the final 24 (a process that continues Thursday night at 8 ET), Jennifer Lopez became the new heart of Idol by being a very stern judge -- of herself...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
Feb
21
 
 
Except for sports, most broadcast TV genres just aren't as dominant, or even as good, as they used to be. But though cable has grabbed most of the ground and momentum, there are still islands of excellence where broadcast television proves, week in and week out, it still can present the best. Ladies and gentlemen, as Exhibits A through C, I give you: 60 Minutes for news, Modern Family for comedy, and The Good Wife for Drama...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
Feb
18
 
 
Showtime hasn't yet committed to a second season of its charming and clever Episodes series, which presents its first-season finale Sunday night at 9:30 p.m. ET -- but should, and fast. When a show comes out of the box this impressively, and wraps up its first batch of installments with such compelling brilliance, viewers deserve more...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
Feb
17
 
 
Ken Jennings, until now the best contestant ever to play Jeopardy!, was trounced by IBM's Watson supercomputer in this week's two-game, three-day duel -- but in the final "Final Jeopardy," accepted defeat in a way that was lovably, laughably human. Beneath his correct answer of "Bram Stoker," Jennings added, "I, for one, welcome our new computer overlords"...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
Feb
14
 
 
This one was inevitable: With Republicans in Congress winning seats in the 2010 midterm election and feeling their oats, and with budget cuts a hot-button issue on both sides of the aisle, Republicans are proposing a complete elimination of public funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which provides money to both PBS and public radio. What's a supporter of public broadcasting to do? Simple: Remember your history...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
Feb
9
 
 
No spoilers here, since NBC viewers won't see the finale of Friday Night Lights for about half a year. But DirecTV subscribers -- the ones who spent Wednesday night watching the final episode of the five-year drama about family and football life in a small Texas town -- witnessed a loving, thoughtful, inspirational ending to an equally loving, thoughtful and inspirational series. The only thing that put the bitter in its bittersweet is that it's over, for good...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
Feb
9
 
 
Last year's first-season finale of FX's Justified didn't end merely with a cliffhanger. It ended in the middle of a chase scene -- and as the down-home law-and-disorder drama series begins its second season tonight (Wednesday) at 10 ET, it picks up right where it left off. But before long, we're thrown into a whole new story line of second chances, new villains, and an artful mix of comedy, drama and character that does series inspiration Elmore Leonard proud...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
Feb
7
 
 
Most TV producers, and most quality TV shows, are fleeing from broadcast to cable TV in droves. (Or, at least, mini-droves.) Opportunities are better there, restrictions are looser, and many of the programs are more ambitious. But Shawn Ryan, who helped lead that revolution with FX's The Shield, is going against the grain -- by moving to broadcast TV for his new cop series, The Chicago Code, which premieres tonight at 9 ET on Fox...
 
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 

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 under $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