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
 
2011
May
30
 
 
Had you been in New York on May 5, had an interest in seeing a top-tier symphonic performance, and had an extra $50-$180 to spend, you might have been seated on one of five levels inside Carnegie Hall to watch and hear fabulous music. Those stars weren't in alignment for most of us. But PBS' Great Performances was there for the celebration of Carnegie Hall's 120th anniversary...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
May
30
 
 
So how did your favorite broadcast series do this past season? The folks at must-read site "Deadline Hollywood" have posted the entire Nielsen rankings list for 2010-11 -- that's 141 shows/time slots -- with results reported in both total viewers and the ad game's key age 18-49 demographic...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
May
29
 
 
I admit I'm not really into TV shows and movies focused on war. Up to this point in my life, most of my war viewing has been limited to things like Father Goose, the 1964 movie starring Cary Grant as an aircraft spotter on an isolated island during WW2. But I didn't watch it for the war component. I watched it for his budding relationship with Leslie Caron...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
May
29
 
 
As we say hello to June, and new and returning summer series, it's time to give nods to some of the shows that recently wrapped up for the season -- many with dynamic, daring surprises and shifts. If you've still got the year's final episodes of, say, Fringe and Justified and The Good Wife waiting for you on your DVR, you may want to wait before taking my illustrated, subjective A to Z tour. Well, A to S, anyway. Starts with American Idol. Ends with Survivor...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
May
28
 
 
We've seen it all before: We're at a critical juncture in the story. The main character has just made a courageous or heartfelt speech, and, maybe after being met with Stunned Silence, makes for the exit. But just as the protagonist appears utterly defeated, one person in the crowd stands and starts to clap alone. Then a smattering of others...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
May
27
 
 
Hollywood has always found ways to honor those who gave their lives for us -- even sometimes in stories that wonder about war in the first place. This Memorial Day weekend is filled with military films on Turner Classic Movies, Fox Movie Channel and AMC, among others. You'll also find TV shows like "M*A*S*H", documentaries like "Gettysburg"...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
May
27
 
 
When the cost of a tank of gas now is nearly the same as a newspaper reporter's weekly pay in the mid-'70s, and the cost of a week's worth of groceries for two exceeds a mortgage payment during the same era, it's easy, in a long recession, to be wistful over what once was. Much of what television currently doles out, for me, eliicits the same reaction as filling up my gas tank: I can't help but remember when you watched TV and usually got your money's worth...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
May
26
 
 
TVWW contributor Theresa Corigliano, who has a dance background as part of her very full resume, attended the Los Angeles auditions of Fox's "So You Think You Can Dance," which returns for season eight tonight at 8 ET. "The good ones make it look easy," she writes. "My admiration comes from the muscle memory that it is not..." --DB
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
May
26
 
 
Oprah Winfrey's three-day, three-part TV series finale -- two parts Premature Burial fawning salute, one part sermon on the TV mount -- was a study in celebrity worship at its highest. For two days, Monday and Tuesday, a parade of A-listers paid homage to Oprah, talking about nothing but her. On Wednesday's final day, Oprah accepted that load, and spent her last hour, with no guests, talking about herself and her audience...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
May
25
 
 
[In which our resident TVWW business historian and professor takes a very informed view of HBO's telemovie about the financial crisis, and pronounces it complex yet invaluable. "Watch Too Big to Fail more than once," he concludes. "You'll need to, and it's worth it"... -- DB]
 
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 

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

 
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