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
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
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
24
 
 
The 2011 Peabody Awards presentation Monday at New York's Waldorf-Astoria was a celebration of excellence, attended by recipients and subjects whose sheer variety exemplified the wide-ranging Peabody standard. Over there, Yoko Ono. Over there, Julianna Margulies. And over there, Spike Lee, Timothy Olyphant, Patrick Stewart and Temple Grandin...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
May
23
 
 
Right after I type this, I'm hitting the road to head north to New York and today's Peabody Awards presentation.... I'll provide coverage of what happened today at TV's most prestigious awards presentation -- as well as quotes from my recent conversation with Peabody Awards director and pioneering TV historian Horace Newcomb...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
May
19
 
 
The ratings "sweeps" months, used to set advertising rates for local stations for the coming quarter, used to be hotly contested events, full of miniseries and TV movies, attention-getting series cliffhangers and loads of special events. But for the May 2011 sweeps, which end next Wednesday, the biggest event of all comes not from a broadcast network, but from a syndicated show...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
May
17
 
 
So much for my presidential prognostication skills. Though I thought I had predicted the perfect game plan with which Donald Trump could mount a presidential run over the summer -- just long enough to get attention without having to disclose his financials -- The Donald scuttled that idea yesterday and threw his hat out of the ring in a way that was very, well, up front...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
May
16
 
 
The newest PBS American Experience documentary, Freedom Riders, tells of a key moment in the history of the Civil Rights movement that took place 50 years ago -- yet tells it in such a gripping, present-tense way that it plays more like a retro episode of 24. Premiering tonight (Monday, May 16) at 9 p.m. ET (check local listings), it's a two-hour history lesson that's as exciting as it is important...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
May
12
 
 
Just when it seemed as though Fox's American Idol had weathered the storm of revamping its judging panel... the long-running musical competition show shot itself in the foot, and maybe the heart, Thursday night by refusing James Durbin entry to the Final Three. The fatal Achilles' heel of American Idol, may well turn out to be its own voters...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
May
10
 
 
The only real hit of the 2010-11 TV season has arrived at the 11th hour, as NBC's The Voice moves to a new time slot tonight (10 p.m. ET Tuesday) already acknowledged as a ratings, demographic and even critical success. And its success proves, once again, that when it comes to adaptable TV formats, it's a small world after all...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
May
9
 
 
Fifty years ago today [Monday], new Federal Communications Commission chairman Newton Minow (above) gave his inaugural speech to broadcasters, and coined a durable phrase that rattled them a bit by describing what they presented on their TV stations as a "vast wasteland." And that was half a century BEFORE Snooki...
 
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 

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