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

 
SecondSpin.com
 
2011
Jul
31
 
 
LOS ANGELES -- Hugh Laurie, the British star of Fox's House, occasionally has displayed his piano-playing prowess on that drama series -- but for a PBS Great Performances special Sept. 30, keyed to his new album of New Orleans blues, he brings his piano, his guitar and his voice center stage. And in explaining Saturday how he came to discover and love the music of Muddy Waters and others, Laurie made a larger point that isolated and attacked -- precisely and perfectly -- one of the biggest problems with our current multimedia culture...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
Jul
31
 
 
Monday is the start of the annual Summer Under the Stars festival on Turner Classic Movies. Each day gives us 24 hours of films saluting a single actor (starting daily at 6 a.m. ET), including kickoff star Marlon Brando, first-week fellows Bette Davis and Lucille Ball, and subsequent names from Orson Welles to Anne Francis. For silent film fans like me, there's one particularly special treat -- an entire day of Lon Chaney, the legendarily chameleon "man of a thousand faces"...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
Jul
30
 
 
The PBS portion of the 2011 Television Critics Association summer press tour began Saturday, with news about an ambitious new arts series showcasing local and regional fare. It's called the PBS Arts Fall Festival, and it's a big enough umbrella to include Andrea Bocelli Live in Central Park, a production of HMS Pinafore from Minnesota's Guthrie Theatre, and, as a Cameron Crowe study of the rise of Seattle grunge...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
Jul
29
 
 
Here's the vibe of press tour in a nutshell. Had dinner at Trader Vic's lounge by the hotel pool Thursday night surrounded by the strangest conglomeration of people: NASA rocket scientists, U.S. border agents, an Australian bush copter pilot, a large animal vet from the Netherlands, a sleek babe who just happens to chronicle the Mexican drug wars, and a guy who spent two days at George W. Bush's house recollecting 9/11. And, oh yeah, 300-pound boxer Butterbean...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
Jul
28
 
 
Frank Darabont is the walking dead. (Sorry, couldn't resist.) The director who brought "The Walking Dead" to life for AMC has left the building, the network confirmed Thursday morning at press tour. Former "The Shield" writer and onetime "Crash" showrunner Glen Mazzara steps up to take his place, and AMC senior vice president of programming Joel Stillerman said the show is on track for its Oct. 16 Season 2 return...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
Jul
27
 
 
TV critics' press tour is a crazy place. It's two weeks of 10-a-days, every day, with Q&A panels every half-hour, stars upon stars, writers, directors, execs, dogs, snakes. And those last two aren't even the human kind...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
Jul
27
 
 
When gems are graded, weight isn't the only criterion. Cut and color matter a lot, too. Emmy nominators made "gem judgments" of TV's best recently, with Nielsen points, as always, the equivalent of carat weight. Submitted for your approval: Two delightful TV gems that don't pull the ratings of the Emmy-nominated productions, but still have a cut and clarity that make them valuable -- and worth knowing about: Theater Talk and Vine Talk...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
Jul
27
 
 
Year after year the annual San Diego Comic-Con feels more like a colorful convention for the television business rather than a mass gathering of comic-book and fantasy enthusiasts. Without question the Con builds bigger buzz for new and current television shows than just about anything else, simply by tantalizing an enormous segment of their existing and/or potential audience through star-filled panels and massive marketing initiatives...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
Jul
26
 
 
Tap into any online news feed at any time of the day or night. Catch any television newscast or radio news summary. Scan the headlines of any newspaper. Somewhere therein, you will find evidence of human beings assaulting other human beings with such casual cruelty and violence that your brain can't even process it...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
Jul
26
 
 
I recently received a Twitter message (a Tweet, for you Savvier, Younger Communicators) from improv actor and teacher Kevin Mullaney, of Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre fame, who takes me to task for revealing what he considers too much information..."Please stop revealing spoilers on your Fresh Air reviews..."
 
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 

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