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
Aug
30
 
 
Along with the final versions of the new fall TV series, my current stack of preview DVDs also includes several 9/11 10th anniversary specials, with more arriving every day. Once again, as in a decade ago, I'm being bombarded with more horrific images and emotional video than any one person should have to absorb...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
Aug
28
 
 
Even after Hurricane Irene had passed to the north Sunday and was about to be demoted to tropical storm, I remained without electricity in southern New Jersey. But after more than 12 literally powerless hours (take away electricity, and a TV critic hasn't got much of a day job), the power came back on... just in time for the MTV Video Music Awards. Ten minutes later, I turned off the TV and went upstairs to bed...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
Aug
26
 
 
[SUNDAY UPDATE: Lost power, but not resolve. And while the non-powered sump pump had me up before daybreak, toting buckets of water from the basement like those brooms in Fantasia, I have no complaints. Yet... And thanks to Dunkin' Donuts, for being the only place open just after the hurricane hit. Thanks for the coffee, AND the free WiFi... - DB]
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
Aug
24
 
 
Bill Moyers will be coming back to TV in January, it was announced yesterday, with a weekly interview series called Moyers & Company, featuring one-on-one conversations with people other than the usual TV talking heads. I'm thrilled by that news, but PBS obviously isn't. The new Moyers show is offered not by the network, but offered instead to local member stations via the American Public Television distribution system...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
Aug
23
 
 
The latest edition of the PBS series P.O.V., premiering Tuesday night at 10 ET (check local listings), is a potpourri program called Short Cuts, an hour of six entertaining short films. They're all good -- but two of them, animated versions of conversations recorded for the oral history project StoryCorps, are gold. And it's gold that, like the Simpsons shorts originally featured on The Tracey Ullman Show, should be spun off into their own regular series. It could be the most popular, and profitable, and even important, new PBS series in years...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
Aug
22
 
 
A front-page story in The New York Times Saturday warned against the newest unexpected wrinkle in the Internet: opportunistic entrepreneurs are offering to online retailers, as either writers or suppliers, cheaply priced positive reviews of their respective wares. Or, as the paper put it, "an industry of fibbers and promoters has sprung up to buy and sell raves for a pittance...Needless to say, I rate this cynical practice two thumbs down...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
Aug
18
 
 
[SUNDAY 8/21 UPDATE: As of Sunday morning, bids for some of the items written about here have increased substantially, with a week left to go in the auction. Samples: The Matt Bomer fedora currently stands at $710, the same price as the Piper Perabo shoes -- and that "cheep" Family Guy toy? It's now north of $150...]
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
Aug
16
 
 
TVWW contributor Ed Bark, in his latest Uncle Barky's Bytes column, has beaten me to the punch by raving already about BBC America's new The Hour series...But I'm adding my own praises anyway...this period drama about the birth of a meaningful British TV newsmagazine in the 1950s clearly speaks to us both. The costumes may hint of AMC's Mad Men -- but to me, the closer comparison is to the brilliant 2005 movie Good Night and Good Luck...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
Aug
15
 
 
Lots to cover today: an excellent new HBO biographical study of Gloria Steinem, a new Eric Gould essay analyzing and presenting some of his favorite TV opening title sequences, and a salute to some Breaking Bad cleverness that most AMC viewers don't even get to see...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
Aug
14
 
 
Cleveland Plain DealerTV critic Mark Dawidziak is a veteran writer I fully intend to add to this site the day his newspaper is stupid enough to let him go. I don't see that happening soon, unfortunately (for me, not him) -- so in the meantime, I'll settle for providing links to stories in which he quotes me, as a TV historian and Rowan University professor...
 
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 

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