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

 
 
2012
Dec
31
 
 
For years, I’ve called the week between Christmas and New Year’s a “dead week” for television – but I didn’t expect AMC to take the concept so literally. It's not as full a marathon as I reported originally, but at least we get the first half of season three. Don't kill me.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2012
Dec
31
 
 
Last year, ABC prefaced its New Year’s Eve show with a prime-time special devoted to 40 years of New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.  Dick Clark, the host from the start, was around to enjoy that – but since Clark died in 2012, ABC is prefacing this year’s countdown to the new year with a two-hour prime-time celebration of Clark himself.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2012
Dec
31
 
 
Dick Clark isn’t the only celebrity who died in 2012 who is getting a prime-time salute on the last day of the year. Also being honored, in a new Live from Lincoln Center concert tribute, is composer Marvin Hamlisch, who, among other impressive artistic achievements, wrote the music for Broadway’s A Chorus Line, cinema’s The Way We Were, and rekindled Scott Joplin’s legacy by using his ragtime music to score The Sting. And check out the lineup of performers gathering to h
 
 
 
  
 
 
2012
Dec
31
 
 
After a two-hour salute to the late Dick Clark, ABC turns over prime-time hosting duties entirely to Ryan Seacrest. Scheduled to perform are Taylor Swift, Flo Rida and, just in case you needed to hear “Call Me Maybe” one more time in 2012, Carly Rae Jepsen. At 11:30 p.m. ET, after a break for local news, Seacrest returns to count down, for the first time, to the New Year – and the dropping of a ball that, for the first time, will have Dick Clark’s name engraved on it.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2012
Dec
31
 
 
Arguably, Carson Daly’s star has risen significantly since the late-late-late-night star has hopped aboard the Voice train. So it’s significant, if otherwise coincidental, that Daly’s NBC New Year’s Eve party – which, like Ryan Seacrest’s, broadcast live from Times Square – includes performances by the group Train, and by the most recent winner of The Voice, Cassadee Pope.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2012
Dec
31
 
 
This day in 1972, marked the last telecast of the CBS sitcom, Anna and the King...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2012
Dec
31
 
 
This should have been a TVWW Christmas present, but let's call it a parting gift for 2012. This short, from the ESPN documentary series E:60, features Team Ghost Riders, the Cowboy Monkey Rodeo...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2012
Dec
30
 
 
On this day in 1963, NBC introduced the game show, Let's Make a Deal...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2012
Dec
30
 
 
The mini-marathon continues today with three more films in the Star Wars canon – including the newest, and the oldest. First up, at 3:53 p.m. ET, is 2005’s Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, the final film in the modern-era prequel trilogy. Next, at 7 p.m. ET, comes the retitled Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, the 1977 George Lucas film that launched the entire Star Wars enterprise (as opposed to the Star Trek Enterprise, another subject entirely). Finally,
 
 
 
  
 
 
2012
Dec
30
 
 
In this 1946 tearjerker, Jane Wyman and Gregory Peck play parents, living in the Florida backwoods in the post-Civil War era, who permit their son (played by Claude Jarman Jr.) to adopt a young deer as a pet. Maybe because it was set in rural Florida, maybe because the kid had a deer as a pet, and more probably because of its raw emotional story, this movie had quite a pull on me when I was young. Now that I’m not, I’m eager to revisit it – and I expect the climax will have the
 
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 

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