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
Nov
6
 
 
Everyone gets railroaded to some degree in "Hell On Wheels", a truly gritty but not always galvanizing saga of how the west was run over by the Union Pacific. Paired with AMC's resident evil hit The Walking Dead, this is easily the best western series since HBO's Deadwood. Then again, there really hasn't been a weekly western since...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
Oct
25
 
 
These are continued scary times for the ratings-parched Peacock, with two of its five September newcomers already canceled while Prime Suspect seems to be staggering toward the same fate. At least Grimm, NBC's sixth and final fall newbie, is supposed to be a frightening experience...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
Oct
20
 
 
Fairy tales can come true, they can happen to you -- not once but twice in the coming week. NBC was supposed to be first in line with "Grimm", but delayed its announced Friday, Oct. 21 premiere by a week to be closer to Halloween. That leaves ABC to sally forth with "Once Upon A Time"...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
Oct
17
 
 
ABC probably has already steeled itself for the Acapulco cliff dive in the ratings from Tim Allen's "Last Man Standing" to the nowhere men of "Man Up!" Allen's re-do of Home Improvement got critically panned. But thanks in no small part to his household name, it opened pretty big in last week's national Nielsens...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
Oct
10
 
 
One of this fall's purportedly manly new sitcoms, CBS's How to Be a Gentleman, already has been sent from Thursdays to Saturdays in preparation for burial after its handful of remaining episodes are burned off. Now comes another...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
Oct
5
 
 
It's creepy, it's trampy, it's campy, it's all over the place. FX's American Horror Story certainly qualifies as the damnedest new series of the fall season. But is it damnable, too? Are its two lead producers, Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, brilliant in their abilities to fashion an adrenaline-pumping, commercially sponsored TV show that manages to get away with murder in virtually every way, shape or form?
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
Sep
30
 
 
Showtime's latest publicity artwork for Dexter bills him as an "Avenging Angel" while picturing him in both a crucifixion pose and with bloody wings. So there's an overriding religious motif at work as Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall) again cuts to the chase while also eluding capture in Season 6 of the pay cable network's longest-running and most successful drama series...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
Sep
22
 
 
NBC has branded Whitney Cummings this fall's "It" girl. This doesn't necessarily mean she's the best thing about the new sitcom Whitney (Thursday at 9:30 p.m. ET), although she's still quite a bit better than good. The revelation here is Chris D'Elia, who plays Whitney's live-in boyfriend, Alex...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
Sep
22
 
 
How dare they try to do a new Prime Suspect series without Helen Mirren as put-upon, hard-boiled London detective Jane Tennison? Well, NBC takes that dare Thursday at 10 p.m. ET and does a very decent job of it, in a Manhattan-based version starring Pennsylvanian Maria Bello as tough-minded detective Jane Timoney...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
Sep
17
 
 
Some things just shouldn't be joked about, particularly on network TV sitcoms seen by millions. Humor is subjective, of course. And political correctness can be insidious when taken too far, as it often is. But among the hundreds of one-liners in this fall's new crop of comedies, I'm still wondering about two of them...
 
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 

Ed Bark

Since 2006, Ed Bark's local and national TV stories and observations have been showcased on his pioneering website, www.unclebarky.com.  For 26 years before that, he was TV critic for the Dallas Morning News. He's a past president of the Television Critics Association, and for seven years served on the national Peabody Awards board.

 
 

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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