DAVID BIANCULLI

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2006: HBO Presents 'Big Love'
March 12, 2017  | By TV WW
 
On this day in 2006, HBO introduced the original drama, Big Love. The story revolved around a fictional fundamentalist Mormon family secretly living a polygamist lifestyle in Sandy, Utah. Patriarch Bill Henrickson (played by Bill Paxton) was a successful businessman, running a growing chain of home improvement stores. His first wife, Barb (Jeanne Tripplehorn) was his legal spouse. His second and third wives, Nicolette and Margene (Chloë Sevigny and Ginnifer Goodwin) lived in neighboring houses, with outsiders believing they were single mothers. Co-stars included Mary Kay Place, Amanda Seyfried, Grace Zabriskie, Bruce Dern and Harry Dean Stanton.

The show was well-received by critics and viewers, but rankled the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for its depictions of Mormon practices and the polygamist lifestyle. It ran five seasons.
 
 
 
 
 
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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

 

This Day in TV History