Tom Yellin, co-founder of The Documentary Group, used to produce the ABC News Peter Jennings Reporting specials, among other fine programs. His latest project, created with director Lloyd Kramer and others, is America in Primetime, the four-part PBS documentary series premiering Sunday at 8 p.m. ET (check local listings). I'm so impressed with this study of television that I wrote about it for TVWW and for NPR...
Two months ago, while on the Television Critics Association press tour, I wrote about the then-upcoming documentary series Prohibition, co-directed for PBS by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick...However, I saved a fuller review of the show, and excerpts from a private chat with Burns and Novick before their TCA press conference, until now...
Friday night on HBO, Mel Brooks sits down with Dick Cavett to tell jokes, swap stories and regale a theater audience of nearly 2,000 appreciative fans with tales of his life and friends in show business. He did the same earlier this week with TVWW...
The next documentary from Ken Burns and company, a six-hour look at Prohibition, will run Oct. 2-4 on PBS. It's another strong entry in the Burns canon, directed by Burns and Lynn Novick, written by Geoffrey C. Ward, and featuring, among many others, Last Call author Daniel Okrent. Except for Ward, all of them attended a Television Critics Association press conference Sunday night to discuss the new series -- and, afterward, to raise a glass or two...
During a phone interview with Dick Cavett, when he mentions being at the home of Groucho Marx and one of the other dinner guests was Carly Simon, name-dropping just isn't suspected. On his television shows, and off the air too, he has talked with some of the more interesting people in the world...
Decades before Neil Patrick Harris was Barney Stinson, the prodigal, he played Doogie Howser, the prodigy. Since late last year, lucky viewers have been learning that -- hot as "How I Met Your Mother" may be -- Harris shined even more brightly in his first series, "Doogie Howser, M.D." The entertaining and thoughtful writing, bullseye casting and enlightened production of this four-season comedy about a boy-genius physician give it a singular spot on the list of extraordinary TV...
Robert Klein opens his latest HBO special, "Robert Klein: Unfair & Unbalanced" with a very funny song, backed by a full orchestra. By contrast, he opened our interview with a joke about TV WORTH WATCHING: "It's a small website, I take it..."
While interviewing CBS's Bob Schieffer for my "Broadcasting & Cable" column, about his preparations and expectations for Wednesday's final 2008 presidential debate, I threw him what might have been a curve, but which he caught gracefully and gratefully...

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