Archive for the ‘Roundups’ Category

March Sadness

In Roundups on March 25, 2011 at 6:00 am

CNN’s Anderson Cooper, seen last Saturday in Sendai. (Photo by David Hogsholt/Getty Images, via The New York Times)

Here’s what caught my eye this week:

CNN: We’re Number 2! As usual, when big stories break, CNN zooms past MSNBC in the cable news race. I’m torn: As much as I want CNN to keep climbing and knock longtime champ Fox News off its perch, I’m ready for a break from the disasters, meltdowns and “limited military actions.”

Glenn Beck, leaving Fox? He may move his show online, where viewers would have to pay to see it, the New York Times reports. This is one outlandish Beck-inspired theory that I hope is true.

Chris Brown on Good Morning America. Enough already with abusive men on the morning shows.

Julian Fellowes comes stateside. The Downton Abbey scribe will pen an ABC miniseries about the Titanic. Might Lord Grantham’s doomed cousin be a character?

Ed Harris to play John McCain in HBO’s Game Change. Well, OK. That will work, too.


Moving Pictures: Print Still Outshining Video in Japan

In Roundups on March 18, 2011 at 6:00 am

On March 14, a mother tried to talk to her daughter, who was isolated after leaving the vicinity of Fukushima’s nuclear plants. (Photo by Yuriko Nakao/Reuters)

Here’s what caught my eye this week:

Japan. Sorry to be a broken record, but the television news coverage of this disaster remains surprisingly – and frustratingly – lacking. I’ve seen no video that illustrates the horror as well as photographs like the one above.

Representative Anthony Weiner. The New York Democrat mocked the House Republicans’ efforts to defund NPR with a brilliant floor speech. Weiner’s college roommate would be proud.

Kurt and Blaine. Surprise! They finally kissed. Some are surprised Fox didn’t hype it beforehand to goose the ratings; I prefer to think we’ve reached a point where same-sex PDAs in prime time are no longer a big deal.

Sue Sylvester. Speaking of Glee: Was anyone else disturbed when the show’s villainess responded to her club’s loss at regionals by slugging the mistress of ceremonies? Read the rest of this entry »

There But for the Grace of God Go We

In Roundups on March 13, 2011 at 9:30 am

In Japan, a survivor weeps as he looks at a shelter’s board showing names of other survivors. (Photo by Lee Jae-won/Reuters, courtesy

Here’s what caught my eye this last week:

Disaster in Japan. TV news is too preoccupied with wide-angle shots of the devastation; only print photographers are recording the human tragedy.

The House hearings on Muslim extremism. Does the gentleman from New York wish to yield back his sense of decency?

HBO is making Game Change, a movie about the 2008 presidential campaign. If Battlestar Galactica’s Michael Hogan isn’t cast as John McCain, he should fire his agent.

Julianne Moore to play Sarah Palin in Game Change. Interesting casting: an actress with enormous range playing a woman with no depth.

Katie Couric, talk show host? Rumor has it she may abdicate her CBS Evening News anchor throne to host an Oprah-style daytime show. Goodbye and good luck.

Rob Lowe is staying in Pawnee. The actor isn’t leaving Parks and Recreation to replace you-know-who on Two and a Half Men. Whew!

TV News, Ready and Willing to Enable Charlie Sheen

In Roundups on March 4, 2011 at 6:00 am

On the February 28 edition of “NBC Nightly News,” Brian Williams unapologetically introduced an excerpt of “Today’s” interview with Charlie Sheen. (Screen cap)

Here’s what caught my eye this week:

Charlie Sheen. Slow-motion train wrecks may be good television, but they’re lousy journalism. Shame on ABC, NBC, CNN and every other news organization that gave the troubled actor a platform this week. I suspect they will come to regret it.

Gingrich and Santorum. Fox News Channel suspended the pol-turned-pundits while they contemplate presidential bids. Quick, someone start a rumor that Megyn Kelly is tossing her stilettos into the ring, too!

Thurgood. HBO is showing its adaptation of Laurence Fishburne’s well-reviewed one-man stage show. If there’s any justice in television, PBS will broadcast this production so everyone can see it.

Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark cast members perform on Letterman. Now how about a little Broadway in prime time? Read the rest of this entry »

Oscar Night’s Starring Lineup

In Roundups on February 25, 2011 at 6:00 am

James Franco and Anne Hathaway will host the Oscars on February 27. (Photo by Bob D’Amico/ABC)

Here’s what caught my eye this week:

Franco and Hathaway do the Academy Awards. I have high hopes for these two, the first Oscar hosting combo comprised of one man and one woman since 1957, when Jerry Lewis and Celeste Holm presided over the ceremony. And in case you’re wondering, my best pic picks: Black Swan (should win) and The King’s Speech (will win).

Joe and Mika do Law & Order: SVU. Here’s a case for Stabler and Benson: Who’s slowly killing NBC News’s credibility by continually allowing its journalists to moonlight on the network’s entertainment shows?

Rumsfeld does The Daily Show. Oddly, regrettably anticlimactic.

Kim Cattrall on Any Human Heart. A nice reminder that the veteran actress – yeah, I said it – is more than just a Sex pot.

Blaine clears up all the confusion over his sexuality. Whew! Thank goodness Glee limited his questioning to a single episode.

Funding Elmo: Yes, We Can Afford PBS

In Roundups on February 18, 2011 at 7:00 am

It costs every American just $1.35 a year to have “Sesame Street” and the other PBS and NPR shows. (Screen cap)

Here’s what caught my eye this week:

The House GOP’s plan to zero out PBS and NPR funding. Yes, the nation has big financial problems – but public broadcasting isn’t one of them. The budget fight is about priorities. Example: It will cost every American $560 this year to fight the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – and $1.35 for public broadcasting.

Lara Logan. Too many viewers treat television news as another form of entertainment. It isn’t. The CBS News reporter’s brutal sexual assault in Cairo is a tragic reminder that journalism – no matter what medium it takes – is often dangerous stuff.

President of the World. I can hardly wait for MSNBC’s Presidents’ Day “documentary” on Bill Clinton’s post-White House life – but only because I am so tired of seeing promos for it.

The New York Times reveals several ESPN hosts have secret shoe deals. I’d give each one the boot.

Uprising to the Occasion

In Roundups on February 11, 2011 at 6:00 am

Richard Engel on last night’s edition of “NBC Nightly News.” (Screen cap)

Here’s what caught my eye this week:

• Richard Engel in Egypt. His coverage of the uprising has been sharp and authoritative, reflecting the many years he’s spent in the region. Note to the other networks: This is why you shouldn’t abandon international news.

• Keith Olbermann moves to Current TV. I’m glad Al Gore wants to beef up his tiny cable channel, but I’m not sure recruiting Olbermann to host a nightly news show is the way to do it.

• O’Reilly/Obama. Bill predicted his pre-Super Bowl chat with Barack would be history’s most-watched interview. It didn’t come close to matching Barbara Walters’ 1999 sob session with Monica Lewinsky – seen by 70 million viewers!

• Those underwhelming Super Bowl ads. Don’t mean to be harsh, but if you tuned in just to see the commercials, you deserved to be disappointed.

• Clive and Julianna return. TV’s best holiday tradition since the Great Pumpkin.

Al Jazeera English, Televising the Revolution

In Roundups on February 4, 2011 at 6:00 am

Laura Kyle anchored Al Jazeera English’s coverage of the Egypt protests last night. (Screen cap)

Here’s what caught my eye this week:

• Al Jazeera English. The little-seen cable news channel, for years tarnished by its connection to its Arabic counterpart, outshone everyone with its boots-on-the-ground coverage of the Egyptian protests. AJE’s breakthrough recalls CNN’s during the Persian Gulf war – and it’s been equally thrilling to watch.

Downton Abbey’s conclusion. Masterpiece’s superb Edwardian era miniseries set the bar for television in 2011.

• Rob Lowe on Parks and Recreation. I was afraid he wouldn’t be funny. I was wrong.

• Mark Zuckerberg on Saturday Night Live. I’d advise him to not quit his day job, but since that job pays him $3 billion a year, I doubt he’d consider giving it up.

Dallas rides again. TNT tapped Larry Hagman, Patrick Duffy and Linda Gray to appear in its reboot of the 1980s CBS classic. Would it be too much to ask for a Knots Landing sequel, too?