network television

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Friends Was Silly, Fluffy, and ... Superb

This week marks 20th anniversary of its premiere

(Newser) - As if news that Party of Five debuted 20 years ago this month doesn't make you feel old enough, Friends is this week hitting the same milestone. And as Willa Paskin writes for Slate , the anniversary is being "greeted with untempered enthusiasm, even for this era of rampant... More »

NBC to Make Live Musicals a Thing

NBC preps one for next year ... and likely the next and next

(Newser) - NBC's live version of The Sound of Music may not have wowed critics , but it pulled in 18.6 million viewers—the most to watch the network on a Thursday night since the Frasier finale in 2004, the Huffington Post notes (that is, if you don't count sports).... More »

We'll Miss You, Dunder Mifflin

'The Office' closes tonight after 9 seasons

(Newser) - The Office signs off tonight after nine seasons and 201 episodes. A sample of the farewell tributes in advance (no spoilers in the mix):
  • "It is not quite the same show as the one that debuted in March 2005, but it has continued to be a show I watch,
... More »

A TV Critic's Lament: There's Too Much to Watch

Alan Sepinwall can't keep up

(Newser) - Alan Sepinwall of Hitfix is a respected TV critic who loves his job. He's just not sure you can entirely trust his judgment anymore because of the crazy amount of shows out there. He pulls some stats from FX to make the point: In 2002, 28 original scripted dramas... More »

Coming Soon: 'American Downton Abbey'

Julian Fellowes writing 'The Gilded Age' for NBC

(Newser) - We've got an early Christmas present for Downton Abbey addicts: The show's creator, Julian Fellowes, is writing a sort of American version of the show, the Telegraph reports. The Gilded Age will look at the lives of wealthy New York society members in the 1880s. NBC has commissioned... More »

CNN 2.0: Reality TV, Late-Night Talk Shows

Network seeks stars in Anthony Bourdain mold

(Newser) - With CNN boss Jim Walton preparing to exit , the news network is going to look very different in a matter of months. As CNN preps a serious facelift, on the table are five reality shows on Saturday and Sunday nights, as well as a new show with celeb chef Anthony... More »

Boob Tube: NBC Airs Bare Breast in Water Polo

A player gets something off her chest

(Newser) - The boobs at NBC might be considering extending the network's Olympic broadcast time delay to its live feed online—after it revealed the bare breast of a water polo player. The audience watching the US-Spain match on site didn't get the benefit of the underwater cameras, but NBC... More »

Why Things Are So Dismal at CNN

Q2 viewership hasn't been this low since the Gulf War

(Newser) - CNN's glory days are unquestionably behind it. Want proof? Q2 of 2012 clocked in as its lowest-rated quarter in 21 years. In fairness, Deadline notes that all three cable news networks reported a dip, but when you stack up the numbers, things looks pretty gloomy for the network: It... More »

Why HBO Suddenly Matters Again

It may not win the programming game, but it's ruling the platform one

(Newser) - When we last checked in on how HBO was doing, it was, well, uncool . In an April column for the Guardian, Michael Wolff outlined how the network had turned into a "rec room artifact," that was losing the great-TV battle. In a piece for paidContent picked up by... More »

Fox Refuses Ads for Service to, Well, Kill Ads

Dish Network's Hopper can automatically skip commercials

(Newser) - How awesome would it be if your DVR automatically skipped commercials on shows recorded off the major networks? Probably not very awesome if you were one of those same networks, which is why they're outraged over the Dish Network's upcoming "Hopper," which, Dish announced last week,... More »

Smash Opens to Rave Reviews

NBC musical dazzles critics... mostly

(Newser) - If you watched the Super Bowl, you just might have heard of Smash, NBC's new drama about the making of a Broadway musical. It premiered last night, and critics are (mostly) giving it a standing ovation:
  • The buzz has gotten so intense that the conversation isn't even about
... More »

Expect Bawdy Humor in Tonight's Chelsea Debut

NBC gives Handler a lot of freedom: 'LAT'

(Newser) - If you were worrying that a Chelsea Handler sitcom on network TV would tame the bawdy comedian, you can stop. Tonight's NBC debut of Are You There, Chelsea? features bartender Chelsea, played by Laura Prepon, behind bars for drunk driving, where she prays (to vodka) and promises to change... More »

ABC Cancels Desperate Housewives

Once-dominant drama will end after next season, source says

(Newser) - Things might have just gotten a little more desperate than usual over on Wisteria Lane: ABC is canceling longtime stalwart Desperate Housewives, the network confirmed today to the AP. "We want to make sure it has its victory lap," ABC Entertainment President Paul Lee said in making the... More »

16 Awful TV Spinoffs

Joanie Loves Chachi, but this list doesn't

(Newser) - PopCrunch rounds up 16 of the worst TV spinoffs of all time: Here's a sampling:
  • Joanie Loves Chachi: "A mewling stillborn abomination that starred two people who obviously hated each other." Happy Days deserved better.
  • Galactica 1980: Bad acting and a lame plot doomed this spinoff of the
... More »

Prime-Time Swearing? Who Gives a $#*!?

CBS comedy bares eroding concern about profanity

(Newser) - When the prime-time comedy $#*! My Dad Says hits CBS this fall, most viewers and advertisers won't give a $#*! about the title—a sign of just how far attitudes about TV swearing have come since the days when Lucy Ricardo had to say she was "expecting" rather than... More »

We Need Better TV Critics

Shows are getting smarter, but criticism isn't

(Newser) - If it's true that television is becoming the "future of the filmed narrative"—and just listen to all that chirping in academia about The Wire—then it's time for smarter TV critics, writes Vadim Rizov. The job goes beyond just snarking at the latest episode of American Idol.... More »

NBC's Rah-Rah Coverage of Team USA Nauseates

As anchors fawn, foreign athletes described with 'hoary cliches'

(Newser) - Shaun White may be introducing new tricks during these Games, but NBC’s coverage of him, and Team USA in general, remains an unchanged lesson in "network heavy breathing," writes Alessandra Stanley. “Hyped-up commentators” explain the action “often incomprehensibly,” but once the race is over... More »

Minorities Finally Get Lead Roles in TV Dramas

This year's network pilots include four with non-white stars

(Newser) - The upcoming crop of pilots for network TV offers hope that the industry taboo against minority leads in dramas can finally be put to rest. Four of the most high-profile projects in the works feature non-white actors, notes the Hollywood Reporter , including Forest Whitaker in a spinoff of Criminal Minds... More »

Zucker's On His Way to Killing NBC

Leno switch is the just latest in a string of dismal decisions

(Newser) - He used to be network television's wunderkind, but now Jeff Zucker might go down as the man whose misguided moves dealt a death blow to NBC. The flip-flop over Jay Leno—"shaping up to be one of the biggest debacles in television history"—is just the latest of... More »

Quit Bitching About Lost vs. State of the Union

You're a citizen before you're a couch potato, Roston writes

(Newser) - There is perhaps no “greater sign of our civilization’s decline” than the uproar about President Obama’s State of the Union address possibly preempting the season premiere of Lost or an episode of American Idol, Michael Roston writes. “Before we are couch potatoes, we are citizens,”... More »

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