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Hot Off The Press: The Latest TV News and Information - Page 2787

post #83581 of 93671
TV Notes
Beyonce to Direct, Produce HBO Documentary About Beyonce, Which Also Stars Beyonce
By Tim Kenneally, TheWrap.com - Nov. 26, 2012

Beyonce is about to go into multitasking mode. The "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" chanteuse will star in, direct and executive-produce an upcoming documentary about the singer, which will premiere on HBO on Feb. 16, 2013.

The premiere of the yet-untitled documentary will air less than two weeks after Beyonce's halftime performance at next year's Super Bowl.

The project, which will mix "video that provides raw, unprecedented access" to the singer with live performances, was announced Monday by HBO programming president Michael Lombardo.

“Everybody knows Beyonce’s music, but few know Beyonce the person,” Lombardo said. “Along with electrifying footage of Beyonce onstage, this unique special looks beyond the glamor to reveal a vibrant, vulnerable, unforgettable woman.”

“Some of my favorite shows are on HBO, so I am excited that my film will be part of its bold programming," the former Destiny's Child songbird added. "This film was so personal to me, it had to have the right home.”

According to HBO, the film will span from the singer's childhood in Houston up to her return to performing after the January 2012 birth of her daughter Blue Ivy Carter with her husband, hip-hop mogul Jay-Z.

post #83582 of 93671
Critic's Notes
TV Titles Too Big for Their Britches
By Neil Genzlinger, The New York Times - Nov. 24, 2012

The folks behind “Up All Night” have it all wrong. It’s not the show’s format they should be worried about. It’s the title.

“Up All Night,” a decent NBC comedy about new parents (Will Arnett and Christina Applegate) that is now in its second season, announced last month that it intends to undergo a makeover. The series will switch from single camera to multiple camera (translation: it will look a lot different) and add a live audience. Not as big a change as, say, killing off all the characters and replacing them with penguins, but in the grand scheme of sitcomdom, still a moderately significant overhaul.

Published reports have suggested that the switch is being made either in search of better ratings or to take advantage of the stars’ adeptness at working a crowd. (Maya Rudolph, a “Saturday Night Live” alumna, is also in the cast.) But never mind all that. Has no one else noticed that the kid on this show is now walking?

The title of the series presumably invokes the notion that babies are the sworn enemies of sleeping people everywhere. That’s certainly true in the first year of a child’s life, and perhaps in the second. But at some point the urchin starts sleeping through the night. So should the series settle in for a long run, it is going to have a title that makes no sense, unless the writers force the central couple to have more kids.

Which brings us to today’s Frivolous Subject to Ponder on a Lazy Holiday Weekend: What other current series have shortsighted titles, and what shows of the past might have needed new names had they lingered longer than they did?

Among today’s shows, Fox’s “New Girl,” in which a fairly irritating character played by Zooey Deschanel moves in with three guys, needed another title within weeks. Something like, “Maybe You Ought to Start Looking for Your Own Place.” And should Fox’s “Raising Hope,” another baby-rearing show, have the good fortune to last 18 seasons, something else will obviously be in order. Perhaps, “Hey, Hope, Maybe You Ought to Start Looking for Your Own Place, the Way New Girl Did.”

It’s always a little dicey to peg a show title to the state of human knowledge, because a breakthrough or reassessment could be disastrous. That puts “The Big Bang Theory,” the long-running CBS comedy, in constant jeopardy. “The Big Bang Proven Fact” just doesn’t have the same ring. Someone at CBS should have realized this, because one of television’s earliest hit shows had this same problem: “Father Knows Best.” Had it not gone off the air just as the assumption-busting 1960s were getting nasty, it would almost certainly have ended up as “You Know, Father Doesn’t Really Know Squat.”

The ultimate offender at the moment, though, is CBS’s “Two and a Half Men.” The show has been on so long that it has had to swap one man for another — Charlie Sheen out; Ashton Kutcher in — but it has never figured out what to do about the increasingly incongruous “half.”

The young man that fraction refers to was 10 when the series began, back in the first administration of the second Bush presidency. Recently he joined the Army. An argument can be made, however, that Mr. Kutcher’s man-boy character now constitutes the “half” of the title, so maybe this one can go on as is indefinitely.

As a rule, though, if you’re naming a television show, avoid anything that assumes that a child doesn’t age. Just ask anyone associated with the beloved ABC series “Boy Meets World,” which started in 1993 with an adolescent and ended, after seven seasons, with him married. “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” had exceeded its title’s shelf life by the time it ended after seven seasons in 2003. It might have gone on, but presumably “Sabrina the 20-Something Witch” didn’t test well.

You wonder, too, about what might have been in store for other shows of the past, had inept execution or audience disaffection not led to their cancellation. “Menace” seems too mild, once a misbehaving child reaches a certain age; might we have had “Dennis the Juvenile Delinquent” and, ultimately, “Dennis the Paroled Felon”?

And what if “My Mother the Car,” an NBC comedy that was introduced in 1965 and gone by 1966, had found an audience? By now it would have been through all sorts of title changes to try to keep up: “My Mother the Minivan,” “My Mother the S.U.V.,” “My Mother the Hybrid.” Also, since it was about a talking car, it would have had to accommodate here in 2012 the existence of cars that actually do talk, not only to their drivers but to one another as well. “My Mother the Unusually Argumentative Car”?

Anyway, back to “Up All Night.” It seems from this brief survey that it is virtually impossible to come up with a name for a TV show that isn’t in danger of growing obsolete over time. So perhaps we should all just get used to a new normal (another show title on shaky ground, given the pace of cultural change) of constantly morphing show titles.

Which in the case of “Up All Night” might someday make for a satisfying circle. Let’s say the show lasts 17 years — unlikely, but let’s say it anyway. After another year or two, these parents will go from “Up All Night” to “Eat Your Vegetables.” Then maybe “You’re Too Young for a Cellphone,” followed by “Don’t You Talk That Way to Your Mother” and — we’re in the late tweener years now — “You Are NOT Wearing That to School.”

Eventually the kid gets a driver’s license, which in the fullness of time brings us back to “Up All Night.” Because when a teenager is out in the car on a date that was supposed to end at 10 but is still going on at midnight, no parent can sleep.

post #83583 of 93671
TV Notes
Ben Savage and Danielle Fishel Officially Join Girl Meets World Pilot
By Michael Ausiello, TVLine.com - Nov. 26, 2012

EXCLUSIVE: Boy Meets World fans, meet the best news you’ll hear all day. TVLine has learned exclusively that Ben Savage and Danielle Fishel have officially signed on to reprise their roles as Cory Matthews and Topanga Lawrence in the red-hot Disney Channel pilot Girl Meets World.

The potential sequel series (which TVLine first told you about earlier this month) picks up more than a decade after Boy Meets World ended its ABC run and finds Cory and Topanga happily married and raising their 13-year-old daughter, Riley (from whose point of view the story is told). The pilot is still in the very early stages of development with Boy Meets World creator and executive producer Michael Jacobs at the helm.

A nationwide casting search is underway for the role of Riley.

post #83584 of 93671
Originally Posted by dcowboy7 View Post

NFL announced today:
No week 14 SNF flex change lions @ packers stays.
No week 15 SNF flex change 49ers @ patriots stays.
So week 16 chargers @ jets will be the only game to get flexed out & they have 2 weeks yet to name the flex in game....giants @ ravens was fox protected so could be bengals @ steelers if cbs didnt protect.
Makes sense because the two games have reasonable interest. But the Chargers and Jets? Both suck royally (The Jets? To the point that Fireman Ed is retiring his bit. He'll still go to games, but looking like a regular person instead).

Which leaves week 17 (a divisional matchup) left - I'm sure NBC will want the same thing it got last year - a game where the winner makes the playoffs and the loser is out. In essence, game 256 of the regular season is the de facto start of the 2012 playoffs.
post #83585 of 93671
@ dad

You reposted the Beyonce link for the Boy Meets World story, FYI.
post #83586 of 93671
Originally Posted by dattier View Post

No, toast that you're splitting the subscription fee with all of the other patrons of that pub, since it's figured into the cost of your drinks.
The problem with killing Jake Harper off is that it would invalidate the series title.
Just recast Jake, silently and transparently.  It's not as it was with Charlie Sheen.  Any actor that age can play the part and nobody will care: the only exception is Graham Patrick Martin, because he's already a recurring player there as Eldridge Mackelroy, and it would be dissonant to see Martin shifted to a different character (not that that stopped "That's My Mama" from reassigning Theodore Wilson).

Well, if Alan married Lyndsey and Lyndsey died, Alan would be stuck with Eldridge and we have the .5 back!
post #83587 of 93671
Originally Posted by slowbiscuit View Post

Top rated shows have nothing to do with quality shows, because most of the quality is on cable.

The shows that aren't top rated means they get low ratings and not to many people are watching. Which means not to many people see the quality in them.
Originally Posted by slowbiscuit View Post

borntocoast and the Jedi will need to split a pitcher of beer somewhere to watch a BCS bowl game when ESPN takes over. The rest of us crank up the HDTV and AVR, and yes, pay the freight to enable that and all the great cable shows that come with it.

This argument is like a time warp - it's getting old to have the same people come back over and over again to tell us how much paying for TV sucks. We get it, move on to your own thread below.

I still get to crank up the HDTV and the surround sound receiver during the regular seaon and during the NFL playoffs. But during the BCS title game it will be watched at Buffalo Wild Wings on four 80 inch screens and all it will cost is $10 for my dinner. When we got there last year they asked were we staying for the game so they have no problem with it.

You also post in that thread below so you must be interested in it. Since posts keep popping up about people cutting the cord and since pay TV keeps getting worse the discussion continues.
post #83588 of 93671
The problem is not so much "Pay TV," the problem is being forced to pay for TV you don't want. In my case, the TV I'm paying for is sports, which is the most egregious.of the various categories, with the incredibly high per subscriber rates the various sports channels are getting out of all of us. If I knew that sports fans were paying the same freight for the Bravo, A&E, TNT and other channels I watch, along with the OTA networks that make up the vast majority of my viewing, I'd be satisfied. But I doubt that's the case. I, as many others, abhor the fact that we are forced to pay $20 or more a month for something I have absolutely no interest in just so I can also subscribe to what I want to watch.
post #83589 of 93671
'Revolution' scores competitive ratings, but not without criticismBy Stephanie Goldberg, CNN
(CNN) -- With its post-apocalyptic setting, Giancarlo Esposito in the role of endearing villain, and J.J. Abrams as an executive producer, creator Eric Kripke's "Revolution" is a surefire hit -- on paper.

In fact, NBC ordered a full season of "Revolution," which also stars Billy Burke, after airing just three episodes, which is the same amount of time it took the network to axe "The Playboy Club" last year. Yet, it seems viewers become more disillusioned with the freshman drama each week.

Still, with its mid-season finale airing tonight, "Revolution" has garnered competitive ratings, and helped NBC win November sweeps for the first time in nine years.

On Tuesday, CNN.com commenter Bret wrote, "I've watched every episode, but I'm ready to give up" on the show, which takes place 15 years after a global blackout causes the government to collapse and prompts militias to take over.

"The story moves at a snail's pace," Bret continued. "Even if we buy the science behind the show's premise, the individual episodes are so infuriating with their slow pace and stupid and unbelievable character interaction that I'm not watching anymore."

As with many new shows, ratings for "Revolution" have declined since its September 17 premiere drew 11.7 million viewers and a 4.1 rating among adults 18 to 49. Of late, ratings leveled off at about 7 million viewers and a 2.6 rating.

Despite NBC's apparent confidence, "Revolution" will soon embark on a three-month hiatus, to return on March 25, so it can continue benefiting from its current lead-in show, "The Voice."

As Yahoo! TV's Dave Nemetz notes, a long hiatus "could be deadly. There are a ton of new shows coming out in January that could step in and take that audience away."

But it's likely that if "Revolution" doesn't succeed during the second half of its first season, it won't be because of winter break.

"A lot of people wanted to see how the world reacted when the power went out," Nemetz said. "They were disappointed that, basically, the story jumped forward and they didn't get to see the aftermath."

Sure the show revisits these moments in flashbacks, but viewers "don't want to derail the storyline in the current time to keep going back," Nemetz said. "People have been burned with shows like 'Lost' and 'Heroes.' They get invested in them, and seasons later they still don't have answers to the questions they tuned in for, so they get a little disillusioned and give up. That might be happening earlier than usual (with 'Revolution')."

As CNN.com commenter Martyr2 wrote on Wednesday, "I can't believe 'Revolution' continues to be a success. I was really interested in it at first but I think it has really lost steam."

Apart from pace, it's the shows characters that seem to anger viewers.

Though fans appear to enjoy Burke as protagonist Miles Matheson and Esposito ("Breaking Bad") as Major Tom Neville of the Monroe Militia, Tracy Spiridakos in the driver's seat as Charlie Matheson hasn't been as well received.

In October, The Huffington Post's Maureen Ryan wrote, "If Spiridakos has any strengths as an actress (and that's not at all apparent), the show's writers haven't learned to write to them, and every week, despite 'Revolution's' general efficiency and the skills of its other cast members, there's a clunky Charlie moment that makes me want to delete the show's Season Pass from my DVR."

CNN.com commenter Bret agrees: "Charlie is such an annoying, whiny, stupid character. It's not all the fault of the actor. The writers give her such dumb dialogue. Danny (Graham Rogers) is a much more interesting character, but the entire season is spent trying to rescue him (from the militia)."

While other supporting characters like Zak Orth's Aaron Pittman and Elizabeth Mitchell as Rachel Matheson have garnered more positive feedback, TVLine.com editor-at-large Matt Webb Mitovich reminded viewers not to get too attached in an October recap: "NBC's 'Revolution,' in its fourth outing, busted out one of the oldest tricks in the book: inviting us to care, more than we had done to date, about a major-ish character, before killing that person off."

"I believe that people love exploring 'What if?' scenarios, and the one at the heart of 'Revolution' is compelling, especially in an era where so many of us are 'wired in' and immersed in a digital age," Webb Mitovich told CNN via e-mail.

"If anything (detracts) from the 'Revolution' experience -- and mind you, this is a show whose producers vetted with a physicist the very foundation of the global blackout -- it is other 'leaps' and lapses in continuity," he continued, "such as the seemingly fresh-from-Urban Outfitters wardrobe and a surprising dearth of bicycles."

post #83590 of 93671
Originally Posted by mscottc View Post

The problem is not so much "Pay TV," the problem is being forced to pay for TV you don't want. In my case, the TV I'm paying for is sports, which is the most egregious.of the various categories, with the incredibly high per subscriber rates the various sports channels are getting out of all of us. If I knew that sports fans were paying the same freight for the Bravo, A&E, TNT and other channels I watch, along with the OTA networks that make up the vast majority of my viewing, I'd be satisfied. But I doubt that's the case. I, as many others, abhor the fact that we are forced to pay $20 or more a month for something I have absolutely no interest in just so I can also subscribe to what I want to watch.

Everyone who subscribes to cable essentially pays a sports tax, whether they watch sports or not, which drives up salaries and profits for the players and owners - there appears to be no limit on how high they will go. ESPN deserves much of the blame, but there's plenty to go around.

Ironically, it's that very tax, paid for by everyone who subscribes to cable or satellite TV, that has priced admission to the ballpark or arena out of the range of many folks who used to enjoy attending the games live. And then the owners complain about attendance, and hit up their cities for more dough to "upgrade" the stadiums, which the taxpayers dutifully provide. Here in Charlotte, the owner of the Panthers wants escalators added to his stadium, at taxpayer expense (even though he could easily pay for those renovations himself). He thinks that will bring all those defecting fans back. High-priced sports industry consultants agree, as they always do. The taxpayers? Like cable subscribers, they're not consulted.
post #83591 of 93671
Originally Posted by mscottc View Post

The problem is not so much "Pay TV," the problem is being forced to pay for TV you don't want. In my case, the TV I'm paying for is sports, which is the most egregious.of the various categories, with the incredibly high per subscriber rates the various sports channels are getting out of all of us. If I knew that sports fans were paying the same freight for the Bravo, A&E, TNT and other channels I watch, along with the OTA networks that make up the vast majority of my viewing, I'd be satisfied. But I doubt that's the case. I, as many others, abhor the fact that we are forced to pay $20 or more a month for something I have absolutely no interest in just so I can also subscribe to what I want to watch.

Yes, I pay for channels I don't want just so I can get channels I do. I am one of those sports loving folk who's really not interested in paying for Lifetime, We, etc. But I do, so I can get sports and other channels I do watch. It's a tradeoff. People say they want ala carte channels. I don't, merely for the fact that it could, and probably would, cost just as much as I pay now if not more. Also, for me to cut cable and to get close to the viewing experience I have now it would cost me more per year and I still wouldn't be able to watch everything I do. If it works for you great. If you have a huge stockpile of DVD's wonderful. I'll keep my cable tyvm. smile.gif
post #83592 of 93671
Ok, guys, let's take the cut-the-cord conversation to that thread, please.
post #83593 of 93671
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

Critic's Notes
TV Titles Too Big for Their Britches
By Neil Genzlinger, The New York Times - Nov. 24, 2012
The ultimate offender at the moment, though, is CBS’s “Two and a Half Men.” The show has been on so long that it has had to swap one man for another — Charlie Sheen out; Ashton Kutcher in — but it has never figured out what to do about the increasingly incongruous “half.”
The young man that fraction refers to was 10 when the series began, back in the first administration of the second Bush presidency. Recently he joined the Army. An argument can be made, however, that Mr. Kutcher’s man-boy character now constitutes the “half” of the title, so maybe this one can go on as is indefinitely.

Too bad this article didn't come out 3 days later, the author would have had even more fodder for the title of “Two and a Half Men.”

The author failed to mention another show with a horrible title that hurt the show, "Cougar Town". While Jules was playing a cougar through the first few episodes, the show changed its theme away from Jules being a cougar and the title never made sense again.
post #83594 of 93671
Originally Posted by TheRatPatrol View Post

The title doesn't fit anymore now that he's grown up.
That's only if you assume that Jake was the half-man back in the beginning.  After watching the first episode, I thought that it could be argued that Alan or Charlie was the half-man and that it wasn't necessarily Jake.
I think the show has made its run, time for it to go away quietly.
That would be OK, Jones's religious arousal shouldn't be among the reasons.  It can go off into the sunset because of creative exhaustion, or drop in ratings, not because it couldn't run without Angus T. Jones.
Originally Posted by GqMagic View Post

Well since Jake is all grown up now and found himself , he should put his money where his mouth is and give it all back, and then quit.rolleyes.gif
Absolutely, or let's see him donate his back and current salary to his church.
Originally Posted by jabbathespud View Post

Well, if Alan married Lyndsey and Lyndsey died, Alan would be stuck with Eldridge and we have the .5 back!
Eldridge certainly qualifies as a half-man, but if Alan or Walden does also, the title would still be wrong.  They'd also have to explain why Eldridge didn't move in with Chris after his discharge.
Edited by dattier - 11/27/12 at 10:55am
post #83595 of 93671
Originally Posted by DrDon View Post

Ok, guys, let's take the cut-the-cord conversation to that thread, please.
YES, Please take to the other thread
post #83596 of 93671
MONDAY's fast affiliate overnight prime-time ratings -and what they mean- have been posted on Analyst Marc Berman's Media Insight's Blog
post #83597 of 93671
Nielsen Overnights (18-49)
Broadcast ratings surge on Monday night
ABC's 'Dancing with the Stars' hits a season high
By Tony Fitzgerald, Media Life Magazine - Nov. 27, 2012

Viewers were evidently in the mood to huddle up to the television set on Monday night.

Nearly every show on the Big Five saw gains over last week, even including stinkers like “The Mob Doctor,” a struggling new drama that posted its best rating since the second week of the season.

The across-the-board gains were in stark contrast to the across-the-board declines that have been more common this season.

ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” posted a season-high 2.6 adults 18-49 rating at 8 p.m., according to Nielsen, up 8 percent over last week with part one of its season finale.

That was down from a 2.9 for part one of the season finale last spring.

“Stars” aired just one hour this week as opposed to two last week, which may have helped the competition at 9 p.m. since they weren’t facing “Stars” on ABC. Instead they squared off with “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.”

Evidently few missed the canceled reality show, which is back as a series of specials. Last night’s averaged a 1.3 at 9 p.m. and a 1.2 at 10 p.m.

NBC’s “The Voice” was the night’s top show with a 4.2, up 14 percent over last week. Lead-out “Revolution,” airing its last episode before going on a three-month hiatus, drew its best number since Oct. 29, averaging a 2.9.

CBS’s entire lineup was up over last week, with “Mike & Molly” growing the most, 24 percent, to a season-high 3.6, the night’s No. 2 scripted series behind lead-in “2 Broke Girls” (4.0, also a season high).

Fox’s “Bones” hit a two-month high with a 2.3 at 8 p.m., lifting lead-out “Mob” to a 1.2, its best rating since September.

And the CW’s Tuesday lineup, while still drawing low numbers, was up 25 percent in total viewers.

NBC finished first for the night among 18-49s with a 3.8 average overnight rating and a 9 share, its 10th straight Monday win.

CBS was second at 3.1/8, Univision third at 1.8/4, ABC and Fox tied for fourth at 1.7/4, and CW and Telemundo tied for sixth at 0.5/1.

As a reminder, all ratings are based on live-plus-same-day DVR playback, which includes shows replayed before 3 a.m. the night before. Seven-day DVR data won't be available for several weeks. Forty-six percent of Nielsen households have DVRs.

At 8 p.m. NBC led with a 4.0 for "Voice," followed by CBS with a 3.3 for "How I Met Your Mother" (3.4) and a repeat of "The Big Bang Theory" (3.2). ABC was third with a 2.6 for "Stars," Fox fourth with a 2.3 for "Bones," Univision fifth with a 1.9 for "Por Ella Soy Eva," and CW and Telemundo tied for sixth at 0.5, CW for "90210" and Telemundo for "Rosa Diamante."

NBC was first again at 9 p.m. with a 4.5 for more "Voice," followed again by CBS with a 3.8 for "2 Broke Girls" (4.0) and "Mike & Molly" (3.6). Univision was third with a 1.9 for "Amores Verdaderos," ABC fourth with a 1.3 for "Makeover," Fox fifth with a 1.2 for "Mob," Telemundo sixth with a 0.5 for "Corazon Valiente" and CW seventh with a 0.4 for "Gossip Girl."

At 10 p.m. NBC was first with a 2.9 for "Revolution," while CBS remained second with a 2.3 for "Hawaii Five-0." Univision was third with a 1.4 for "Amor Bravio," ABC fourth with a 1.2 for more "Makeover" and Telemundo fifth with a 0.5 for "Pablo Escobar: El Patron del Mal" (0.7) and "El Rostro de la Venganza" (0.4).

CBS and NBC tied for first for the night among households, each with a 6.4 average overnight rating and a 10 share. ABC was third at 6.1/9, Fox fourth at 3.5/5, Univision fifth at 2.0/3 and Telemundo and CW tied for sixth at 0.7/1.

post #83598 of 93671
TV Notes
Charlie Sheen on Angus T. Jones: 'Two and a Half Men' is 'Cursed'
By Greg Gilman, TheWrap.com - Nov. 27, 2012

The Warlock has spoken!

And according to Charlie Sheen, "Two and a Half Men" is not winning. In fact, now that his former co-star, Angus T. Jones, has denounced the CBS sitcom as "filth," he believes it's actually "cursed."

"With Angus's Hale-Bopp-like meltdown, it is radically clear to me that the show is cursed," Sheen told TheWrap through his spokesman.

If that's true, then maybe we should expect Jon Cryer to crack next. Considering his comfy gig on the long-running show finally earned him an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, we won't hold our breath.

While the MaSheen is calling the latest controversy surrounding "Men" a curse, the church where the young dissenting star worships sees it as more of a blessing.

"These comments are of a personal nature, reflecting his views after having undergone changes during his spiritual journey," George Johnson, communication director for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America, said in a statement. "We welcome him with open arms to the worldwide Seventh-day Adventist Church family and are excited about his commitment to God through his recent baptism at his church.”

Emphasis, however, was on the fact that the controversial statements Jones made to a religion advocate, who calls himself The Forerunner, were "of a personal nature."

"Many inquiries have come to the Church regarding the Forerunner Chronicles interview," Johnson's statement continued. "We are unable to offer information because Forerunner Chronicles is not a ministry operated by the Seventh-day Adventist Church and its host is not a pastor of the Seventh-day Adventist Church."

It has yet to be seen if the public will seriously consider Jones' plea to "please stop watching 'Two and a Half Men,'" but with a new episode airing on Thursday, we'll find out soon.

post #83599 of 93671
TV Notes
Angus T. Jones issues profuse apology for 'Men' slam
By James Hibberd, EW.com's 'Inside TV' Blog - Nov. 27, 2012

And here it is. Angus T. Jones has issued a profuse apology to all involved with his hit sitcom Two and a Half Men following his viral video hit bashing the show. The actor issued this press statement via Deadline:

“I have been the subject of much discussion, speculation and commentary over the past 24 hours. While I cannot address everything that has been said or right every misstatement or misunderstanding, there is one thing I want to make clear.

Without qualification, I am grateful to and have the highest regard and respect for all of the wonderful people on Two and Half Men with whom I have worked and over the past ten years who have become an extension of my family.

Chuck Lorre, Peter Roth and many others at Warner Bros. and CBS are responsible for what has been one of the most significant experiences in my life to date. I thank them for the opportunity they have given and continue to give me and the help and guidance I have and expect to continue to receive from them.

I also want all of the crew and cast on our show to know how much I personally care for them and appreciate their support, guidance and love over the years. I grew up around them and know that the time they spent with me was in many instances more than with their own families. I learned life lessons from so many of them and will never forget how much positive impact they have had on my life.

I apologize if my remarks reflect me showing indifference to and disrespect of my colleagues and a lack of appreciation of the extraordinary opportunity of which I have been blessed. I never intended that.”

post #83600 of 93671
TV Notes
'Key & Peele' Renewed for Third Season at Comedy Central
By Lesley Goldberg, The Hollywood Reporter - Nov. 27, 2012

Comedy Central is staying in business with Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele.

The cable network announced Tuesday that it has renewed sketch comedy series Key & Peele for a third season of 13 episodes set for fall 2013.

"Since Obama won re-election, it only seems fair that we would give Key & Peele another season," Comedy Central head of original programming and production Kent Alterman said.

The duo, who recently visited with fan President Obama -- whom they regularly impersonate on the series -- recently took home the breakout comedy stars of the year award at the Montreal Just For Laughs festival.

"We are so thrilled about the pickup and want to thank Comedy Central for four more years!” said Key and Peele. “Oh wait, what’s that? One more year? Oh … OK, that will work too.”

The series is created by Key and Peele and executive produced by Key, Peele, Ian Roberts, Jay Martel and Joel Zadak.

The season finale of Key & Peele airs Wednesday on Comedy Central.

post #83601 of 93671
Technology Notes
Dear Santa, Please bring me an iPad
By Media Life Magazine Staff - Nov. 27, 2012

Nintendo’s Wii U moved more than 400,000 units in its first week, at a price of $300 a pop.

But impressive as those stats are, that’s not the item that’s topping most kids’ holiday wish list.

In a study conducted by Nielsen, an iPad was No. 1 on the list of items that kids 6-12 hope to get in the next six months, outranking all video game consoles.

Forty-eight percent of respondents said that they want an iPad. The Wii U, No. 2 on the list, was desired by 39 percent of respondents (they could choose more than one item).

Apple seems pretty popular with the tween and pre-tween set. Rounding out the top five most-desired items were an iPod Touch (36 percent), iPod Mini (36 percent) and an iPhone (33 percent).

By comparison, just a third said they want a computer.

Wii U was clearly the dominant console. Kinect for Xbox 360 was the second most desired at 31 percent, and the Nintendo 3DS/3DS XL, a portable gaming system, was third at 29 percent.

Apparently kids don’t care for tablets other than iPad. Only 9 percent said they want a Samsung Galaxy Note or Tab and 6 percent said they want a Surface, Microsoft’s new tablet.

post #83602 of 93671
TV/Business Notes
Another 'Waterworld'? Believe It Or Not, Syfy Might Make One
By Jeff Bercovici, Forbes.com - Nov. 26, 2012

NBC Universal’s Syfy cable network is making a $100 million play for the videogame market, as I report in the new issue of FORBES. What I didn’t mention in that story is that Syfy is also pushing into the movie business — and that it may even remake “Waterworld,” one of the most notorious Hollywood bombs of all time.

Syfy has been looking for a way into film for years, ever since NBC merged with Vivendi Universal Entertainment in 2004. That marriage provided Syfy — known as Sci Fi Channel until a 2009 brand makeover — with access to Universal Pictures’ vast trove of intellectual property.

“Having a theatrical film label is not only a natural fit for Syfy,” says Dave Howe, the network’s president. “It’s also a gap in the marketplace.”

In Hollywood, “science fiction” is virtually synonymous with “megabudget CGI-laden summer action movie.” Howe and his team at Syfy saw an opportunity for a different kind of science fiction film, one driven less by expensive stars and special effects than by storytelling.

They started pitching the idea of a Syfy Films slate shortly after the merger and revisited the idea every year or so, but met with little interest from the Universal side. “They’ve always been polite and responsive, but that lower-budget movie hasn’t been something they wanted to explore,” says Howe.

But in late 2009, Universal Pictures got a new management team. A year later, Syfy Films was a reality, with both companies putting money into a joint development fund. Initially, it announced plans to release its first movies in 2012, although the horizon has been pushed back somewhat. Howe says Syfy Films is “actively developing scripts.”

“Waterworld” isn’t an obvious candidate, considering that the original was exactly the kind of grossly overbudgeted Hollywood monstrosity that Howe proposes to avoid. Its $235 million cost reportedly made it the most expensive movie ever at the time, a title since usurped by “Titantic,” and it only avoided losing money through home video sales.

Yet Howe sees it as an underexploited piece of intellectual property. That’s because every time it airs on Syfy, it attracts a surprisingly large viewership. (Around 400,000 viewers watched the last airing.)

While a theatrical sequel of “Waterworld” was “never really on the cards,” according to Howe, a series inspired by the film is something that has been “talked about endlessly” and remains a possibility, he says.

post #83603 of 93671
TV Notes
Jeff Zucker Nearing Deal to Run CNN (Report)
By Kimberly Nordyke and Alex Ben Block, The Hollywood Reporter - Nov. 27, 2012

CNN is close to a deal with former NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Zucker to take the reins of the struggling cable news network, the New York Times reported.

Zucker, who currently executive produces Katie Couric's new daytime talk show, would replace Jim Walton, who announced his decision to step down from his longtime post as president of CNN Worldwide in July. Walton officially will depart the Time Warner-owned company when his contract expires at year's end.

Several sources close to Zucker told the Times that an announcement is expected soon. However, the report cautioned that a deal still could fall apart.

Other potential candidates for the job had reportedly included Mark Shapiro, former CEO of Dick Clark Productions. Zucker and Shapiro also had been reported as possible candidates for the CEO post at the beleaguered Tribune Co. earlier this year.

CNN declined comment.

Zucker has a news background but has been out of the game for a while. He first joined NBC as a researcher in 1986 but quickly rose up the ranks to become the youngest executive producer of Today in 1992, when he was 26. During his tenure, Today enjoyed a solid lead as TV's most-watched morning show.

Eight years later, Zucker was named president of NBC Entertainment and continued to add responsibilities before being named president and CEO of NBCUniversal in 2007.

While overseeing NBC, he played a key role in the network's negotiations with the Friends cast for a 10th season and signing Donald Trump for The Apprentice, which became a breakout hit.

But his tenure also was marked by some disappointments, including the Jay Leno-Conan O'Brien Tonight Show debacle and NBC's losing its No. 1 ranking, dropping to fourth place. Zucker left the company in early 2011, following its sale to Comcast, and later reteamed with his former Today co-host Couric to launch her new daytime talk show.

Zucker spent more than a year leading up to the launch of Katie, helping set it up with a distributor and working on the launch. Once it was sold to ABC and on the air in September, he became executive producer, overseeing the operation.

Zucker did not have the usual deal of an executive producer. He was a partner in the venture with Couric and was in line to split the $20 million ABC reportedly committed to pay them for the show.

Katie has not been a huge breakout hit in the way The Oprah Winfrey Show once was or Judge Judy is today, but her show has been the best performing of the five major syndicated talk shows that started this season. She has remained the No. 1 new talk show among newcomers including Steve Harvey and Ricki Lake for all of her first eight weeks on the air.

Katie's up-and-down ratings have stabilized recently, and the show hit some seasonal highs in October.

The season-to-date average for the show is a 1.9 rating in total households (an average of 2.4 million viewers a day). Among women ages 25-54, the key demographic group that advertisers pay to reach on daytime TV, Katie has averaged a 1.1 rating (an average of 65,000 viewers a day). That makes it the sixth-highest-rated talk show in syndication in total viewers and in women 25-54.

Couric, whose show has a two-year commitment from ABC and other stations, has known for a few months that Zucker might leave earlier than originally envisioned. A search began more than a month ago for a new executive producer, but it is unknown what the status is of that quest.

Zucker will probably stay with the show until the end of this year. To separate, he will have to negotiate his way out of a contract that promised to pay him a reported $8 million. It is unclear how much he will walk away with leaving this soon.
post #83604 of 93671
TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
WEDNESDAY Network Primetime/Late Night Options
(All shows are in HD unless noted; start times are ET. Network late night shows are preceded by late local news)

8PM - A Charlie Brown Christmas (Special)
(R - Dec. 7, 2010)
9PM - Modern Family
9:31PM - Suburgatory
10:00PM - Nashville
* * * *
11:35PM - Nightline (LIVE)
Midnight - Jimmy Kimmel Live! (Eric Bana; Damian Lewis; Wiz Khalifa performs)

8PM - Survivor: Philippines
9PM - Criminal Minds
10PM - C.S.I.: Crime Scene Investigation
* * * *
11:35PM - Late Show with David Letterman (Musicians Steven Tyler and Joe Perry; Judy Greer; Vice President Joe Biden presents the Top Ten List; Aerosmith performs)
(R - Nov. 1)
12:37AM - Late Show with Craig Ferguson (Comic Lewis Black; Karen Gillan; L.P. performs)

8PM - Christmas in Rockefeller Center (Special, LIVE)
9PM - Saturday Night Live: SNL Christmas (Special, 120 min.)
* * * *
11:35PM - The Tonight Show With Jay Leno (Comic Wanda Sykes; singer Blake Shelton)
12:37AM - Late Night With Jimmy Fallon (Helen Mirren; TV host Carson Daly; Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime; Miguel performs)
(R - Nov. 6)
1:37AM - Last Call with Carson Daly (Medal of Honor recipient Sgt. Dakota Meyer; artist Lauren Greenfield; The Walkmen perform)
(R - Nov. 12)

8PM - The X-Factor (LIVE, 120 min.)

(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - Nature - Drakensberg: Barrier of Spears (R - Feb. 8, 2009)
9PM - NOVA - Hunting the Edge of Space: The Mystery of the Milky Way
(R - Apr. 6, 2010)
10PM - Ferrets: The Pursuit of Excellence
(R - Jul. 18, 2007)

8PM - Por Ella Soy Eva
9PM - Amores Verdaderos
10PM - Amor Bravio

8PM - Arrow
9PM - Supernatural

8PM - Rosa Diamante
9PM - Corazón Valiente
10PM - Pablo Escobar: El Patron del Mal
10:30PM - El Rostro de la Venganza

11PM - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Musician Neil Young)
11:31PM - The Colbert Report (Director Frank Oz)

11PM - Conan (Jessica Biel; Marc Maron; Alice Cooper)

11PM - Chelsea Lately (Alessandra Ambrosio; Joe Matarese; April Richardson; Jo Koy)
post #83605 of 93671
Critic's Notes
Accept No Substitutes: Stars and Their Signature Roles
By Ed Bark, TVWorthWatching.com - Nov. 28, 2012

The death of J.R. Ewing — er, Larry Hagman — leaves us with another vivid reminder of television's power to imprint an actor or actress with a single, signature role.

It doesn't much matter what else they've accomplished. Hagman also had a nice run as astronaut Tony Nelson on I Dream of Jeannie. But he'll always be diabolical J.R. in the public's mind while all of Barbara Eden's obits someday will be topped by her ties to a sexy genie named Jeannie.

Movies generally don't work this way, at least when you're a long distance runner. What was Robert De Niro's signature role, for instance? Jake LaMotta in Raging Bull? Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver? The young Vito Corleone in The Godfather Part II?

Successful television roles go on and on and on. But on the big screen, a sequel or two will pretty much do it. Even then, will Clint Eastwood be best remembered as "Dirty Harry" or a bearded loner in a cowboy hat?

Some enduring TV stars have two or more long-running series in their arsenals. But very few can provoke a debate as to which starring role is their everlasting calling card. Michael Landon is one of those, though. Do most people know him as "Little Joe" Cartwright from Bonanza? Or Charles Ingalls from Little House on the Prairie? Or maybe even Jonathan Smith from Highway to Heaven?

Dick Clark also is a player. American Bandstand vs. New Year's Rockin' Eve. A fairly tough call, although Bandstand probably deserves the nod over those countless Times Square countdowns.

Here's another one: Robert Young as Jim Anderson in Father Knows Best or as the title character of Marcus Welby, M.D.? And there also might be a strong division of opinion over whether James Garner's signature TV role is Jim Rockford or Bret Maverick.

It's almost always pretty clear cut, though. So let's keep playing, and see if you agree.

LUCILLE BALL — She had several incarnations as a title character named Lucy. But "Lucy Ricardo" is the only one that matters.

CARROLL O'CONNOR — We'll always think of him first and foremost as Archie Bunker, although he also had a long run as Southern-fried Sheriff Bill Gillespie in the TV series version of In the Heat of the Night.

MARY TYLER MOORE — She came to stardom as Laura Petrie in The Dick Van Dyke Show, but TV newswoman Mary Richards is her signature role.

ANDY GRIFFITH — This one's a bit closer call. But Sheriff Andy Taylor still ends up winning every time opposite Ben Matlock.

RAYMOND BURR — His portrayal of Perry Mason will always stand taller in competition with Burr's wheelchair-bound Robert Ironside.

BEA ARTHUR — Maude Finley still wins hands-down against Dorothy Zbornak of The Golden Girls.

WILLIAM SHATNER — Capt. James T. Kirk continues to fly high over either T.J. Hooker or Denny Crane.

SHERMAN HEMSLEY — His ever-cantankerous George Jefferson wins in a walk over Deacon Ernest Frye of Amen.

TED DANSON — Bartender Sam Malone on Cheers will alway out-pace his title role on Becker or his lead character on the latter day version of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

BUDDY EBSEN — Jed Clampett is an easy call over Barnaby Jones or Davy Crockett's wingman, Georgie Russell, in those timeless Walt Disney adventure yarns.

TOM SELLECK — It doesn't matter how long Blue Bloods lasts. He'll always be private investigator Thomas Magnum.

BOB DENVER — Maynard G. Krebs got him started, but call him Gilligan.

CAROL BURNETT and JOHNNY CARSON — As themselves, although very nice work on all of those supporting characters they created for their respective variety and talk shows.

Others are slam-dunk indelibles, with no other TV role remotely close. To name just a few:

James Arness as Marshal Matt Dillon

Kelsey Grammer as Frasier Crane

Roseanne Barr as Roseanne Connor

Alan Alda as Hawkeye Pierce

James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano

Jackie Gleason as Ralph Kramden

Bill Cosby as Cliff Huxtable

Angela Lansbury as Jessica Fletcher

Jack Lord as Steve McGarrett

Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie Bradshaw

Peter Falk as Columbo

Michael Richards as Kramer

Ed Asner as Lou Grant

Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock

Henry Winkler as "The Fonz"

Richard Thomas as "John Boy" Walton

And their beats go on.

Edited by dad1153 - 11/27/12 at 10:12pm
post #83606 of 93671

Only one there I might disagree with - that would be Denver as Gilligan, rather than Maynard G. Krebs.


If I were Bob Denver I would've, anyway.

post #83607 of 93671
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

Only one there I might disagree with - that would be Denver as Gilligan, rather than Maynard G. Krebs.

If I were Bob Denver I would've, anyway.
Uh, isn't that what he said, started as Krebs, remembered as Gilligan?
post #83608 of 93671
Critic's Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Nov. 28, 2012

ABC, 8:00 p.m. ET

From 1965, and still the champion of holiday TV specials, this superb Peanuts special is back for another annual visit. O come, all ye faithful, and gather around the television set for one of the medium’s few true miracles.

ABC, 9:00 p.m. ET

Cam (Eric Stonestreet) is determined to save a tree, at a local park, that’s targeted for removal. To do so, he pulls out all the stops – and some of his old theatrical tricks and treats..

BBC America, 9:00 p.m. ET[
Dominic West, as smug British TV news anchor Hector Madden, is the best reason to watch this British period drama, a mash-up of Mad Men and The Newsroom – but there are plenty of other good reasons, too, including Romola Garai as his show’s producer, a lot of intrigue about what’s happening in the news in 1957 London, and boisterous visits to a local nightclub, where the production numbers look like outtakes from the fantasy sequences of The Singing Detective.

FX, 10:00 p.m. ET

If you expected things to lighten up for Sister Mary Eunice (Lily Rabe) this week, think again. In this week’s new episode, she fears that Briarwood has been visited by a “dark visitor.” And she’s not wrong.

ABC, 10:01 p.m. ET

I’m betting this will prove to be worth the wait. For the first time this season, we see – and hear – a duet between Rayna (Connie Britton) and Juliette (Hayden Panettiere). That’s on stage, at the famed Ryman Auditorium – but off stage, before and after, is where to find the real drama.

post #83609 of 93671
Technology Notes
'The Hobbit' will usher in a new technology at movie theaters
The film was shot at 48 frames a second, twice the rate of traditional films. Advocates say the picture is richer and sharper, but critics find it jarring.
By Richard Verrier, Los Angeles Times - Nov. 27, 2012

Wendy Aylsworth fixed her eyes on a screen at the Landmark theater in West Los Angeles, carefully studying a scene of hobbits preparing a lavish feast.

"We're seeing good detail and a richness in the characters," Aylsworth said. "It's right on."

The Warner Bros. senior vice president of technology was reviewing a test reel for the "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," and a new projection technique that will show the highly anticipated Peter Jackson movie at 48 frames a second.

The controversial new technology could revolutionize traditional movies, which have been projected at a standard 24 frames per second for almost 90 years. Warner Bros. will become the first studio to release a major Hollywood movie in 48 frames a second when its "Hobbit" premieres in the U.S. on Dec. 14.

VIDEO: Peter Jackson on 'The Hobbit' and 48 frames format

The studio has been running the test reel in hundreds of theaters from Los Angeles to Tokyo to Madrid to ensure that the theaters are ready for the rollout of the new technology.

Warner is also hedging its bet: The high-frame-rate version of "The Hobbit" will be shown on only about 450 screens of an estimated 4,000 screens in the U.S. and Canada that will show the movie.

"When you have something new, you want to make sure it works," said Dan Fellman, president of domestic distribution for Warner. "This is unique, it's different and we'll have to see how people adjust to it."

Industry reaction in advance has been a mix of apprehension and excitement.

"We had some theater owners that were disappointed they didn't get more runs," John Fithian, president of the National Assn. of Theatre Owners. "The difference is obvious and dramatic. The question is whether or not it's a difference that drives patrons to the theater."

Jackson and director James Cameron — who plans to release upcoming "Avatar" sequels at the even higher rate of 60 frames a second — have no doubt that it will. They contend that seeing more images each second is more natural because it's closer to what the human eye actually sees, giving a sharper, more lifelike picture and reducing eyestrain for 3-D movies.

"Now, in the digital age, there's no reason whatsoever to stick to 24" frames a second, Jackson writes in a Q&A posted on his Facebook page.

Proponents of the higher frame rate say it packs the screen with far more visual information and makes the moving image super-sharp and detailed. But patrons accustomed to the softer look of traditional film may have to adjust to the higher frame rate.

At a 10-minute preview that Jackson shared at the trade show CinemaCon in April, some attendees found the images jarringly hyper-realistic and too unlike a traditional film.

Warner executives said that was unfair because it was rough footage that had not been color corrected.

"It really wasn't representative of what it looks like today," Fellman said. "I think it will have a big impact on the industry."

Some leading theater executives agree. They view faster frame rates — along with big screens, 3-D and improved sound systems — as a way to stay relevant to younger audiences who are increasingly lured away by entertainment options in the home. Although box-office revenues are expected to reach a record this year, largely because of a crop of hit movies and higher ticket prices, movie attendance levels have been trending lower most of the last decade.

"We're always excited when there is a new technology for our business that widens the gap between what happens in the home and what happens in the theater," said Amy Miles, chief executive of Regal Entertainment Group, the nation's largest theater chain.

Regal will show "The Hobbit" at 48 frames a second on more than 100 of its 6,607 screens. Advance ticket sales suggest that many of those theaters are generating more revenue per screen than regular 3-D theaters, Miles said.

"I'm a big believer in it," said Tim Warner, chief executive of Cinemark USA Inc., which is screening "The Hobbit" in 48 frames a second on 160 of its 5,207 screens worldwide. "This is a much more immersive, sharp and engaging experience. It feels like you're right there."

In fact, Warner said, Cinemark was hoping to add more theaters. "I would have preferred to have gone wider, but Warner is trying to feel their way on it, which I can understand."

"Hobbit" will be shown in old-fashioned 2-D, in traditional 3-D and in 3-D at 48 frames a second. For now, theaters will not be charging extra for the higher-frame-rate screenings, which will be included in the higher-priced 3-D tickets.

The cost of bringing high-frame-rate viewing to most theaters is $1,000 to $2,500 per screen. Cinemas that already have the newest digital projectors typically require only a software upgrade or a new video card.

Still, many cinema chains are adopting a wait-and-see attitude.

"We think it's interesting, but until we see how audiences react and what it means, it's really too hard to tell," said Bud Mayo, CEO of Digital Cinema Destinations Corp. in New Jersey, whose Digiplex theater chain will show "The Hobbit" in 48 frames a second at eight of its locations.

"The first time I saw it I was a little disoriented," said Patrick Lee, vice president of digital cinema for Barco North America, which manufactures digital projectors. "It's sharper, it's clearer and it's a better picture, but it will take time for mass audiences to get on board."

post #83610 of 93671
TV Review
'The Hour' (BBC America)
BBC’s Current Affairs? No, the 1950s Variety
By Mike Hale, The New York Times - Nov. 27, 2012

In the first season of “The Hour,” Ben Whishaw, playing the dogged young reporter Freddie Lyon, tells an interview subject, “I’m not here to hurt you — I’m from the BBC.”

Presumably, any lines that might seem similarly risible now, in light of the Jimmy Savile pedophilia scandal that has engulfed Britain’s once august public broadcasting service, will have been scrubbed from Season 2 of “The Hour,” which begins on Wednesday night on BBC America.

It can’t be easy promoting a show that glamorizes a television network and makes heroes out of its hard-charging young journalists when that network’s reputation is at its lowest ebb. To make things worse, “The Hour” is about a fictional hourlong current-affairs program at the very moment when the hourlong BBC current-affairs program “Newsnight” is in the middle of the Savile mess.

Perhaps in future seasons “The Hour” can take on Mr. Savile, whose first “Top of the Pops” broadcast for the BBC was in 1964. After using the Suez Canal crisis as the backdrop for its first six-episode season, “The Hour” moves ahead a year for Season 2, to 1957 and the launching of Sputnik 2. Nuclear anxiety is in the air, along with a rising crime rate and a rekindling of domestic fascism.

The romantic triangle at the heart of the show, out of “His Girl Friday,” by way of “Broadcast News,” is intact but in remission. Bel the producer (Romola Garai) goes home to a good book, while Hector the anchorman (Dominic West), her married lover in Season 1, philanders and drinks with increasing abandon.

Freddie, fired in Season 1, makes a triumphant return before the end of the premiere, bringing with him a surprise that won’t be given away here, other than to note that it has a French accent.

There is also, as there was in the first season, a young blond woman in some sort of danger, this time a showgirl (Hannah Tointon) who’s involved with Hector. Once again, the show will try to juggle the romance of journalism, which it handles creditably if formulaically, with crime and mystery, which, based on past performance and the evidence of early episodes, will be underplotted and a bit plodding.

In addition to Ms. Tointon, new cast members include Peter Capaldi as a cadaverous news executive, replacing the one exposed as a Communist spy in Season 1; Robert Whitelock as a detective; and Tom Burke as a rival producer at the commercial ITV network, which is trying to lure away Hector.

The strong points remain Mr. West’s performance as Hector, a mixed bag of a character with good intentions and a weak will, and its glossy imagining of the late-1950s London news media world as a small group of smart and charming people forever running into one another at clubs, parties and country estates.

Therein lies the show’s weakness, too: It may get the surfaces right, but its devotion to cocktail shakers, tight dresses, vintage cars and the amber hues of tumblers of whiskey can’t make up for the highly unlikely story lines and the tinny platitudes about the power of the press. (Fictional journalists may routinely solve criminal cases, but it’s a little beyond the pale when they do it in a show purporting to have some connection to historical events.)

At least in the early going, the current season avoids the sentimental speechifying about truth and justice that became increasingly prevalent in Season 1. And the let’s-put-on-a-broadcast scenes are still reliably entertaining. But in its focus on image over recognizable journalistic reality, you can’t help seeing a distant echo of the BBC’s current troubles.

BBC America, Wednesday nights at 9, Eastern and Pacific times; 8, Central time.

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