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Preview: - Tom Shales TV Column - Tom Shales TV Column


Thank television for developing the talents of the late, great Leslie Nielsen

Tue, 30 Nov 2010 01:00:04 EST

We're told occasionally that what goes around comes around to such a degree that going around again and coming around could be called great American indoor sports. In this corner, the unofficial world heavyweight champion: Leslie Nielsen, who was merely a pretty good actor through most of his car...

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Even with Conan O'Brien's return to late night, there's little to entertain

Tue, 16 Nov 2010 00:00:00 EST

Late-night television is like the cereal aisle in the supermarket: too many choices. Also, too many "different" brands that really aren't different at all. And even with the grandly heralded and much-welcome return of Conan O'Brien to the fray, there's still too little that's nourishing, too much...

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Tom Shales on those pop-up promos that just won't go away

Tue, 09 Nov 2010 00:00:00 EST

There's no official count on this, but it's fairly safe to say it: Everybody hates them. They're those infuriating pop-up promos super-imposed on the bottom of the screen and appearing with greater and greater frequency while you try to watch a television program. Unfortunately, they're as popular...

TV preview of 'Great Migrations' on National Geographic Channel

Sun, 07 Nov 2010 01:00:00 EST

"Stunningly" beautiful? "Rapturously" beautiful? "Shockingly" beautiful? You can marry a dozen adverbs to "beautiful" and still not capture the compelling grandeur of "Great Migrations," a wondrous new jaw-dropper from the National Geographic Channel. It's movingly beautiful too, in both senses o...

Tom Shales reviews tonight's retrospecial,'The Women of "Saturday Night Live"'

Mon, 01 Nov 2010 00:00:00 EDT

While fans of "Saturday Night Live" wait for the show to gel in a so-far unsettled and uncertain new season, NBC dives back into archives for another prime-time retrospecial, this one devoted to "The Women of 'Saturday Night Live' " in all their hilarious glory. Or much of it, anyway.

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TV highlights

Mon, 01 Nov 2010 00:00:00 EDT

Washington's ABC affiliate launches a three-part series, "The Day Every Second Counted" (WJLA at 5 p.m.), which looks at heart health for women in the wake of WJLA reporter Jennifer Donelan surviving a heart attack in September. The first segments air within the 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts on...

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TV review of "The Larry Sanders Show" coming out on box set

Tue, 26 Oct 2010 00:00:00 EDT

"The Larry Sanders Show" -- which was, of course, really "The Garry Shandling Show" -- has certainly held up well since its last episode aired on HBO in May of 1998. How could anything hold up better than still being, a dozen years later, ahead of its time?

TV review: CBS's 'The Talk' soft-pedals around issues ABC's 'The View' tackles

Tue, 19 Oct 2010 00:00:00 EDT

Television's obsessive segregation of the sexes continues this week with the addition of "The Talk" to the CBS daytime schedule. A clumsily obvious rip-off of the Barbara Walters sensation "The View" -- even down to the "The" in the title -- "Talk" brings together a panel of what used to be called...

The media making a mess of sex on the airwaves

Tue, 12 Oct 2010 00:00:00 EDT

It's one thing for sex to be inescapable on TV sitcoms and topical dramas; we expect it. But now sex is a recurring topic in political campaigns, and hence intrudes on the morning news programs and Sunday conversationals. Nutty candidates for relatively high office, all but ignoring such truly wo...

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In the 500-channel universe, we're definitely lost in space

Wed, 06 Oct 2010 00:00:00 EDT

In the 500-channel universe, which may, of course, contain many more channels than 500, the fun never stops -- fun at such a fever pitch as to sometimes seem threatening, numbing, even agonizing.

Tom Shales on Ken Burns's latest baseball film, 'The Tenth Inning'

Tue, 28 Sep 2010 00:00:00 EDT

To have finished watching all 18 hours of Ken Burns's 1994 documentary "Baseball" and still be aching to know more about the game and its history would be like getting up from Thanksgiving dinner and making a beeline for Applebee's. Has anyone ever declared a Burns film to be "too short"? Not any...

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Tom Shales reviews the opening show of SNL's 36th season

Mon, 27 Sep 2010 00:00:00 EDT

One of the less-than-hallowed customs at "Saturday Night Live" is that the first show of a new season never turns out to be the year's best, or even "one of." As it happens, the 36th-season premiere of "SNL" that aired Saturday stands only a minuscule chance of violating that tradition. And yet, ...

'Detroit 1-8-7' and 'Blue Bloods' are latest to wear the badge

Tue, 21 Sep 2010 00:00:00 EDT

At one literally arresting moment in "Detroit 1-8-7," a cop show from ABC debuting Tuesday night, a bad guy looks straight into the camera and growls, flashing a row of gold teeth. It turns out this is not a directorial flourish but instead the remnant of "1-8-7" as it used to be; the original pi...

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Not enough entertaining surprises at MTV's Music Video Awards

Tue, 14 Sep 2010 00:00:00 EDT

Can you lampoon a culture when the culture contains its own self-lampooning -- when it comes at you with a big "just kidding" grin on its face? The MTV Video Music Awards now advertises itself basically the way the Golden Globes are promoted on CBS: Tune in and see somebody make a complete fool o...

As Jerry Lewis and his telethon age, the antics and drama also grow

Wed, 08 Sep 2010 00:00:00 EDT

Old men weep. It comes with the gig. Jerry Lewis, 84, seemed on the verge of breaking down, or breaking apart, more often this year than usual during the Labor Day telethon for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA). And when it came to the traditionally overwrought closing number, Rodgers and ...

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'March of Time' newsreels on Turner Classic Movies a gripping record of history

Sat, 04 Sep 2010 00:00:00 EDT

Sampling a few episodes from the archetypal newsreel "The March of Time," a viewer might think to himself, "I could watch this stuff all night." Be careful, as the saying goes, what you wish for. On Sunday night, Turner Classic Movies honors the 75th anniversary of the newsreel with a four-hour c...

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A host of reasons for Emmy show's winning ways

Tue, 31 Aug 2010 00:00:00 EDT

Improvement in the Emmy Awards? Good glory, what next? A complete and sudden cessation of the recession, maybe. Peace in the Middle East. Oillessness in the Gulf of Mexico. Improvement in -- the Academy Awards?!

Tom Shales on the reality TV revolution at the Emmys

Tue, 24 Aug 2010 00:00:00 EDT

Although skillfully scripted TV programs do have to compete against grungy reality TV shows for Emmy Awards -- a fairly recent, 21st-century development -- at least trained, professional actors have been spared the indignity of going up against somebody's Aunt Minny or Uncle Fudd, stars of such s...

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Nights with Johnny Carson: As long as it's been, we still long for them

Tue, 17 Aug 2010 00:00:00 EDT

Johnny Carson had what he called "hills" and "valleys" in his nightly monologues -- the great topical ritual with which he opened "The Tonight Show" every night during his three-decade gig as its host -- and the same sort of leaps and lapses occurred for much longer intervals during his fabulous...

Tom Shales reviews Christiane Amanpour's lackluster debut on ABC's 'This Week'

Mon, 02 Aug 2010 00:00:00 EDT

With pomp and panoply befitting a visit from a foreign dignitary, ABC raised the curtain on its newly revamped "This Week" program and introduced in a big way the superstar who's taken it over in a big, big way: Christiane Amanpour, veteran CNN foreign correspondent now uneasily relocated to a de...

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Sorry, Tony Robbins. Your 'Breakthrough' has a much bigger problem to fix.

Tue, 27 Jul 2010 00:00:00 EDT

Maybe the recession has trashed your dreams. Maybe your marriage or other relationship is suffering from the aftershocks. Maybe you feel that everything but the roof is falling in on your head, and that it's only a matter of time before you have shingles on your scalp.

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TV preview: 'The Pillars of the Earth'

Fri, 23 Jul 2010 00:00:00 EDT

Billed in advertising as "the Epic Event of the Summer" (how many candidates are there, really?), "The Pillars of the Earth," adapted from a historical novel by Ken Follett, doesn't just kill eight hours of TV time; it tortures it mercilessly as well.

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'Children of the Harvest': Migrant workers on the move and still getting nowhere

Sat, 17 Jul 2010 00:00:00 EDT

"Children of the Harvest" is, arguably, the third generation of the documentary that has been called the greatest in television history: Edward R. Murrow and Fred W. Friendly's "Harvest of Shame," the unforgettable shocker about migrant workers that aired just after Thanksgiving in 1960 and uphel...

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TV rarely tackles a topic that pays its bills: Misleading credit card ads

Tue, 13 Jul 2010 00:00:00 EDT

It floors me that credit card companies are still running costly, lavishly produced commercials on network television and cable channels even as America continues to struggle its way out of a crippling recession brought on at least partly by the country's mad spending bender, a reckless epidemic ...

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Tom Shales: Larry King's exit marks the end of a gentlemanly era in TV talk

Tue, 06 Jul 2010 00:00:00 EDT

No More Mr. Nice Guys. Such is the prognosis for the post-King world -- Larry King, of course, who has had a rocky year in the ratings and who recently announced his retirement from the flagship talk show he hosts on CNN. His departure is as imminent as the announcement, from those ever-befuddled...

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Tom Shales revisits 'Leave It to Beaver' (1957-1963) on box set

Tue, 29 Jun 2010 00:00:00 EDT

On this matter, there's bound to be little middle ground. The prospect either appeals or appalls: all six seasons, all 234 episodes, of the primordial sitcom "Leave It to Beaver" available, as of Tuesday, in a boxed set of 37 DVDs, selling for just short of 200 bucks.

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TV Preview: ABC's 'Huge,' raising a crop of cliches, down on the fat farm

Mon, 28 Jun 2010 00:00:00 EDT

Isn't it about time that this "fat" thing played itself out and we all moved on to some other neurotic national obsession?

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CNN documentary 'Gary and Tony' takes big-hearted look at gay parenthood

Tue, 22 Jun 2010 00:00:00 EDT

They're parents "like anybody else," says a sympathetic soul, but not really. Not quite. If they were like anybody else, these parents wouldn't both be wearing "Proud Dad" caps at the baby shower.

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Recipe for disaster: When the media's big story spills over from day to day

Tue, 15 Jun 2010 00:00:00 EDT

Do you think you have seen that gull before? You don't suppose the TV news folks are recycling oily birds from the Exxon Valdez disaster, do you? Or that they have video files bulging with stock pathetic pelicans, glum inky crabs and sad-sack oysters?

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Larry David and 'Curb Your Enthusiasm,' kicking it up a notch for TV Guide run

Tue, 01 Jun 2010 00:00:00 EDT

People who write television shows often spend time in analysis, but the shows do not. That's because, well, how could they? We are about to find out. Reruns of HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm," created by Larry David, arrive on the TV Guide Channel this week with addenda: newly taped panel discussion...

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'24' wraps up Jack Bauer's long day in typically violent fashion

Mon, 24 May 2010 00:00:00 EDT

You do have to wonder how Jack Bauer, maverick hero of "24," can stay hidden for so long when no matter where he goes, he always seems within range of a TV camera. Or six. In the last scene of the last show of the current season, which is also the finale to the entire series, the folks in the hom...

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'Law & Order': Canceled, but the case isn't closed just yet

Tue, 18 May 2010 00:00:00 EDT

When NBC released the sad news last week that "Law & Order" would be canceled after 20 years on the air, the show's creator and producer, Dick Wolf, stopped well short of howling. In fact, he went the inscrutable route: "Never complain, never explain" was the terse little statement he release...

Tom Shales on PBS's 'Need to Know'

Tue, 11 May 2010 00:00:00 EDT

Suppose Charles Dickens were alive today and just sitting down at a keyboard to input the content of a new cybernovel. Here is how he might begin: "It was the worst of times, it was the worst of times."

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Tom Shales on TV: The LenoBrien Affair

Tue, 04 May 2010 00:00:00 EDT

In some twisty, whispery way, it's all a tribute to Johnny Carson. He more than anyone made late-night TV not just a haven of talk, but a time and place much talked about -- a temporal neighborhood, where the machinations of a highly privileged class fascinate many of us who feel dull and under-paid...

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'Idol,' 'Dancing' evoke TV's wonder years

Tue, 27 Apr 2010 00:00:00 EDT

"You brought music back into this house," Capt. Von Trapp tells Maria the governess in "The Sound of Music." This is precisely how I feel about Fox's "American Idol" and ABC's "Dancing With the Stars," two terrifically engaging shows that are winding up their annual runs in the next few weeks.

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Review of 'America: The Story of Us': TV miniseries has flash but not creativity

Sun, 25 Apr 2010 00:00:00 EDT

Its intentions seem basically worthy, its execution moderately adroit, its scope ambitious and its pictures? Oooh, pretty! What more, one well might wonder, could be asked of "America: The Story of Us," a whiz-bang, high-tech documentary miniseries airing in six two-hour blocks starting at 9 p.m. Sunday on cable's History Channel?

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'You Don't Know Jack' from HBO previewed by Tom Shales

Sat, 24 Apr 2010 00:00:00 EDT

In the end, or near it, Jack Kevorkian put too much faith in the system. He threw himself at the mercy of the merciless. Maybe "faith" isn't a word one associates with the self-appointed Angel of Death who answered the prayers of the suffering, but an excess of it might have been his undoing -- a...

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Tom Shales: Derivative suicide show 'Gravity' fails to take off

Fri, 23 Apr 2010 00:00:00 EDT

Her performance in "Gravity" suggests that Krysten Ritter is trying to be Anne Hathaway (of "The Devil Wears Prada"), but that doesn't really tell us what "Gravity" is trying to be.

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Tom Shales on TV: Is Larry King's CNN reign nearing its end?

Tue, 20 Apr 2010 00:00:00 EDT

"Respected U.S. newsman Larry King has filed for divorce from his country-singer wife, Shawn Southwick," the wire service story says dryly. It seems simple enough until you stop to wonder: Is "respected U.S. newsman Larry King" any relation to that guy who has a weeknight talk show on CNN?

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British candidates try an American-style TV debate

Fri, 16 Apr 2010 00:00:00 EDT

A mere half-century after America's first televised national debates, England finally had one of her own. It took the dear old Motherland a while to catch up, but now it's our turn -- because the debate that aired Thursday on England's ITV seemed much stronger on substance and less dependent on g...

Tom Shales on 'Saturday Night Live in the 2000s: Time and Again' on NBC

Tue, 13 Apr 2010 00:00:00 EDT

You know you're getting older when -- well, first off, when you read almost any story that begins "You know you're getting older when." But you also know it when you not only never heard of the musical guest on a given "Saturday Night Live" but never heard of the host, either.

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Tom Shales reflects on 'Kukla, Fran and Ollie'

Tue, 30 Mar 2010 00:00:00 EDT

How painful to see "Kukla, Fran and Ollie" consigned to somebody's slapped-together Internet list of "Forgotten TV Shows." Forgotten? Not by untold thousands for whom the adventures of Kukla, Fran and Ollie were once as integral to a day as eating breakfast, going to school or teasing your sister.

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ABC's choice of Amanpour for 'This Week' has critics inside the network and beyond

Tue, 23 Mar 2010 00:00:00 EDT

If being the moderator of "This Week," ABC's Sunday morning news-talk show, required Senate approval, then journalist Christiane Amanpour -- recently named by ABC News President David Westin to take over the job -- would already be in big trouble.

TV preview of 'Life' on Discovery

Sun, 21 Mar 2010 00:00:00 EDT

How sad that Marshall McLuhan didn't live to see high-definition television. The brilliant Canadian theorist famously and immortally declared, "The medium is the message," and HDTV brings that thought to vibrant and scintillating life.

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Tom Shales reviews FX's 'Justified'

Tue, 16 Mar 2010 00:00:00 EDT

Raylan Givens, U.S. marshal, is one lean, lone, ornery hombre.

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Preview: New NBC game show 'Minute to Win It' is unoriginal and imbecilic

Sat, 13 Mar 2010 00:00:00 EST

NBC made only about 38 minutes' worth of Sunday night's two-hour "Minute to Win It" premiere available for preview. But hey, who's complaining? You don't complain about a gift from the gods -- nor even one from the creatively bankrupt NBC programming department.

Tom Shales finds pretentiousness aplenty, whether on 'Idol' or the Oscars

Tue, 09 Mar 2010 00:00:00 EST

On "American Idol" -- returning Tuesday night for another performance round -- amateurs try to look like professionals. On the Oscar show, professionals often come off looking like amateurs, whether they're trying to or not.

TCM's Robert Osborne, on the Oscars and his brilliant career

Sun, 07 Mar 2010 00:00:00 EST

Robert Osborne either has the best job in the world, or comes very close. As millions of viewers know, Osborne is the resident host of the great Turner Classic Movies (TCM) channel, the most reliable source of pure enchantment in the cable universe.

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Tom Shales hails 'Southland' as 'next big step' for cop shows

Tue, 02 Mar 2010 00:00:00 EST

Every few years, television takes a giant step forward, perhaps partly to compensate for all those other steps backward. One dependable area of improvement is the cop show -- the "CSI" shows represented a major advance in production values, HBO's harrowing "The Wire" was another, and "Hill Street...

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Seinfield stops by Kennedy Center while prepping 'Marriage Ref'

Mon, 01 Mar 2010 00:00:00 EST

Jerry Seinfeld is amazing in many ways, not the least of them his ability to find humor, and convincing us to find it, too, in the million-and-two details about modern life that under different circumstances might send us into paroxysms of rage. I had a paroxysm just the other day -- all because of...

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Tom Shales reflects on 'Father Knows Best' and his real-life Margaret

Tue, 23 Feb 2010 00:00:00 EST

Why, on my mother's birthday, am I thinking about "Father Knows Best"? At our house, mother knew best at least as often as father did, but then the title of the old sitcom, a homogenized portrait of American family life, was meant to be slightly sardonic. The father on the show was often at a los...

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Tom Shales: Tiger Woods's tried and true mea culpa

Sat, 20 Feb 2010 00:00:00 EST

Throwing himself on the mercy of the microphone -- and, of course, the camera -- golf champion Tiger Woods took to television today and asked the American people to forgive him for the "irresponsible and selfish behavior" that took him from national hero to humiliated disgrace.

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NBC wraps itself in well-deserved Olympics glory

Tue, 16 Feb 2010 00:00:00 EST

Every now and then -- in this case, now -- something works, things go right and high spirits don't have to be faked. Even on television. Even on NBC. The poor old network with all the bruises and bandages from months and months of battering is enjoying a fine, high-flying triumph with its HD...

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Tom Shales on TV: Winter Olympics Opening Ceremonies in Vancouver

Sat, 13 Feb 2010 00:00:00 EST

If your Canadian consciousness isn't elevated by now, you must not have seen the Opening Ceremonies of the Winter Olympics from Vancouver on NBC Friday night. Once again, as it has at various intervals, Canada seems a little bit closer than usual, even for a nation we border.

Once again, Letterman's 'Late Show' promo is spot on

Mon, 08 Feb 2010 00:00:00 EST

CBS may have stolen its own show last night with the telecast of Super Bowl XLIV, thanks to a network promo that stole thunder from all the costly commercials sprinkled liberally through the game.

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By George, she's good

Tue, 02 Feb 2010 00:00:00 EST

The last time I tossed off programming advice for network executives was to suggest that NBC put Jay Leno on every night at 10 o'clock. Gosh, what a swell idea.

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Tom Shales on TV: President Obama is tough during the State of the Union

Thu, 28 Jan 2010 00:00:00 EST

Americans watch the State of the Union speech largely to check out the state of the president. And the state of Barack Obama appears to be rough, tough and undaunted, though it would be going too far to say it's now "No more Mr. Nice Guy."

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In dying color: No. 4 NBC has cast itself in the role of the fading peacock

Tue, 26 Jan 2010 00:00:00 EST

Where there's mire, there's muck, and NBC is just the place to find both. It's long been a kooky little tradition that when TV columnists and critics write about which of the four major broadcast networks is doing worst in the ratings, they say it is "mired in fourth place" or "mired" in third. T...

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TV review of the MTV 'Hope for Haiti Now' benefit

Sat, 23 Jan 2010 00:00:00 EST

As it has for past catastrophes, the entertainment aristocracy marshaled its forces Friday night and used television and the Internet to stage a global fundraiser for the victims of a natural disaster. "Hope for Haiti Now," aired on stations throughout the world, including at least six in the...

'Caprica' on Syfy creates a world that warrants a return visit

Fri, 22 Jan 2010 00:00:00 EST

On the planet Caprica, belief in a single, omnipotent God is considered heretical and naughty children are sent to bed without their Holoband. The Holoband is a gadget that lets users, most of them young, travel to a wicked disco of the mind where the entertainment includes human sacrifice, and t...

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Tom Shales on the villains in the Leno-O'Brien fiasco at NBC

Tue, 19 Jan 2010 00:00:00 EST

Back in the late 20th century, when people were getting sick of stories about David Letterman's mistreatment by NBC -- instead of getting sick of stories about Conan O'Brien's mistreatment by NBC -- I managed to get an NBC executive on the phone, which wasn't easy in those days, and he proceeded ...

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Tom Shales on TV: A look at the Jay Leno-Conan O'Brien conflict at NBC

Tue, 12 Jan 2010 00:00:00 EST

How is it that Conan O'Brien gets stuck with the suffering but Jay Leno does all the whining? Can it be that practice does help make perfect and that Leno has developed into The Pavarotti of Crybabies -- thanks mainly to that born-to-whine squeaky timbre of his?

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Brit Hume's off message: Have faith, Tiger Woods, as long as it's Christianity

Tue, 05 Jan 2010 00:00:00 EST

In "North by Northwest," cold and heartless bureaucrats in Washington realize they may have inadvertently sent a frivolous but innocent advertising man to his death, and one of them says, "It's so horribly sad -- why do I feel like laughing?" The dichotomy pops up all the time among observers of ...

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Best of the decade: Television

Sun, 27 Dec 2009 00:00:00 EST

Television itself -- the machine, not the medium -- changed more in the first decade of the 21st century than it had in the 50-plus years that followed its arrival on the American scene right after World War II.

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A few bumps, but Diane Sawyer has solid debut as ABC 'World News' anchor

Tue, 22 Dec 2009 00:00:00 EST

Ideally, the gorgeousness of Diane Sawyer should not be a factor in assessing her performance as anchor of ABC's nightly news, which she now is. But television, though it's sometimes forgotten, remains a visual medium, and appearance indeed counts. Besides, the producers of "World News With Diane...

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Tom Shales on Stephanopoulos's 'GMA': No Surprises

Tue, 15 Dec 2009 00:00:00 EST

Another chapter in the long history of the morning wars has begun; on Monday George Stephanopoulos moved smoothly if not memorably into the anchor chair left vacant on "Good Morning, America" by the departure of the arguably irreplaceable Diane Sawyer, set to begin anchoring "ABC World News" next...

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TV preview of 'The Jacksons: A Family Dynasty' on A& E

Sat, 12 Dec 2009 00:00:00 EST

Of the nine executive producers credited on "The Jacksons: A Family Dynasty," four are Jacksons -- Marlon, Jermaine, Tito and Jackie. From that much information, viewers will know better than to expect a blistering exposé. But then, it's probably better to keep the dream, and the myths, alive any...

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Preview of Matt Damon's 'The People Speak' on History Channel

Sat, 12 Dec 2009 00:00:00 EST

"The People Speak," premiering on the History Channel on Sunday night, is based on a book called "A People's History of the United States," which might as reasonably have been titled "A Left-Wing Professor's History of the United States" -- not that there's anything wrong with that.

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Tom Shales: Blu-rays poised to take lead as best viewing format

Tue, 08 Dec 2009 00:00:00 EST

At Christmastime we hark back to memories of gadgets past -- technological wonders that were the most desired gifts of previous spending seasons: the VCR, the Sony robotic dog, the laptop computer, the iPod and its successors like the Nano and the Touch.

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TV Preview: Tom Shales on the new TNT series 'Men of a Certain Age'

Mon, 07 Dec 2009 00:00:00 EST

There's something rare and wonderful about "Men of a Certain Age," and yet it keeps seeming either vaguely or highly familiar. That's partly because the new TNT series treads ground already trod into mush by previous movies and TV shows -- although that turns out not to matter. Because for viewer...

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Tom Shales previews 'Alice' on Syfy

Sat, 05 Dec 2009 00:00:00 EST

Well, there is a looking glass, and a kind of rabbit hole, and a girl -- or rather, a karate-kicking young woman -- named Alice, but otherwise the Syfy channel's new "Alice" movie bears just passing resemblance to its source, Lewis Carroll's satirical masterpieces "Alice's Adventures in Wonderlan...

Tom Shales on Obama's ominous West Point speech

Wed, 02 Dec 2009 00:00:00 EST

Would you buy a used war from this man? Americans might be seeing their bright, young president in a dark, new light this morning after watching his televised speech Tuesday night centering on escalation of the war in Afghanistan.

Tom Shales On TV: Questionable rise of reality television and its inhabitants

Tue, 01 Dec 2009 00:00:00 EST

This must never, ever, ever happen again. And by "this," we do not mean an alleged gate-crashing incident at the White House -- though that should never happen again, if it did happen, either. We're talking not about the act but about the reputed motive and reward for committing it -- which was, ...

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TV preview: Tom Shales on 'Ben 10: Alien Swarm' on Cartoon Network

Wed, 25 Nov 2009 00:00:00 EST

"They're coming for us, Max!" cries Dr. Lapidus. "They're coming for us all!"

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Tom Shales on TV: Taking a Look at Larry David and 'Curb Your Enthusiasm'

Tue, 24 Nov 2009 00:00:00 EST

Misanthropes need hugs, too, even though they may claim not to want them. Sometimes they even get their own TV shows, though to be consistent they probably shouldn't want those either. After all, the system is so corrupt and mediocrity so richly rewarded, what self-respecting artiste would want t...

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