DAVID BIANCULLI

Founder / Editor

ERIC GOULD

Associate Editor

LINDA DONOVAN

Assistant Editor

Contributors

ALEX STRACHAN

MIKE HUGHES

GARY EDGERTON

ROGER CATLIN

KIM AKASS

GERALD JORDAN

MONIQUE NAZARETH

TOM BRINKMOELLER

NOEL HOLSTON

 
 
2012
Dec
27
 
 
With tonight’s broadcast and cable schedules dominated by reruns, here’s one repeat that stands out above the rest. It’s a replay of the recent Mel Brooks special, in which the true king of all media – most of them, anyway – is interviewed, with generous clips supplied. For my exclusive two-part TVWW Interview with Mel Brooks, see Bianculli’s Blog, Part 1 and Part 2.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2012
Dec
27
 
 
The resume of Ginger Rogers is loaded with movies about Broadway babes and hopeful stars and starlets – but though this 1954 film shares a similar plot, it’s not a comedy or a musical, but a drama. In this case, a future Broadway star has that future taken away, by murder. Van Heflin, George Raft, Gene Tierney co-star.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2012
Dec
27
 
 
Perhaps because NBC has announced plans to shift this newsmagazine to a less popular Friday night time slot next year, Rock Center is filling tonight's show with a rerun. But it's a good one -- a recap of President Obama's successful targeting of Osama bin Laden. With the film Zero Dark Thirty about to hit theaters nationwide, it's a well-timed primer. And the Julian Fellows Downton Abbey feature I wrote about earlier is available on the Rock Center website.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2012
Dec
27
 
 
It's that last week on the calendar when we look back on another year (that flew by so fast) and the notable television stars that left with it. TVWW had a lot to remember in 2012...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2012
Dec
26
 
 
This ABC series lasted only one season in 1994-95, but what a season it was! Claire Danes portrayed 15-year-old Angela Chase, a teenager trying to cope, in a brilliant family drama that presented life from her point of view...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2012
Dec
26
 
 
After showing Roots in its entirety on Monday, and Roots: The Next Generations yesterday, BET wraps up the sprawling Alex Haley story of his ancestors by presenting this 1993 miniseries. It explores the paternal branches of Haley’s family tree – and gives Halle Berry an early, significant starring role (the titular one) as Haley’s grandmother. Co-stars include Ossie Davis, Ann-Margret, Tim Daly and, in an early role, Frances Conroy, currently serving as the angel of deat on FX&
 
 
 
  
 
 
2012
Dec
26
 
 
What the frak? This 2010 Josh Fox documentary takes a clear and harsh look at “fracking,” the still-controversial method of extracting natural gas from deep beneath the ground, via a hydraulic drilling process involving water, pressure and chemicals. It’s a cocktail that’s proven lucrative for such companies as Halliburton – and questionable for those worried about the environment. One homeowner, whose local ground water has been compromised by the fracking process,
 
 
 
  
 
 
2012
Dec
26
 
 
Barbra Stanwyck Month continues on TCM, and the prime-time offerings tonight are from the Fifties. Forty Guns, a frontier saga from 1957 where she plays a tough ranch owner, starts the evening at 8 pm. ET – and also serves as a hint at what would come on TV a decade later, when she starred in The Big Valley.  Next, at 9:30 pm. ET, comes 1956’s The Maverick Queen, in which Stanwyck stars as a tough saloonkeeper. (Notice the pattern?) But set your DVRs for 4 a.m. ET, because that&
 
 
 
  
 
 
2012
Dec
26
 
 
David Letterman and Dustin Hoffman are two of the honorees at this year’s annual Kennedy Center Honors, which always arrives in the last weeks of the year – and just as invariably ends up as one of the year’s best entertainment specials. The artists honored in 2012 also include blues great Buddy Guy, ballerina Natalia Makarova, and rock group Led Zeppelin. The eclecticism is part of the charm here, as is the enthusiasm and talent of the people who honor the honorees. That roll
 
 
 
  
 
 
2012
Dec
26
 
 
Bel and Freddie (Romola Garai, Ben Whishaw) get so deep into their latest journalistic story that a source is found dead, leaving Bel determined to stop the investigation – and Freddie equally determined to keep going.