News, scoops, reviews and more from TV land.
Maybe you've heard of the forthcoming CBS reality series, "Brooklyn DA:' It's got some notoreity in the midst of a campaign for DA, with some charging that it's an infomercial. Here's my take, in next week's Newsday:
THE SHOW "Brooklyn DA" WHEN | WHERE Tuesday night at 10 on CBS/2 WHAT IT'S ABOUT This six-part series goes inside the nation's largest urban District Attorney's office, handling 80,000 cases a year, to focus on a few, including (tonight) two with Long Island ties -- most notably the murder of veteran NYPD officer and West Babylon resident, Peter Figoski, 47, who was shot and killed responding to a robbery in progress in East New York on Dec. 12, 2011. His daughters -- Carolyn, Corrine, Christine, and Caitlyn -- are interviewed. Other cases include assistant DA Lawrence Oh's case against a house painter charged with stealing artwork from the Kings Point mansion of Rudolph B. and Hannelore B. Schulhof; and assistant Kathleen Collins' prosecution of a sex trafficking case.
MY SAY Lucky "Brooklyn DA" got some prelaunch notoriety that should lead to one likely outcome: More people will watch. That's probably not what challengers to veteran Kings County DA, Charles Hynes -- currently in the midst of a noisy re-election campaign -- envisioned. They claim this is a whitewash amounting to a campaign infomercial, and want equal time. But if this is a commercial, then it's a reasonably lousy one. Hynes is neither seen nor mentioned. One of the cases leads to an unhappy outcome. The others have already been followed closely in the press, and there's nothing here to indicate that anything other than the standards of professional conduct were met. In other words, heroes are not minted tonight. But as a reality series, it's highly effective. The interviews with the Figoskis are powerful and especially poignant reminders of a tragedy many may have already forgotten. That's not going to help anyone get elected, but it may help these young women get a little bit nearer to closure, if that's even remotely possible. That alone makes "Brooklyn DA" a valuable newcomer.
BOTTOM LINE Interesting, engaging, worthwhile.
NBC just announced that Blake Shelton of "The Voice" has organized a telethon to benefit the victims of the Monday tornado that devastated Moore, Okla., and killed at least 24 people. Details: "Healing in the Heartland: Relief Benefit Concert" on May 29, to take place at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City.; Miranda Lambert, Reba McEntire and Vince Gill will perform, more guests to come. Also: Live telecast at 9, and simulcast on Style, G4, Bravo, E! and CMT "on either a live or delayed basis."
Per Shelton: "Everyone has their way to help, and mine as an entertainer is to perform to help raise money and awareness for this tragedy. This is why I want to do this special and especially hold it in Oklahoma City, which is near ground zero."
Mike Darnell, Fox reality chief and the (oft-called) dark prince behind some of the genre's worst excesses - oh yes, and some of its biggest successes - the last couple of decades, is leaving the network, Fox just announced.
Call this a surprise, conveniently released on the day before a long weekend, all the better to bury any suggestion that his departure is linked to...Read more »
What are the best new shows of the fall 2013-14 season?
Let's rephrase that for this Must-See/Must Avoid list: What look to be the most intriguing, most noteworthy, most watchable new shows of the fall season, on Fox, NBC, The CW, ABC and CBS?
Ah, that's easier, right? Let's get some basics in order before we proceed here. Foremost, what you are about to read is based entirely on fleeting...Read more »
Steve Forrest, star of the '70s camp cop show "S.W.A.T." and one of TV's classic character actors of yore who appeared in a dozen or so westerns and even headlined a chestnut or two ("The Baron"), has died. He was 87, and died "peacefully" surrounded by family on May 18, per the Hollywood Reporter.
Forrest was one of those actors with a square jaw, great action chops and an ability to make you look at the small screen. He had classic looks too -- younger brother of Dana Andrews -- and used them to real effect in so many TV shows over so many years that it would be impossible to name them all here but included "The Virginian, "Death Valley Days," "Gunsmoke" and "The Longest Day." And the movies of course: "Rawhide," "Cimmaron Strip" and "The Name of the Game."
It was "S.W.A.T.," one of those '70s shoot-'em-ups so in favor then (and frankly, now too) for which he may best be remembered. Too bad, actually, because this wasn't great TV but it was memorable TV.
It's easy to say about Forrest that they don't make 'em like this anymore, but they really don't make 'em like this anymore... He was a World War II vet who fought in the Battle of the Bulge and came back to Hollywood to begin work in a nascent television business where he worked continuously -- and well. Another big loss to classic TV.
Check out the clip below -- "Car chases" -- revealing a cool customer of an action actor who indeed looked like his more famous bro. Surely some of you remember Lt. Dan "Hondo" Harrelson?
Bill Crystal may be returning to TV - after a 30-year absence. FX Wednesday morning announced that he'll headline a new comedy, entitled "The Comedians," that will almost certainly land on the new FX comedy channel later this year or next. “It truly is an honor to be in business with Billy Crystal and Larry Charles, two of the all-time greats in comedy,” said FX chief John Landgraf, in a statement posted on Variety earlier today.
Charles: Yes, the same Larry of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and "Seinfeld" and "Entourage" and "Mad about You" and "Borat." More reason to assume this pilot order is a lock for a series pickup.
Show's about an aging comic who's paired with a young comic; he is apparently unhappy about this turn of professional affairs. (Sounds a bit like "Nashville," actually.) Crystal hasn't done series TV since the mid-80s and "Saturday Night Live," though there were brief cameos on "Friends" and "Frasier" in years past.
CBS's long and happy relationship with the Broadway League and American Theatre Wing continues: The network will continue airing the prestigious awards show through 2018, continuing a tradition that goes back to '78 when CBS first starting airing them.
The awards themselves are about to have their 67th annual awards ceremony on June 9 -- this time at Radio City after a couple of years at the Beacon. The ratings are never huge, but as mentioned, the awards themselves are prestigious and CBS does a terrific job mounting them -- in my humble opinion, those little AMPAS awards -- the Oscars -- could take some pointers from this show.
Among his many talents, Billy Joel knows something about restoration, specifically motorcycle restoration which (naturally) makes him a natural fit for "American Restoration," the Rick Dale-hosted History Channel series that brings new life to old things. Joel is on next week's episode, billed as a "special" one-hour one, in which the show and Dale get to restore a BSA Royal Star, circa 1967, and also visit Joel's own "shop'" - 20th Century Cycles- in Oyster Bay. Airs next Tuesday on History at 10 and - yes - we have clips:
CBS tonight took the unusual — and doubtless appropriate — step of dumping the season finale of “Mike & Molly,“ titled “Windy City,“ in the wake of a major tornado that devastated a swath of Oklahoma City earlier this evening. The clip below hints at CBS's action.
“Due to the tragic events this afternoon in Oklahoma, we are pre-empting tonight’s season finale of ‘Mike & Molly,’ which has a related story line. A repeat broadcast of ‘Mike & Molly’ will run in the time period. The season finale will be broadcast at an appropriate date,“ the network said in a statement.
Who wants Seth MacFarlane to return as host of the Oscars?
You do? Let's skip the "why" and go straight to the bad news then: He's done.
Or says he's done.
There's a difference between both phrases, and what eventually happens could be determined by time (his own) and ego (especially his own).
But for the moment, a reprisal in 2014 now seems remote. Monday MacFarlane...Read more »