News, scoops, reviews and more from TV land.
The Military Channel, which has long had an image problem (what's on it? shows about the Army? Guns? Soldiers? What!?), set out to correct that this morning with a new name and direction:
The American Heroes Channel, starting March 3, will offer "a rare glimpse into major events that shaped our world and the trailblazers and unexpected advocates who made a difference." Which sort of sounds like the History Channel -- or at least what the History Channel used to be on a regular basis. With THC broadening into dramatic scripted programming -- and successfully so -- Discovery Communications, which owns the soon-to-be-former-Military Channel, may well see an opportunity here.
In fact -- aha! -- that's what David Zaslav, chief of DCI, indicates in this statement: “We see a tremendous opportunity to provide more history-based, narrative-style documentary programming that viewers have come to know and love from Discovery Communications. The American Heroes Channel will be the next great platform for Discovery to engage and entertain an information-hungry audience with a network that provides an exciting intersection of military and history programming."
In fact, while American Heroes will still offer shows about the military, the new lineup offers a documentary series on war cameramen (which is actually a great idea), the CIA and something about "codes and conspiracies."
As you can tell and see, this has been a busy week for television, but for HBO, the phrase "great expectations" may be the best word... err, words. "Girls" and the intriguing "True Detective" arrive. Let's deal with "Girls" first, however. More than just about anything else this week, this is where the attention of empires (Time Warner) and boroughs (Brooklyn)...Read more »
If you'll indulge me, let's just get my basic opinion about HBO's "True Detective" out on the table right now: It's a winner.
But it's also an oddball, and a weirdo, and an interesting-cum-strange companion, and someone -- um, something -- you won't mind spending time with.
Sort of like someone you meet at a party whom you find engaging but are not entirely certain whether...Read more »
Rainn Wilson -- who along with Steve Carell essentially made "The Office" NBC's signature series of the last decade (OK, OK, let's not argue here -- I've got news to get to -- but, sure, we can add John Krasinski and Jenna Fischer to that list, and other names later) -- will star in a new Fox drama (!) entitled "Backstrom" next season.
I know absolutely nothing about "Backstrom"...Read more »
"Justified" is back Tuesday night, and for Newsday's review... read on!
"Justified," FX, Tuesday night, 10
What it's about: Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) is forced to endure the indignity of a courtroom cross examination as Dewey Crowe (Damon Herriman) seeks damages for the various beatings he's endured at the hands of the U.S. Marshall. Dewey ends...Read more »
Sasheer Zamata, a graduate of New York's Upright Citizens Brigade comedy troupe, has been named "Saturday Night Live's" newest cast member.
But that's not the big news. That would be this: She's black.
New Yorker Zamata becomes only the fifth African-American female cast member on the show over its 39 seasons -- a blind spot that was widely noted (and criticized) before the...Read more »
...good. The "Veronica Mars" trailer for the new movie -- release date mid-March -- looks good, that is. The movie? Marshmallows will be predisposed to like it no matter what, given its historic roots (crowd-funded, via Kickstart) and the cast, which features returnees like Tina Majorino, Ryan Hansen, Krysten Ritter, and of course that other "Kristen:" Bell.
The trailer was released Thursday, and again, this all looks promising from a marshmallow perspective -- right tone, right approach (high school reunion!), and maybe right murder or two. Supposed to a lot of famous cameos in this, such as James Franco, but the trailer doesn't really hint at any, unless I missed something . . . or someone.
Yes, even the Governor ("...don't call me that") gets his own tribute: AMC just released what must be one of the year's most unique and unexpected love letters - to the Beast of Woodbury himself. As fans are sorrowfully aware, the Guv ate steel in the season finale. And he did not like being called "The Govenor." David Morrissey did a terrific job portraying one of TV's great villains over the past few years. .Take a look...
Now this is what I've been waiting for: Jimmy Kimmel's annual bestowal of the greatest YouTube clip of the year. The show usually gets this one right, based on my own personal research. Watch now for the winner (I won't give it away, but you can probably guess...)
Every year at this time Barbara Walters' "Most Fascinating" list arrives, and - on a vastly more modest scale - so does my list, of TVs most fascinating....
It's a modest little list, this list, but what it does offer - in my humble opinion - is a quick shout-out to a few who have done something genuinely interesting and not some who have just mastered the twerk...
We...Read more »