Ken Tucker's TV Prime-Time TV commentary

Tag: American Idol (1-10 of 30)

'Chasing the Saturdays' premiere review: Brit girl-group sobs and screams in new reality show

Wedged between two new episodes of Kourtney and Kim Take Miami, Chasing the Saturdays is an E! channel reality show about a hit English-Irish girl-group trying to make it in America. The premiere edition on Sunday night did a decent job of establishing these women’s personalities if not exactly showcasing their music, even as it suggested they’ve got a ways to go before they can reach the exalted heights of fame that the Kardashians have achieved. READ FULL STORY

'Cougar Town': Its strengths and weaknesses, its ratings challenge: VIDEO review

Cougar Town is on tonight, once again facing overwhelming counter-programming from American Idol, NCIS, The (gag) Biggest Loser, and a PBS documentary about The Amish (no kidding, it’s good). Is Cougar Town the little, misnamed-sitcom that can prevail, can retain an audience large enough to keep it alive? READ FULL STORY

Confessions of a former 'The Voice' skeptic

When it premiered last year, all I saw in The Voice was the cheesy glitz — the swivel chairs; the tiresome song choices of the contestants; the overweening egoism of Christina Aguilera. As the season went on, I kept dipping in and out of it (more than I can say I’ve ever done for any season of American Idol), and the first element of The Voice that won me over was Blake Shelton, whose easygoing charm was refreshingly free of coyness, irony, and self-absorption. And — oh, right — I started listening to the voices of the contestants chosen by Aguilera, Shelton, Cee Lo Green, and Adam Levine. Quite a few of them exhibited something rare as well: They were, for the most part, free of the ornate mannerisms and studied calculation that Idol enshrined as the winning standard for TV singing competitions. READ FULL STORY

David Letterman to Howard Stern re: 'America's Got Talent': 'You're gonna make people cry.' 'Lord knows I can do it.'

On Wednesday night’s Late Show With David Letterman, the host celebrated his 30 years in late night with typical asperity, noting that at this point, what’s keeping him going is “Lipitor and vodka.” The greatest talk-show host ever — the sum of what came before him, the invention of his own body of work, the influence he has bequeathed to every host who’s come after him — nodded to his past with a Top Ten recited by longtime staffers heaping abuse upon their employer. READ FULL STORY

Republican-o-rama: A debate, a wronged wife, a Perry pull-out, a Santorum sally, a Newt of a night

Rick Perry drops out! Newt Gingrich’s ex-wife says he wanted an “open marriage,” with the woman who became his current wife! Herman Cain is climbing aboard the Colbertrain! The Obama campaign released a new ad (see below)! It turns out Rick Santorum scored a victory over Mitt Romney in Iowa! And CNN held a John Kingly debate followed by Anderson Cooperly analysis! On Thursday, things were busier in politics, and in the media covering politics, than Steven Tyler in a roomful of teenage American Idolettes. READ FULL STORY

Why I'm now officially excited to watch 'The X Factor'

Before this morning’s X Factor press session for the Television Critics Association in L.A., my enthusiasm for this competition show was mild to nil. Another competition-show import, more snark from Simon Cowell, more ditziness from Paula Abdul. Big shrug. But the lively, goofy press conference made me think this could be the one of the best, messiest, most controversial Age of Narcissism star-making shows we’ll see this fall.

Why? Here’s why: READ FULL STORY

What I got wrong, and right, in my Emmy predictions

Never have I been so glad to be wrong… in just a couple of Emmy categories. I’m certainly not going to whine about not predicting such superb surprise nominations as Louie CK, Timothy Olyphant, and Walton Goggins.

Yes, I’m doing my due diligence in following up on my Emmy predictions post yesterday; I owe it to you to own up to my miscalculations… and crow about my perspicacity! READ FULL STORY

My Emmy nominee predictions in all major categories: Here's what you can expect tomorrow

The Emmy nominations will be announced tomorrow morning, and you know who’s going to do well with multiple noms? Modern Family! Mad Men! 30 Rock! Boardwalk Empire! And what shows won’t get enough of the respect they deserve? Fringe! Justified! Community! But it doesn’t take a wizard to hazard those guesses, does it? So I’m going to take a much deeper dive into speculating on just which shows will fill out the nominations in every major category. Ready? It’s a long list. I’m pretty confident about these predictions. Hold your nose and take the plunge with me. READ FULL STORY

Fox's Fall schedule, night by night: Steven Spielberg, meet your new roommate, Simon Cowell

Fox has become the most schizophrenic network, with its relentless pursuit of the minimally talented in its reality programming, and its equally relentless pursuit of maximum quality in its scripted series. Any ads for its fall schedule might as well just consist of busts of two gigantic heads: Steven Spielberg, whose lavishly-budgeted Terra Nova is bound to be the season’s biggest economic and reputation-affecting production, and Simon Cowell, from whose waggling brow has sprung a Stateside version of The X Factor talent show, a sure-fire ratings-getter out of the gate. READ FULL STORY

Pia Toscano: Why (one of) the right one(s) was voted off

Last night’s elimination of Pia Toscano was, in the widely used phrase, a “shocker” only if you weren’t following what is making American Idol such an improved show this season. READ FULL STORY

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