Ken Tucker's TV Prime-Time TV commentary

Tag: Business (1-8 of 8)

Why hiring Howard Stern for 'America's Got Talent' is the best decision NBC has made in years

NBC has finally done something right: In hiring Howard Stern to be a judge on America’s Got Talent, the network succeeds on a number of levels. Let’s count ‘em:

1. People like me will start watching America’s Got Talent. I, like millions of Americans, have no use for a talent show that tells me we have talent in this country. Who cares about its endless parade of cute tykes and silly dancers and, as Stern put it on his radio show, “Frank Sinatra impersonators”? But with Stern as a judge, I and many others will give this show another shot, because he’s bound to add a lot of sharp humor and, I’m wagering, a great deal of acute critical observation along with his trademark sarcasm.  READ FULL STORY

ABC's new fall TV identity: Home of empowered women and weak little sad men

Networks like to build identities for themselves — it helps signal to viewers what kind of programming they’re going to get. Thus, Lifetime was created to serve as a place for women’s programming (well, for weepy TV-movies about female humans under duress, at least) and FX has a pretty manly image (Justified, Sons of Anarchy). Broadcast networks, because they want to reach a broad mass of people, don’t brand themselves as firmly. But new-ish ABC Entertainment president Paul Lee has set out a passel of new shows that are consciously going for a theme that’s a bit daring. Boiled down, it amounts to: Women smart and strong, men dumb and weak. READ FULL STORY

Why NBC's Thursday-night sitcom schedule is out of order... and how I predicted that 'Parenthood' move

The announcement that NBC is going to fill its Thursday night with wall-to-wall sitcoms made me look at that wall closely, and I notice a few misplaced bricks.

The 8-11 p.m. schedule as of Jan. 20, 2011, goes like this: Community, Perfect Couples (a new show), The Office, Parks and Recreation, 30 Rock, and Outsourced.

Community is having a fantastic season in terms of creativity, but READ FULL STORY

'Modern Family' last night: Has your companion ever embarrassed you in a social setting?

Typically terrific Modern Family last night, but the scenes in which Mitchell tried to impress a possible new boss (all praise to Justin Kirk), were almost too good — awfully squirm-inducing.

As Cam babbled nervously and bumped into the furniture, I could feel READ FULL STORY

'Undercover Boss' season finale recap: 1-800-Flowers wilts our sympathy

The season finale of Undercover Boss told us the thorny story of 1-800-Flowers. The show pumped up a rivalry between the two brothers who head up the company, Jim and Chris McCann. Jim (the CEO) asked Chris (the company president) to go undercover. Why? Because as founder of the company and Jim’s big brother, he likes READ FULL STORY

'Undercover Boss' review: Amusement park boss gets taken for a ride

There were nothing but good vibes emanating from Undercover Boss this week, as Joel Manby, CEO of Georgia-based Herschend Family Entertainment, toured some of the various amusement parks in READ FULL STORY

'Undercover Boss' at White Castle: It's good to inherit the company; not so good if you have to work there

This week’s Undercover Boss offered abundant evidence that big businesses inherited by family members can be a bad idea. Dave Rife, a great-grandson of the founder of the White Castle hamburger chain, began the hour in the standard Boss format — by telling his executives that he was going undercover. But instead of a board-room table ringed with READ FULL STORY

'Undercover Boss' recap: The 'Sultan of the Slurpee' is sloppy

The drama was decaf in this week’s Undercover Boss. The CEO of 7-Eleven, Joe DePinto, did not discover a low-level manager as creepy as Jimbo was in last week’s Hooters edition of Boss. Instead, DePinto, using the name “Danny,” encountered almost non-stop inspirational stories: A 7-Eleven delivery man who works so hard, he only sees his wife on weekends; a woman who knows many of her customers by name but needs a kidney donor. Boss once again turned stories of low-level employees’ difficulties into a saga of entrepreneurial devotion for the already-rich guy who runs the company.

DePinto/Danny was affable for the camera, and the show had some fun with READ FULL STORY

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