Ken Tucker's TV Prime-Time TV commentary

Tag: CNN (1-10 of 33)

'The Newsroom' premiere review: Did Aaron Sorkin's new HBO series make you mad as hell, or happy as a clam?

The Newsroom, Aaron Sorkin’s return to television, premiered on Sunday night, and let’s get ready to rumble. It’s a series that will serve as an escape-valve of relief, anger, and confirmation, articulating so many things that so many people feel about the frequently-pathetic state of the news media. (In a sense, it wants to be this TV generation’s equivalent to the 1976 movie Network, with the Paddy Chayevsky-written line, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!”) It’s also a series that is going to drive some people crazy. For some, it will be because the show is frequently hectoring and repetitive, and it has storytelling problems with its office romances. But for others, it’s going to make them crazy because no matter how clearly Sorkin states the opposite (on-screen and in interviews), The Newsroom is going to strike them as one long liberal — or as Bill O’Reilly will doubtless label it, “far left” — screed. READ FULL STORY

Obama wants Mitt Romney to tell supporter Donald Trump: 'You're fired!'

In an ad premiering today, the Obama campaign criticizes Mitt Romney for not distancing himself from Donald Trump’s persistent questioning of President Obama’s citizenship. Clips contrast John McCain’s firm put-down of birther supporters versus Romney’s silence on the matter. READ FULL STORY

Arizona Republican debate review: Trying to stop the Santorum surge

For much of the time during Wednesday night’s CNN Republican debate, the candidates did their best to try and put the surging Rick Santorum on the defensive. Ron Paul called Santorum a “fake” when it comes to “being fiscally conservative,” and came down hard on Santorum having voted for the No Child Left Behind act. Mitt Romney provided a Santorum attack-sound-bite that sounded prepared in advance: “While I was fighting to save the Olympics, you were fighting to save the ‘Bridge to Nowhere.'” READ FULL STORY

The Florida primary: Romney wins early, with his 'boot on Gingrich's neck'

By 8 p.m., the Florida primary victory had been called for Mitt Romney by all the news networks. Before the 9 p.m. hour, a shift could be discerned in Romney’s speech: Instead of trying to distinguish himself from the Republican pack of candidates, he looked frequently straight into the TV camera and addressed not merely his cheering campaign staffers, or the state of Florida, but the entire country. And his message to us all was to quote Thomas Paine and then go after the other party: “‘Lead, follow, or get out of the way.’ Mr. President, you were elected to lead, you followed, and now it’s time to get out of the way.” READ FULL STORY

State of the Union TV coverage: High emotions and charged rhetoric

In his last State of the Union address before he faces a re-election challenge, President Obama on Tuesday night called upon Congress to “lower the temperature in this town” and “work together.” But the television high point of the evening occurred just before the speech, as the President, in making his way to the podium, paused to hug Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who is resigning this week to recover from her brain injury. A chant of “Gabby, Gabby, Gabby” could be heard throughout the House floor, as Giffords was given a standing ovation. READ FULL STORY

South Carolina primary results and beyond: Where the pundits don't matter

The victory of Newt Gingrich in South Carolina on Saturday night found much of the TV news punditocracy caught flat-footed, grasping for answers beyond cliches about why the defeat of frontrunner Mitt Romney was accomplished so handily. 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

New Hampshire primary TV coverage: Mitt Romney wins in votes and loses in the court of 'I like to fire people'

As the results of the New Hampshire primary vote rolled in, cable news networks had found the theme of the night. It was, roughly speaking, “What the hell was Mitt Romney thinking when he said, ‘I like to fire people’?” By 8 p.m. EST, Romney was the projected winner, with Ron Paul besting Jon Huntsman for second place. That left the pundits with lots of time to ponder the Romney psyche. READ FULL STORY

The Iowa caucuses: Where Santortum surged, and Rachel Maddow and Sarah Palin found (a little) common ground

For most of the prime time hours Tuesday night, the Iowa caucuses were an endlessly varied repetitions of “it’s too close to call” and “it’s a three-way race between Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and Ron Paul.” And that’s the way it went until Romney very narrowly defeated Santorum very late into the night. Nevertheless, the TV coverage yielded some interesting moments of contrast-and-compare, of stylistic tics, twists, and turns. READ FULL STORY

Larry King: 'I want to be frozen when I die.' Seth MacFarlane: 'You want to live forever?'

Oh, my, what a shocker that Larry King: Dinner with King special was on Sunday night. King hosted a dinner at his house with his wife Shawn and a camera crew, with guests Conan O’Brien, Seth MacFarlane, Tyra Banks, Shaquille O’Neal, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Quincy Jones and Russell Brand. READ FULL STORY

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