Ken Tucker's TV Prime-Time TV commentary

Tag: Community (1-10 of 25)

New NBC sitcoms: Pitting 'broad' comedy against 'sophisticated' comedy is the wrong approach

Robert Greenblatt, chairman of NBC Entertainment, said to the country’s critics at the Television Critics Association’s press tour In Los Angeles that while he respects sitcoms on his network such as Community, 30 Rock, and Parks and Recreation — shows that are, as he said, “sophisticated” ones that “critics love,” his plan for the fall involves “broadening the audience.” The idea that the way to reach a broad audience is by going less sophisticated is an odd one, and one that suggests a problem NBC might have for its sitcom development in the near future. READ FULL STORY

Emmy nominations tomorrow: Do ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox have a chance against AMC, HBO, and Showtime?

When the Emmy nominations are announced tomorrow, you can be sure of two things: The noms will be dominated by cable fare, and the howls you’ll hear from fans will be for non-cable network shows that got passed over.

So, if you’re a fan of Mad Men, Game of Thrones, Homeland, and Breaking Bad, you can be sure that your faves will be more than well-represented. But what are some of your favorite network series? Fringe? Community? Person of Interest? Ah, I would bet that you’ll be out of luck. (Not that I don’t hope I’m wrong about that.) This will also hold true in the TV-movie and miniseries categories. READ FULL STORY

Introducing 2012 Emmy Watch: Nominations I wish we'd see

The Emmy nominations are being decided even as I write this. Members of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences must hand in their ballots by June 28; the nominations will be announced on July 19. Why don’t we help out these folks and suggest worthy candidates?

That’s the thinking behind the long, carefully reasoned, highly passionate, sometimes stubbornly flukey list that follows. As EW’s TV critic, I tend to have some opinions not shared by the majority of official Emmy voters. I also suspect, however, that you, the EW.com reader, share some of my passions — such as Fringe, Girls,  and Community — that the Academy is unlikely to nominate. Which is one reason to agitate for them, right? READ FULL STORY

'Community' review: Purging weirdness while being weird

The return of Community was both welcome and striking: This truly is a cult-audience show on a broadcast network, one that self-selects its audience with great rigor and imagination. All credit to show creator Dan Harmon and NBC for having Community on the air, and in the pop-culture air. READ FULL STORY

'Missing' premiere review: Ashley Judd, mom as an avenger, deserved better

Ashley Judd played a mother out to find her kidnapped son in Thursday night’s premiere of Missing. For an actor who’s so good at delivering dialogue with lucid straightforwardness, Judd was best when she wasn’t speaking — when, indeed, she was delivering sharp elbows and chin-strikes to guys attacking her. This did not bode well for Missing as appointment television. Especially when Community and 30 Rock are available as competition.  READ FULL STORY

Golden Globe TV nominations: Why some are great, and some omissions are ridiculous: VIDEO

The Golden Globes loom. The Golden Globes list. The nominations tilt toward cable TV, and away from network, at least in the drama category. READ FULL STORY

Completing 2011's TV Top 20: Ken Tucker's Nos. 11-20 shows, including 'Community,' 'Parenthood,' 'Game of Thrones'...

Here, as I do every year, I follow up my TV Top 10 with my picks for numbers 11 through 20. Some of you have said these are consolation prizes, but that’s not so. There’s so much good television, that for a few years, I was stuffing my Top 10 with entries that allowed for multiple shows (“Best Thursday-night sitcoms,” for instance, to let me to sneak three shows into one number) until that started to become unwieldy and ridiculous. (Besides, as a part-time music critic, I like the “Top 20” phrase, with its roots in old pop-music radio.) I had no problem this year coming up with a clean-cut Top 10; what follows are shows that grazed the list, missed it for reasons I’ll occasionally articulate below, and yet are nonetheless full of value.

11. Community So full of pop-culture allusions, it’s the one sitcom steeped in irony that isn’t smug about its own smarts. The series tried to dig a bit deeper emotionally this season, to warm some of the characters and perhaps increase its audience-outreach without betraying itself. Me, I could do with less Chang, more Britta, and a Jeff who doesn’t sometimes seem a charmingly quizzical bystander.

12. Parenthood This was the season that’s come the closest to juggling its big cast most deftly, providing nearly every character with a strong plotline. If it’s inevitable that Lauren Graham’s Sarah and Dax Shepard’s Crosby – the show’s most bumptious personalities – dominated the latter half of the season, I was glad to see strong showcases for Peter Krause, Monica Potter, and Bonnie Bedelia.

13. Prohibition Ken Burns and booze proved to be a smooth yet exciting combination. The year’s best TV documentary extended beyond the history of Prohibition to chronicle the era of women’s sufferage and the rise of gangsterism as well.

14. Modern Family The nation’s most popular sitcom had some growing pains this season: In an admirable attempt to try to widen and deepen its characters, it bumped into some sentimental moments that didn’t quite work emotionally. But that’s just a sign that MF is not becoming complacent, and its ensemble cast is a match for that of any drama on TV. READ FULL STORY

Golden Globes TV nominations: Why are the choices so smart, yet so frustrating?

The TV nominations for the Golden Globes were such a predictable mishmash of well-deserved semi-surprises, the usual suspects, and dismaying disappointments that, like the SAG nominations yesterday and the Emmy nominations perennially, it makes me wonder two things: Why do I — and you; we — get so het up about awards, and is America ever going to reward John Noble? READ FULL STORY

'Community' and 'Prime Suspect' tonight: A video review of support, and a plea

Both Community and Prime Suspect are on tonight with new episodes. You know why I’m pairing them, right? Because come January, NBC is putting Community “on hiatus” to make way for the return of 30 Rock. Community is said to return at “an unspecified date” but NBC has “halted production” on Prime Suspect, which means it is effectively canceled. Community has been especially good in recent weeks, and, if it helps NBC and those of you who don’t watch it to say this, very accessible and audience-friendly while retaining its densely layered comic appeal. READ FULL STORY

NBC is a big mess; NBC is on the verge of big success: A critic's take

Given the announcement of its midseason schedule, we can say two things: NBC is in big trouble, and NBC is paving a path to success.

NBC is in big trouble generally because its new fall shows have either been watched with a minimum of enthusiasm or by virtually no one. More specifically, NBC is in big trouble, public-relations-wise, because it will yank Community from its Thursday-night 8 p.m. slot to make way for the return of 30 Rock as of Jan. 12. And Community fans are, I can tell you from experience, some of the most passionate and social-networky fans in the uni-Twitter-verse. READ FULL STORY

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