Ken Tucker's TV Prime-Time TV commentary

Tag: Craig Ferguson (1-10 of 47)

Jimmy Kimmel, week one: Here's how his place in talk-show history is already taking shape

As we arrive at the end of the first week of Jimmy Kimmel’s new time period, it may seem a tad premature to start affixing a position to Kimmel in the constellation of 11:30 p.m. late-night stars. But already, trends in the viewership of Jimmy Kimmel Live!, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and The Late Show with David Letterman, as well as the personalities of their hosts, suggest a few interesting things. READ FULL STORY

Late night TV hosts respond to Aurora 'Dark Knight' tragedy: A clip

Last night, the late-night hosts were faced with the question of whether or not to address the shootings in Aurora, Colorado, at a screening of The Dark Knight Rises. It’s always a tricky business for entertainers who exist to be — in a word used by both Jay Leno and Craig Ferguson — silly, but each finds a different solution.

Jay Leno prefaced his monologue with brief remarks expressing his sympathy to the victims and their families, saying that his responsibility was to make people laugh at the end of the day. Jimmy Fallon chose not to address the subject. READ FULL STORY

'Johnny Carson: King of Late Night' airing tonight: Overrated royalty? A review

Tonight’s edition of PBS American Masters, titled Johnny Carson: King of Late Night, offers a well-edited description of why Johnny Carson is held in such high esteem as late night’s most influential host, even as it carefully avoids any hard questions about Carson’s talent or originality. 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

Neil Gaiman, Stephin Merritt, and Moby helped Craig Ferguson celebrate Halloween: VIDEO

The unholy trio of writer Neil Gaiman, Magnetic Fields genius Stephin Merritt, and Moby helped Dresden Doll Amanda Palmer bring “Science Fiction/Double Feature” to The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson last night. READ FULL STORY

David Letterman 'loves' the Occupy Wall Street protests: 'I'm very sympathetic' -- with Leno UPDATE

David Letterman did not pussyfoot around in making clear his feelings about the Occupy Wall Street protestors. “I love these people causin’ trouble,” he said on Monday night’s Late Show. “Increasingly, this is the way we get change in this country.” READ FULL STORY

Craig Ferguson's first show from Paris: A whimsical triumph, a potential classic

Craig Ferguson has turned his show into Le Late Late Show Avec Craig Ferguson this week, and began his visit to Paris on Monday night with a small triumph of clever silliness. Accompanied by one of his favorite regular guests, the beguiling Kristen Bell, and his robot skeleton sidekick Geoff Peterson, Ferguson played up the semi-improvised, on-the-cheap ethos that serves his comedy so well. READ FULL STORY

France rips off Craig Ferguson; c'est bon avec Craig!

The French, I tell ya. They tried to rip off Elvis Presley and all they came up with was Johnny Hallyday. The French New Wave told us our Howard Hawks and Sam Fuller were great directors, but we knew that anyway. The French have also come up with their own version of The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson, by which I mean an exact copy of The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson, and what does Craig do? READ FULL STORY

Craig Ferguson to do his show from Paris: Sacre bleu!

Craig Ferguson announced on last night’s Late Late Show that he’ll be taking his show to Paris for a week’s worth of shows. He noted that he’ll probably have to temporarily rename his program Le Late Late Show Avec Craig Ferguson. READ FULL STORY

Craig Ferguson hosted crime writer Lawrence Block: Of alcoholism and green neckties

Last night on The Late Late Show, crime writer Lawrence Block made one of his periodic visits from the East Coast to chat with his pal Craig Ferguson. He was promoting his new novel, A Drop of the Hard Stuff, a terrific new addition to Block’s series of mysteries featuring private detective Matt Scudder. READ FULL STORY

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