Ken Tucker's TV Prime-Time TV commentary

Tag: In the News (91-100 of 518)

Jane Lynch and Bill Maher read the Anthony Weiner Facebook messages: VIDEO very NSFW

Last night on Real Time with Bill Maher, the host brought out Jane Lynch to read transcriptions with him of the Facebook messages exchanged by Rep. Anthony Weiner and blackjack dealer Lisa Weiss. READ FULL STORY

CMT Music Awards review: Blake Shelton won, Shania Twain slipped, Sheryl Crow flashed: Who says country award shows are dull?

Some of my TV critic colleagues chided tonight’s CMT Music Awards show before it even aired, suggesting there are too many country-music awards shows. Cynics! Me, I can’t get enough of ‘em. They’re an easy way to keep up with what’s selling in the country industry, they toss up odd couplings (gosh, I didn’t know the least appealing-looking group in country music, Rascal Flatts,  had done a duet with pop music’s designated cutie, Justin Bieber — glad I do now!), and in general these shows provide a safe haven for 1970s/’80s-style singer-songwriter-soft-rock in the current century. READ FULL STORY

Jon Stewart went easy on his pal Anthony Weiner. He was the only one.

Jon Stewart may have been the only television news commentator in America on Monday who did not pounce on Rep. Anthony Weiner and beat him up verbally for admitting he lied about his Twitter gaffe. Stewart was in an awkward position, having acknowledged last week that Weiner is an old friend, but even so, his restraint was striking. Of course, in the context of a TV news day that preceded Weiner’s extraordinary, lengthy apology and interrogation by the (mostly) legit news media and the equally extraordinary hijacking of Weiner’s announcement by blogger Andrew Breitbart, Stewart’s giving a virtual pass to Weiner wasn’t nearly the most striking event of the news cycle. READ FULL STORY

James Arness has died: why he was the greatest TV Western lawman

James Arness, a great Sequoia tree in the forest of TV Western heroes, has died; he was 88. Arness is immortal in TV history as Marshal Matt Dillon on Gunsmoke, the longest-running network drama in television history with the most episodes. (Gunsmoke‘s 635 episodes versus Law & Order’s 456; the two are tied with 20 seasons.) This feat would have been impossible without the presence of Arness, a 6-foot-7, quiet man who gave an air of serene authority to Matt Dillon. READ FULL STORY

Sarah Palin wins by behaving like a pop star, not a politician: Could a cross between Angelina Jolie and Lady Gaga get nominated? Sure.

From Memorial Day weekend through today and beyond, Sarah Palin is dominating the TV news cycle. She’s doing it by providing garishly irresistible visuals — footage of her big bus, its sides decorated with images of the Constitution, the phrase “One Nation,” and a plug for her website sarahpac.com — and by providing no interviews with the “lamestream media”… except for Fox News. READ FULL STORY

Why did Oprah matter? Will she ever again, on her OWN?

Unlike so many trumped-up celebrations of famous people, the three-day farewell to Oprah Winfrey taking place — where else? — on The Oprah Winfrey Show can scarcely be dismissed as self-congratulation or hype. READ FULL STORY

'Saturday Night Live' season finale recap: Justin Timberlake and Lady Gaga, a formidable team

Saturday Night Live wrapped up its season by opting for familiar characters and sketches that ranged from quite to very funny. Host Justin Timberlake acted, danced, and, yes, sang up a storm, but so did music guest Lady Gaga, who proved to be a delightfully game addition to a number of sketches. READ FULL STORY

ABC's Fall schedule, night by night: 13 shots at greatness!

ABC announced it will launch 13 new shows, and the network needs all the new blood and experimentation it can afford. The network is stuck in two primary styles — the nighttime soap (Desperate Housewives, Grey’s Anatomy) and the family sitcom (Modern Family, The Middle), with Dancing With the Stars its always-potentially-wobbly sure-thing. (That is to say, yes, people will tune in, but their weekly commitment depends on each season’s casting.) READ FULL STORY

Jon Stewart debated Bill O'Reilly about Common: Behold, the trumped-up outrage! VIDEO

Jon Stewart took Bill O’Reilly up on his challenge to debate the invitation of Common to a White House poetry reading last week. If you haven’t heard much about this controversy, don’t worry: The two people in America it seems to most concern, at this point, are Bill O’Reilly and Jon Stewart. Which is part of the problem with this “issue” and the ensuing “debate.” 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

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