Ken Tucker's TV Prime-Time TV commentary

Tag: PBS (11-20 of 22)

Predicting the Emmys poorly: I shoulda followed my heart...

Predicting the Emmys, like trying to foretell any awards, is always a mixture of rooting for favorites and attempting to divine what the voting body of the Emmy Awards will do. By this measure, I didn’t do very well at all. In retrospect, I should have gone with shows and performers I really, really liked.

If you combine the number predictions I made here in Entertainment Weekly and on, I attempted 24 categories. I correctly predicted nine. But if you look at my EW picks, they were divided into who “will” and who “should” win. Important lesson I learned here: If I had gone with my “should”s (that is, the ones I fervently hoped to win, but didn’t think Emmy voters would go for), my total would have been a much more respectable 14 out of 24. READ FULL STORY

The Emmy Awards show review: Jane Lynch, 'Modern Family,' 'Downton Abbey,' and some genuine surprises

It’s rare that an awards show both rewards the people who really deserve those awards and is itself a rewarding show. But this year’s Emmy Awards was both. Led by spunky, clever host Jane Lynch, the Emmys were delightfully surprising — Margo Martindale! Kyle Chandler! Melissa McCarthy plus all the other Best Comedy Actress nominees onstage together! — and, in most ways, quite satisfactory. READ FULL STORY

'Downton Abbey II' and the problem(s) with PBS

“A gift from God,” is the way Masterpiece executive producer Rebecca Eaton described Downton Abbey, whose sequel will premiere Jan. 8 (ten hours of English country house huggermugger spread over seven weeks). Eaton was addressing TV critics at the Summer TV Press Tour in Los Angeles on Sunday, bubbling with delight that The Series Formerly Known As Masterpiece Theatre had seen a 43% ratings increase in the past year thanks to Downton, Sherlock (three more of those coming up in May 2012), and the updated Upstairs Downstairs (six more episodes will air in 2013). READ FULL STORY

'Upstairs Downstairs' review: A worthy successor to the original, and to 'Downton Abbey'?

The new PBS Masterpiece presentation Upstairs Downstairs is no Downton Abbey, let alone an improvement upon the original, Upstairs, Downstairs (shown 1974-77 in America), but the first of its three parts on Sunday night zipped right along with its own sort of pleasures. READ FULL STORY

Ken Burns is making a 'Vietnam' documentary. Here are 5 things he should read before he does.

Ken Burns has found another war, one arguably as divisive as the one that made his career, the Civil War. PBS announced today that Burns is working with various collaborators on Vietnam, “a ten-to-twelve hour documentary film series about the history and meaning of the Vietnam War.” READ FULL STORY

'Troubadours' review: James Taylor, Carole King, Joni Mitchell... was the music better back then?

Tonight, Troubadours, a well-done documentary subtitled “The Rise of the Singer-Songwriter,” will, depending on your point of view, confirm or try to convince you that James Taylor, Carole King, Joni Mitchell, the Eagles and their ilk represented a summit of popular music. It also serves as proof that nostalgia has its limits. READ FULL STORY

'Downton Abbey' finale review: How much did you love it, and what did you think of that ending?

Downton Abbey has come to an end, and with it, so must our blissful immersion in the intricate lives of the upstairs-downstairs characters presented on this PBS Masterpiece. I don’t know about you, but I haven’t had so much TV fun on Sunday nights since READ FULL STORY

The State of the Union: Michelle Bachmann doesn't look us in the eye, Rachel Maddow criticizes CNN for showing this: VIDEO

Well, one way to rabble-rouse a State of the Union speech whose tone and setting emphasized civility was to let the Tea Party in: Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R. Minn.) seemed to be looking off-camera at a tall statue of George Washington, or maybe of Darth Vader, as she delivered her third-party response to President Obama’s speech, with a shifting background READ FULL STORY

Reviewing the reviewers: 'Ebert Presents At The Movies,' with Roger Ebert and a new crew of young critics

Roger Ebert continues to write about movies, and has relaunched the televised review show that made him a household name: The debut edition of Ebert Presents At The Movies premiered on Friday on PBS stations, and it’s an energetic pleasure with a few surprises. READ FULL STORY

'Downton Abbey' is the best original 'Masterpiece' since 'Prime Suspect.' Did you watch it?

Downton Abbey began its four-episode run on Sunday night, and it is crisp, daffy, intricate fun, a sort of Upstairs Downstairs as conceived by a cross between Angela Thirkell and P.G. Wodehouse. Their literary love-child is screenwriter Julian Fellowes, who has us following tense aristocrats and brisk servants in the early 20th century, as both social classes seek money, love, and respect. READ FULL STORY

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