Ken Tucker's TV Prime-Time TV commentary

Tag: The Today Show (1-8 of 8)

The President, Stephen Colbert, and TV news describe the Obama future: VIDEO

President Obama’s re-election speech, broadcast late last night, hit a lot of the right notes that all Americans might have wanted to hear. “I know that political campaigns can sometimes seem small, even silly,” he said early on. “And that provides plenty of fodder for the cynics who tell us that politics is nothing more than a contest of egos or the domain of special interests.” Yep, that’s what a lot folks doubtless felt over the past few months especially.

After giving numerous examples of the importance of elections to many different kinds of Americans facing different kinds of issues, he said near his conclusion, “I believe we can seize this future together because we are not as divided as our politics suggests. We’re not as cynical as the pundits believe. We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states.” READ FULL STORY

'The Today Show,' 'GMA,' and 'CBS This Morning': Are these the most complex dramas on network television?

In certain ways, morning TV new shows – The Today Show, Good Morning America, and CBS This Morning — are among the most complicated, compromised, brave, and vexed programming in all of television. The demands made upon these shows and their hosts — to cover hard news and conduct celebrity interviews; to be cheerful, welcoming guests in our homes while also being required to morph into stone-faced reporters when hard-news breaks — make them cauldrons of contradictions. They are feel-good programming and ratings-panderers; they ask for our affection even when, behind the scenes, they are troubled and sometimes in disarray. They make a scripted drama like NCIS look like a school pageant when it comes to complex drama. READ FULL STORY

'The Newsroom' week two review: Who knew Olivia Munn was shrewder than Ann Curry?

Airing at the close of a week with big news stories both heavy (the Supreme Court ruling on health care) and light (Ann Curry exiting The Today Show), The Newsroom’s second episode was both timely and windbaggy, to varying degrees of entertainment. The scene that might have echoed most ringingly in your ears was the one that introduced Olivia Munn’s character, financial news reporter Sloan Sabbith. She was interrogated and cajoled by Emily Mortimer’s MacKenzie about the former’s masterful command of complex issues and wonderment that she wasn’t making more money doing what attractive women on TV do, according to Mac: Go for a glossier TV show or into the private sector. Sloan replied that she was, indeed, “offered a morning show” but turned it down because “I’m not interested in cooking.” Ding, ding, ding!: There you had it — the Ann Curry imbroglio in neat reverse. READ FULL STORY

Ann Curry and where 'The Today Show' should go from here

The news that Ann Curry’s departure from The Today Show may be imminent is just the latest in the endless tinkering and recalibrating that morning news shows go through to maintain ratings leads. But the Today Show situation is particularly interesting right now. It occurs at a time when two things are happening for NBC: Its chief competition, ABC’s Good Morning America, is going through a ratings growth-spurt, and NBC will soon be deeply involved in covering the Olympics, for which The Today Show always plays a crucial role. Plus, the question of who might replace Curry revives an hoary old paradigm that ought to be exploded: The Myth of the Pretty Woman as Audience Alienator. So, some unsolicited advice about replacements and other Today Show matters: READ FULL STORY

Bill O'Reilly: Whitney Houston 'killed herself,' Willie Nelson and Snoop Dogg are 'creeps'

Bill O’Reilly termed Whitney Houston’s death a suicide (he said she “killed herself” through “decades” of drug use) and said that entertainers such as Willie Nelson and Snoop Dogg are “creeps” who contribute to the profits of “Mexican cartels” every time they buy “a marijuana cigarette.” READ FULL STORY

Who should replace Meredith Vieira? Rachel Maddow? Megyn Kelly? What about...

First, I hope Meredith Vieira doesn’t leave the Today show — she’s intelligent and funny and can handle every sort of segment, a tricky skill. Still, if the reports are true about her exit when her contract is up in September, her replacement will be crucial to the Today show’s ratings, as well as the chemistry with her coanchor Matt Lauer. With that in mind, let’s pick some possibilities: READ FULL STORY

George Bush: 'Let's talk about water-boarding!' Torture, getting drunk, making Kanye and Cheney mad: The TV book-tour begins!

The creepiest promo for Monday night’s Decision Points: A Conversation with George W. Bush was the snippet that played all last week during NBC’s entertainment programming, in which former president George W. Bush said to Matt Lauer, “Let’s talk about water-boarding” in an enthusiastic tone that suggested the subject was as fun and exciting as a trip to Disneyworld.

NBC’s promo department should be sent to the same woodshed where Keith Olbermann is being kept until Tuesday evening. It turned out that READ FULL STORY

George Bush really does not 'appreciate' Kanye West's Katrina criticism: 'The worst moment of my presidency'

President George W. Bush says that when he heard Kanye West say, “George Bush doesn’t care about black people,” “it was one of the most disgusting moments in my presidency.”

Bush has taped an interview with Matt Lauer that will air on a special prime-time Matt Lauer Reports on NBC Nov. 8. It’s to promote his forthcoming book, Decision Points. The subjects of the interview are wide-ranging, but the former president is very passionate on the subject of West’s criticism of the way Bush handled the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. NBC has released some quotations from the interview.

“He called me a racist,” Bush tells Lauer. “And I didn’t READ FULL STORY

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