Open Mic

Why Jill Soloway — the Creator of ‘Transparent’ — Has Never Watched Her Show on Amazon, Which Distributes It, and Other Secrets of High-Powered Showrunners

A few secrets from Jill Soloway, creator and executive producer of Amazon Studios’ “Transparent”: “I used to say ‘marijuana’ [when someone asked me what I need to write], but that’s not true anymore,” Soloway said, as the audience erupted in laughter. “Pot doesn’t make the writing…

Apr 17, 2015

It’s Easter, the Perfect Day to Watch One of the Most Popular Musicals Ever: ‘Easter Parade’ with Fred Astaire and Judy Garland. Though It was Supposed to Have Starred Garland and Gene Kelly

“Easter Parade” the classic 1948 musical, is on today, Sunday, April 5, 2015,  on TCM at 8 p.m. ET, 5 p.m. PT, uncut and with no commercial interruptions.You can also currently stream it using Amazon Instant Prime.   The hoopla…

Apr 5, 2015

HBO Goes All In on Sinatra Documentary

Start spreading the news. It’s been 100 years since the birth of one of the most famous people in American pop culture — and the family of Frank Sinatra wanted to mark the centennial of the legendary crooner’s birthday in…

Apr 3, 2015

Director Behind HBO’s Controversial ‘Prison of Belief’ Speaks Out

Several months before it was scheduled to be seen on premium cable by a large national audience, the Church of Scientology took preemptive action against “Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief,” a documentary exposé directed by Alex Gibney,…

Mar 30, 2015

It’s Movie Time! This Year Marks the 50th Anniversary of An Astonishingly First-Rate Screenplay. And Even Though the Resulting Movie Won the Oscar for Best Picture of the Year, No One Else Will Be Writing About This Until 2020. Why We are Jumping the Gun

David Lean, often the most dazzling of directors, was once asked about the main characters in his two war epics, “Lawrence of Arabia” and “The Bridge on the River Kwai. “Characters like T.E. Lawrence or Colonel Nicholson seem to be…

Mar 28, 2015

Was It the Most Politically Incorrect Comedy Central Roast Yet?

Out of all the people that Comedy Central has ever roasted — and we’re talking about everyone from Joan Rivers to Pamela Anderson to William Shatner to Charlie Sheen, James Franco and Donald Trump — Justin Bieber could be the…

Mar 26, 2015

Bombshell: Former Major Media Agency CEO Says Kickbacks Totaling At Least $100 Million Are Pervasive Among U.S. Media Agencies. How This Became a Top Priority for the Association of National Advertisers. We Talk to a Source Who Says Yes, the Allegations Are True. And We Interview Jon Mandel, Who Gave the Blistering Presentation Last Week That Set Off this Bombshell. It’s a TVWeek Media Investigation

If the courting of controversy got Ted Turner dubbed the Mouth of the South, Jon Mandel is easily the Mouth of Madison Avenue. For more than 30 years Jon was at Grey Advertising and then its media agency, MediaCom, where…

Mar 13, 2015

Questions Finally Answered About the Bizarre Finale of ‘Ellen’s Design Challenge,’ and What Ellen Needs to Do if the Series Is Renewed

You’ve gotta love Ellen. In a country obsessed with winning and losing, she can’t bring herself to use the word “loser.” It’s just not a DeGeneres word. So when she was about to announce the winner of “Ellen’s [Furniture] Design…

Mar 6, 2015

At the Writers Guild Awards Last Weekend the Word of the Day May Have Been Self-deprecation

Nic Pizzolatto made something very clear during his two trips to the podium at the WGA Awards. The writer of HBO’s “True Detective ”– honored for both outstanding drama series and new series – is still worried about keeping his job. Both of Pizzolatto’s acceptance speeches were…

Feb 20, 2015

Murphy’s Law: Because as Journalists We All Live in Glass Houses. Check Out This Series of Real Events That Left Former ABC News President David Westin Thinking That Tom Brokaw Said — On-the-Record — That Brian Williams ‘Always feels the need to embellish’ and ‘he’s known for making any story about him.’

Cue Jon Stewart. Even he might not believe this one, but it’s absolutely true. Mike Allen is the chief White House correspondent for Politico. He’s got a resume a mile long as a very credible journalist, formerly at Time magazine…

Feb 10, 2015