Open Mic

‘The Roosevelts,’ Ken Burns’ Latest PBS Documentary Series, Opens to Big Numbers

As were “The Civil War” and “The War” before it, master documentarian Ken Burns’ “The Roosevelts: An Intimate History” is turning out to be a massive blockbuster for PBS. The sprawling documentary chronicling the lives of Theodore, Franklin Delano and…

Sep 16, 2014

Have Fun Watching a Sexy, Romantic Movie That Was Made for the Silver Screen But Whose Real Magic Is Revealed on the Intimacy of Your TV Screen

“Anybody got a match?” In about a month it’ll be 70 years since Lauren Bacall said those, her first words on the silver screen. Hers was a movie debut for the ages. If many movies, from both a commerce and…

Sep 15, 2014

Another Tragic September Anniversary

We have just commemorated the 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, yet many people may not realize that September marks another such tragic milestone. It’s been one year since an Al Qaeda-linked terrorist group based in Somalia attacked…

Sep 15, 2014

A Little Mayhem as Kurt Sutter’s Shakespearean Biker Gang Tragedy Premieres in Hollywood

It was only fitting that there was a little bit of mayhem at Saturday night’s Hollywood premiere of FX’s hugely successful motorcycle gang drama “Sons of Anarchy,” which launches its seventh and final season on the cable network Tuesday night….

Sep 9, 2014

A Tribute to Joan Rivers, Who Proved That the Human Spirit Is Indomitable, and That Life Is Funny as Hell

Back in the summer of 1993 one of my favorite humorists, Paula Poundstone, had a column published in Mother Jones magazine that spoke about honesty and Hollywood. It begins, “The editor guy of this magazine asked me the other day…

Sep 5, 2014

Deja Vu All Over Again at This Year’s Emmy Awards

With the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards now down in the history books, the television industry’s highest honors will be remembered as an awards show that was all about “in with the old and out with the new.” With repeat program…

Aug 28, 2014

Why Mary Martin Is Still the Favorite Peter Pan of So Many of Us. Hopalong Cassidy vs. Peter Pan

In 1950, there was a huge spike in the number of homes with TV sets in the U.S., jumping from about 4 million homes to 10.5 million homes. The year before, the number of TV homes had jumped by about…

Aug 27, 2014

Toned-Down VMAs: No ‘Miley Moment,’ But Cyrus Makes Her Presence Felt

There was no “Miley Moment” akin to last year’s foam finger twerking brouhaha, so it turned out to be a tamer night at the 31st annual MTV Video Music Awards, held Sunday, Aug. 24, at the refurbished Forum in Inglewood…

Aug 27, 2014

As NBC Prepares ‘Peter Pan’ for the Holidays, the Story of How Disney Prevented an Actress Who May Have Made the Greatest Peter Pan Ever — Audrey Hepburn — From Playing the Part. [And Laurence Olivier Would Have Played Opposite Her as Captain Hook!] Plus, Who Mary Martin Said Played Peter Pan the Best

As I was researching some information about Mary Martin and her role as Peter Pan, I came across this surprising material with which I wasn’t familiar. A report by A.H. Weiler from the May 31, 1964, edition of The New…

Aug 20, 2014

2014 Emmy Awards, Round 1: HBO and NBC Clean Up at Creative Arts Emmys

“These are the real Emmys. The ego-free Emmys,” shouted Kristen Schaal, part of the ensemble from “Bob’s Burgers” accepting one of more than 90 trophies handed out at the 2014 Creative Arts Emmy Awards Aug. 16 at the Nokia Theatre…

Aug 18, 2014