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Open Mic

What a TV Series Set 160 Years Ago Says About Today’s America

The abolitionist Frederick Douglass, who died in 1895, is certainly having a moment — notwithstanding President Trump’s recent comment about him that many interpreted as the president thinking Douglass was still alive. Ten-time Grammy Award-winning musician John Legend will portray…

Mar 8, 2017

Robert Osborne WAS the Movies

For me, Robert Osborne WAS the movies. Movie makers are storytellers, and no one knew or shared more stories about the movies than Robert Osborne, the Turner Classic Movies (TCM) host who died yesterday at age 84. He worked on…

Mar 7, 2017

The Most Unforgettable Character I Ever Met, and Her Very Special 90th Birthday

“The most unforgettable character I ever met?” That question kicked off an article written by A.J. Cronin in the September, 1939 issue of Reader’s Digest. From then on, the series of articles the Digest ran under the banner “The Most…

Feb 25, 2017

‘Overrated’ Meryl Streep Avoids Politics, Rakes In Another Award

“Live from the Meryl Streep Ballroom,” said actress Mandy Moore as she began her hosting duties for the 19th Costume Designers Guild Awards, held Tuesday, Feb. 21, in what is otherwise known as the Beverly Hilton’s International Ballroom. Ms. Streep…

Feb 23, 2017

Writers Guild Awards: Oscar Favorites Emerge; FX Dominates Television Awards

It was certainly telegraphed that there would be a comedic mash-up of politics and performance at the 2017 Writers Guild Awards when the West Coast ceremonies kicked off with a brief video that focused on the ethnicities of Guild members…

Feb 21, 2017

Filmmakers Behind the Year’s Most Acclaimed Movies — ‘La La Land,’ ‘Arrival,’ ‘Moonlight,’ ‘Hidden Figures,’ ‘Fences’ and Others — Reveal the Challenges They Faced, Lessons They Learned … and the Worst Notes They Received

For going on two decades, it is an event that has become an anticipated awards season tradition, shining a spotlight not only on the creators of the most acclaimed films of the year but also upon the cultural and societal…

Feb 17, 2017

Movie Premiering Tonight Revisits a Horrible Night in Paris

Jesse Hughes was visibly nervous, fearful even, frantically packing to go to Paris. The lead singer and co-founder of the Southern California-based band Eagles of Death Metal was going back to Paris for the first time since the horrendous night…

Feb 13, 2017

‘Must See TV’: When Big Risks Were the Norm and Big Ratings Were the Payoff

This may be the era of peak TV, but the days of “Must See TV” on NBC hold their own special place in history. Think back to the 1990s, when shows like “Friends,” “ER,” “Seinfeld,” “Cheers,” “Frasier” and “Will &…

Feb 10, 2017

‘Z’: The Beginning of Your Next Binge?

It’s a new fact of life in Hollywood. Amazon Studios has officially upped its game to becoming an A-list player. If all those Emmy Awards for “Transparent” and Golden Globes for “Mozart in the Jungle” weren’t enough, hello. Seven Oscar…

Jan 27, 2017

As Donald Trump Is Sworn in Today, Journalists Have a Big Responsibility Covering His Administration. Here’s Our Journalist Role Model

In his 2016 year-end roundup of news events, our friend Harry Jessell, the editor and co-publisher of TVNewsCheck — who was also, at one time, the editor in chief of Broadcasting & Cable (B&C) — got it exactly right when…

Jan 20, 2017