Open Mic

It’s the New Year’s Holiday: Time to Cuddle Up in Front of the TV and Watch Some Fun Movies. A Suggestion. And Yes, It Really Is the Kind of Movie They Do Not Make Anymore. The Man with the Touch

Of all the genres of movies, the hardest to make just might be the sophisticated comedy. Much easier to make the in-you-face “Hangover” movies, or “Something About Mary.” They are funny for sure, and pretty high on the crass level…

Dec 29, 2011

Simon Cowell Talks to TVWeek as the ‘X-Factor’ Finale Is Soon to Air. What Cowell Will Do About the Sing-Offs Next Season and What He Thinks About the Judging on ‘American Idol.’ And What TVWeek Thinks Should Happen to Host Steve Jones

The four judges and three remaining contestants on Fox’s “The X-Factor” held a press conference on the set of the show at CBS Television City on Monday, Dec. 19, 2011, and I attended to find out what Simon Cowell intended to…

Dec 20, 2011

Finally, a Weekly Show That’s as Much an Adrenaline Rush as Was ’24.’ It’s Unscripted. And God Is the Star’s Co-Pilot. We Say Hallelujah Whenever God Brings Us TV This Good. Can It Sustain This Pace? Also, More of ‘X-Factor’ as It Continues to Implode

One of the pleasures of "24" that made it such a hoot for a lot of us was the fun we had yelling back at our TV screens at some of the impossible scenarios with which the show presented us….

Dec 12, 2011

Rick Perry’s Debate Gaffes Make For Choice Comedy. However, What He’s Chosen to Say About Gays, Sadly, Only Points Out a Tragic Flaw in His Character

Sixty-six years ago, in the dense, snow-covered forests of Western Europe, Allied forces were beating back a massive assault in what would become known as the Battle of the Bulge. And in the final days of fighting, a regiment in…

Dec 8, 2011

Great Gift Idea: This Is the Holiday Present We’re Sure Steve Jobs Would Have Liked Getting. It’s the Story of Someone With a Scientist’s Brain, a Poet’s Heart and a Painter’s Eyes. Simplifying to Get to the Essence

One of the great accomplishments Steve Jobs achieved was bringing the world the Apple design aesthetic. In Walter Isaacson’s splendid, compulsively page-turning best-selling biography “Steve Jobs,” he quotes Jobs as saying early on in his career, “The way we’re running the…

Dec 6, 2011

Farcical Misfortune on ‘The X-Factor.’ By Betraying Himself, Simon Cowell Let Down Two Talented Singers and, Ultimately, Betrayed Us, the Viewers

I like Simon Cowell. As the only consistent truth-teller on “American Idol,” millions of us got used to his reflecting a lot of what we felt about various contestants. And he didn’t mince words when delivering his opinions. Unfortunately, the…

Dec 2, 2011

What Happened When the Dean of American TV Writers Collaborated With the Famous, Flamboyant English Director Who Had Been Described as the King of Pornobiography?

Sidney Aaron “Paddy” Chayefsky was riding high. Considered by many to be the dean of American TV writers for the classic stories he wrote for the small screen during the 1950s — most particularly “Marty” — Chayefsky was now writing…

Nov 30, 2011

The Investigation Into Natalie Wood’s Death Gets Curiouser. ‘ET’ Touts ‘The details you’ve never heard from the witness who’s never spoken before.’ Huh? She Was Just on TV Two Days Earlier. And What She Witnessed Was Published At Least 11 Years Ago

The witness in question is Marilyn Wayne. I first came across her name when I read the article “Natalie Wood’s Fatal Voyage,” which is in the current special edition of Vanity Fair (VF) that’s subtitled “Hollywood Scandal, Sex and Obsession.” The…

Nov 22, 2011

CBS Boss Les Moonves on TV: ‘We’re the Best Game in Town’

As the news broke Thursday that "Two and a Half Men" star Ashton Kutcher’s marriage to Demi Moore was in fact over, CBS Corp. President and CEO Les Moonves was engaged in a conversation before an audience of hundreds of…

Nov 18, 2011

On the Scandal at Penn State: Hey CBS News–When You Don’t Have It, Don’t Hype It. Lessons From Watergate

There’s an exemplary scene in the movie version of “All the President’s Men” that goes basically like this: Washington Post reporters Woodward and Bernstein have been working their asses off on one of their stories about the Watergate scandal. They…

Nov 16, 2011