Open Mic

Of Hacks and Flacks and a Death in the Family

Working at The Hollywood Reporter years ago–as a beat reporter covering cable and home video–most of us at the time referred to ourselves as hacks. I was just happy to get into print as many stories as I could squeeze…

Feb 24, 2011

Costume Designers, Bringing TV Characters to Life. And Winning Awards for Doing So

The “Boardwalk” continues to sweep up awards left and right this season–the latest being a coveted Costume Designers Guild Award for outstanding period/fantasy television series. Designers John Dunn and Lisa Padovani picked up their trophy during gala ceremonies Tuesday night,…

Feb 24, 2011

Still Mad as Hell: Why the Movie ‘Network’ Still Resonates Today–And What It Says About Charlie Sheen

It’s been 35 years since Howard Beale, in one of the most famous scenes in the history of movies, instructed us to shout out of our windows, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!” Yet…

Feb 16, 2011

Forget Fox News and CNN. To Really Get a Global Perspective We Need Our Cable Operators to Carry Al Jazeera English

[Note—This first appeared in print on Thursday, Feb. 10, 2011, so when Aaron refers to “today” or “tonight,” that’s the date to which he is referring.] Since the protests broke out in Egypt, there has been one constant: the relentless,…

Feb 11, 2011

Who ‘Mad Men’ Creator Matt Weiner Thought Would Win the WGA Best Drama Series Award; Full Coverage of the WGA Award Ceremony

“Mad Men” creator Matthew Weiner was thrilled at the conclusion of the 2011 Writers Guild of America Awards Saturday night. Not only did the AMC show win best television drama series–for the third year in a row–but one of its…

Feb 7, 2011

Recently, Fortune Ran a Story About Steve Jobs Being Treated for Cancer in 2009. Jobs Did Not Release This Particular Info. Fortune Said It Was Told This Info ‘Off-the-Record.’ The Source Then Died and Fortune Used the Info. Huh? Wasn’t That Unethical?

Last month, when it became known that Apple CEO Steve Jobs was going to be taking another leave of absence, Time Warner’s Fortune magazine ran a story with information that heretofore had not been public: that Jobs had been treated for cancer…

Feb 3, 2011

Comcast Has Already Bungled Its Takeover of NBC Universal, But It Can Be Fixed

Right out of the box Comcast has taken it on the chin for its new NBC Universal logo, and rightly so. And it actually matters. A lot. First, here’s a picture of both logos, with the new NBC Universal logo…

Jan 31, 2011

NATPE: New Area Transformed Programming Event

(Miami Beach)…A change of venue from the gaming tables of Sin City to the tropical breezes and Latin influence of Miami re-energized this year’s NATPE market and conference, headquartered at the beachfront Fontainebleau Resort. More than 4,500 attendees and 700…

Jan 30, 2011

Why Fox News Should Hire Keith Olbermann When His Non-Compete Expires. Does Roger Ailes Have the Guts to Make the Offer? Does Olbermann Have the Guts to Accept?

Keith Olbermann’s next stop—after the expiration of the non-compete clause that is reportedly in his exit agreement with MSNBC—should be Fox News. Not only would such a move be non-intuitive, it’d also be bombastic, boisterous, thunderous, intimidating, outlandish, gregarious, attention…

Jan 24, 2011

MTV’s Tom Freston, Trailblazer Diahann Carroll, Newsman Great Peter Jennings, Cloris Leachman, Composer Earle Hagen, Writer Susan Harris and Game Show Impresario Bill Todman All Inducted Into the Hall of Fame of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences

Television history from its very earliest days came to vivid life during the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences 20th Hall of Fame induction gala at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Seven television trailblazers, people who have had a major impact…

Jan 24, 2011