Open Mic

Hey Jeff, Here’s How You Can Fix CNN

One of the best analyses I’ve read about the appointment of Jeff Zucker as the new executive in charge of CNN was written by my good friend Brian Lowry. Lowry, Variety’s longtime TV critic, usually nails it, and he did yesterday as…

Nov 30, 2012

Why You’ll Watch Lifetime’s ‘Liz & Dick’ — Though It’s Another Lohan Train Wreck. And the Movie You Really Should Watch Today

Having watched “Liz & Dick” starring Lindsay Lohan (Lifetime, 9 p.m. ET, premiering tonight, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012), I think Los Angeles Times TV critic Mary McNamara gets it exactly right when she says what really works against this telefim…

Nov 25, 2012

Eddie Murphy Gets His Moment in the Spotlight

If you are expecting a Comedy Central-esque roast of Eddie Murphy in sister network Spike TV’s tribute to the comedy legend, you would be mistaken. What you will get in "Eddie Murphy: One Night Only,” airing tonight at 10 p.m….

Nov 14, 2012

The Most Outrageous Experiment Ever Conducted in the Movie Industry. Do Those Working in the Movies Know the Difference Between John Ford and Henry Ford? Should They?

[Note: It was 30 years ago this month that Film Comment magazine published this article, after I had submitted it to the magazine, unsolicited. It had taken me more than six months to conduct this experiment, which I think remains the most outrageous "test"...

Nov 13, 2012

Diane Sawyer Going Loopy on Election Night Is Just the Tip of the Iceberg Regarding the Problems at ABC News

The headlines about Diane Sawyer continue to explode over the Internet. A few hours ago the Philadelphia Inquirer posted its story: “Diane Sawyer Goes Election-Night Loopy.” This follows such headlines as “TV viewers wonder: Was ABC News’ Diane Sawyer drunk…

Nov 8, 2012

Forget About the Intersection of Madison Avenue and Vine Street. Power Players Want to Know More About the Junction of Madison Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue — The Real Reason Obama Did So Well in the Swing States and Won Re-Election

Yes, it’s true that the Republicans have problems, in general, with women, Hispanics and black Americans. As many pundits have noted, the evolving demographics of the country don’t bode well for a national party that is so overwhelmingly white. In…

Nov 7, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Relief Concert a Winner for Musical Highlights, Comedic Moments — and Red Cross Fundraising

It’s pretty surprising to see two grown men used to being in the spotlight get giddy in the presence of greatness. But when these men are NBC News anchor Brian Williams and “The Daily Show’s” Jon Stewart — two of…

Nov 5, 2012

Why Baseball Remains Our Greatest Game, Despite the Low Ratings of the World Series. Lessons From a 104-Year-Old Man. Plus, the Giants’ Greatest Fan, Who Once Said, ‘There have been only two geniuses in the world, Willie Mays and Willie Shakespeare’

As a Dodgers fan from age 6, I’m a lifelong Giants hater, but I damn near fell in love with them during the playoffs and World Series this year. The postseason run of the San Francisco Giants, culminating in their…

Nov 2, 2012