Open Mic

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

How Television Saved the Movies From … Television. Marketer’s Delight

An assessment of the Hollywood movie experience in theaters, circa fall 1953: “The screen widens, the dimension deepens, the track trebles, carpenters arrive to alter the ratio, the industry shifts massively to meet the threat of television. Like a tyrannosaurus…

Dec 31, 2016

The Big Night Arrives for ‘The Voice’s’ Final Four

The countdown is on for the opening of the envelope that will reward months of hard work. Yes, tonight’s the big night for “The Voice” to crown the winner with its Season 11 finale, a season that will go down…

Dec 13, 2016

Tonight’s the Night for NBC’s Live Production of ‘Hairspray’

It was the summer of 2003 and “Hairspray” was the hottest show on Broadway, after taking home eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical. A friend at New Line Cinema had offered to get me a pair of coveted tickets on…

Dec 7, 2016

Smithsonian Channel’s ‘The Lost Tapes: Pearl Harbor’ Reconstructs a Day 75 Years Ago That Has Lived in Infamy

“Riveting” is the first word that comes to mind upon viewing a new program that reconstructs in real time the events of one of the most fateful days in American history, Dec. 7, 1941, a date that President Franklin D….

Dec 2, 2016