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V.24 No.20 | 5/14/2015

Idiot Box

Morituri Te Salutant

Bringing out this season’s dead TV shows

With fall TV announcements looming, networks slash underperforming shows.
V.24 No.8 | 2/19/2015

Idiot Box

Any Given Oscar Sunday

“The Oscars” on ABC

Where to get all your Oscar night coverage on Sunday.
V.24 No.7 | 2/12/2015

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“Fresh Off the Boat”

Idiot Box

Immigrant Song

“Fresh Off the Boat” on ABC

Ethinic sitcom “Fresh Off the Boat” puts Asians in the spotlight.
V.23 No.39 | 9/25/2014

Idiot Box

#sitcom, #topical

“Selfie” on ABC

Karen Gillan does My Fair Lady for the internet age in ABC’s “Selfie.”
V.23 No.38 | 9/18/2014

Idiot Box

Immortal Kombat

“Forever” on ABC

Sherlock Holmes is immortal and solving crimes in ABC’s overly familiar supernatural police procedural “Forever.”
V.23 No.20 | 5/15/2014

Idiot Box

The Ax Man Cometh

Networks cut losses

Network TV kills off underperforming shows.
V.23 No.10 | 3/6/2014

Idiot Box

Unhappy Hour

“Mixology” on ABC

ABC’s latest attempt to plug a post-“Modern Family” gap in its Wednesday night comedy lineup comes in the form of pickup bar-centric midseason replacement sitcom “Mixology.”
V.22 No.41 | 10/10/2013

Idiot Box

The Fall Ax Falls

Not-so-“Lucky 7” on ABC

Fall has barely begun, yet there’s a familiar chill in the air. Halloween is still a couple of weeks away, but there’s a certain group of people out in Hollywood already shivering in fright. Less than a month into the new fall TV season and the television dead pool has claimed its first victim.

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V.22 No.9 | 2/28/2013

Idiot Box

My Mom the Mobster

“Red Widow” on ABC

Poor Marta Walraven, she’s a harried wife and mother. Her youngest son just got expelled for bringing a handgun to school. Her parents are acrimoniously divorced. Her dad is an infamous Russian mobster. And her criminally entangled husband just got murdered. Her one advantage is the fact that she’s played by sinew-powered actress Radha Mitchell (Silent Hill, Pitch Black, High Art).

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V.22 No.7 | 2/14/2013

Idiot Box

Conspiracy Time

“Zero Hour” on ABC

The National Treasure films weren’t good by any conventional definition of the word, but they were fun. After all who doesn’t love a globe-hopping treasure hunt—especially when it comes wrapped in a conspiracy and painted over with a few layers of historical significance? Just ask Indiana Jones. Or Tom Hanks in that Da Vinci thing. These clue-dropping treasure hunts aren’t something episodic television has had much luck recreating. But ABC’s new thriller “Zero Hour” certainly gives it the old college try. And if the pilot episode is any indication, the network might have something halfway decent on its hands.

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V.22 No.5 | 1/31/2013

Idiot Box

Once Bitten

“The Taste” on ABC

ABC’s new cooking competition “The Taste” promises—repeatedly, it must be noted—to be a cooking competition “unlike any you’ve ever seen.” This is a completely accurate description—but only if you’ve never seen a food-based show before. For the rest of us, it’s a totally generic, frustratingly unsatisfying taster menu of refried ideas.

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V.21 No.42 | 10/18/2012

Idiot Box

“Nashville” on ABC

Little Bit Country

Sometimes it pays to watch the credits. I wouldn’t have given ABC’s new musical drama “Nashville” much of a glance if I hadn’t paid attention to who’s behind the camera. The show is created by Callie Khouri, who won herself an Academy Award for a little movie called Thelma & Louise.
V.21 No.41 | 10/11/2012

Idiot Box

Supernatural Superintendents

“666 Park Avenue” on ABC

If you think combining “Melrose Place” with “American Horror Story” sounds like a great idea, then you’re not very creative. You are, however, creative enough to be a programming executive at ABC. The network’s new series “666 Park Avenue,” is far more soapy than scary—but it does manage to meld two not terribly compatible genres into a rather rickety hour-long melodrama.

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V.21 No.39 | 9/27/2012

Idiot Box

The Bomb, Baby!

“Last Resort” on ABC

A few weeks in and the fall 2012 TV season is already starting to look like a washout. Almost none of the new shows are generating much interest. All that is about to change drastically, though, with the bracing, nuclear-power shot across the bow that is ABC’s “Last Resort.” This isn’t just the best new show, it’s the best hour of television in ages.

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V.21 No.21 | 5/24/2012

Idiot Box

You’re Outta Here!

The Canceled Shows of 2012

The broadcast networks have already started showing off their shiny new fall schedules. That means, of course, the conspicuous absence of several shows you may or may not have liked. Yup, the ax has fallen, and a whole host of network shows have been canceled. Some escaped by the skin of their teeth. (ABC’s low-rated but highly regarded “Cougar Town” is moving to TBS in 2013.) Others emerged battered and beaten. (Fan-fave “Community” will return next season. For a truncated 13 episode run. On Friday nights. Paired with “Whitney.” Also, creator Dan Harmon was told to take a hike.) So which shows are gone, gone, gone?

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