V.24 No.20 | 5/14/2015
Morituri Te Salutant
Bringing out this season’s dead TV shows
With fall TV announcements looming, networks slash underperforming shows.
V.23 No.24 | 6/12/2014
“Crossbones” on NBC
John Malkovich steals the show as pirate king Blackbeard in NBC’s crazy “Crossbones.”
V.23 No.23 | 6/5/2014
“The Night Shift” on NBC
NBC’s new doctor drama “The Night Shift” takes the environmentally friendly route, recycling old TV cliches for summer viewing.
V.23 No.12 | 3/20/2014
“Believe” on NBC
This supernatural drama about a cute li’l girl who has psychic superpowers doesn’t live up to its superstar creators’ reputations.
V.23 No.8 | 2/20/2014
“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” on NBC
There’s only so much you can do with the “Tonight Show” format and set dressing. But Jimmy Fallon gets it right.
V.23 No.7 | 2/13/2014
Olympic Fever (and Chills)
The Winter Olympics on NBC
Let’s face it, Winter Olympics are the redheaded stepchild of the Olympics world, the Pro Bowl following the Super Bowl of international competition.
V.22 No.42 | 10/17/2013
The Fox Says
“The Michael J. Fox Show” on NBC
Few television personalities are as beloved as Michael J. Fox. He’s anchored two major TV series, and he had a solid run as a movie star. Is it enough to save NBC’s lineup?
V.22 No.15 | 4/11/2013
“Hannibal” on NBC
NBC’s bloody brilliant “Hannibal” may not reverse the network’s tragic ratings tailspin all by itself. But it’s already a huge improvement over the last show to inhabit the Thursday night 9 p.m. timeslot. Given that show, “Do No Harm,” only lasted three episodes, though, that’s not saying a lot. Still “Hannibal” is one of the best new shows of the midseason, and one of the few to challenge ratings-hog rival CBS at its own game.
V.22 No.2 | 1/10/2013
First (Modern) Family
“1600 Penn” on NBC
NBC’s midseason replacement sitcom starts off with a stereotypical setup. Seems that chubby loser Skip (Josh Gad from Broadway’s The Book of Mormon) has been kicked out of college after seven unproductive years and is now forced to move back in with his parents. The twist in this tale is contained in the titular address. Yup, Skip’s parents are the president and the first lady of the United States.
V.21 No.48 | 11/29/2012
The New Normal?
NBC No Longer The Biggest Loser
This year’s fall sweeps marks the first time in 10 freaking years that NBC has been the top-rated network.
V.21 No.37 | 9/13/2012
“Revolution” on NBC
Maybe it’s the approaching end of the Mayan calendar. Perhaps it’s Chuck Norris’ talk about President Obama’s re-election ushering in “a thousand years of darkness.” Whatever the reason, human beings have got the apocalypse on their minds again. Never one to miss a trend, NBC jumps on the doom-and-gloom bandwagon with its new end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it series, “Revolution.”
V.21 No.36 | 9/6/2012
“The New Normal” on NBC
TV writer/producer/director Ryan Murphy has had a solid run of it. He went from “Popular” to “Nip/Tuck” to “Glee” to “American Horror Story.” Now, he’s trying his hand at sitcoms with “The New Normal.” Murphy’s never shied away from humor, but he’s always had the hour-long format to play in. That’s allowed him plenty of room in which to shoehorn his trademark social criticism. “Glee,” for example, has about a 1:1 song-to-sanctimonious-speech ratio. Clocking in at a network-standard 22 minutes, “The New Normal” doesn’t leave a ton of room for the funny. But Ryan’s working on it.