Category Archives: TV Features

Exclusively for TV related features and op-ed pieces.

Isn’t It Fun to Be Shakespeare?

Will ExcerptRight now, William Shakespeare is as in vogue as he’s been in quite some time. There are two current TV shows about him, a plethora of stage productions (garnering attention for a variety of reasons), and several film adaptations in the works. Want a quality IP? Look no further than this dead English guy.

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“Game of Thrones” Season 7 Premiere Recap: Westeros Prepares for War

game of thrones small Game of Thrones has finally returned to our TV screens, and the Season 7 premiere wasted no time in setting up all our major players for the all-out war about to come.

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“Game of Thrones” Season 7: Where the Battle Lines Are Drawn (Photos)

game of thrones small Another season of Game of Thrones is upon us, which means it’s time to remind yourself of where we left off with all the complicated alliances and rivalries in Westeros. Don’t worry, we got you covered with this rundown of exactly where the battle lines have been drawn.

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These Emmys Might Mean More If the Voters Actually Watched the Shows

Gillian Anderson American Gods ExcerptThere’s a big difference between the Emmys and every other major awards show. Besides the TV half of the Golden Globes, only the Emmys allow for repeat nominees and winners, because every year, new content is being created for the same shows. Herein lies the issue. Emmy voters are lazy, and the question has to be asked whether or not the majority of them are even watching the shows for which they’re voting.

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“True Blood” Star Nelsan Ellis Dies at 39, But He Was Always More Than the HBO Show

Nelsan Ellis RIPAs it turned out, all the depth and complexities seen in Lafayette Reynolds in HBO’s True Blood were reflections of the man playing him, the late Nelsan Ellis.

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It’s Time to Face the Truth — Peak TV Is Over

Underground ExcerptBetween WGN canceling Underground and turning away from scripted TV overall as well as Netflix canceling a plethora of shows, the bubble is in the process of bursting, as it had to do. After all, there’s no such thing as permanent growth. But this isn’t the end of quality TV, simply the end of the boom.

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UPFRONTS: The CW Highlights Diversity and Power of Television

<> on May 18, 2017 in New York City.While ABC, NBC, and CBS delivered trailers depicting heartfelt stories with executives talking brand safety online, CW instead focused their upfront presentation on the heartfelt message that has been winning viewers for years.

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The Runway – The CW Upfronts: What Got Picked Up, What Didn’t, And Why

the cw 1CW had a pretty interesting pilot season this year. They ultimately decided to cast a wide net, picking up: a comic book show, a prime-time soap reboot, a military drama, and an hour-long comedy. Given the network’s inherent difficulties in drawing eyeballs, you have to wonder if such a broad approach is smart.

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The Runway – CBS Upfronts: What Got Picked Up, What Didn’t, And Why

cbs logo 1I’ll give this to CBS: they are completely unapologetic. People say their shows are too white, don’t have enough female leads, that their dramas are too procedural, that their comedies are hacky. If you go purely by Nielsen ratings, I guess they’ve done OK with that strategy to date.

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UPFRONTS: CBS Takes Jabs While Highlighting Successes at Carnegie Hall

stephen colbert excerptLike their network rivals NBC, CBS brought the star power to their upfront presentation as chairman and CEO Les Moonves and company presented their wares for fall to their advertiser audience. CBS performers Stephen Colbert, Young Sheldon‘s Iain Armitage, James Corden, David Boreanaz, Shemar Moore, and more took the stage.

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UPFRONTS: TNT Moves into Documentaries & TBS Expands with Conan O’Brien

conan o'brienCabler TNT is hoping to make big waves in the next year as it made clear at the Turner upfronts presentation, where they unveiled a slate that refocuses the network’s brand on high-end drama series and unscripted projects that are documentary-centric. Meanwhile, TBS is continuing to evolve its brand of comedy with talk show host Conan O’Brien showing the network’s ability to grow.

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The Runway – ABC Upfronts: What Got Picked Up, What Didn’t, And Why

abc 1ABC probably had the most interesting pilot season among the networks. Unlike the competition, they filmed a pretty healthy number of pilots and picked up a pretty large percentage to series, granted many will be mid-season premieres.

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UPFRONTS: ABC Taps Jimmy Kimmel for Oscars, Sets “The Little Mermaid Live!”

marvel-inhumans-abc excerptWhile ABC was presenting its fall schedule at its upfront presentation, some of the biggest news at their event was regarding the lineup for 2018. Furthest out are the Academy Awards, which will again be hosted by late-night host Jimmy Kimmel.

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The Runway – FOX Upfronts: What Got Picked Up, What Didn’t, And Why

FOXlogo1Like NBC, Fox didn’t pick up as many pilots this year. They did, however, pick up a pretty large percentage of those pilots to series, particularly on the drama side. Does that mean they’re giving up on comedy? Not really.

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The Runway – NBC Upfronts: What Got Picked Up, What Didn’t, And Why

nbc-logo-32It was a weird pilot season. No network embodied that statement more than NBC. The craziness in a nutshell: the most coveted timeslot in all of television, between Will & Grace and This is Us, is going to sophomore series Great News, whose renewal was iffy as recently as two weeks ago.

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UPFRONTS: NBC Revels in “Will & Grace”, Megyn Kelly, and “This is Us” at Presentation

<> on May 15, 2017 in New York City.NBCUniversal put on a big show at their upfront presentation this morning as it paraded a stream of stars for advertisers including Seth Meyers, Megyn Kelly, Jennifer Hudson, the stars of Will & Grace, and more. Energy was high at the event as the network came off a big year with breakout hit This is Us and snagging Megyn Kelly from Fox News.

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The Reboot of “American Idol” Proves That No One Is Safe

American Idol ExcerptIf we’re going to bring something back from the dead, shouldn’t we be given a chance to actually miss it first? One has to genuinely wonder what it is about this new American Idol series that will draw viewers in a way that the original one simply was no longer capable of doing.

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The Queer Joy of “American Gods” and Its Diversity

American Gods Paley Center ExcerptLast night the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills in conjunction with GLAAD hosted an early screening of American Gods episode three along with a discussion and Q&A with various cast and crew, which highlighted how the show depicts its diversity as well as it does.

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THE RUNWAY – YOUR 2017 PILOT SURVIVAL GUIDE: CBS DRAMAS

CBSlogoLast year’s crop of CBS pilots were lackluster, and of those ordered to series, only Bull and MacGyver have been renewed so far. With Doubt already canceled, and Training Day and Pure Genius unlikely to be renewed, CBS has plenty of room on its fall schedule.

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THE RUNWAY – YOUR 2017 PILOT SURVIVAL GUIDE: CBS COMEDIES

CBSlogoThis season has a lot of pilots shot, but not a lot of schedule room. How these pilots come in may determine the fate of 2 Broke Girls and The Great Indoors. Let’s see if the network will fare better than last season.

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Jennifer Morrison to Depart “Once Upon a Time” After Season 6, Leaving the Show’s Future Unclear

Jennifer Morrison Once Upon a Time ExcerptJennifer Morrison, the star of ABC’s fairytale family show Once Upon a Time, took to social media Monday morning to announce that she will not be returning for a seventh season if the show gets renewed, leaving the future of the show up in the air in multiple ways.

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Jimmy Kimmel Got Political in a Very Personal Way the Other Night, and That’s Okay

Jimmy Kimmel ExcerptJimmy Kimmel’s recent monologue gave us all something to think about and gave us a personal prism through which to view it, thus allowing us to truly feel something genuine and true, while also forcing us to ponder how it is we react to such a thing. There’s something refreshing about that,
when entertainment can do more than just entertain.

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THE RUNWAY – YOUR 2017 PILOT SURVIVAL GUIDE: ABC DRAMAS

abc-logoABC’s three major drama pickups last year — Notorious, Conviction, and Time After Time — failed to connect with audiences and critics alike. Channing Dungey must really be feeling the pressure to deliver.

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UPFRONTS: Hulu Highlights Critical Success of “The Handmaid’s Tale” and SVOD Wins

hulu excerptWith the instant critical and viewer praise for The Handmaid’s Tale, the attitude was upbeat at the Hulu presentation at Upfronts. In addition to Handmaid’s Tale, the streaming network announced the big acquisition of the SVOD rights of This is Us and Atlanta, two of the biggest hits of the last year.

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NEWFRONTS: Smosh Continues to Drive the Future of Defy Media

newfrontsNew media company Defy Media is continuing to expand with its in-house brands as it announced three new titles from flagship brand Smosh. Defy’s other most popular brands include Clevver and ScreenJunkies, who both presented new series for 2017.

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NEWFRONTS: Disney Unveils Digital Rebranding for Maker Studios

newfrontsRecent boycott calls for YouTube marketers hang over Disney and Maker Studios New Front presentation, which sought to bring a positive future through re-branding as the Disney Digital Network.

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THE RUNWAY – YOUR 2017 PILOT SURVIVAL GUIDE: ABC COMEDIES

abc-logoNew ABC Network president Channing Dungey had an important decision last year: greenlight more family comedies or add other types of comedy to their strong lineup. She went with a bit of both and now they are bursting at the seams with half-hours.

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Netflix Likes to Say It’s Different from Everyone Else, But Is It?

13 Reasons Why ExcerptThe possibility of a second season for the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why shows a possibly larger and more alarming trend at the streaming giant: that it’s not as creator-friendly as it seems and has the same greed as other networks.

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The Runway – Your 2017 Pilot Survival Guide: FOX Dramas

Fox CroppedLast year, Fox was all about IP and filling a gaping, American Idol-sized hole. Its development was all over the place. This year, much like NBC, Fox seems to have found its groove as well.

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The Emmys Are Coming and These Shows Shouldn’t Slip Through the Cracks

Crazy Ex Girlfriend ExcerptNeil Turitz is taking a look at the long shots and outsides for the Emmys this year. He examines the shows that have no real chance to be nominated, even though they are doing things that no one else on TV is doing, and doing them exceedingly well.

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