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I vould like to feed your fingerteeps to the volver-eenes

In honor of Saturday Night Live's 40th season, Grantland has been publishing an ongoing series of essays, remembrances, podcasts, and interviews, as well as asking you to cast your votes in The Battle for the Best SNL Cast Member. (They're already down to the final eight; sorry, your favorite cast member has already been eliminated.)
posted by not_on_display on Aug 25, 2014 - 84 comments

Don Pardo, 1918-2014

Don Pardo, announcer for Saturday Night Live, The Price Is Right and Jeopardy!, has died. [more inside]
posted by kagredon on Aug 18, 2014 - 67 comments

And together, THEY FIGHT CRIME!

During the late 1970's and 1980's, Glen A. Larson's lighthearted television dramas were incredibly popular: Knight Rider. B.J. and the Bear. The original Battlestar Galactica. Quincy M.E. The Fall Guy. Magnum, P.I. Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. Larson had hit after hit and it seemed he could do no wrong. But he did produce three flops in the 80's, (and another in the 90's that managed to last two seasons): Automan, The Highwayman, Manimal and Night Man. [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 16, 2014 - 138 comments

There's No Crying In Pilots

Actual Network notes given to actual shows BONUS: What network notes say vs. what they mean.
posted by The Whelk on May 9, 2014 - 43 comments

It's nice to have an old friend for dinner.

Tonight at 10/9c! The critically-acclaimed, criminally-underviewed NBC thriller Hannibal returns for a second season. There will no doubt be copious live-tweeting (not least from the showrunner himself) and much flailing from the intelligent, dedicated, and hilarious fanbase. [more inside]
posted by dogheart on Feb 28, 2014 - 953 comments

Full course meal

It goes back to honoring Thomas Harris and imagery we have in the books, in the Hannibal Lecter books. So we knew that we had to have fantastic imagery that you wouldn’t see on another crime-procedural show. Being competitive and wanting to be completely different from what you see on other shows, which is usually, on a crime procedural you see a body in a room splayed out and blood, but you rarely get to see people covered with mushrooms or impaled on severed stag heads or blood eagled and the totem pole. We would sit in the room and say, “What is the image? What is the death tableau? What are we going to see that’s going to be so striking and cinematic and beautiful at the same time, but will actually be a horrible crime scene?” So every crime scene that we have has to have this element of beauty and art to it.
Bryan Fuller, showrunner for NBC's Hannibal (previously), discusses each episode of the first season with the AV Club. Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Part 4.
posted by figurant on Jul 26, 2013 - 87 comments

Keep Calm And Eat The Rude

One of the many things that sets NBC's Hannibal apart is how it treats the violence it shows. The finale for the first season aired last night, bringing to a close a season of television that most seem to regard as unexpectedly excellent, and a second season is on the way. This interview with the show's creator, Bryan Fuller who previously created Wonderfalls, Dead Like Me and Pushing Daisies, touches on the reasoning behind the heightened, stylized murders. A second part that deals more directly with the contents of the finale went up shortly after it had aired.
posted by sparkletone on Jun 21, 2013 - 99 comments

Yesterday and Today

If Matt Lauer doesn’t want to be seen with sharp knives, it’s because last summer his co-host Ann Curry was discovered with one in her back. Five million viewers, the majority of them women, would not soon forget how Curry, the intrepid female correspondent and emotionally vivid anchor, spent her last appearance on the Today show couch openly weeping, devastated at having to leave after only a year. The image of Matt Lauer trying to comfort her—and of Curry turning away from his attempted kiss—has become a kind of monument to the real Matt Lauer, forensic evidence of his guilt. What followed was the implosion of the most profitable franchise in network television.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Mar 25, 2013 - 91 comments

"the rare moments of child-like joy to the shadows of pain"

Beyond the Swanson. Paste interviews Nick Offerman.
posted by crossoverman on Mar 4, 2013 - 13 comments

What, Me Worry?

In 1959 Fred Astaire hired renowned makeup artist John Chambers to work on his television special, Another Evening with Fred Astaire. The assignment? Turn Fred Astaire into Alfred E. Neuman. The results were predictably strange. [more inside]
posted by usonian on Feb 16, 2013 - 19 comments

Not quite sweaters for goalposts

Football's (soccer, that is) ultimate conquest of North America comes a step closer with the sale of English Premier League broadcasting rights to NBC for 250 million dollars. Unlike the Olympics, NBC has indicated that they'll broadcast the games live, to complement their NHL broadcasts. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse on Oct 29, 2012 - 65 comments

New NBC Show "Revolution" is suspiciously similar to indie production "Powerless"

"Revolution" seems a little too much like "Powerless." Indie television proof-of-concept pilot "Powerless" is "about a trio who are in the woods when an unexplained and unexpected event causes electricity the world over to suddenly disappear." The pilot is submitted to a 2011 television festival where it is seen by studio executives. Then, "come February 2012, NBC picks up [a] mystery high concept pilot and reveals it's called 'Revolution' and the high concept is: An adventure series in a world suddenly and inexplicably without power." [more inside]
posted by Mo Nickels on Sep 18, 2012 - 150 comments

Make good programmes

Armando Iannucci's Bafta lecture 2012 - In which the creator of The Thick Of It argues that the BBC should be more aggressive, fight back against critics in the press and goverment, be more like HBO than committee-driven American network TV, and that if as James Murdoch says the only reliable, durable guarantor of independence is profit then the only guarantor of profit is independance.
posted by Artw on Sep 12, 2012 - 41 comments

"It's not as though [the ten commandments] were written in stone, darling."

The Powers That Be was a short-lived, irreverent sitcom about a dim US Senator (John Forsythe, in his last major starring role on television) and his dysfunctional family, that aired on NBC between 1992 and 1993. Created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman, who would go on to create Friends, the show co-starred David Hyde Pierce (pre-Frasier) as the Senator's suicidal son-in-law. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 25, 2011 - 21 comments

Britta'd it

NBC's Community is being put on hiatus. Twitter is pissed. [more inside]
posted by NoraReed on Nov 14, 2011 - 376 comments

Is the 2011-2012 Sitcom Schedule the Worst in a Decade?

Splitsider asks "Is the 2011-2012 Sitcom Schedule the Worst in a Decade?"
posted by reenum on Nov 10, 2011 - 163 comments

Behind the scenes with

In 2006, Kai Hibbard was a contestant on weight-loss reality show "The Biggest Loser", where she was a runner-up. Now she's speaking out about her experiences on the show in an interview with blogger Golda Poretsky. The interview is in three pieces: Part I, Part II, Part III.
posted by rmd1023 on Jun 24, 2010 - 89 comments

Dr. Zworykin's Secret Experimental RCA Photos

The Personal Photographs of Dr. Vladimir Kosma Zworykin, Television Pioneer. The screen images are time exposure photographs of the picture on the kinescope in the monitoring rack in the main control room. Some were taken with stationary frames of moving picture film projected upon the iconoscope by a standard moving picture machine. Others are actually the pictures transmitted with the iconoscope camera in the studio and outdoors.
posted by tellurian on May 3, 2010 - 9 comments

"In three months I’ve gone from network television to Twitter to performing live in theaters, and now I’m headed to basic cable. My plan is working perfectly."

Though most were betting on the former Tonight Show host to end up with a show on FOX, Conan O'Brien has confirmed today that he will do a late night show for cable network TBS at 11pm, starting in November. There was no word on the status of the masturbating bear.
posted by kyleg on Apr 12, 2010 - 73 comments

Trusting the FOX

Fox News is the most trusted news network in the United States, according to a new poll [.pdf] of 1,151 Americans conducted by Public Policy Polling (a polling firm with a mostly Democratic and progressive list of clients), the most trusted news network among Americans is FOX News, which was trusted by 49% of respondents (beating out CNN, MS-NBC, CBS, NBC, and ABC (though PBS was not included in the survey)). The pollsters conclude: “A generation ago you would have expected Americans to place their trust in the most neutral and unbiased conveyors of news,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. “But the media landscape has really changed and now they’re turning more toward the outlets that tell them what they want to hear.”
posted by washburn on Jan 26, 2010 - 126 comments

NBC Way Back Wednesdays

NBC offers Way Back Wednesdays where you can watch full vintage episodes online of Rod Serling's Night Gallery, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Emergency, Battlestar Galactica, The A-Team, Buck Rogers, and Miami Vice.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner on Apr 3, 2008 - 24 comments

West Wing Canceled

And the winner is . . . irrelevant, as NBC has canceled The West Wing after seven seasons. Sagging ratings—not John Spencer's death—have been blamed for the axe falling on the unconsummated ascendancy of Matt Santos or Arnold Vinick.
posted by Saucy Intruder on Jan 22, 2006 - 50 comments

We chased lady luck, 'til we finally struck Bonanza.

In 1967 the television program Bonanza enjoyed a three-year run as the most-watched television show in the United States. Bonanza had not started well; its first two seasons returning disapointing ratings but kept alive by the bequest of (then) NBC-parent RCA. RCA had a vested interest in keeping the color series alive in order to push sales of their color technology.

That same year Bill and Joyce Anderson created The Ponderosa Ranch tourist attraction near Incline Village, Nevada on the site allegedly shown by the burning map in the opening credits. The property annually attracts nearly 350,000 tourists to Lake Tahoe's north shore to enjoy the surroundings of a period recreation including mock gunfights, cowboy rope tricks and an honest 1860's-style saloon. (more inside)
posted by Ogre Lawless on Aug 5, 2004 - 12 comments

American Dreams premierd last night on NBC.

American Dreams premierd last night on NBC. "This evocative drama -- set against the memorable, upbeat sounds of the 1960s -- depicts a more innocent America as seen through the youthful Pryor family of Philadelphia as they brace for cultural turbulence ahead that still resonates in this contemporary era." Several things along those lines in the show caught my attention. One being the way the 1960's mother role is portrayed. Is she content or is she oppressed? What happend to the everyday sit-down family dinner, where some things are not appropriate to say at the dinner table? Why did it seem like such a simpler place and time? Would America today feel the same pain if we lost our president? The show is not a whole lot different from the concept of the Wonder Years but it seems fresh compared to some of the other NBC dramas.
posted by Recockulous on Sep 30, 2002 - 53 comments

Timmy leaves his Princess.

Timmy leaves his Princess. Josh Ryan Evans, the actor who played Timmy on my favorite soap opera (Passions) died Monday evening from a heart condition.

What's creepy is that the exact same day on the show, his character died.

The producers are editing out anything to do with Timmy, although I really hope that there's a legitimate memorial on the show for the character. He's been the soul of the series, and he simply can't be replaced.

Of course, I expect Tabitha to go full on evil now...
posted by Pinwiz on Aug 6, 2002 - 55 comments

Am I the only one who notices that Scrubs is the best new show on television?

Am I the only one who notices that Scrubs is the best new show on television? Great writing and a great cast make me wonder who is Watching Ellie and putting the Seinfeld Curse at 3 for 3 with 2 RBI's and a double. If you haven't seen Scrubs, check it out. If you have, tell other people to watch it. Don't let quality television go off the air because of a bad time slot! (Tue. at 9:30 Est on NBC)
posted by McBain on Mar 8, 2002 - 41 comments

It was bound to happen.

It was bound to happen. "The NBC TV network is looking to revive the old fantasy TV series FANTASY ISLAND -- as a reality series."
posted by donkeyschlong on Oct 30, 2001 - 11 comments

"The Olympics isn't so much a sporting event as it is an unfolding drama."

"The Olympics isn't so much a sporting event as it is an unfolding drama." Not content with denying American viewers the chance to watch the Sydney games in real time during the infomercial hours, NBC now plans to show events from Salt Lake City on a tape delay to viewers on the west coast, in order to reach a prime-time audience. A sign that they're more interested in the ad revenue (or in shaping the Games to their own melodramatic style guide) than in being a broadcaster of record?
posted by holgate on Jun 28, 2001 - 14 comments

NBC apologizes to Latinos for 'Law & Order' episode

NBC apologizes to Latinos for 'Law & Order' episode The network's action was swiftly criticized by Dick Wolf, executive producer of the long-running legal drama. So a TV network caves into a lobbying group, even though the episode was based on real events.
posted by fleener on Jan 28, 2001 - 25 comments

Reuters 09/22 6:34PM -- NBC, which in August bid for the exclusive right to host a presidential debate, said on Friday it would broadcast a baseball game instead of the first showdown between Democrat Al Gore and Republican George W. Bush. "We have a contract with major-league baseball. You don't seriously think we have any interest in democracy, do you?,'' said NBC spokeswoman Barbara Levin. "If we were offerred more than the value of the baseball contract, we would be televising it.''
posted by sudama on Sep 22, 2000 - 6 comments

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