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EXTERMINATE

Russell T. Davies and then Steven Moffat have done their own transformations, which were fantastic, but we have to put that aside and start from scratch. Variety reports Harry Potter director David Yates wants to reboot Doctor Who. Topless Robot reacts.
posted by gerryblog on Nov 14, 2011 - 150 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

The spiritual successor to 24 is a much calmer affair.

At first glance, the new inside-the-CIA Showtime series Homeland looks like a cynical socio-political potboiler -- an attempt to exploit fears of a terrorist attack on American soil by Muslim extremists. In reality, the critically acclaimed show, about an anti-terrorism agent (Claire Danes) tracking a U.S. Marine war hero (Damian Lewis) who may now be working for what's left of Al Qaeda, is thoughtful and emotionally complex despite its airplane-thriller trappings. That's why showrunners Howard Gordon and his buddy Alex Gansa gave an interview to Mother Jones, a self-described "news organization that specializes in investigative, political, and social justice reporting." Reflecting on lessons they learned in the trenches of 24, they talk about Homeland's self-aware approach to paranoia as entertainment, and how "dangerous and politically incendiary" a TV show can be .
posted by Joey Bagels on Nov 8, 2011 - 67 comments

Televisual journalists report forthcoming same-sex nuptuals on Conan

Conan O'Brien may be about to push the envelope on late-night television
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Nov 3, 2011 - 173 comments

Jews, People with Mustaches, and Divorced People

America in Primetime is a four-part PBS special on four character archetypes that define contemporary television and interviews tons of writers, producers and actors from a set of defining shows. The first episode, Independent Women (which you can stream from their website) aired last night, gaining measured reviews from Bitch and the AV Club. Future episodes: Man of the House, The Misfit and The Crusader.
posted by Apropos of Something on Oct 31, 2011 - 22 comments

NetNostalgia Forum – Television (local)

does anyone remember this kid’s show “I think Candle Cove ran for only a couple months in ’71, not ’72. I was 12 and I watched it a few times with my brother. It was channel 58, whatever station that was. My mom would let me switch to it after the news. Let me see what I remember.”
posted by kipmanley on Oct 31, 2011 - 20 comments

Don't have nightmares

The Nightmare Man was a four part BBC sf/horror drama about some... thing slaughtering the inhabitants of a remote Scottish island. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Oct 31, 2011 - 13 comments

New! And Improved! Buy Now! Half off! Limited time offer! Fortified with 11 vitamins and minerals!

Melt your brain into goo on an overdose of crass 80s consumerism and TV without the TV shows at 80sCommercialVault. Superbowl 19 commercials. Commercials from Jaws. Saturday morning commercials. Daytime / evening commercials. [more inside]
posted by loquacious on Oct 30, 2011 - 11 comments

This Year’s Hot TV Trend Is Anatomically Correct

There has been a noticeable uptick in the use of the word "vagina" in network TV shows, reports the NY Times.
posted by reenum on Oct 19, 2011 - 131 comments

I DEMAND TO BE HOUSEWARMED!

Dan Harmon shares pics of the notes and diagrams from the writers' room for this week's highly praised Community episode, "Remedial Chaos Theory."
posted by Navelgazer on Oct 16, 2011 - 110 comments

"Big Bang" in Belarus

Watched every episode of the "Big Bang Theory" and still want more? There's always Belarus's unauthorized copy of the show, titled "The Theorists".
posted by reenum on Oct 13, 2011 - 94 comments

The 60 Coolest Television Title Sequences

The 60 Coolest Television Title Sequences in three pages of links.
posted by gauche on Oct 13, 2011 - 140 comments

Can't Beat A Bit Of Bully

Bullseye Contestants (I don't think they've got to the murderer yet) [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Oct 8, 2011 - 17 comments

Syd Dale, Legend of Library

There is no questioning Syd Dale's [mid-60s UK NSFW] place amongst the legends of library music. ... his lavish big band inspired compositions were quickly brought to the public's attention through their use in countless t.v. shows and advertisements. Much of his work could be as classed as easy listening however Dale was also adept at incorporating elements of funk and spy jazz.* [The music of the 1967 Spider-Man animated TV series - to which he so memorably contributed - has been discussed previously.] [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Oct 8, 2011 - 10 comments

Remember when music television actually played music videos?

It has been nearly a decade since VH1 cancelled "Pop Up Video," but at noon ET today the show returns with 60 new episodes. Their first video: Britney Spears' Til the World Ends. The program's new incarnation will also allow viewers to DIY their own "pop up" videos and share them on Facebook and Twitter." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Oct 3, 2011 - 42 comments

Box o' Yuks

Metafilter has debated the necessity of the laugh track before; we even got called out by Craig Ferguson for allegedly mistaking a live studio audience for canned laughter. But do you know the history of the laugh track? (previously) [more inside]
posted by PhoBWanKenobi on Sep 28, 2011 - 115 comments

C is still for Cookie, and that's good enough for me

Science! (autoplaying video) The 42nd season of "Sesame Street," which premiered today, will be including a few new educational categories for preschoolers in its usual mix of lessons and parodies: STEM skills — Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. In addition to more scientifically accurate slapstick, characters will try experiments, build bridges and boats, launch rockets and think through problems that require trial and error, observation and data -- all problem areas for America's students. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Sep 27, 2011 - 34 comments

The Benny Hill Show

Thanks to his work in television, especially The Benny Hill Show, Benny Hill is the most universally recognised of British comedians. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Sep 27, 2011 - 68 comments

Documentary mistakes videogame footage for genuine terrorist footage

Last night, British ITV broadcasted "Exposure: Gaddafi and the IRA", a documentary which included this 1988 Provisional IRA footage the filmmakers found on YouTube. Unfortunately, the footage is actually and blatently from videogame ArmA 2. ITV has stopped streaming the documentary.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Sep 27, 2011 - 25 comments

"Apparently you can't hack into a government supercomputer and then try to buy uranium without the Department of Homeland Security tattling to your mother."

TV Fact Checkers "Behind every smart TV show, there is a tireless script coordinator, technical adviser, researcher or producer who makes sure the jargon is right, the science is accurate and the pop culture references are on-point." This week, Wired "is speaking with fact-checkers behind the fall TV season’s geekiest shows." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Sep 22, 2011 - 72 comments

Alligator Boots

Alligator Boots Behind the scenes of the never-aired 'hip-hop puppet show.' From Kanye West and the producers of Crank Yankers. (Via the AV Club.)
posted by box on Sep 15, 2011 - 14 comments

"Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders" (1979)

Your NFL team probably has cheerleaders. But this team's cheerleaders had a movie made about them. And because they're from a place where they like to do things big, when that movie was broadcast, it was viewed on 60% of the televisions in use at the time. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Sep 8, 2011 - 78 comments

The Jon Brion Show

Live from 1999, it's the unaired pilot for The Jon Brion Show! With special guests Paul F. Tompkins, Grant-Lee Phillips, Mark Oliver "E" Everett, Greg Behrendt, Elliot Smith, Rickie Lee Jones, Robyn Hitchcock, Cheap Trick, and Mary Lynn Rajskub. [more inside]
posted by Iridic on Sep 6, 2011 - 13 comments

The tale of poor Ortis Deley

Embarrassment alert: some would say Channel 4 hired the wrong man (Youtube) to host live coverage of the Athletics World Championships. The consensus seems to be that Channel 4 are to blame.
posted by nthdegx on Sep 4, 2011 - 50 comments

Let's Get Critical

Let's Get Critical is "a new Longform.org partner site dedicated to surfacing the best cultural criticism on the web."
posted by Ahab on Sep 1, 2011 - 13 comments

Humiliation Television

Playboy: The Curse of Reality TV (url/ads may be NSFW)
posted by zarq on Aug 29, 2011 - 57 comments

March of Time

From 1935 to 1951, Time Magazine bridged the gap between print & radio news reporting and the new visual medium of film, with March of Time: award-winning newsreel reports that were a combination of objective documentary, dramatized fiction and pro-American, anti-totalitarian propaganda. They “often tackled subjects and themes that audiences weren’t used to seeingforeign affairs, social trends, public-health issues — and did so with a combination of panache and subterfuge that today seems either absurd or visionary.” (Previous two links have autoplaying video.) By 1937, the short films were being seen by as many as 26 million people every month and may have helped steer public opinion on numerous issues, including (eventually) America’s entry to WWII. Video samples are available at Time.com, the March of Time Facebook page and the entire collection is available online, (free registration required) at HBO Archives. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 22, 2011 - 8 comments

“All our things are right and wrong together. The wave of evil washes all our institutions alike.”

8 Reasons Young Americans Don't Fight Back: How the US Crushed Youth Resistance
posted by allkindsoftime on Aug 12, 2011 - 224 comments

"Dana is playing Bill Clinton literally breastfeeding puppies—that was our introduction to America."

GQ: Teats Out: An Oral History of the Rise and Fall (and Rise) of "The Dana Carvey Show." "Steve Carell. Stephen Colbert. Louis C.K. Charlie Kaufman. Robert Smigel. Some of comedy's greatest minds got one of their biggest breaks on the short-lived but much-loved "The Dana Carvey Show." Fifteen years later, in this exclusive oral history, the players recount the brief but fertile life of a truly unusual show", all eight episodes of which are available on Hulu. (Previously) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 9, 2011 - 33 comments

Kim Deitch: My Life in Records

"I decided I wanted to buy the Dorsey Brothers’ mambo record. However, I did not have the required 39 cents." Over at The Comics Journal, cartoonist Kim Deitch (previously), son of animator Gene Deitch (previously), has been posting a wonderful, rambling memoir about the music in his life.
Part 1: The Dorseys and Beyond "Watch for Russ Columbo playing some hot violin in this one."
Part 2: An Early Education - Jazz, folk and the ’40s - Alan Lomax, Jelly Roll Morton and jazz fandom
Part 3: Our hero stumbles on the birth of television, specifically, music on television
Part 4: Rock ‘n Roll - "For a lot of Americans it was like the whole damn African jungle had landed in the middle of Ed Sullivan’s stage"
Part 5: Rocking Forward [more inside]
posted by mediareport on Aug 7, 2011 - 3 comments

The Siskel & Ebert Vault

Starting tonight, Ebert Presents At the Movies will begin airing full episodes of Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert’s original PBS show, Sneak Previews. Taking a break from reviewing movies, co-hosts Christy Lemire and Ignatiy Vishnevetsky will introduce and discuss the episodes. Hungry for more classic Siskel & Ebert? Try the invaluable, Ebert-approved SiskelandEbert.org, a growing archive of home-taped episodes of Sneak Previews and At the Movies. [more inside]
posted by alexoscar on Aug 5, 2011 - 21 comments

The man who killed Pluto doesn't DESERVE those sweaters!

FOX has greenlit an update of Carl Sagan's Cosmos: A Personal Voyage (on Hulu, previously) co-produced by Sagan's widow Ann Druyan and Seth MacFarlane, hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson, which will air in Fall 2013. [more inside]
posted by Apropos of Something on Aug 5, 2011 - 95 comments

Consider the following...

Bill Nye, the-Sci-ence Guy
Biill Nyye, the Science Guuy
Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill!
Bill Nye, the-Sci-ence Guy
(Science rules)
Bill Nye, the-Sci-ence Guy
(Inertia is a property of matter)
Bill, Bill, Bill, Bill-Bill-Bill-
Biill Nyye, the Science Guuy
Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill!
(T-minus seven seconds)
Bill Nye, the-Sci-ence Guy

[more inside]
posted by troll on Aug 4, 2011 - 101 comments

Food Network Humor

Food Network Humor (previously)
posted by Trurl on Aug 3, 2011 - 61 comments

Smart girls who love some bad things.

Hey, Don't Judge Me by "smart girls who love some bad things". Hey, Don't Judge Me exists for one reason only: to be a place where we don’t have to hide our love of schlock anymore. . . Media recaps and reviews. Television. Movies. Comics. Srsly Good Music. Redemption Corner. Mefi's own elizardbits is a contributor. Twitter @hey_dontjudgeme
posted by mlis on Aug 2, 2011 - 44 comments

Orange you glad you got your Nickelodeon?

Two and a half years ago, we explored the early history of Cartoon Network... but it wasn't the only player in the youth television game. As a matter of fact, Fred Seibert -- the man responsible for the most inventive projects discussed in that post -- first stretched his creative legs at the network's truly venerable forerunner: Nickelodeon. Founded as Pinwheel, a six-hour block on Warner Cable's innovative QUBE system, this humble channel struggled for years before Seibert's innovative branding work transformed it into a national icon and capstone of a media empire. Much has changed since then, from the mascots and game shows to the versatile orange "splat." But starting tonight in response to popular demand, the network is looking back with a summer programming block dedicated to the greatest hits of the 1990s, including Hey Arnold!, Rocko's Modern Life, The Adventures of Pete & Pete, The Ren & Stimpy Show, Double Dare, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Legends of the Hidden Temple, and All That. To celebrate, look inside for the complete story of the early days of the network that incensed the religious right, brought doo-wop to television, and slimed a million fans -- the golden age of Nickelodeon. (warning: monster post inside) [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Jul 25, 2011 - 116 comments

Roads? Where we're going, we don't need roads.

Pop Pilgrims : "When the AV Club Travels, we always make time to visit pop culture landmarks. If something memorable happened in the world of film, tv, books, or music, we want to go there. We're not just tourists, we're POP PILGRIMS." [more inside]
posted by crunchland on Jul 20, 2011 - 13 comments

New York. The Big Apple. The City of Dreams. The Hobart of the North.

[AustraliaFilter] A bunch of fine bloggers - Ben Pobjie, Giles Hardie, Katherine Feeney, Karl Quinn, Sarah McInerney, Jenna Clarke and a few others - are writing hilarious MasterChef Recaps.
posted by vidur on Jul 19, 2011 - 56 comments

Clear Eyes, Full Hearts...

I remember I went to NBC, and there were about 10 people in the room. [Kevin Reilly] and I looked at each other, and he said, "What do you want to do?" I said, "I want to build up this all-American quarterback, this hero. This wonderful, beautiful kid with his entire future ahead of him. His biggest decision in life was whether he was going to take a full ride to UT or Notre Dame. He's got the hot girlfriend. He's got the loving parents. And he's going to break his neck in the first game. We're going to create this iconic American hero, and we're going to demolish him." An oral history of Friday Night Lights.
posted by Pants McCracky on Jul 14, 2011 - 131 comments

"Don't steal from *this* show! That's like taking pants from a hobo!"

After Kad & Olivier sign off and the Satisfaction production logo fades, viewing audiences are oftentimes treated to a cold open of an empty talk show set... one that quickly becomes the impromptu dance floor for a shameless Frenchman making an absolute giddy fool of himself while lip-syncing pop songs alongside a menagerie of... wait, *what*?! That's right. The Late Late Show's Craig Ferguson appears to have a not-so-secret French admirer -- one who's not above ripping off both his opening titles and his signature dance sequences (including the iconic animal puppets): "ABC" by The Jackson 5, "Flashdance" by Irene Cara, "On the Floor" by Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull, "Waka Waka" by Shakira, "Men in Black" by Will Smith, "Let's All Chant" by the Michael Zager Band, "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" by Wham!, "It's Raining Men" by The Weather Girls, and "Vive Le Vent (Jingle Bells)" by Tino Rossi. Luckily, Ferguson's sense of showmanship is more prodigious than litigious -- he responded to Arthur's "homáge" by booking a pair of translatlantic crossover shows, with Arthur visiting LA that week and Ferguson flying out to Paris just last month. Video of both shows (plus lots more) inside! [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Jul 11, 2011 - 12 comments

Brave New Beige

Ever wonder how many variants of jumpsuits there can be? Do mock turtlenecks belong in space? Why is brown the color of respecting alien cultures? Fashion It So takes on the couture of the 24th century one Next Generation episode at a time.
posted by The Whelk on Jul 3, 2011 - 32 comments

The Most Uncomfortable Half Hour of Television Ever

This Is Your Life was not always about famous people being surprised with nostalgic reminisces and old friends. Early in the series, the spotlighted guests included ordinary people who had lived though extraordinary circumstances: most controversially, a survivor of Hiroshima, brought on stage in front of a live audience, to be face-to-face with the man who had dropped the atomic bomb on his city. Further background on the meeting. The show did not end its daring there, bringing in a Holocaust survivor in 1953, and ambushing Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy in a hotel room for their only appearance on television together. Semi-related: a remarkable interview with Johnny Lee Clary, a former KKK leader, regarding his interaction with (and eventual peaceful defeat by) Reverend Wade Watts. [more inside]
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul on Jul 3, 2011 - 29 comments

"With television you just sit, watch, listen. The thinking is done for you."

Gawker's John Cook yesterday published an exclusive report on a trove of documents from the Nixon Presidential Library tracing the development of Fox News to a 1970 internal memo annotated by then-consultant Roger Ailes. Part of a 318-page cache of similar documents, the memo -- "A Plan For Putting the GOP on TV News" -- called for the creation of a strongly pro-Nixon news outlet operated from the White House which would disseminate partisan news packages free of charge to local affiliates across the country. By coordinating release of these targeted reports with allied politicians and duping opponents into hostile interviews, Ailes hoped to bypass the "prejudices of network news" -- a desire which led him to advocate for some unexpected political policies at the time, from campaign finance reform to anti-poverty efforts. The report comes as Fox is waging an aggressive two-front PR war with perceived ideological enemies -- calling on viewers to file IRS complaints against Media Matters' tax-exempt status for their dogged fact-checking of the network, while on-air hosts launched a campaign to label Jon Stewart "racist" after he called out their record of falsehoods following a critical interview with Chris Wallace (previously).
posted by Rhaomi on Jul 1, 2011 - 92 comments

Soundworks

The Soundworks Collection gives a behind-the-scenes look into the work of talented sound teams working on feature films, soundtrack scoring, and video games with a compilation of exclusive interviews, awards shows / event panel coverage and sound stage / studio room videos. Vimeo Channel. YouTube Channel. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jul 1, 2011 - 8 comments

A Short Vision

"Just last week you read about the H-bomb being dropped. Now two great English writers, two very imaginative writers — I’m gonna tell you if you have youngsters in the living room tell them not to be alarmed at this ‘cause it’s a fantasy, the whole thing is animated — but two English writers, Joan and Peter Foldes, wrote a thing which they called ‘A Short Vision’ in which they wondered what might happen to the animal population of the world if an H-bomb were dropped. It’s produced by George K. Arthur and I’d like you to see it. It is grim, but I think we can all stand it to realize that in war there is no winner." [via]
posted by brundlefly on Jun 27, 2011 - 13 comments

Go Back to Where You Came From

Six westerners make the same journey that thousands of desperate people make every year to Australia, but in reverse. [more inside]
posted by smoke on Jun 21, 2011 - 105 comments

Now the story of a wealthy man who lost everything. And the one son who had no choice but to keep them all together.

The much-beloved Arrested Development was characterized by its complex, multilayered narrative jokes; here the A. V. Club analyzed a 50-second-long clip and tried to map out all its references (including one very subtle three-part joke about eggs). Luckily for you, there’s a very exhaustive web site, The Balboa Observer-Picayune, which documents the show’s obscurest jokes (H. Maddas, Blackstool, GOB’s ice obsession), its cleverest callbacks (Hello’s revenge, ”Mom says”, pilot/finale callbacks), its visual gags (yearbooks, newspapers, cartoons, Amazon), and its longest-running gags (I’ve made a huge mistake”, “Her?”, Cloud Mir, ”Hey, brother!”, and the chicken dance). Complete index of references at the Bluthcyclopedia. Complete transcripts of every episode. Bonus songs! All You Need Is Smiles. Yellow Boat. Big Yellow Joint. Hot Cops. It Ain’t Easy Being White. Discipline Daddy. Motherboy. Balls in the Air. You Here With Me. I Get Up. Finally, Fonzie jumps the shark again. [more inside]
posted by Rory Marinich on Jun 16, 2011 - 301 comments

You can't take a picture of this; it's already gone.

The A.V. Club's T.V. Club has begun to reexamine Six Feet Under. The show, widely considered one of the finest television series of all time, turned 10 years old a little over a week ago. So far, the first three episodes have been reviewed.
posted by Houyhnhnm on Jun 15, 2011 - 114 comments

What to watch when you've finished running through The Wire, Dr. Who, Battlestar Galactica and Firefly on Netflix.

Why should you be watching HBO's Game of Thrones? In two words: Peter Dinklage. At 41 and expecting his first child, actor Peter Dinklage may finally be coming into his own. Though his breakout role in the indie movie Station Agent might not have made it onto your Netflix queue, Dinklage is winning accolades for his performance as Tyrion Lannister in Game of Thrones, the HBO series based on George R. R. Martin's epic fantasy series, A Song of Fire and Ice. [more inside]
posted by misha on Jun 14, 2011 - 393 comments

Truly outrageous.

"Do you think Jem cares about the Misfits? Jem don't care, she just takes what she wants." (slyt) (previously)
posted by Artw on Jun 10, 2011 - 20 comments

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