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“Where do left and right meet? At the truth.”

Politically Incorrect was an American late-night, half-hour political talk show hosted by Bill Maher that ran from 1993 to 2002, first on Comedy Central and then on ABC. Four guests (usually including at least one comedian) would debate topics across the political spectrum in what Maher once described as “The McLaughlin Group on acid.” Of the 1300+ episodes produced, 190 can be viewed on YouTube. [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 23, 2014 - 66 comments

"All Good Things..." 20 Years Later

Ronald D. Moore and Brannon Braga discuss writing the Star Trek: The Next Generation series finale. [more inside]
posted by audi alteram partem on May 23, 2014 - 43 comments

Mr. Vice President, is there something you know that I don't know?

Seventeen People. A modest tribute to—and deconstruction of—my favorite hour of television.
posted by Cash4Lead on May 20, 2014 - 35 comments

I bet this FPP is even scarier inside!

"Looking back on it, one of the things that's crazy is I don't think I even realized that first of all, Joe Flaherty is supposed to be a vampire but he's howling like a werewolf. [laughs] I just took that for granted, and it must've been years until I saw it and was like "Wait a minute, that's a joke!" Furthermore, Count Floyd's always wearing a turtleneck which is the least vampire thing ever." "Splitsider kicks off its new column, Sketch Anatomy, with television writer Bill Oakley breaking down SCTV’s "Dr. Tongue’s Evil House of Pancakes" (previously). Oww owww oowoooooo!!!
posted by Room 641-A on May 20, 2014 - 73 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

"When you’re a fat woman, taking up space is an affront to femininity."

What that Louie episode got right and wrong about fat women. After Sunday night's airing of Louie, some thoughtful, angry, interesting articles about how the show dealt with the issue of female body-shaming have popped up. But should the issue of fat-shaming women really be brought up by men?
posted by Kitteh on May 14, 2014 - 126 comments

Cultural Dealbreaker

The A.V. Club asks readers What’s your cultural dealbreaker? which they define as "cultural products that someone can profess to enjoy only while losing all of your respect."
posted by arcolz on May 10, 2014 - 211 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

Screen Gems

Slightly unheralded prince of television themes, Steve Barri. Plus, a look at his early songwriting career with P.F. Sloan. [more inside]
posted by saintjoe on May 8, 2014 - 0 comments

There's never been a major character like her on the small-screen.

Why Tina of Bob's Burgers Can't Be Ignored
"The eldest Belcher child is a unique character in the world of modern television. And this is a very good thing."
posted by davidstandaford on May 6, 2014 - 71 comments

How to communicate like Jack Bauer.

Jack Bauer has a distinctive approach. He repeats it (SYTL).
posted by entropone on May 5, 2014 - 47 comments

Starring Robin Williams as "Everyman". Nuff said.

When the 20th anniversary of Earth Day rolled around in 1990, there was a desire to mark the occasion in a big way in order to teach a new generation about the environment. The celebration went global with events in 141 countries. Oh, and a television special. An earnest, all star, incredibly cheesy television special. [more inside]
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Apr 20, 2014 - 16 comments

Branding Nick at Nite

"Knowing we are watching something that doesn't fit in today's world and being completely self-conscious about our enjoyment of it is the essence of Nick-At-Nites's appeal." Fascinating memo from 1987 about Nick at Nite's brand and positioning. [more inside]
posted by roll truck roll on Apr 15, 2014 - 51 comments

White Dwarf

Before Firefly, there was the television movie White Dwarf, a far-future pseudo-western scripted by Bruce "Wild Palms" Wagner. The story is essentially Kurosawa's Red Beard relocated to the tidally-locked planet of Rusta, a frontier world split between a Victorian dayside culture and a medieval nightside kingdom. Neal McDonough stars as an arrogant young Earth doctor dispatched to a Light Side clinic to complete an internship under the unorthodox Paul Winfield.
posted by Iridic on Apr 10, 2014 - 34 comments

Do Johnny for me

Merle Haggard doing impersonations. [more inside]
posted by Lorin on Apr 9, 2014 - 18 comments

The Simpsons = 11 days, 13 hours, 30 minutes. D'oh!

# of seasons × # of episodes per season × runtime of episode = total for 1 TV show. Repeat for more TV shows = total time. Tiii.me lets you select the name of a tv show, the number of seasons you've watched, and tells you how much of your life you've spent watching that show. Add more shows and it will keep a running total for you. [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on Apr 6, 2014 - 32 comments

Consuming Hannibal

"Hannibal exists in a world where all metaphors move from abstract to concrete and literal—they become embodied. Metaphorical vision and 'seeing' become a giant eye stitched from human flesh." The mind and the body in Hannibal. Spoiler heavy up to the most recent episode. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Mar 31, 2014 - 1812 comments

R.I.P. Lorenzo Semple Jr.

It would be hard to find two more disparate and distinctive genres than the playful TV adventure shows of the 1960's and the paranoid conspiracy thrillers of the 1970's. Yet they both owe a great deal to the same man: Screenwriter Lorenzo Semple Jr., who not only had a hand in the "Batman" TV show but also penned "The Parallax View" and "Three Days of the Condor", died today at the age of 91.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Mar 28, 2014 - 19 comments

"You shouldn't dream your film, you should make it!" ~ Spielberg

Filmmaker IQ offers an extensive variety of free online courses, articles and tutorial videos for aspiring filmmakers. Their image gallery is also fun to browse through. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 27, 2014 - 8 comments

Graphing the Shark

Graph TV uses IMDb data to visualize jumping the shark, among other things. Arrested Development. Breaking Bad. 30 Rock. Gilmore Girls. The Shield. [Via.] [more inside]
posted by Monsieur Caution on Mar 24, 2014 - 101 comments

For Pete's sake Bob, don't spread rumors.

After a grand total of eleven teasers (featuring Martin Freeman and Billy Bob Thornton,) FX has released a trailer for their upcoming TV series Fargo.
posted by griphus on Mar 19, 2014 - 58 comments

Pentagon Channel, Defense Laboratories Team Up for New Science TV Show

"Armed with Science," is a new science-focused TV show developed by two of the Department of Defense's in-house research laboratories and the Pentagon. They have always developed some crazy tech work, like perception tests on their robots. If Skynet is going to be real, I think these are the agencies that will put the terminators online.
posted by nealrodriguez on Mar 10, 2014 - 4 comments

A HUNDRED SEASONS AND A MOVIE, WW FOREVER RICK AND MORTY DOT COM

Are you a fan of inventive, black-humored sci-fi/fantasy animation? Desperate to fill the Futurama-shaped hole in your heart? Look no further than Rick and Morty, the superb new Adult Swim series from animator Justin "Lemongrab" Roiland and Community darling Dan Harmon. Inspired by a (terrible and very NSFW) Back To The Future knock-off, the show pairs a naïve young teen (Morty) with his cynical, alcoholic, mad scientist grandfather (Rick), each episode exploring a trope -- dreams, aliens, innerspace, parallel universes, virtual reality -- and turning it inside-out with intricate plotting, eye-catching art, and dark, whipsmart humor (with plenty of improvisation along the way). A ratings hit already secured for a second season, the show returns from an Olympics-induced hiatus tomorrow -- in the meantime, why not sample the six episodes aired so far: Pilot - Lawnmower Dog - Anatomy Park - M. Night Shaym-Aliens! - Meeseeks and Destroy - Rick Potion #9. Want more? Promo/highlight reel - AV Club reviews - TVTropes - Reddit - Rick & Morty ComicCon panel - Storyboard Test - Soundtrack samples - Play the "Rushed Licensed Adventure" point-and-click game
posted by Rhaomi on Mar 9, 2014 - 84 comments

What am I, Who am I, What will I be?

After the success of releasing the television pilot for Battlestar Galactica in movie theaters (in Sensurround) in 1978, Universal Pictures decided on a theatrical release for it's other science fiction TV series: Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. The film version of the pilot was essentially the same as what later appeared on NBC... except with a very different style of opening credits and theme song.
posted by jca on Mar 9, 2014 - 82 comments

How making 'Veronica Mars' changed the movie business.

Ever since Rob Thomas’s beloved TV show Veronica Mars got canceled, he’s wanted to make it into a movie. Turns out all he needed was the help of 91,585 of his biggest fans. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 6, 2014 - 142 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

Democratic and demanding

Are the New ‘Golden Age’ TV Shows the New Novels? (NYT) [more inside]
posted by stbalbach on Feb 27, 2014 - 71 comments

Normalizing torture

"Fringe is a modern reincarnation of the X-Files. . . However one major difference that jumps out when you compare them is the huge amount of torture that happens in Fringe compared to the X-Files . . . Everywhere you see it it promotes the lie that torture works."
posted by tippiedog on Feb 27, 2014 - 79 comments

Fawlty Towers without the Fawltys

John Cleese: "I remember at a party I met these chaps from Viacom, who said they were working on a new Fawlty Towers. My ears pricked up at the sound of cash registers and said, 'That's wonderful, are you going to change anything?'. They said, 'Well we have changed one thing, we've written Basil out'. And that's absolutely true, they took Basil and Sybil's lines and gave them all to Bea Arthur." The resulting effort was a 1983 ABC series called Amanda’s By the Sea which could charitably be described as a fiasco. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 24, 2014 - 68 comments

What the hell are you staring at?"

"I'm just one more duck detective who works with a pig and lives with the twin sister of his dead wife, three sons on two bodies and a comatose mother-in-law who's got so much gas she's a fire hazard."
~ Eric Tiberius Duckman [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 20, 2014 - 52 comments

You're in big trouble, mister!

Did Danny Tanner deal with the grief of losing his pregnant wife in a fatal car crash by creating an imaginary daughter named "Michelle"? (SLYT)
posted by lesli212 on Feb 18, 2014 - 114 comments

"I'm mad about you baby. Mad About You...."

"Did you just kiss me?"
"No."
"I didn't think so."
[more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 14, 2014 - 57 comments

"IT'S ALIVE, ALIVE!! ... I've always wanted to say that."

"It's an epic Urban Fantasy, a sci-fi thriller set Twenty Minutes into the Future, and a gritty crime-drama. And a tribute to William Shakespeare, where Puck, Oberon, Titania, and the Weird Sisters have prominent roles, and Macbeth kicks ass in a trenchcoat with a laser gun."
Plus, Star Trek alums lend their voices to many regular characters and guest stars. On the eve of its 20th anniversary, Gargoyles is now being offered legally on YouTube by Disney. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 12, 2014 - 51 comments

Apparently, Geraldo Rivera is immortal.

Forty years before "Modern Family" and "The Bachelor", ABC was... well, you can see for yourself: A thirty-three minute promo for the American Broadcasting Company from 1974.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Feb 10, 2014 - 80 comments

Luckily most of these songs aren't dreck

The Music Scene is a television series aired by ABC as part of its Fall 1969 lineup. The show featured performances from the top musicians of the week as compiled by “Billboard Magazine” and had a number of hosts, including David Steinberg and Lily Tomlin. Many huge names of the era, including The Beatles, James Brown, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Three Dog Night, Tom Jones on the initial program and Janis Joplin, Bobby Sherman, The Miracles, Sly & the Family Stone, Isaac Hayes, Stevie Wonder, Bo Diddley and Mama Cass Elliot, (who co-hosted as well as performed) among many others, appearing on subsequent shows. [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on Feb 9, 2014 - 18 comments

The Prisoner's Dilemma For $100, Alex

Arthur Chu has won "Jeopardy" over the last few days by employing strategies rooted in game theory. This has caused consternation among some purists.
posted by reenum on Feb 4, 2014 - 99 comments

Straight Menace

"I talked to a lawyer about suing, but there wasn't nothing we could do.... Because [The First 48] shows 'All suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty' at the beginning of the program, they're covered."

A&E shirks responsibility for episodes that broadcast incorrect information, and spokespeople confess the channel doesn't re-edit or correct flawed programs beyond stating at a show's end that murder charges were dropped. "We simply film the investigations as they unfold," a spokesperson said. "Every episode states clearly that all individuals are innocent until proven guilty."

posted by frimble on Jan 31, 2014 - 53 comments

Ten years later and we're still talking about the nipple

It's been a decade since the Janet Jackson/Justin Timberlake wardrobe malfunction. What happened is still somewhat a mystery, writes Marin Cogan in ESPN Magazine. [more inside]
posted by MoonOrb on Jan 28, 2014 - 99 comments

"Code Gouda"

Fans of "The West Wing" will recall the season one episode where Leo McGarry forces his staff to participate in "Big Block of Cheese Day" by listening to the complaints of everyday people who visit the White House. Well, it looks like that fiction is becoming a reality.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Jan 24, 2014 - 30 comments

KAPOW! CRASH! OOOOFF!

We are certainly in an age of DVD saturation for TV shows. The few titles that have taken their time have been usually due to copyright complications (such as "Daria" and "WKRP", both of which had to replace their soundtracks in order to get released). Now comes news that one of the last great home video holdouts is finally being set free: The 1960's "Batman" starring Adam West will be released on DVD later this year.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Jan 15, 2014 - 85 comments

To Simply Be

Reddit's Slow TV channel offers long videos of continuous coverage by fixed cameras on a subject or event from start to finish. Take train rides, go the beach, watch fireworks, ride the Autobahn, visit the aquarium, check out a hot spring at Yellowstone, fry up some bacon or, tour the islands of Cat Ba near Ha Long Bay in North Vietnam [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jan 15, 2014 - 18 comments

The science-fiction part of the show is that the Machine is accurate

“Person Of Interest”: The TV Show That Predicted Edward Snowden
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Jan 14, 2014 - 57 comments

Everything we ate, drank, wore, touched was on TV, is there for all time

Ira Gallen calls himself "the unofficial Baby-Boomer Guru of my Television Collecting Generation," and has spent a significant part of his life finding and restoring films, specifically televised media. In the past, he shared his collected materials on a public access show (NYT) on Manhattan and Paragon cable television seven times a week, but he changed his focus and has been sharing those varied and various collections on a handful of different YouTube accounts, where he has uploaded everything from oddly scored family home videos, a restoration of a lost Thurgood Marshall interview with Mike Wallace from 1956, an uncut 1992 interview with Richard Attenborough about the 1992 biographical film Chaplin and other topics, a montage on Noel Coward's Blithe Spirit on Broadway (IBDB), Little King in Prison (full Jolly Good Fellons clip; more information), and a collection of air conditioner screening videos from years past, to name a (very) few. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jan 11, 2014 - 7 comments

You've just crossed over

All 156 episodes of Twilight Zone at the same time. (SLYT)
posted by PHINC on Jan 7, 2014 - 29 comments

This post courtesy of the little green guys and the red jammies

♪ "Believe it or not, I'm walkin on air.
I never thought I could feel so free....
Flying away on a wing and a prayer,
Who could it be?
Believe it or not, it's just me."
[more inside]
posted by zarq on Jan 7, 2014 - 88 comments

The Elmore Leonard Paradox

If the sheer number of Leonard adaptations is remarkable, what is more remarkable still is how few of them are any good. No one was more aware of, or blunt about, this disappointing onscreen record than Leonard himself. His first crime novel, The Big Bounce, was twice adapted for film, in 1969 and 2004. Leonard memorably described the earlier effort as the “second-worst movie ever made”; it was not until he saw the 2004 version, he later said, that he knew what movie was the worst.
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Jan 3, 2014 - 60 comments

Matt Berry is the Toast of London

Toast Of London stars Matt Berry (IT Crowd, Snuff Box, Garth Marenghi’s Dark Place) as troubled theatre actor Steven Toast, an eccentric middle-aged actor with a chequered past who spends more time dealing with his problems off stage than performing on it. With a recent divorce, a highly controversial play to perform every night, a shell shocked army officer for a brother and an audition in a prison - it’s turning into another very busy day for Toast in this, the pilot episode for the Channel 4 series. [SLYT] [NSFW] [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on Dec 31, 2013 - 25 comments

Why Your Children's Television Program Sucks

Why Your Children's Television Program Sucks: Jessie / Thomas and Friends / Super Why! / The Fresh Beat Band / Dora the Explorer / Chuggington / Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! / Max and Ruby
posted by The Gooch on Dec 28, 2013 - 207 comments

Feliz Naviblah!

Until Sunday, 12th January, Paul Reubens, aka PeeWee Herman, has released the PeeWee's Playhouse Christmas Special on YouTube for free holiday viewing. [more inside]
posted by Katemonkey on Dec 26, 2013 - 13 comments

Happy Life Day!

In defense of 'The Star Wars Holiday Special'
posted by Artw on Dec 25, 2013 - 92 comments

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