Not just balls deflated at Super Bowl LII

Will this be the year Super Bowl ratings get hit for a loss? This season saw NFL TV regular season numbers drop around 10 per cent overall. The season before, there was an eight per cent drop in viewers. Plenty of theories as to why. All those concussion reports — and the NFL’s slow response to the… Read on

CBC’s Crawford is one raccoon-wrangling romp

For the past several years, CBC has hosted a winter press launch in Toronto at their downtown broadcast centre. Couches are arranged and cast members and producers from the new shows are gathered in various curtained-off corrals. Sandwiches are served (get there before The Star’s Tony Wong eats them all) and reporters are shuttled back and… Read on

Jay Switzer 1956 – 2018

Jay Switzer knew where to get the best onion rings in Canada. He was convinced that they were at the A&W in Canmore, Alta., a few kilometers from one of his favourite destinations, The Banff Springs Hotel. Every June, for years, Switzer would rent a van and drive a few fortunate colleagues from the Calgary airport to the… Read on

Is Murphy Brown one re-boot too many?

There should be a rule against re-booting sitcoms that already lasted seven years after they stopped being funny. Murphy Brown ran for 10 seasons on CBS. The 1988 – 98 sitcom had a talented cast, led by Candice Bergen, and featuring strong supporting players, including Faith Ford, Charles Kimbrough, Robert Pastorelli, Joe Regalbuto and Grant Shaud. Buffalo,… Read on

Bell Media looks to the Starz in key content deal

As good as shows are today in this so-called “Golden Age” of television, the greatest dramas are the ones currently going on in the boardrooms. Take the deal announced yesterday between Bell Media and Lionsgate/Starz. Relative to the game-changing mergers going on between the likes of Disney and Fox or even Discovery and Scripps, it’s… Read on

Hugh Wilson 1943 – 2018

One of my favourite interviews ever was with Hugh Wilson. The Florida native just sounded like fun on the phone, and generously shared his memories of creating and working on a show I adored in my college days, WKRP in Cincinnati. Sad to report, that Wilson passed away last Sunday at his home in Charlottesville, Va. He was 74.… Read on

Carl Reiner: a class act

Now and then, a bit of what matters most — business-wise — is dropped off in the mail box. Today this unexpected package arrived: Carl Reiner’s latest book, “Too Busy to Die.” The title came to Reiner after he complained to his pal Mel Brooks that he was at loose ends after finishing his latest project.… Read on

TCA18 Set Visit: Young Sheldon

The 2018 winter TCA press tour is coming to a sleepy end this week. PBS shuts things down with a panel featuring Bill Nye the Science Guy on Wednesday. The usual “death march with cocktails” was more “with Sominex” this January as overall energy levels seemed down among participants not starring in a re-boot of Roseanne.… Read on