Numbing down of America leads to Murphy Brown misfire

It’s interesting to compare — or re-boot around — Thursday night’s revival of Murphy Brown vs. last winter’s revival of Roseanne. In both instances I wasn’t expecting much. Two sitcoms coming back after 20 year absences. Did anybody ever ask for more from these shows? Roseanne, however, really surprised me. I didn’t expect to care… Read on



How Jerry Springer led to the rise of Donald Trump

When the news broke this week that, after 27 years, The Jerry Springer Show was being cancelled, my reaction — like a lot of people I suspect — was, “Is that still on?” Back when I wrote for The Toronto Sun, I remember arriving for an interview with Springer 15 years or so ago when he… Read on


Colbert puts the White House whammy on “Our Cartoon President”

Last month in Pasadena, Stephen Colbert was asked in the scrum following the TCA session for Our Cartoon President if he had given any thought to making fun of US vice-president Mike Pense. Colbert paused for a split second and said, “How does one mock a manila envelope?” For Colbert and others in late night,… Read on


30 years later, Roseanne can still grab headlines

PASADENA, Ca. — Monday was that point in press tour when somebody almost had to toss a hand grenade to wake up the room. Enter Roseanne Barr. The comedienne — now 65 with six grandchildren — was at TCA to promote the re-boot of her classic sitcom of the late-’80s and ’90s, Roseanne. She and co-stars… Read on



Samantha Bee saves her sting for “Full Frontal”

NEW YORK — It’s easy to spot Samantha Bee’s mid-town Manhattan production offices. The first clue once you get off the elevator is the giant, Broadway marquee-like illuminated sign right behind the receptionist’s desk, reading, “FULL FRONTAL.” Once inside her office, Bee is nothing like the stinging satirist she portrays on her show. She’s soft-spoken and… Read on


WEDNESDAY: Sutherland remains a Designated Survivor

Tom Kirkman would never tell NFL players to stand for the national anthem. At least, that’s my hunch. I didn’t get to check that with the man who plays president Kirkman on Designated Survivor, Kiefer Sutherland. I interviewed the Emmy-winning actor late last week, before Trump’s latest howler. Still, I’m pretty sure he’d agree. “I don’t believe you should be using… Read on


When you lose Kimmel, you lose America

“We haven’t seen this many people come forward to speak out against a bill since Cosby.” On Thursday night, Jimmy Kimmel gave a brilliant and blistering, ferociously funny rebuttal to the Louisiana senators who are trying to — in the face of tremendous opposition from national health organizations and specialists — repeal and replace Obamacare.… Read on


Podcast of the week: Emmy recap

Don’t even try to get me on the phone the day after the Emmy Awards. Starting Monday morning at 6am, I was on the blower with radio stations across the country, all looking for Emmy analysis as well as insights into the fall TV season that is already underway. Eleven of those calls were from… Read on