Frank Barron 1919 – 2017

One of the last great “characters” of the Television Critics Association has gone to the big cathode ray tube in the sky: Frank Barron. The TCA’s oldest living member passed away Monday according to his widow and constant companion, Margie Barron.  He was 98. Put in TV terms, Frank aged beyond the all important 18-49-year-old… Read on



The Disappearance draws Peter Coyote off the farm

Tonight, The Disappearance will finally appear on CTV. I was on location with the stars and crew nearly a year ago in a rural campground area a half-hour west of Montreal. The six-hour limited run series is about a young boy of ten (played by the remarkably professional Michael Riendeau of Ottawa) who goes missing… Read on


The Vietnam War may be Ken Burns’ masterpiece

Last year, when I was at the south end of Vietnam in the Mekong Delta (tracking contestants of The Amazing Race Canada), the sound of passing riverboats had a strange but familiar ring. Far enough in from the shore so that the source of the sound could not be seen, the tiny outboard engines with their long… Read on


TCA17 ends as the “Trump? Can’t Answer” press tour

Whew! Scrambled back across the border Thursday night before all hell breaks loose! Donald Trump’s latest reality show “Impeached by America” begins Friday morning on all networks. The limited run series features the bombastic New York billionaire being sworn in as President of the United States. There was no joking about this during the just-ended… Read on



“Jackie Robinson” another home run from Ken Burns

Hard to believe “Jackie Robinson” is Ken Burns’ 29th documentary for PBS. Far from mailing it in, the 62-year-old filmmaker seems to grow as a storyteller with each project. This one is a collaboration, with his daughter, Sarah Burns, and David McMaron also credited as executive producers. The four-hour film airs Monday and Tuesday night from… Read on


This week’s podcast: Let’s talk CRTC hearings

This week, CHML’s Scott Thompson was shocked–shocked!–to hear that Bell was getting out of the TV news business. Well, that was their threat anyway. Bell’s brain trust, along with other industry weasels leaders, have been in Gatineau, Que., the past week-and-a-half. They’re attending something called “Let’s Talk TV: a Conversation with Canadians.” The CRTC called… Read on


Fear not: The Roosevelts is great television

One of the best new offerings of the 2014 Fall TV season begins Sunday night: The Roosevelts: An Intimate History.  The seven-part, 14-hour miniseries airs every night this week through to the 20th on PBS. It chronicles the lives of Theodore, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, three well-to-do Americans who had a tremendous impact on the lives of… Read on


The Roosevelts is Ken Burns’ New Deal

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.—Bill Carter started something on this press tour I can’t get out of my head. It’ all has to do with this cool book idea which involves gathering names of celebrities that can also be interpreted as sentences. Think Hugh Downs, or W.C. Fields, or Jeremy Irons. Or Ken Burns. PBS’s documentarian-in-residence and frequent… Read on