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Required reading: Jesse Williams’s powerful BET Awards speech

By on Jun 29, 2016 in Tinseltown | 0 comments

This blog has been long dormant, but some pop culture moments cannot be ignored — including the speech Grey’s Anatomy star Jesse Williams delivered as he accepted the Humanitarian Award at the 2016 BET Awards. Here’s the transcript in toto, thanks to TIME. Peace peace. Thank you, Debra. Thank you, BET. Thank you Nate Parker, Harry and Debbie Allen for participating in that. Before we get into it, I just want to say I brought my parents out tonight. I just want to thank them for being here, for teaching me to focus on comprehension over career, and that they make sure I learn what the schools were afraid to teach us. And also thank my amazing wife for changing my life. Now, this award – this is not for me. This is for the real organizers all over the country – the activists, the civil rights attorneys, the struggling parents, the families, the teachers, the students that are...

2013 Emmys: And the nominees are…

By on Jul 28, 2013 in Tinseltown | 0 comments

After poring over the 2013 Emmy nominations, I have a just a few observations, objections, musings, congratulations, speculations, and ramblings. American Horror Story has quickly become one of my all-time favorites, so I’m gratified that Emmy voters share my love for it and awarded it 17 nominations this year, more than any other program. Game of Thrones leads the dramas with 16 nods, and 30 Rock reigns over the comedies one last time with 13. Saturday Night Live holds the record for having the highest total of nominations for a variety show — or any show — with its 171 nods. But considering it’s been Emmy-eligible for 38 years now and has thus received average of 4.5 nominations per year, its longevity is more impressive than its nomination history. That said, SNL earned 15 nominations this year, more than thrice its average. This is the show’s second most-nominated...

2012 Emmys: And the nominees are…

By on Jul 27, 2012 in Tinseltown | 0 comments

This year’s Emmy nominees were announced as I was basking in the sun in Playa del Carmen, Mexico (shameless gloating, I admit), but you better believe I still checked out the list as soon as I could. Here are my thoughts on this year’s selections. Once again, HBO reigns supreme with an astonishing 81 nominations across the board. Just like HBO’s old motto touts, it’s not TV; nay, I’d argue that it’s super-TV. Camera operator Hector Ramirez and producer Sheila Nevins have earned the most lifetime Emmy nominations as of this year with 68 and 59 noms, respectively. If Mad Men wins for Outstanding Drama Series this year, it will have won that award five times—surpassing Hill Street Blues, L.A. Law, and The West Wing for the record. Modern Family is the most-nominated comedy this year with 14 noms, Mad Men is the most-nominated drama with 17, American...

Ratings Revelations and Ridiculousness

By on Jun 5, 2012 in Tinseltown | 0 comments

As reported by TV.com, Nielsen has released a list of all the shows on broadcast networks this past season, ranked by average number of viewers in the 18-to-49-year-old demographic… and the list is surprising on many counts. I’ve transposed the complete list below, but in case you want the abridged version (you impatient ingrates!), I readily relinquish my reflections and ruminations on the ratings ranking. The most-watched scripted show is Modern Family (ABC, #4), and that fact makes me damn proud of America. Good on you, viewers! CBS sitcoms continue to dominate, especially The Big Bang Theory (#6), Two and a Half Men (#7), and 2 Broke Girls (#9). And, against all rational thought, Rules of Engagement (#35) is still surprisingly popular. I mean, I don’t know anyone who watches it, but… Grey’s Anatomy (#10) is doing remarkably well for a show entering its...

2012 Pilot Watch: Winners and Losers

By on May 29, 2012 in Tinseltown | 0 comments

Upfronts is always a bittersweet time of year for me, since the broadcast networks always order only some of my favorite pilots to series, never all.  (When will the world accept my taste as universal truth, anyway?)  So here are my reflections on the shows that made the cut justly and unjustly, and the shows that were cut justly.  And I won’t dwell on the bad pilots that were passed over—why kick ’em when they’re down? Best of the winners Revolution I’m all about dystopian visions of the future, particularly when they spring from the mind of serial-drama-ninja J.J. Abrams.  So this saga about an energyless civilization looks simply electric, and it’s the series I’m most excited to see. Vegas Shows that tried to capitalize on Mad Men‘s appeal this season—like Pan Am and The Playboy Club—didn’t fare so well; but I think...

Episodic Blockbusters = Commercial Magic

By on May 11, 2012 in Tinseltown | 1 comment

(Revised! See the afterword below!) The recent box office success of The Avengers got me wondering: why don’t blockbusters ever start on the small-screen? Why can’t the stories behind these tentpole movies (which are often novels or comics) be reformatted episodically and aired as limited-run series? Wouldn’t advertisers be tripping over themselves to put their commercials in such a broadcast? Wasn’t the six-part Roots adaptation one of the highest-rated television events ever? That got me to running some numbers. Let’s imagine the final Harry Potter book as a 36-part series by arbitrarily splitting the story into the novel’s 36 chapters (grouping the epilogue in with the last chapter). Such a series would run nicely between the beginning of September and the end of May—the span of the normal broadcast TV season—even if the series took a week off for...