5 items from 2015
The president of the United States used to be such a lofty figure, so far removed from the fantasy life of the American people, that he (or she) was seldom portrayed as a recurring character on TV dramas. But somewhere between Bill Clinton's saxophone solo on the old Arsenio Hall late-night talk show and Barack Obama's interview with comic Zach Galafianakis on "Between Two Ferns," the chief executive became a TV pop culture staple.
These days, you can barely change the channel without coming across a small-screen president, whether on ABC's "Scandal," CBS' "Madam Secretary," or NBC's "State of Affairs." Not to mention the about-to-launch seasons of Netflix's "House of Cards" and HBO's "Veep," whose ambitious lead characters (played by Kevin Spacey and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, respectively) will finally be settling into the Oval Office in this year's story arcs.
Of course, TV presidents are all over the map, »
- Gary Susman
There was no shortage of delusion on display when Donald Trump faced television critics this morning, with the remaining cast of "Celebrity Apprentice" at his side along with the NBC show's executive producer, Mark Burnett. And even though it came from Donald Trump, it was surprising. First, he did actually offer some fair criticism of his own show and the way it had become bloated with two-hour episodes. Discussing its increased ratings this season compared to its previous season, Trump said, "I think a big factor is that we went to a one-show. ... They started putting it on a lot, and they started making it very long. A two-hour format is a very, very, very long show." Later, he said, "I just think two hours its too long for one show. Nobody wants to watch an hour and 20 minutes of a task." Trump said, "I think that has a huge »
- Andy Dehnart
Katie Couric couldn’t survive it. Queen Latifah had a short reign. So did Bethenny Frankel, Jeff Probst, Kris Jenner and Anderson Cooper, to name a few. Arsenio Hall and Ricki Lake couldn’t reignite their old spark in recent comeback bids.
The daytime TV landscape has become so fragmented in the past decade as to be treacherous for talent. New syndicated shows struggle mightily to deliver even a 1 rating in the key demographic (usually women 25-54). That makes it harder for stations and distributors to hang in there, even with shows that have promise, because the financials are so shaky.
The struggling is spurring a host of enterprise efforts by distributors and large station owners to shake up the status quo, which could result in big changes to the national syndication model that has dominated broadcast TV daytime programming since the 1980s.
The growth of women in the workforce and the expansion of cable, »
- Cynthia Littleton
Since the news broke, those in Hollywood and the sports world have been reaching out to social media and more to mourn the loss of the beloved anchor. Scott’s former co-anchor Rich Eisen paid a tearful tribute to him on-air, and President Obama issued a formal statement about Scott.
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) January 4, 2015
I had a lot of laughs with Stuart Scott & he was truly one of the Good Guys, beginning to end. Rip on da cool side of the pillow!!
- Alex Stedman
When "The Celebrity Apprentice" returns to NBC Sunday night, before moving to its Monday night timeslot, it will have been off the air for almost two years. It was a season that was in limbo, and then was finally filmed, and then was in limbo again. Why delay the show so long? Its ratings, which have fallen both since it was a huge hit in its early years and since it morphed into a celebrity-only version of itself? Donald Trump's constant stupidity eruptions? NBC's sudden lack of need for two hours of reality TV filler every week? It's unclear. However, based on the way NBC treated the show over the past 18 months, this could be the last "Celebrity Apprentice," either forever or for another several years, unless its new timeslot, absence, and cast draw more viewers. If the show is cancelled, some people will celebrate its demise, but its cancellation would be unfortunate. »
- Andy Dehnart
5 items from 2015
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