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2 items from 2016

How Jeff Zucker Made CNN Great Again

2 August 2016 10:00 AM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

It’s the second day of the Democratic National Convention, and Jeff Zucker is huddled with his CNN staff on the ground in Philadelphia. Unlike most cable news network chiefs, he is painstakingly involved with the minutiae of hourly coverage, from producing debates to running the channel’s daily editorial meeting. His leadership style could be best described as a zealous professor of a political theory class, pushing his producers for smarter takes on stories. Today, he’s assuming the role of decider-in-chief in CNN’s office — a makeshift trailer adjacent to the convention gates, where, in just a few hours, the delegates will crown Hillary Clinton as the party’s first female presidential candidate.

Melissa GoldeN for Variety

Although it’s a sweltering 90 degrees outside, Zucker doesn’t break a sweat in the morning meeting. He wishes a colleague happy birthday before recapping the previous night’s coverage, and praises his team for keeping the cameras »

- Ramin Setoodeh

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TV Review: ‘House of Cards,’ Season 4

29 February 2016 8:15 AM, PST | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Real-life presidential politics have caught up with “House of Cards,” giving the drama that helped put Netflix on the programming map a run for its money in sheer outlandishness. The series, however, looks determined to prove it can still one-up the legitimate article, an approach that has made the show consistently juicy and entertaining, but also produced questionable, over-the-top flourishes, including a few whoppers in the first half of the program’s fourth campaign. While already renewed for a fifth season, the show’s highest approval numbers are probably at this point behind it.

Granted, the fourth-season release date could hardly seem more timely than to come in the thick of the election chase, with the fictional President Francis Underwood (Kevin Spacey) in the throes of a primary challenge as he seeks another term. Never mind that he schemed, plotted and literally committed murder to put himself in the White »

- Brian Lowry

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2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2005

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