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September 22, 2014

Should the Government Defund Public Broadcasting?

Sickle me, Elmo. There's an air of doom at both PBS and NPR this week amid the current PR disaster over comments NPR's fundraising chief made during a video sting by conservative political activists. The result could mean the end of government funding for public broadcasting. During a lunch meeting with activists posing as wealthy radical Muslims pretending to offer a $5 million grant to the...

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The Complete Guide to the Charlie Sheen and 'Two and a Half Men' Saga

Now that Charlie Sheen has been fired from CBS' hit sitcom 'Two and a Half Men,' about the only thing that's certain is that the actor won't have to put on a vertical-striped shirt ever again (or, as he puts it, "for as long as this warlock exists in the terrestrial dimension"). But so much else remains up in the air. Can TV's most popular comedy continue without TV's highest-paid star? Will...

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Six Late-Night Talk Show Hosts: Winners and Losers

Countdown to Festivus on Dec. 23: On the sixth day of Festivus, TV gave us to ... six late-night talk show hosts battling. Hard to remember, but at this time a year ago, David Letterman was facing one of the biggest crises of his career in the wake of his sex-and-blackmail scandal, Conan O'Brien was just settling into his job at 'The Tonight Show,' Jay Leno was tanking in primetime and Jimmy...

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Golden Globe Predictions: Who Will Be a TV Nominee in 2010?

Golden Globe voters like to be first. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, whose handful of members will announce the Golden Globe nominations Tue., Dec. 14 and award prizes to the winners in a televised ceremony on Jan. 16, are the first major accolades of the awards season. So Globe voters have a chance to recognize new shows and new talent months before the Emmys do the same. ...

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'The Catch' and Other Obvious Reality Show Ideas

Who knew it was so easy to come up with reality show ideas that networks will buy? According to the Hollywood Reporter, NBC has ordered a pilot for a show called 'The Catch,' based on the children's backyard game. It's from FremantleMedia North America, the company behind 'American Idol,' and to expand the simple back-and-forth game into an ongoing TV series, they're going to add extreme...

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Fran Lebowitz on 'Public Speaking,' Twitter and Knowing Everything

There aren't a whole lot of job openings these days for philosophers, public wits and raconteurs. Fran Lebowitz pretty much has the monopoly to herself. As recorded by no less than director Martin Scorsese in his new HBO documentary 'Public Speaking' (which debuts Nov. 22), Lebowitz is the last of a breed that once included such sparkling conversationalists as Dorothy Parker, Oscar Wilde, Oscar...

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Are Tea Partiers Gaming the Vote for Bristol Palin on 'Dancing With the Stars'?

There's been a lot of conspiracy theorizing about Bristol Palin's survival on 'Dancing With the Stars,' even after so many clearly stronger competitors have been eliminated. The prevailing theory is that Tea Partiers, rallying around a mission they've dubbed 'Operation Bristol,' are gaming the voting system and favoring Palin -- not for her ballroom skills but because they're political...

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Online Viewers Haven't Abandoned Traditional TV, According to Nielsen Study

Looks like the cable and network TV industries can breathe a small sigh of relief. Conventional wisdom may suggest that the growing number of people who stream their favorite shows from the Internet to their TVs will give up their cable TV subscriptions, but actually, that's not happening. So says a new study from the Nielsen company, as cited by the Hollywood Reporter. According to the study,...

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'Big Love': The Endgame

Now that we know that the upcoming season of 'Big Love' will be its last, there are still plenty of questions about how -- and even why -- the show will end after the fifth season, which premieres Jan. 16. For one thing, did HBO kill the once-groundbreaking polygamist drama, or did the series commit suicide? Did fan disappointment over season 4 affect the decision to bring the show to a...

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Conan O'Brien Will Intensify Late Night Ratings Battlefield

Countdown to 'Conan': Get ready for Conan O'Brien's TBS talk show debut on Nov. 8 Is Conan O'Brien getting the last laugh? As fans await the debut of 'Conan' on TBS on Nov. 8, the pompadoured host's nemesis, Jay Leno, is struggling over at NBC. Bringing Leno back to 'The Tonight Show,' the move by NBC brass that led to O'Brien's departure last winter after only a few months in late-night's...

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