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August 29, 2015


Six Late-Night Talk Show Hosts: Winners and Losers

by Gary Susman, posted Dec 18th 2010 2:00PM
'I'm With Coco' PosterCountdown 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 Fallon was still finding his voice as a late-late-night host.

The late night landscape has changed a bit since then.

It was clear a year ago that there was trouble on the horizon, but few (save, perhaps, for Andy Richter) anticipated the earthquake to come. Most of the cataclysm occurred in January, when NBC decided to bring Leno back to 11:35, and O'Brien decided to take a golden parachute after just seven months on the job rather than follow Leno at 12:05.

The aftershocks from that event, which continue to this day, affected not just the two of them, but also Letterman, Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, and Craig Ferguson. (Not to mention a supporting cast of millions, including network bigwigs, obstinate local stations, and angry fans nationwide.)

Miraculously, all six night owls are still working -- though maybe not for much longer. How did the rollercoaster year shake out for each of them? Let's see ...

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The Top 10 TV Jerks of 2010: The Archie Bunker Awards

by Brad Trechak, posted Dec 17th 2010 4:00PM
Archie BunkerBack in the glory days of television (when there was no cable), the idea of having a unlikeable person on a show was anathema to the networks.

Sure, there were silly or angry characters (Ralph Kramden comes to mind), but protagonists weren't actually mean or spiteful (except when the plot called for it and usually only for an episode). But after the breakthrough of 'All in the Family' and the character of Archie Bunker, jerks began to fill the television landscape, both on camera and behind the scenes.

This year saw quite a few of these boors. See which 10 stars earned themselves an "Archie Bunker award" as one of the biggest TV a**holes of 2010.

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7 Reasons the 'Lost' Finale Was Satisfying and Disappointing

by AOL TV Staff, posted Dec 17th 2010 3:00PM
'Lost' series finale
Countdown to Festivus on Dec. 23: On the seventh day of Festivus, TV gave us to ... seven ways the 'Lost' finale satisfied and seven ways it disappointed.

For some fans of 'Lost,' last May's series finale brought relief in the form of answers to longstanding mysteries and tear-inducing character moments.

But for other fans, the finale produced only disappointment.

As it had for its entire run, 'Lost' divided viewers over its finale. Did the ending provide enough of a pay-off for sticking through six seasons filled with unlucky numbers, a smoke monster, time traveling and a four-toed statue? Two of our writers take opposing viewpoints ...

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8 Elder Statesmen (and Women!) of 2010

by Kim Potts, posted Dec 16th 2010 3:00PM
Betty White
Countdown to Festivus on Dec. 23: On the eighth day of Festivus, TV gave us to ... eight elder statesmen (and women) reigning.

Like fine wine and George Clooney, the TV stars on our list of elder statesmen and women -- statespeople? -- have only gotten better with age. From Tom Selleck entering his fourth decade as one of TV land's sexiest men (and best mustaches) to Betty White entering her seventh decade as one of the tube's most beloved (and energetic) funny ladies, see our picks for TV's most enduring class acts.

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Nine Unanswered 'Glee' Questions

by Elena Cox, posted Dec 15th 2010 2:00PM
Lea Michele, Naya Rivera, Glee
Countdown to Festivus on Dec. 23: On the ninth day of Festivus, TV gave us to ... nine unanswered questions about 'Glee.'

In just a season and a half, 'Glee' has established itself as one of the most talked-about shows on television. But with so many characters and so little time to tell their stories, there are bound to be hiccups.

The Fox hit has a penchant for leaving a whole lot of things up in the air, keeping characters two-dimensional and rushing plots. While we can't ponder all of the head-scratchers, let's take a look at these nine burning questions.

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10 Memorable 'Daily Show' and 'Colbert Report' Moments of 2010

by Jason Hughes, posted Dec 14th 2010 4:00PM
Stephen Colbert & Jon Stewart - 'Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear'Countdown to Festivus on Dec. 23: On the tenth day of Festivus, TV gave us to ... 10 memorable Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert moments.

Democrats vs. Republicans, Republicans vs. President Obama, Democrats vs. President Obama, Tea Party vs. the world, yada yada yada.

Forget them. Sign us up for the Stewart/Colbert ticket.

People magazine declared Jon Stewart 2010's most influential person -- over President Barack Obama and Oprah. This was a contentious year in politics, after all, and both Stewart and his late-night Comedy Central "partner-in-crime," Stephen Colbert, excel when the political landscape is in turmoil.

This election season certainly provided the pair with plenty of ammunition for their comedy arsenal, with the rise of the Tea Party, the preponderance of and the Republicans regaining control of the House of Representatives. But they don't limit their snark to the political arena, taking potshots at Apple, the news media and anything else that finds its way into the popular zeitgeist.

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11 Biggest 'Real Housewives' Feuds of 2010

by Amy Kuperinsky, posted Dec 13th 2010 3:30PM
Jill and Bethenny, former friends on 'The Real Housewives of New York City'Countdown to Festivus on Dec. 23: On the eleventh day of Festivus, TV gave us to ... 11 'Real Housewives' feuding.

They're "done" with each other. Headed towards divorce. Foaming with passive aggression. Pulling weaves. Hitting poles. They are the beloved stars of Bravo's 'Real Housewives' franchise.

These ladies love to fight, whether woman vs. woman, group of women vs. woman, woman vs. man or man vs. inanimate object.

Here are our top 'Housewives' feuds of 2010.

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12 Underrated Actors of 2010

by Dr. Ryan Vaughan, PhD (no, seriously), posted Dec 12th 2010 4:00PM
Nick Offerman On the twelfth day of Festivus, TV gave to us... 12 underrated actors.

There are a lot of heralded actors out there entertaining us and keeping our couches warm on a nightly basis. So heralded are some that, by association, others spend their entire careers without herald. Herald-less, if you will.

How do we go about heralding the less-heralded? They're certainly worthy of acclaim, with performances both comedic and dramatic, versatile and subtly powerful.

While the herald-hoarders get all the glory, all the buzz, all the paparazzi they can take a swing at, these quiet performers do the dirty work that makes television work. So, in the interest of equal herald for equal work: "Hark the herald angels sing, glory to these 12 underrated actors!"

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The Twelve Days of Festivus Start Tomorrow!

by Joel Keller, posted Dec 11th 2010 3:00PM
Frank Costanza and his Festivus poleIt's that time of year again... time to break out the metal pole, commence with the airing of grievances, and get limber in preparation to demonstrate the feats of strength. Yes, folks, Festivus is upon us once again!

We've been celebrating Festivus since TV Squad began in 2005; it's the first major TV-created holiday, thanks to 'Seinfeld,' and it seems fitting that a website that's all about TV celebrates a holiday that was born on TV.

Starting tomorrow, we'll be presenting what has become a yearly tradition for us: our own version of The Twelve Days of Festivus.

During each of the twelve days, we'll talk about TV that annoyed or enthralled us this past year, culminating on December 23 (the official day of Festivus, according to Frank Costanza), when we talk about one of the biggest trends on television in 2010, for better or for worse.

We'll also have our staff picks of what we want for Festivus, some best/worst picks for 2010, and some other goodies. We even may have a guest or two air some grievances of their own.

If you're new here and don't know what the heck we're talking about, here are the lists from 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009.

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Best TV of the '00s: Reality Series

by Kona Gallagher, posted Dec 31st 2009 2:02PM
top chef judges
More of our best of the decade coverage, which started on Tuesday. You can read the other posts at the link above. Here, we talk about a major category that came of age in the aughts: Reality shows.

While I would never call myself a reality TV junkie, it really bugs me when people make blanket statements like, "I hate reality TV," or, "Reality TV is the bane of my existence." The genre has grown so much in the past decade that it has become just like scripted television, in that there's good and there's bad. Even though we're splitting this up into two lists, "Reality," and "Trashy Reality," you won't see a single show that starts with, "Who Wants to Marry" on either list.

This list is dedicated not to the guilty pleasures, but to the shows that you wouldn't be embarrassed for your neighbors to know you watch: the classy reality, if you will. So without further ado, here is TV Squad's list of the best reality shows of the decade.

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All Annie wants for Festivus

by Annie Wu, posted Dec 25th 2009 11:02AM
jay lenoOoh! Is it that time of year again when I get to ask for things and then receive none of them? Fantastic.

Okay, I don't ask for very much each Festivus, but all my choices are very carefully made. I'll even put aside my desperate need to hang out with The Roots for a day or wish to surgically replace my own legs with those of Blake Lively. I can work on all that stuff next year. For 2009, these are all I want for Festivus!

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What's On Christmas Day

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 24th 2009 7:00PM
  • A Colbert ChristmasTBS is running A Christmas Story all day.
  • FX has Night at the Museum all day.
  • AMC is showing National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation all day.
  • Hallmark has Christmas TV movies all day.
  • Nickelodeon has Christmas episodes all day, including iCarly, Fairly OddParents, True Jackson, VP, and Drake & Josh.
  • BBC America has Christmas episodes all day, including Gavin & Stacey and Absolutely Fabulous.
  • At 6AM, Cartoon Network and Boomerang start an all-day marathon of Christmas cartoons and specials.
  • At 8, MTV2 has a Real World: Cancun marathon.
  • At 8:30, Comedy Central has A Colbert Christmas.
  • At 9, Discovery has a Mythbusters marathon.
  • Spike has a Bad Santa marathon at 9.
  • At 9:30, Lifetime has Christmas episodes of various shows, including Frasier, Reba, and Will & Grace, as well as Christmas movies.

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All Danny wants for Festivus

by Danny Gallagher, posted Dec 24th 2009 5:02PM
I love Christmas. It is the best holiday. If all of the holidays grew asses, Christmas could kick every other holiday's ass by ripping off their ass and beating them to death with said ass.

It's perfect on every conceivable level. It aims to achieve total peace and tranquility of the human spirit and singularity of the soul through the selfless act of giving. Of course, in order for that to work, someone has to be on the receiving end and I'm more than willing to have my every dream fulfilled in the name of calming the cosmic waves.

So here's my wish list to Santa or Jesus or Buddha or whomever holds the universe in balance for things to suck less until the next holiday.

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The TV Squad Podcast: Doctor Who, what to buy with holiday loot, Brittany Murphy, and more!

by Joel Keller, posted Dec 24th 2009 4:31PM
TV Squad logoMerry Christmas! In this pre-holiday podcast, Brad Trechak and Jason Hughes join me to talk about our favorite holiday episodes (think Festivus, folks), as well as the following:

  • Brittany Murphy's death and how it caused NBC to pull a SNL Weekend Update bit from a few weeks ago,
  • It's David Tennant's last days as Doctor Who, and we talk about his popular run and what's in store for his successor, Matt Smith,
  • What TV-related items you can buy with the handful of gift cards you received during the holidays,
  • How we might be watching TV during the next decade. Will the 30th season of The Simpsons be available telekinetically?
  • Ask TV Squad, Comment of the Week, our picks of the week, and more!

Run time is 1:14:14.

You can listen to the podcast below, or download from here or by subscribing to our RSS podcast feed. It is also available via iTunes. Feel free to leave us feedback in the comments or drop us a line at tvsquadpodcast [at] gmail [dot] com.

As usual, the music at the beginning and end of the podcast is "Life" by Justin Trawick. Note that we recorded the podcast on Monday, and my pick of the week -- Jay Thomas on Letterman -- has already aired. Huh. I figured they'd wait until at least Christmas Eve for that one.

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Top TV Stories of 2009: Susan Boyle

by Nick Zaino, posted Dec 24th 2009 11:03AM
Susan Boyle on Britain's Got TalentSusan Boyle was a feel good story almost from the first minute she took the stage on Britain's Got Talent. She walked on as frumpy contestant 4321, which turned out to be just the countdown to the first nationally televised standing ovation of her career.

It was clear she had, as they say, spunk, then the judges asked her age and she rolled her hips and said, "I am 47. And that's just one side 'o me." It was clear she had ambition and a theatrical bent when Simon Cowell asked her whose success she'd like to mimic, and she named English theater star and singer Elaine Paige. And when she said she was going to sing "I Dreamed A Dream" from Les Miserables, it was clear to the audience that she was delusional. That is, until she opened up her mouth to sing.

Boyle didn't finish the first verse, barely finished the first line, before the judges raised their eyebrows in surprise and the audience started cheering and getting to their feet.

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