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August 22, 2014

documentary

'America: The Story of Us' Premiere Breaks Records for History

by Mike Moody, posted Apr 27th 2010 11:00AM
america the story of us'America: The Story of Us' is a hit for History.

Sunday's premiere of the six-part miniseries drew 5.7 million viewers to become the cable net's highest-rated special ever. The record-breaking educational series, which featured an intro by President Barack Obama, tracks 400 years of American history, from the early Jamestown settlers to the headlines of today.

"The success personifies the hunger for information and the desire to re-connect with our past," History President Nancy Dubuc said in a statement. "Ultimately there's no story more dramatic and gripping than the story of America itself.

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Turner Classic Movies to Honor Clint Eastwood

by Allison Waldman, posted Mar 12th 2010 9:28PM
clint_eastwood_dirty_harry_gunThere's a lot of things you can call Clint Eastwood. Actor, movie star, director, musician, Oscar-winner ... and on May 31, octogenarian. That's right, the seemingly ageless action star is turning 80 years old. Having seen him in last year's 'Gran Torino,' still growling like Harry Callahan on a good day, it's hard to believe that he's not as formidable a presence on screen as he's ever been. Calling Clint Eastwood a legend, frankly, sounds like an understatement.

To honor the prolific career of Clint Eastwood,Turner Classic Movies will devote the day to him. On May 31, the network will give us 24 hours of Eastwood, including 'The Eastwood Factor,' a documentary that has previously only been available as part of the boxed set 'Clint Eastwood: 35 Films.'

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Stephen Colbert is one of the Faces of America

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 13th 2010 4:02PM
PBS has a new documentary series debuting on February 10 titled Faces of America. Henry Louis Gates Jr. (he of the famous "beer summit" at the White House last year) interviews many celebrities about their family history, including Stephen Colbert, Eva Longoria Parker, Malcolm Gladwell, and Mario Batali. Here are three clips where Colbert (hard T) talks about his family.

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Undercover Boss already causing controversy (UPDATE)

by Allison Waldman, posted Jan 11th 2010 11:36AM
cbs_undercover_bossUndercover Boss is the hot new reality series from CBS, so hot that the network is going to give the show a premiere after the Super Bowl broadcast. That pretty much guarantees a huge opening Nielsen rating. Having seen a screener of the program, I think it will be a hit. It's very effective. However, there's another reason the show will be a success. From the economic point of view, CBS will make a lot of money from Undercover Boss because most of the participants won't be paid. This is according to a story in the New York Post.

That's right, only the executives on Undercover Boss are paid for being on camera. All the workers shown in the program, the people who are unaware that the boss is by their side experiencing every aspect of the business, do not receive compensation for appearing on camera.

UPDATE: CBS has contacted TV Squad to report that... "No one in the company is being paid for their participation on Undercover Boss. Neither the employees, the executives nor the companies receive compensation for participating in the show."

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Review: The Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special: In 3-D! On Ice!

by Jason Hughes, posted Jan 11th 2010 12:15AM
The SimpsonsA documentary film may not be the way most television shows would choose to spend their 20th anniversary hour-long special, but The Simpsons isn't an ordinary show. It's easy to forget in 2010, with an entire lineup of animation on FOX, Adult Swim and several cable channels devoted to animation, that The Simpsons was groundbreaking for its time.

While everything today is compared to The Simpsons, The Simpsons were being compared to The Flintstones, a prime-time cartoon that lasted six seasons in the 1960s. Nobody was doing animation for adults when The Simpsons came on the air, and they got a lot of grief for what they were doing. But The Simpsons put FOX on the map, and made it okay to have a cartoon for grown-ups, too.

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Stewie really, really wants to win an Emmy

by Bob Sassone, posted Aug 19th 2009 10:30AM
This web-only video below is part of the "Where's My Emmy?" campaign to convince people to vote for Family Guy. It starts out funny (with a joke or two about The Office) but then turns really unfunny when Stewie starts to beat up Brian.

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Morgan Spurlock is making a Simpsons documentary

by Brad Trechak, posted Jul 14th 2009 8:25AM
The SimpsonsNow we know why Homer weighs so much: he's eating too many Big Macs. Seriously, Fox is capping off their 20th anniversary celebration of The Simpsons by hiring Super Size Me director Morgan Spurlock to direct a documentary of the show.

Sadly, since Fox is behind this production, the documentary will likely be biased on behalf of The Simpsons. Possibly even making them into sympathetic characters, thus ignoring Homer's temper and drunkenness, Bart's antisocial psychotic behavior, Marge's ignorance of the aforementioned and Lisa's extreme liberalism. Of course, if all that was taken into account, the documentary would only be about Maggie.

I do hope the documentary has some original material, like a framing sequence with the family. Although that's been done before with the "Behind the Laughter" episode. The Simpsons did it! The title of the documentary says it all: The Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special in 3-D on Ice. In 3-D. On Ice. This is a must-see.

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MTV kind of, sort of does something music-related again

by Annie Wu, posted Jun 3rd 2009 9:10PM
The VeronicasThere's good news and there's bad news. You can decide what bits fall into which catergory. First of all, MTV is still on the air and pumping out new show after new show. Secondly, they've announced a new music-related project. This music-related project also happens to be another one of their reality programs. And it features the tween world's favorite Australian electropop-rock twin act The Veronicas.

Well, at least it's not another Laguna Beach spin-off spin-off.

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Free Memorial Day Films: 'Nanking' - The Movie

by Anthony Colarusso, posted May 21st 2009 7:00PM

Commemorate Memorial Day with films like the emotionally compelling award winner, 'Nanking'.



Memorial Day weekend is a time to pay tribute to all those who have lost their lives at the hands of war. While the price of freedom is sometimes taken for granted, society often forgets those who have become senseless casualties of strife.




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A&E to broadcast The Fugitive Chronicles

by Brad Trechak, posted Apr 8th 2009 11:03AM
A&EThere are a few forms of reality television I enjoy, the most predominate of which is the documentary (which has been around for as long as television itself). Even the editorial opinion documentary such as any of Michael Moore's movies have their place.

It looks like A&E is trying to blend the two genres with their new series The Fugitive Chronicles, which will dramatize, documentary-style, "some of the most compelling fugitive captures in the past 20 years". It will include re-enactments and interviews with the hunters and the fugitives (although the fugitives for the most part won't be represented live because they're currently in prison).

This seems like a pretty good idea given the popularity of crime dramas and reality television. It may also give a good lesson on the things one has to do to escape from the law in case anybody watching is planning to break the law in the future. That's info-tainment!

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A happy 10th birthday to Mr. Squarepants

by Richard Keller, posted Jan 19th 2009 9:03AM

SpongeBob and the gang are celebrating their 10th birthday all yearI didn't realize that the late 90s offered up so many cartoons that are still around today. A week or so ago, I mentioned that The Powerpuff Girls were celebrating a 10th birthday with a Cartoon Network special and complete DVD box set. Now comes news that a certain walking and talking sponge is celebrating a 10-year anniversary, as well.

Nickelodeon's pants-wearing sponge will be celebrating his decade of entertainment in a number of ways. If you go to the new SpongeBob.com you'll have a chance to play SpongeBob games, watch SpongeBob videos, and read the blog of Mr. SquarePants' creators. If you watch any of the networks of the MTV universe (which Nickelodeon is a part of) you'll be able to view a documentary on the character and its popularity. Finally, if you can wait a few months, you will be able to catch some new SpongeBob SquarePants episodes featuring Dennis Quaid (March) and Johnny Depp (April).

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TV Squad Daily with Brigitte - VIDEO

by Brigitte Dale, posted Jun 28th 2007 5:20PM
Hey, Brigitte here with TV Squad Daily. I'll be covering the TV stories I find interesting each day, Monday through Friday, in this video blog.

Today on TV Squad Daily:
The video's embedded below, or you can subscribe to this podcast via our feed. Plus, you can also the file directly.

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What I'm watching this summer: Annie's list

by Annie Wu, posted Jun 12th 2007 1:06PM
Flight of the Conchords

I usually loathe the summer television season because everyday is like Sunday: there's nothing good on. Actually, I believe that's what Morrissey meant when he wrote "Everyday Is Like Sunday". Save for a few shows, my summer programming is erratic and I don't follow anything religiously. Sometimes I'm so bored by summer shows, I'll -- dare I say it -- turn off the television. Then I sit around and daydream about the new Harry Potter book or something. Yes. Summer TV is that bad. However, there are a few things that I'm currently looking forward to -- and not all of them are re-runs.

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Autism: the Musical to hit HBO and theaters

by Adam Finley, posted Jun 7th 2007 4:04PM

hboDespite the title, the documentary Autism: the Musical is not a musical at all, but it is about a group of autistic children putting on a musical. The film has been praised for being uplifting rather than depressing, and with HBO's recent acquisition, those who aren't able to catch it during its limited run in theaters will be able to see it on HBO sometime next year. A portion of the money from the film will go to the Autism Speaks charity.

I'll admit I don't know anything about autism, outside of what I've read in books and seen on television, but considering how depressing the subject can be, I think it's wonderful that someone has decided to create a film about autistic children that aims to be both positive and inspiring. I think all kids, regardless of who they are, have the capacity to do great things, at least on some level, and I can't imagine this documentary being anything but uplifting.

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66th annual Peabody Award winners announced

by Julia Ward, posted Apr 5th 2007 1:02PM
When the Levees Broke Peabody AwardThe Peabodys are an interesting case in a world over-saturated with award ceremonies and self-congratulatory accolades. The Peabodys don't actually have categories or even a set number of awards to give out every year. The good folks at the University of Georgia's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication just give them out as they deem necessary, and their goal isn't just to recognize local news stations or broadcast journalists. The Peabodys' aim is to hold up examples of "what can and should be done in the worlds of journalism, entertainment, documentary, education and public service," or so their press release tells me.

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