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.
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.'
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."
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.
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.
Well, at least it's not another Laguna Beach spin-off spin-off.
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.
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!
I 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).
Today on TV Squad Daily:
- John Stamos says that jet lag was responsible for his weird behavior in recent interviews in Australia.
- Control your excitement! The Spice Girls reunion and TV documentary is a definite "go."
- The Oprah Store is coming soon to Chicago.
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.
Despite 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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