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October 6, 2015


Best TV of the '00s: News Events

by Brad Trechak, posted Jan 3rd 2010 2:03PM

9/11More of our best of the decade coverage, which started on Tuesday. You can read the other posts at the link above. We finish up the series by talking about some of the news events that defined the decade, and how TV covered them.

It seems odd to call the news events of the 00's a "best" list. As we started the 21st century, America seemed to have a different tragedy happening at every twist and turn. There was the Year 2000 bug followed by 9/11 followed by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan followed by Hurricane Katrina followed by the worst recession since the Great Depression. We've also had various celebrity deaths recently including the iconic and controversial Michael Jackson.

The tragedies of the decade were accompanied by revolutionary change. America elected its first African-American President. New forms of media such as social networking arose like a phoenix from the ashes of the old media.

The decade was filled with many ups and downs, possibly more downs. The full repercussions of the events won't likely be acknowledged or analyzed for years or decades to come. Wherever we end up, it will have been one hell of a ride.

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Sarah Palin on Oprah and the blinking of her eyes

by Allison Waldman, posted Nov 17th 2009 4:29PM
sarah_palin_glasses_pinI watched The Oprah Winfrey Show yesterday to see the one on one between two of the most powerful and influential women in America. Whether you're a fan of Oprah Winfrey or Sarah Palin, there was no doubt that they command a large chunk of public opinion. How could I not see what they would be like in an interview setting?

My impression was that they both were completely civil and reserved. I didn't pick up the makings of a great friendship, not that that was likely considering Oprah's support for President Obama.

Still, what I found interesting was that if you read the body language experts, they're reporting that Sarah was not nervous. They're coming to that conclusion based on her ability to control her blinking. Over-blinking mean you're agitated and a normal blink per minute rate -- 30-40 blinks -- is normal. Sarah was blinking normally.

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Glenn Beck throws a guest off his show

by Bob Sassone, posted May 7th 2009 3:25PM
Glenn Beck had an ACORN spokesman on his show last night, and got into an argument with him about voter registration and possible fraud. Beck has the right to throw out anyone, it's his show after all. Though the analogy of the Burger King bather is kinda out of nowhere. (After the jump, the aftermath). Beck also says that the guest asked a show producer out on a date after this happened!

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Dave and Katie, sittin' in a tree, Y-O-U-T-U-B-E - VIDEOS

by Bob Sassone, posted Nov 21st 2008 3:33PM
LettermanWhen Katie Couric was on The Late Show with David Letterman earlier this week, Dave forgot to yell at her for taking Senator John McCain away from his show a couple of months ago to interview him at the same time he was supposed to be on Letterman's show. The New York Post pointed this out in yesterday's paper, so last night Dave agreed and decided to call Katie and ask her all about it on the air. The exchange is after the jump.

However, it's not the only video from Dave and Katie. She has her own video channel on YouTube, where she uploads various behind the scenes videos on a regular basis, and she made one for the night that she was on the show. It features Couric in her dressing room and backstage, talking to various staff members, a Late Show producer, and other people before she went to the chair to talk to Dave.

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Oprah's shoulder guy to be on her show today

by Bob Sassone, posted Nov 7th 2008 1:38PM
OprahWe've all seen the picture of Oprah Winfrey leaning on the shoulder of a man while watching Barack Obama's speech in Grant Park after being elected President on Tuesday night.

If you're like me, you just assumed that he was a friend of hers and she was leaning on him for support, but Oprah said on her show the day after the election that he was actually a stranger. They were just standing next to each other, and she decided to lean on him (as Jon Stewart noted the other night, couldn't Oprah get a better place to stand, considering that she's, you know, Oprah?).

Now the guy has been invited on her show. His name is Sam Perry, and he's a consultant. Oprah is going to have him as a guest on her show later today (in some markets, the show has already aired).

I think he is now officially one of Oprah's Favorite Things.

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What's On Tonight: Election, Election, Election, Election, 90210

by Bob Sassone, posted Nov 4th 2008 4:00PM
  • Stewart/ColbertAt 7, Election Coverage starts on all of the major networks and some minor ones. Actually, it starts on the cable news channels a lot earlier.
  • At 8, The CW has a new 90210, then a new Privileged.
  • ABC Family has a new Lincoln Heights at 8.
  • At 9, PBS Election Coverage starts.
  • Sci-Fi has a new ECW at 9, followed by two new episodes of Scare Tactics.
  • Discovery has a new Dirty Jobs at 9.
  • At 10, Comedy Central has their Daily Show/Colbert Report election night coverage.
  • FX has a new episode of The Shield at 10.
  • Also at 10: Bravo has a new Real Housewives of Atlanta.

Check your local TV listings for more.

As for the late night talk shows, all of them are either pre-empted or they're repeats. Except Charlie Rose, which will have coverage of the election.

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Canadian TV coverage of the US elections

by Isabelle Carreau, posted Nov 4th 2008 8:00AM
CanadaIf you are not a Canadian, you probably didn't know we had federal elections in mid-October. However, Canadians know very well the U.S. election is going on right now and that the vote is today since we are neighbors and because American economy affects Canada's.

This past year, and especially since Obama and McCain really started to campaign a few weeks ago, the news airing on Canadian TV stations have all included some type of coverage and updates about the U.S. elections. Some of the 24-hour news stations even had special shows that lasted hours, for example, during the first presidential debate, to update us on the goings-on of the American election. So it's no surprise if that there is some sort of U.S. election coverage on Canadian TV channels tonight.

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Is Affleck going to spoof Olbermann tonight?

by Bob Sassone, posted Nov 1st 2008 12:33PM
Keith OlbermannBen Affleck is the host of Saturday Night Live tonight, which will also feature an appearance by Senator John McCain. No word on what McCain is going to do on the show, but it would be fantastic if he could appear in the sketch where Affleck plays Keith Olbermann.

Yup, Politico.com is reporting that the NBC show is finally going to spoof the MSNBC host. In fact, they are going to portray Olbermann as (and I quote from the article) "a deranged person living at home with his mother." Sources on the set say that somehow the real Olbermann got past security yesterday afternoon and watched Affleck and the cast rehearse the segment. Olbermann says he liked it and thought it was funny.

This is going to be must-see TV tonight. Actually, SNL has been pretty all must-see this campaign season. I can picture Affleck as Olbermann. He has sorta the same shaped hair and head. Maybe one of the other guys can play Bill O'Reilly.

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Saturday Night Live: Weekend Update Thursday (October 23, 2008) - VIDEOS

by Annie Wu, posted Oct 24th 2008 11:00AM
McCain, Palin, Bush
Well, that concludes Saturday Night Live's three week run of "Weekend Update Thursday." There were some good jokes here and there, including tonight's especially strong cold open, but looking back, we really could have done without these three episodes. Most of this material, election-related and otherwise, could have been bumped to the regular Saturday program without any problem. I'm sure we could come up with a list of sketches in the past few SNLs that deserved to be replaced. Someone fix my time machine and let's get this job done. I don't want to hear any of that "There's no such thing as a flux capacitor" bullcrap.

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Opie Cunningham is back - VIDEO

by Brad Trechak, posted Oct 23rd 2008 4:33PM
Ron HowardI recall a time when Ron Howard was diligently trying to distance himself from the two television icons that made him famous: Opie Taylor and Richie Cunningham (from The Andy Griffith Show and Happy Days, respectively). Now, thanks to Funny Or Die and in an effort to get his candidate of choice (Barack Obama, if you didn't know) elected, he is prepared to step back into those two roles. And to do so, he takes Andy Griffith and Henry Winkler with him.

I didn't really grow up with Andy Griffith, but it was quite the nostalgia trip to see Ron Howard and Henry Winkler as Richie and the Fonz again. Winkler seemed to just slip back into the character despite all the years.

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Saturday Night Live: Weekend Update Thursday (October 16, 2008) - VIDEOS

by Annie Wu, posted Oct 17th 2008 10:26AM
Weekend Update
I liked it. I laughed. Sure. I also laughed last week, but I can't quite remember what was so funny. These specials are pretty forgettable, bleeding into my Saturday Night Live memory and then dropping into the recesses of my mind. Again, I understand the need to jump on the debate coverage as soon as possible, but I honestly could have held on until Saturday. Or maybe they were worried that everyone would be sick of Joe the Plumber by then. Well... too late.

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Will McCain and Biden bring friends to Letterman and Leno tonight?

by Bob Sassone, posted Oct 16th 2008 2:03PM
Letterman, LenoSo tonight is the big night when Senator John McCain visits The Late Show with David Letterman on CBS to make amends for bailing on the late night host to go to Washington to work on the Wall Street mess, only to stay in New York and do an interview with Katie Couric instead. As it turns out, Senator Joe Biden is going to be talking to Jay Leno on NBC around the same time. Could they each be bringing a guest with them to the late night talk shows?

Rumors are spreading that not only will Sarah Palin join McCain on Letterman's show, Senator Barack Obama could join Biden on Leno's show. While it would be hard for Obama to appear on Leno's show because it's taped in California, Leno hinted at the possibility earlier this week.

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What channel will you have on for the debate tonight?

by Bob Sassone, posted Oct 15th 2008 5:05PM
Earlier this year I asked readers which network had "the best political team on television." CNN officially uses the line, but it doesn't mean it's true. Though I do have to say that I find myself watching CNN the most this election season because they truly do seem to go out of their way to be fair and bal...

OK, I won't say that exact phrase, but they do have a good mix of people, from Dems Paul Begala and Donna Brazille to Republicans William Bennett and Alex Castellanos, not to mention analysts like Gloria Borger and John King. It can get pretty unwieldy though, all those pundits spread across various tables. It's like that big World Series of Poker room mixed with a game show set, and if you have HD and can see the scorecards on the sides of the screen, it actually is like a game show.

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You betcha: Sarah Palin to do Saturday Night Live

by Bob Sassone, posted Oct 10th 2008 3:06PM
Palin/FeyAfter a few weeks of rumors, denials, and "will she or won't she" talk, it looks like Governor Sarah Palin is finally set to appear on NBC's Saturday Night Live.

The Alaskan Governor and VP candidate will appear on the October 25 episode, according to Cindy Adams at The New York Post. If that wasn't exciting enough, this is the same episode that Jon Hamm will host, so I bet we can look forward to a Mad Men parody. Wouldn't it be great if Palin could appear in that sketch? Maybe she could play Joan Holloway. The mind reels.

Of course, she'll probably appear in the cold open, I'm guessing alongside Tina Fey and her fake Palin, similar to the time that Hillary Clinton appeared alongside Amy Poehler and gave her tips on how to play her.

I wonder if Palin will change the opening to the show and say something like "LIVE FROM GODLESS NEW YORK, HOME OF THE MEDIA ELITE, IT'S SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE!"

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Obama to interrupt Knight Rider and Gary Unmarried

by Bob Sassone, posted Oct 10th 2008 1:03PM
Knight RiderThis news is going to upset fans of Knight Rider. Both of them.

Senator Barack Obama has bought 30 minutes of airtime on NBC on October 29 at 8pm, which means that he'll knock Knight Rider off the air for the night (no idea what NBC will put in the other 30 minutes, perhaps a repeat). Obama has also bought 30 minutes at the same time on CBS, which means that The New Adventures of Old Christine will air at 8:30 and the new Jay Mohr sitcom Gary Unmarried won't be on that night at all. FOX won't air the ads because of the World Series, and ABC said they'd air it only if Obama would dance with someone and/or get an extreme makeover.

And yes, if you're curious, the networks have of course offered Senator John McCain the same deal, though analysts aren't sure if he has the money to afford the 30 minute ads.

I don't mind this move because I don't watch either show. Now, if he were to interrupt 30 Rock or Mad Men or Heroes, well, then we'd have a problem.

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