Powered by i.TV
November 25, 2014

sports night

Seven Emmy-Worthy TV Shows Within TV Shows

by Danny Gallagher, posted Jul 18th 2010 4:00PM
Emmy statueEvery year, the Academy of Television Arts and Science hands out hundreds of Emmys in categories that cover every inch of TV minutiae except "Best use of eyebrows by a cable newscaster" and "Best catering." One major category of meta-TV awesomeness, however, has been unjustly ignored by the Academy: shows within shows.

These fictional blocks of television programming creep up in a variety of situations -- a character may work as a TV personality in the narrative, or we may just see characters watching the tube while they're chilling on couch. They may fill up just 30 seconds of screen time, but shows within shows have to be flawless in order to drive the story and serve their often-comedic purposes. So here's our attempt to recognize the best TV shows within TV shows.

May I have the envelope, please?

Read More

New TV on DVD Releases This Week

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 29th 2010 6:02PM
Sports NightHere are the new TV DVDs, in stores tomorrow.

Not sure why the first season of 'Sports Night' is being released again. Actually, the series has been released as "Complete Series" packages twice now (there were only two seasons), and the 10th Anniversary edition is still available so I'm not sure what 'Sports Night' fan would spend money on the first season alone. It doesn't look like there's anything on it that you can't get on the other set.

  • 'The Abbott & Costello Show' - Complete Series Collector's Edition
  • 'Alvin & The Chimpmunks' - Cinderella Cinderella
  • 'Ben 10: Alien Force' - Vol. 6
  • 'Celebrity Rehab' - Season 1

Read More

Aaron Sorkin returning to television

by Bob Sassone, posted Nov 18th 2009 4:29PM
Aaron SorkinIn last week's TV Squad Podcast, I mentioned how I liked Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. It was a show with a ton of flaws, but it was also well-written and had a ton of potential. After it ended, Sorkin fans (even the ones who didn't like the show) were wondering "what will he do on TV next?" Well, we might have our answer.

Over at TV Guide magazine, Sorkin says that his next show will once again (like Studio 60 and Sports Night) be set in the world of television, a behind-the-scenes look at...something. He doesn't say what the show will be, but when Studio 60 ended there was talk that he would do a show set at a fictional cable news channel. Considering that all of Sorkin's shows have had some sort of news and/or political side, this seems like a natural. He'll be able to talk about all of the things he wants to talk about in a setting like that.

Sorkin says that he will start working on the show when filming of The Social Network, the big screen movie about the start of Facebook, is over. I can't wait.

Read More

One summer project ends, another begins

by Brad Trechak, posted Jun 29th 2009 4:29PM
The West WingAbout a month ago, I mentioned my television summer project. The West Wing was such an excellent series that I stampeded by way through the episodes and am done already. In fact, if you summed up the quality of every reality show on television, it wouldn't come close to the quality of The West Wing (thus furthering the argument that writers are mandatory for good television).

I agree with most of the critics that the series took a drop in quality in Season 5. With the departure of Sorkin, the characters began to make decisions that seemed inconsistent with the first four seasons (I'll write more about that in a separate article). Seasons 6 and 7 saw an upswing in quality, mostly due to the change in the whole premise of the show (making it about the Presidential Election rather than the Presidency).

The West Wing was a very deep and intelligent program and probably better than we deserve. Next up: Aaron Sorkin's other television contributions, Sports Night and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.

Read More

In praise of In Plain Sight

by Allison Waldman, posted May 24th 2009 1:31PM
Richard Schiff In Plain sight
In Plain Sight has become one of my favorite TV shows. I didn't think that way last year, its rookie season, when the show lurched a bit to try and find balance between Mary's professional life as a U.S. Marshal in the Witness Protection Program and her dysfunctional personal life with an alcoholic mother, a troubled younger sister with a drug-dealing boyfriend, and an on-again/off-again relationship with a hot Latin minor league baseball player.

When it went well, it was very satisfying, but the show seemed to be struggling to find its tone. Well, this season is a whole new thing. Perhaps there were changes behind the scenes, perhaps the first year was about shaking out all those story strands and building a stronger foundation, perhaps it was simply the actors getting more comfortable in their roles. Whatever the case, In Plain Sight is now hitting on all cylinders.

Read More

Aaron Sorkin returning to TV?

by Brad Trechak, posted Apr 10th 2009 11:07AM
Studio 60 on the Sunset StripAccording to PopWatch, Aaron Sorkin might be returning to television. And for the third time, it might be a television-show-within-a-television-show (his first two in this vein were Sports Night and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip). This time, the fictional world would be a cable news program such as the one hosted by Keith Olbermann on MSNBC.

His last show utilizing this concept, Studio 60, didn't fare so well and was cancelled after a single season. However, this program concept would also incorporate the discussion of politics, which Sorkin excels at, as proven in The West Wing. We may have a winner here.

Sorkin is certainly a multi-talented writer. He's written movies and plays as well as television. I believe he can make this sort of program work. I even confess to liking an earlier incarnation of this concept, Al Franken's Lateline.

So what do you think? Do you welcome a return by Sorkin to television or is his reputation overblown?

Read More

Guess which two shows are missing from this best of the 90s list - VIDEO

by Bob Sassone, posted Feb 10th 2009 3:02PM
Everybody loves lists, right? That's why I was attracted to this AOL Television list of the best TV shows of the 1990s. Lots of good entries, some head-scratchers, and two incredibly glaring omissions.

You can immediately guess which shows are on the list: Seinfeld, The X-Files, Sports Night, Oz, The Sopranos, The Larry Sanders Show. There are some shows that I certainly would never put on such a list, but I can understand why they were chosen, such as Party of Five, Dawson's Creek, and Ally McBeal. I think this is probably yet another example of "best" being confused with "popular" or "buzzworthy." Actually, I would never include Ally McBeal on any sort of best of list.

But what really confuses me? There are two major shows, two shows that are often mentioned in a "best of" list (not just the 90s, but all-time) that aren't on the list! Can you guess what they are? Both appeared on NBC, and one of them was created by someone who created one of the above shows.

Read More

Best '90s TV Shows

by Kim Potts, posted Feb 9th 2009 1:00PM
We know, we know ... another "best of" list.

But this isn't any old list – our Top 40 TV Shows of the '90s is just the first in a new series of countdowns in which we'll put our AOL Television seal of approval on the top 40 series of every decade.

Every other month we'll tackle another decade, going all the way back to the '50s, to recall the best comedies (hello 'Lucy'), the best prime-time soaps (do you remember who shot JR?), the best cop shows, animated series and groundbreaking TV shows.

So kick off 50 years of silver-screen bests with the greatest shows of the '90s, including everyone from 'Beavis,' 'Buffy' and 'Simpsons' to 'Freaks and Geeks' and teens on the 'Creek.'

Read More

New TV on DVD releases this week

by Bob Sassone, posted Sep 29th 2008 6:02PM
Sports NightHere are the new TV DVDs, in stores tomorrow.

Glad I held off on getting the season one set of Banacek, as the complete series gets released on DVD tomorrow. I'm also interested in The Starlost, since I think it's something I haven't seen before but I've heard many things about (not all good).

Of course, you Sports Night fans are going to want the new 10th Anniversary complete series set, even if you have the old set.

  • Adam-12 - Season 2
  • B.L. Stryker - Complete Series
  • Banacek - Complete Series
  • Beauty and the Beast - Complete Series
  • Click & Clack's As The Wrench Turns
  • Edward the King - Miniseries
  • Laredo - Best of Season 2, Part 1
  • Mr. Bean - Best of Mr. Bean, Vol. 2
  • My Name is Earl - Season 3
  • My Three Sons - Season 1, Vol. 1
  • The New Fantastic Four - The Impossible Man
  • Numb3rs - Season 4
  • Lewis Black's Root of All Evil
  • Sports Night - Complete Series
  • The Starlost - Complete Series
  • When We Left Earth: The NASA Missions

Read More

Sports Night - 10th Anniversary DVD review - VIDEO

by Bob Sassone, posted Sep 10th 2008 3:00PM
Sports Night DVDFans of the short-lived ABC comedy Sports Night were disappointed when the DVD set for the show came out in 2002. We were really happy that there was indeed a complete series set for the show, but there wasn't any extras in the set at all. No commentaries, no features, no interviews, no booklet. Some people even reported that the discs didn't work that well, that they would stop and start or freeze altogether on some DVD players (I have the old set and never had this problem). Fans were happy to have the show, but still wanted more.

Well, now we do. Shout! Factory has released a new 10th Anniversary set for the show, and all of the the extras that were missing in that set are here, and then some.

Read More

Aaron Sorkin feels guilty about Studio 60, meets with HBO

by Bob Sassone, posted Aug 13th 2008 2:21PM
Aaron SorkinRemember Studio 60? It was a little show that not many people had opinions about, and no one here really talked about it that much. But creator/writer Aaron Sorkin is talking about it, to GQ.

Sorkin actually feels guilty about the entire thing, because he knows he screwed it up. He tells Mickey Rapkin that the ultimately the show didn't work because he made too many mistakes:

I was too angry when I wrote Studio 60. The show became like the cover of Abbey Road. Everybody was trying to figure out who this character was in real life or what that incident was trying to be.

Read More

What's missing from this list of the best sitcoms since 1980?

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 5th 2008 4:21PM

Arrested DevelopmentAll of these lists are starting to get more and more specific. This one is a list of the ten best sitcoms since 1980. Soon we'll have the 8 1/2 best hour long dramas that appeared between 1988 and 1994 on Sunday nights (that start with "J").

But lists always get us talking and this one has some great picks. Arrested Development fanatics will be glad to see their show on the list (I won't tell you where you'll have to click the link above), along with shows like Scrubs, Cheers, and Sports Night. But there is one show that is obviously missing. There might be more than one show that isn't on the list that should be, of course, but this show stood out to me immediately. Can you guess what it is? I'll name it after the jump but don't click ahead until you read the list and guess yourself.

Read More

Five things I learned from TV this week

by Bob Sassone, posted May 22nd 2008 4:41PM

Archuleta and CookWho says you can't learn anything from television? We talk about a lot of things here on TV Squad each week, and it's amazing what TV Squad and TV in general can teach you about life.

TV ... it's like the Bible!

1. America likes making a point rather than rewarding talent. Let me say upfront that even though I wrote this, I still think that David Cook is a good singer, and it was great that the American Idol final came down to him and David Archuleta. But I'm baffled as to why he won by 12 million votes! It's almost as if viewers were voting for Cook not just because they liked him, but because they didn't want to fulfill the predictions many had weeks and weeks ago that Archuleta would win (as if the kid could control any of that). They didn't want to prove to everyone that American Idol is predictable, or that Simon's comments about Archuleta winning the final night of singing meant anything. And what about that night? Come on, Archuleta clearly won that night, but it's almost as if they don't even have to have that final night of singing, because fans are clearly voting for other reasons. The Archuleta backlash has to be one of the weirder things that has happened this TV season. I have a very good friend who is a Cook fanatic. Nothing could make her say anything bad about him and I think she broke her phone calling in to vote for him, and even she admits that Archuleta did better that last night. I think fans convinced themselves that they had to vote for the "rocker" (cough cough) and not the kid who sings well (and I have to disagree with my cohort Debra - there's nothing "unique" about Cook).

Read More

Sports Night 10th anniversary box set coming this fall

by Erin Martell, posted May 20th 2008 4:23PM
Sports NightLast month Bob Sassone mentioned a rumor that a 10th anniversary Sports Night DVD set was in the works. Fans will be happy to learn that the anniversary edition of Sports Night: The Complete Series has a release date of September 30. Shout! Factory is releasing the eight-DVD box set, which includes all forty-five episodes of the series as well as two discs of new bonus features.

The box set costs $69.99 and contains a 10th anniversary book, behind-the-scenes featurettes, new interviews, blooper reels, commentaries by the cast and creative team, and deleted scenes. A complete series box set has been available since 2002, but that version had no special features.

Read More

DVD rumors: a 10th anniversary set for Sports Night?

by Bob Sassone, posted Apr 29th 2008 3:41PM

Sports NightThis news could make Sports Night fans go crazy like ... well, people who go crazy and stuff.

TV Shows On DVD is reporting that a 10th anniversary set for the short-lived ABC comedy is in the works, to be released this fall. As fans know, a complete DVD set for the show was already released a few years ago, but it didn't have any extras on it at all (and I remember that some of the first DVDs had a lot of problems with skipping and freezing, though I've never had a problem with my set). This set is rumored to have extras on it, and we can only hope that includes commentaries by the cast and Aaron Sorkin.

No word yet on who is putting it out or even why this set is getting the anniversary treatment (other than it's a great show and deserves it!). Maybe the success of Felicity Huffman and Brenda Strong on Desperate Housewives helped.

Read More

Follow Us

From Our Partners