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November 7, 2013

12
P.M.

What to Watch: TV chat with Hank Stuever

Total Responses: 67

About the hosts

About the host

Host: Hank Stuever

Hank Stuever

Hank Stuever, The Washington Post's TV critic since 2009, joined the paper in 1999 as a writer for the Style section, where he has covered an array of popular (and unpopular) culture across the nation. Stuever was born and raised in Oklahoma and previously worked at newspapers in Albuquerque and Austin. He lives in Washington, D.C.

About the topic

Post TV critic Hank Stuever talked about what's bad, good and so bad it's good on TV.

Here's what Hank would watch if he wasn't paid to watch TV: "Game of Thrones," "House Hunters," "The Amazing Race," "The Suze Orman Show." And he recently gave "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" a good review. Lately he's been digging "Masters of Sex," "Boardwalk Empire" and "Time of Death."
Q.

Hank Stuever :

Well, gang, in TV parlance we've been picked up for more episodes. I'll be doing this TV chat every other Thursday at noon, for now, and we'll take it weekly if our ratings improve.

Close readers of The Post will notice that MVP Emily Yahr isn't with us today -- she's pitching in on The Reliable Source column with Roxanne Roberts for a while, which these days is sort of like one of those DIY kitchen-remodel shows. ("Column Crashers?") We'll see what ultimately happens over there when they're ready for the big reveal -- I'm sure it will be gorgeous and well-grouted!

Which means I'm flying solo today. Emily, who was Pookie's padawan and chat producer for many years, is really, really good at fast answers to your questions about things like ratings, cancellations, premiere dates ... So what I guess I'm saying is that, without her help, I will do my best to answer those kinds of questions, but it might take me a minute or so to, uh, Google that for you.

Let's talk about shows -- what are you watching? What's good? What's awful? By now you've seen how blah the fall shows turned out to be -- any keepers? (Mine would be "Trophy Wife," "Mom" and "The Crazy Ones," but I sure wouldn't die on a hill for any of 'em.)

Meanwhilez, here's what I've reviewed lately in the Post:

Showtime's excellent but difficult six-part docu-series about dying: "Time of Death." (Are you watching this? Tell us your thoughts.)

Sundance Channel's "The Returned." This is the French miniseries about existential zombies -- people who come back from the dead -- not to chow on brains but to talk. Very dark and very beautiful. Have you watched it?

Did anyone watch Alec Baldwin's "Seduced & Abandoned" on HBO? Real or fake? Or somewhere in between?

How about that "Good Wife," huh?

Also since our last chat: I really, really liked HBO's documentary about progeria, "Life According to Sam." And I still think "The Walking Dead" is just walking in circles. (You are free to disagree -- what would like to see happen on that show? I'm tempted to just run off with Carol in her station wagon.)

That catches you up with me; now catch me up with YOU.

 

 

Q.

Early winners and losers

Which series seem to be outperforming expectations, and which ones deserve a spot on the Cancellation Countdown? If either Hank or Emily is gearing up for an article on this, just tell me when and I'll wait with bated breath. Thanks.
A.
Hank Stuever :

I don't think we have any cancellation obits/deathwatches planned, but I expect there's grim news ahead for more of these fall shows as midseason approaches. I'd be more interested in hearing from you guys what you think SHOULD go or what you're already bummed about. I guess the critics were all hoping "Dads" would get a fast ax, but more episodes were ordered. I felt like "Welcome to the Family" was a good early candidate for cancellation, and I was right.

– November 07, 2013 12:02 PM
Q.

Rockville, MD

This has nothing to do with TV, but since you are chatting, and since I am seeing Christmas decorations in shopping center parking lots already...are you still in touch with any of the folks you interviewed for Tinsel?
A.
Hank Stuever :

Oh, that's a sweet question. I am in contact here and there, but I made a promise to my 'Tinsel' folks that I was no longer their official biographer, that they need longer worry that I'm taking notes on them.

Speaking of Christmas, it is indeed at our throats again -- I have a stack of Hallmark (and Hallmark-esque) screeners taunting me. Do I dare watch them?

– November 07, 2013 12:04 PM
Q.

Up Late with Alec Baldwin

Wondered if you have caught his MSNBC Friday Night show yet? I DVR'd it two weeks ago. I hate his politics, but I must say I liked the show. It was different for a cable show, more like Charlie Rose, without the host calling those he opposes Hitler, somewhat refreshing.
A.
Hank Stuever :

I've been so swamped in Kennedy-related stuff that I still have not had time to see if Baldwin's TV show is as good as his podcast. I'll get to it. Who has he had on so far?

– November 07, 2013 12:04 PM
Q.

Sleepy Hollow

Have you had a chance to check out Sleepy Hollow yet? Curious your thoughts, it's SUPER silly, but I find it enjoyable.
A.
Hank Stuever :

My initial review of the pilot episode was tepid, but pay that no mind. I might have to revisit it now that we have more episodes and what appears to be a genuine and vocal fan base -- "Grimm"-style. Never underestimate the powerful allure of the silly. (see "Scandal.")

– November 07, 2013 12:07 PM
Q.

"Back in the Game"

I tried to give that show a chance because I love James Caan, but after two weeks I found it so unrealistic (The high school boy kissing a the kid bullying him, what teenager would do that?) that I stopped watching.
A.
Hank Stuever :

You and everyone else. It's cancelled.

– November 07, 2013 12:08 PM
Q.

Lead-ins

Why does CBS air The Amazing Race between 60 Minutes and The Good Wife? Is there much viewer overlap there, or do they figure everyone needs a late dinner break after football?
A.
Hank Stuever :

I'm such an avid CBS Sunday-nighter that I haven't stopped to apply logic to the schedule. I watch "60 Minutes" and "Amazing Race" and "The Good Wife" and so much laundry gets folded that I just don't question it. Then I retire with the head-bludgeoning quality material: "Boardwalk Empire," "Homeland" (though usually I've seen those episodes already) and "The Walking Dead." This is a big Sunday for me because the rest of the world has finally caught up to the advance episodes I saw of "Masters of Sex."

Anywho, I dunno. CBS seems to know what works and in what order. "Good Wife" has struggled on Sunday nights, though.

– November 07, 2013 12:11 PM
Q.

Chat Regularly?

Hi, Hank; thanks so much for doing the chats. We all miss Pookie, of course, but I also miss the weekly TV chat - always good stuff to discuss. Would you and Emily be able to work out a schedule to chat more often?
A.
Hank Stuever :

Every other Thursday at noon, for now.

– November 07, 2013 12:11 PM
Q.

Mistresses

I'm sure there's a storyline in there somewhere, but frankly I watch for the amazing array of male pulchritude (your SAT word for the day). Is it coming back?
A.
Hank Stuever :

"Mistresses" has been renewed, though I don't remember ever seeing a return-date. I guess spring/summer would be a safe bet? And bonus vocab points to you!

– November 07, 2013 12:12 PM
Q.

Tangential to Topic

Do you know how much it costs advertisers to show one viewer an hour of network TV? I mean, the cost of an ad per viewer times ads per hour.
A.
Hank Stuever :

I had to take college algebra three times before I passed. I also am but a mere TV critic, whose job entails watching gobs of television and then having something meaningful (and often sharply critical) to say about it. Your question confuses and frightens me. I'm sorry.

– November 07, 2013 12:14 PM
Q.

Treme?

I am still mourning the death of Breaking Bad but am starting to think about getting into a relationship with a new show (I am monogamous when it comes to TV dramas; I just can't handle more than one at a time). What do you think about Treme? Particularly given that you are a former NOLA resident, as I am?
A.
Hank Stuever :

The new and final mini-season of "Treme" arrived in my mailbox the other day and I cannot wait to watch it. (It begins Sunday, Dec. 1 -- look for my review then.)

This is what I call the "epilogue seasonette." HBO has kindly allowed David Simon and his talented writers and cast to bring the show in for a proper finish. I think it's been very good and, yes, it's helped know even more what it means to miss New Orleans. (I went to college there in the late '80s.)

Oh and let me make my Treme joke one more time! If this is an "epilogue seasonette," then I really wish they'd bring on a character named Eppy Logue Seasonette.

– November 07, 2013 12:17 PM
Q.

Sleepy Hollow

I'm confused. Is this a limited run first season? I keep reading all of these interviews and articles saying that they are almost finished filming the season and that John Noble will be back for 3 of the 4 remaining episodes. What gives? I love the show. It's absolutely crazy and shouldn't work, but I love it.
A.
Hank Stuever :

Anybody know the answer to this? Anybody named Emily Yahr know the answer to this? Anybody NOT named Emily Yahr know the answer to this? We have to be a helping-community today...

– November 07, 2013 12:18 PM
Q.

The Middle

I am a huge Modern Family fan, but I have always been annoyed that The Middle has never received more critical acclaim or Emmy nominations. Do you attribute this to MF taking up so much oxygen on Wednesday? Or do Hollywood and critics not find a show about a normal Midwest middle class family interesting? Would it help if Sue or Brick started selling meth out of a van?
A.
Hank Stuever :

Well, I dunno. I've always been kind of blah on it, so there's your critical-acclaim issue. But it's a stalwart performer and has hung in there and has lots of fans. These days, can't that be enough?

I wouldn't spend too much time envying "Modern Family's" attention. That's also growing old. I'm starting to hear from a lot of viewers who've grown bored with it, while at the same time admiring its quality.

Can anybody tell me why they're parting Ty Burrel's hair on the other side this season? Is it some kind of marker (besides the kids' ages) that will tell us what season we're in years and years from now in reruns. Sort of like Mike Brady's perm?

– November 07, 2013 12:22 PM
Q.

Sleepy Hollow

I think I recall that it was originally given a 15 ep order and when it was picked up, they decided to do a pick up for a second season instead of stretching out the first to 22.
A.
Hank Stuever :

I'll take that as word.

– November 07, 2013 12:22 PM
Q.

New show to watch?

What am I missing by not watching? I kind of like Brooklyn 99, when I can find it, and Sleepy Hollow is fun, but looks like it's going to be in conflict with another show I watch. I am so glad that miserable Back in the Game is gone. I like actors who look like regular people, but Caan just looked as nasty as the show.
A.
Hank Stuever :

Have you tried Trophy Wife?

– November 07, 2013 12:22 PM
Q.

"The Michael J Fox Show"

Been meaning to watch but have not yet. The reviews I saw were mixed. Is it still around, and what do you think of it?
A.
Hank Stuever :

Blech. And then double-blech.

– November 07, 2013 12:24 PM
Q.

Sleepy Hollow

It gets 13 episodes this year, and then another 13 next fall.
A.
Hank Stuever :

Dueling experts! So it's either 15 or 13, and now or later. In any case, by today's standards, a hit.

– November 07, 2013 12:25 PM
Q.

Not a question but an answer..

From what I've heard and read though I'm not a big fan of Sleepy Hollow (I only watched the premiere episode) Fox is indeed bringing it back. Hope that helps.
Q.

What I'm Watching

The new Esquire Network. It's got travel, cooking, craft beers, and Parks and Rec, which I didn't catch on NBC and am now recording on my DVR so can binge watch it for free. As a mid-40's female, I guess I'm not the viewer they had in mind, but I'm digging it.
A.
Hank Stuever :

Well, at the very last minute, they plopped Esquire down in the channel-space formerly occupied by the Style Network (no relation to the Style section) instead of the male-centric G4 slot, so maybe they did know what they had, demographically? I confess I've not had time to fully explore their original docu-series/cooking/travel offerings -- a whole bunch more just showed up with November premiere dates, so I hope to weigh in at some point.

– November 07, 2013 12:27 PM
Q.

TV Conundrum

How do you reconcile when bad TV shows happen to good actors? (I'm looking at you Will Arnett & Margot Martindale) I so want to support these fine artists, but I just can't watch the monstrosity of a sitcom they both currently occupy. Do I just let it slide and hope that their respective bodies of work mean that they'll eventually end up on something of quality in the future and we won't ever have to speak of this embarassment ever again?
A.
Hank Stuever :

During the summer press tour parties and panel Q&As we just sort of slightly shake our heads at them in the most mild, subtle cue of showing our disgust and pity. Sort of like in Texas when you start a sentence with "Bless her heart ..." and then follow up with fangs.

– November 07, 2013 12:28 PM
Q.

Dracula on NBC..

I've seen it and love it; ok that may be because I'm totally biased in being a Jonathan Rhys Myers fan. Your thoughts? Love it, hate it?
A.
Hank Stuever :

I like it! I think it was kind of a suprising move by NBC and I've found it consistent and enjoyable and only one problem: It is not scary.

– November 07, 2013 12:30 PM
Q.

Trophy Wife?

I saw the first episode and was not impressed. Is it getting better? Why do you like it?
A.
Hank Stuever :

I like the whole cast. I like the writing. But I will say I'm grading on a curve here because this has been the most mediocre fall season I've yet reviewed. (Since I got the job in 2009. Ah, 2009: When "Glee" was a fresh idea, when "Modern Family" began, when "Good Wife" began ...)

– November 07, 2013 12:31 PM
Q.

Mom vs. Dads

How did this happen. Okay, I think we all expected dreck from a FOX/Seth Green collaboration, but how couild a CBS/Allison Janney/Anna Farris vehicle go sooooo wrong. Oh, Chuck Lorre. Never mind.
A.
Hank Stuever :

Haha!

– November 07, 2013 12:31 PM
Q.

What I'm Watching

Things on Netflix.... Friday Night Lights, West Wing, Arrested Development, 30 for 30 (when it was good). It is amazing to me how bad sitcoms/dramas are on TV today.
Q.

what I'm watching

New for me is This Week, the Charlie Rose weekly wrap up show on PBS. Good mix of stuff, politics, art, pop culture.
A.
Hank Stuever :

How does he do all these shows???

– November 07, 2013 12:32 PM
Q.

Esquire Network

Oh, and they've got Sex and the City on their super late-night schedule. Not sure how that appeals to men, but it works for me when my insomnia kicks in.
A.
Hank Stuever :

I think Esquire magazine has always had a secret army of female readers, too.

– November 07, 2013 12:32 PM
Q.

breaking bad withdrawal....

when does the spin off/prequel with gotta call saul start?
A.
Hank Stuever :

Next year? No firm date after that initial announcement. Fans still worried.

– November 07, 2013 12:33 PM
Q.

What I'm watching

Nothing terribly exciting: The Blacklist, Scandal, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. My inner 24-junkie and latent 20-year-old boy are equally highly satisfied.
Q.

MJ Fox

What? People don't like it? I forgot to mention it is another new show that I watch, in my post asking about new shows to watch. I like it! I've not tried Trophy Wife; the title makes it sound stupid, but not in a fun way.
A.
Hank Stuever :

Trophy Wife = Cougar Town when it comes to bad names.

– November 07, 2013 12:33 PM
Q.

Modern Family v The Middle

The Middle is nowhere near the level of good writing and comedy that is MF. Outside of the Sue character, it's bleh. And the mom - she is as grating as she was on Raymond, and unlikeable.
Q.

"Kirstie's New Show" on TVLand

Have you previewed the new comedy on TVLand called "Kistie's New Show" with her, Rhea Perlman and Michael Richards? All of them are proven talents, but the trailers I've seen on TVLand have underwhelmed me.
A.
Hank Stuever :

I think it would be hilarious if it was called "Kirstie's New Show" but the screener I have on my desk would indicate that it's just called "Kirstie." Even though I have it in my hot little hands and could watch it anytime, I predict I'll be watching it at the very last minute on deadline. Ya know?

– November 07, 2013 12:35 PM
Q.

member of the secret army

I've been a subscriber to Esquire for years and years - female. I even was accosted on a commuter train by a man for reading a "men's magazine".
Q.

Hank Stuever :

Hey, by the way ... I'm delivering a huge pile of copy this afternoon for tomorrow's paper on all the JFK 50th-anniversary assassination documentaries, specials, etc. airing this month. So I'm dying to know from the audience: Do you plan to watch any of it? Do you care about it?

Q.

NBC Thursday

Since the Redskins game is being shown tonight on Channel 4, will Channel 4 run the normal Thursday lineup at some point, maybe in the middle of the night? If not, why not? Isn't that what was done in the past? Not everyone likes to watch TV through their computer, with all of the buffering and pauses. Thanks!
A.
Hank Stuever :

Anyone know the answer to this?

– November 07, 2013 12:38 PM
Q.

Pawn Stars

Has Pawn Stars run out of juice? I have not watched the show in maybe 6 months, I thought it got boring, and didn't evolve beyond, lets make a deal.
A.
Hank Stuever :

Interesting you should say that because I feel like a great many of the present reality shows (circa 2009 thru now) are really at the end of their life cycles. There's no more gold in Alaska. There's nothing left to pawn. The storage units have all been raided. The Amish are exhausted. The toddlers no longer sparkle.

Do you get the same feeling? I feel like we need a new crop or, better yet, a new genre?

– November 07, 2013 12:40 PM
Q.

Happy Birthday, Food Network

This is the 20th birthday of the Food Network. What's everyone's favorite show? Who's your favorite host/hostess? I'm tired of the ubiquitous Bobby Flay and Guy Fieri and Rachael Ray is getting there too.
A.
Hank Stuever :

Did you know there's a book out about the entire history and genesis of the Food Network?

(Sorry. You sound like a publicist, which compels me to respond like a publicist.)

– November 07, 2013 12:41 PM
Q.

RE: Kennedy-related stuff

With the 50th anniversary of the assassination coming, are there any planned shows/documentaries that will be examining it? I remember 10 years ago that Peter Jennings did a 2 hour special "Beyond Conspiracy" that convinced me 100% that Oswald acted alone.
A.
Hank Stuever :

Is there? Is there? OMGosh, I've watched like 20 hours of it and barely scratched the surface of what's out there. Hang onto your pink pillbox hats. 

My review runs tomorrow, and I'll follow up online with a short blog item about what to watch and what to skip.

– November 07, 2013 12:43 PM
Q.

Agents of Acronym

(I don't have the patience to type all the periods.) I thought this show would be a home run and am disappointed to find it to be only a double down the line. It doesn't seem to be jelling. Is it holding up ratings-wise? If not, is anyone making any moves to shore it up?
A.
Hank Stuever :

ABC is still very enthusiastic, but I think everyone (even fanboys) shares your feeling.

I failed in my attempt to get a stylebook ruling on all those periods.

– November 07, 2013 12:44 PM
Q.

TV Drama

Does it get any better than The Good Wife? I don't think so.
Q.

Keepers

First time I have ever agreed on any of the shows commented on in this chat. New experience. Mom and Trophy Wife have to stay. Really tried to like Crazy Ones, but I can take it or leave it. Michael J Fox show is really good. I keep missing it though due to life conflicts. I hope my lack of consistent viewing will not cause cancelation. :)
Q.

Advice on holiday screeners

If I were a TV critic (and btw please let me know if you are taking on any interns or spec reviewers), I would binge on the Hallmark stuff starting about a week before Thanksgiving, expecting that I would have all my reviews done before the holiday and not spoil my own family celebration.
A.
Hank Stuever :

Some years I do that and put them all in one piece. It's like a mass murder.

– November 07, 2013 12:45 PM
Q.

The Great Wife

Like you Hank, I'm back into The Good Wife. Caught the ep where Alicia and Cary split from the firm, it was riveting. Last week's episode was good too. For me its partially as its on at 9 instead of 10, always liked it, couldn't always stay up for it (I'm a DVRless household).
Q.

"Good Wife" has struggled on Sunday nights

Well, of course it has. Football throws off the schedule by 13 minutes -- no, 46 minutes -- no, 31 minutes. Last Sunday it was 59 minutes, postponing both "The Good Wife" and then "The Mentalist" by a full hour. CBS chose to swap in a rerun of "The Mentalist" at the last minute, then -- during a series of nail-biting episodes -- ran a preview of the "following" show when we hadn't seen the new one yet! Aaggh!
Q.

Speaking of shows getting old

Shonda Rhimes gave an interview on NPR this morning about Grey's and Scandal, saying that she thought she knew the end to Grey's but then realized the characters weren't done telling their story, and that she feels like she needs to keep writing it until they're finished. Even though I don't watch the show, I really hope this doesn't mean it drags on for another 4-5 seasons; it's so painful when shows don't know they should have ended years ago (HIMYM, ahem). Scandal, on the other hand, she knows has a finite timespan, and (in true Shonda fashion - argh!) she said she knew the ending to that one and that it wouldn't change. (And of course did not say what that was!) I'd kill to be able to get into her head just once!
Q.

The Carol Burnett Show

Do you know why the old "Carol Burnett Show" is not available in streaming, rerun, or DVD form? It's a real shame, considering how great it is. Why is Burnett holding out on finding new fans? It makes no sense to me.
A.
Hank Stuever :

I don't know, but we all have that one thing we pine for that simply refuses (by litigation or rights disputes or whatever) to materialize on DVD or streaming. (For me, that was "Bionic Woman," which took forever to come out on DVD, but eventually did.) (Stop laughing in the back, you. Lindsay Wagner deserved every ounce of that Emmy.)

Anybody know?

– November 07, 2013 12:48 PM
Q.

The Americans

Big fan of Season 1 of The Americans but I am really frustrated by shows that pull me in for a short run, then disappear for 9 months or more. Shades of the BBC, eh?
A.
Hank Stuever :

You just have to adjust your rhythm. One reason shows like this are good is because they have more time to make them. "The Americans" is back in February -- no firm date yet, but we do know that it's February.

– November 07, 2013 12:49 PM
Q.

What I'm watching

Homeland, Boardwalk Empire, The Blacklist, Nashville, Scandal, and Elementary. In January I will start my PBS binging - Downton Abbey, Sherlock, and Call the Midwife. Yes, I'm a chick.
Q.

Mod Fam vs. Middle

Couldn't disagree more with the previous poster - I find nothing grating about Frankie Heck, writing is fantastic, and over all I'd say I get more laughs out of The Middle. I like Mod Fam too, but sometimes I think it just tries too hard to be clever and gets irritating - too much of the dialogue is people trying to be sarcastic or out-snark each other and it gets old.
Q.

Pawn Stars

The History Channel ceased having a reason to exist about 5-7 years ago. It's kind of hard to believe a channel that could get by simply re-running old documentaries has turned into the House of Nothing that it is.
A.
Hank Stuever :

I liked "Vikings," which is coming back next spring.

– November 07, 2013 12:50 PM
Q.

Happy Birthday Food Network

First off LOLOLOL @ Hank. Nice. 2nd..my absolute favorite show is The Pioneer Woman. Love her. I still watch my other favs Barefoot Contessa, Everyday Italian. But I miss Unwrapped, The Secret Life Of and I'm going to just bite the bullet and say it (must be that middle child thing) ALL things Paula Deen. Enjoy her sons shows but for me its just not the same. Just my .02.
Q.

Kennedy stuff

Yes, I'm watching ALL OF IT. I'm even going back to the Greg Kinnear/Katie Holmes miniseries from a couple of years ago. I know it was slammed, but that was primo camp. Like the Reagans doc on Showtime.
Q.

Hendrix

When is the Hendrix film airing locally on PBS?
A.
Hank Stuever :

Did they not air it on Tuesday the 5th? (By locally, do you mean WETA and MPT?) It was supposed to air then. I watched it and intended to review it and then shots started ringing out at Dealey Plaza. Like, 1,240 shots.

– November 07, 2013 12:52 PM
Q.

what I'm watching & Kennedy programs

I am watching a little bit of everything ... Betrayal/Revenge (both equally bad, but so campy it's easy viewing), the Good Wife of course (my fav by a mile at the moment) followed closely by Nashville. I still watch Scandal, but have grown to hate it as is what happens with me and all of Shonda's shows. and I watch Parenthood, The Mindy Project, New Girl, Parks and Rec, Brooklyn 99 or whatever it's called on Hulu, On Demand when I'm bored or have time on the sofa. I do plan on watching some Kennedy stuff because I'm endlessly fascinated by the Kennedy saga. and I just realize I watch way too much television. and I didn't even mention some of the reality fluff I partake in in secret.
Q.

Confused by CBS, yet again...

I caught an episode of The Crazy Ones last week and it wasn't bad. Not great, but not bad, either. Kind of a "meh" on the TV-viewing scale. Okay, I admit to a Buffy-era crush on SMG, and Robin Williams wasn't *too* hyper-kinetic, and the supporting cast worked (esp. the guy from "Old Christine") Then I saw the credits and read "David E. Kelly". Now I'm not sure how to feel -- excepting all the unintentional humor in "Ally McBeal", this isn't a guy know for his comedy. Is the show getting a pass based solely on Kelly's pedigree and William's name-appeal? I can't imagine that this show skews young, which has to be a priority at CBS, so I'm at a loss for why this show even exists, let alone whether it will be here two or three seasons from now... Can you shed any light on what CBS might be thinking?
Q.

HBO

So I just watched "The Newsroom" on DVD (I am a cord-cutter) and it got me thinking. If you cut out the profanity the show would work on broadcast, but no network would let it go out that way because they'd be too worried about ratings, and the potential for premature cancellation would be huge. And I think that may be why the shows on broadcast aren't great -- maybe development execs all have to have one eye on the chopping block, and are wondering "if this tanks, can I slap something else on instead?" So everything is disposable. And if you are a writer with a reputation, why wouldn't you pitch your show to HBO? I hear execs saying, oh, if we could only have nudity and swearing as on cable, but I suspect the real advantage of cable is the built-in patience that comes from guaranteed revenue.
A.
Hank Stuever :

If "The Newsroom" was on CBS, they'd have to solve a case every episode. "But we aren't crime solvers!" Will McAvoy would scream.

But arn'cha, Will? Arn'cha?

– November 07, 2013 12:54 PM
Q.

The Middle

Is brilliant. The daughter should have an Emmy every season. You cannot watch one episode or you won't understand. It is the combined glory of all the shows that makes it work. It doesn't hurt that I have three kids and when I come up with a brilliant vacation idea, they all look at me as if I'm asking them to eat chopped liver in a hoarder's house and then the kids in The Middle do the exact same thing to their mother. Plus, it's really nice that they don't have a ton of money and have things that actually break in their homes and don't get repaired.
Q.

RE: Reality Shows

I think the whole genre is dying out. I too got bored with Pawn Starts and American Pickers, tried to start Duck Dynasty, since they are the hot new thing. Maybe because I'm a city dweller but It was as tired as those shows with the added annoyance of terrible acting.
Q.

Homeland and D.C.

Hey, Hank - Why can't Homeland get D.C. geography right? Where are their researchers? How can anyone with a google map write a scene with Carrie trying to get from Adams Morgan to Bethesda in 15 minutes?!?
A.
Hank Stuever :

They have really neglected that aspect. All this time I was thinking Carrie totally lived in, like, Shirlington.

– November 07, 2013 12:55 PM
Q.

JFK stuff

no, not planning on watching it. JFK stuff to me are shows I stop on for a few minutes and then click on by, I know how it ends.
Q.

Re: Food Networkrk

Come on, Hank. If I were a publicist, would I malign Bobby, Guy, & Rachael?
Q.

JFK

I'm 52.5 years old, and my family didn't have a TV in 1963; so I've always believed I'm the oldest America with NO recollection of the JFK assassination.
Q.

JFK 50th Anniversary Assasination...

It happened before my time and since my parents lived through that period I watch alot of specials, documentaries and the like with them and they tell stories from back then. It's interesting.
Q.

Magic City

I'm in the middle of watching the second season of Magic City. So far, its much better and less meandering than season 1. Did Starz cancel it do to lack of viewers and the assumption that, even if it became better acted and written, enough people would never watch? Or was it the expense of the show?
A.
Hank Stuever :

It was expensive. It was also bad. Enjoy what's left, if it works for you. I thought it was trying way too hard.

– November 07, 2013 12:56 PM
Q.

Favorites I Miss

Any word on when/if The Following, Community, or Graceland are coming back?
A.
Hank Stuever :

Community is Jan. 2 -- that was the last I remember hearing for sure. NBC is still a moving target, schedule-wise.

The Following is coming back in 2014 -- I haven't seen a date. (Anybody know?)

Graceland has been renewed for a second season of 13 episodes. Next summer, I suppose.

 

– November 07, 2013 12:59 PM
Q.

Re JFK

Probably won't watch any of it. Kind of a re-run at this point...
Q.

JFK anniversary

I am not looking forward to anything in particular. What I really want is a cautious and sober investigation of the questions around the shooting, but "cautious and sober" are words that tend to induce narcolepsy in programmers. So I would settle for a couple hours of what-was-it-like-to-watch-on-TV, including some of those early bulletins, some of the reporters' discussions as they try to explain and learn, Ruby shooting Oswald, and funeral coverage. Show me Cronkite and Huntley and Brinkley, knowing only what they knew at the time. Is anyone doing that?
A.
Hank Stuever :

PBS's NOVA does a very methodical ballistics test that might interest you -- Cold Case JFK, scheduled for Nov. 13, I believe. (I have so much JFK to deal with right now; check the date to be sure.) Also pretty sober and complete is PBS's "American Experience: JFK" airing over two nights next week.

– November 07, 2013 1:00 PM
Q.

What I'm Watching/JFK Stuff

For efficiency's sake, I'll combine: only watching the "what if?" JFK stuff, not the umpteenth recounting of events or conspiracy stuff, 'cause "been there, done that", As for what else I'm watching, nothing from the new season has jumped out at me, except for "@Midnight" on Comedy Central. Nerd Internet humor in fuax gameshow format will get me every time.
A.
Hank Stuever :

"What If," for me, is the least interesting way to go with JFK. Too much like fantasy football or something. But to each his or her own JFK nostalgia/interest-level. I hereby absolve all of you, regardless of your age or firsthand memories, from watching any of it. This country needs to move on and get along. Kennedy would agree.

 

– November 07, 2013 1:02 PM
Q.

I know it's a little stale on the news front, but

Can we still say RIP Marcia Wallace? Between Newhart and Simpsons, she was repsonsbile for many of my TV laughs.
Q.

Homeland

If anyone had done their research she WOULD be living in Shirlington or Clarendon (somewhere in NOVA) - makes total sense for someone with her career (and work location). But, it doesn't seem at all hip. Homeland seems like an atlas compared with Bones or Criminal Minds, though.
A.
Hank Stuever :

It's always nice to end a chat with someone who is in violent agreement with me.

Thanks, everyone. I'll be back here Thursday, Nov. 21 at noon!

– November 07, 2013 1:03 PM
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