Television

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Television Without Pity

Friday, April 04, 2014

Television Without Pity began as a Dawson’s Creek fan site in the late 90s, and was bought by NBC Universal in 2007. Now NBC Universal is shutting down the site, and the forums it spawned. Brooke speaks with Emily Nussbaum, the New Yorker’s television critic, who came to TWOP early and then stayed and stayed. 

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On The Media

A Calculator To Tell You How Many Weeks (Or Months, Or Years) You've Spent Watching TV

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Oh dear. A new online calculator will tell you how many weeks (or months, or years) you've lost to your favorite shows.

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On The Media

Why a Large Part of the Internet Is Mad at Stephen Colbert

Friday, March 28, 2014

Can a joke about racism be racist? Explaining #CancelColbert.

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On The Media

When Your Favorite TV Show Jumped the Shark, In Graph Form

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Internet TV criticism means that we scrutinize each episode more minutely than we ever have before. Here's how to know if we're right.

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On The Media

What Exactly Is "Russia Today"?

Friday, March 07, 2014

 

If a journalist criticizing the government on Russia Today airwaves is a shock, how much journalism is happening there in the first place? Newsweek says “when it comes to Ukraine, RT is like going to a Cold War theme park, only without the breadlines.” The National Journal calls RT's characterization of the crisis in Crimea an adventure filled with “TV, sandwiches and selfies.” Bob talks with Julia Ioffe, senior editor at The New Republic, about how RT's coverage perfectly balances Putin-promoting and West-demoting. 
If a journalist criticizing the government on Russia Today airwaves is a shock, how much journalism is happening there in the first place? Newsweek says “when it comes to Ukraine, RT is like going to a Cold War theme park, only without the breadlines.” National Journal calls RT's characterization of the crisis in Crimea an adventure filled with “tea, sandwiches and selfies.” Bob talks with Julia Ioffe, senior editor at The New Republic, about how RT's coverage perfectly balances Putin-promoting and West-demoting. 

 


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On The Media

A Live Morning News Show Loses its Audio Feed, Shenanigans Ensue

Friday, February 21, 2014

The anchors on WGN Morning News were forced to communicate using the ancient media form of sharpie plus paper.

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On The Media

A Rabble-Rouser On Jeopardy

Friday, February 07, 2014

The latest Jeopardy sensation has thus far amassed $102,800 dollars on a four-game winning streak -- but his playing style is making traditionalists shudder. Arthur Chu has rejected the unwritten rule that the guy (or gal) with the most facts wins, and replaced it with the idea that you can outwit your opponent with the wily application of game theory.

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On The Media

The Inventor of Instant Replay

Friday, January 31, 2014

This weekend’s superbowl comes just over 50 years after the Army-Navy football game of December 1963, when we saw the very first use of instant replay. As Anna Clark wrote in Pacific Standard, the television trick that transformed the way we watch and officiate sports is thanks to an intrepid producer named Tony Verna, who would go on to achieve acclaim overseeing myriad live TV events like the bi-continental charity concert “Live Aid” and specials with Pope John Paul II. Brooke talks with Tony Verna about why it was so hard to replay live television back then, and how he found a way to outsmart his equipment. 

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On The Media

Game Time

Friday, November 29, 2013

The typical televised football game lasts about three hours. But according to a study by The Wall Street Journal, only 11 minutes of that time is actually devoted to live play. Bob Fishman is a game director for CBS Sports, the person who decides what home viewers see and when they see it. In an interview that originally aired in 2010, Fishman explains to Bob how he spends the other two hours and 49 minutes of a broadcast.

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On The Media

The NFL and Player Concussion

Friday, November 29, 2013

Currently, a class-action suit by more than 4,000 former NFL players against the NFL is in the process of being settled. The issue? The players claim the league covered up a link between football and brain damage. Last year, Bob spoke with Mark Waller - the NFL’s Chief Marketing Officer - about public service announcements the league was running last year about head injuries.

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On The Media

JFK and TV

Friday, November 22, 2013

In television's younger days, going live was extremely difficult, costly and rare. But 50 years ago, a monumental tragedy made live coverage essential, no matter the cost, whenever a president left the White House. WNYC’s Sara Fishko recollects those dreadful days in November when everyone was paralyzed in front of the small screen.  

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On The Media

Watching Each Other Watch

Friday, October 04, 2013

Last Sunday, AMC aired the final episode of Breaking Bad. You may not watch the show, but if you’ve been hanging around anywhere online, its presence is inescapable. Fans on Twitter tweeted 100,000 times a day about the show leading up to the finale. Brooke talks with Kevin Slavin, an Assistant Professor of Media Arts and Sciences at  MIT and co-founder of Everybody at Once, who says that fans’ social media interactions are crucial to the modern television experience. 

Paul Whiteman - Love Nest

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On The Media

Bezos Buys the Washington Post, and Why Jerks Make the Best TV, and More

Friday, August 09, 2013

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos buys the Washington Post, the story of the (incredibly) difficult men behind the golden age of television, and a mysterious TV network from the past you probably don't know existed.

On The Media

Difficult Men

Friday, August 09, 2013

Breaking Bad returns this weekend for its final 8-episode run this weekend. You can find an answer to why the show has joined the pantheon of greats including The Sopranos, The Wire, Mad Men and more in TV’s current Golden Age, in Brett Martin’ s new book, Difficult Men: Behind the Scenes of a Creative Revolution. Brooke talks to Martin about how we ended up in this TV renaissance. 

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On The Media

Voice of America

Friday, July 19, 2013

We are often reminded of the privileges we enjoy as Americans, but here's one thing we can't do on native soil - tune in to Voice of America. The U.S. government radio station that was created as a propaganda tool during World War II was prohibited from broadcasting at home. In an interview that originally aired in 2003, Brooke talks to lifetime VOA staffer Alan Heil about his book Voice of America: A History.

Matmos - Y.T.T.E.

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On The Media

I want my slow TV!

Friday, July 12, 2013

The Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation has been creating some of the world's slowest TV - shows like a 7 hour train ride or 18 hours of salmon fishing. Norwegian audiences are loving it. Brooke speaks with Rune Moklebust of the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation about why he thinks so-called "boring TV" is actually quite exciting.

Nina Rota - Il Casanova di Federico Fellini 

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On The Media

Warm Feelings for a Cold War

Thursday, January 31, 2013

In her book “The Future of Nostalgia,” Svetlana Boym reminds readers that nostalgia was originally a medical condition. The word was coined by Swiss doctor Johannes Hofer in the late 17th century. He used it to describe a debilitating disease that plagued its victims with depression, obsessive thoughts of returning home, and hallucinations of scenes from their homeland and the voices of distant loved ones. Populations especially at risk of contracting nostalgia included displaced workers, students from foreign lands, and of particular concern, soldiers fighting abroad. Boym explains that “[i]t was unclear at first what was to be done with the afflicted soldiers who loved their motherland so much that they never wanted to leave it, or for that matter to die for it.”

Today, of course, nostalgia is no longer a battlefield illness. Instead, curiously, nostalgia manifests itself among many Americans as a longing for wartime.

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On The Media

When is it OK to Spoil?

Friday, December 28, 2012

People who watch TV when it actually airs and blab about it online can ruin it for those of us who watch shows at our leisure. Their excited Twitter chatter about the great twist in last night’s Mad Men is frustrating if you haven’t yet watched last night’s Mad Men. New Yorker TV critic Emily Nussbaum is a prolific tweeter who began grappling with this problem after Twitter users complained about a phenomenon they called "Nussbombing." She talks to Brooke about her evolving system of spoiler etiquette.

 

Big Joe Turner - TV Mama

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On The Media

Reality TV is Even Faker Than You Think

Friday, December 28, 2012

Reality TV — the very institution that has saved the medium by delivering high ratings at low cost — has also pretty much defiled the culture in all the obvious ways. What is perhaps less than obvious is how manufactured and unspontaneous it all is. To understand the reality behind the unreality of reality TV, we spoke to a former producer of such fare. The anonymous producer tells Bob about some of the elaborate staging and scripting he participated in while helping produce these shows.

 

Dwight Twilley Band - TV

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On The Media

How We Watch TV

Friday, December 28, 2012

There are a lot of ways to watch TV: free streaming online, via a traditional cable or satellite package, paying for services like Hulu Plus, etc. But the TV industry makes vastly different amounts of money depending on how you choose to watch. We invited Peter Kafka, media reporter for the website All Things Digital, to play the part of a moustache-twirling cable baron, and explain which of our staffers have viewing habits he can support, and why.


Earle Hagen and Herbert W. Spencer - The Fishin' Hole

Red Foley - Television

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