Eric Deggans en Big Stars Don't Always Guide TV Shows To Success CBS is planning a one-hour season finale for Robin Williams' <em>The Crazy Ones</em>. It was one of three sitcoms built around big established stars this season, all three of which suffered in the ratings. It raises the question: Does television make stars, or is it the other way around? <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2014 NPR. Thu, 17 Apr 2014 20:23:00 +0000 Eric Deggans 38857 at Why 'Fargo' For TV Works With Cold Efficiency And 'Bad Teacher' Doesn't There is a moment, deep inside the first episode of FX's excellent re-imagination of the Coen brothers' masterful film <em>Fargo,</em> when a police officer gets a phone call.<p>He's sleeping next to his pregnant wife. It's early. And the well-meaning but sometimes complacent police chief is suddenly called to the scene of a bizarre crime.<p><em>Fargo</em> fans will recall a similar scene in the 1996 film. Only it's the police chief, Frances McDormand's breezily competent Marge Gunderson, who is pregnant. Tue, 15 Apr 2014 18:15:00 +0000 Eric Deggans 38722 at Why 'Fargo' For TV Works With Cold Efficiency And 'Bad Teacher' Doesn't Don Draper, The Truth Is: You Lied <em>***For </em>Mad Men<em> fans who missed Sunday night's Season 7 premiere, be warned: There are spoilers below. </em><p>Don Draper finally told the truth, and it ruined his life.<p>Perhaps that shouldn't have been such a surprise. Because Don has mostly been a master of the lie — especially in the form of an ad pitch. And he never lost his touch: He suckered everyone last season with one of his best pitches for Hershey's chocolate bars.<p>Facing a roomful of Hershey's executives, he told a heartwarming story of getting one of their candy bars as a reward for mowing the lawn. Mon, 14 Apr 2014 10:41:00 +0000 Eric Deggans 38615 at Don Draper, The Truth Is: You Lied Stephen Colbert: The End Of One Joke, The Start Of Many More CBS just ended the longest-running joke in TV history by naming Stephen Colbert to succeed retiring late-night host David Letterman<p>That's because Colbert, who has won all kinds of acclaim playing fictional right-wing cable TV news host "Stephen Colbert" on <em>The Colbert Report,</em> will now play a new character when he takes over Letterman's <em>Late Show:</em><p>Himself.<em></em><p><em>New York Times</em> reporter Bill Carter <a href="" target="_blank">tweeted</a> a quote from Colbert confirming that: "I won't be doing the new show in character, so we'll all Thu, 10 Apr 2014 21:33:00 +0000 Eric Deggans 38432 at Stephen Colbert: The End Of One Joke, The Start Of Many More Weather Channel Will Return To DirectTV The Weather Channel <a href="">will return to DIRECTV on Wednesday</a>, ending a three month dispute which saw the cable channel yanked from the satellite television system reaching 20 million subscribers.<p>But the new agreement comes with a price: the Weather Channel has agreed to cut back its reality programming by half during weekdays, restore instant local weather and allow DIRECTV subscribers to watch the cable channel on a range of devices in and out of their homes.<p>Disputes over rates Tue, 08 Apr 2014 22:20:00 +0000 Eric Deggans 38281 at Weather Channel Will Return To DirectTV Your Tour Guide To The Glut Of Sunday TV Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melisa Block, hosting this week from member station KERA in Dallas.<p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>And I'm Robert Siegel in Washington.<p>And as we head into the weekend, here's something to look forward to - a logjam of great Sunday night television. It gets going this Sunday with the new season of HBO's "Game of Thrones."<p>(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "GAME OF THRONES")<p>UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (as Character) The orders are to attack Castle Black from the south when Mance hits it from the north. Fri, 04 Apr 2014 20:17:00 +0000 Eric Deggans 38045 at Dave Letterman Signals He'll Soon Put Down The Microphone Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>David Letterman, the longest-serving late night television host, is retiring.<p>(SOUNDBITE OF SHOW, 'LATE NIGHT WITH DAVID LETTERMAN')<p>DAVID LETTERMAN: Sometime in the not-so-distant future, 2015 for the love of God, in fact, Paul and I will be wrapping things up and taking a hike.<p>SIEGEL: Letterman, who is 66, told the audience today during a taping of his late show program which will air tonight. Here to talk about David Letterman is NPR TV critic Eric Deggans. Thu, 03 Apr 2014 23:21:00 +0000 Eric Deggans 37994 at In The Absence Of Answers, We Return Repeatedly To The Questions The view from inside a media circus is an odd one, indeed.<p>But I got a glimpse of the scenery a few days ago, when CNN asked me to weigh in on the similarities between the real-life missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 and the myriad of fictional TV shows or movies where similar events have unfolded.<p><em>Why are we so drawn to these stories?</em> anchor Suzanne Malveaux asked me in a few different ways, perhaps wanting an emotional take on how the plane crash scene in the TV series <em>Lost</em> or the film <em>Alive</em> could have ended Flight 370's mysterious voyage.<p>Instead, I tried Wed, 19 Mar 2014 19:55:00 +0000 Eric Deggans 36999 at In The Absence Of Answers, We Return Repeatedly To The Questions From One Dream To Another, 'The Returned' Shows Promise Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>It's something most writer only dream of, but Jason Mott is living the dream. ABC has turned his first novel into a TV series. "Resurrection" premieres Sunday night. As NPR's Eric Deggans reports, it explores one transition just about everyone faces sooner or later.<p>ERIC DEGGANS, BYLINE: For Jason Mott, it all started with a vision about life after his mother's death.<p>JASON MOTT: I had this dream that I came home from work and found my mother sitting at the kitchen table waiting for me. Fri, 07 Mar 2014 21:03:00 +0000 Eric Deggans 36199 at Desk, Set: Seth Meyers Lands In Late Night Very Safely The best thing about late-night TV can also be the trickiest.<p>On the fringes of TV's big stage, shows airing after midnight can be a home for invention; a place where quirky personalities and developing talent can try things with the potential for massive success or demoralizing failure with relatively low stakes.<p>That history — and its potential for greatness — may be one reason why Seth Meyers' funny, well-paced, completely professional debut Monday as the new host of NBC's 12:35 a.m. Tue, 25 Feb 2014 16:52:00 +0000 Eric Deggans 35478 at Desk, Set: Seth Meyers Lands In Late Night Very Safely Are Americans Tired Of 'Arrogant British' TV Personalities? When the interviewer for BBC Radio finally reached me Monday to talk about the failure of Piers Morgan's 9 p.m. interview show on CNN, she basically had one question, asked many different ways.<p>Are Americans finally tired of arrogant British TV personalities?<p>To be honest, there are signs of cultural fatigue. Just over two weeks ago, Fox TV announced the departure of another headstrong British star, <em>American Idol</em> alum Simon Cowell. Tue, 25 Feb 2014 16:18:00 +0000 Eric Deggans 35484 at Are Americans Tired Of 'Arrogant British' TV Personalities? On 'Tonight Show,' Jimmy Fallon Looks To Bridge Two Eras <p></p><p></p> Tue, 18 Feb 2014 19:00:00 +0000 Eric Deggans 35030 at On 'Tonight Show,' Jimmy Fallon Looks To Bridge Two Eras Antihero Or Villain? In 'House Of Cards,' It's Hard To Tell [<strong>Editor's Note:</strong> This piece references plot points from the first season of <em>House of Cards.</em> If you've been waiting a year to binge-watch it, consider this your spoiler alert.]<p>When Netflix's groundbreaking online series <em>House of Cards</em> releases its second season to the world Friday — unleashing 13 new episodes about a wily congressman willing to kill to reach the vice presidency — fans will get more than another jolt of TV's most addictive political drama.<p>They'll also see a series that's redefining just how bad a television antihero can be.<p>The action ce Fri, 14 Feb 2014 23:12:00 +0000 Eric Deggans 34842 at Antihero Or Villain? In 'House Of Cards,' It's Hard To Tell A Viewing Guide For The Overwhelmed Olympic Fan Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>Well, if you were to try to watch all of NBC's coverage of the Sochi games, it would be a lot of TV: 1,539 hours of programming. The network is serving up more coverage of the Winter Olympics than ever. NPR's TV critic Eric Deggans has some advice for those sorting through it.<p>ERIC DEGGANS, BYLINE: Watching the Olympics is like a Rorschach test. Years ago, you just turned on the TV and gobbled down whatever they dished up.<p>(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED AUDIO)<p>AL MICHAELS: Five seconds left in the game. Do you believe in miracles? Mon, 03 Feb 2014 21:15:00 +0000 Eric Deggans 34060 at Grammy Show: Light On Awards, Heavy On Entertainment Transcript <p>RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: <p>Well, let's move from the pre-telecast to the artists you did see on TV, if you were watching; the winners and nominees who were on stage at the Staples Center for a marathon evening ceremony. NPR television critic Eric Deggans joins us to talk about the big show.<p>Good morning.<p>ERIC DEGGANS, BYLINE: Good morning.<p>MONTAGNE: First, let me ask you this. With most of the awards given out actually before the ceremony, the Grammys - unlike the Oscars - are not really an awards show. Mon, 27 Jan 2014 09:55:00 +0000 Eric Deggans 33566 at As NBC Prepares For A Late-Night Transition, Everyone Is On Message (So Far) It felt like a rerun from a long-ago time, with a twist.<p>Once again, an NBC executive was facing a crowd of TV critic and reporters, saying nice things about Jay Leno just as he was leaving as host of <em>The Tonight Show</em>.<p>"It is no exaggeration to say that Jay Leno is the hardest working man in television," said NBC entertainment chair Bob Greenblatt Sunday, noting that Leno has kept <em>The Tonight Show</em> at the top of the ratings for nearly his entire 20-year run as host after Johnny Carson. Tue, 21 Jan 2014 19:05:00 +0000 Eric Deggans 33207 at As NBC Prepares For A Late-Night Transition, Everyone Is On Message (So Far) Will Fans Return To A Nicer 'Idol'? Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.<p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>And I'm Melissa Block.<p>"American Idol" is back for its 12th season tonight. The show's huge success gave rise to an entire genre of reality talent shows on TV. For the last few seasons, though, ratings for "American Idol" have been off. So they've freshened up the format and brought in some new judges. Wed, 15 Jan 2014 22:11:00 +0000 Eric Deggans 32849 at When Tough Questions Go Horribly Wrong Nothing exposes you like asking a tough question.<p>Like a boxer extending a jab, you reveal yourself in the moment, stepping aggressively to a subject in a way that also makes you vulnerable. Mon, 13 Jan 2014 21:59:00 +0000 Eric Deggans 32693 at When Tough Questions Go Horribly Wrong Should NAACP Image Awards Only Go To African-Americans? Who should be eligible to receive an award from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People? Sun, 12 Jan 2014 20:08:00 +0000 Eric Deggans 32637 at Should NAACP Image Awards Only Go To African-Americans? HBO's 'True Detective' Brings Big Stars To Tell A Brutal Tale Woody Harrelson has a simple explanation for how he handled playing the same detective over a 17-year span of time for HBO's newest foray into quality TV, <em>True Detective</em>.<p>"I just took off my wig," joked Harrelson, sporting a beard and his naturally receding hairline for a press conference here Thursday to tell a roomful of TV critics about HBO's attempt to reinvent the buddy cop story.<p>Two seats to his right was his chuckling co-star Matthew McConaughey, whose career resurgence over the past year has been miraculous, even by Hollywood's unpredictable standards. Fri, 10 Jan 2014 18:39:00 +0000 Eric Deggans 32541 at HBO's 'True Detective' Brings Big Stars To Tell A Brutal Tale Revenge Of The 'Nerdist': Chris Hardwick Takes Over Your TV Chris Hardwick could be the nerd king of television. Crown or no crown, no one is a better guide for TV-obsessed fans.<p>Hardwick's biggest gig is hosting <em>Talking Dead</em>, a show where he and his guests dissect the gore and heartbreak in each episode of AMC's zombie drama <em>The Walking Dead</em>.<p>"I'm just lucky that people need therapy after a show like <em>The Walking Dead</em>. That's what we provide," Hardwick explains. Thu, 09 Jan 2014 22:45:00 +0000 Eric Deggans 32479 at Revenge Of The 'Nerdist': Chris Hardwick Takes Over Your TV Remote Control: It Was Hard To Turn Off The TV In 2013 Here's why picking a Top 10 list of best TV shows has become such treacherous work for critics this year: Quite simply, 2013 was the year quality exploded in the television industry.<p>Thanks to the simultaneous maturing of Netflix, AMC, FX, HBO, Showtime, Amazon, BBC America, Sundance Channel, iTunes and many more media platforms, fans of great television had more options than ever to find high-quality product whenever and wherever they liked.<p>This is the stuff I dreamed of as a young media nerd in the mid-'90s, when I predicted technology would eventually allow viewers to download an episo Tue, 31 Dec 2013 14:23:00 +0000 Eric Deggans 31876 at Remote Control: It Was Hard To Turn Off The TV In 2013 Grab Some Tea And Binge View British TV Dramas British dramas, mostly from BBC America, have become gold mines of binge viewing for American TV fans seeking a deep dive into compelling series. Gillian Anderson's The Fall, David Tennant's Broadchurch and Benedict Cumberbatch's Sherlock are just a few of the series which offer hours of escape. Mon, 23 Dec 2013 10:45:00 +0000 Eric Deggans 31445 at Murderous Intent: Go Ahead, Kill That High-Profile TV Character <p></p><p></p> Sat, 21 Dec 2013 15:00:00 +0000 Eric Deggans 31372 at Murderous Intent: Go Ahead, Kill That High-Profile TV Character It's Called 'Africa.' Of Course It's About Race, Right? The email arrived with the kind of snarky tone reserved for a moment when the author is sure he — and it's usually a he — thinks he's hoisted you with your own petard.<p>A bit of back story: Last week, I <a href="">tweeted a question</a> wondering why <a href="">CBS This Morning used a clip of Toto's hit song "Africa"</a> under a montage of photos from Nelson Mandela's funeral. Mon, 16 Dec 2013 22:50:00 +0000 Eric Deggans 31027 at It's Called 'Africa.' Of Course It's About Race, Right? How A Tweet On CBS' Mandela Misstep Sparked A Social Media Flare-Up <p></p> Wed, 11 Dec 2013 16:43:00 +0000 Eric Deggans 30677 at After A Full Fall, A Few New TV Choices To Tide You Over As the holiday season approaches, the TV cupboard may seem a bit bare; the industry winds down like everything else, filling cable and broadcast networks with holiday specials, reruns and also-ran reality shows.<p>But there are bright gifts, too: TNT offers <em>Mob City</em>, a three-week, lavishly produced noir-ish TV show about cops and crooks vying for control of 1947-era Los Angeles, airing Wednesdays.<p>On Dec. Mon, 09 Dec 2013 11:06:00 +0000 Eric Deggans 30477 at After A Full Fall, A Few New TV Choices To Tide You Over Zombies And Hope On 'The Walking Dead' [<strong>Plot details regarding Sunday night's <em>Walking Dead</em> midseason finale follow. Mon, 02 Dec 2013 17:47:00 +0000 Eric Deggans 30066 at Zombies And Hope On 'The Walking Dead' Katie Couric And Yahoo!: Two Brands Wondering What's Next Depending on which analyst you read, Katie Couric's move to become "global anchor" for Yahoo! Tue, 26 Nov 2013 17:39:00 +0000 Eric Deggans 29751 at Katie Couric And Yahoo!: Two Brands Wondering What's Next After 50 Years, Regeneration Keeps 'Doctor Who' Current Not counting a 16-year break the British science-fiction TV series took around the 1990s, Doctor Who is celebrating its 50th anniversary on Saturday. There's a special in 3D that's going to be simulcast in 75 countries, and the BBC has made a movie about the history of Doctor Who. Fri, 22 Nov 2013 09:33:00 +0000 Eric Deggans 29515 at