Late-night TV gets a British burst of energy

This is one of the rare times when I'm thoroughly optimistic about a show before it arrives. James Corden seems perfectly suited for late-night TV ... in much the same way that Jimmy Fallon is. His show debuts Monday (March 23); here's the story I sent to papers:

By Mike Hughes

Leaping into the
late-night TV world, James Corden is juggling two extremes.

Football heroes? These guys are post-football TV stars

Last weekend, 31 million people watched a football game between Seattle and Carolina; only six shows that week managed to get even half that many.

And now an even bigger audience is expected for the games Sunday (Jan. 18). That means every show wants to be in the Sunday spot after the game. The winner is "Scorpion," which is on a first-season high. Here's the story I sent to papers:


It was the wrong place to be a sports-avoider

"The McCarthys" gets its laughs -- bit ones -- the old-fashioned way: Studio audience, living-room set, clever lines. The result is great fun; here's the story I sent to papers:


Like lots of other
guys, Brian Gallivan grew up not knowing or caring about sports.


Yes, even summer can have big-deal scripted shows

Every now and then, TV people vow to give us something more (or better or just different) in the summer. Occasionally, they actually do. Now, with the success of last summer's "Under the Dome," this seems to be one of those times; here's the story I sent to papers:


Under this dome, life gets interesting

The good news is that "Under the Dome" is first-rate TV. CBS' summertime mini-series, from a Stephen King novel, is richly crafted and thoroughly watchable. Here's the story I sent to papers.


In a world of sprawling choices, many
people still feel confined.

So Stephen King pushed that feeling a
step further: In his “Under the Dome” novel, he had an entire
town become suddenly, inexplicably encased by a dome.

Newhart and "Big Bang": Comedy masters converge

This will be an interesting TV week for the odd and (especially) the funny. My previous blogs look at the return of "Warehouse 13" on Monday (April 29) and the debut of Amy Schumer's show on Tuesday. And on Thursday comes a grand comedy convergence -- Bob Newhart on "The Big Bang Theory." Here's the story I sent to papers:


Yes, TV keeps changing – wildly,
weirdly – over the years.

Grammy weekend: Here are the details

The previous blog took an overview of this Sunday's Grammy telecast. Now here are the boxes I sent to papers, with key details:


This year's Grammy awards will sort of
be a long, lingering tune. That will stretch across six hours over
two nights; here are key details, all times are ET:

The build-up

Grammys plan a mega-show ... which they may promptly change

Last year's Grammy telecast offered sensational television -- from Adele to the Beach Boys to moving Whitney Houston tributes.

And this year We won't know for sure until it happens, Sunday on CBS. This is a telecast that goes through constant changes, right up to showtime. Here's the story I sent to papers; a separate one will list details:


The Grammy awards are coming Sunday,
with the usual stockpile of big-time, big-voice types.

Wait ... is it the Super Bowl already?

If this is Monday -- it is, I checked -- then life is already in Super Bowl mode.

Today, lots of shows -- "The Talk," CBS Sports Network, CBS Radio Network, parts of "The Insider" -- begin broadcasting from New Orleans. Others arrive later, including CBS' morning show on Thursday and its evening news on Friday.