NBC slaps us with something different

We're used to the TV-drama routine now -- cops, crooks, 22 episodes a year. That's why NBC's "The Slap" feels so differeint; it starts Thursday and runs for just eight weeks, exploring the subtler side of emotions. Here's the story I sent to papers:

By Mike Hughes

For most of TV
history, American networks have had one notion of a drama series.

It's time to talk Super Bowl and Al Michaels' Katyoke

On Super Bowl Sunday, it's easy to get distracted from the game itself. Don't feel bad about that; even Al Michaels, the play-by-play man, will be distracted by Katy Perry. Here's the story I sent to papers:



He's funny now, famous (maybe) soon

For three foolish summers, NBC had some silly summer shows while a better one ("Last Comic Standing") had been cancelled. Now "Comic" is back on Thursdays, bringing us some excellent stand-up comedians. Here's the story I sent to papers about a terrific one, Lachlan Patterson.


From the Fallon to the Olympics, this is NBC's time for big moves

PASADENA, Cal. -- NBC is trying some familiar draws – from “Peter
Pan” to Dorothy’s “Oz,” from Katherine Heigl to a multi-tasking Amy Poehler –
in its ongoing comeback attempt.

"The Office" started quietly, ends with fame

On "Thursday," two big finales -- a season for "American Idol," a lifetime for "The Office" -- collide. Here's the "Office" story I sent to papers. Previous blogs look at "Idol" and the new Fox line-up. 


“The Office” departs Thursday,
after a long and odd lifetime.

It has drawn raves and awards. It has
followed the Super Bowl. And it has surprised its own pople.

For NBC, the "Revolution" finally begins

If any network desperately needed a revolution, it's NBC.

The network did fine during football season, then collapsed. Last week, it averaged 3.8 million viewers ... less than half of what CBS had and barely more than one-third of what zombies and Jesus got on cable-TV. It finished fourth among the big-four networks (nowhere near third) and almost fell behind Univision.

Fortunately, this is the week it had scheduled the start of its spring revival -- "The Voice" on Mondays and Tuesdays, followed by the return of "Revolution" on Tuesdays.

The 'Smash' makeover begins

OK, the Super Bowl is over now. It was a good one, despite the black-out. (Beyonce has a spectacular light-and-sound extravaganza and then the electricity goes out. I'm not saying there's a connection, but next year's halftime show will have James Taylor with a flashlight and bongo drums.)

Anyway, now we get back to the rest of the TV world. The previous blogs dealt with two key shows Monday; now let's turn to the return (Tuesday) and makeover of "Smash." Here's the story I sent to papers:


Hey, it's fun to be the president's son (fictionally, at least)

Life has gone well for Josh Gan -- two hit Broadway musicals and (despite the huge mistake of turning down "Modern Family") a vibrant TV career. His new show, "1600 Penn," is no "Modern Familly," but it's big, broad and funny. You can catch the story on Thursday or Friday (Jan. 10-11). Here's the story I sent to papers:


PASADENA, Cal. – There's great
pleasure, Josh Gad said, in sitting at the presidential ddesk. “It's
an absolute ego boost.”

NBC cheers: "We're No. 3"

Here's the story I sent to papers this morning, on NBC and its post-Olympic world:


LOS ANGELES – This is not a statement
you would have heard from NBC a while back:

“We're really happy to be No. 3,”
Robert Greenblatt, the programing chief, told reporters Tuesday.

In the “must-see TV” days, NBC
topped the Nielsen ratings. In the current, needn't-see times, it
spent about seven years in fourth place.

A wild way to find love

No, all reality shows -- even all dating shows -- weren't created equal. Some have been awful, but "Love in the Wild" -- which starts its second season tonight (Tuesday, June 5) -- was quite good last summer. It's even better, now that Jenny McCarthy is the host; here's the story I sent to papers:


Sure, dating looks like fun when you
see it on soap operas and hair-product commercials.