Day: April 30, 2021

CW sets surge of scripted summer shows

In the vast void of summer TV, is there a place for new, scripted shows?
We’ll find out this year, when the CW network makes a huge push. This summer, it will start the seasons of eight scripted shows (including “Dead Pixels,” shown here) … return two others after long rests … and continue five spring shows that overlap deep into the summer.
That follows the 2020 slump, when the COVID lockdown crippled networks’ summer schedules.
For this year, networks are planning a return to normal. But that means reality shows – “America’s Got Talent,” “Bachelorette,” “Big Brother,” etc. – plus a pile of ABC games. Broadcast networks are avoiding new, scripted shows in the summer … except for PBS on Sundays and CW almost every day. Read more…

Amy Tan finds joy amid deep despair

Amy Tan was 15 when her world disintegrated.
“My brother was dying and then my father was dying,” she told the Television Critics Association . “My mother became a little unbalanced … . She and I had many arguments.”
In a six-month stretch, she lost two people to brain cancer; she was soon whisked from California to Switzerland by her mother, who had known previous depths of despair.
Tan, 69, has told versions of these stories often – in “The Joy Luck Club,” which became a best-seller when she was 36 (shown here) in other novels and in non-fiction. Now they’re in an intriguing PBS documemtary Monday (May 3). But alongside all the agony, there’s also a surprising layer of fun. Read more…

Best-bets for May 2: opening night for “Pose,” “Legends,” “Latenight”

1) “The Story of Latenight,” 9 p.m. and midnight ET, CNN. It was almost 60 years ago that TV jumped into the giant, late-night void. After launching “Today,” NBC’s Pat Weaver (Sigourney’s dad) started “Tonight” in 1952. He wanted news and sports; Steve Allen (shown here), the host, preferred comedy, music and talk. The result, one person says, was “chaotic” and “joyous.” When Allen went to prime time, NBC stumbled, then discovered Jack Paar and Johnny Carson … which is where this fun opener ends. Read more…