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Film finds global sweep of anti-semitism

Standing face-to-face with a racist, Andrew Goldberg found something surprising: He sort of liked him.
“He’s a very likable guy,” Goldberg said. “We had an interesting friendship.”
Goldberg interviewed Russ Walker(shown here) for “Viral: Anti-Semitism in Four Mutations,” the compelling documentary that airs at 9 p.m. Tuesday (May 26) on PBS. Walker proudly displayed a sign reading “What’s wrong with being a racist?” The flip side added: “God is a racist.”
Plenty of people saw the sign, knew Walker’s views … and voted for him anway, when he ran for the North Carolina House in 2018. “He was a 75-year-old guy with no staff,” Goldberg said, but he got 37 percent of the votes, running as a Republican in a strongly Democratic district. Read more…

Here’s a big jump in social-distance TV

The art of social-distance television has advanced quickly.
It’s been like watching evolution at hyper-speed. In just two months, the lowly water slug has transformed into a mighty cheetah.
OK, maybe just into a less-lowly land slug. But it’s been impressive, anyway.
The latest example – and the best so far – is an episode of “Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet,” arriving today (May 22) on Apple TV+.With some great moments for Charlotte Nicdao (shown here in an earlier episode) and Rob McElhenny (who wrote it), it’s witty, warm (briefly) and ends with a dandy visual stunt. Read more…

Surprise: Daytime Emmys make a comeback

The Daytime Emmy Awards – once the land of Oprah triumphs and Susan Lucci disappointments – are returning to primetime, broadcast TV.
CBS has set the show for 8-10 p.m. June 26, with the nominees and others at their homes. Key nominees will be announced Thursday (May 21) on its “The Talk,” at 2 p.m. ET and 1 p.m. CT and PT; then all the nominees will be on Etonline.com.
The awards began in 1974 and moved to primetime in 1991, when the daytime was filled with well-known stars. Lucci was on her 19th nomination before being named (shown here) best soap actress in 1999; Bob Barker won 14 times as ga,me-show show host. In one stretch, Phil Donahue was named best talk host nine times in 11 years; Oprah Winfrey later won five straight times, before withdrawing. Read more…

CBS this fall: same time, same night, same …

This fall, CBS will take “stability” to an extreme.
With few exceptions, it will have the same shows … at the same time … on the same nights.
In fact, four nights will be unchanged from what they had at the end of this season. The other three, changing only a tad, are:
Thursdays. Three shows from producer Chuck Lorre will be back-to-back, when “B Positive” is at 8:30, wedged between “Young Sheldon” and “Mom.” The new show (shown here) stars Thomas Middleditch (“Silicon Valley” and Annaleigh Ashford (“Masters of Sex”); she plays the rough-hewn woman who may become his kidney donor. “The Unicorn,” which started this season in the 8:30 slot, moves back to 9:30. Read more…

Fox renews “Last Man Standing,” “The Resident”

In a belated move, the Fox network has renewed two more shows – “The Resident” and Tim Allen’s “Last Man Standing.”
Both are among the network’s top-rated shows (despite sharp declines this season), but were notably absent May 11, when Fox announced its new-season plans. The network set a fall schedule, plus seven mid-season shows, without mentioning either.
Now “Last Man” (shown here) will return for its ninth season and “Resident” for its fourth. Read more…

Yes, “Aretha” is coming … eventually

For Cynthia Erivo, the timing seemed perfect:
On May 17, she led a soaring Aretha Franklin medley during the “American Idols” finale …. On May 24, she’s set to sing “Hero” during the “National Memorial Day Concert” … And on May 25, the mini-series “Genius” would start its third edition (shown here), this time with Erivo as Aretha Feranklin.
The only problem: The virus shutdown has now delayed “Genius” until sometime this fall. Read more…

“Idol” and “Voice” at home: Charm prevails

As the music competitions end their seasons – “American Idol” on Sunday (May 17), “The Voice” on Monday and Tuesday – some things are clear:
Yes, both shows are flawed, especially with judges who … well, don’t want to seem judgmental.
But the music-from-home part has worked well. “Idol” — with people like Just Sam (shown here) — quickly got it right; “Voice” flubbed its first try, then made a course-correction. Read more…