Now “Grantchester” has its rock ‘n’ roll, crimesolving preacher

For “Masterpiece” fans, waiting for the new vicar is like waiting for Halley’s Comet or a Cubs pennant.It takes patience … but yes, it’s worth it.
On July 28 – in the season’s third week and fourth episode – Tom Brittney finally takes over as Will Davenport, the crimesolving vicar in a little English village. He replaces James Norton, who had finished his three-year contract and stayed for some transition episodes.
In some ways, it might not seem like a big change. Both stars are tall, handsome and young; Norton is 34, Brittney is 28.But this is set at a time when a few years seemed like a new generation.
“I represent this sort of youth coming in at the end of the ’50s – the rock ‘n’ roll, leather-jacket-wearing, motorbike-riding, Elvis-listening people,” Brittney said. Read more…

Sharks gobble TV time, but we barely know them

There are some ways in which great white sharks are different from Victorian-era poets.
Well, there are probably a lot of ways, but we’ll settle on these:
— Poets, like other mammals, reach full size by early adulthood; sharks, like other fish, don’t. “They never stop growing,” said Chris Lowe, a marine biology professor featured in cable’s “Sharkfest.”
— We already know most of the details about old poets; great whites are another matter. “Biologists thought they were coastal,” Lowe said. “Boy were we wrong about that.” Read more…

A guide to the July 20 lunar-overload

At times, the calendar can be our friend.T
hat’s the case with the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. It falls on a Saturday (July 20), meaning:
— More people will be available. Families can snuggle together … as families did a half-century ago.
— And this is a low point – a mid-summer Saturday – for viewers. There are fewer distractions. With that in mind, here’s a round-up of Saturday choices. Read more…

From “Trek” to “Suits”: mastering the babble

As the new “Suits” season arrives, viewers can brace for a fresh blitz of lawyer words.
The concepts bounce around; actors have to seem like they’re cozy with them.
“When you’re doing ‘techno-babble’ – which is what we used to call it – you have to make sure you understand it,” said Denise Crosby (shown here), the new “Suits” antagonist.
And yes, she’s worked with some of the best babblers of tangled techno. She was Tasha Yar, the security officer in the first year of “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” After the character died, she’s been Yar’s daughter … and her grandmother (in a fan-fiction film) … and, due to time travel, Yar herself. Read more…

It’s the good life (sort of), without money or prospects

This isn’t your usual TV-comedy turf. There’s no supersized apartment, no superfun job, no expectations.
“Florida Girls” has four women sharing a messy home and a messy life. They’re about 25, almost a decade after dropping out of school.
There used to be five of them, but Mandy went upscale. She got her GED, got a job, moved out and goes by Amanda. Read more…

Moon landing: Was it 50 years ago or 500?

As moon-landing films fill our TV screens, something becomes clear:
The world has changed profoundly in the past 50 years. These documentaries show a 1969 when:
— Americans obsessed on the Soviet threat. It “really was kind of war by another means,” said Robert Stone, whose three-night film starts Monday (July 8) on PBS.
— The space program was all-white. It went 23 years before having a black man in space.
— And it was virtually all-male (as shown in this celebration photo). You can ask Poppy Northcutt, who was then the lone woman at Mission Control. Read more…

“The Movies”: A joyride through the post-auteur era

As the 1980s began, movie moguls were still in their ’60s/’70s haze.
Perplexed by the new generation, they’d written big checks to “auteurs” — directors who looked and sounded hip and artful. Then “Heaven’s Gate” happened.
“It was a shot through the heart of the auteur era,” journalist Chris Connelly says in the opener of “The Movies,” CNN’s blitz-paced series.
“Heaven’s Gate” cost $44 million and made $3.5 million in North America. Its director (Michael Cimino, fresh from the Oscar-winning “Deer Hunter”), would go five years before his next movie … its studio (United Artists) would collapse … and Hollywood would regress. That was in 1980, a convenient starting point for this opener. It eyes the ’80s, the post-auteur era. Read more…

A time for joy: Lear’s comedy is rescued

For the TV world, this was one of the year’s biggest news flashes:
The Pop network is rescuing “One Day at a Time.” It will have 13 new episodes next year.
OK, not everyone will consider it huge. Chances are, many people weren’t aware there is a Pop network or a “One Day” reboot. But ponder this from several standpoints
:– TV history. Norman Lear is the producer who sparked TV’s first golden age of comedy. Now he’s had a one-two shot – last month, ABC’s live show using “All in the Family” and “Jeffersons” scripts … and now this. In his statement, Lear said he was “heartbroken” when Netflix decided against a fourth season, and is now “overwhelmed with joy.” Read more…

Gone solo? No, Colbie has Gone West

Colbie Caillat seems to have this pop-star thing backward
.People are supposed to start in groups. Then – full of success or full of themselves – they go solo.
But after a decade solo, Caillat has now become one-fourth of Gone West.“It’s fun,” she said. “Now I’m out there with my best friends.”
Last October was their Grand Ole Opry debut; coming is the July 4 mega-concert in Washington, D.C. Read more…