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By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,Television Critic | January 10, 1994
LOS ANGELES -- Are you ready for a made-for-TV movie about a made-for-TV execution?NBC is going to help bring some controversy to the February sweeps with "Witness to the Execution," a TV movie starring Sean Young and Tim Daly.The film is about a TV executive (played by Young) who comes up with the idea of televising the execution of a man (played by Daly) as a blockbuster pay-per-view event.The film ends by showing viewers Daly's execution."Witness to the Execution" has already been denounced by one U.S. senator for being gratuitously violent, but it turns out he hasn't seen it.NBC screened the film for critics here this weekend, and the final scene is nothing to get excited about.
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By Jeff Barker and The Baltimore Sun | November 18, 2011
The Puerto Rico Tip-Off is very much a made-for-TV event (what isn't these days?). Which makes it strange to actually be here live. Not that I'm complaining, but I feel like a prop. A stage set with a laptop. Here's what I mean: The Coliseo de Puerto Rico normally seats more than 14,000. Maybe it will attract that many for the coming Demi Lovato concert. But for college basketball? Here's what you could tell, even from watching on TV, about attendance, particularly at yesterday afternoon's games : there wasn't any!
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By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,Sun Staff Writer | July 18, 1994
LOS ANGELES -- Woody Allen plugging a made-for-TV movie?That was the scene here yesterday, as Woody Allen met with TV critics via satellite to promote his first made-for-TV movie, which will air this fall on ABC.Allen directs and stars in the made-for-TV version of his first Broadway play, "Don't Drink The Water," which opened in 1966. It's a comedy about a New York caterer and his wife and daughter being forced to seek asylum in a U.S. Embassy in eastern Europe at the height of the Cold War.A feature film version of the play was made in 1967 with Jackie Gleason, but Allen played no part in that production.
SPORTS
By Chris Dufresne and Tribune Newspapers | February 7, 2010
Lindsey Vonn was going downhill so fast - in a wholesome, epic, lucrative way - there wasn't time to wait for her to actually win an Olympic medal. Lindsey's script was penned months ago, and should her skis take turns for the Whistler worse, well, in the snow business there's always white-out. Usually in America, you need to first cry through your national anthem to activate the Olympics gold card, but Vonn's forward momentum could not be contained. She is the drink of these Vancouver Olympics (Red Bull)
NEWS
By DAVID ZURAWIK and DAVID ZURAWIK,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | September 25, 2005
If a culture is judged by its heroes, CBS, which tonight presents Martha Stewart, in Martha Behind Bars (9 p.m., WJZ Channel 13), has a lot to answer for. This crackpot hagiography launches a new season of CBS Sunday night movies, with Cybill Shepherd reprising her 2003 role from the network's made-for-TV movie, Martha, Inc. This "sequel's" message? For Martha, even a stint in prison can be transformed into a good thing. s TV season, go online to baltimoresun.com/falltv.
FEATURES
By Steve McKerrow and Steve McKerrow,Staff writer | September 12, 1993
The fall crop of made-for-TV movies ranges from remakes of old television series to the usual trauma-of-the-week and network-star-vehicle genres to a film that makes fun of TV movies. Here's a sampling of the small-screen marquee."A Life in the Theatre." Jack Lemmon and Matthew Broderickstar. (Oct. 9)USA"Rubdown." Jack Coleman plays a Beverly Hills masseur suspected of murdering a client whose wife he has been sleeping with -- or so he thinks. With William Devane, Michelle Phillips and Catherine Oxenberg.
FEATURES
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,Sun Television Critic | April 15, 1991
Terminal illness can make for great television melodrama."An Early Frost" and "Brian's Song" are two memorable made-for-TV movies that dealt with the certain death of the leading character."
FEATURES
By David Bianculli and David Bianculli,Special to The Sun | August 6, 1994
Broadcast TV offers little but sports today, and even the cable offerings, while much more interesting, are probably superfluous. other words, it's a fine summer Saturday to turn off the set and head outside.* "Wide World of Sports" (4:30 p.m.-6 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- What a difference a few months make. The last time Olympics-level women figure skaters competed on national television, the showdown between Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan, drew phenomenally high ratings. Now, in the summer of '94, Harding is starring in some low-budget movie, Ms. Kerrigan's made-for-TV movie biography has been tabled by ABC, and today's ABC broadcast of the Goodwill Games, featuring female skaters in international competition, will be largely ignored.
FEATURES
By David Bianculli and David Bianculli,Special to The Sun | October 10, 1994
Talk about coincidence: Tonight in prime time, a new NBC made-for-TV movie and a new episode of USA Network's "Silk Stalkings" flirt with the same basic concept, looking at a beautiful woman afflicted with multiple-personality disorder. As often as TV regurgitates this particular plot, you'd think every third person in the country had the same problem.* "Melrose Place" (8 p.m.-9 p.m., Channel 45) -- Speaking of hackneyed old TV plots, have you heard the one about the guy who gets amnesia and can't identify his attacker?
FEATURES
By David Bianculli and David Bianculli,Special to The Sun | February 1, 1995
It's a slow night on TV -- but for once, I'm not complaining. After so many days on "O. J. watch," I could use a slow night.* "Women of the House" (8 p.m.-8:30 p.m., Channel 13) -- The plot of tonight's show has Jennifer (Julie Hagerty) deciding to change her image. Since Ms. Hagerty joined the cast only a week ago, isn't it a little presumptuous to figure she even has an image? CBS.* "ABC News Special" (10 p.m.-11 p.m., Channel 2) -- The title of this special is "Boys and Girls Are Different: Men, Women and the Sex Difference."
FEATURES
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,sun television critic | July 20, 2007
The Emmys have not always been in sync with what's happening on screen and in viewers' hearts. But yesterday's 59th annual Primetime Emmy Award nominations got one thing right: As network television sinks deeper into a dismal sea of reality TV with series like this summer's new No. 1 show, NBC's The Singing Bee, increasingly cable becomes the place for quality programming. For the eighth straight year, HBO led all networks - this time with 86 nominations. The premium cable channel had both the most-nominated program, the made-for-TV movie Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, and the top series, The Sopranos.
NEWS
By DAVID ZURAWIK and DAVID ZURAWIK,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | September 25, 2005
If a culture is judged by its heroes, CBS, which tonight presents Martha Stewart, in Martha Behind Bars (9 p.m., WJZ Channel 13), has a lot to answer for. This crackpot hagiography launches a new season of CBS Sunday night movies, with Cybill Shepherd reprising her 2003 role from the network's made-for-TV movie, Martha, Inc. This "sequel's" message? For Martha, even a stint in prison can be transformed into a good thing. s TV season, go online to baltimoresun.com/falltv.
SPORTS
By Dan Connolly and Dan Connolly,SUN STAFF | March 29, 2005
FORT MYERS, Fla. - Jason Varitek is making a point. The Boston Red Sox catcher and team captain wants reporters to know that, despite the defending World Series champions' reputation as a group of mad-partying, fun-loving idiots, renegades and rock stars, the essence of this team is dedication and work ethic. Standing in the middle of the spring training clubhouse, Varitek implores the media to look beyond the appearances and quirks of a few characters and instead concentrate on the bond of hard-nosed baseball that unites an eclectic clubhouse.
SPORTS
By Brent Jones and Brent Jones,SUN STAFF | March 23, 2004
Even in the humdrum setting of a preseason game, network executives found the Ravens-Philadelphia Eagles matchup too tempting to pass up. The teams will play at Lincoln Financial Field Aug. 20 on CBS, the second of back-to-back nationally televised games for the Ravens. It will be the Ravens defense's first crack at Eagles receiver Terrell Owens since the Pro Bowl player filed a grievance with the NFL Players Association against a trade that would have sent him to the Ravens. A settlement and three-way trade sent Owens from the San Francisco 49ers to the Eagles.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and By David Zurawik,Sun Television Critic | April 28, 2002
In 1969, Jim Brooks and Allan Burns, two of Hollywood's most talented young television writers, had an idea for a new sitcom about a single woman working at a television station in Minneapolis. The writers met with CBS executives in New York to present the concept for what would become The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Central to the series was the fact that Moore would play the young, divorced Mary Richards -- the first divorced female character in television history. The executives loved the concept until they heard the word "divorced."
FEATURES
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | March 2, 2002
Starting this weekend, television viewers are going to have more choices, for a few major reasons: Several programs were pulled from the fall schedule after Sept. 11, but not for issues of propriety or taste. Network programmers were uncertain of the audience's psychological state, and didn't want to debut costly series and made-for-TV movies when viewer interest was elsewhere. That created one backlog of programs. The Olympics aired during a "sweeps" ratings period, making for a second, smaller backlog.
FEATURES
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,Television Critic | January 20, 1994
How good is the script for "Moment of Truth: To Walk Again," an NBC made-for-TV movie, which will air Feb. 16?"Well, first, it made me cry. I cried through the whole script. And I'm not an easy crier that way," says Blair Brown, the film's star.How good is the script for "Getting Out," an ABC made-for-TV movie, which will air during February sweeps?"I couldn't stop crying when I read it," says Rebecca DeMornay, the film's star.And how good is the script for "Byrds of Paradise," a new ABC drama series, also scheduled to arrive in February?
FEATURES
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,sun television critic | July 20, 2007
The Emmys have not always been in sync with what's happening on screen and in viewers' hearts. But yesterday's 59th annual Primetime Emmy Award nominations got one thing right: As network television sinks deeper into a dismal sea of reality TV with series like this summer's new No. 1 show, NBC's The Singing Bee, increasingly cable becomes the place for quality programming. For the eighth straight year, HBO led all networks - this time with 86 nominations. The premium cable channel had both the most-nominated program, the made-for-TV movie Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, and the top series, The Sopranos.
FEATURES
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | August 11, 2001
Maybe it's the shared concerns of middle age, marriage, family and adult friendship. But, if you liked ABC's thirtysomething, you are going to think you died and went to Yuppie-angst heaven when you see HBO's Dinner With Friends, premiering tonight at 9. I say "Yuppie angst" aware of its negative connotation; the one criticism I have of this otherwise exceptionally intelligent and sensitive film is the way it accepts the privilege of upper-upper middle-class...
FEATURES
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | February 24, 2001
Every year, the networks afflict us with hundreds of mediocre and dozens of truly awful made-for-TV movies. Except for HBO, that's the norm for films on network television. But there are the two or three made-for-TV movies each season that are so daring, smart, well-written and splendidly acted that they redeem the entire industry and make us believe in television as the greatest storyteller of our times. "Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows," an ABC biography of the legendary singer starring Judy Davis, is one of those rare films.
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