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By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | March 5, 2014
HBO's Martin Luther King miniseries is going to have a strong Baltimore flavor with David Simon confirming Wednesday that he will be involved in the project based on the books of Baltimore author Taylor Branch. Deadline.com first reported Simon's involvement in the project as speculation today, with Mike Fleming Jr. writing , "I'm hearing that David Simon , the architect of the HBO series The Wire, Homicide and most recently Treme , will spearhead the HBO six-hour miniseries adaptation of America: In The King Years , based on the celebrated book trilogy by Pulitzer Prize-winner Taylor Branch.
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By David Zurawik, The Baltimore Sun | July 30, 2014
The long relationship between HBO and David Simon will continue with the Baltimore filmmaker co-writing and producing "Show Me a Hero," a six-hour miniseries, for the premium cable channel. Based on the non-fiction book of the same title by Lisa Belkin, the series that explores race relations in the 1980s and '90s in Yonkers, N.Y.,  will star Oscar Isaac and Catherine Keener. Simon said in an email to The Sun that the miniseries will be filmed in Yonkers, because that's where the real-life events it covers took place.
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By Steve McKerrow and Steve McKerrow,SUN STAFF | November 14, 1995
Two PBS documentaries, "Nova" and "Frontline," take a turn down criminal paths tonight, while two network miniseries, "The Invaders" and "Streets of Laredo," conclude on Fox and CBS.* "Nova: Hunt for the Serial Arsonist" (8 p.m.-9 p.m., MPT, Channels 22, 67) -- The science of crime-scene investigation is scrutinized through the solving of a 1991 rash of arson fires at Los Angeles stores. PBS.* "The Invaders" (8 p.m.-10 p.m., WBFF, Channel 45) -- In the original series (1967-68), Roy Thinnes never had much luck persuading people that aliens had invaded the Earth.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | March 5, 2014
HBO's Martin Luther King miniseries is going to have a strong Baltimore flavor with David Simon confirming Wednesday that he will be involved in the project based on the books of Baltimore author Taylor Branch. Deadline.com first reported Simon's involvement in the project as speculation today, with Mike Fleming Jr. writing , "I'm hearing that David Simon , the architect of the HBO series The Wire, Homicide and most recently Treme , will spearhead the HBO six-hour miniseries adaptation of America: In The King Years , based on the celebrated book trilogy by Pulitzer Prize-winner Taylor Branch.
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By David Bianculli and David Bianculli,Special to The Sun | February 20, 1995
If you started watching a miniseries yesterday on NBC or Arts & Entertainment, you can continue tonight. If not, and you don't want to join a drama in progress, there's always "Melrose Place." Then again, that story's been going on for a few years now . . .* "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" (8-8:30 p.m., Channel 11) -- Movin' on back: Tonight's guests include Sherman Hemsley and Isabel Sanford, who appear on "Fresh Prince" in their familiar TV incarnations as George and Louise Jefferson. NBC.* "Melrose Place" (8-9 p.m., Channel 45)
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By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,Television Critic | January 6, 1994
Pasadena, Calif.-- Nudity, profanity and drugs are not usually the stuff of drama on public television.But they will be next week when PBS broadcasts "Tales of the City," a six-hour miniseries that revolves around the eclectic residents of a rambling old apartment house in the heart of San Francisco during the 1970s. It's an ambitious adaptation of the novels of Armistead Maupin with a cast that includes Olympia Dukakis and Chloe Webb.The miniseries doesn't start until Monday, but the controversy is already well under way. It started this week when some PBS stations, such as WDCN in Nashville, said they wouldn't air the miniseries unless PBS does some serious editing of it.Yesterday, PBS officials, as well as producers and stars of the show, met with reporters here to say they will offer PBS stations both an edited and an uncut version of the miniseries, allowing each station to decide which it will air.Dukakis defended PBS' decision to offer an edited version by saying, "I think the decision is understandable and it takes into consideration the very sensitive issue of what is acceptable in various parts of the country."
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By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | May 12, 2001
"Take A Girl Like You" has style, a cool jazz score, rich 1950s detail, a good-looking leading man and a gorgeous female star. Based on a book by Kingsley Amis, it also has a script by Andrew Davies, the best screenwriter in English television ("A Rather English Marriage"). So why does this four-hour miniseries from "Masterpiece Theatre" leave me so cold? The answer lies in what the producers have done to Amis' book. Written in the 1950s, it was part of the Angry Young Man movement in England - a full-frontal literary assault on a stultifying system of social class and morality that was still firmly in place despite a world war that had threatened England's very existence.
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By Michael Hill | August 2, 1991
LOS ANGELES -- About the fourth year of "Dynasty," Linda Evans, who starred as Krystle Carrington in the series, was in a store in Greece admiring a pair of earrings."
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By LOS ANGELES TIMES | July 20, 2005
It may not outdo The Da Vinci Code, but CBS' programming chief says the network's miniseries about Pope John Paul II promises to be "a papal page-turner." Speaking yesterday at the semiannual Television Critics Association press tour in Beverly Hills, CBS entertainment President Nina Tassler told reporters she had just finished reading the script for the first of two planned episodes dramatizing the life of the Polish-born pontiff, who died in April at age 84. The network has not set a date for the premiere of the miniseries, which will star Ian Holm as the elderly pope and Cary Elwes as the young Karol Wojtyla, who became John Paul II in 1978.
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By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,Television Critic | February 18, 1993
The latest news from Nielsen is that CBS has the miniseries hit of the TV season in "Queen."The complete, national ratings show Sunday's Part 1 of the miniseries which stars Halle Berry as Alex Haley's grandmother, was watched by an estimated 70 million people.That makes it the highest-rated movie on any network in four years and the highest on CBS since "Lonesome Dove." Those ratings carried CBS to an important victory for last week over ABC, despite the huge audience for Oprah Winfrey's interview with Michael Jackson.
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By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,david.zurawik@baltsun.com | September 22, 2008
History was made on several fronts at the 60th Primetime Emmy Awards last night. The HBO miniseries John Adams surpassed the 2003 HBO production Angels in America to become the most honored long form program in TV history. Meanwhile, AMC's Mad Men, a stylish series about life on Madison Avenue in the 1960s, became the first basic cable program to win as best drama. And then came writer-actress Tina Fey and the series she created, NBC's 30 Rock, dominating the comedy category like no other sitcom in years as it took home awards for best writing, best actress, best actor and best comedy.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,david.zurawik@baltsun.com | September 21, 2008
History might be made on two fronts tonight at the Emmys. While much has been written about either AMC's Mad Men or FX's Damages having a chance to become the first basic cable series to win as best drama, even more compelling is the possibility that HBO's John Adams could be the most honored program in TV history before the night ends. The historically sound and dramatically dazzling miniseries about the life of America's second president won eight Emmys last week at the Creative Arts portion of the competition and needs only three more tonight to tie Angels in America, the 2003 HBO miniseries based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play about AIDS, and the 1976 ABC production Eleanor and Franklin, a made-for-TV movie about the life of President Franklin Roosevelt and his wife, Eleanor.
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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,Sun movie critic | August 1, 2008
Although movie critics like to mock multipart British literary adaptations for being slavishly reverential to their sources, let's just admit that at their best they provide actors with greater opportunities to develop complex characters than any other form of art or entertainment. Even mediocre bookish miniseries can make certain movies seem inadequate or superfluous. After decades of Masterpiece Theatre, a new adaptation of a classic needs a raison d'etre, whether it's Roman Polanski pouring his first-hand knowledge of threatened youth into Oliver Twist or Joe Wright having the fresh idea to rough up Pride and Prejudice and show just how economically desperate an unmarried woman in Jane Austen's England can be. Who can even remember the big-screen Nicholas Nickleby from 2002?
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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic | March 9, 2008
Greg LaRoque, born in Baltimore and a resident in this area for all but eight of his 54 years, has been a top comic-book illustrator for a quarter-century. Name any DC or Marvel superheroes who've become movie or TV heroes and sure enough, he's drawn them: mega-stars like Batman, Spider-Man and The Flash, as well as Daredevil and Ghost Rider. Several popular revampings of beloved comic-book icons came from LaRoque's hand. He illustrated the first issue of Web of Spider-Man: It contained the plotline about the shape-shifting black suit (actually an alien)
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By Mary Carole McCauley and Mary Carole McCauley,Sun reporter | April 12, 2007
Even 30 years later, the memories barely have dimmed. Chris Haley was a teenager in 1977 when he visited the set of the epic miniseries Roots. But he still can see the African-style huts hunkering down beneath the hot Georgia sun. He can hear the long, dry grasses rustle like crickets. And he still feels sweat pooling beneath his shirt, near his heart. That's when he knew that his Uncle Alex was about to accomplish something big. On TV Episode 5 of Roots will air on TVOne at 8 p.m. today; episode 6 airs at 8 p.m. Sunday.
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By LAURA VOZZELLA | April 11, 2007
It's hard to unravel all the wheeling-and-dealing the government says Tommy Bromwell was up to, and those FBI transcripts of him cussing and drinking and bragging are almost too entertaining to shed light. But I think I?m onto his central scheme, and as someone who can?t afford HBO, it thrills me to report it involves Comcast. No, I'm not talking about the part where the former Democratic state senator and current RICO defendant is caught on tape saying that he saved the cable giant $75 million through a late-fees bill, and that "If I run for county executive and lose, I've got a job with Comcast Cable."
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By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,Sun Television Critic | February 26, 1994
Now that the scheming and treachery of the war on ice is over at the Olympics, the second great melodrama of February can begin.The third saga of John Jakes' Civil War potboilers, "Heaven and Hell: North and South III," begins at 9 tomorrow night and continues for a total of six hours Monday and Wednesday nights on ABC (WJZ-Channel 13).The series is a continuation of the 1985 and '86 miniseries, which made Patrick Swayze a star and brought ripped bodices, heroes on horseback and Southern accents back to prime-time TV.It's a reminder of just how lavish, ambitious and sprawling prime-time TV used to be before they started pinching pennies and cutting costs.
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By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN STAFF | March 10, 1997
The hands-down best thing on TV tonight is a 19-year-old miniseries airing all week on the Family Channel. Beyond that, you're on your own."Cosby" (8 p.m.-8: 30 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- Hilton takes his wife's advice and enters group therapy, where he ends up giving lots of advice himself, most of it bad. CBS."John Tesh: The Avalon Concert" (8 p.m.-10 p.m., repeats 10 p.m.-midnight, MPT, Channels 22 and 67) -- In a concert from October, Tesh and his orchestra, with Catalina Island as their venue, perform songs from his most recent album, "Avalon."
NEWS
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,Sun Television Critic | April 8, 2007
Roots, the ABC miniseries based on Alex Haley's novel about his family's ancestry, not only changed the face of television when it premiered in 1977, it also radically altered the culture in ways that are still being felt today - 30 years later. TV One, the Maryland-based cable channel seen in 36.6 million homes and targeted to African-American viewers, tonight will mark the anniversary with the first of six evenings of Roots. The miniseries will be accompanied by vignettes about the impact of Roots and appearances by cast members including LeVar Burton, Louis Gossett Jr., Richard Roundtree, Leslie Uggams and Ben Vereen.
NEWS
April 1, 2007
DUBLIN, Ireland -- Henry VIII is coming back to the throne. And this time, he's bloody gorgeous. Showtime's epic 10-part miniseries The Tudors holds court beginning tonight at 10 with Jonathan Rhys Meyers cast as the unlikely lead. And much like Henry VIII, the show's producers can't disguise their ambitions - to produce a show that finally gets Showtime an HBO-style hit, popular both with the Emmy nobility and peasants alike. They've invested an unprecedented $38 million and have spent millions more promoting it. "We are hoping to be back here filming for another two, three, maybe four years, because the material we have to work with is so rich and there's so much story to tell.
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