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By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | April 18, 2004
Thank goodness for British television drama. Though American networks have all but switched from making new (costly) dramas to pumping out (cheaper) reality TV shows, the British are sticking to what they've done well for decades. After a week of Trump-mania - and the finale of NBC's The Apprentice - tonight's premiere of two soul-stirring, brain-engaging, multipart dramas from the other side of the Atlantic could not be more welcome. It has been seven years since Helen Mirren's landmark character, Inspector Jane Tennison of Prime Suspect fame, first solved a case for the London Metropolitan Police.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | December 7, 2012
When Henry Bromell won the Writers' Guild Award this year for scripting “The Good Soldier” episode of “Homeland,” he thanked Barry Levinson and Tom Fontana. Why, you might wonder, would this California screenwriter be thanking these two producers closely identified with Baltimore and New York, respectively, as he accepted an award for work on a series with which they had absolutely no connection? The answer goes to the heart of what's known in the television industry as “The Family Tree,” a group of a couple of dozen writers and producers who can trace their screenwriting roots or training back to a pair of seminal TV shows from the early 1980s, “St.
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FEATURES
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | November 13, 1995
Usually, special episodes of regular series that air during "sweeps" ratings periods aren't worth much of anything except skepticism and contempt.And, then, along comes one like tonight's "Leave of Absence" from CBS' "Chicago Hope," which reminds you why television -- even at its most commercial -- has become the most important storyteller in American life. It also makes you wonder if maybe we aren't living in a kind of mini-Golden Age of television drama -- especially when you think about this episode in connection with others from such series as "Homicide," "NYPD Blue," "Law & Order," "ER," "X-Files" and "Picket Fences."
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik, The Baltimore Sun | January 6, 2012
With a reported $100 million price tag and a big-name star like Kevin Spacey, "House of Cards" looks like a drama series that should be headed for HBO or AMC. But the 13 one-hour episodes that start filming in Baltimore in March under the direction of David Fincher are being made by and for Netflix. Yes, that Netflix, the one with the red-and-white envelopes you get via snail mail, or the one you stream programs from online. "House of Cards" is the biggest and most credible challenger yet to cable TV's control of quality original programming.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,Sun Television Critic | June 3, 2001
Academy-Award-winner Alan Ball's new HBO drama, "Six Feet Under," is so daring, richly multi-dimensional and culturally provocative that it's almost anti-television. I say "almost" because one other television series is equally elevated and shockingly different from almost anything else on the tube: "The Sopranos," which also airs Sunday nights on HBO. I don't think "Six Feet Under" is going to enjoy the same mainstream popularity as "The Sopranos" -- not at first, anyway; there's probably too much cultural aversion to death.
SPORTS
By PHIL JACKMAN | January 13, 1995
The TV Repairman:Consider the number of times Steve Young, the quarterback of the 49ers, has had the accomplishments of predecessor Joe Montana tossed in his face. What, a million? Does it bother him? Does he wear No. 8?But Young has been around long enough -- remember he was on two of those four San Francisco Super Bowl champions -- to have noticed something: "You'd drive yourself nuts if you tried to jump over and through the hoops and hurdles people put in front of you, especially when they start moving them.
FEATURES
By Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Sheryl Gay Stolberg,NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | June 26, 2001
WASHINGTON - On the eve of Valentine's Day 1999, the characters on "Beverly Hills 90210" were in their usual tizzy. Donna discovered pictures of Noah and Gina kissing. Dylan, having sworn off heroin, cavorted with Gina. After Steve bragged about his flawless tan, his girlfriend noticed a strange mole on the back of his neck. Fearing skin cancer, he took a megaphone to the beach to shout out the benefits of sunscreen. Viewers did not know it, but the sunscreen reference fit neatly into a public education campaign being run by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
FEATURES
By KEVIN COWHERD | September 26, 2002
The drumbeat for war with Iraq grows louder, and soon our leaders will have to answer the question that's first and foremost in the minds of the American people: Will we be able to catch it on TV? And it won't pre-empt Survivor or Friends, will it? That, at least, seems to be the prevailing mood of a good deal of the American public, which these days seems to view war as just another extravaganza to be watched from our La-Z-Boys and faux-leather couches. The Persian Gulf War in '91 - now there was a great war to catch on the tube.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | December 7, 2012
When Henry Bromell won the Writers' Guild Award this year for scripting “The Good Soldier” episode of “Homeland,” he thanked Barry Levinson and Tom Fontana. Why, you might wonder, would this California screenwriter be thanking these two producers closely identified with Baltimore and New York, respectively, as he accepted an award for work on a series with which they had absolutely no connection? The answer goes to the heart of what's known in the television industry as “The Family Tree,” a group of a couple of dozen writers and producers who can trace their screenwriting roots or training back to a pair of seminal TV shows from the early 1980s, “St.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik, The Baltimore Sun | January 6, 2012
With a reported $100 million price tag and a big-name star like Kevin Spacey, "House of Cards" looks like a drama series that should be headed for HBO or AMC. But the 13 one-hour episodes that start filming in Baltimore in March under the direction of David Fincher are being made by and for Netflix. Yes, that Netflix, the one with the red-and-white envelopes you get via snail mail, or the one you stream programs from online. "House of Cards" is the biggest and most credible challenger yet to cable TV's control of quality original programming.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik, The Baltimore Sun | September 16, 2011
Josh Charles is a very competitive guy. But he's feeling absolutely no pressure to win as he arrives for his first Emmy Awards telecast as a nominee Sunday. "Someone asked me the other day, 'Are you super-nervous?' And I'm really not right now," says the former Baltimore School for the Arts student, who is vying for best supporting actor in a drama series on television. "I've been to the Emmys before, though I've never been individually nominated. But I'm really just going to enjoy myself.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | August 4, 2011
This year's Army-Navy game will be the focus if a two-hour docu-drama co-produced by Showtime and CBS Sports. Showtime's cameras are spending six months in full-access, backstage coverage of the two academies and their teams in advance of the the game, according to the cable channel. The docu-drama will premiere Dec. 21 on Showtime, 10 nights after the game, which airs on CBS. A preview on the making of the docu-drama will air Nov. 23 on Showtime. Viewers can get their first look at the material on Oct. 17 when CBS.com launches a 10-part web series.
NEWS
By Julie Bykowicz and Julie Bykowicz,SUN STAFF | July 16, 2005
Taking the witness stand yesterday for the third consecutive day, a homicide detective who interviewed the two Mexican immigrants accused of killing three young relatives was put on the defensive -- about his acting abilities. Policarpio Espinoza, 23, and his nephew, Adan Canela, 18, are on trial on three counts of first-degree murder and conspiracy charges in the May 2004 slashing deaths in Fallstaff of an 8-year-old girl, her 9-year-old brother and their 10-year-old male cousin. The trial began with opening statements July 8 and could continue into early August.
NEWS
By Stephen Kiehl and Stephen Kiehl,SUN STAFF | December 16, 2004
Donald Trump will finally hire someone on tonight's season finale of The Apprentice, after barking "You're fired!" at contestants for the past three months. But with the show's ratings down 24 percent from last season, could Trump himself soon be hearing those same words from NBC? The Apprentice isn't the only reality show that has lost steam this fall, as television viewers have embraced new scripted dramas and turned away from some reality fare. Fewer people are watching Fear Factor contestants slurp worm juice or hanging on every Bachelor elimination ceremony.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | April 18, 2004
Thank goodness for British television drama. Though American networks have all but switched from making new (costly) dramas to pumping out (cheaper) reality TV shows, the British are sticking to what they've done well for decades. After a week of Trump-mania - and the finale of NBC's The Apprentice - tonight's premiere of two soul-stirring, brain-engaging, multipart dramas from the other side of the Atlantic could not be more welcome. It has been seven years since Helen Mirren's landmark character, Inspector Jane Tennison of Prime Suspect fame, first solved a case for the London Metropolitan Police.
FEATURES
By KEVIN COWHERD | September 26, 2002
The drumbeat for war with Iraq grows louder, and soon our leaders will have to answer the question that's first and foremost in the minds of the American people: Will we be able to catch it on TV? And it won't pre-empt Survivor or Friends, will it? That, at least, seems to be the prevailing mood of a good deal of the American public, which these days seems to view war as just another extravaganza to be watched from our La-Z-Boys and faux-leather couches. The Persian Gulf War in '91 - now there was a great war to catch on the tube.
NEWS
By Walter Goodman and Walter Goodman,New York Times News Service | October 14, 1991
NEW YORK -- Act 3 promised to be anti-climactic, yet yesterday's Judiciary Committee hearing probably did not disappoint followers of the engrossing miniseries about sex, race and power. It began Friday morning with the stunning "Ordeal of Anita Hill" and returned even more powerfully Friday evening and all day Saturday with "The Martydom of Clarence Thomas."The stars were off. In their place were performers at the witness table who, in violation of the rules of courtroom drama, could not be expected to supply a climactic, definitive revelation of who was telling the truth and who was lying.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | August 4, 2011
This year's Army-Navy game will be the focus if a two-hour docu-drama co-produced by Showtime and CBS Sports. Showtime's cameras are spending six months in full-access, backstage coverage of the two academies and their teams in advance of the the game, according to the cable channel. The docu-drama will premiere Dec. 21 on Showtime, 10 nights after the game, which airs on CBS. A preview on the making of the docu-drama will air Nov. 23 on Showtime. Viewers can get their first look at the material on Oct. 17 when CBS.com launches a 10-part web series.
FEATURES
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | March 26, 2002
The most striking thing about The Court, ABC's new legal drama starring Sally Field, is how much it resembles First Monday, a CBS midseason legal drama starring Joe Mantegna and James Garner. The Court, which arrives tonight as First Monday slinks toward cancellation, centers on a new associate justice joining the Supreme Court and finding herself as the swing vote in a court generally divided in a 4-4 split between conservatives and liberals. Instead of a male justice who is identified as Catholic and moderate (Mantegna)
FEATURES
By Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Sheryl Gay Stolberg,NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | June 26, 2001
WASHINGTON - On the eve of Valentine's Day 1999, the characters on "Beverly Hills 90210" were in their usual tizzy. Donna discovered pictures of Noah and Gina kissing. Dylan, having sworn off heroin, cavorted with Gina. After Steve bragged about his flawless tan, his girlfriend noticed a strange mole on the back of his neck. Fearing skin cancer, he took a megaphone to the beach to shout out the benefits of sunscreen. Viewers did not know it, but the sunscreen reference fit neatly into a public education campaign being run by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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