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By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | September 21, 1999
It might sound like an Internet fantasy cooked up by fans of "Homicide: Life on the Street," but executive producer Tom Fontana says the wheels are already in motion to make it come true by the end of the year.Fontana and his partner, Barry Levinson, are working with NBC to produce a made-for-TV movie that will include all the detectives who ever graced the Baltimore squad room from Ned Beatty, Jon Polito, Daniel Baldwin and Melissa Leo, to Andre Braugher and Kyle Secor."Everybody says they want to come back, and NBC is now working on trying to make that happen," Fontana said yesterday in a telephone interview.
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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 | June 17, 1993
Despite failing to make NBC's fall schedule, Barry Levinson' "Homicide" has not breathed its last breath yet.A deal has been struck for four more episodes of "Homicide" to be made this summer in Baltimore and used as possible mid-season replacements by NBC starting in March, according to Tom Fontana, co-executive producer of the series.A full order is 22 episodes. Since the backup order is so small, Fontana is not certain whether all the original cast members will be available. But the cast and crew is expected to return to Baltimore in late July or early August, a spokeswoman for the show said yesterday.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | August 19, 2012
Barry Levinson and Tom Fontana, the executive producers of "Homicide: Life on the Street," return to prime time tonight on BBC America with "Copper," starring Tom Weston-Jones. (That's Weston-Jones sitting with them in the picture above, taken in California where they were promoting the series.) Set in 1864 in New York, the series is cop drama meets frontier saga, and I like it. I loved "Homicide," "Oz" and Levinson's last TV effort, "You Don't Know Jack," a docu-drama look at Dr. Jack Kevorkian, starring Al Pacino, for HBO. But I hated "The Jury," a series the duo did for Fox. They've had some failed projects since "Homicide" and "Oz," but I think "Copper" could be a winner.
FEATURES
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | July 21, 1997
PASADENA, Calif. -- "Homicide: Life On the Street" earned more critical acclaim last night, when it was picked for its Outstanding Achievement in Drama by the Television Critics Association at the group's 13th annual awards ceremony here.Andre Braugher, who plays Detective Frank Pembleton on the NBC show, was also honored by the 175-member critics' group with its award for Individual Achievement in Drama.But the celebrated cop drama returns to production today in Baltimore for its fifth season with a sword hanging over its head.
FEATURES
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | July 30, 1999
LOS ANGELES -- NBC says it wants to make a movie finale for "Homicide: Life on the Street" but is having problems lining up enough cast members, such as Andre Braugher, to make it worth doing."
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.
NEWS
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | January 18, 1998
LOS ANGELES -- In a move yesterday that surprised even the producers, NBC renewed the police drama "Homicide: Life on the Street" for the 1998-1999 television season.The critically acclaimed but low-rated series, which is filmed in Baltimore and contributes an estimated $20 million a year and 120 jobs to the local economy, was expected by many to be canceled at the end of this season after failing a ratings ultimatum from NBC.But events in network television in recent weeks -- NBC's losing professional football and agreeing to pay a record $13 million an episode to keep the medical drama "ER" for three more years, and Jerry Seinfeld's decision to walk away from NBC's offer of $5 million an episode for another season of "Seinfeld" -- apparently helped make "Homicide" more attractive to the network and contributed to the renewal.
FEATURES
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | June 8, 2004
It took a while, but the networks finally got the message: Build a summer schedule on new programs, and they will come. Viewers came in the summer of 1999 for Who Wants to Be a Millionaire on ABC. In 2000, as many as 28 million a week showed up for Survivor on CBS. In each of the next three years, the summertime hits included Fear Factor (NBC), American Idol (Fox) and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy (Bravo) - series that went on to become some of the most successful year-round franchises on television.
FEATURES
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | May 15, 1999
This week, just before confirming the cancellation of its critically acclaimed drama "Homicide: Life on the Street," NBC announced that it was ordering 13 new episodes of "World's Most Amazing Videos" for next season.Almost everything you need to know about the network economics responsible for the demise of "Homicide" is found in the relationship between those two events. In some ways, it's as simple as this: "Homicide" is expensive and "World's Most Amazing Videos" is cheap. And cheap is getting more and more important than quality to network television these days.
FEATURES
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | June 8, 2004
It took a while, but the networks finally got the message: Build a summer schedule on new programs, and they will come. Viewers came in the summer of 1999 for Who Wants to Be a Millionaire on ABC. In 2000, as many as 28 million a week showed up for Survivor on CBS. In each of the next three years, the summertime hits included Fear Factor (NBC), American Idol (Fox) and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy (Bravo) - series that went on to become some of the most successful year-round franchises on television.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and By David Zurawik,Sun Television Critic | September 8, 2002
Throughout the 1990s, you could regularly hear me moaning on these pages about one of the great differences between the best British and American cop dramas on television: The British weren't afraid to get down, dirty and depressing in trying to capture deeper truths about society in their detective fiction. Cracker, starring Robbie Coltrane as a gambling-addicted police psychologist, was the model of television that wasn't afraid of being called "too dark" and getting tuned out. As brave as Homicide: Life on the Street was in this regard, NBC was forever fighting with the producers to "brighten" it, and, near the end, some bad choices were made in hopes of renewal through compromise.
FEATURES
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | September 21, 1999
It might sound like an Internet fantasy cooked up by fans of "Homicide: Life on the Street," but executive producer Tom Fontana says the wheels are already in motion to make it come true by the end of the year.Fontana and his partner, Barry Levinson, are working with NBC to produce a made-for-TV movie that will include all the detectives who ever graced the Baltimore squad room from Ned Beatty, Jon Polito, Daniel Baldwin and Melissa Leo, to Andre Braugher and Kyle Secor."Everybody says they want to come back, and NBC is now working on trying to make that happen," Fontana said yesterday in a telephone interview.
FEATURES
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | July 30, 1999
LOS ANGELES -- NBC says it wants to make a movie finale for "Homicide: Life on the Street" but is having problems lining up enough cast members, such as Andre Braugher, to make it worth doing."
FEATURES
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | May 15, 1999
This week, just before confirming the cancellation of its critically acclaimed drama "Homicide: Life on the Street," NBC announced that it was ordering 13 new episodes of "World's Most Amazing Videos" for next season.Almost everything you need to know about the network economics responsible for the demise of "Homicide" is found in the relationship between those two events. In some ways, it's as simple as this: "Homicide" is expensive and "World's Most Amazing Videos" is cheap. And cheap is getting more and more important than quality to network television these days.
FEATURES
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | January 8, 1999
So far, this has not been such a great season for "Homicide: Life on the Street." But it hasn't been a terrible one either, executive producer Tom Fontana said in a telephone interview this week on the state and fate of the NBC drama. "Did everything new that we tried this year work? No. Did none of it work? No. There are things I'm very proud of in the first bunch of episodes, and there are things in retrospect that I wish we had done better," Fontana said. Reacting to criticism in The Sun and elsewhere about the emphasis on newcomer Michael Michele and intra-office dating, Fontana said, "When people talk about all the loving stuff and all the stuff about people asking other people out for a date, I think, hey, wait a minute.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and By David Zurawik,Sun Television Critic | September 8, 2002
Throughout the 1990s, you could regularly hear me moaning on these pages about one of the great differences between the best British and American cop dramas on television: The British weren't afraid to get down, dirty and depressing in trying to capture deeper truths about society in their detective fiction. Cracker, starring Robbie Coltrane as a gambling-addicted police psychologist, was the model of television that wasn't afraid of being called "too dark" and getting tuned out. As brave as Homicide: Life on the Street was in this regard, NBC was forever fighting with the producers to "brighten" it, and, near the end, some bad choices were made in hopes of renewal through compromise.
FEATURES
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | December 27, 1998
Tom Fontana, the executive producer of "Homicide: Life on the Street," has a year-end message for fans of the show: Things are going to get better in 1999. In a letter sent to some critics last week, Fontana offered the first public acknowledgement by the producers that the first half of the season has not exactly been a triumph for the award-winning police drama."OK, we know some people think the show has been a little 'off' so far this season," Fontana wrote. "If so, I think that's because we have been playing with a couple of differentelements and adjusting to the voices of the newest characters.
FEATURES
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | December 27, 1998
Tom Fontana, the executive producer of "Homicide: Life on the Street," has a year-end message for fans of the show: Things are going to get better in 1999. In a letter sent to some critics last week, Fontana offered the first public acknowledgement by the producers that the first half of the season has not exactly been a triumph for the award-winning police drama."OK, we know some people think the show has been a little 'off' so far this season," Fontana wrote. "If so, I think that's because we have been playing with a couple of differentelements and adjusting to the voices of the newest characters.
NEWS
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | January 18, 1998
LOS ANGELES -- In a move yesterday that surprised even the producers, NBC renewed the police drama "Homicide: Life on the Street" for the 1998-1999 television season.The critically acclaimed but low-rated series, which is filmed in Baltimore and contributes an estimated $20 million a year and 120 jobs to the local economy, was expected by many to be canceled at the end of this season after failing a ratings ultimatum from NBC.But events in network television in recent weeks -- NBC's losing professional football and agreeing to pay a record $13 million an episode to keep the medical drama "ER" for three more years, and Jerry Seinfeld's decision to walk away from NBC's offer of $5 million an episode for another season of "Seinfeld" -- apparently helped make "Homicide" more attractive to the network and contributed to the renewal.
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