Tuned In Journal

breaking greenville

Fans and detractors of local TV news alike may get a kick out of TruTV's reality comedy series "Breaking Greenville" (10:30 tonight).

Set among two rival stations in market No. 190 (out of 215) in Greenville, Miss., "Breaking Greenville" follows the staffs of perennial ratings-winner WABG and up-and-coming WXVT as they cover local news in a market where "breaking news" happens only every six months, according to one reporter.

The show's focus is on rival morning show anchors, Lucy Biggers (above, left) at WABG and Callie Carroll at WXVT (above, right).

Biggers wants to grow up to be Kelly Ripa, which at least seems more likely than growing up to be a network news anchor after she high-fives one of her interview subjects.

Carroll steps on a scale for sweeps and goes on a weight loss program with her co-anchor for reports sponsored by a fast food chain (tsk, tsk to commercialism in the sancrosanct bounds of a newscast). 

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tuned in podcast logoPost-Gazette media writer Maria Sciullo and online features editor Sharon Eberson join me to discuss "Empire," "Galavant" and PBS's "Great British Baking Show."

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Intriguing 'Fortitude' is Pivot's polar 'Broadchurch'

Wednesday, 28 January 2015 09:47 AM Written by

fortitude blog

PASADENA, Calif. -- BBC America’s “Broadchurch” is set in a seaside town and Pivot’s new “Fortitude” is set in the Arctic, but they’re otherwise similar murder mysteries with strong casts and a bevy of suspects.

Like so many scripted cable series today, the setting is what distinguishes “Fortitude.” (And even the Arctic setting isn’t entirely unique after “Helix” on Syfy.)

“Fortitude” kicks off Thursday at 10 with a two-hour premiere that spends most of its first hour introducing possible suspects for the murder that occurs in the second hour. (It was wise for Pivot to edit these two episodes together; the first hour doesn’t end on a strong enough note to get viewers back without the whodunit guessing game the second hour provides.)

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Spy vs. Spy: 'The Americans' on FX

Tuesday, 27 January 2015 09:06 AM Written by

The Americans s3

PASADENA, Calif. -- FX’s excellent, under-rated “The Americans” (10 p.m. Wednesday) returns with Russian spies Philip (Matthew Rhys) and Elizabeth (Kerri Russell) facing a close call in the line of duty, a new leader back in the U.S.S.R. and a renewed working relationship with an old Soviet contact, Gabriel (Frank Langella).

And as ever, as much as “The Americans” is a 1980s-set spy show, it’s also the story of a marriage and family. That’s never more evident than when Philip gets angry at Elizabeth for suggesting to Gabriel that they might turn daughter Paige (Holly Taylor) into a spy, too.

Exciting, unpredictable and filled with terrific performances, “The Americans” represents scripted basic cable series at their best.

Executive producers Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg said the Paige story, foreshadowed at the end of season one, didn’t come into focus as a major part of season three until the end of season two.

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'How to Get Away with Murder' returns this week

Monday, 26 January 2015 09:02 AM Written by

 HTGAWM1

PASADENA, Calif. -- ABC's Thursday night lineup returns with new episodes this week, including breakout freshman hit "How to Get Away with Murder" (10 p.m. Thursday), an enjoyably gonzo soap.

But try to ask actor Jack Falahee, who plays breakout character Connor, about what viewers can expect and, well, the responses are spare. 

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TV Q&A: 'Shark Tank,' 'Longmire' and WEPA

Friday, 23 January 2015 12:00 AM Written by

 

Click here for a link to headlines of recent TV news and views posts.

TV Q&A with Rob Owen

Submit a question to TV Q&A by clicking here.

This week's TV Q&A (after the "Read more" jump below) responds to questions about “Shark Tank,” “Longmire” and WEPA. As always, thanks for reading and keep the questions coming.

- Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV writer

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'Downton Abbey' becomes 'Fountain Abbey' on 'Arthur'

Thursday, 22 January 2015 12:00 AM Written by

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PBS's "Arthur" takes a page from fellow PBS series "Downton Abbey" for a special episode airing Monday (6:30 a.m., WQED-TV). It's called "Fountain Abbey."

Here's how PBS describes it:

Everyone’s favorite aardvark and his friends will discover the secrets and stories that their families hold. In the drama-filled “Fountain Abbey,” Muffy finds herself absolutely devastated when she learns her great-great grandmother, Mary Alice, wasn’t royalty at all. She was a common maid – oh, the indignity! But reading Mary Alice's diary, Muffy is transported back in time to the famous English estate where her ancestor worked, and there she discovers the surprising story behind her humble roots.

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PRESS TOUR: TCA winter 2015 party patrol

Wednesday, 21 January 2015 09:21 AM Written by

Read earlier posts from the 2015 TV critics winter press tour here. 

hallmark party 1-2014

PASADENA, Calif. -- The 2015 winter TV critics press tour ended last night with PBS's final press conference, and that means it's time to rate the parties and networks' assorted press tour performances in hopes of encouraging improvement for summer 2015 TCA, and to offer a little behind-the-scenes glimpse for folks at home.

While going to parties for work sounds fun, these are working parties where TV critics are often rushing from one celeb to another to get short interviews.

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