Harlan Ellison dies

Acclaimed sci-fi tv and movie writer dies at 84. Known as one of pop culture’s acclaimed outspoken writers, Harlan Ellison died Thursday at the age of 84. Born in Cleveland, Ellison died in his home in Los Angeles. Ellison has written more than 1700 pieces of work, spanning novels, science fiction, comic books, short stories, screenplays, and television. His career […]

T Dog’s Media Notebook: HBO cancels “Vinyl”

What the Good Lord giveth, can also taketh: In a reversal, HBO has canceled freshman drama Vinyl – despite renewing it for a second season four days after it premiered. Despite a stellar cast in front the camera and behind the scenes, the series never gained traction with viewers or critics (though it seemed Vinyl only registered with the elitist […]

CBS trots out 2016-17 schedule

It’s back to basics as CBS restores Monday comedy block Last season, CBS did the unthinkable: the network axed its Monday night comedy block for three action-adventure series. On a night where Jackie Gleason, Lucille Ball, Gilligan,Amzing A M*A*S*H, Murphy Brown, Raymond, and Charlie Sheen once reigned, CBS was without a regularly scheduled sitcom on the night for the first time […]

“Star Trek” returns – for a price

                The legendary series returns to the airwaves – but on CBS’ SVOD service The Starship Enterprise is back in business. But if want you get on board, it’s going to cost you. CBS announced Monday it was rebooting Star Trek, which would be the seventh television incarnation of the franchise. But there […]

“Sharknado 3”: Oh hell, the thrill is gone

Amid all the product tie-ins, movie was a snooze. I guess the best thing to acknowledge Sharknado’s first two movies was the guilty pleasure aspect of it… the campness – you know, it was so bad it was good. It was the type of flick ready to be mocked by the Mystery Science Theater 3000 crew. But Sharknado 3: Oh […]

CBS (finally) gets into the digital subchannel business

Chicago’s last digital subchannel holdout is about to convert. WBBM-TV owner CBS – who operates Chicago’s only TV station not operating a digital subchannel – is entering a new venture with Weigel Broadcasting in launching Decades, a new digital subchannel network scheduled to launch in the second quarter of 2015 (in layman’s terms, next spring.) The channel has been cleared […]

Comic-Con is back for another round

It’s that time of year again as people in superhero costumes and stormtrooper suits invade San Diego. Yep, I’m talking about Comic-Con. For the 44th consecutive year, fanboys and fangirls descend on the home of the Padres, Chargers, and Aztecs to see their favorite comic book artists, video game developers, and TV stars – especially TV. As you should know […]

Richard Matheson dies

Acclaimed science-fiction writer Richard Matheson died last week, according to a statement his family released via a protected Facebook account. Matheson was known for many short stories, including I Am Legend, which was adapted into several screenplays over the years (the latest version starred Will Smith.) In TV circles, Matheson wrote several episodes of the first Twilight Zone. Among the […]

“Check, Please’s” new host finally checks in

The last time I’ve seen this much hype for a Friday night television show was during the days J.R. Ewing strutting around Dallas in his cowboy hat and Crockett and Tubbs fighting crime in their flashy clothes on South Beach. But give WTTW – yes, that WTTW – credit for making this work to their advantage. After a months-long search […]

TCA: FX continues originals push

Like it broadcast sister, FX is banking on some high quality shows (well, some of them are), to increase its audience. The network had its own presentation at the recent TCA Winter Press Tour: Like other network chiefs, FX Networks President John Landgraf addressed the television violence issue, saying the industry should study it more. Landgraf pointed out the U.S. […]

T Dog’s Six Pack: Khannnnnn!!!!!!

Senator-elect Mark Kirk and “Captain Kirk” William Shatner: Separated at birth? Win, Lose, or end up hosting a bad 1980’s game show: The past week’s winners and losers: Win.$#!* My Dad Says. OMG. Believe it or not, thus show is actually getting funnier each week. Thank you, Big Bang Theory lead-in. Kirk. And speaking of William Shatner, his Star Trek […]

TCA: PBS and "The Pioneers of Television"

It was PBS’ turn at the mic at the annual TCA Press tour on Thursday, which focused mainly on the second edition of their miniseries Pioneers of Television, whose panel of classic TV stars featured two Chicago natives: Robert Conrad (Wild, Wild West, Black Sheep Squadron) Nichelle Nichols (Star Trek), who hails from southwest suburban Robbins. The panel also featured […]

NATPE News: "Don’t Forget The Lyrics" returns

Move likely ends Deal’s run ; Debmar-Mercury clears True Hollywood Story in 65 percent of the country; Nancy Grace’s format revealed Today is the first day of the NATPE convention, a three day extravagnza being held in Las Vegas where buyers and sellers meet up. Originally, this was a large syndication convention where shows were sold, but over time, it […]

"Star Trek" makes $76 million at the box office

Live long and prosper – at the box office. J.J. Abrams’ (Lost, Alias) reboot of Star Trek finished first this weekend with a haul of $76.5 million. It was a hit with critics as well, with an impressive 96 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. So in honor of the new Star Trek’s success, William Shatner – who looks like T.J. […]

CBC slammed for airing American shows. Again.

Stop me if you’ve heard this before… The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation is being criticized by governmental leaders and actor unions for airing too much American programming on the public network – a practice it has been doing for decades. The controversy comes as CBC dropped two Canadian-produced newsmagazine/lifestyle shows: Fashion File and Steven & Chris, due to low ratings and […]