Category Archives: Winter Press Tour 2018

Al Pacino Becomes Joe Paterno for HBO

Al Pacino has specialized in playing actual people for HBO films, from Roy Cohen to Phil Spector, Jack Kavorkian and now Joe Paterno, in an understated and effective portrayal of the beloved Penn State coach whose image was tarnished by its proximity to the considerable claims of sexual misconduct of his former defensive coordinator, Jerry […]

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‘Trading Spaces’ Doubles Down in Return

You may be seeing double in the return of “Trading Spaces” (TLC, 8 p.m.), the granddaddy of the home improvement shows, returning tonight a decade after it went off the air. Not only has the cast roughly doubled to 16 (while still including old favorites like Paige Davis, Ty Pennington, Vern Yip and  Frank Bielec), but […]

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Marcia Clark Gets Back to Investigating

Until she became a heroine of the inaugural “American Crime Story”, the former Los Angeles prosecutor Marcia Clark had been keeping a basement-deep low profile. But the sympathetic portrayal of her thankless work in the unsuccessful case against O.J. Simpson in an Emmy-winning performance by Sarah Paulson, brought her back into the limelight. She met […]

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‘Dolores’ Recounts Life of Activist Huerta

When Lois Vossen, executive producer of “Independent Lens” (9 p.m., PBS, check local listings) was growing up in Minnesota, she had a direct connection to the subject of tonight’s film, but didn’t know it. “Fifty years ago I stopped eating grapes to support a boycott thousands of miles away.”  Vossen told reporters earlier this year. […]

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Apatow Pays Long Tribute to Mentor

A funeral was the spark of Judd Apatow’s big two-night, four-hour documentary on his comic mentor “The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling” (HBO, 10 p.m.). And if Shandling was still around, he’d get the self-deprecating humor in that. After Shandling died suddenly at 66 a year ago of a blood clot, Apatow quickly put together […]

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‘Friday Night Lights’ Starts Singing

NBC’s new prestige show “Rise” (NBC, 10 p.m.), about the establishment of a musical theater program in a rural Pennsylvania high school, may remind some of a rural “Glee,” but it’s also grounded in the midwest ethos of a previous show by one of its executive producers, Jason Katims, “Friday Night Lights.” “What I love […]

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New Judges, Network for ‘American Idol’

In its incessant promos, the rebooted American Idol has already indicated which direction it will be going, when it returns tonight after a two year absence on a new network, ABC. It’s all those back stories about singers doing it for their family, or taking their last shot, or telling their grandma they’re going to […]

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Nas Takes ‘Illmatic’ to the Kennedy Center

Putting an orchestral score to hip hop tracks is the kind of gimmick you’d see as a one shot thing at the Grammys — staged more for the visual impact than how it all sounded. There was something very different about Nas taking the whole of his striking debut album “Illmatic” and having it scored […]

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Attenborough Dives Into ‘Blue Planet II’

Sir Richard Attenborough usually gets closer to his subject matter than he is able to in “Planet Earth: Blue Planet II” (BBC America, 9 p.m.). Concentrating on the 3/4 of the planet that is ocean, it finds a lot of sea creatures so obscure you might think they may be making it up after a […]

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Catherine Zeta-Jones as Drug Godmother

Catherine Zeta-Jones returns to television for the first time in a big way since a 1996 “Titanic” miniseries (though she was briefly in “Feud: Bette vs. Joan” last year, in the fact-based “Cocaine Godmother: The Griselda Blanco Story” (Lifetime, 8 p.m.). She portrays the notorious Colombian drug lord (or is it lady?) for the Medellin […]

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