September 18, 2013 |
Critically acclaimed documentary producer Susan Lacy, creator of "American Masters," is leaving public television for pay cable. Lacy, who has been involved with PBS and its New York City affiliate WNET for close to 30 years, has signed a multi-year contract with HBO to produce and direct documentaries. The deal is a big get for Sheila Nevins, president of HBO's documentary unit. PHOTOS: Cable versus broadcast ratings "I've long admired her film portraits, which have been consistently stellar over the years," Nevins said.
September 9, 2013 |
Forty years ago, Billie Jean King played Bobby Riggs in the most famous tennis match in American history. Dubbed "The Battle of the Sexes," it was as much a contest of ideologies as athleticism. King represented the fight for women's rights, and Riggs, who proudly identified himself as a male chauvinist pig, stood in for the patriarchy. Millions tuned into the wildly hyped telecast, many of whom had never seen a tennis match. When King soundly beat Riggs (who, though a former champion himself, was 26 years her senior)
May 21, 2013 |
Carol Burnett, the trailblazing comedienne whose variety show was a top draw on CBS for over a decade, was named the winner of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor on Tuesday. Burnett, 80, will receive the award in an Oct. 20 in a ceremony to be broadcast Oct. 30 on PBS. “It's almost impossible to be funnier than the people in Washington,” said the star, who clearly hasn't lost her sense of humor, in a written statement. PHOTOS: Celebrities by The Times Despite a career that spans Broadway, film and television, Burnett remains best known for “The Carol Burnett Show,” which ran from 1967 to 1978.
May 21, 2013 |
"The Newlywed Game" is renewing its TV vows. Episodes of the veteran game show that pits newly married couples against each other are being revived on Bounce TV, which is geared toward African Americans. The series, which first premiered on ABC in 1965, has been on and off the air on various networks and in syndication since its launch. These episodes were previously produced for the Game Show Network. But founding host Bob Eubanks, the personality most identified with the show, will not be along for the ride this go-round.
May 20, 2013 |
"Do I get paid for this?" says Mel Brooks at the end of Robert Trachtenberg's biographical documentary, "Mel Brooks: Make a Noise," premiering Monday as part of the PBS series "American Masters. " "If this program was called 'Dutch Masters,' I'd have boxes of cigars. But I had to be foolish and settle for 'American Masters.'" Writer, director, comedian, actor, producer, songwriter and drummer (because, as a drummer, you "made the most noise"), Brooks, who turns 87 this year, is in the midst of a long public moment.
March 27, 2013 |
I'm of two minds about “Philip Roth: Unmasked,” the “American Masters” documentary that airs Friday night on PBS. On the one hand, it's always a pleasure to hear Roth, who turned 80 this month and recently announced his retirement, speak - about the push and pull of family, the consolations (or lack thereof) of sex and literature and the never-to-be-resolved issue of identity, all subjects that have infused his writing for more than 50 years. On the other, the film, which marks the first time Roth has given an extended interview on camera, is oddly toothless, a by-the numbers hagiography.