Howard Rosenberg

Television Critic


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his two-and-half hour Archive interview, Howard Rosenberg speaks about his early interests, including athletics and writing. He describes his work as a reporter for the Moline Dispatch of Kansas, where he learned how to report and deliver on deadline. He recounts his move in the early 1970s to The Louisville Times of Kentucky where he lobbied to be the television critic. Rosenberg speaks about his investigative pieces about the deceptive practices of local public television in its use of funds. He details the way celebrities were interviewed through junkets and his own attempts to do independent interviews. He talks in great detail about the pieces he wrote as television critic/columnist for The Los Angeles Times, beginning in 1978, and recalls his difficulties in his early years. Rosenberg comments on some of his '80's pieces including one on the 1984 Olympics, that led to his winning a Pulitzer Prize for Television Criticism in 1985. He discusses the flood of negative response he got about his column following 9/11 when he criticized President George W. Bush. Lastly he discusses several genres of television programming and how they've changed over the years. Karen Herman conducted the interview on December 16, 2008 in Los Angeles, CA.

"The Golden Age of Television is now (2008). I mean, show me any kind of dramatic series of the past that have been the equal of 'The Sopranos,' of 'The Wire,' of 'NYPD Blue,' of the original 'Law & Order,' of 'In Treatment'. I can think of nothing in the past that equals those. This is a remarkable time."

People Talking About ...
Highlights
Howard Rosenberg on winning the Pulitzer Prize in 1985 
Howard Rosenberg on his relationship with Cecil Smith, fellow LA Times television critic, and his editors
Howard Rosenberg on his coverage of the Emmy Awards for the LA Times
Howard Rosenberg on the function of critical writing
Howard Rosenberg on his book "No Time to Think"
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early life and influences; on the first time he saw television; on his early interest in writing; on learning to be a reporter
On being the first television critic for The Louisville Times; on television critics who influenced him and his preparation to go into the field; on the topics of his early television columns
On his early readership and television in the '70s; on the timetable of receiving shows and reviewing them; on how television changed and evolved during the '70s and his thoughts on the Golden Age of Television
On his influence as a critic in Louisville; on his relationship with Cecil Smith, fellow LA Times television critic, and his editors; on his schedule at the LA Times

Chapter 2

On how the process of reviewing shows changed over the years; on reviewing television series and changing his mind about shows; on reader response to his column about 9/11
On winning the Pulitzer Prize in 1985; on the function of critical writing; on his coverage of the Emmy Awards for the LA Times
On his dealings with people in the television industry; on his editors; on his then-current activities and writing about the television news media
On his book "No Time to Think"; on media consolidation; on television comedy

Chapter 3

On dramatic series; on late night television and daytime talk shows; on government involvement in television
On his favorite things he has written; on his favorite television shows and television at its worst; on the then-future of television; on his influence, advice to aspiring television critics, and how he'd like to be remembered
Topics

'The Idiot Box'

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Howard Rosenberg on television at its worst

9/11

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Howard Rosenberg on reader response to his column on 9/11

Advice

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Howard Rosenberg on advice to aspiring television critics

Creative Influences and Inspiration

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Howard Rosenberg on television critics who influenced him and his preparation to go into the field
Howard Rosenberg on television critics who influenced him and his preparation to go into the field

Criticism of TV

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Howard Rosenberg on being the first television critic for The Louisville Times
Howard Rosenberg on television critics who influenced him and his preparation to go into the field
Howard Rosenberg on his autonomy as a television critic
Howard Rosenberg on television in the '70s
Howard Rosenberg on the timetable of receiving shows and reviewing them
Howard Rosenberg on how television changed and evolved during the '70s and his thoughts on the Golden Age of Television
Howard Rosenberg on his influence as a critic in Louisville 
Howard Rosenberg on his schedule at the LA Times
Howard Rosenberg on how the process of reviewing shows changed over the years
Howard Rosenberg on reviewing television series and changing his mind about shows
Howard Rosenberg on reader response to his column on 9/11
Howard Rosenberg on sometimes not getting tapes of shows he wanted to review
Howard Rosenberg on winning the Pulitzer Prize in 1985 
Howard Rosenberg on the function of critical writing
Howard Rosenberg on his dealings with people in the television industry
Howard Rosenberg on his editors
Howard Rosenberg on television comedy
Howard Rosenberg on dramatic series
Howard Rosenberg on late night television
Howard Rosenberg on daytime talk shows
Howard Rosenberg on made-for-television movies, miniseries and specials
Howard Rosenberg on government involvement in television
Howard Rosenberg on his favorite television shows
Howard Rosenberg on television at its worst

Historic Events and Social Change

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Howard Rosenberg on reader response to his column on 9/11

Media Consolidation

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Howard Rosenberg on media consolidation

Pivotal Career Moments

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Howard Rosenberg on television critics who influenced him and his preparation to go into the field
Howard Rosenberg on television critics who influenced him and his preparation to go into the field

TV's Golden Age (1940s & '50s)

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Howard Rosenberg on how television changed and evolved during the '70s and his thoughts on the Golden Age of Television

Technological Innovation

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Howard Rosenberg on television technology

Television Industry

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Howard Rosenberg on being the first television critic for The Louisville Times
Howard Rosenberg on television critics who influenced him and his preparation to go into the field
Howard Rosenberg on his autonomy as a television critic
Howard Rosenberg on television in the '70s
Howard Rosenberg on the timetable of receiving shows and reviewing them
Howard Rosenberg on how television changed and evolved during the '70s and his thoughts on the Golden Age of Television
Howard Rosenberg on his influence as a critic in Louisville 
Howard Rosenberg on his schedule at the LA Times
Howard Rosenberg on how the process of reviewing shows changed over the years
Howard Rosenberg on reviewing television series and changing his mind about shows
Howard Rosenberg on reader response to his column on 9/11
Howard Rosenberg on sometimes not getting tapes of shows he wanted to review
Howard Rosenberg on winning the Pulitzer Prize in 1985 
Howard Rosenberg on the function of critical writing
Howard Rosenberg on his dealings with people in the television industry
Howard Rosenberg on his editors
Howard Rosenberg on media consolidation
Howard Rosenberg on television comedy
Howard Rosenberg on dramatic series
Howard Rosenberg on late night television
Howard Rosenberg on daytime talk shows
Howard Rosenberg on made-for-television movies, miniseries and specials
Howard Rosenberg on government involvement in television
Howard Rosenberg on his favorite television shows
Howard Rosenberg on television at its worst
Howard Rosenberg on advice to aspiring television critics
Professions

Journalists & News Producers

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Howard Rosenberg on advice to aspiring television critics

TV Critic

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Howard Rosenberg on advice to aspiring television critics
Genres

Comedy Series

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Howard Rosenberg on television comedy

Drama Series

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Howard Rosenberg on dramatic series

Late Night

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Howard Rosenberg on late night television

Sports

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Howard Rosenberg on television sports

TV Movies/Miniseries/Dramatic Specials

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Howard Rosenberg on made-for-television movies, miniseries and specials

Talk Shows

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Howard Rosenberg on daytime talk shows

All Interviews

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