Criticism of TV


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

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Interviewees discuss the criticism of TV.

Highlights
Howard Rosenberg on reviewing television series and changing his mind about shows
Yeardley Smith on the criticism of The Simpsons when it debuted
Steve Allen on critical response to The Steve Allen Show
Susan Whiting on criticism of Nielsen ratings
Darren Star on the censorship issues that arose on Melrose Place, particularly involving the character "Matt Fielding," who was gay
Dawn Wells on her reaction to critics of Gilligan's Island and on the cancellation of the show
Who talked about this topic

Steve Allen

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Steve Allen on critical response to The Steve Allen Show

Charlie Andrews

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Charlie Andrews on the decline in the quality of television from the 1950s to the 1960s

Steven Bochco

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Steven Bochco on the difficulties of creating organic storytelling on television

Glen Charles

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Glen and Les Charles on Cheers' initial low ratings, good critical response, and then-House speaker Tip O'Neil's cameo

Les Charles

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Glen and Les Charles on Cheers' initial low ratings, good critical response, and then-House speaker Tip O'Neil's cameo

Dick Clark

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Dick Clark on producing the TV Movie, "The Woman Who Willed a Miracle"

Joan Ganz Cooney

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Joan Ganz Cooney on the use of Muppets on Sesame Street and initial reaction to the show
Joan Ganz Cooney on the criticism of the health series for adults, Feeling Good

Katie Couric

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Katie Couric on being criticized for her role as anchor of CBS Evening News

Phil Donahue

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Phil Donahue on the deterioration of daytime television

Jeff Fager

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Jeff Fager on being executive producer of CBS Evening News with Dan Rather at a time when news was becoming more sensational
Jeff Fager on the public's perception of the news media

Edie Falco

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Edie Falco on violence on The Sopranos

Tom Freston

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Tom Freston on criticism that MTV had no black artist in the early days 

Larry Gelbart

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Larry Gelbart on what to him represented the best of television; those moments when it brought the country together as a family, as in the Kennedy funeral, or the Challenger launch, and how we're in danger of losing that ability in favor of 'the bottom line'

Robert Halmi, Sr.

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Robert Halmi, Sr. on his commitment to family entertainment

Stanley Hubbard

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Stanley Hubbard on the government's role in broadcasting and dealing with FCC regulations

Felicity Huffman

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Felicity Huffman and William H. Macy on how parenthood has affected their opinion of television and the messages it sends to women, in particular

Russell Johnson

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Russell Johnson on the critics' reactions to Gilligan's Island

Bob Keeshan

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Bob Keeshan on what represents the best in television

Steve Kroft

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Steve Kroft on interviewing Clarence Thomas for 60 Minutes and dealing with criticism of his interviews

Jack LaLanne

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Jack LaLanne on television critics' and viewer responses to The Jack LaLanne Show

Angela Lansbury

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Angela Lansbury on being asked to curtail violence on TV

Louise Lasser

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Louise Lasser on the second season of Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, and on the show's critique of television

Norman Lear

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Norman Lear on the culture of profit-making in television to the detriment of the medium, and his dislike of ratings

Richard Lewis

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Richard Lewis on testifying to Congress about violence in television Westerns

Robert MacNeil

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Robert MacNeil on critical reaction to The MacNeil Lehrer NewsHour  and various stories they covered

William H. Macy

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William H. Macy on being proud of the way Shameless deals with sex and his personal objections to the unrealistic way violence is depicted on television

Loring Mandel

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Loring Mandel on his criticism of television, and on being president of the Writers Guild

Newton N. Minow

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Former FCC Chairman Newton Minow on what he was trying to convey in his 1961 "Vast Wasteland" speech
Former FCC Chairman Newton Minow on Joseph Kennedy and Edward R. Murrow's reaction to his 1961 "Vast Wasteland" speech
Newton Minow on whether he still sees television as 1961's "vast wasteland" in 1999

Thomas W. Moore

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Thomas W. Moore on Newton N. Minow's "vast wasteland" speech, critical of television

Michael Moye

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Michael Moye on critics' reactions to Married...With Children

Jonathan Murray

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Jonathan Murray on critics of reality television

Horace Newcomb

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Horace Newcomb on writing about television for the "Baltimore Sun," and on the coming of age of television in the 1970s with shows like All in the Family and The Mary Tyler Moore Show
Horace Newcomb on An American Family, and on the serialization of television which led to shows like Roots and Dallas
Horace Newcomb on how Hill Street Blues changed the television industry
Horace Newcomb on The Sopranos being a game changer
Horace Newcomb on Magnum, P.I.'s cumulative narrative
Horace Newcomb on the historic and then-current lack of diversity in television

Maury Povich

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Maury Povich on criticisms of his talk show Maury

Del Reisman

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Del Reisman on Newton N. Minow's "vast wasteland" speech
Del Reisman on Robert Stack as "Elliott Ness" on The Untouchables, and on the violence of the show

Lee Rich

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Lee Rich on criticism about Dallas

Howard Rosenberg

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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

Jay Sandrich

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Jay Sandrich on having fun finding ways to depict sex in a subtle way on Soap

Thomas W. Sarnoff

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Thomas W. Sarnoff on his response to criticism of violence on TV while an NBC executive

Alfred Schneider

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Alfred Schneider on a controversial episode of Bus Stop ("A Lion Walks Among Us") and how it led to further inquiries into the effects of violence on television
Alfred Schneider on regulating portrayals of violence in Roots versus S.W.A.T. and The Six Million Dollar Man
Alfred Schneider on how and why portrayals of sexuality and other controversial topics have become more acceptable over time on television
Alfred Schneider on Chair of the Federal Communications Commission, Newton N. Minow's "Vast Wasteland" speech

Robert Schuller

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Robert Schuller on how television has changed society

David Shore

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David Shore on initial critical reaction and viewer reaction to House and early notes from FOX

Fred Silverman

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Fred Silverman on the reaction of television critics to ABC programs The Love Boat and Fantasy Island

John Singleton

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John Singleton on representations of violence in his work

Yeardley Smith

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Yeardley Smith on the criticism of The Simpsons when it debuted

Darren Star

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Darren Star on controversial storylines on Beverly Hills, 90210, including "Brenda Walsh" sleeping with "Dylan McKay" in the first season's "Spring Dance" episode
Darren Star on the censorship issues that arose on Melrose Place, particularly involving the character "Matt Fielding," who was gay
Darren Star on a Sex and the City gag that HBO objected to

Brandon Stoddard

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Brandon Stoddard on television living up to its potential and how the industry has changed

William Tankersley

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William Tankersley on CBS' expected limitations of violence on television

Dawn Wells

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Dawn Wells on her reaction to critics of Gilligan's Island and on the cancellation of the show

Susan Whiting

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Susan Whiting on criticism of Nielsen ratings

Fred Willard

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Fred Willard on Fernwood 2-Night "going too far"

Lauren Zalaznick

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Lauren Zalaznick on television and society, and how television tends to reflect the national psyche (the topic of her 2011 TED Talk)

Jeff Zucker

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Jeff Zucker on the impact on the network of putting reality programming on NBC

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