The TV/Video Download community offers regular reviews, analysis and interviews for television and video content programmers, producers, on-screen and behind-the-camera talent, video content developers, creative agencies and the executives who manage the content business. This community features one of the media's best known and most respected television and video critics, Ed Martin, who shares his perspective, insights, thought leadership and criticism. Ed reports live from the Winter and Summer Television Critics Association tours in Los Angeles as well as the annual Upfront week presentations in New York City. He is joined here by veteran television reporter Simon Applebaum, who specializes in coverage and analysis of all Upfront and NewFront presentations and other media industry events; entertainment writer and celebrity interviewer Steve Gidlow, who covers the television beat in Los Angeles, and critic Ainsley Andrade, a cord-never who streams his way through everything and provides his own unique take on current television and video programming.
In 1993, few people in the United States had heard the name Marcia Clark. But by 1995 she was a household name. Appointed to the L.A. District Attorney’s Office in 1981, Clark spent ten years in the Special Trials Unit, where a number of high-profile cases crossed her desk. But it was her appointment as the lead prosecutor on the infamous O.J. Simpson double-murder trial that changed everything. Intense public scrutiny dogged Clark for the duration of the nine-month trial and following Simpson’s acquittal. (Imagine if social media had been around at the time.) Disillusioned with the justice system, Clark (pictured at top, left) tried her hand at writing and penned the New York Times bestseller “Without a Doubt” (about the Simpson trial) before turning her talents to fiction. Now she is embarking on another journey, that of executive producer for the new ABC series The Fix, and while the series’ premise and lead character, L.A. District Attorney Maya Travis, may appear autobiographical on the surface, Clark insists they are not. "This is different [and] a complete departure from me," Clark told MediaVillage during a recent interview. "Maya isn't me. She is an entirely fictional character, so it actually gives me more freedom."
These days it is rather uncommon for a half-hour sitcom to make you frequently laugh out loud while also tugging at your heartstrings in nearly every episode. It’s even more uncommon for the same show to seamlessly tackle a slew of important social issues and topics such as mental illness, immigration, PTSD, addiction, gender roles and sexual identity while remaining entertaining. My editor tells me this was not unusual back in the '70s when the legendary producer Norman Lear changed the very definition of American situation comedy with shows such as All in the Family, Maude, The Jeffersons, Sanford and Son, Good Times and One Day at a Time. So it should come as no surprise that the show I am referring to, which I consider to be one of the best on television, is Lear's own reboot of the latter -- Netflix's One Day at a Time. Lear has been doing now what he was doing then, but since I wasn't alive then it is all new to me. Grievously, Netflix on March 14 announced that its version of One Day at a Time -- despite a faithful and outspoken audience and much critical acclaim since its 2017 premiere -- has been cancelled. Season 3, which dropped just one month ago, will be its last. To which I say, esto no se puede permitir!
Jodie Sweetin makes a welcome return to Hallmark Channel this weekend starring opposite David Haydn-Jones (Bridal Wave) in the premiere of the original movie Love Under the Rainbow. While no stranger to the Hallmark family, the movie marks a special career “hallmark” for the beloved actress. “This is my third Hallmark movie and my first non-Christmas movie for them,” she explained during an exclusive interview with MediaVillage. “It’s just a straight rainbow-bright romance! I do get different options for scripts from Hallmark, but with this one I loved the character, and the fact that she’s a teacher was something I related to as in college I got my degree in elementary education.”
The premiere of ABC’s romantic spy-thriller Whiskey Cavalier earned some impressive ratings for the alphabet network. Over its preview after the Academy Awards and subsequent repeat (or encore presentation, as repeats of pilots are often known), the first episode drew a collective 8.2 million viewers. This has to be good news for star Scott Foley, who has a lot riding on the series considering he uprooted his entire family from Los Angeles to Prague, where the majority of the action-filled show is shot. “We’re mostly stuck in Prague -- it's a rough life,” Foley joked when MediaVillage recently caught up with him. “We moved the whole family; my wife is there, and I have three kids in school over there. We love it. I actually grew up overseas, and my wife and I had talked about giving our kids the opportunity to do the same thing. So, when this came along, we jumped at it. We completed the 13 episodes at the beginning of March and the kids are in school there till June, so we will stay and after that travel around.”
YouTube’s Ryan Hansen Solves Crimes on Television is about, you guessed it, real-life actor Ryan Hansen playing a fictional version of himself that solves “real” crimes with the LAPD. This multi-format, cameo-laden, hyper-meta buddy-cop comedy has been one of YouTube Red, err, YouTube Premium’s best kept secrets for two seasons now, and while its second season (which premiered late January) revealed itself to most likely be the final season of the show, I’d like to talk about why that just shouldn’t be.
When it comes to drama, mystery and romance, legendary daytime diva Linda Dano knows a thing or two. After many years appearing in primetime roles, Dano in 1978 joined the ABC soap opera One Life to Live as psychiatrist Gretel Rae Cummings. In 1982 she joined the cast of CBS’ As the World Turns (a Procter and Gamble production). One year later she jumped to NBC’s Another World (also a P&G; series) where she played glamourous romance novelist Felicia Gallant -- a role that would bring her fame and a Daytime Emmy. She stayed with AW until 1999, when it was cancelled, and then moved back to ABC, where she returned to One Life to Live as Gretel Rae and brought the character to the three other soaps ABC telecast at the time: All My Children, General Hospital and Port Charles. In 2005 she appeared on CBS’s Guiding Light (another P&G; soap). Her career has also seen her host a daytime talk show on Lifetime titled Attitudes and launch successful fashion and home furnishings lines on QVC. This weekend she is making her Hallmark debut in Vines That Bind, the latest installment of Hallmark Movies & Mysteries’ new movie franchise Chronicle Mysteries, created by and starring another soap opera veteran, Alison Sweeney.
Gilbert Smith is a writer who lives in New Mexico where ...