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Posts about Television

Is 'Fargo' a hit? You betcha!

Posted by: Neal Justin Updated: April 16, 2014 - 2:31 PM
Billy Bob Thornton in "Fargo"/photo by Chris Large for FX

Looks like America really did want to return to "Fargo." The Tuesday-night debut of the Minnesota-set series drew 4.5 million viewers, a strong initial number that will only get bigger once time-shifted viewing is counted.

To put it in perspective, the turnout was nearly twice the number that tuned in for the season premiere of "Mad Men" Sunday night.

"We are incredibly pround of the towering creative achievement by Noah Hawley and everyone involved with 'Fargo,'" said FX chief John Landgraf, citing the name of the show's creator. "This is truly one of the best shows we've ever had on the network."

Missed out on all the fun? The first episode will repeat at 11:20 p.m.Wednesday, midnight Thursday and midnight Saturday. A new episode airs next Tuesday at 9 p.m.

In addition to the impressive ratings, "Fargo" was almost universally praised by critics with USA Today (and the Star Tribune, too) giving it four stars.

What did YOU think?

Twin Cities rocker Kat Perkins makes top 12 on 'The Voice'

Posted by: Chris Riemenschneider Updated: April 14, 2014 - 10:14 PM
Kat Perkins was originally picked in "The Voice's" blind auditions after singing Fleetwood Mac's "Gold Dust Woman.". / Courtesy NBC

Kat Perkins was originally picked in "The Voice's" blind auditions after singing Fleetwood Mac's "Gold Dust Woman." / Courtesy NBC

A dramatic version of Journey’s “Open Arms” earned Twin Cities club vet Kat Perkins a warm embrace from her coach Adam Levine at just the right moment to advance in the playoffs round on NBC’s “The Voice.”

The so-called “singing nanny” -- who left a job working for an Edina family of five children to be on the show -- was picked by Levine as one of three out of five Team Adam members to advance from Monday night’s show. Her version of the 1981 power ballad is now available as an iTunes download.

Known to local metal fans from her days fronting Scarlet Haze, the Scranton, N.D., native was the last of the three selected from Levine’s team in the episode’s tense closing moments. She was thus given a chance to make a final kiss-up comment to the Maroon 5 singer and said, “You believed in me from the get-go. That means the world to me.”

After her performance, Perkins, 33, earned praise from all four of the team coaches/judges. Usher told her, “You should be very, very proud of yourself.” Shakira added, “You’re so good with those big notes.” As for Levine, he said, “There has not been a better performance than this one.”

Perkins will perform as one of 12 contestants to advance to the live rounds starting next week.

Stephen Colbert will replace Letterman as 'Late Show' host

Posted by: Neal Justin Updated: April 10, 2014 - 11:09 AM

Well, that was fast.

CBS announced Thursday that Stephen Colbert will take over when David Letterman retires sometime in 2015.

CBS president Leslie Moonves called Colbert "one of the most inventive and respected forces on television."

"I'm thrilled and grateful that CBS chose me," Colbert said in a statement. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go grind a gap in my front teeth."

A few instant thoughts:

The quickness of this announcement has got to mean that CBS had Colbert in mind all along if and when Letterman decided to depart.

Colbert is a true talent, but we really haven't seen the real Colbert. It's a given that he'll drop the ultra-conservative, egotistical character he's been playing on Comedy Central.

Colbert is a good choice, but not a terribly bold one. It saddens me that the biggest network late-night battle will be between three white guys who are roughly the same age. My guess is that CBS will "retire" Craig Ferguson and bring in Chelsea Handler.

The next big question: Who will follow Jon Stewart's "The Daily Show"?

Thoughts on David Letterman retirement

Posted by: Neal Justin Updated: April 4, 2014 - 10:53 AM



It took all of seven minutes on social media for fans to pay their respects to David Letterman before speculating who will take his place.

Fair enough. There will be plenty of time to pay tribute to the most influential comedian of the last 30 years over the next year. Dave could stay in his seat until August 2015 (although I'm predicting a May exit).

But let's pay tribute to the way he made the announcement Thursday night. He told a touching story about how spending time with his son, Harry, meant more to him then thinking about the show, another indication that Letterman has pulled himself out of day-to-day operations over the past few years and basically shows up and does what the writers have prepared for him.

The audience's stunned silence when he said he was retiring was the most memorable moment of the night. If viewers hadn't been signaled ahead of time, I'm sure we would have been equally speechless. But it's clear it's time for Letterman to pass the baton to a new generation, just as Carson walked out at just the right time.

I'm sure it was pure coincidence, but the melancholy performance of Lou Reed's "Take a Walk on the Wild Side" perfectly reflected Letterman's reign: A PG-rated renegade

I'll get into the replacement game later today, but for now, I'm just grateful that Letterman kept me entertained for more than 30 years - and that I get at least one more to enjoy his company.

'How I Met Your Mother' finale was less than legendary

Posted by: Neal Justin Updated: April 1, 2014 - 7:49 AM


Well, that was less than legendary.

As telegraphed weeks earlier, the one-hour finale of "How I Met Your Mother" did indeed include the death of The Mother in almost a callous manner so that the writers could get to their true kicker: Ted ends up with Robin after all.

Other developments: Lily and Marshall have a third child and finally move out of their city apartment; Ted decides not to move to Chicago after all and a divorced Barney becomes a daddy.

If the series failed in this last season, it was that, despite a winning performance from Cristin Milioti, it never really gave us enough reasons to fall for The Mother. And while I once rooted for Ted and Robin to end up together, I stopped caring about those two crazy kids years ago and found the quickie divorce between Robin and Barney to be all too convenient.

At its best, "Mother" could pull at your emotional heartstrings (Marshall's father dying, Robin finding out she couldn't have kids) but this time around it fell somewhat short. However, it certainly looked like classic TV after watching "Friends With Better LIves," the mediocre new sitcom that followed it.

I was suddenly in the mood to hear Ted's story all over again.

What do YOU think?



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