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Neal Justin

Columnist/Reporter | Media
phone: 612-673-7431
Neal Justin is the TV and radio critic for the Star Tribune. He previously covered music and nightlife for the paper.
Recent content from Neal Justin
Hank Azaria in "Brockmire."

TV picks for April 25: 'Brockmire,' 'Archer,' 'Code Black'

Fantasy island “Archer,” the animated series that takes more cues from film noir than “The Simpsons,” is setting its ninth season on Danger Island,…
Elisabeth Moss in “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

Elisabeth Moss shares stories behind brutal second season of 'The Handmaid's Tale'

The star returns for Round 2 of one of TV's most critically acclaimed series.
Sinclair Broadcast Group's headquarters.

Sinclair's TV editorials worry media watchdogs as debate unfolds

Debate over the TV spots is playing out on screens in the Upper Midwest.
“Scandal" stars Jeff Perry, Joshua Malina, Kerry Washington and Bellamy Young.

Kerry Washington prepares for series finale of 'Scandal'

ABC's "Scandal" is getting ready to step aside after a groundbreaking term.
Michael Curtiz films include the classic “Casablanca,” with Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman.

TV picks for April 18: 'Riverdale,' 'Decoding the Weather Machine,' 'Casablanca'

Fright night “Riverdale” may boast the most photogenic cast in TV, but when it comes to song and dance, it’s not quite ready for…
Hey Mom by Louie Anderson

Review: 'Hey Mom,' by Louie Anderson, pays tribute to Mom and Minnesota

NONFICTION: "Baskets" isn't the only way the St. Paul-bred comic pays tribute to his late parent.
Dom Detore and Tony D. talk business in “Staten Island Hustle.”

TV picks for April 11: Conan O'Brien, 'America Inside Out With Katie Couric, 'Staten Island Hustle'

"Staten Island Hustle" comes across as the Sopranos taking over "Shark Tank."
Zooey Deschanel returns as Jess in the seventh and final season of “New Girl.” “It’s been like high school, but longer,” she said of the sho

Zooey Deschanel prepares to say goodbye to 'New Girl'

After a yearlong break, the Zooey Deschanel sitcom returns for a short farewell run.
Minnesotan Genevieve Gorder is back to the ol’ drawing board in an upcoming episode of “Trading Spaces,” alongside new carpenter Brett Tutor.

'Trading Spaces' is the latest TV show hoping to capitalize on nostalgia wave

After a 10-year absence, the home-decorating show "Trading Spaces" is back in business.
A pair of Mayo docs appear on the "The Ellen DeGeneres Show."

Singing Mayo doctors who went viral perform on 'Ellen'

The duo became an internet sensation after crooning Mike Yung's "Alright."
Meghan Markle, left, and Patrick J. Adams, right, are both leaving “Suits.”

TV picks for April 4: 'Good Karma Hospital,' 'Suits,' 'Murder Chose Me'

Good medicine “The Good Karma Hospital” doesn’t operate from the same soap-opera playbook utilized by “Grey’s Anatomy” and “The Good Doctor.” Its low-key approach to…
Steve Zahn in "The Crossing."

TV star Steve Zahn may save the world – but saving his Minnesota cabin comes first

The Minnesota native may finally achieve success on network TV. Just don't expect him to trade in his Minnesota cabin for the Hollywood Hills.
Keri Russell as Elizabeth Jennings on “The Americans.”

TV picks for March 28: Zach Braff, Andrew Lloyd Webber tribute, 'The Americans'

Broadcast news Your interest in “Alex, Inc.” will depend largely on how much you miss Zach Braff’s earnest doctor on “Scrubs.” The actor is…
Lois Vossen of PBS' "Independent Lens"

A Minnesotan's surprising rise from chicken plucker to movie mogul

Minnesota native Lois Vossen has made PBS' "Independent Lens" a showcase for the best in documentary film.
Bill Hader in "Barry."

In new HBO show, 'Saturday Night Live' vet Bill Hader proves he's much more than Stefon

The former sketch-comedy standout adds an assassin to his roster of characters.
Frankie (Patricia Heaton, right) helped daughter Sue (Eden Sher) celebrate her 21st birthday on a recent episode of “The Middle.”

As 'Roseanne' returns, Patricia Heaton and 'The Middle' prepare to bow out

The "Roseanne"-inspired series wasn't a hit, but still struck a chord in the Midwest.
Cameron Cuffe as Seg-El and Ian McElhinney as Val-El in “Krypton.”

TV picks for March 21: Rachel Feinstein, 'Krypton,' 'Cheap Eats'

"Krypton" adds a grimmer chapter to the Superman saga.
Peter Krause in Ryan Murphy’s new series “9-1-1.”

6 TV greats who shaped star Peter Krause

During two decades in Hollywood, the Minnesota actor has worked for some of TV's sharpest writers. He dished on six key collaborators.
Tom Hanks and Michael Clarke Duncan in “The Green Mile.”

TV picks for March 14: 'Traffic Stop,' 'The Green Mile,' 'The Mountain Lion and Me'

The long arm of the law “Traffic Stop” has been running on HBO throughout the month, but you may finally want to check it…
Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan of "American Idol."

Katy Perry and Lionel Richie love their new gigs as 'American Idol' judges

The reboot of "American Idol" premieres Sunday and will go up against "The Voice" the following night.
Documentary footage of Jane Goodall’s work with chimps is included in “Jane.”

TV picks for March 12: Pete Maravich, Jane Goodall, 'Evil Talks: Chilling Confessions'

Queen Jane approximately Brett Morgen is listed as the director of “Jane,” the award-winning documentary about conservation icon Jane Goodall, but it’s the 1960s…
Daniel Boone is the focus of the first episode of “The Men Who Built America: Frontiersmen.”

TV picks for March 7: 'Life Sentence,' 'The Men Who Built America,' 'Delicious'

Extended warranty “Pretty Little Liars” graduate Lucy Hale has to re-evaluate her goals after discovering her fatal disease is in turnaround in “Life Sentence.”…
Helen Mirren presents a jet ski prize in a "Price Is Right" style, which Jimmy Kimmel said would be awarded to whoever gives the shortest speech, duri

Film, not politics, at the heart of 2018 Oscars ceremony

Jimmy Kimmel's goal: Set the tone for a party that acknowledged cultural movements without letting them take over the evening.
Jimmy Kimmel on hosting the Oscars: "You’re not going to please everybody, and this idea that you should only please yourself is ridiculous."

Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel has become conscience of late-night TV: 'People like seeing real emotions'

Since last hosting the Oscars, he's evolved into late-night TV's moral voice.
“Atlanta” creator and Emmy winner Donald Glover returns as Earn in Season 2: “We didn’t really look back at Season 1.”

It may be a hit, but life in 'Atlanta' hasn't gotten any easier for Donald Glover

Life hasn't gotten any easier for the characters on "Atlanta" — or the Emmy winner who created them.
Pitbull and Fifth Harmony perform on “Showtime at the Apollo.”

TV picks for March 1: 'Atlanta' returns, plus 'Showtime at the Apollo,' 'Ackley Bridge'

Playing by the rules “Atlanta,” one of the most unpredictable and satisfying shows of 2016, avoids the sophomore slump in its second season by…
Jeff Daniels in The "Looming Tower"

TV picks for Feb. 28: Marlon Wayans, 'The Looming Tower,' 'Hollywood Medium With Tyler Henry'

Warning signs Hulu beat its more prominent competitor Netflix to the punch when “The Handmaid’s Tale” became the first streaming series to win best drama.…
Premiering Monday, “Good Girls” stars Retta (best known for “Parks and Recreation”), Mae Whitman (“Parenthood”) and Christina Hendricks (�

Minnesotan makes 'Good' with a new NBC show starring Christina Hendricks

"Desperate Housewives" writer Jenna Bans introduces even more desperate women in the new series "Good Girls."
Peter Finch in “Network.”	MGM

TV picks for Feb. 24-25: 'The Walking Dead,' 'Network,' 'Young Adult'

Battle of the ‘Network’ stars The idea of watching Bryan Cranston as mad-as-hell anchor Howard Beale is intriguing — and expensive. He’s currently tackling the…
The 10-part Hulu series “The Looming Tower,” starring Jeff Daniels and Tahar Rahim, takes an unflinching look at missteps leading to the Sept. 11

The Minnesota connection behind Hulu 9/11 series 'The Looming Tower'

"Sweet Land" filmmaker Ali Selim tells of inspiration behind his contributions to a heart-pounding tale about 9/11.
Chris Thile returns Saturday to the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul for the first show since MPR severed ties with Garrison Keillor.

Former 'Prairie Home' returns for first time since Keillor scandal: 'It's been really hard'

Host Chris Thile talks about bringing the radio show back to the Fitzgerald Theater, saying "the show must go on."
Oprah Winfrey visits Ellen DeGeneres.

Neal Justin's TV picks for Feb. 21 – Denzel Washington, Joel McHale, Ellen DeGeneres

Soup to nuts Those who miss the snark of “The Soup” may want to sample “The Joel McHale Show With Joel McHale” with the…
Dan Rowles, upper left, joined “A Prairie Home Companion” in 1985 as a stagehand and soon worked into a spot on the cast.

Source of Garrison Keillor allegations shocks those close to radio host

Longtime "Prairie Home" employee Dan Rowles alerted MPR after being dismissed from the show, seven show staffers say.
A student walks past a plaque with musician Dessa Wander's picture and story (left) on Scholars Walk at the University of Minnesota campus on Monday,

Garrison Keillor's plaque removed from Scholars Walk at University of Minnesota

Garrison Keillor has been removed from the University of Minnesota's Scholars Walk, which pays tribute to students and professors from the university. "I was…
Warren Beatty and Natalie Wood in the 1961 film “Splendor in the Grass”

TV picks for Feb. 15: 'Splendor in the Grass,' 'Stargate Origins,' 'Roseanne: The Return'

Natalie Wood shines in "Splendor in the Grass."
Josh Feldman and Shoshannah Stern star in “This Close.”

TV picks for Feb. 14: 'This Close,' 'He Lied About Everything,' 'Little Women'

More than words Words aren’t always necessary to convey charm and humor, as proven by the new dramedy “This Close.” Deaf actors Shoshannah Stern and…
Jason Mitchell as Brandon and Kristina Emerson as Sarah in "The Chi."

Star of 'The Chi' is proving to be one of Hollywood's most intriguing leading men

"The Chi" lead actor Jason Mitchell: "I'm a 17-layer cake."
Jimmy Fallon as Bob Dylan performs "The Times They Are A-Changin'" from the Orpheum Theater in Minneapolis after the Super Bowl.

What audiences didn't see on Minneapolis version of 'Jimmy Fallon'

Live edition of "Tonight Show" lived up to the hype — even after the cameras were turned off.
Jimmy Fallon with Justin Timberlake. “Justin is pumped” about Sunday’s live show, Fallon says, and he may bring a special guest, too.

Jimmy Fallon promises surprises in Minneapolis

"Tonight" show host on what's coming after the Super Bowl: "It's a giant show. Justin is pumped."
Go for a hunt along with a cheetah in “Animals With Cameras.”

TV picks for Jan. 31: 'Animals With Cameras,' 'Step Up: High Water,' 'SEAL Team'

Follow the action as animals are outfitted with cameras.
Dan Hodgson held his one-year-old daughter Brenna as they joined thousands of people who waited for Idina Menzel to sing Let it go, from the movie Fro

Minnesota gearing up for its most star-studded week ever

Minnesotans who don't care about a Vikings-less Super Bowl — or never gave a hoot about football in the first place — can still enjoy the time-tested game of celebrity spotting.
In this May 21, 2016, photo, Garrison Keillor appears during a live broadcast for "A Prairie Home Companion" at the State Theatre in Minneapolis. “W

Wishing to be heard, Garrison Keillor now is planning return from scandal

Stalled talks with MPR over exit focus on archives, but he wants cash and more.
Drew and John Erick Dowdle on the set of "Waco."

Make room, Joel and Ethan Coen: St. Paul's Dowdle brothers have arrived

A filmmaking duo used Minnesota Nice to revisit a horrific chapter in history.
Garrison Keillor accused Minnesota Public Radio of a “breach of good faith” in releasing complaint details.

MPR lays out its case against former host Garrison Keillor

Minnesota Public Radio said the woman who worked for the host of "A Prairie Home Companion" alleged "dozens of sexually inappropriate incidents ... over a period of years."
Peter Krause in Ryan Murphy’s new series “9-1-1.”

6 TV greats who shaped Minnesota-bred TV star Peter Krause

During two decades in Hollywood, the Minnesota actor has worked for some of TV's sharpest writers. He dished on six key collaborators.
Ann Curry

Former 'Today' anchor Ann Curry welcomes a new day at PBS

The former "Today" anchor looks much more at home in a new PBS series.
Matt Ingebretson "Corporate"

TV picks for Jan. 17: 'Electric Dreams,' 'Corporate,' 'Gianni Versace'

Punch the clock You may want to call in sick to work tomorrow after watching “Corporate,” the new sitcom that makes the office look…
Darren Criss as Andrew Cunanan in "The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story."

Minnesota victims aren't forgotten in 'The Assassination of Gianni Versace'

The latest Ryan Murphy crime series focuses on a notorious killing spree that began in the Minneapolis Warehouse District more than 20 years ago.
State Rep. and candidate for lieutenant governor Peggy Flanagan disclosed her relationship with a Twin Cities journalist.

MPR's Tom Weber reassigned because of romantic relationship with Rep. Peggy Flanagan

The state representative and candidate disclosed their involvement on her Facebook account.
Jenna Coleman plays Queen Victoria and Tom Hughes her beloved Albert.

Bringing sex appeal to royal storytelling, 'Victoria' returns to PBS

The queen's stormy but happy marriage provides rich fodder for PBS "Masterpiece" series.
ABC’s “American Idol” judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan with host Ryan Seacrest.

Are TV shows still a path to stardom? Katy Perry and Sean Combs say yes

TV singing shows may seem like an antiquated genre. But don't underestimate their family-friendly appeal.
Comedian Esther Povitsky in “Alone Together.”

TV picks for Jan. 10: 'Young Winston,' 'Alone Together,' 'Rooster and Butch'

Cruel to be kind Fans of “Broad City” and “Difficult People” will get a kick out of “Alone Together,” another stellar example of how much…
Queen Latifah, Kimberly Elise, Vivica Fox and Jada Pinkett Smith in 1996’s “Set It Off.”

TV picks for Jan. 8: 'Set It Off,' David Bowie, 'Antiques Roadshow'

Before setting sail Trailers for the Sandra Bullock-led “Ocean’s 8” have me itching to re-watch 1996’s “Set It Off” (6 p.m., BET), in which…
Comedian/podcaster/Snapchatter Cy Amundson at Acme Comedy Co. in Minneapolis.

It's a golden age for comedy, thanks to podcasts and social media

New platforms are helping comics win fans — and weeding out folks who just aren't funny.
Trevor Jackson, Yara Shahidi in “Grown-ish.”

TV picks for Jan. 3: 'The X-Files,' 'Grown-ish,' '9-1-1'

Reopening the files Either creator Chris Carter or the American Cancer Society is determined to prove that the Cigarette Man is civilization’s greatest enemy. That’s…
Jeff Bridges, John Goodman and Steve Buscemi in “The Big Lebowski.”

TV picks for Dec. 27: 'The Day the Dinosaurs Died,' 'The EA Madden Challenge,' 'The Big Lebowski'

"The Big Lebowski" still abides.
In “Scrooged,” Bill Murray is visited by Carol Kane as the Ghost of Christmas Present.

TV picks for Dec. 20: 'America's Badlands,' 'The Indian Detective,' 'Scrooged'

"Scrooged" is devilishly clever interpretation of "A Christmas Carol."
Chris Thile, seen in 2016 at the Fitzgerald Theater, announced the new name for his show on Saturday.

Thile announces new name for 'A Prairie Home Companion'

MPR separates broadcast from Keillor's "Prairie Home" brand.
“Trollhunters” begins its second season.

TV picks for Dec. 16-17: 'Saturday Night Live,' 'Trollhunters,' 'CNN Heroes'

Guillermo del Toro's "Trollhunters" second season underway
“Freedom Fighters: The Ray”

TV picks for Dec. 13: Ed Helms, 'Freedom Fighters,' Golden Globes special

"Freedom Fighters: The Ray" shows promise by third installment.
Emmy winner Reed Morano, right, directed Elisabeth Moss in an episode of Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale.” Nine of the show’s 10 episodes were d

In Hollywood, women are increasingly calling the shots on television

While Hollywood has a long way to go, more female directors are calling the shots in TV.
“I wish Jon McTaggart had asked to hear my side of the story,” Garrison Keillor said in an e-mail Thursday.

Garrison Keillor says MPR's CEO never asked for his side of the story

Pushing back, the writer hopes for "a happy resolution" and says he's headed to Mayo to get a pacemaker.
In this May 21, 2016 photo, Garrison Keillor appears during a live broadcast for "A Prairie Home Companion" at the State Theatre in Minneapolis. Keill

As their relationship ends, MPR, Keillor both come under fire

On social media and elsewhere, longtime MPR supporters are expressing confusion or anger.
Chris Thile, shown in 2016, expressed Saturday his heartbreak over news that Garrison Keillor had been dropped from MPR earlier this week after allega

Chris Thile addresses scandal around his 'Prairie Home' predecessor Garrison Keillor

Tradition fell to the wayside on the Saturday edition of what was formerly known as "A Prairie Home Companion."
Improv Nation

Review: 'Improv Nation,' by Sam Wasson

NONFICTION: Writer Sam Wasson looks at the careers of Stephen Colbert, Tina Fey and other quick-witted comics.
Garrison Keillor appeared during a live 2016 broadcast of "A Prairie Home Companion" at the State Theatre in Minneapolis.

'I think I have to leave the country,' Garrison Keillor says after firing

MPR cited "inappropriate behavior with an individual who worked with him." Keillor said he was fired over an incident in which he touched a woman's bare back. Later he talked about moving.
Alex Borstein and Rachel Brosnahan in “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.”

TV picks for Nov. 29: 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,' James Stewart, 'Christmas in Rockefeller Center'

Standup gals One reason for the success of “Gilmore Girls” was the casting of Lauren Graham, who perfectly channeled Rosalind Russell while tackling creator Amy…
Comedian Chad Daniels.

Minnesota comic Chad Daniels makes his mark both at home and abroad

Chad Daniels hits the next level with an Acme documentary and a big homecoming gig.

Documentary on Minneapolis' Acme Comedy Club doesn't quite 'kill'

REVIEW: Three local comics bond as they tackle Asia in a film due Dec. 5.
“The Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon.

Jimmy Fallon to host 'Tonight Show' live from Orpheum after Super Bowl

The current king of late night will be in Twin Cities for Super Bowl weekend.
Kari Patey, who was just named news director at WCCO TV.

News flash: All Twin Cities TV newsrooms to be run by women

Women will run the top four TV newsrooms in the Twin Cities, the only U.S. major market that can make that claim.
Danica Patrick is profiled in “Danica.”

TV picks for Nov. 8: Ozzy Osbourne, Danica Patrick, 'The Job Interview'

Driving ambitions When Danica Patrick says she doesn’t care what people think of her, she means it. At least that’s the message she delivers in…
Former professional wrestler Ric Flair.

Edina-raised pro wrestler Ric Flair spotlighted in ESPN's '30 for 30'

The superstar professional wrestler gets the ESPN documentary treatment.
Jann Wenner with his son Gus, who is engineering the sale of Rolling Stone.

Rolling Stone bios don't offer enough satisfaction

REVIEW: Book & documentary offer very different views of the Rolling Stone magazine founder.
Tom Barnard listens to WQRS General Manager Scott Jameson introduce him during the 2017 Radio Hall of Fame induction at the Museum of Broadcast Commun

KQRS' Tom Barnard enters National Radio Hall of Fame, praised for 'no B.S. swagger'

Dressed in a tux from Amazon, the KQ radio kingpin kept a tight rein at Thursday's ceremony.
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