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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
Presidential candidates look to comedy and late-night TV as new soapbox

Presidential candidates look to comedy and late-night TV as new soapbox

More than ever before, politicians are veering off the traditional campaign trail to hit the comedy circuit in hopes of reaching voters through their funny bones. The trend has led to some strange moments in an already strange political season.
Surprising musical moments from classic TV episodes

Surprising musical moments from classic TV episodes

Having TV characters turn the small screen into a cabaret may be a hot trend, but it's not necessarily new.
John Travolta, all-star cast revisit Trial of the Century in 'The People v. O.J. Simpson'

John Travolta, all-star cast revisit Trial of the Century in 'The People v. O.J. Simpson'

The Cast of This Century takes on the Trial of Last Century, when O.J. Simpson was accused of murder.
TV musicals are big on Twitter – but how big?

TV musicals are big on Twitter – but how big?

Soccer is the star as we look at the number of live tweets worldwide during premiere broadcasts.
Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny on reopening 'The X-Files'

Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny on reopening 'The X-Files'

Agents Mulder and Scully are back on the case as "The X-Files" returns to TV.

Review: 'The X-Files' worth reopening after slow start

Fans of "The X-Files" won't be disappointed by its return — as long as they skip opening night.
No easy task: Adapting 'War and Peace' for the modern TV audience

No easy task: Adapting 'War and Peace' for the modern TV audience

For the latest telling of "War and Peace," imagine "Game of Thrones" mixed with "Downton Abbey."
'Sesame Street' gets a new landlord: HBO

'Sesame Street' gets a new landlord: HBO

Those who worry "There goes the neighborhood" can rest easy as the show moves to the pay-cable network Saturday.
A Golden Globes filled with bleeps and big winners

A Golden Globes filled with bleeps and big winners

Hollywood's night to party, the Golden Globes set the stage for the more serious Oscars.
Your TV winter survival kit: 'Grease: Live!' 'X-Files,' 'War and Peace' and more

Your TV winter survival kit: 'Grease: Live!' 'X-Files,' 'War and Peace' and more

A re-creation of the O.J. Bronco chase and a star-studded "War and Peace" make this can't-miss list.
Top TV of 2015: Networks have their work cut out

Top TV of 2015: Networks have their work cut out

The best TV of the year includes only one network show – and you'll never guess which one.
TPT wins supersized grant for new kids science show

TPT wins supersized grant for new kids science show

The $37.8 million will fund 40 episodes of animated science, math program.
Top 10 weirdest holiday TV specials of all time

Top 10 weirdest holiday TV specials of all time

The weirdest thing about "A Very Murray Christmas" is that it really isn't all that weird. For genuine mischief, put these nontraditional holiday specials on your wish list.
For comedians, comedy after tragedy is tricky territory

For comedians, comedy after tragedy is tricky territory

Robert Baril wasn’t sure he was ready for war. For his debut this past weekend as a featured comedian at a Wisconsin club, he had…
Miniseries milestones on cable, from 'Hatfields & McCoys' to 'Tut'

Miniseries milestones on cable, from 'Hatfields & McCoys' to 'Tut'

“Saints & Strangers” isn’t National Geographic Channel’s first voyage into scripted waters, but it may be its most significant. The four-hour miniseries, which follows the…
10 TV shows that found drama in unusual workplaces

10 TV shows that found drama in unusual workplaces

Two new shows remind us that on TV there are career opportunities outside the fields of medicine and criminal justice.
Alex Borstein shows range, from downbeat to upbeat

Alex Borstein shows range, from downbeat to upbeat

Actress has very different roles on HBO's dark comedy "Getting On" and Fox's raunchy animated "Family Guy."
Jim Gaffigan opens Minneapolis stint with prime-rib material

Jim Gaffigan opens Minneapolis stint with prime-rib material

Review: The TV Land star shows why he's on top of the comedy world with a solid opener for his four-night stand in Minneapolis.
Mark Rosen counts down his 5 favorite sports memories

Mark Rosen counts down his 5 favorite sports memories

Mark Rosen called his autobiography “Best Seat in the House” for a reason. The WCCO sportscaster has been front and center for some of the…
WCCO's Mark Rosen, last of the red-hot sportscasters

WCCO's Mark Rosen, last of the red-hot sportscasters

For four decades, Mark Rosen has been the champ of Minnesota sports TV. But is time running out on what used to be the big game in town?
'F Is for Family' comedian Bill Burr loves Midwest, Vikings

'F Is for Family' comedian Bill Burr loves Midwest, Vikings

"F Is for Family" series co-creator isn't a household name — and that's just fine with him.
'Glee' grad Jane Lynch shows off angelic side in concert, new CBS series

'Glee' grad Jane Lynch shows off angelic side in concert, new CBS series

In addition to a national tour, Jane Lynch has won two Emmys as host of the loosey-goosey summer series "Hollywood Game Night."
Wyatt Cenac moves beyond dust-up with former 'Daily Show' boss Jon Stewart

Wyatt Cenac moves beyond dust-up with former 'Daily Show' boss Jon Stewart

There's more to Wyatt Cenac than his dust-up with Jon Stewart.
Chill is still in the air for second season of FX's 'Fargo'

Chill is still in the air for second season of FX's 'Fargo'

Review: All signs point to another stellar season of the Minnesota-based series.
Second City and Upright Citizens Brigade invade the Twin Cities

Second City and Upright Citizens Brigade invade the Twin Cities

Second City and the Upright Citizens Brigade make a friendly invasion of the Twin Cities this month with nothing less than satirical anarchy on their agenda.
Illeana Douglas helps shine spotlight on female directors in TCM film festival

Illeana Douglas helps shine spotlight on female directors in TCM film festival

A TCM film festival explores why female directors continue to be marginalized in the movie industry.
St. Paul's DJ Skee on becoming 'the Oprah of music'

St. Paul's DJ Skee on becoming 'the Oprah of music'

How St. Paul's DJ Skee spun his way to becoming radio's coveted tastemaker.
Sean Maguire hits bull's-eye as Robin Hood in 'Once Upon a Time'

Sean Maguire hits bull's-eye as Robin Hood in 'Once Upon a Time'

"Once Upon a Time" archer Sean Maguire revisits the trail that led him to Sherwood Forest.
'SNL' vet Kenan Thompson gets ready to go back to school

'SNL' vet Kenan Thompson gets ready to go back to school

Kenan Thompson will take a short recess this fall from his duties at "Saturday Night Live" to conduct a guest lecture at the college or university that exhibits the most online enthusiasm in a program sponsored by NBCUniversal and Comcast Xfinity.
'Murder' in the first: Viola Davis, Jeffrey Tambor make history at Emmys

'Murder' in the first: Viola Davis, Jeffrey Tambor make history at Emmys

Viola Davis and Jeffrey Tambor contribute to a historic night both for black actresses and the transgender community.
TV critic Neal Justin makes his Emmy predictions: Viola Davis, Jon Hamm and more

TV critic Neal Justin makes his Emmy predictions: Viola Davis, Jon Hamm and more

Tight races, including one with historical potential, dominate TV's night to pat itself on the back.

Emmy predictions: who will win, who should win

Tight races dominate TV's night to pat itself on the back as two African-Americans are front-runners for lead actress in a dramatic series.
TV review: FX's 'The Bastard Executioner' lacks color besides blood red

TV review: FX's 'The Bastard Executioner' lacks color besides blood red

"Sons of Anarchy" creator goes medieval, but new show lacks color — besides blood red.
Fall TV's big 5: Neil Patrick Harris, 'Supergirl,' the return of 'Empire,' more

Fall TV's big 5: Neil Patrick Harris, 'Supergirl,' the return of 'Empire,' more

This fall, TV watchers can have not only the "Best Time Ever With Neil Patrick Harris" but with "Supergirl" and "Empire," too. They're among the top picks in our annual Fall Arts Preview.
Kirsten Dunst takes top billing in new season of FX's 'Fargo'

Kirsten Dunst takes top billing in new season of FX's 'Fargo'

Feeling Minnesotan is nothing new for the A-list actress, who'll headline the second season of FX's "Fargo."
Will the real Stephen Colbert stand up? Four ways he'll succeed on CBS' 'Late Show'

Will the real Stephen Colbert stand up? Four ways he'll succeed on CBS' 'Late Show'

The new face of CBS late night tries to drop the mask of "truthiness" that made him famous.
St. Paul native works his magic, makes 'America's Got Talent' finals

St. Paul native works his magic, makes 'America's Got Talent' finals

A longtime magician and comedian from the Twin Cities hopes to pull a victory out of his hat now that he's advanced to the finals of NBC's "America's Got Talent" competition.
PBS' other science guy makes lab experiments cool – without the fanfare

PBS' other science guy makes lab experiments cool – without the fanfare

Meet the unassuming brainiac who's made TPT a powerhouse for kids' science shows.
'Fear the Walking Dead' brings new blood to the zombie genre

'Fear the Walking Dead' brings new blood to the zombie genre

With a zombie spinoff, AMC hopes to feast on the success of its biggest asset, "The Walking Dead."
'Blunt Talk-ing' Patrick Stewart sheds 'Trek' image

'Blunt Talk-ing' Patrick Stewart sheds 'Trek' image

Patrick Stewart substitutes gravitas for goofiness in his new Starz cable series, "Blunt Talk."
Jamie Yuccas leaving WCCO for CBS in New York

Jamie Yuccas leaving WCCO for CBS in New York

The popular WCCO-TV morning anchor announced to views on Friday's show that she was moving to New York.
St. Paul's Ian Anthony Dale is a familiar face on TV, but eyeing bigger roles

St. Paul's Ian Anthony Dale is a familiar face on TV, but eyeing bigger roles

Ian Anthony Dale may have gone from St. Paul to "Hawaii Five-O," but he's still seeking a more scenic view.
10 moments of Zen from Jon Stewart's 'Daily Show' reign

10 moments of Zen from Jon Stewart's 'Daily Show' reign

For 16 years, Jon Stewart has used his "The Daily Show" to remind millions of viewers that they're not the only ones frustrated by the shortcomings of journalists and politicians. His run ends Thursday.
How Jon Stewart went from frat boy joker to a giant of political humor

How Jon Stewart went from frat boy joker to a giant of political humor

Jon Stewart's unlikely reign as host of "The Daily Show" ends Thursday after 16 eventful seasons.

MPR cuts newsroom staff by 13%

The company said it will focus on investigative and feature reporting.
Michele Bachmann misses chance to swim with sharks in 'Sharknado 3'

Michele Bachmann misses chance to swim with sharks in 'Sharknado 3'

Even a cameo by the former Minnesota congresswoman couldn't save "Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!" But that didn't keep viewers from reacting to the Syfy movie's premiere Wednesday night with everything from confusion and mockery over its ridiculousness to sheer delight.
Minnesota native Michael Vickerman brings King Tut to Spike TV

Minnesota native Michael Vickerman brings King Tut to Spike TV

An Orono native talks about the Minnesota influence on his King Tut miniseries.
'Game of Thrones' leads Emmy noms with 24, but diversity is already a winner

'Game of Thrones' leads Emmy noms with 24, but diversity is already a winner

Nominations open doors for possible historic wins for actors and streaming platforms.
10 animated movies for kids that adults will love, too

10 animated movies for kids that adults will love, too

Like "Inside Out," these 10 kids' movies speak to all film lovers – but particularly Mom and Dad.
Denis Leary embraces sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll in his new FX series

Denis Leary embraces sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll in his new FX series

"Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll" creator Denis Leary tones down the swearing but not his enthusiasm for his latest FX series.
Hubbard's ReelzChannel picks up Miss USA pageant after Trump flap

Hubbard's ReelzChannel picks up Miss USA pageant after Trump flap

ReelzChannel, owned by St. Paul's Hubbard family, will air the event, despite controversial comments from Donald Trump, the pageant's co-owner.
Garrison Keillor done for real this time?

Garrison Keillor done for real this time?

When reports began to trickle out on the Internet this past weekend that Garrison Keillor would be giving up "A Prairie Home Companion" next season,…
Queen Latifah hits a few flat notes in 'Bessie'

Queen Latifah hits a few flat notes in 'Bessie'

Queen Latifah goes through the motions in a musical bio-pic that's short on soul.
Network plans for 2015-16 season include a farewell to 'American Idol'

Network plans for 2015-16 season include a farewell to 'American Idol'

Broadcast networks introduced their plans for the 2015-16 season, including the finale of a once beloved series.
Secrets behind the grind of 'The Daily Show'

Secrets behind the grind of 'The Daily Show'

With writers for the show headed to Minneapolis, Jon Stewart's right-hand man gives a glimpse of life behind the curtain.
Shyamalan, Dillon bring movie-star status to 'Wayward Pines'

Shyamalan, Dillon bring movie-star status to 'Wayward Pines'

"The Sixth Sense" director tries to get his mojo back with "Wayward Pines," his first project for TV.
Fonda, Tomlin score big in Netflix's 'Grace and Frankie'

Fonda, Tomlin score big in Netflix's 'Grace and Frankie'

In the new Netflix series "Grace and Frankie," Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin prove age is just a number.
Top 10 reasons we love David Letterman

Top 10 reasons we love David Letterman

With David Letterman's retirement right around the corner, we look back at the late-night host's most memorable moments.
Who should survive? 6 shows to save – and 4 to scrap

Who should survive? 6 shows to save – and 4 to scrap

As networks get ready to announce their 2015-16 schedules — and thereby ring the death knell for a number of shows on the bubble — it's time to make one last plea for our favorites.

Neil Patrick Harris can't produce any magic during Oscars

Neil Patrick Harris gave it a good shot, but the first-time Oscar host had a hard time Sunday night conjuring up any real magic. The…
Tatiana Maslany talks about a new season of 'Orphan Black'

Tatiana Maslany talks about a new season of 'Orphan Black'

Tatiana Maslany gives multiple personalities a new meaning in "Orphan Black."
Up, up and away: Superheroes score big on the small screen

Up, up and away: Superheroes score big on the small screen

"Daredevil" is the latest to join TV's hottest club: comic-book superheroes.
Louis C.K. lightens up after a controversial season of 'Louie'

Louis C.K. lightens up after a controversial season of 'Louie'

TV's most provocative comedian said his series "Louie," which starts its fifth season Thursday, will play for more laughs this year — a vow he keeps in early episodes.
'Why not?' Billy Crystal talks about his new FX series 'The Comedians'

'Why not?' Billy Crystal talks about his new FX series 'The Comedians'

The 67-year-old entertainer returns to fine form in FX's "The Comedians," a sitcom in which he plays an exaggerated version of himself.
Jon Hamm and cast look back on seven seasons of 'Mad Men'

Jon Hamm and cast look back on seven seasons of 'Mad Men'

Get ready to tip your fedora to Don Draper and "Mad Men," which is heading out the door. The first of the final seven episodes airs Sunday.
Jon Hamm on 'Mad Men': 'There's no version of this ending that is not super-painful for me'

Jon Hamm on 'Mad Men': 'There's no version of this ending that is not super-painful for me'

Get ready to tip your fedora to Don Draper and "Mad Men."
Mark Rylance, Damian Lewis talk about PBS' big 'Wolf Hall'

Mark Rylance, Damian Lewis talk about PBS' big 'Wolf Hall'

Mark Rylance and Damian Lewis team up to tell the story of one of England's most fascinating figures.
No cable, no problem: 10 shows to watch on new HBO Now

No cable, no problem: 10 shows to watch on new HBO Now

Cord cutters, get ready to binge. HBO Now, available starting Wednesday, allows subscribers to get unlimited access to the network's series, movies and comedy specials for $14.99 a month. Here's what's worth watching.
Bill O'Reilly's 'Killing Jesus' comes to National Geographic Channel

Bill O'Reilly's 'Killing Jesus' comes to National Geographic Channel

Bill O'Reilly may be in hot water for allegedly exaggerating his exploits as a war correspondent, but that should do little to dampen interest in "Killing Jesus," the latest TV movie based on one of his bestselling books.
James Corden prepares to take over CBS' 'Late Late Show'

James Corden prepares to take over CBS' 'Late Late Show'

He may be a star overseas, but James Corden is just starting to introduce himself to America as he takes over CBS' "Late Late Show" on Monday.
Eden Prairie TV production company is ready for prime time

Eden Prairie TV production company is ready for prime time

An Eden Prairie film company secures national attention on prime-time TV.
Wendi McLendon-Covey rules the roost on 'Goldbergs'

Wendi McLendon-Covey rules the roost on 'Goldbergs'

Wendi McLendon-Covey shows who's really in charge in one of TV's most hysterical roles.
'12 Years a Slave' screenwriter John Ridley talks about 'American Crime'

'12 Years a Slave' screenwriter John Ridley talks about 'American Crime'

There's nothing frivolous about ABC's "American Crime," which means that it has a limited shot at becoming a significant hit. It should.
Treat yo' self! It's the final go-round for 'Parks and Recreation'

Treat yo' self! It's the final go-round for 'Parks and Recreation'

Have a final helping of "Parks and Recreation" as one of TV's greatest-ever sitcoms says its farewells.
Oscar nominee Patricia Arquette taps into a new 'CSI'

Oscar nominee Patricia Arquette taps into a new 'CSI'

Oscar-nominated actress is juggling her "little art movie" with the demands of a big network show.
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