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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

Real advice on fake news: How to maneuver that personal minefield

Here's how to deal with folks who insist on touting "facts" that just aren't true.
At 54, Conan O'Brien is still the bad boy of late-night TV

At 54, Conan O'Brien is still the bad boy of late-night TV

Conan O'Brien is one of comedy's elder statesmen. He just doesn't act like it.
NBC's Al Michaels dishes on cold Vikings games and hot Springsteen music

NBC's Al Michaels dishes on cold Vikings games and hot Springsteen music

Prepping for the Vikings' Thursday night game, the veteran sportscaster looks back.
How Chicago is rebranding its violent image with hit TV shows

How Chicago is rebranding its violent image with hit TV shows

A city that is synonymous with violence hopes to rebrand itself via prime-time TV production.
NatGeo's 'Mars' mission will make TV viewers want to scream 'abort'

NatGeo's 'Mars' mission will make TV viewers want to scream 'abort'

The National Geographic miniseries "Mars" drains all the fun from space travel.
Mayim Bialik of 'Big Bang Theory' brings her nerd-girl heroism to St. Paul

Mayim Bialik of 'Big Bang Theory' brings her nerd-girl heroism to St. Paul

"The Big Bang Theory" actress Mayim Bialik has more than Sheldon Cooper on her mind.
Minnesota performers on 'The Voice': Where are they now?

Minnesota performers on 'The Voice': Where are they now?

The show's success hasn't always helped its judges or contestants, including seven singers who called Minnesota home.
Minnesotans look back at 'Rocky Horror Picture' memories

Minnesotans look back at 'Rocky Horror Picture' memories

A new TV revamp of "Rocky Horror" may be good fun, but the original film wasn't just a freak show. It was a safe zone.
Disney star Ryan McCartan's road from Minnesota to 'Rocky Horror'

Disney star Ryan McCartan's road from Minnesota to 'Rocky Horror'

Disney star "fell in love with Brad" as a Twin Cities tween. Now he's playing the role on Fox.
'Killing Reagan' director Rod Lurie aims to introduce ex-prez to a new generation

'Killing Reagan' director Rod Lurie aims to introduce ex-prez to a new generation

The director of "Killing Reagan" targets the powerful in politics and showbiz.
Nick Nolte turns nostalgic as he recalls his Minnesota stage roots

Nick Nolte turns nostalgic as he recalls his Minnesota stage roots

The Oscar-nominated actor credits his training at Old Log Theatre for much of his success.
Packers-Giants game didn't drown out Clinton-Trump debate viewership

Packers-Giants game didn't drown out Clinton-Trump debate viewership

While viewership was down from the first debate, 60 million still tuned in.
It's high noon for mankind on HBO's 'Westworld'

It's high noon for mankind on HBO's 'Westworld'

"Westworld" has the intrigue, though not the heart, of a memorable HBO drama.
TV viewers worldwide will have their eyes on Minnesota as Ryder Cup tees off

TV viewers worldwide will have their eyes on Minnesota as Ryder Cup tees off

This weekend's Ryder Cup will be the year's most-watched sports event in the U.S.
Midwest Traveler: Inside the childhood home of author/illustrator Wanda Gág

Midwest Traveler: Inside the childhood home of author/illustrator Wanda Gág

New Ulm's Wanda Gág House offers insight into one of Minnesota's most successful authors.
Burnsville's Cedric Yarbrough ready to leave you 'Speechless' on new ABC show

Burnsville's Cedric Yarbrough ready to leave you 'Speechless' on new ABC show

Burnsville native Cedric Yarbrough's L.A. gamble finally pays off with a performance that's leaving critics "Speechless."
Louie Anderson wins his first major Emmy: 'This is like a reboot for me'

Louie Anderson wins his first major Emmy: 'This is like a reboot for me'

With his first Emmy, Louie Anderson gives Minnesota a victory away from the football field.
Kristen Bell, Woody Allen and a 'Gilmore Girls' reunion are must-see TV this fall

Kristen Bell, Woody Allen and a 'Gilmore Girls' reunion are must-see TV this fall

'The Good Place' Any good deeds conducted by Kristen Bell as a princess in “Frozen” are dashed when her con-artist character accidentally gets admitted into…
A night of surprises proves that Emmys are better than Oscars

A night of surprises proves that Emmys are better than Oscars

Louie Anderson’s upset win for “Baskets” was considered a unusual surprise for a ceremony not known for straying off script. Turns out it was just…
Former Minnesota model brings the heat in Fox's 'Pitch' this fall

Former Minnesota model brings the heat in Fox's 'Pitch' this fall

Prior Lake's Kylie Bunbury delivers the goods in one of the TV season's most promising new series.
Emmys cheat sheet: Who will win, who should win ('Game of Thrones,' obviously)

Emmys cheat sheet: Who will win, who should win ('Game of Thrones,' obviously)

Looking to impress with your Emmy picks? Bet on the return of Jon Snow.
See TV's most heartbreaking (and hilarious) new heroine on Britcom 'Fleabag'

See TV's most heartbreaking (and hilarious) new heroine on Britcom 'Fleabag'

Creator and star Phoebe Waller-Bridge's complex dramedy features cutting dialogue and masterful physical comedy.
Minnesota artists vie for duck stamp of approval

Minnesota artists vie for duck stamp of approval

"The Million Dollar Duck," premiering Wednesday on Animal Planet, is an engaging waddle through the U.S. government's annual Federal Duck Stamp Contest.
TV critic asks: Is this the golden age for quiz shows?

TV critic asks: Is this the golden age for quiz shows?

Game shows are finally giving contestants a run for their money after decades of playing to the lowest common denominator.
One new TV gem (from Diablo Cody) and 6 classics you'll want to watch

One new TV gem (from Diablo Cody) and 6 classics you'll want to watch

With an all-star team, "One Mississippi" is the latest TV gem worth watching back to back to back.
Robert Aramayo goes from 'Game of Thrones' to 'Harley and the Davidsons'

Robert Aramayo goes from 'Game of Thrones' to 'Harley and the Davidsons'

An English actor transitions from playing young Ned Stark to American motorcycle pioneer Bill Harley.
TV's 'You're the Worst' and 'Better Things' offer better roles for women

TV's 'You're the Worst' and 'Better Things' offer better roles for women

Women get to be as screwed up as that other gender in two mesmerizing series.
Louis C.K. and 10 other comics who've gotten serious with dramatic projects

Louis C.K. and 10 other comics who've gotten serious with dramatic projects

Twin Cities-bound Louis C.K. joins a stellar list of comics unafraid to take dramatic departures.
Has 'Sharknado' jumped the shark in fourth installment?

Has 'Sharknado' jumped the shark in fourth installment?

The "Sharknado" franchise inches closer to becoming an endangered species.
Jon Stewart casts long shadow over late-night TV's political coverage

Jon Stewart casts long shadow over late-night TV's political coverage

Moments of Zen are few among those trying to reach the bar set by the former "Daily Show" host.
Netflix's 'Last Chance U' offers an education in college football

Netflix's 'Last Chance U' offers an education in college football

Neftlix's first sports docuseries goes beyond the gridiron in profiling would-be college football standouts.
A struggling late-night star rediscovers his A game

A struggling late-night star rediscovers his A game

Stephen Colbert's live shows have re-energized the comedian.
Miss Beadle from 'Little House on the Prairie' looks back at wild Hollywood past

Miss Beadle from 'Little House on the Prairie' looks back at wild Hollywood past

"Little House" schoolteacher reflects on being an actress and an addict in Hollywood.
Historic number of black actors got nods for the 2016 Emmys

Historic number of black actors got nods for the 2016 Emmys

Nineteen African-American actors received Emmy nominations Thursday morning, a record-breaking tally thanks to the huge response to "The People v. O.J. Simpson" and the better-than-expected showing of "Black-ish."
Justin: When victims of tragedy go off script, media struggle

Justin: When victims of tragedy go off script, media struggle

Analysis: Diamond Reynolds' Facebook video divided TV audiences locally and nationally.
HBO's 'The Night Of' is graduate school for 'Law & Order' fans

HBO's 'The Night Of' is graduate school for 'Law & Order' fans

John Turturro steps into his late pal James Gandolfini's shoes in the new HBO crime miniseries "The Night Of."
No need to reboot 'Mr. Robot'

No need to reboot 'Mr. Robot'

Basic cable's brainiest thriller sticks to the same manual in its highly anticipated second season.
Sun is setting on Garrison Keillor's great years on Lake Wobegon

Sun is setting on Garrison Keillor's great years on Lake Wobegon

Spurred by health problems and a fear of overstaying his welcome, the 73-year-old will abandon the weekly grind two weeks from now with a final show at the Hollywood Bowl.
Beyond 'The Hunt': Three other must-see nature documentaries

Beyond 'The Hunt': Three other must-see nature documentaries

Documentaries that take you into the wild don't have to make your stomach turn. After watching "The Hunt," extend your nature walk with these tranquil…
Rocker lifestyle gets two different TV takes in 'Roadies' and 'Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll'

Rocker lifestyle gets two different TV takes in 'Roadies' and 'Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll'

Denis Leary and Cameron Crowe live out different rock 'n' roll fantasies in two cable series.
Ex-Minnesota playwright finds religion in Oprah-backed TV show

Ex-Minnesota playwright finds religion in Oprah-backed TV show

Television rarely addresses organized religion in any sort of meaningful way, but if anyone can properly explore such tricky territory, it's creator Craig Wright, who has a master's of divinity degree from the United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities.
Prince's death gives Minnesotans rare taste of tabloid journalism

Prince's death gives Minnesotans rare taste of tabloid journalism

Journalists have descended on Minnesota — including some paying for news tips.
TNT's 'Animal Kingdom' has some mommy issues

TNT's 'Animal Kingdom' has some mommy issues

Ellen Barkin and her clan show a lot of skin as a California crime family.
Brad Paisley aims to re-establish himself as a country music king

Brad Paisley aims to re-establish himself as a country music king

The Nashville superstar prepares for one of the summer's most anticipated tours, which includes a pit stop Saturday night at Minnesota's Winstock Music Festival.
Lifetime's 'unREAL' takes on reality dating shows

Lifetime's 'unREAL' takes on reality dating shows

Lifetime's "UnREAL" earns a rose for its brutal takedown of reality television.
Backstage with Hannibal Lecter and Gandalf

Backstage with Hannibal Lecter and Gandalf

Anthony Hopkins rekindles an old love affair with Shakespeare in "The Dresser," co-starring Ian McKellen.
Reimagining of 'Roots,' produced by Levar Burton, reaches new generation

Reimagining of 'Roots,' produced by Levar Burton, reaches new generation

History Channel hopes to make Kunta Kinte relevant again.
Keillor celebrates Minnesota in final 'A Prairie Home Companion' from home state

Keillor celebrates Minnesota in final 'A Prairie Home Companion' from home state

Saturday's show in Minneapolis was sprinkled with more Minnesota references than usual.
'Preacher' man: Seth Rogen brings '90s cult comic to AMC

'Preacher' man: Seth Rogen brings '90s cult comic to AMC

A beloved, violent comic book comes to life on AMC, thanks to Seth Rogen & Co.
'Rosen's Sports Sunday' heads into its final inning

'Rosen's Sports Sunday' heads into its final inning

Late-night Sunday spot to be replaced by extended newscast.
Duluth's 'Lady Dynamite' blowing up in Hollywood

Duluth's 'Lady Dynamite' blowing up in Hollywood

Minnesota comedian Maria Bamford is poised to be Netflix's most reluctant star.
Bryan Cranston goes 'All the Way' in all-time-great performance as LBJ

Bryan Cranston goes 'All the Way' in all-time-great performance as LBJ

In a career filled with powerhouse performances, Bryan Cranston pulls out all the stops as Lyndon Baines Johnson.
Why 'The Good Wife' was greater than 'Game of Thrones'

Why 'The Good Wife' was greater than 'Game of Thrones'

"The Good Wife," which concludes Sunday, has always been the most ambitious, most intoxicating soap opera. Week in and week out, it was the sharpest written, most addictive show on network television. Here's why.
ESPN's Barry Melrose investigates the state of Minnesota hockey hair

ESPN's Barry Melrose investigates the state of Minnesota hockey hair

Minnesota goes under the blow dryer in an ESPN show airing Tuesday.
Next for 'Game of Thrones'? Fans weigh in as TV series diverges from books

Next for 'Game of Thrones'? Fans weigh in as TV series diverges from books

As "Game of Thrones" splits from the books, fantasy fans imagine what's next for HBO's hit show.
'Fresh Off the Boat' author Eddie Huang's new Viceland show devours food TV

'Fresh Off the Boat' author Eddie Huang's new Viceland show devours food TV

Viceland's best show will have you craving seconds from its controversial host.
Hugh Laurie, Tom Hiddleston play spy games in AMC's 'Night Manager'

Hugh Laurie, Tom Hiddleston play spy games in AMC's 'Night Manager'

Patience pays off in AMC's "The Night Manager," the latest interpretation of a John le Carré novel.
Making house calls to Monticello and the rest of Jeffersonland

Making house calls to Monticello and the rest of Jeffersonland

Thomas Jefferson would most likely flip his wig over the current state of politics, but it's safe to assume he'd be pleased with the condition of Charlottesville, Va., which served as both his home and artistic playpen.
Keillor's looming exit has 'Prairie Home' affiliates concerned

Keillor's looming exit has 'Prairie Home' affiliates concerned

As Garrison Keillor wraps up his farewell tour over the next 12 weeks, the public radio world is anxiously preparing for "A Prairie Home Companion" without him.
Kerry Washington brings Anita Hill back to D.C. in HBO's 'Confirmation'

Kerry Washington brings Anita Hill back to D.C. in HBO's 'Confirmation'

The HBO film "Confirmation," premiering April 16, is more interested in examining our tendency to squirm through social issues than engage in a celebrity edition of "Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire."
Morgan Freeman tells us 'The Story of God'

Morgan Freeman tells us 'The Story of God'

Oscar winner makes an excellent tour guide in new National Geographic doc.
Can't kill Bill: 400 years after his death, Shakespeare has kept his cool

Can't kill Bill: 400 years after his death, Shakespeare has kept his cool

The playwright's work still seeps into pop culture — and resonates with performers of all ages and backgrounds.
Sarah Paulson of 'American Horror Story' and 'The People v. O.J.' on playing different characters in the same series

Sarah Paulson of 'American Horror Story' and 'The People v. O.J.' on playing different characters in the same series

Sarah Paulson and other versatile actors won't be tied down in bold new approaches to series TV.
Justice for all: Superhero shows 'Supergirl,' 'Daredevil' help bring diversity to TV

Justice for all: Superhero shows 'Supergirl,' 'Daredevil' help bring diversity to TV

Comic book TV shows are giving women and minorities a chance to show off their superpowers.
Michael B. Jordan as Batman, and more: Let's recast superheroes

Michael B. Jordan as Batman, and more: Let's recast superheroes

Those who slip into superhero costumes know they’re on borrowed time as comic-book franchises seem to trade in for younger models faster than most people…
WGN America hopes to become a major cable player with dramas, 'Outsiders,' 'Underground'

WGN America hopes to become a major cable player with dramas, 'Outsiders,' 'Underground'

WGN America is abandoning the Cubs for a new game. But will fans show up?
In final episode, 'Downton Abbey' minds its manners

In final episode, 'Downton Abbey' minds its manners

Saying goodbye to the PBS drama isn't as hard as we thought it would be.
Country legend Loretta Lynn comes 'Full Circle' with new album, documentary

Country legend Loretta Lynn comes 'Full Circle' with new album, documentary

At 83, Loretta Lynn is as sharp as ever, her wit and wherewithal on full display in a new "American Masters" documentary and a new album.
Twin Cities tuned in to "CBS Evening News," Scott Pelley

Twin Cities tuned in to "CBS Evening News," Scott Pelley

Twin Cities area bucks national trend by sticking with the "CBS Evening News" and its anchor.
Race, diversity take center stage at 88th Oscars show

Race, diversity take center stage at 88th Oscars show

Host Chris Rock and Oscar winners and presenters use platform to highlight Hollywood blind spot.
Keillor bids nostalgic farewell to the Fitzgerald Theater

Keillor bids nostalgic farewell to the Fitzgerald Theater

The question of whether he's really wrapping it up hung heavy over Saturday's emotional show.
Nobel winner Malala Yousafzai's spirit shines in NatGeo documentary

Nobel winner Malala Yousafzai's spirit shines in NatGeo documentary

A bullet from the Taliban couldn't kill the spirit of Malala Yousafzai, the subject of "He Named Me Malala."
With new NBC shows, Jennifer Lopez and Eva Longoria talk about diversity on TV

With new NBC shows, Jennifer Lopez and Eva Longoria talk about diversity on TV

Three new NBC series signal gains, but there's no guarantee of a more diverse future.
Martin Scorsese, Mick Jagger share the mic for HBO's 'Vinyl'

Martin Scorsese, Mick Jagger share the mic for HBO's 'Vinyl'

Martin Scorsese has never rocked out as hard as he has for "Vinyl," a new series about a label executive's inner war between a love for power and his love for soul music.
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.
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