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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
'La La Land' stars aren't alone on the musical path to the Oscars

'La La Land' stars aren't alone on the musical path to the Oscars

The stars of "La La Land" are triple threats in a more musically-minded Hollywood.
Laverne Cox makes history in 'Doubt' as first transgender star of network drama

Laverne Cox makes history in 'Doubt' as first transgender star of network drama

The actress has made history for the transgender community before, but never quite like this.
Pete Holmes' new comedy 'crashes' the cutthroat world of open-mic comedy

Pete Holmes' new comedy 'crashes' the cutthroat world of open-mic comedy

Laughs come easy in a new sitcom about the world of open-mic comedy.
Actress/producer Reese Witherspoon gets 'real' with HBO's new 'Big Little Lies'

Actress/producer Reese Witherspoon gets 'real' with HBO's new 'Big Little Lies'

A more promising future for Hollywood actresses may rest in the hands of Reese Witherspoon, whose behind-the-scenes muscle resulted in a new HBO series.
BBC America's 'Planet Earth II' offers another spectacular nature trip

BBC America's 'Planet Earth II' offers another spectacular nature trip

The six-hour "Planet Earth II" does everything but talk to the animals.
Love for 'shining jewel' Motor City drives new sitcom 'Detroiters'

Love for 'shining jewel' Motor City drives new sitcom 'Detroiters'

Two veterans of Second City rally behind a new sitcom that dares to shoot in Detroit.
'This Is Us' is TV's surprise hit of the season – because America needs a good cry

'This Is Us' is TV's surprise hit of the season – because America needs a good cry

The NBC drama's nearly 15 million viewers have made it the most watched new show of the season and the most unexpected rookie hit since "Lost" more than a decade ago.
The filling is missing from new CBS comedy 'Superior Donuts'

The filling is missing from new CBS comedy 'Superior Donuts'

Based on a play by Pulitzer winner Tracy Letts, the new CBS show aims for easy laughs.
Mpls. and TV icon Mary Tyler Moore turned the world on with her smile

Mpls. and TV icon Mary Tyler Moore turned the world on with her smile

Her portrayal of a spunky Minneapolis newswoman made her a TV icon and inspired a generation of young women.
Mary Tyler Moore was an icon of independence for many women

Mary Tyler Moore was an icon of independence for many women

Mary Richards may not be an icon to younger viewers who grew up wanting to sip cosmopolitans with Carrie Bradshaw or vanquish vampires alongside Buffy…
Idina Menzel and Nia Long stay in safe waters in Lifetime's remake of 'Beaches'

Idina Menzel and Nia Long stay in safe waters in Lifetime's remake of 'Beaches'

Idina Menzel and Nia Long stay in safe waters for a TV remake of "Beaches."
Kristen Bell rings true in 'The Good Place,' network TV's best new sitcom

Kristen Bell rings true in 'The Good Place,' network TV's best new sitcom

Kristen Bell rings true in one of the season's finest new sitcoms.
The Obamas' 7 funniest TV moments, from 'Mom Dancing' to Mean Tweets

The Obamas' 7 funniest TV moments, from 'Mom Dancing' to Mean Tweets

The Obamas are ready to drop the mic, but not before we look back on the lighter side of their time in the White House.
How Hollywood is bracing itself for the Donald Trump era

How Hollywood is bracing itself for the Donald Trump era

Those who opposed him express an obligation to carry on, while others see opportunity ahead.
In FX's 'Taboo,' Oscar nominee Tom Hardy still refuses to play Mr. Nice Guy

In FX's 'Taboo,' Oscar nominee Tom Hardy still refuses to play Mr. Nice Guy

Everyone assumed James Delaney was dead. After just a couple of nights in town, most wish he was.
Kaitlin Olson becomes TV's most brazen mean girl in 'It's Always Sunny' and 'The Mick'

Kaitlin Olson becomes TV's most brazen mean girl in 'It's Always Sunny' and 'The Mick'

Kaitlin Olson moves to the front of detention class with two high-profile roles.
Hats off to Mary Tyler Moore, who just turned 80

Hats off to Mary Tyler Moore, who just turned 80

Actress who put Mpls. on the national TV map had a milestone birthday Thursday.
Hopes of Minnesota's film industry ride on 'Mogadishu'

Hopes of Minnesota's film industry ride on 'Mogadishu'

The potential HBO series could be the jump start needed to make the state a contender again.
10 best TV shows of 2016: O.J. Simpson, 'Crown,' Aziz Ansari and more

10 best TV shows of 2016: O.J. Simpson, 'Crown,' Aziz Ansari and more

Fallen superstars and rising new voices stood out in a stellar 2016.
Diablo who? An awkward moment with Tig Notaro

Diablo who? An awkward moment with Tig Notaro

The comedian, who performs Sunday in Minneapolis, talks about her Amazon series and the joys of airline food.
Benedict Cumberbatch and Gael García Bernal add sizzle to the classics in TV roles

Benedict Cumberbatch and Gael García Bernal add sizzle to the classics in TV roles

Benedict Cumberbatch and Gael García Bernal bring sexiness to high-toned roles.
Real advice on fake news: How to maneuver that personal minefield

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

Dan Barreiro, Tom Hauser and others have advice on 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.
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