Staff Directory 10645166

Neal Justin

Columnist/Reporter | Media
Phone: 612-673-7431
Location: Minneapolis
Other languages: None

Neal Justin covers the entertainment world, primarily TV and radio. He also reviews stand-up comedy. Justin is the founder of JCamp, a non-profit program for high-school journalists, and works on many fronts to further diversity in newsrooms.


Justin is currently president of UNITY, co-chair of the Star Tribune News Guild and teaches at Minnesota State University. He is a former governing board member of the Asian American Journalists Association and Minnesota chapter president for AAJA.
Recent content from Neal Justin
The cast of "Modern Family."

Cast and creators say goodbye to 'Modern Family'

One of TV's most enduring sitcoms says farewell, but not before setting the stage for a modern approach to comedy.
Meg Whitman and Jeffrey Katzenberg are launching the streaming service Quibi.

New streaming service Quibi offers short-and-sweet TV

One of film's most successful executives wants to get on your phone.
Ted Danson as Sam and Shelley Long as Diane in “Cheers.”

Why 'Cheers' is the perfect show to binge during the Big Lockdown

When making your way in the world today takes everything you've got, head to "Cheers."
Pauley Perrette, Jaime Camil and Natasha Leggero in “Broke.”

Five things our TV critic is watching this week

Man behind the music “First Avenue: Closer to the Stars” doesn’t feature a ton of music or musicians, but the Twin Cities Public Television filmmakers were…
Ali Sultan has started the “Virtual Distancing Live Comedy Hour.”

Minneapolis comics find a way to laugh while it hurts

Despite their own anxiety, comedians make jokes to put others at ease.
Blair Underwood and Octavia Spencer in “Self Made.”

Octavia Spencer gives a hair-raising performance as cosmetics icon Madam C.J. Walker

Octavia Spencer is all business in a new miniseries.
Winona Ryder

Winona Ryder opens up on her secret life in Minnesota

At the height of her career, the actress moved to the Twin Cities to find solace. Then reality bit.

Critics offer suggestions for entertainment when you have to stay home

Stuck in the house? Here are some shows to binge and movies to take your mind elsewhere.
“Little Fires Everywhere,” starring Kerry Washington and Reese Witherspoon, begins streaming Wednesday on Hulu.

Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington blaze new trails on 'Little Fires Everywhere'

The award-winning powerhouse continues to blaze new trails on both sides of the camera.
Comedian Judy Gold

Judy Gold looks back at an underappreciated life in comedy as she preps for Mall of America show

Comedian Judy Gold loves television. Why doesn't it love her back?
Nick Offerman at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, in Beverly Hills, Calif.

For real-life parks and recreation, Nick Offerman heads to Minnesota

Actor has made yearly fishing trips to northern Minnesota since his childhood in suburban Chicago.
Hulu’s “Hillary” documentary examines how Hillary Clinton, shown with daughter Chelsea, became at once one of the most admired and vilified wome

Documentary 'Hillary' sets out to prove the polarizing political figure is likable enough

A new documentary sets out to humanize the almost-president.
Michael Gruber and Ann Michels, stars of Chanhassen Dinner Theatres’ “The Music Man,” conducted the Mason City High School Band in their renditi

This Iowa town inspired a beloved musical. Twin Cities actors make a pilgrimage.

The people of Mason City gave a warm welcome to the stars of "The Music Man," opening at Chanhassen Dinner Theatres. "Maybe this can be a kind of love letter to them," says actor Ann Michels.
Al Pacino as Meyer Offerman and Logan Lerman as Jonah Heidelbaum in “Hunters.”

Al Pacino brings a whole lot of 'Hoo-ah!' to TV's 'Hunters'

"Hunters" takes page from comic book films, with less than super results.
Raj (Kunal Nayyar and Lucy (Kate Micucci) in "The Big Bang Theory."

5 Asian-American characters in TV comedies: How offensive were they?

Members of the Huang family in “Fresh Off the Boat” weren’t the first Asian-American characters to appear on network comedies. But watching predecessors didn’t always…
“Duncanville”

What our TV critic is watching this week: 'High Fidelity,' 'Washington,' 'Duncanville,' 'Road to the White House,' 'Year of the Rabbit'

Dance with somebody The TV version of “High Fidelity” may be set in contemporary times, but the series is clearly entrenched in the ’80s. When…
Brenda Blethyn plays the title character in “Vera.”

Why British TV detectives are superior to their American counterparts

America could learn a few things about detective series from the Brits.
Paul Lynde is among the subjects of “Visible.”

Gay rights documentary 'Visible: Out on Television' deserves to be seen

A new documentary tracking television's treatment of sexual orientation should have its creators beaming with pride.
Zoë Kravitz tackles the main character in Hulu’s “High Fidelity,” a role played by John Cusack in the 2000 movie.

Why TV is obsessed with rebooting your favorite shows

Everything old is new again on the TV landscape.
The most scathing jokes of the whole evening came from a couple of former emcees, Steve Martin and Chris Rock, who poked fun at Jeff Bezos' divorce an

Neal Justin: Oscars could have 'lost itself' a little more often

The Academy Awards would rather be safe than sorry — or spectacular.
CBS anchor Norah O’Donnell says, “The rhetoric of Washington doesn’t always reflect the problems of real America.”

CBS News anchor Norah O'Donnell wants to talk about more than politics

Norah O'Donnell may be based in Washington, but she doesn't want her newscast to be all about politics.
“Homeland” stars Claire Danes and Mandy Patinkin. The show begins its final season Sunday on Showtime.

Claire Danes and Mandy Patinkin debrief 'Homeland' fans for the show's final season

Showtime spy drama kicks off its eighth and final season Sunday with its plucky CIA agent protagonist in a position to help bring peace to Afghanistan.
Renée Zellweger as Judy Garland and Finn Wittrock as Mickey Deans in “Judy.”

8 actors who snagged Oscar nominations for playing real-life Minnesotans

If Renée Zellweger takes home an Academy Award on Sunday for her portrayal of Judy Garland, it will be the first time any actor has triumphed for playing a famous Minnesotan.
"BoJack Horseman"

'BoJack Horseman' stumbles at the finish line

Viewers deserve a better conclusion to "BoJack Horseman."
“The Biggest Loser” host Bob Harper joined trainer Erica Lugo to discuss the show at the Television Critics Association press tour.

'The Biggest Loser' still has serious health issues

The show now offers on-site nutritionists, support sessions and a free gym membership for dieters after they leave the program. But ultimately, their primary goal is creating a soap opera — no matter the costs.
Alan Zweibel

Comic legend Alan Zweibel talks about collaborating with everyone from Gilda Radner to Larry David

Alan Zweibel talks about working with everyone from Gilda Radner to Larry David.
Patrick Stewart reprises his role as Jean-Luc Picard in “Star Trek: Picard” on CBS All Access.

Why Patrick Stewart agreed to reboard the 'Star Trek' enterprise

The latest "Star Trek" series keeps both feet on the ground before reaching for the stars.
Awkwafina stars in “Nora From Queens” on Comedy Central.

Golden Globe winner Awkwafina continues to break new ground in her Comedy Central sitcom

"The Farewell" star won't let being left out of the Oscar party get in the way of celebrating her new sitcom.
Rob Lowe in “9-1-1: Lone Star.”

Rob Lowe suits up for new network series and a visit to the Twin Cities

The Emmy-nominated actor's big year includes a new series and a stop at Mystic Lake.
J.J. Kelley and Kinga Philipps, co-hosts of the Travel Channel’s “Lost in the Wild.”

Hiking near Taylors Falls, Minn., inspired Travel Channel star J.J. Kelley to see the world

Filmmaker J.J. Kelley is the latest Minnesotan in search of something wild.
Anytime Fitness President Stacy Anderson is the subject of Wednesday’s “Undercover Boss.”

Five shows our TV critic is watching this week

Knowing the law No one spins a better crime yarn than Richard Price. The “Clockers” author once again puts his unparalleled mastery of law enforcement…
Oprah spoke to a full house on her tour this month in Sunrise, Fla.

Oprah is coming this weekend. Here are 5 ways she changed the world.

Everything you need to know in advance of the media mogul's visit to the Xcel Energy Center on Saturday.
James Holzhauer, Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter on “Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time.”

Neal Justin's TV picks for Jan. 8 – 'Party of Five,' 'Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time,' 'Criminal Minds'

Pop quiz “Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time” continues with the top three champs in the game show’s history going head-to-head-to-head in prime time. It’s…
Taron Egerton accepted the award for best actor in a motion picture comedy for his role in "Rocketman" at the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at the B

International stars shine in Golden Globes; '1917' wins best picture

The night saw some ground-breaking moments, including Awkwafina's first ever Golden Globe for an Asian-American woman.
Twin Cities native Owen Dennis created the Cartoon Network series “Infinity Train.” The little ball sitting next to him is actually a character in

Can you spot the Minnesota references in Cartoon Network's 'Infinity Train'?

Animator grew up in Lake Elmo: "When you write about what you know, it starts to become more truthful."
The new streaming service Disney+ has new Star Wars stories in “The Mandelorian.”

Put together your favorite TV streaming package for less than $30 a month

How to get your fill of great TV that's right for you for about $30 a month.
Kaya Scodelario in “Spinning Out.”

TV picks for Jan. 1: 'Spinning Out,' 'Messiah,' 'Doctor Who'

Take this for a spin Figure skating might leave you cold, but “Spinning Out” may just cause you to fall in love with the sport…
Nick Swardson catered to a home town crowd with homages to living as a transplant on the west coast, the torment of being a Minnesota sports fan and m

Minnesota comic Nick Swardson adjusts to middle age: 'You're not a superhero'

He's been sober for months, but the comedian still wants to be the life of the party. He performs at Treasure Island this weekend.
Parker Posey in “Lost in Space” on Netflix.

Neal Justin's TV picks for Dec. 25 – 'Murdoch Mysteries,' 'Pick of the Litter,' 'Lost in Space'

Northern exposure “Murdoch Mysteries” is now in its 13th season, but it still hasn’t run out of ways for its somber detective to tackle crimes…
Woody Harrelson and Marisa Tomei in a revamped episode of “All in the Family” on “Live in Front of a Studio Audience.”

Neal Justin's TV picks for Dec. 18: 'Live in Front of a Studio Audience,' 'Soundtrack,' 'Finding the Way Home'

These are the days “Live in Front of a Studio Audience,” which scored impressive numbers when it first aired in the spring, is back with…
Paul James, Callie Hernandez in “Soundtrack.”

Neal Justin's TV picks for Dec. 15-19 – '42nd Annual Kennedy Center Honors,' 'Well Groomed,' 'Soundtrack'

Shining stars The “42nd Annual Kennedy Center Honors,” taped last weekend, promises to be a touching broadcast, especially when the spotlight turns to “Sesame Street,”…
Jonas Brodsky in “Moonlight Sonata: Deafness in Three Movements.”

Neal Justin's TV picks for Dec. 11 – 'Michelle Wolf: Joke Show,' 'Moonlight Sonata: Deafness in Three Movements,' 'Astronomy Club'

The wolf at the door Any negative comments that Michelle Wolf got from her 2018 gig as celebrity roaster during the White House Correspondents Dinner…
Moe Yaqub performed at the Acme Comedy club in Minneapolis.

Muslim comics are opening up about their faith on the stand-up circuit

Muslim comedians are finding success on stage without losing their religion.
A fresh snowman sat on Northrop Mall as nearby crews assembled the stage Wednesday afternoon in preparation for ESPN’s “College GameDay.”

'GameDay' revels in snowy tableau at the U

"How cool is that when people turn on the TV Saturday morning, they'll see a white blanket over a college campus?" said Drew Gallagher, the show's coordinating producer
This image released by Netflix shows Joe Pesci, left, and Robert De Niro in a scene from "The Irishman."

Neal Justin's TV picks for Nov. 27 – 'Broken,' 'The Irishman,' 'Lawrence of Arabia'

Not built to last “Broken,” a four-part documentary series that examines negligence in the production and marketing of popular products, may have you think…
Bard Prison Initiative students studied Spanish at Eastern New York Correctional Facility in the documentary “College Behind Bars.”

New PBS documentary about a school for prisoners has a lot to teach viewers

Four-hour film puts the spotlight on convicts eager to make the most out of their time in jail.
Helen Hunt and Paul Reiser in the rebooted “Mad About You.”

Neal Justin's TV picks for Nov. 20 – 'Mad About You,' 'Home Alone,' 'Bears'

"Mad About You" reboot now streaming, but only on Spectrum.
Carrie Underwood, center, hosts “The 53rd Annual CMA Awards” with special guest hosts Dolly Parton, left, and Reba McEntire, right.

Neal Justin's TV picks for Nov. 13 – 'The 53rd Annual CMA Awards,' 'Lady and the Tramp,' 'The Preppy Murder: Death in Central Park'

Lots of duets on tap at CMA Awards.
Gophers fans celebrated after their win over Penn State.

Gophers-Penn State most watched ABC noon-hour game in three years

Minnesota's victory over Penn State played well around the nation, and also was the most watched ever in the Twin Cities on an ESPN-related network since those numbers started being tracked.
Guy-Am-I (Michael Douglas), left, and Sam-I-Am (Adam DeVine) in “Green Eggs and Ham.”

Neal Justin's TV picks for Nov. 10-14 – 'Green Eggs and Ham,' 'Very Ralph,' 'Lady and the Tramp'

Hamming it up “Green Eggs and Ham” is pretty thin material to build a whole series around, but this new effort pulls it off with…
Shannen Doherty starred in the 1995 movie “Mallrats.”

Cast and crew revisit '90s Minnesota cult classic 'Mallrats'

Cast members will be signing memorabilia and posing for pictures during the inaugural edition of GalaxyCon Minneapolis.
Aretha Franklin performed at the Apollo Theater in New York on June 3, 1971.

Neal Justin's TV picks for Nov. 6 – 'The Apollo,' 'Image Makers,' 'Back in the Game'

Ready for their close-ups Camera operators rarely get much fanfare. “Image Makers: The Adventures of America’s Pioneer Cinematographers” attempts to give these artists their…
Dakota Laden and his best friend Tanner Wiseman, shown at the Wabash Street Caves in St. Paul, have taken their childhood fascination with paranormal

Lakeville natives turn their obsession with haunted houses into TV series

Lakeville natives have turned their paranormal activities into a spirited new cable series.
Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin in “The Kominsky Method.”

Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin share their secrets behind the 'bromance' in 'The Kominsky Method'

Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin talk about aging not so gracefully in their award-winning sitcom.
Kate McKinnon and David Chang try street food in Phnom Penh in “Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.”

Neal Justin's TV picks for Oct. 23 – 'The Oval,' 'Sistas,' 'Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner,' 'Life From Above'

Happy meals David Chang isn’t as extroverted as the late Anthony Bourdain, which is why it was smart that the chef brought along outgoing celebrities…
In this Feb. 6, 2015 file photo, Bob Dylan accepts the 2015 MusiCares Person of the Year award.

Best of the Week Oct. 20-27: Bob Dylan, Sesame Street Live, Twenty One Pilots, an Irish 'Swan Lake' and more

Hwy. 169 revisited Bob Dylan returns to his home state after a two-year absence — and makes his first appearance in Mankato since 1996. Set…
Aparna Nancherla takes the Parkway Theatre stage Friday.

The 10,000 Laughs Festival promises to live up to its title

Expect three days of hilarity at five Minneapolis venues for comedy fest.
The Morandi highway bridge in Genoa, Italy, collapsed in 2018.

Neal Justin's TV picks for Oct. 16 – 'Why Bridges Collapse,' 'Limetown,' 'The Birch,' 'Little Monsters'

End of the road “Why Bridges Collapse” focuses largely on the 2018 disaster in Genoa, Italy, that claimed 63 lives. But roughly three minutes…
John Cusack as Lloyd Dobler in the iconic scene from 1989’s “Say Anything.”

John Cusack encourages Minnesotans to 'ask anything' about his most beloved film

The veteran actor is ready to take Minnesotans behind-the-scenes of a cinematic gem.
Jessica Cordova Kramer of Lemonada.

Minneapolis producer turns personal tragedy into a podcast empire

A Minneapolis producer is turning a family tragedy into a podcast empire.
Longtime NBC personality Bob Costas has also worked with the MLB Network since its inception.

MLB Network's Costas ready to 'lay out some broad strokes' for Twins-Yankees

Longtime NBC personality Bob Costas will be behind the microphone for the Twins' playoff opener in New York.
Larry “Moon” Thompson of KS95’s “Moon & Staci” show yukked it up at the radio station.

KS95's Larry 'Moon' Thompson prepares for his final radio broadcast

Prankster Larry Thompson is signing off from radio's "Moon & Staci" show. And this time it's no joke.
Chrissie Olson took a photo of her 5-month-old daughter Marion as T.C. Bear jokingly took a bite of the youngster during a free "Postseason Push" part

Twins playoff game on MLB Network might be hard to find

The local Comcast operator will not offer the game for free, so buying the Sports package is a viewing option.
Undone

Don't tell the kids: 10 great grown-up cartoons to watch right now

These cartoons aren't on Saturday mornings.
Not just the usual suspects: There’s more out there than just “The Simpsons.”

In golden age of animation, TV's hottest cartoons are for grown-ups

It's the golden age of TV animation with a grown-up lineup of shows. Just don't tell your kids.
Gia Vang of KARE 11, the first Hmong-American anchor in the Twin Cities, poses for a photo on the Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis. ] LEILA NAVIDI •

Gia Vang, Twin Cities' first Hmong-American news anchor, adjusts to life in Minn.

'Sunrise' anchor Gia Vang discusses adapting to Minnesota's progressive and passive-aggressive culture.
Cobie Smulders in “Stumptown.”

Neal Justin's TV picks for Sept. 25 – 'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia,' 'Stumptown,' 'Liza on Demand'

Watching the detective Cobie Smulders proved she can deliver one-liners on “How I Met Your Mother” and body blows in Marvel movies. “Stumptown” shows…
Michael Starrbury at home in Brooklyn Park.

He writes Hollywood hits from his Brooklyn Park home

Emmy nominee Michael Starrbury is determined to make it big in Hollywood while sticking around in Minnesota.
Phoebe Waller-Bridge reacts in the audience before appearing on stage to accept the award for outstanding lead actress in a comedy series for "Fleabag

'Fleabag' creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge dominates the Emmy Awards

'Fleabag' dominated the comedy categories, while 'Game of Thrones' goes out a winner.
Will “Veep” star Julia Louis-Dreyfus, shown in 2017, win her ninth Emmy as a performer?

Who will win? Your cheat sheet for the Emmys

Women are in the forefront of the most intriguing races.
“The Chef Show”

Neal Justin's TV picks for Sept. 19 – 'Return to Downton Abbey: The Grand Event,' 'The Good Place,' 'The Chef Show'

Prepping for the ball If you’re not busy laying out your fancy duds for Friday’s theatrical release of the “Downton Abbey” movie, you may want…
Joan Collins in “American Horror Story.”

Neal Justin's TV picks for Sept. 18 – 'West Side Story,' 'Unbelievable,' 'American Horror Story'

Reason to believe Toni Collette and Merritt Wever don’t appear until the second episode of “Unbelievable.” It’s worth the wait. The two Emmy winners…
Comedian Emily Galati performed at Sisyphus Brewery in Minneapolis.

Why comedian Emily Galati left New York to make Minneapolis her home

She performed on "Conan" and wrote for "Patriot Act With Hasan Minhaj." But she's "just not a big city person."
Dolly Parton’s story best represents director Ken Burns’ not-so-secret agenda in his documentary "Country Music": to honor those marginalized in s

Women, minorities take center stage in Ken Burns' 16-hour 'Country Music'

Women and minorities take center stage in Ken Burns' epic documentary "Country Music."
Kulap Vilaysack hugged her uncle, Bounlorm Soumetho, during the Minneapolis reception last fall for Vilaysack’s film, “Origin Story,” which deal

Minnesota comedian Kulap Vilaysack shares a dark family secret in an emotional documentary

Comedian Kulap Vilaysack makes a film about a secret that nearly tore her Minnesota family apart.