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
KSTP's "Nightcast" team (from left): meteorologist Wren Clair and anchors Kevin Doran and Lindsey Brown.

With new 'Nightcast,' KSTP-TV takes a deeper approach to 10 p.m. news

KSTP, Ch. 5, is taking a page from the “Nightline” playbook. The local ABC affiliate has adopted a new format for its 10…
Ted Koppel was the founding anchor of ABC's "Nightline," leading the show from its inception in the 1980 Iranian hostage crisis until 2005.

Behind the scenes at ABC's 'Nightline,' whose coronavirus coverage has made it must-see again

To cover the biggest story in its 40-year history, ABC's late-night show returns to its roots.
Zoe; Chao, left, and Anna Kendrick in HBO Max's "Love Life."

Why HBO Max isn't yet worth more than $10 a month

A look at what the new streaming service has to offer.
Garrison Keillor led an audience singalong during a 2016 broadcast of "A Prairie Home Companion" from the State Theatre in Minneapolis.

Passengers for canceled 'Prairie Home' cruise won't get a full refund

Garrison Keillor's firm incurred nonrefundable expenses, says an associate: "When we're done, there will be zero left in the coffers."
Dennis Quaid

Dennis Quaid gets personal on 'Dennissance' podcast and remembers his favorite films

The actor looks back on the best of his work that offers some solace.
Minnesota Public Radio headquarters in downtown St. Paul. Photo by Glen Stubbe,

Staff cuts at Minnesota Public Radio include veteran journalists

MPR News loses six staffers, including its news director, as part of a bigger round of job cuts.
Fin Argus, center, who plays Zach Sobiech in the upcoming feature film "Clouds," appeared with the movie's cast at a fundraising singalong Dec. 13 at

'Clouds' movie, about Minnesota teen Zach Sobiech, will air on Disney streaming service

The film, which stars Sabrina Carpenter, Thomas Everett Scott and Neve Campbell, recently wrapped production in Montreal.
Ellie from @GoldenRetrieverLife (and human pal Kevin Bubolz) will be featured on “The Greatest #StayatHome Videos.”

TikTok's new star is a U student's Jenga-loving golden retriever

Kevin Bubolz, a former Army helicopter pilot in Afghanistan, found a way for his beloved Ellie to master a "leveling up" TikTok challenge.
Elle Fanning as Catherine II and Nicholas Hoult as Peter III.

'The Favourite' screenwriter Tony McNamara throws another royal ball, this time with Catherine the Great

History takes a holiday in an inaccurate — and irresistible — love letter to Catherine the Great.
Eddie Murphy arrives at the 77th annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Sunday, Jan. 5, 2020, in Beverly Hills, Calif.

5 funniest moments from last night's all-star comedy show on NBC

Five highlights from NBC's star-packed "Feeding America" benefit Sunday.
Jason Disharoon

KARE parts ways with another meteorologist

Jason Disharoon had been with the station for a little over a year.
Mark Ruffalo's latest acting feat is to play twin brothers.

Mark Ruffalo pulls double duty as twin brothers in HBO's 'I Know This Much Is True'

Wally Lamb's bestselling novel about brotherly bonds comes to HBO.
Linda Cardellini, left, and Christina Applegate in "Dead to Me."

TV to watch in quarantine: 'The Eddy,' 'Dead to Me,' Garry Marshall tribute, 'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt'

Let’s get lost “La La Land” director Damien Chazelle’s first TV series is jam-packed with music. But “The Eddy” has about as much in common…
Poorna Jagannathan and Maitreyi Ramakrishnan in "Never Have I Ever."

'Vida' and 'Never Have I Ever': shining examples of TV finally welcoming immigrants with open arms

LOS ANGELES – Randall Park grew up watching reruns of the TV western “Bonanza.” But what he saw left him confused. “You think of…
Comedian Mary Mack with a gluten-free beer on the deck in the back yard of her Minneapolis home.

Minneapolis comic Mary Mack gets another shot at fame with animated series

Minnesota comic gets an out-of-this-world opportunity from "Rick and Morty" veterans.
Sven Sundgaard, shown in 2017.

KARE 11 parts ways with Sven Sundgaard, claims ethics violations

The station said the meteorologist, who had reposted criticism of those protesting restrictions, violated ethics policies.
Julia Cobbs and Lori Barghini of myTalk 107.1 shared news of layoffs Friday, including their producer Don Michaels (“Donny Love”).

'Lori and Julia' producer Don Michaels among those axed at Hubbard Radio

The St. Paul-based company announced layoffs across the country due to drops in advertising.
Peacock is NBC’s new streaming service.

Our TV critic dives into NBC's new streaming service, Peacock

NBC's new streaming service isn't quite ready to take flight.
Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) checked in with her former Pawnee City Hall colleague Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman) in "A Parks and Recreation Special," whic

'Parks and Recreation' reunion was the warm fuzzy we all needed

REVIEW: Amy Poehler and company didn't let social distancing get in the way of connecting with viewers.
Joel Hodgson, center, is putting the "Mystery Science 3000" team back together for a streaming special Sunday.

'Mystery Science Theater 3000' returning for streaming special

“Mystery Science Theater 3000,” the cult favorite that started its journey in the Twin Cities, is returning to Earth. Creator Joel Hodgson and his cast…
Fox 9 morning anchor Kelly O’Connell, with her daughter: “I never thought my profession would be one in which you could work from home."

Twin Cities media personalities find unexpected perks from anchoring at home

Don't underestimate the appeal of getting to know your favorite TV personalities in a more intimate way.
Maitreyi Ramakrishnan and Sendhil Ramamurthy in “Never Have I Ever,” which begins streaming Monday on Netflix.

Mindy Kaling gives John Hughes a run for his money in Netflix's 'Never Have I Ever'

Mindy Kaling graduates from cubicle pest in "The Office" to the top of the class with her latest sitcom.
Michael Jordan is the focus of “The Last Dance.”

Starting tonight, new Michael Jordan documentary is 10 hours of stupendous shots, personal fouls

For sports enthusiasts trying to survive the pandemic without live games, ESPN's new documentary about basketball superstar is a godsend.
Handout photo: Alex Trebek and Nibir Sarma.

University of Minnesota sophomore wins 'Jeopardy' college tournament

Nibir Sarma, from Eden Prairie, took home a $100,000 prize and automatically earned a spot in the Tournament of Champions.
Jane Levy in “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist.”

'People are looking for joy': TV musicals like 'Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist' are trending

Now Hollywood is betting that TV audiences are ready to change their tune.
Julie Andrews

American Public Media recruits Julie Andrews for kids' podcast during coronavirus

Mary Poppins is coming to the rescue. American Public Media, the St. Paul-based programming distributor, has recruited Julie Andrews to star in a new weekly…
Jimmy Fallon has been getting some help from his daughters during his home broadcasts of “The Tonight Show.”

Late night TV hosts 'telling jokes to an empty room' with broadcasts from home

Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel and other stars offer viewers a peek into their homes, and recruit family members to help.
Rusty Gatenby

WCCO's Rusty Gatenby on his role in the series finale of 'Modern Family'

He was also the last actor listed in the final credits of the final episode.
Duchesne Drew

Duchesne Drew named next president at Minnesota Public Radio

Drew previously held leadership positions at the Star Tribune and the Bush Foundation.
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…

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.