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David Bianculli: Cable's Impact on Network TV

Critic David Bianculli has some thoughts about the fall season and cable's impact on network television. He says ABC may have the year's two best shows: the prime-time soap opera Desperate Housewives and the action/suspense show Lost.


New DVDs: First TV Seasons

TV critic David Bianculli reviews recently released DVD compilations of TV series. He reviews the first seasons of Miami Vice from the 1980s, Murder One from the 90s, and Deadwood, which premiered last year.


When TV Shows Fail

It's mid-season in the world of television, and that means some are being cancelled -- or simply phased out.


Three TV Eras, Three DVD Sets

Critic David Bianculli reviews three DVD box sets from different eras of television: Mr. Peepers, which starred Wally Cox as a high school science teacher, ran on NBC from 1952-1956; interviews from The Merv Griffin Show(1965-1986); and the fifth season package of HBO's Six Feet Under, which completed its run last year.


Three New Shows for November Sweeps

Three new prime-time TV series premiere this week: scripted dramas on ABC and CBS, and a new quiz show on ABC. This week also brings the season finale of ABC's Dancing with the Stars, and lots of other activity involving first-run weekly television shows. Our TV critic says that all this action is related -- and little of it is cause for celebration.


'Californication': Duchovny, On the Prowl Again

Fresh Air's TV critic reviews the new Showtime dramedy Californication. The show stars X-Files veteran David Duchovny as a charming, jaded rogue of a writer trapped in a Hollywood identity crisis. The studios have turned his dark novel into a romantic comedy, but that's hardly the worst of it. He's still hung up on his ex — so much so that he's sleeping with every woman who'll let him.


Devouring TV's Hits, Whole Seasons at a Time

With the rise of the TV-series box set, more shows are earning fans who devour episodes one after another. Fresh Air TV critic David Bianculli reviews two newly released sets: the debut seasons of Heroes and Friday Night Lights. The former is a seven-disc set packed with deleted scenes and the unaired original pilot; the Friday Night Lights set includes deleted episodes and a making-of featurette.


From HBO, Three to Watch This Weekend

Fresh Air's TV critic previews a new series, a new special and a season premiere — all on HBO this weekend. They are, respectively:

Tell Me You Love Me, about a therapist and the couples she counsels
Alive Day Memories: Home from Iraq, in which Sopranos star James Gandolfini (the special's executive producer) interviews 10 injured war vets
Curb Your Enthusiasm, which begins its sixth season.


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