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17 Segments




'Downton' Returns, And It's As Rich As Ever.

Downton Abbey is the most popular drama in the history of public television. And when the whole of the TV universe is fragmenting, that isn't just impressive — it's almost impossible. Critic David Bianculli ponders the hit show's unlikely success.


'Upstairs, Downstairs' Returns To 165 Eaton Place.

After 34 years, the British miniseries Upstairs, Downstairs will return to PBS on Sunday. TV critic David Bianculli says the surprisingly fresh yet faithful sequel was worth the wait — but now he wants more.


Two Contrasting Historical Programs on Television.

Television critic David Bianculli checks out two programs, NBC's six-hour mini-series about Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, titled "A Woman Named Jackie;" and a Showtime documentary called "Hearts of Darkness," about the making of the movie "Apocalypse Now."


"The Story Behind the Story" Is Missing Critical Pieces.

Television critic David Bianculli previews the new NBC show, "The Story Behind the Story." The program will look at well-known events from little-explored angles. Planned features include a look at who else was on Ed Sullivan the night the Beatles premiered, and a profile of Abe Zapruder, the man who filmed John Kennedy's assassination.


New Kennedy Mini-Series Has Plenty of Gaps, but Good Performances.

Television critic David Bianculli previews "The Kennedys of Massachusetts." It's a 6-hour miniseries based on historian Doris Kearns Goodwin's bestseller, "The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys," about America's most prominent political family. The series premieres this Sunday on ABC.


Tom Hulce on Playing a Slain Civil Rights Worker.

Actor Tom Hulce. He was nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal of Mozart in the movie "Amadeus," and for a Golden Globe for his role as brain-damaged garbage man in "Dominick & Eugene." More recently, Hulce played the black-sheep of the family in "Parenthood." Next week, Hulce stars in "Murder in Mississippi," a made-for-TV movie about the freedom summer.


New Pilot Picks Up Where "Our World" Left Off.

Television Critic David Bianculli reviews the CBS program "Try to Remember," a pilot for a new series hosted by Charles Kuralt. The program draws on archival footage and explores the events of one week, in this case August 10, 1969, the week of Hurricane Camille, Woodstock and a ticker tape parade for the Apollo 11 astronauts.


"The Wonder Years" is Wonderful.

Television Critic David Bianculli reviews "The Wonder Years," a new ABC series. The show is an extended flashback to 1968 and the junior high school days of Daniel Stern ("Diner" and "Breaking Away"), the show's narrator, and Fred Savage ("The Princess Bride"), who plays Stern as he was in 1968.


Review of Television "Docu-Dramas."

Television Critic David Bianculli previews three upcoming miniseries - "Mayflower Madam," "Napoleon and Josephine" and "Hoover vs. The Kennedys: The Second Civil War" - and discusses how docudramas have evolved in the past few years.


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