Matt Roush


Tuesday TV: Not Just the Olympics

Frontline: Syria’s Second Front

I'm beginning to hear in my mailbag from those whose reaction to slaloms, snowboarding and skating isn't so much "Oh my!" as "Oh no!" (And we're not talking Apolo.) Personally, I love dipping in and out of the Winter Games, and NBC is giving us plenty of opportunity — not just in the network's prime-time package, but with live online streaming and selected live events (in decidedly not prime-time hours) on cable outlets including NBCSN.

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Ask Matt: Big Bang and Football, Psych, The Following, Bones, Enlisted

The Big Bang Theory

Question: I read that CBS won the bidding for an exclusive Thursday night NFL game package starting next season. I'm wondering what that means for The Big Bang Theory. It would seem to be an odd choice to disrupt the most popular show on TV from its prime-time slot, even though there's no denying football's ratings, either. How do you think CBS will handle this? Will Big Bang move to a new night, or maybe use it as a lead-in to the football? Or will they maybe hold the show back to start its season run after the eight weeks of football are over and thereby cut down on the number of reruns the show airs. Any ideas? — Chris read more

Weekend Review: The Walking Dead, Beatles Tribute, PBS' Lady

Chandler Riggs

Things have gotten so bleak on AMC's The Walking Dead that it's not always easy to tell the walking wounded from the actual zombies. Which is part of the point as the fourth season resumes with the beleaguered survivors of the prison battle scattered to the winds — so much so that in this week's episode (Sunday, 9/8c), written by Robert Kirkman ... read more

Ask Matt: Mindy, S.H.I.E.L.D., Blacklist, Intelligence, Super Bowl Ads

Chris Messina, Mindy Kaling

Send questions and comments to askmatt@tvguidemagazine.com and follow me on Twitter!

Question: What do you think the chance is for The Mindy Project to be renewed for a third season? I have been watching it since the beginning and think that the end of "The Desert" episode gave the show some good material and direction for the rest of the season. It has become so funny, and the chemistry between Mindy Kaling and Chris Messina is great. I would hate for this show to not get a chance to show what it can do. I'm not sure how long a show has to be on the air to be syndicated, but I think that would help the ratings, too. — Meg

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Thursday Review: A Parks and Rec Farewell, Comedy Legends on Men

Rob Lowe, Rashida Jones

Emotions have been running high lately on NBC's best Thursday comedies. Saying goodbye to beloved characters can have that effect. Last week, Community sent Abed's playmate Troy (Donald Glover) off to sail the world with LeVar Burton, but not before staging one last epic stunt that turned Greendale into Lava World. This week, the focus shifts to a more grounded yet fictional Indiana — where, incidentally, there is an actual Greendale (I grew up there) — as Pawnee prepares a going-away bash for Chris Traeger (Rob Lowe) and Ann Perkins (Rashida Jones) on Parks and Recreation that may not be as surreal as Community's but compensates with a reservoir of genuine emotion and character-rich moments. read more

Wednesday Review: Harry Connick Idol-atry, BBC America's Fleming

Harry Connick Jr.

Who dat? Only the best thing to happen to American Idol in this post—Simon Cowell era.

Harry Connick Jr. may not be as instantly recognizable as his fellow Idol panelists Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban, but in a world where too many reality-show judges act more like cheerleaders (yes, The Voice, this even applies to you), this New Orleans crooner and accomplished cutup has what I'd call (apologies to Cowell) the X — or expert — factor. He's exceptionally entertaining, extremely knowledgeable and expansively personable — even when his explosive opinions earn him the labels  "Hatchet Harry" and "Harsh Harry" from the kinder, gentler Lopez and the occasional disgruntled contestant. But how can you not love an Idol judge who hates the word pitchy and refuses to be wowed by caterwauling vocal gymnastics?

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Ask Matt: Idol Judges, Glee, Sleepy Hollow, The Following

Harry Connick Jr., Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban

Send questions and comments to askmatt@tvguidemagazine.com and follow me on Twitter!

Question: What do you think of the 13th season of American Idol so far, Matt? read more

Weekend Review: Black Sails, Mitt and Lizzie Borden

Black Sails

It's quite a week for those who enjoy rugged armchair escapism of the historical epic variety. First came the three nights of Discovery's enjoyable gold-rush melodrama Klondike (repeated in its entirety on Saturday, starting at 9:30 am/8:30c), during which Jack London (played by Johnny Simmons) is heard rhapsodizing, "What you're looking at here is a walking, talking novel," as he surveys the squalor and violent desperation teeming throughout Dawson City, the miniseries' Yukon frontier setting.

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Thursday Review: Rake, a Community Farewell, Vampire Turns 100

Greg Kinnear

Fox enjoyed eight seasons of great success with House, a high-concept medical procedural about an incorrigible, deeply flawed medical genius. I'm not sure I could make it through eight episodes (I've seen two so far) of Louse — also known as Rake (Thursday, 9/8c) — which must have been pitched to Fox, via the series' Australian roots, as "House in a courtroom," a high-concept legal dramedy about an incorrigible, deeply flawed law maverick.

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Ask Matt: Season's Surprises (Good and Bad), Olympics, Superheroes

Andy Samberg and Andre Braugher

Send questions and comments to askmatt@tvguidemagazine.com and follow me on Twitter!

Question: Now that the "traditional" network season is about half over, do you have any shows you've found to be either pleasant surprises (those you didn't think much of initially, but improved) or disappointments? I know that for me, the biggest disappointment has been (as it has been for many people) Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which is basically just the 21st-century A-Team. It's fairly entertaining enough, but if it were to disappear tomorrow, I wouldn't shed any tears. The two happiest surprises for me have been The Crazy Ones (which didn't sound like it would be good, and I quit watching after the pilot but have caught up and found it quite enjoyable — probably because they keep Robin Williams' zaniness in check and the supporting cast has proven very funny) and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. I didn't really know much of Andy Samberg so wasn't that interested, but the early reviews had me check it out. I was very glad, too, because that's one new show I look forward to every week. I find it to be a worthy successor to The Office in its heyday. I'm also finding Almost Human to be getting much better from its middling premiere, though it's still not quite appointment TV. — Scott

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