This month will mark one year since Conan O'Brien moved his sofa, desk and bone-dry sidekick, Andy Richter, to TBS and launched Conan. He's back in New York this week to tape four shows at the Beacon Theater (Monday — Thursday, 11/10c, TBS). We celebrated his homecoming with a chat about the past, present and future of late night.
On October 7, 1996, the "on" switch was thrown at the Fox News Channel — and the TV news universe hasn't been the same since. A one-hour special, Fox News Channel — 15 Years — Fair and Balanced (Friday, 10pm/ET; Saturday, 10pm/ET; and Sunday, 3pm/ET), will reflect on the rise of the cable news ratings leader. Among the Fox News veterans looking back is Special Report anchor Bret Baier, who opened the channel's Atlanta bureau in his apartment with just a fax machine and a cell phone in FNC's early days. The Biz recently talked with Baier, who became anchor of Special Report in 2009, about the anniversary, the channel's critics and his emergence as the face of Fox News in the Beltway.
American Horror Story
Cable network FX has built a name for itself with daring drama series such as The Shield and Nip/Tuck. But American Horror Story — Glee cocreator Ryan Murphy's new "psychosexual" (his word) drama kicks it up more than a few notches. Dylan McDermott and Connie Britton play a couple whose marriage is already in trouble when they move into a house with a history of mayhem and find themselves involved with sexually provocative ghosts (think rubber suits and French-maid outfits) and a basement decorated in wall-to-wall carnage. We talked with FX Network president John Landgraf about the challenge of bringing such a bold project to ad-supported TV.
TV Guide Magazine: You're breaking some new ground with this show in terms of graphic content. Are viewers ready for this?
Landgraf: I actually disagree with that
Constructing the new multimillion-dollar studio for NBC's upcoming newsmagazine show Rock Center With Brian Williams has been a TV version of an archaeological dig. "We've found a piece of the set from the soap opera The Doctors," says Williams. "And an old applause sign from when they did live TV there."
Uncovering remnants of the past in the Rockefeller Center location seems fitting, as Williams' newsmagazine sounds like a bit of a throwback as well. Rock Center (expected to be the first replacement on the schedule when one of NBC's new fall shows falters) will have two or three ambitious, deeply reported stories each hour, following the model of 60 Minutes. NBC News even enlisted former 60 Minutes producer Rome Hartman to put together a team that shares that show's sensibility. "He's assembled an army," says Williams, who will anchor the live program while remaining at NBC Nightly News. "In the world of producers and correspondents, this is going to be Cooperstown."
Generations of Americans have seen thousands of pictures of Jacqueline Kennedy, but they seldom heard her voice after her time as first lady. "She gave very few interviews, so we had very little insight into what she was really thinking behind those incredible photographs," says ABC World News anchor Diane Sawyer. On September 13, in the two-hour special Jacqueline Kennedy: In Her Own Words, Sawyer unveils recorded conversations between the iconic and often mysterious former first lady and historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr.
CBS News long-timer Harry Smith is heading to NBC News, TV Guide Magazine has learned.
A source inside CBS said Smith is joining NBC to be part of a new prime time newsmagazine with NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams. The network plans to launch the new program during the 2011-12 season.
Eliot Spitzer is out and CNN is doubling down on hard news and Anderson Cooper.
The cable news network announced July 6 that it will reshuffle its prime time lineup (again), making Anderson Cooper 360 its flagship program with a move to 8 pm/ET (plus a second airing at its current 10 pm/ET time slot), starting August 8.
TV classics are being dusted off for the digital age, and you don't need cable or the Internet to watch them.
Hits from the '70s (Three's Company), '60s (The Monkees) and even the '50s (Burns and Allen) make up the core of Antenna TV, a nostalgia-based network launched in January on over-the-air digital channels in about half the country. Antenna TV joins the throwback party started by Me-TV (Memorable Entertainment), the free TV home of...
Katie Couric's new syndicated daytime talk show doesn't premiere until September 2012, but she's already got her head in the game. When asked to describe what her program would have looked like had it been up and running the day cyber-cheating congressman Anthony Weiner admitted to his online indiscretions, she only takes a moment to come up with a provocative topic. "I would have done an hour on why powerful men engage in...