30 for 30

2009, TV Show

News

Weekend TV in Review: Good Wife, Zombie Mania, Crisis, ESPN's Big East Requiem

Julianna Margulies, Matt Czuchry

Just about the best news I heard all week: CBS's renewal of the splendid The Good Wife for a sixth season, among a ton of other pick-ups. If the month or more of special-Sunday distractions (Super Bowl, Olympics, Oscars) caused you to drift away, now's a great time for "Opting Back In." Which happens to be the name of a keynote speech Alicia (Julianna Margulies) is nervously preparing for the annual American Bar Association powwow in New York City — an occasion allowing for a terrific running gag involving new Mayor Bill De Blasio (Sunday, 9/8c).

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Top Videos: Shmuck Dynasty, Russian Police Sing "Get Lucky," Fake "30 For 30"

Billy Crystal, Jimmy Fallon

This week, Billy Crystal revealed the little-known true origins of Duck Dynasty in an interview with Jimmy Fallon, while Jimmy Kimmel hosted "Modern Family Feud" with the young cast members of Modern Family. Yahoo! released a spoof of ESPN's 30 for 30 about the basketball game in Space JamScott Porter took TVGuide.com on a tour of the Hart of Dixie set, and a Russian police choir sang Daft Punk's "Get Lucky." Check out those clips and more in our weekly roundup of the best online videos:

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The Tuesday Playlist: Ladies' Night on POI, Frontline Tackles NFL Concussion Crisis

Sarah Shahi, Paige Turco and Taraji P. Henson

Last Thursday, I was honored to moderate a panel at the "Made in NY" PaleyFest at New York's Paley Center, celebrating the third season of CBS's terrific cyber-thriller Person of Interest. Before the discussion with many of the show's cast and executive producer Jonathan Nolan, there was a screening of this week's episode (Tuesday, 10/9c) — the best of the season to date, and a fairly pivotal one — that is especially enjoyable in how it showcases the series' fabulous femmes fatales. With the target du jour a chameleon Casanova, the women must act as nightclub and social-media bait: an off-duty and glammed-up Carter (Taraji P. Henson), the ferociously trigger-happy Shaw (Sarah Shahi, hilariously playing against her natural beauty) and Reese's favorite fixer, the alluring Zoe Morgan (recurring co-star Paige Turco). A CBS contact refers to them as "Finch's Angels," and if they want to spin themselves off, that would be fine by me. A scene where the three ladies of the evening compare their weaponry is a riot. So's a later scene in which Shaw reflects on her disdain for relationships. (When I asked Shahi if Shaw has a soft side, she wasted no time in barking a "No.")

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The Tuesday Playlist: NBC Falls Out Of Love

Amber Kelleher-Andrews, Matt Hussey, Tracy McMillan

Way to squander a Voice lead-in, NBC. Turns out America wasn't ready to waste another night of the broadcast week on a ridiculously padded dating show, so after this week, Ready for Love (Tuesday, 9:01/8:01c) goes into reality limbo — and honestly, if scripted duds can get yanked without notice, why should lousy competition-reality shows be exempt when shunned like this one was? On the plus side, with The Voice about to end its enjoyable "battle" rounds and move next week into the "knockout" phase, the expanded Tuesday edition will be joined April 30 by the clever supernatural thriller Grimm, given a well-deserved reprieve from the Friday trenches for the rest of the season. (Part of me wishes NBC would invest more heavily in Hannibal and give it a shot in this wide-open Tuesday time period, but Grimm is probably a better fit.)

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The Weekend Playlist: Finales (Girls, Banshee) and March Madness

Antony Starr

Things get awfully bloody on Friday with the explosive first-season finale of Cinemax's violent noir Banshee (10/9c), in which shootouts and long-simmering feuds leave such a gory trail that it almost puts to shame a new episode of Starz' reliably visceral Spartacus: War of the Damned (9/8c).

"I must admit, you have an admirable knack for survival," understates the lethal ...
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ESPN's 30 For 30 Tracks Down a Dark Olympic Legacy

ESPN's 30 For 30

Long before the cases of Lance Armstrong, Barry Bonds and Marion Jones engendered public indifference about performance-enhancing drugs, steroids were a dirty little secret of the sports world. Suspicions were prevalent in Olympic circles, but rarely discussed above a whisper. That changed in 1988 when Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson was busted for the anabolic steroid stanozolol days after winning the gold medal and setting a world record in the 100-meter dash at the Seoul Olympics. His spectacular rise to the top of his sport and his cataclysmic fall are chronicled in 9.79*, this week's entry in ESPN's Emmy-nominated documentary series 30 for 30 (Tuesdays, 8/7c).

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Tonight's TV Hot List: Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010

Dancing With The Stars

Dancing with the Stars
8/7c ABC
Many had predicted that high-scoring Audrina Patridge would make it all the way to the elite Final 3 this season. However, last week one of this show's "shocking exits" occurred, leaving the judges stunned and Audrina out in the cold. Will this week's eliminated star be another early favorite following in her footsteps? But before anyone exits, Taylor Swift and Rod Stewart both make return appearances to the show's stage, and the cast of Broadway's Mary Poppins does a tap-dance number. — Jennifer Sankowski

Read on for previews of Biggest Loser, 30 for 30, Mysteries at the Museum, America's Election Headquarters: The 2010 Midterms, Kathy Griffin: Whores on Crutches and Running Russell Simmons. read more

Disgraced Olympian Marion Jones Let Off Easy in ESPN Documentary

Marion Jones

America loves a comeback story and few can compete with the tumultuous rise, fall and return of Marion Jones. Once a media darling, the disgraced Olympic sprinter lost the five medals she won at the 2000 Summer Games after admitting she used performance-enhancing drugs. When Jones had previously lied about that to federal investigators (as well as her role in a check-fraud case), she was sentenced to six months in prison. After a difficult incarceration that included a demoralizing seven-week stint in solitary confinement, she was ... read more

Tonight's TV Hot List: Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2010

Glee

Glee
8/7c Fox
It's Halloween. What's a Gleek to do?  Let's put on The Rocky Horror Picture Show! The reason that New Directions is putting its spin on the 1975 cult classic (at least according to the plot) is that Emma's a big fan and Will wants to impress Emma, so... it's time for "Time Warp." That's Kurt underneath the bald Riff-Raff wig, by the way. Movie alums Barry Bostwick and Meat Loaf are in the guest cast, playing station managers at the TV station where Sue Sylvester hurls her "As Sue Sees It" darts. And, yes, Sue's scheming to stop the show. — Paul Droesch

Read on for previews of Stargate Universe, 30 for 30, NBA Basketball, Nova, Dance Cam Slam, Auction Kings. read more

Tonight's TV Hot List: Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2010

No Ordinary Family

No Ordinary Family
8/7c ABC
For the last few weeks, JJ's super brain has been a secret to his parents, and mostly used for academic pursuits (or learning Hebrew to impress a girl). But can it help him succeed at sports? Tonight he goes out for the football team by using the X's and O's as variables in math equations, but the undersized JJ finds out the hard way that the game is more than just physics: It's physical. Meanwhile, a case of mistaken identity makes Jim look like the culprit of a crime he's trying to prevent. — Joe Friedrich

Read on for previews of Millionaire Matchmaker, Parenthood, 30 for 30, Scream 2010, Frontline and Mad Mel: The Rise and Fall of a Hollywood Icon. read more

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Premiered: October 06, 2009
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Premise: A series of (originally just 30) documentary films on sports stories from ESPN's first 30 years (1979-2009). Subjects were selected by top filmmakers, including Barry Levinson, Morgan Freeman, Ron Shelton, Albert Maysles, Frank Marshall and Ice Cube.

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