American Masters

1986, TV Show

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Tonight's TV Hot List: Wednesday, May 12, 2010

American Idol

American Idol
9/8c Fox
It's lights, camera and action for our fab four, who were the reel deal last night by performing songs of the cinema, with actor Jamie Foxx guiding them along with his mentorship. But Idol viewers are the final critic, and now Crystal Bowersox, Lee DeWyze, Casey James and Michael Lynche anxiously await America's thumbs-up or thumbs-down in this results installment. Alas, one will end up on the cutting-room floor. Providing the soundtrack are performers Bon Jovi and Daughtry, fronted by Season 5's Chris Daughtry.

Read on for previews of America's Next Top Model, Mercy, American Masters, Top Chef Masters and Music by Prudence. read more

Tonight's TV Hot List: Monday, Jan. 11, 2010

How I Met Your Mother

How I Met Your Mother
8/7c CBS
The 100th episode calls for something really special, and that would be a... wait for it (more later). Barney meets a beautiful bartender, played by Stacy Keibler, who makes him decide between her and his trademark suits, and the dilemma leads to (OK, now it's time)... a big musical number! Barney takes to the streets, along with the rest of the cast, to perform "Nothing Suits Me Like a Suit," and Harris is well-suited for the inspired number with his Broadway background. Rachel Bilson and Tim Gunn also guest star.

Read on for previews of House, Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, Fantasia for Real and American Masters. read more

Tonight's TV Hot List: Wednesday, July 1, 2009:Edited By SK

America's Got Talent

Edited by SK

America's Got Talent
9 pm/ET NBC
The good, the bad and the ugly. That's essentially what is going down in these early star-search audition shows. But the good acts will slowly separate from the others, leaving them behind to advance to the "Vegas Verdicts" and a chance to score the ultimate $1 million prize. Tonight the colorful hopefuls showcase their talents in the fourth audition installment.

Read on for previews of American Masters, Primetime: Crime, RENO 911! and New Adventures of Old Christine. read more

Tonight's TV Hot List: Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Top Chef Masters

Letters to the President
8 pm/ET HBO2
When a nation plays it as close to the vest as Iran, it's hard to know what goes on behind its borders, but a trio of documentaries seek to give at least a glimpse of what makes the country tick. The first is Letters to the President, a look at Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's correspondence with the populace. It's followed by The Queen and I on June 17 (8 pm/ET), a chronicle of a former revolutionary's relationship with the Shah's widow, and Be Like Others: Transsexuals in Iran on June 24 (8 pm/ET).

Read on for previews of Top Chef Masters, American Masters, Real World/Road Rules Challenge and Mythbusters. read more

Tonight's TV Hot List for Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Lost

America's Next Top Model
8 pm/ET CW
Fo, Tyra's self-proclaimed "mama's pupil," must be considered the front-runner after last week's high praise from Banks on her smiling eyes and a best-photo win. On the bottom is self-destructing Celia. She is, arguably, the most fashion-conscious model, but her ill-advised tirade at panel against Tahlia will likely be her downfall. Nigel, especially, is itching to get rid of her. Tonight Clay Aiken coaches the models during an acting class, and Cycle 11 winner McKey prepares the gals to shoot a cosmetics commercial.

Read on for previews of American Idol, Lost, The Unusuals and American Masters read more

TV King Norman Lear Holds a Masters Class

Norman Lear by Jean-Paul Aussenard/WireImage.com

Folk singer Pete Seeger was a major part of the soundtrack of the '60s, backing up his music with a lifetime of tireless antiwar and environmental activism. As such he'll be the subject of the next American Masters, which premieres Feb. 27 on PBS. The executive producer of the film is another prominent progressive — legendary TV mogul and philanthropist Norman Lear. The producer of classic sitcoms such as All in the Family, Maude, The Jeffersons, One Day at a Time (we could go on) has been active in getting young people registered to vote. He still makes hits, too, but now it's for his label Concord Music Group (James Taylor, Joni Mitchell and Paul McCartney are on his roster). He's also half-owner of Village Roadshow Pictures (which produced I Am Legend), and owns a copy of one of the world's most famous historical documents. The Biz recently checked in with him.TVGuide.com: You're certainly at a stage in life where you can be choosy about your projects — so why Pete Seeg... read more

How SNL Kept It Alive in the '90s

Once upon a not very long time ago, Saturday Night Live had character — make that characters. Wayne and Garth, Hans and Franz, Linda Richman, Mary Katherine Gallagher, the sexually ambiguous Pat, Mango, the Cheerleaders. And so on. "It was the Yankees," remembers Chris Rock of a cast so stuffed with talent that the competition to get on air and create new comic icons and catchphrases was ferocious. (Eddie Murphy once advised Rock to create "Weekend Update" pieces delivered straight to the camera to help him break through. Which he did.) Anecdotes like these make the frankly funny and admirably frank Saturday Night Live in the '90s: Pop Culture Nation (May 6, 9 pm/ET, NBC) so much more than a nostalgic clip job. There's plenty that's celebratory in this two-hour special, but also much that's self-critical — especially in addressing the mid-'90s cast upheaval that led to falling ratings, read more

Knights of Prosperity, Dirt, In Case of Emergency, Beauty and the Geek - Matt Roush Reviews

Enjoy the holiday break while it lasts, because the moment the clock strikes 2007, TV is back in business, wasting little time in introducing new and returning shows and specials on network, cable and public TV. The first week of the new year is unusually full, with the premieres of shows that hope to get noticed before juggernauts like American Idol and 24 arrive mid-month, commanding everyone's attention. I'd like to report that this first wave portends a happy new TV year, but as usual, it's a mixed bag of winners and losers in a variety of genres. Here's my first scorecard of 2007. The Knights of ProsperityWednesdays, 9 pm/ET, ABCThe Scoop: There's plenty of scruffy whimsy in this quirky caper comedy about a gang of social misfits (two janitors, a cab driver, a waitress, a security guard and a geeky intern) who decide their path to the American Dream lies in robbing Mick read more

Hot Summer
No “dog days” on TV this year

There’s no taking vacation from summer TV. Used to be everything went mostly dark between May and September. No longer. This off-season’s deluge of shows includes the usual glut of reality TV, much of it disposable — though some, like Bravo’s delicious Project Runway, are must-sees. Meanwhile cable networks deliver signature dramas and comedies nearly every night of the week. Even in normally sleepy late July, there are plenty of fresh and compelling choices. Here’s a sampler of the new series and specials, rated by whether they’re worth coming inside for. Work Out Tuesdays, 9 pm/ET, BravoReason to stay in: To see how the rich and famous get in shape, as cameras follow the buff trainers at an exclusive Beverly Hills penthouse gym.Worth watching? I’ve met barbells with more personality. Too little sweat, too much attitude fr read more

Geeks and Freaks
Eureka: The playground of mad scientists

The tucked-away town of Eureka may not be on a map, but you can't miss it. Just turn left at the second wormhole. What's strange is commonplace in Eureka (Tuesdays at 9 pm/ET on Sci Fi, premiering July 18), a divertingly original but awfully precious comic fantasy that brings science fiction back to Earth. The setting: a quirky Northern Exposure-like burg in the Pacific Northwest where every basement seems to be hatching a mind-blowing (and potentially cosmos-shaking) experiment, courtesy of a local population of obsessed geniuses. Many of the classified secrets behind the town's origins are revealed in this week's two-hour pilot, in which U.S. Marshal Jack Carter (gangly, goofily charming Colin Ferguson) stumbles into Eureka just as a secret project goes awry and beg read more

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Premiered: 1986, on PBS
Rating: TV-PG
User Rating: (16 ratings)
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Premise: An acclaimed series of biographies of artists, writers, filmmakers, musicians and Hollywood stars. Profiles of Alexander Calder, Paul Simon, Charlie Chaplin and music producer John Hammond won Peabody Awards, while films about Edward R. Murrow, Lucille Ball, Buster Keaton, Lillian Gish and Leonard Bernstein (among others) won Emmys, and a study of the Algonquin Round Table won a 1987 Academy Award.

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American Masters: Johnny Carson: King of Late [Blu-ray]
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