An American Family

1973, TV Show

News

VIDEO: How Some Scenes from Cinema Verite Really Happened in An American Family

Tim Robbins, Diane Lane

Below is a montage of scenes from the first modern reality show, 1973's An American Family, and their counterparts in HBO's original movie Cinema Verite, which premiered on Saturday. Watching Diane Lane's and Tim Robbins' performances next to the people they're portraying (Pat and Bill Loud), the differences are obvious — the fictional spin on the Louds is infinitely more melodramatic. Peaceful discussions get injected with hostility and hysteria, scenes stretch on to belabor points and simple goodbyes become heavy-handed symbols...
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Roush Review: HBO's Weekend Triple Play

Talking Funny

This weekend, HBO offers up a comedy special (Talking Funny), a new movie about an historic TV phenom (Cinema Verite) and the return of a distinguished drama series (Treme). All are worth a look. It's actually an HBO grand slam if you count Game of Thrones, the triumphant adult fantasy series that was renewed for a second season shortly after the first episode aired. (HBO has a tradition of doing this, but rarely in recent years has the network's enthusiasm been so well deserved.)

In Thrones' eventful second chapter (Sunday, 9/8c), you begin to sense the series' range, as many characters begin disparate journeys through the sprawling land of Westeros: dutiful Ned Stark heads out with... read more

From The Louds to Snooki: A History of Reality TV Stars Blaming the Edit

Diane Lane, Tim Robbins

The most illuminating part of HBO's original movie Cinema Verite (airing Saturday at 9/8c) comes at its very end. We get to see a clip of the real Loud family, whose participation on the first modern reality show, 1973's An American Family, is central to the film. Verite transitions from the fictional portrayal of the Louds to footage from their actual appearance on The Dick Cavett Show, which was part of their self-orchestrated, damage-control tour following the mass criticism they received from viewers as a result of the show. During the segment, they voice their disdain for having their lives edited and their personalities categorized to suit plotlines. In response, Cavett snorts, "Anybody who's in show business would have to call you naïve to think that you could think that you could appear on television and not have it selected, edited..."

If anyone had a right to complain about editing, surely it was this family of guinea pigs. What's amazing about this is that some 38 years later, we're still having this conversation as a culture...
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Matt's Weekend Picks: April 22-24

Matt Smith and Karen Gillan

Supernatural (Friday, 9/8c, The CW)

Winchesters, meet Colt! As in: the real Samuel Colt, whose infamous demon-destroying gun has loomed large throughout Supernatural's mythology. This week, Dean gets to play cowboy — Sam is less thrilled — when Castiel sends the brothers back in time to the Wild West to get some guidance from the proverbial horse's mouth. Speaking of weapons, over on Fox's Fringe in the same time period, an apocalyptic scenario is triggered when Walternate revs up the doomsday device "over there," in hopes of rocking our (and specifically Peter's) world.

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HBO Announces Premiere Date For Cinema Verite

Cinema Verite

HBO will premiere its latest TV movie, Cinema Verite, on April 23, the network announced Thursday.

Starring Diane Lane, Tim Robbins and James Gandolfini, the film follows the precursor of reality TV back — PBS' 12-part documentary, An American Family. The 1973 series documented a... read more

James Gandolfini: Real Housewives is "Extraordinary," Jersey Shore? Not So Much

James Gandolfini

James Gandolfini is willing to admit he's seen some reality television.

"I have watched Real Housewives of Atlanta. That was extraordinary," the three-time Emmy-winner said Friday at the Television Critics Association's winter preview sessions. Asked about Jersey Shore, the actor said, "No, no, no."

In HBO's upcoming original movie Cinema Verite, Gandolfini will play reality TV pioneer... read more

Keck's Exclusives: Brothers & Sisters Sets a Thanksgiving Seat for Sonia Braga

Sonia Braga

ABC's Brothers & Sisters has cast Brazilian beauty Sonia Braga to play Gilles Marini's mother, Gabriela, in its Thanksgiving episode airing on November 14. Sonia, who had recurring roles on Alias and PBS' American Family, will be a welcome addition to the Walker family dinner table as Luc Laurent's mama... read more

Diane Lane to Headline An American Family Movie for HBO

Diane Lane

Diane Lane will headline HBO's new film Cinema Verite, which will go behind-the-scenes of the landmark PBS reality series An American Family, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Lane, 45, will play Pat Loud, the matriarch of the... read more

HBO Revisits the Louds for An American Family Movie

The Loud Family

America's first reality TV family is coming back to the small screen.

HBO and executive producer Gavin Polone have teamed up for the TV movie Cinema Verite, a behind-the-scenes look at the Loud family and An American Family, the groundbreaking PBS reality series that featured the family, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Shari Springer Berman and Bob Pulcini (American Splendor) will direct the ...
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Premiered: January 11, 1973, on PBS
Rating: None
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Premise: A landmark 12-part 1973 portrait of the Loud family of Santa Barbara, Cal. The series followed a couple and their five children, and captured benign everyday activities, as well as moments of emotional intensity. Sequels and follow-up reports were produced over the next decades, including `American Family Revisited' on HBO in 1983 and `Lance Loud: A Death in an American Family' on PBS in 2003.

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