They really don't make them like this anymore. And we're not talking about 12th-century Gothic cathedrals. The Pillars of the Earth, a sprawling historical melodrama based on Ken Follett's mammoth bestseller, conjures nostalgic memories of the days of yore, way back in the 20th century, when networks devoted entire weeks to "event" miniseries like Shogun, The Winds of War, The Thorn Birds, Lonesome Dove, to name a memorable few—although in this case, North and South is the best comparison...
The past few weeks have been trying ones for anyone who cares about TV and the potentially devastating impact the ongoing writers strike could have on the current season and beyond. Which is why, being a cockeyed optimist and all, Ive been cautiously thanking the fates ever since hearing that the Writers Guild and the producers alliance are going back to the negotiating table on Monday. No guarantee, of course, that this will mean a quick end to the standoff that has shut so much production down already. But hey, its Thanksgiving week, so lets stay in a thankful and hopeful mode, OK?In that light, here are 10 more reasons to be thankful about the current week in TV as we head into the Thanksgiving break.1. Were still in a sweeps month, which has allowed us most nights to live blissfully in denial that a strike is even happening, since new episodes continue to abound (including over most of this long holiday weekend). Depending on what happen...
When I heard that longtime TV producer Dan Curtis died this week at 78, I kind of felt like a part of my childhood died as well. This showman no doubt was most proud of his epic World War II miniseries of the '80s, Winds of War, and its colossal 30-hour sequel, War and Remembrance. Yet I can't help but think fondly of the supernatural '60s soap opera he created (also for ABC), Dark Shadows, which introduced the world to that fang-tastically brooding vampire hero, Barnabas Collins.
Many was the afternoon I would hurry home from school (or, in the summer, the public pool) to catch the latest creepy installment of this Gothic soap. I had the books; I had the board game; I even sported plastic fangs and could produce a replica of Barnabas' gaudy ring upon demand. I w