CBS reporter Harold Dow, who had been with the documentary series 48 Hours since it went on the air in 1988, died Saturday. Dow joined CBS in 1973 and over the course of his career interviewed everybody from Patty Hearst to O.J. Simpson. Up above is a piece he did on the legacy of civil-right pioneer Medgar Evers.
Brazil's military dictatorship may have been gone for a quarter of a century, but it's anything but forgotten. Acting on a law leftover from the days of the junta, the government has just banned making fun of political candidates until October elections. The law prohibits TV and radio from the use of "trickery, montages or other features of audio or video in any way to degrade or ridicule a candidate, party or coalition" during the final 90 days of a campaign.
"Do you know of any other democracy in the world with rules like this?" wonders Marcelo Tas, host of the acidly satirical TV show Caiga Quien Caiga (Fall Where They May). "If you want to find a bigger joke, you would have to look to Monty Python." As Reason.com's Nick Gillespie notes, the law doesn't spell out what happens if a candidate makes an ass of himself.
Wonder what PBS viewers will make of this? The Nightly Business Report, produced at Miami's WPBT-PBS 2 for the past 31 years, has been acquired by a private company. The acquisition by NBR Worldwide, Inc. that was announced Thursday marks the first time a major news show produced specifically for PBS by an affiliate station has moved into private hands, but NBR also promises to expand the show onto new digital platforms as well.
You can learn a lot about a precipitous decline and fall of television standards on the TV Guide Network's special Sex On TV -- but not what you think. What this cheap, stupid and gutless program irrefutably proves is that any idiot with a home video camera and half an hour to spare can slap something together these days and find a cable channel to label it a "documentary."
Substituting talk-show blather for reporting and stand-up smirk for insight, Sex On TV -- or the first hour of it, anyway, all that TV Guide Network provided for advance screening -- is impossibly, inconceivably, ineffably awful. Read my full review in Sunday's Miami Herald.
"We're all dying, all of us," muses Cathy Jamison after she's diagnosed with terminal melanoma. "If you think about it that way, hey, I'm living the dream." Peering out of the lengthening shadows of her mortality with a mixture of determination, resignation and trepidation, parrying her regrets with sardonic wit, Cathy is the heroine of The Big C, Showtime's audacious attempt to make a comedy about cancer.
Neither plucky tale of survival nor melodramatic deathbed romance, The Big C is about a cancer victim's attempts to take stock -- and charge -- of her life. Cathy, about to die, is horrified to realize how little she's really lived. Read my full review in Sunday's Miami Herald.
The Big C (10:30 p.m Monday, Showtime) -- Showtime has managed to turn a serial killer into a hero in Dexter and make a warm domestic comedy about narcotraffickers with Weeds. Now: terminal cancer played for bitter laughs, with Laura Linney as a repressed schoolteacher who gets the bad news and Oliver Platt as her goofball husband. Check back later today for a full review.
Weeds (10 p.m. Monday, Showtime) -- Speaking of warm, domestic narcotrafficers, Nancy Botwin and her household of dopers are back for a sixth season -- this time, on the run after a murder. A warm, domestic murder, though.
Lake Placid 3 (9 p.m. Saturday, Syfy) -- I swear to you, I didn't know there was a Lake Placid 2. Really, how many swimmers have to be eaten by giant crocodiles before people switch over to a pool? Colin Ferguson of Eureka is the latest yokel not to grasp the situation.
Let me program your TiVo! Just click on my best bests for the week at www.tivo.com/guruguide.