Edition: U.S. / Global

Saturday, January 11, 2014


Television Review | 'True Detective'

A Coupling as Bizarre as the Murder

True Detective  Matthew McConaughey, left, and Woody Harrelson star in this series on HBO on Sunday.
Michele K. Short/HBO

True Detective Matthew McConaughey, left, and Woody Harrelson star in this series on HBO on Sunday.

The new HBO series “True Detective” pairs Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson as a mismatched team of Louisiana state cops dealing with a reopened murder case.

A Mr. Feder, Once of Fort Lee, Chimes In

Richard Feder of Fort Lee, N.J., whose name was used on “Saturday Night Live” years ago as that of a letter writer to a news show, was stuck in the traffic caused by the lane closings.

Television Review

Yo, What’s Shaking? Not These Movers

Fox adds two series to its late-Saturday-night animation lineup, including “Lucas Bros. Moving Co.,” from the twin comedians Keith and Kenny Lucas.

Justices Take Case on Free TV Streaming

Broadcasters contend Aereo’s service violates copyright laws. The company says it is not covered by the relevant provisions of those laws.

The TV Watch

Looking Again at That Mars-Venus Thing

As HBO brings back “Girls,” the series about young female slackers, it is also offering “Looking,” about young gay slackers.

Admit One

For Couples Split by Distance, Two Screens Can Blink as One

In an age when solitary TV and movie viewing is easier all the time, some couples meet remotely to share their entertainment.

Television Review | 'Enlisted'

A Band of Brothers and Oddballs

“Enlisted,” a Fox sitcom making its debut Friday, centers on three brothers stationed at the same backwater base in Florida.


The Brooklyn Beard Goes Mainstream

Facial hair has outgrown its underground connotations. Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, sported a beard that prompted barbs on Twitter: “Jay Carney rocks lumberjack-chic at the year’s first press conference.”

Television Review

Dad, He’s Cute. Are You Sure He’s My Brother?

“The Spoils of Babylon,” a six-part series on IFC, is a broad parody of those overblown mini-series of yore about wealthy clans, starring some familiar names.

‘Downton Abbey’ Returns to a Record Audience

The season premiere for “Downton Abbey” drew more than 10.2 million viewers, a record for this British drama.

Critic’s Notebook

A Cash Prize as Elusive as ...

Based on two new shows, the TV trend of 2014 may be reality shows about people hunting things, including other people.

‘Downton Abbey’ Returns and Sets Ratings Record

The audience of 10.2 million for the Season 4 premiere was a huge increase from the Season 3 premiere of 7.3 million.

‘S.N.L.’ Hires Black Female Cast Member

Sasheer Zamata, a sketch comedian who has been performing in the New York area for the past four years, will make her first appearance on Jan. 18.

The TV Watch

A Case of Bad Cop, Good-Looking Cop

Two sides of the feminization of television crime shows come to the screen this week with “Chicago P.D.,” on NBC, and “Killer Women,” on ABC.

Television Review

Going Shopping, Honey? Be a Dear and Pick Up My Arsenic

In “The Poisoner’s Handbook,” the PBS show “American Experience” looks at the poisons that were once sold as goods ranging from complexion enhancers to furniture polish.

Television Review

A Woman Chasing Disasters, on and Off the News

“Being Mary Jane,” a new drama on Black Entertainment Television, stars Gabrielle Union as a cable news personality fielding crises.

Television Review

An Army of One, Enhanced by a Chip

The new CBS series “Intelligence” centers on an agent whose abilities have been broadened by a microchip implanted in his brain.

NBC Begins Swarm of Ads to Lift ‘Today’ Back to Top

The NBC morning news program, which has been second to “Good Morning America” for 16 months, will open its offensive with a major promotional campaign.

Detecting a New Season

A bumper crop of new shows (“Broad City” and “Looking”), and some worthy veterans (“Sherlock” and “House of Cards”), awaits viewers huddled before the television this winter.

Murder Is Just the Start

“True Detective,” new on HBO, subverts the clichés of the detective series genre and strives to reinvent the police procedural.

‘Idol’ Tries to Clean Up Its Act

Hoping to stabilize a sharp ratings decline for “American Idol,” Fox changes the judging panel, brings in a new director and promises stronger singing contestants.

Now Starring as the Jerk You Can Feel For

Greg Kinnear reflects on his twisting career trajectory as he prepares for “Rake,” a new Fox series in which he plays a deeply flawed defense lawyer.


Pint-Size Players, Texas-Size Fervor

“Friday Night Tykes,” a reality show that has its premiere on Tuesday night at 9 on the Esquire Network, follows five San Antonio football teams of 8- and 9-year-olds.

New Home for Media News

Media news and features formerly covered at Media Decoder can now be found on the Media & Advertising section front. To get media news via Twitter, follow @NYTMedia.

And the Winner Is ... Award Shows

Dick Clark Productions has become more valuable as its product — live award shows — has become more attractive to TV networks desperate to ward off the dreaded DVR.

Scene City: ‘Girls’ Grows Up in Season 3

Lena Dunham and the rest of the “Girls” cast celebrate the new season with family and fashionable friends.

People’s Choice Awards’ Red Carpet

Looks from the red carpet at the 40th People’s Choice Awards, with Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Sandra Bullock and more.

Coming Out

A glance at news anchors who have recently revealed their sexual orientation.

Excerpt: 'Community'

The NBC sitcom returns in January with Dan Harmon, the series creator, back at the helm.

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