Coming to TV this Halloween: “Exorcism: Live!”

A better title might be “Exploitation: Live!”  BYOPS (Bring Your Own Pea Soup). Details from The Los Angeles Times: Destination America is looking to instill a little more fright — and a few less spirits — into viewers this Halloween with “Exorcism: Live!” Yes, it’s a real show. On television. And it’s not a parody. Just as [Read More...]

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Jim Gaffigan: “My faith is very associated with the notion of mercy”

The comedian and his wife (who are premiering a new TV show next month) are profiled in First Things:  FT: What would you say your Catholic faith provides you in a positive way, on a day-to-day basis? Jim: My faith is very associated with the notion of mercy. I understand that there is something greater than [Read More...]

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The time Mike Wallace sat on my couch and didn’t laugh—and other favorite memories of Letterman

I was working at CBS when the president of the network, Howard Stringer, did something utterly audacious: he bought a legendary New York theater and gave it to David Letterman as his own personal playpen. That was what happened when CBS invested in what was christened The Ed Sullivan Theater—now a veritable landmark and tourist magnet—on an [Read More...]

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Vatican official credits TV series “Modern Family” for drawing attention to family issues

Well now. This is different. From Crux:  Politics has no monopoly on making strange bedfellows, as a senior Vatican official paid tribute to Hollywood on Thursday for raising the profile of family issues, specifically citing the American sitcom “Modern Family,” a show that features two married gay men who adopt a baby, plus an older [Read More...]

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Check out another upcoming Catholic sitcom, “The Jim Gaffigan Show”

The stand-up guy, and stand-up comic, is producing a TV series based on his life, set to premiere this summer on TV Land. In contrast to another recently-announced show about a Catholic family, this one doesn’t present religion as a problem to be mocked —except, perhaps, by people who are small-minded and intolerant. The pilot is full [Read More...]

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And when can we expect a series mocking Jews and Muslims? Hmmm?

This is something called “The Real O’Neals,” and ABC has just picked it for the fall lineup. The description: A contemporary take on a seemingly perfect Catholic family, whose lives take an unexpected turn when surprising truths are revealed. Instead of ruining their family, the honesty triggers a new, messier chapter where everyone stops pretending [Read More...]

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Great moments in journalism: worst TV news ad ever? Maybe.

Get a load of how WNEM TV (in Saginaw) is promoting its anchor team for sweeps: Some commentary on this here. As media observer Jim Romenesko notes: “Y’all know Julia Roberts was a prostitute in that movie, right?”  RIGHT? Shameless?  Yeah. Further proof, if any where needed, that the news business isn’t what it used to [Read More...]

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“A.D.” and the stoning of Stephen — UPDATED

I was looking for a longer version of this clip, but it doesn’t appear to be available. Nonetheless: here’s a recap of last night’s episode of “A.D.: The Bible Continues,” which concludes with Stephen’s martyrdom. I found the stoning gripping and graphic—but Stephen wasn’t exactly the most saintly or sympathetic of martyrs. He was, actually, [Read More...]

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Our world: TV series follows teen as his dad becomes a woman

Not so very long ago, this sort of thing would have been unthinkable on mainstream American TV. But here we are:  Ben and his father are the subject of the new ABC Family docuseries Becoming Us. From Ryan Seacrest Productions, Becoming Us centers on Ben, who watches as his dad Charlie divorces his mom and begins the gender transition [Read More...]

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CNN anchor: “There is something about Pope Francis that has reawakened my faith”

Here’s a testimony you don’t hear every day, from CNN’s Carol Costello:  I remember the day I stopped praying. It was the day after my little brother, Jimmy, died of cancer. He was 25. I was so angry at God. I was 27 at the time, and, like most young people I had stopped going [Read More...]

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