Monday, January 17News That Matters

Tag: Television

On ‘S.N.L.,’ Biden Urges Covid-Weary Nation to Stop Seeing ‘Spider-Man’

LifeStyle
Spider-Man just finished saving the very fabric of reality, but to hear President Biden tell it — at least on “Saturday Night Live” — the wall-crawler is the one to blame for the continuing pandemic.To kick off the first new “S.N.L.” of 2022, James Austin Johnson returned in his recurring role as Biden for a news conference in which he told the nation that “there’s one simple thing you can do to make this whole virus go away: Stop seeing ‘Spider-Man.’”Addressing the White House press corps in the show’s opening sketch, Johnson said: “This virus has disrupted our lives. It’s canceled holidays, weddings, quinceañeras, gender-reveal parties, wildfires that started as gender-reveal parties.”He went on to say: “Now, think about it. When did ‘Spider-Man’ come out? Dec. 17. When did every single ...
One America News Will Be Dropped by DirecTV, a Major Distributor

One America News Will Be Dropped by DirecTV, a Major Distributor

Business
The right-wing cable channel One America News Network — which has spread conspiracy theories about the 2020 election, the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and the safety of coronavirus vaccines — will be dropped by one of its largest television distributors later this year.The decision by the distributor, DirecTV, a satellite and streaming network with about 15 million subscribers, is a significant setback for One America News and its owners, the Herring family. Losing its slot on the DirecTV lineup will almost certainly diminish the network’s overall audience and cut into its annual revenue.DirecTV on Saturday did not elaborate on the precise reasons behind its decision.“We informed Herring Networks that, following a routine internal review, we do not plan to enter into a new contract when our current...
Bridget Everett Shows Off Her Softer Side in ‘Somebody Somewhere’

Bridget Everett Shows Off Her Softer Side in ‘Somebody Somewhere’

LifeStyle
Sometimes Bridget Everett, the actress, comedian and self-proclaimed “cabaret wildebeest,” wonders what would have happened if she had never left Kansas. She has a pretty good idea.“I’d probably live in Kansas City, or Lawrence,” she said. “I would probably work in a restaurant and have two D.U.I.s and sit on the couch a lot in my underwear.”This was on a Monday afternoon in mid-December at John Brown BBQ, a purveyor of Kansas City-style barbecue in Queens, which is to say the closest that a person can get to Kansas within the New York City limits. (Not very close, as it turns out, though Everett said that the sides were delicious.) She was joined by Hannah Bos and Paul Thureen, the creators of “Somebody Somewhere,” a wistful Kansas-set half-hour comedy that arrives Sunday on HBO.Everett, ...

Mommy Is Going Away for Awhile

LifeStyle
There are so many ways to do motherhood wrong, or so a mother is told. She can be overbearing or remote. She can smother or neglect. She can mother in such a specifically bad way that she is assigned a bad-mom archetype: stage mother, refrigerator mother, “cool mom.” She can hover like a helicopter mom or bully like a bulldozer mom. But the thing she cannot do — the thing that is so taboo it rivals actually murdering her offspring — is leave.The mother who abandons her children haunts our family narratives. She is made into a lurid tabloid figure, an exotic exception to the common deadbeat father. Or she is sketched into the background of a plot, her absence lending a protagonist a propulsive origin story. This figure arouses our ridicule (consider Meryl Streep’s daffy American president i...

Bob Saget, Comic Who Portrayed Danny Tanner on ‘Full House,’ Dies at 65

LifeStyle
Bob Saget, the standup comic and actor known as Danny Tanner on “Full House” and the host of “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” was found dead on Sunday in Florida. He was 65.His death was confirmed by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, which said that Mr. Saget was found unresponsive in a hotel room at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes. The cause of death was not known, but the Sheriff’s Office said there were no signs of foul play or drug use.Mr. Saget, who was on tour, had performed on Saturday night at Ponte Vedra Concert Hall in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., southeast of Jacksonville.In a tweet early on Sunday, Mr. Saget thanked the “appreciative audience.”“I had no idea I did a 2 hr set tonight,” he said. “I’m happily addicted again to this.”On “Full House,” Mr. Saget played a widowe...
Cable TV Is the New Landline

Cable TV Is the New Landline

Technology
This article is part of the On Tech newsletter. Here is a collection of past columns.People have been predicting the death of cable TV for a long time, but this really might be it.As recently as a decade ago, nearly all Americans — more than 85 percent of U.S. households — paid for packages of TV channels from cable or satellite companies. That started to decline haltingly at first and then far more quickly in the past few years.Now, the share of American homes that pay for conventional TV service is closing in on 50 percent, according to recent assessments from the investment analyst Craig Moffett and S&P Global Market Intelligence’s Kagan research group.For comparison, cellphones were around for decades before the percentage of Americans who didn’t have a landline telephone at home r...

Middle Age Doesn’t Happen ‘Just Like That’

LifeStyle
Have you heard? There’s a TV show featuring 50-somethings on HBO, right now. “And Just Like That,” the reboot of “Sex and the City,” has resurrected the old gang (Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte — minus Samantha) in present-day New York City, 17 years after the last episode aired. Yes, it turns out that people — even women-people — can actually keep existing beyond the age of 38. Incredible!Or at least that appears to be the perspective of AJLT, which depicts a world of middle-aged characters suspended in perpetual astonishment and discomfort about everything they encounter, from commonplace political and social phenomena to their own bodies. (Warning: spoilers ahead.)“It’s as if its characters must have been asleep for 20 years and awakened utterly gob-smacked to find themselves encounterin...

This Is the N.F.L. Season That Ran Too Long

Sports
Welcome to Week 18 of the N.F.L. season, the superfluous coda to an already-grueling marathon that few besides the television networks and advertisers really wanted.Get ready to discover the answers to some crucial questions this weekend. For example: Will the Dallas Cowboys finish second, third or fourth in the N.F.C. playoff seedings? A second-place finish guarantees them a home playoff game against a wild-card opponent, while third or fourth earns them a home playoff game against a different wild-card opponent. The stakes could hardly be any lower.The Cowboys (11-5) will face the Philadelphia Eagles (9-7), who have already clinched a wild-card berth and may be missing many of their starters due to a coronavirus outbreak. Also, Saturday night’s contest will not actually determine the Cow...
To Boldly Explore the Jewish Roots of ‘Star Trek’

To Boldly Explore the Jewish Roots of ‘Star Trek’

LifeStyle
LOS ANGELES — Adam Nimoy gazed across a museum gallery filled with “Star Trek” stage sets, starship replicas, space aliens, fading costumes and props (think phaser, set to stun). The sounds of a beam-me-up transporter wafted across the room. Over his shoulder, a wall was filled with an enormous photograph of his father — Leonard Nimoy, who played Spock on the show — dressed in his Starfleet uniform, his fingers splayed in the familiar Vulcan “live long and prosper” greeting.But that gesture, Adam Nimoy noted as he led a visitor through this exhibition at the Skirball Cultural Center, was more than a symbol of the television series that defined his father’s long career playing the part-Vulcan, part-human Spock. It is derived from part of a Hebrew blessing that Leonard Nimoy first glimpsed a...
Betty White, a TV Fixture for Seven Decades, Is Dead at 99

Betty White, a TV Fixture for Seven Decades, Is Dead at 99

LifeStyle
Betty White, who created two of the most memorable characters in sitcom history, the nymphomaniacal Sue Ann Nivens on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and the sweet but dim Rose Nylund on “The Golden Girls” — and who capped her long career with a comeback that included a triumphant appearance as the host of “Saturday Night Live” at the age of 88 — died on Friday at her home in Los Angeles. She was 99. Her death, less than three weeks before her 100th birthday, was confirmed by Jeff Witjas, her longtime friend and agent.Ms. White won five Primetime Emmys and one competitive Daytime Emmy — as well as a lifetime achievement Daytime Emmy in 2015 and a Los Angeles regional Emmy in 1952 — in a television career that spanned seven decades and that the 2014 edition of “Guinness World Records” certified...