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Exclusive Photo: Legendary Broadcast Journalist Dan Rather

CHICAGO – From the JFK assassination, through Vietnam, Watergate and his days of anchoring the CBS Evening News, Dan Rather has influenced the media for six decades. He appeared in Naperville (Ill.) last November for his new book, “What Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism,” sponsored by Anderson’s Bookshop.

Interview: Simon Helberg Performs With ‘Florence Foster Jenkins’

CHICAGO – For nine seasons, Simon Helberg has graced the television screen as Howard, on the number one comedy hit “The Big Bang Theory.” As the show nears the end of its run, Helberg is breaking out a bit, starting with a vital supporting role opposite Meryl Streep in the new film, “Florence Foster Jenkins.”

Interview: Norman Lear of ‘Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You’

CHICAGO – Norman Lear is one of the greatest TV creators of the 20th Century, and beyond. The producer was a titan of 1970s television, with shows like “All in the Family,” “Good Times,” “Maude” and “Sanford and Son.” He is the topic of a new film documentary, “Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You.”

Interview: Linda Gray of ‘Dallas’ on Larry Hagman & Her New Book ‘The Road to Happiness’

CHICAGO – In the summer of 1980, the whole nation was obsessed with one question – “Who shot J.R.?” J.R. was J.R. Ewing, portrayed by Larry Hagman, and the TV show that provided that question was “Dallas.” The role of J.R.’s long suffering wife on the show was portrayed by Linda Gray, who has written a new memoir.

TV Review: Silly ‘Intelligence’ Could Use a Bit of Brain Power

CBS’s “Intelligence” is going for smart & sexy but too often ends up silly. “LOST” star Josh Holloway casts a charismatic shadow but his character is a cipher in the premiere, a walking computer chip that lacks the personality for a show like this to work.

What to Watch: Nov. 3-9, 2013

Lovelace

CHICAGO – Another week of a hodge podge of new Blu-ray, DVD, and streaming releases that we call What to Watch. Looking for something new? Something very old? Something rare? Something from TV? There’s a little bit of everything and even a story about porn too. Check it out, ranked in how interesting I find them.

TV News: Marcia Wallace, Edna Krabappel on ‘The Simpsons,’ Dies at 70

Marcia Wallace, photo by Joe Arce.

LOS ANGELES – Marcia Wallace, who created two classic TV roles on “The Bob Newhart Show” and “The Simpsons,” passed away in Los Angeles, according to her agent on Saturday. She was 70 years old. In the 1970s, she was known as Carol Kester, Bob Hartley’s assistant on that Newhart show. In 1990 – one season after “The Simpsons” began – she took on the voice role of Edna Krabappel, the frazzled and man-hungry fourth grade teacher of Bart Simpson.

TV Review: CBS Misses Comedy Mark with ‘The Crazy Ones,’ ‘The Millers’

CHICAGO – There are very few recurring weak points in the CBS lineup. They’ve been dominating total viewers for years with mega-hits like “NCIS” and “The Big Bang Theory.” But there is one thing they haven’t been able to figure out — something to partner with “TBBT.”

TV Review: CBS Has Another Likely Hit in ‘Mom’

Mom

CHICAGOCBS must have a whole wing of their headquarters dedicated to Chuck Lorre. Why not? He paid for it. He has been such a key part of their success over the last decade that it’s hard to think of any network-creator relationship that’s been more financially notable. “Two and a Half Men,” “The Big Bang Theory,” “Mike & Molly” — all winners of acting Emmys and at least the first two stand among the most popular comedies of their era. Can he do it again with “Mom,” premiering tonight, September 23, 2013? Don’t bet against him.

TV Feature: The 10 Most Promising Network Shows of Fall 2013

CHICAGO – In the decade-plus that I’ve been covering network television, no season comes close to this upcoming one in terms of lackluster, bland, uninspired programming.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Cornerstone, Nothing Without a Company

    CHICAGO – We all need some help. The stage play group Nothing Without a Company realizes that, and has collaborated with the organization “Cornerstone” to provide that assistance. Cornerstone is a seminar and a happening in downtown Chicago, facilitated by “experts” to generate your potential. The presentation has a Thursday-Sunday run at Michigan Avenue’s Artspace 8 through April 29th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • Cold War

    CHICAGO – Local filmmaking is thriving, thanks to the many creators who choose to make independent movies in Chicago. Co-directors Stirling McLaughlin and J. Wilder Konschak (also writer) brought their cast and crew to the Windy City to make their comedy, “Cold War.” The film made its digital debut on April 6th, 2018, and will be available on iTunes, Google Play, FandangoNow, Amazon, Vudu and more.

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