BETWEEN THE LINES

Carson Daly Comes of Age With Growing Role on ‘Today’ Show

When Carson Daly left MTV’s Total Request Live (TRL) in 2002, he was something of a running-gag in the media. The show had run its course. Even “Saturday Night Live” had a skit lampooning TRL. “I’m Carson Daly and I’m a tool,” said the actor portraying him to hoots. Daly, 40, certainly introduced a gazillion music stars, including a young Christina Aguliera, but as with everything in TV, his time came and seemingly went....

Ben Affleck's 'Argo' a Harrowing Tale Well Told, Well Acted

When actor Ben Affleck turned into a director of note with his brilliantly staged “The Town” two years back, audiences and Hollywood took note. It was a tense, tautly realized effort, with an exemplary cast. His latest effort, “Argo,” is another finely textured and nuanced story, with excellent performances by his coterie of actors. The movie is filled with excellent actors from John Goodman, Alan Arkin and Bryan Cranston to Tate Donovan....

J.J. Abrams' Sci-Fi Show 'Fringe' Gets New Life from Fox

Lost-wunderkund J. J. Abrams’ show “Fringe” has been nothing short of brilliant for almost of all its four seasons. Fox finally announced it’s renewing the epic show for a shortened-13-episode season. It was the right call. Truth be told, the current season has been its weakest yet, with a reveal of an alternate universe (always cause for concern!). Yet the acting by principals Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson and, in particular, John Noble, is just off the charts....

Robert De Niro, Tribeca Film Festival Lift New York City

Robert DeNiro and Jane Rosenthal, as they have every year since 2002, kicked off New York City’s Tribeca Film Festival, which has grown to become of the nation’s signature celluloid events. Film festivals are tricky things to arrange; much preparation and thought are needed to get them off the ground, but once they get rolling, they’re both an economic boon, and a creative one, to whatever city is hosting them....

Jason Isaacs Stars in 'Awake,' TV's Hot New Sci-Fi Drama

Sci-fi devotees have watched boatloads of shows come and go on the small screen. But when “Awake” debuted several weeks back on NBC, I decided to give it a shot. Shows like “Millennium,” “The Event,” “Jericho,” “Torchwood,” “Fast Forward,” The Nine” and “Heroes,” all started strong, but were soon abandoned by the networks that aired them, often with plots dangling. Let’s hope, the story is different with “Awake.”...

Mad Men Debut, Commercial Breaks Aside, Shines

After watching the "Mad Men" premiere, I thought about it all night. I got up the next day, and I was still thinking about it. Here's what grabbed me the most about "One Little Kiss," the first episode in Season Five of the show's much anticipated return. I did not like the many, many commercials. By the second or third break, I was already counting the actual time the story played on screen and it was something like 10 minutes, compared with the first four seasons without commercials....

Dustin Hoffman's Luck: New Show a Brilliant Failure

Talk about an ironic title. HBO abruptly shut down production on Dustin Hoffman's iconic new series "Luck" after a third horse died on the set. Say what you will, but the show, having just aired its fourth installment, was finally picking up steam. With an esteemed cast, including producer/star Dustin Hoffman, Dennis Farina, Michael Gambon, Nick Nolte, Jason Gedrick and Kevin Dunn, HBO no doubt was expecting another Sopranos-like show....
Billy Crystal

Billy Crystal Shines Through Awkward Moments at Oscars

When Billy Crystal hit the stage last night in his much anticipated Oscar return, I definitely noted there were a few awkward moments, both in the audience and on stage alike. Watching him was like watching an old friend return--that I got. But, to me, the fact that he didn't acknowledge his absence of eight years was both good and bad....

Barry Glazer Reflects on Career, New Regis Philbin TV Venture

Barry Glazer, a four-time Emmy winning director, has teamed up with talk-show powerhouse Regis Philbin to develop prime-time television entertainment programming that could see a return to a modern-day variety show. The unique partnership also includes cable television veteran Edward Walson and writer-producer-show runner Cort Casady. Where it goes is anyone's guess, but Regis is focused on family entertainment....