When it was announced, back in 2008, that Oprah Winfrey would soon be getting her own television network, a person could have been forgiven for thinking she already had one of those. Not just because she previously cofounded the Oxygen network before selling back her shares, but because Oprah wields such a singularly massive influence, it’s easy to forget there are cracks and crevices of the culture her glowing light hasn’t shone on. But the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) is a pivotal moment for the Oprah brand. When her syndicated talk show ends this year, OWN will be her only—not to mention her riskiest—television presence. Those who have wondered whether there were limits to Oprah’s power might get their answer soon.
The Browns, who live in a single-family home that is secretly three conjoined apartments, star in the new TLC show "Sister Wives," which captures the family’s day-to-day life. It’s essentially an unscripted answer to HBO’s "Big Love," but unlike that show, in which the harried patriarch Bill Henrickson (Bill Paxton) is practically crushed under the weight of his tripled domestic duties, Sister Wives casts a more favorable light on polygamy.
One of the most powerful men in the black megachurch movement, Bishop Eddie Long, who in 2004 created a ministry to “deliver” men from homosexuality, faces allegations of taking sexual advantage of three teenage boys. Will the startling allegations make African-Americans rethink the sometimes hostile attitude churches and pastors take toward gays?
Here's an advantage that television creators have over movie creators: there's a sense of community created among fans of a TV show that a movie never gets to amass—and generally, that community takes its cues from the top. If Matthew Weiner makes clear that the "Mad Men" community doesn't tolerate spoilers, there's a stigma around them. That's why the marketing campaign for "Catfish," the new documentary with a supposedly wild twist, is almost hilarious in its marketing hubris.
With so many buzzy new series and first-time nominees, there were bound to be some shake-ups during this year’s Primetime Emmys. But in what categories they would occur was still a moving target, with prognosticators puzzling over whether voters would revert to old habits or reward television’s newest hopefuls. Naturally, the answer was a little of both.