WASHINGTON -- It took the combined clout of an actress best known for playing an angel and her big-ratings executive-producer husband, but Roma Downey and Mark Burnett have pulled off the making of a 10-hour miniseries, "The Bible," that gets its premiere Sunday, March 3, on the History cable channel.
The miniseries runs 7-9 p.m. each Sunday in March through March 31, Easter Sunday.
WASHINGTON -- Television viewership is down. That's almost a man-bites-dog story.
But why is it down? There's not enough evidence yet to state why exactly, and the pattern of lower viewership is not long enough to declare it a trend.
By one token, TV viewing couldn't keep going up ever higher. The number of hours per day that the tube is on in American homes is astonishing. The Nielsen ratings service estimates that Americans watch about 147 hours of cable, satellite and broadcast television a month.
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Remember TV-Turnoff Week? It is no more.
It is now called Screen-Free Week.
Organizers of the annual weeklong voluntary blackout of TV recognize that TV isn't the only screen where children -- and adults -- go for mindless entertainment. In fact, when Billy Crystal can joke during the Oscars about people watching movies on their cellphones, you know the phenomenon is no longer a phenomenon and has instead entered the mainstream.
Sunday night I returned home after spending several hours at the Cardinal Rigali Center with some of my fellow employees, where we had been working on our latest response to the HHS mandate. As I was walking into the house, I received a text message from a friend which read, "if you're in front of your television, turn on the Grammys...some woman is on an anti-Catholic rant."
WASHINGTON -- After nearly a decade of threats, fines and court challenges, America may finally learn for sure whether the federal government has the authority to punish the airing of indecent material on broadcast television.
Or, we will get to see a continuing game of cat and mouse between the Federal Communications Commission and the broadcast networks to see where the line should be drawn and how thickly.
WASHINGTON -- The need for media literacy may be no more evident than when it comes to reality TV.
Reality TV may show real events, but it's a director's and editor's version of events. It can be the visual equivalent of a newspaper story where the subject complains that he was interviewed for a half-hour, but the only thing that appears is a quote taken out of context.
Of course, reality shows bind their subjects to nondisclosure clauses until it suits the network -- like having them appear on the network's morning news program the day after they're voted off the island.