"Murphy Brown": 20 years later, it's alive and well

For weeks, CBS has had a barrage of ads, reminding us how good the original "Murphy Brown" was. Now the new one is ready to debut Thursday (Sept. 27); here's the story I sent to papers:

By Mike Hughes

In the TV world,
we've found, dead isn't dead and done isn't done.

So it seemed logical
when a TV executive suggested that Diane English revive “Murphy
Brown,” 20 years after the show ended.

From a flop (this Saturday) to a maybe-hit (next month): It's Justin Hires' rush hour

By Mike Hughes

For Justin Hires,
this is an actor's life in overdrive – a big break, a big bust,
then a new chance.

On Saturday, his
“Rush Hour” series has its finale; it's a good one, he said. “You
get to see some real emotion from the two characters.”

"Hear My Song" won't be heard (or seen)

When I saw an advance screener of "Hear My Song" last week, I had mixed feelings. The music was magnificent; so was the direction by Francois Girard. The story, however, was often preposterous.

Still, I couldn't have guessed what would happen next: CBS and "Hallmark Hall of Fame" pulled the film, replacing it with reruns. I could grumble about the poor job they did of getting this information to reporters and viewers. More interesting, however, are the reasons behind the move. Here's the story I sent to papers Monday morning:

It's fun to be a super star at Halloween time

About this time each year, people grumble that the new season didn't bring many really exceptional TV shows.

This year? Well, the new "Fargo" miniseries is brilliant, "Life in Pieces" is sometimes hilarious, "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" is wonderfully original and some dramas ("Blindspot," for instance) can grab us. Still, we want more ... and now we get it. "Supergirl" arrives belatedly on Monday, Oct. 26, bringing zest, joy and an instantly likable star. Here's the story I sent to papers:

Late-night TV gets a British burst of energy

This is one of the rare times when I'm thoroughly optimistic about a show before it arrives. James Corden seems perfectly suited for late-night TV ... in much the same way that Jimmy Fallon is. His show debuts Monday (March 23); here's the story I sent to papers:

By Mike Hughes

Leaping into the
late-night TV world, James Corden is juggling two extremes.

Football heroes? These guys are post-football TV stars

Last weekend, 31 million people watched a football game between Seattle and Carolina; only six shows that week managed to get even half that many.

And now an even bigger audience is expected for the games Sunday (Jan. 18). That means every show wants to be in the Sunday spot after the game. The winner is "Scorpion," which is on a first-season high. Here's the story I sent to papers:


It was the wrong place to be a sports-avoider

"The McCarthys" gets its laughs -- bit ones -- the old-fashioned way: Studio audience, living-room set, clever lines. The result is great fun; here's the story I sent to papers:


Like lots of other
guys, Brian Gallivan grew up not knowing or caring about sports.


Yes, even summer can have big-deal scripted shows

Every now and then, TV people vow to give us something more (or better or just different) in the summer. Occasionally, they actually do. Now, with the success of last summer's "Under the Dome," this seems to be one of those times; here's the story I sent to papers:


Under this dome, life gets interesting

The good news is that "Under the Dome" is first-rate TV. CBS' summertime mini-series, from a Stephen King novel, is richly crafted and thoroughly watchable. Here's the story I sent to papers.


In a world of sprawling choices, many
people still feel confined.

So Stephen King pushed that feeling a
step further: In his “Under the Dome” novel, he had an entire
town become suddenly, inexplicably encased by a dome.