Did Brian Williams Forget to be Journalist by Doing so Many Entertainment Shows?

TV Tattle

Did Brian Williams forget to be journalist by doing so many entertainment shows?
Williams has hosted Saturday Night Live, made multiple cameos on 30 Rock, lent his voice to Family Guy, roasted Don Rickles, and slow-jammed the news with Jimmy Fallon. He’s appeared on numerous late-night talks shows, from The Daily Show to Conan O’Brien to Jimmy Kimmel to Letterman. Other network anchors have also dabbled in the entertainment world. But as Jack Shafer notes, “the frequency of Williams’ appearances on entertainment programs indicate he’s forgotten what business he’s in.” And that desire to mix entertainment and news may be what finally bit Williams in this Iraq War helicopter fiasco, says Shafer. “The examples of Williams exaggeration or embellishment advanced by his critics capture Williams speaking at his most entertaining best,” says Shafer, who wonders if Williams prioritized being entertaining over telling the true story. PLUS: Williams seemed to strive to be a “cool celebrity” who is the mainstay of NBC’s brand, and why NBC won’t fire its “$200M man.”

Report: Katie Couric would be willing to take over if Brian Williams exited
The NY Daily News quotes a source as saying, “Katie still has deep, deep contacts at NBC. She would love to return as the ‘Nightly News’ anchor.”

Colin Hanks goes from Fargo to a CBS sitcom pilot
Hanks will star in Life in Pieces, a suburban family comedy.

Marvel made its fans watch The View for a big announcement that never came
Friday’s “game-changing announcement” was bumped from today’s show, prompting angry tweets from Marvel fans.

Empire has broken a ratings record that has stood for at least 23 years
The Fox series is the first primetime series since at least 1991 to grow in total viewers over each of its first five telecasts. PLUS: Chicago reaping the benefits of Empire filming on location.

Ian Ziering: Sharknado 3 script “reads like a $200 million blockbuster”
“I thought ‘2’ was ambitious, but ‘3’ — it knocks it out of the park,” says Ziering, who begins filming the 2nd Sharknado\ sequel later this month.

Has Katy Perry’s Left Shark jumped the shark?
The Left Shark’s 15 minutes of fame appears to be coming to an end.

Big Bang Theory co-creator urges his Twitter followers to DVR timeslot competitor Backstrom
“Look, I’m a CBS Guy,” says Bill Prady. “But DVR the thing, it’s damn good,” he tweeted of the Rainn Wilson series, which happens to be produced by his friend, Bones creator Hart Hanson.

ESPN’s 30 for 30 recounts the 1980 Miracle on Ice from the Soviet perspective
Of Miracles and Men, airing Sunday, is an essentially an intriguing history of hockey in the Soviet Union.

Watch James Corden’s Late Late Show promo with bandleader Reggie Watts
They’re pretending to be members of One Direction.

Last Week Tonight‘s research staff has expanded from 1 person to 4 people
“We’ve bolstered our research team now, so that we can go deeper on stories and give them a little more time to find stuff that is not easy to find,” says John Oliver. “We had one researcher working week to week, and I just didn’t want to find him on the roof of the building one night.” PLUS: Check out Oliver’s Supreme Court Finger Puppy Justices.

The Walking Dead employs 20 to 40 people to digitally destroy Atlanta
Here’s a look inside the visual effects team’s work. PLUS: Andrew Lincoln calls the midseason premiere “another body blow.”

Should Brooklyn Nine-Nine address the real-life controversies surrounding the NYPD?
Or should the Fox sitcom live in a comedy bubble?

Bob’s Burgers‘ Eugene Mirman reviews fart noises
His character, Gene Belcher, is obsessed with human gas expulsion.

How Black Sails films ship scenes in the parking lot
The Starz series won an Emmy for its visual effects, using computers to make ships look like they’re really sailing in the ocean.

Presenting the 20 most satisfying kisses in TV history
From Spike and Buffy to Ross and Rachel.

Remembering Radio Shack ads
The electronics store chain that filed for bankruptcy was ubiquitous in TV commercials in the ’70s and ’80s.

HBO’s The Jinx is a true-crime documentary series that’s the anti-Serial
Premiering Sunday, the six-part The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst is unnerving and engrossing. And unlike the podcast Serial, there’s no hand-holding.

Better Call Saul is a lighter Breaking Bad — or a looser, funnier, Southwest Fargo
The AMC spinoff, says Richard Lawson is “beautifully composed, artful, even graceful, where Breaking Bad was sharp and technical. One particular shot from the pilot episode, of two characters smoking in a darkened parking garage, is one of the most striking images I’ve seen on television in some time, moody and evocative and almost painterly, and yet somehow still funny. That’s a quality found throughout Better Call Saul—even when the show is somber or suspenseful, and it is frequently both of those things, its lively, scrappy humor is never out of reach.”
Better Call Saul is really like a superhero origin story
it evokes a more laid-back, boozy sort of crime story, in the vein of Elmore Leonard
Better Call Saul is better than good: “It’s delightful — in a brutal, darkly comic way, of course”
Bob Odenkirk is terrific, the writing is stellar, the show delivers visual treats
The pilot is more assured, better-directed and simply better than Breaking Bad‘s pilot
It’s a fascinating and bold experiment that’s full of promise and potential
Jimmy McGill has more in common with Don Draper than Walter White
Better Call Saul proves its creators are very, very good at making TV
Co-creator Peter Gould warns: “This isn’t Breaking Bad
Better Call Saul is an addiction story … about an addiction to outlaws
Bob Odenkirk has seen just 1 episode: “I’m going to watch them when they air”
Odenkirk wanted to reject the spinoff, but his kids talked him out of it
Jonathan Banks on Odenkirk: “I have never seen an actor carry that workload”
Meet Jimmy McGill’s love interest
Vince Gilligan calls Saul “a bit of a cockroach”
Gilligan kept worrying that they were creating the next AfterM*A*S*H