We’re in TV’s ‘Silver Age,’ Where Many Shows Are ‘Pretty Good’ But Not Brilliant

TV Tattle

We’re now in TV’s “Silver Age,” where many shows are “pretty good” but not brilliant
That’s according to Hank Stuever, who considers the “Golden Age of TV” all but over: “TV’s one-hour dramas now come one right after the other from a variety of sources, and they’re all high quality from a technical perspective, thanks mainly to groundbreaking programs that were on a decade or so ago, which raised the bar overall. But it’s time to admit that we’ve now deeply settled into a Silver Age of TV that might last a long while.”

Why are there so many TV premieres on Easter Sunday?
Last year’s Easter Sunday was quiet, with just a Game of Thrones premiere. This year, we have the premieres of Mad Men, Salem, American Odyssey, Wolf Hall, A.D.: The Bible Continues — and that’s not all.

Lifetime: We’re still “determining the fate” of the Will Ferrell/Kristen Wiig movie
Even though Ferrell released a statement that A Deadly Adoption, Lifetime says it’s still considering its options. PLUS: A Deadly Adoption has almost the same plot of a previous Lifetime movie, The Last Trimester.

Art imitates life on The Good Wife
Sunday’s episode deals with politics, gay marriage and religious freedom.

The Price is Right model on her $22K car blunder: “I wanted to go in a wormhole and disappear”
“I knew there was no way to fix it,” says model Manuela Arbelaez. “I went to this dark place, and I thought I’d get fired or it would be taken out of my paycheck.”

Better Call Saul is a weird mess of a show that occasionally has an awesome episode
The Breaking Bad prequel is like Vince Gilligan’s “post-masterpiece meander,” says Darren Franich. Saul is entertaining and well made, he adds, but there seems to be no narrative progression. Better Call Saul, says Franich, “hasn’t been not entertaining. Lead producers Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould know how to make television. They’re working with talented actors and talented writers and a talented crew—mostly inherited from Breaking Bad. Thus, Better Call Saul is one of the most meticulous messes in recent TV history.”

Discovery’s CEO earned $156 million last year
That’s up from the $33.3 million he earned in 2013, thanks mostly to stock awards.

Bad Girls Club star Linsey “Jade” Berardi dies at 22
Oxygen wouldn’t release the cause of death for Berardi, who was known as “Brooklyn Brat” and who was reportedly kicked off the show for a physical altercation with a cameraman.

Lip Sync Battle debuts as Spike TV’s highest-rated unscripted series
About 2.2 million watched the Jimmy Fallon-produced show.

Rosie O’Donnell: “God gave us Lena Dunham”
Rosie considers the Girls star the embodiment (or daughter or granddaughter) of feminist Gloria Steinem.

Mike Myers received a late invite to SNL 40, got no chance to rehearse Wayne’s World
Myere tells Letterman he saw the ads for SNL 40 and was wondering why he wasn’t invited. In fact, Lorne Michaels didn’t give him a call until a week and a half before the live broadcast.

How James Corden has been “killing it” with just 7 Late Late Show episodes
A few late-night tweaks and experiments have resulted in two successful weeks for Corden.

Shameless‘ 14-year-old Debbie Gallagher has become a parent’s worst nightmare
Debbie’s story is a heartbreaking one of a girl trying to get pregnant.

Lucy Lawless on Xena vs. Salem
Lawless, who joins the WGN America series for Sunday’s Season 2 premiere, says: “This is women kicking ass but in an extremely negative way. It’s like all the heroes are anti-heroes, and you have to be good with that to handle a show like Salem.”

NBC’s A.D. The Bible Continues is more of the same from The Bible producers
The sequel to the History channel miniseries feels like a coup for The Peacock. PLUS: Give the actors an A for effort.

Presenting Vince Gilligan’s favorite classic TV episodes
MeTV gave the Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul honcho his own programming block to air on Sunday.

Watch an a cappella cover performance of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt theme
A cappella group Range tackled the catchy theme.

Game of Thrones credits “mad monks” with creating the opening title maps
“I always have to invent a story behind stuff,” says title designer Angus Wall. “The story we talked about was this group of mad monks who built this model of the universe that was constantly updating, almost like a very elaborate Risk board game.”

Ronald D. Moore on The Americans: “I don’t know how they’re getting away with it”
The Battlestar Galactica and Outlander producer thought the FX series would be a tongue-in-cheek “Aren’t the Eighties funny?”-type drama. That changed when he started watching “I was really impressed,” he says. “The fact that that show is as grounded as it is – it’s much more le Carré than it is Bond. I couldn’t believe that they let these people kill people all the time. And innocent people and good people – or people you like. And that their belief – especially Keri Russell’s character, her belief is so strong – in what they’re doing, and they really do think that they’re fighting the good fight. And I love that, it’s an incredibly subversive show.”

After 6 seasons, Archer is firmly in middle-age
“FX’s half-hour enfant terrible of adult-oriented animated series has blossomed,” says Holly Anderson, “from cult success to reassuring fixture, and along the way, it’s passed some kind of international date line of influence and come sneaking up on youth culture from the other direction.”

Brenda Song and Dave Koechner land separate comedy pilots
Song has joined Take It From Us on NBC, while Koechner will play the father of a 12-year-old Johnny Knoxville in the ABC sitcom pilot based on the Jackass star’s life.

Meet Grace Helbig, YouTube star turned E! talk show host
Helbig, whose The Grace Helbig Show premieres tonight, says getting her own talk show has “always been in my peripheral view.”

How to make your Sesame Street dolls sexually active
Here’s what happens when you put and Elmo Live and Tickle Me Extreme Cookie Monster in close proximity with each other.

Watch a preview of Inside Amy Schumer Season 3
Season 3 will include the “A** Wall.”

Is Outlander the weirdest show on TV?
The returning Starz drama is “weird in a good way,” says Richard Lawson, adding that it is “the oddest, hardest-to-pin-down series currently airing.” “The more this show refuses to define itself in any concrete terms,” he says, “the more it swerves between genre and tone—sometimes sweet, sometimes sanctimonious, sometimes startlingly graphic, sometimes proper and reserved—the more I’m drawn in.” PLUS: Ronald D. Moore can’t wait to see reaction to the midseason premiere.

American Odyssey invites comparisons to 24
The Anna Friel NBC thriller is actually inspired by Homer’s The Odyssey and is touted as being Traffic-like, but it reminds people of 24. “There were screenings around the country for female vets, and we heard that from a couple of people in the audience,” says exec producer Peter Horton. “They felt like it had a similar ring to 24, and I don’t mind that comparison at all.” PLUS: American Odyssey has a been-there, seen-that feel.

Wolf Hall, starring Homeland‘s Damian Lewis, is one of the best British dramas in years
The Henry VIII miniseries’ “rich brocades and manicured gardens can’t even begin to compete with the performances and dialogue. They could have shot these scenes on a rubbish tip and you’d barely notice,” says Julia Raeside, who adds: “Wolf Hall is unmissable: this combination of talent rarely gathers in one place to make a piece of work so intelligently and beautifully realized. It will, without doubt, become a television classic.” PLUS: It’s a historical drama of conspicuous quality, it’s the king of prestige TV, and it’s the best-ever TV depiction of the Tudor era.

Mad Men deftly sticks the landing as it resumes its 7th and final season
Severance, the title of Sunday’s episode, “smartly repositions Mad Men on the existential fast track, tackling familiar themes of death, aging, happiness and identity,” says Tim Goodman. “Don, who merrily seems to be continuing the ‘comeback’ that started this final season, has one of those wonderfully oblique and short conversations with a co-worker that always seem like road markers on his mind.”
—The season premiere is as fine as silky fur
Mad Men arrived at the perfect time, marking the end of one TV revolution and the start of another
—From The Apartment to Bob Newhart: How the ’60s inspired Matthew Weiner
—Check out Weiner’s first Mad Men notes from 1992 and 1993
Mad Men wouldn’t exist without the unpopular big cable bundle
—Read an oral history of Mad Men
Elisabeth Moss looks back at her Mad Men style // Moss joins Instagram
Zosia Mamet, Colin Hanks, Linda Cardellini talk about their Mad characters
Jon Hamm looks back at the start of his career, playing “Gorgeous Guy at Bar” on Ally McBeal
—When did Hamm begin to feel comfortable as Don Draper?
Mad Men never believed in love
—Weiner on comparisons between Don Draper and Tony Soprano
—The 7 defining pitches of Mad Men
Mad Men is comfort-food TV for those who didn’t live through the ’60s
—We love Pete Campbell because he’s the worst // Who else would Vincent Kartheiser have played?
Peggy Olson is a feminist hero // She’s TV’s most accurate depiction of a woman in the workplace
—Here is everything Don Draper has worn on Mad Men
Stop blaming Megan for Don’s mistakes!
Mad Men cast: Where are they now?
Sally Draper has become TV’s best teenager
—What if HBO had picked up Mad Men? There would be no Breaking Bad!
—What did Weiner do after wrapping on July 3?