Why Does TV Struggle with Being Scary?

TV Tattle

Why does TV struggle with being scary?

Movies can be scary, says Andy Greenwald, but television struggles with fear. “TV, by its very nature, demands a diversity of tone and pitch,” he says. “Viewers simply can’t be asked to hold their breath for eight, 10, or even 22 hours a season. Try it and they’ll be dead even sooner than your show. Instead, TV traditionally has had to play in the margins of horror, building entire series out of the offcuts and scraps usually undervalued by the Fangoria crowd: the slow, agonizing buildup; the stolid, yeomanlike investigation; the long, sorrowful denouement… A scary movie is a turn through a haunted house. A scary TV show is more of a haunted time-share.” PLUS: Here are the scariest episodes you can find on Netflix and Amazon; which TV show had the best Halloween costumes; and create your own Mad Men, Game of Thrones and Mr. Robot Halloween pumpkins.

Yahoo! drops Simon Cowell’s DJ reality show

The show described as “American Idol for DJs” is the second series canceled by Yahoo! this week as the Internet service looks to get out of making original series.

SVU casts an actor who proudly proclaims in his bio that he’s never appeared on Law & Order

Christopher Sieber added the sentence “Mr. Sieber has not appeared on Law & Order” as a joke to the end of his biography. After Wednesday, he’ll no longer be able to use that line. PLUS: Watch a preview of SVU’s Duggar episode.

How the AIDS crisis led Ryan Murphy to be prolific

In a moving speech about being a gay man in Hollywood, Murphy said: “When it’s engraved in you as a young person and you don’t think you have tomorrow, you bring every last drop out of today because you may not get another one.”

Janice Dickinson will seek to depose Bill Cosby

The former America’s Next Top Model star’s attorney will argue that Cosby should be deposed in her defamation lawsuit.

Is Scandal repeating the same Olivia and Fitz storylines?

This week’s episode seemed like déjà vu.

American Idol unveils its final season promo

Watch the official final season promo, featuring Idol’s biggest stars.

Keeping Up with the Kardashians returns next month

Season 11 kicks off on Nov. 15.

NBC orders The Nutcracker and Love, Sex and Neighbors

Adam Shankman is behind both projects, with The Nutcracker set as a two-hour TV movie modern reimagining of the classic ballet set. Love, Sex and Neighbors, meanwhile, is a polyamory comedy set in Orange County.

CBS This Morning hits 1,000 episodes by being the quiet morning show

Viewership is up 10%, but its quietness means that CBS This Morning doesn’t generate headlines like counterparts Today and GMA.

Margo Martindale: Justified’s Mags Bennett changed everything — “then I got all evil parts”

“People were like, ‘Ooh, she’s sneaky,’” says Martindale.

HBO Now to celebrate Movember with mustache-themed programming

The celebration will include Game of Thrones’ Littlefinger and Deadwood’s Al Swearengen.

How charities influence your favorite TV shows

Orange Is the New Black is among shows influenced by nonprofits.

Elisabeth Hasselbeck bashes The View’s “faux feminism”

The former View star didn’t like The View’s mocking of Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina.

Dr. Ken is “whitewashed” — does that explain its popularity?

Ken Jeong’s ABC comedy, says Christine Jun, was created for a mainstream white audience. She adds: “Even when Dr. Ken’s traditional Korean parents come to dinner, everyone pointedly uses modern Western cutlery; there’s not a single embarrassing chopstick in sight.”

Will holograms become the next big TV technology?

University of Arizona researchers are trying to make hologram technology happen on television.

Sarah Silverman regrets wearing blackface on The Sarah Silverman Program

On Watch What Happens Live, Silverman admitted that the 2007 comedy bit was the most regrettable joke she ever delivered.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend releases a Sex with a Stranger song

Check out a music video airing on next week’s episode.

Here are 50 scenes that don’t appear on The X-Files revival

Also, check out the latest trailer.

How Doctor Who became great again

A great Doctor in Peter Capaldi, a perfect companion and a little less mythology has made this one of the best series. PLUS: How Steven Moffat “next-leveled” Doctor Who.

The Walking Dead boss reveals what happens to Rick’s hand

“He is scared—and he should be,” says Scott M. Gimple. “I don’t know if he’s scared for himself.” PLUS: See the Rick Grimes figure.

TV’s Kyles, ranked

Who’s the best Kyle—Mooney, Richards or Chandler?

Ranking every Simpsons “Treehouse of Horror” segment

From “The Diving Bell and the “Butterball” to “Time and Punishment.”

French zombie drama The Returned returns

SundanceTV is celebrating Halloween with Season 2 of Les Revenants.

Destination America’s Exorcism: Live! will not try to save a possessed person

Instead, tonight’s event will try to cleanse spirits from The Exorcist house. PLUS: ABC aired an exorcism in 1991.

Meet SNL alum Mike O’Brien, the “weird end-of-the-show guy”

How did O’Brien get so many sketches in the “five to one” slot on Saturday Night Live? PLUS: O’Brien’s sketch comedy album is packed with SNL-ers.

Happy Days star Al Molinaro dies at 96

Molinaro played Arnold’s Diner’s owner and cook Big Al Delvecchio, who replaced Pat Morita’s character in Season 4. He also played Delvecchio’s twin brother. PLUS: “The Fonz” turns 70: Happy birthday to Henry Winkler.

Ash vs. Evil Dead is as slickly entertaining as the original films

“Plots were never the franchise’s strong suit,” says Barry Hertz, “but (Sam) Raimi excels at  producing lots of over-the-top violence, all accented with a streak of slapstick and one-liners. Judging by the first two episodes of the new series, Raimi hasn’t lost his touch for evil. Heads are lopped off, necks stabbed, eyeballs gouged and Ash’s infamous chainsaw is put to good use. For anyone unfamiliar with the franchise, the crimson action might be shocking. Or it might have been a few years ago, before The Walking Dead introduced cable viewers to the pleasures of mass-consumed gore-tertainment.” PLUS: It’s a fitting response to our super-serious zombie mania, Ash suffers when Raimi isn’t directing, the series is glad to be a one-not joke, and Bruce Campbell and Sam Raimi talk reteaming for the Starz series.