Television

Remembering Sid Caesar

Comedy great Sid Caesar died on Wednesday at age 91, at his home in Beverly Hills.  His pioneering work in television in the 1950s, with “Your Show of Shows,” spawned television’s golden age. I interviewed Caesar in November 2003 when his book  “My Life in Comedy, With Love and Laughter" was published.  Some excerpts of that interview follow.

Sid Caesar, 1922 - 2014

Devarim At Downton

Like many New Yorkers looking to escape the cold, I settled down the other night with my hottest cuppa tea and delved into the world of Downton Abbey.

A world full of good old English values, a world where the introduction of a modern electric mixing bowl is greeted with alarm—and a world that would likely go into an apoplectic shock at the very thought of peyot and phylacteries.

Robert, Duchess of Yeovil, Mary; "Downton Abbey, Season 4: Part Two." Photo courtesy PBS

Crowning Lena Dunham

Esther as Eloise?  Makes sense when Lena Dunham channels the parentless and precocious Eloise - “I am Lena and I am six” -- for a modern retelling of the Purim spiel.

Lena Dunham. Photo by Matthew Carasella/The Jewish Museum

Ben Stiller To Star in HBO Series About Jewish Family

01/26/2012

NEW YORK (JTA) -- Ben Stiller reportedly has signed on to direct, produce and star in an HBO original series about a Jewish family called “All Talk.”

The script is being written by Jonathan Safran Foer and the series, set in Washington, will co-star Alan Alda.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the show is billed as “politically, religiously, culturally, intellectually and sexually irreverent.

Shooting is set to begin in the fall.

Concern Over Al Jazeera English Network Here

As coverage debuts in N.Y., is it ‘terror TV’ or ‘comprehensive reporting?’

08/09/2011
Staff Writer

It has been called “terror television” and a “mouthpiece for al-Qaeda,” and critics say its anti-Israel bias only serves to further demonize Israel worldwide.

During its Tahrir Square coverage of the Arab Spring, Al Jazeera English was criticized for ignoring the attack on CBS reporter

Same-sex Couple on Israeli ‘Dancing’ Sent Packing

11/23/2010

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Israelis voted off the first same-sex partners on "Dancing with the Stars."

The end for television sportscaster Gili Shem Tov and professional dancer Dorit Milman came on the third week of this season, the reality show's fifth on the air.

Shem Tov is a lesbian married to a woman with whom she has a son. Milman, who is not a lesbian, was not aware that she had a female partner until Shem Tov walked into the studio for their first meeting.

Holiday Humor

10/08/2008
Assistant Managing Editor
If you're still in a High Holy Days state of mind, there's a place to turn on cable TV. “On the Jewish New Year, I get a migraine from my mother,” says comedian Caty Lazarus. “On the secular New Year, you get a hangover from champagne or vodka”

Captain Of Industry

05/28/2008
Assistant Managing Editor
He’ll never shake the association with a certain science fiction TV icon, nor does he want to. But the older he gets, the more William Shatner seems determined to eclipse that role with an astonishingly diverse litany of credits.
"The mystique of being Jewish is something you wear as part of you, as though it were clothing," says William Shatner.

Sofer Sex

09/19/2003
Staff Writer
When she debuts Thursday in NBC's "Coupling," perhaps the raciest show on network TV, Rena Sofer will have come a long way since her days as a yeshiva girl in New Jersey. Based on a British show by the same name, "Coupling" centers on the sex lives of six young Manhattanites. Sofer's character, Susan, is "a beautiful and sexy go-getter with an uninhibited attitude toward life and the world of romance," according to network publicity.

Hill Of A Documentary

07/28/2006
Staff Writer
The stars of Ivy Meeropol’s cable miniseries, “The Hill,” are a real congressman and three of his aides. It’s set in their Capitol Hill and district offices, and there is no script. But don’t call it a reality show. “Reality shows manufacture situations, they manipulate and take things out of context,” says Meeropol, insisting this is a documentary series. “We’re following the action, filming what is happening. We didn’t interfere.”
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