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Z on TV

Z on TV Critic David Zurawik writes about the business and culture of TV
CBS telecast goes south in second half of Ravens' loss to Browns

If you want a snapshot of how focused – or not – an NFL broadcast crew is, make sure to catch the first few minutes at the start of the second half.

I don’t know if the crew members get too relaxed and can’t get their concentration back after handing it off to the studio show in New York for halftime, or they eat or drink or do something to the extent that it leaves them in a sloppy state of mind.

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Baltimore native Bresha Webb stars in new NBC series

Bresha Webb knew from the time she was a toddler that TV was where she wanted to be. But she wanted to be inside — not on it.

"I was very vocal about what I wanted to do at a very young age," she said from Los Angeles this week. "I wanted to be inside of the television set. I didn't know being on TV was being an actor."

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When TV looks and sounds like America

In just 12 months, a seeming novelty has become the norm.

Last year, new-season buzz centered on the number of network series that featured ethnically and racially diverse casts: "Black-ish," "Fresh Off the Boat," "Jane The Virgin," "How to Get Away with Murder" and "Empire."

They have all survived. They have been joined by more new series featuring diverse casts.

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Ravens telecast was TV's top Twitter event last week

The Ravens' 23-20 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in overtime last week was TV's top Twitter event, according to the Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings.

The Ravens game generated 702,000 event-related tweets in the U.S. that were seen by a unique audience of 5.8 million people.

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Hillary Clinton survives her SNL visit mostly unscathed

If you start from the premise that Hillary Clinton had no choice but to be on “Saturday Night Live” and try to look like she is on the inside of Kate McKinnon’s brilliant impersonation of her, then the candidate’s appearance was a success.

But, believe me, anything that worked in the sketch was all McKinnon’s doing.

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TV wrestles with a taboo term

From an elementary school student on the ABC sitcom "Black-ish," to Whoopi Goldberg on "The View," the n-word has been getting a workout on TV this fall. And there's more prime-time use of it to come in the weeks ahead on sitcoms like the new NBC entry "Truth Be Told," debuting Oct. 16.

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