Recent stories by David Zurawik
10:00 PM EDT, June 23, 2014
On Wednesday, Baltimore will relaunch its publicly owned TV station, shifting its focus from broadcasts of government meetings to CharmTV, a showcase for city restaurants, businesses and neighborhoods. City leaders see an opportunity to counteract negative perceptions of Baltimore, but with the change come questions about significantly increased spending on an untested business model — without benefit of data to show how many people watch the station.
11:50 PM EDT, June 24, 2014
If you wanted any real sense of what was going on in the first hour after primary election polls closed Tuesday night, you had to go online or, better yet, plug into Twitter, because TV didn't seem to be trying hard at all.
9:24 PM EDT, April 25, 2014
The hit television show "House of Cards" will stay in Maryland, even though state incentives offered to keep the Netflix series here came up millions of dollars short of what the producers wanted.
9:24 PM EDT, April 8, 2014
The breakdown in Annapolis over boosting incentives for films and television series shot in Maryland has left the state without enough money to give Netflix's "House of Cards" what it was seeking to produce its next season here, officials acknowledged Tuesday.
7:46 AM EDT, April 14, 2014
I have a feeling "Mad Men" is not going to end so happily for some of its fans.
1:18 PM EDT, March 31, 2014
Spies, sex, drugs and a beaming Ronald Reagan.
March 16, 2014
Six months in, there is more to say about Al Jazeera America than that its ratings stink. But that's about the only thing I see written about the Qatar-owned cable channel these days.
9:05 PM EST, February 14, 2014
If Baltimore is indeed becoming Hollywood east — and who are we to argue the point? — then here's your handy map to the movie stars' homes. Only in this case, it's a map to where movie stars have roamed — sites captured forever on film and TV, going back to the 1970s. We begin our journey with a pair of television series, both set in Washington, but filmed right here in Charm City and its environs. And we've also pinpointed a couple of spots from films that are classic Hollywood.
5:27 PM EST, November 15, 2013
If you don't think TV is in the midst of revolutionary change, go to Amazon.com this weekend and instead of buying a book or baby food, take a look at the online giant's original production of "Alpha House."
11:35 PM EST, November 25, 2013
WBAL-TV is bringing in a new anchorman next month, and that will mean change in one of the most stable weekday news lineups in the country.
7:52 AM EST, November 21, 2013
Appearing as Malik "Poot" Carr for five seasons on "The Wire," Tray Chaney enjoyed one of the longest lives any drug dealer has ever had in prime time.
8:10 PM EDT, October 1, 2013
Baltimore native Peyton List is only 27. But she's already a veteran of almost two decades in show business with a resume that includes Disney movies, guest shots on "Law & Order" and recurring roles on "As the World Turns," and "Mad Men."
11:40 PM EDT, September 22, 2013
Baltimore was again front and center at the Emmy Awards telecast, with two major comedy awards going Sunday night to HBO's "Veep," the locally made series starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Vice President Selina Meyer.
4:47 PM EDT, October 11, 2013
Lawrence Gilliard Jr. is going forward and moving back in big ways these days.
7:16 AM EDT, August 19, 2013
At 7:23 p.m. Thursday, viewers of WBAL-TV and listeners of WBAL radio saw and heard Gerry Sandusky and his Baltimore Ravens broadcast partners Stan White and Qadry Ismail talking about the game against the Atlanta Falcons that was to start in seven minutes.
5:34 PM EDT, March 15, 2013
Jake Tapper's new show on CNN, "The Lead," is premiering at a time when cable TV keeps moving further down the road of partisan news presentation. But ask him about it, and there's no waffling.
7:09 PM EDT, August 2, 2013
Can a TV news channel based in Qatar really be good for America?
3:14 PM EDT, April 12, 2013
"Deep" and "sitcom" are not words often used in the same sentence.
11:49 PM EST, February 3, 2013
UPDATE (1 a.m.) at end of post with review of NFL Network's excellent post-game show and comment on Flacco profanity after game.
4:17 PM EDT, March 22, 2013
Executive producer Barry Levinson urges viewers to think of his HBO film "Phil Spector" as a two-person play —not a docudrama about the first murder trial of the rock producer.
9:50 PM EST, January 8, 2013
Baltimore native Jason Winer knows something about family comedy. He's been an executive producer on ABC's "Modern Family" and won a Directors Guild Award for his direction of the hit series' Emmy Award-winning pilot.
9:57 PM EDT, September 10, 2012
The ESPN "Monday Night Football" crew earned my respect before the game between the Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals even started.
8:36 PM EST, January 2, 2013
If Ray Lewis is looking for a high-paying, high-visibility job after he leaves the Baltimore Ravens, he's not going to have much trouble getting a shot at one in sports television.
12:25 PM EDT, September 8, 2012
The national TV audience for the Grand Prix of Baltimore declined by about a fifth from last year's inaugural event, according to Nielsen Media data released Friday.
12:12 PM EDT, August 19, 2012
Baltimore-area viewers won't see it in their TV listings, but this week a program will premiere on the Al Jazeera English channel that could do more to shape the world's image of their city than any other media coverage or civic promotion done all year.
5:47 PM EDT, July 21, 2012
It might have been back in February when he got under the skin of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on CBS' "Face the Nation."
7:05 PM EDT, May 4, 2012
If you want to get a real sense of a TV newsroom's priorities and values beyond all the "we're on your side" hype, check it out in times of stress.
12:34 PM EDT, May 17, 2012
ESPN's Jeannine Edwards started her TV career as an in-track host at Pimlico and Laurel in the early 1990s.
9:01 AM EST, December 17, 2012
NBC is promoting "1600 Penn," a midseason sitcom from Baltimore native Jason Winer, as " 'Modern Family' meets 'The West Wing.' "
3:51 PM EDT, September 9, 2012
The Baltimore Ravens will probably never be "America's Team," as the Dallas Cowboys came to be known in the 1970s, thanks to their frequent appearances in nationally televised games.
5:00 PM EDT, April 27, 2012
With the arrival last week of HBO's "VEEP," it is official: Sunday night TV is out of control, but in a good way.
7:26 AM EDT, July 26, 2012
Baltimore's Jim McKay anchored the first American telecast of the Summer Olympics in 1960 from a primitive CBS studio in Grand Central Terminal in New York City. Coverage of the Rome Games totaled 20 hours and cost the network $394,000 in rights fees.
3:20 PM EDT, June 24, 2012
From Baron Ambrosia dueling with John Waters on the Cooking Channel on Friday, to Adam Richman featuring Faidley's crab cake sandwich this week on the Travel Channel, Baltimore has been getting its share of foodie TV lately.
7:25 PM EDT, March 23, 2012
The video is arresting.
4:31 PM EDT, May 18, 2012
Talk about instant success. Baltimore native Jason Winer doesn't even have a name yet for his Hollywood production company. But he and his two co-creators, "The Book of Mormon" Broadway star Josh Gad and former White House speechwriter Jon Lovett, already have an order for 13 episodes of their first production, a new NBC sitcom titled "1600 Penn."
8:19 AM EDT, April 21, 2012
Stedman Graham is one self-help author who practices what he preaches almost every day of his life.
12:33 PM EDT, April 20, 2012
"VEEP" is the kind of series that separates HBO from almost every other channel or network making television these days.
6:06 PM EDT, March 30, 2012
At the start of his new MTV series, "Savage U," Dan Savage introduces himself to a group of University of Maryland students as a "big jerk" and a sex advice columnist.
9:00 PM EDT, March 21, 2012
Sunni Khalid, managing news editor at WYPR-FM, has been dropped by the public radio station after more than nine years on the job there.
2:07 PM EDT, March 11, 2012
After weeks of partisan sniping, the public finally gets to judge HBO's Sarah Palin docudrama "Game Change" for itself this weekend. But the campaign for more politics as TV drama has only begun.
11:22 PM EDT, April 13, 2012
After four tough years, these are heady days in the world of Maryland TV and film production.
March 17, 2012
The new ABC reality TV series "Ball Boys" opens with the motto: "Every great moment in sports leaves something behind."
6:54 AM EDT, March 21, 2012
It's a cold, gray Friday afternoon in a dark and drafty concrete warehouse at an industrial park in Columbia. Not exactly the setting in which anyone would expect to find glamour, wit or the next big thing in pop culture.
10:31 PM EDT, March 21, 2012
Being on TV is nothing new for Baltimore. Think of the recent political dramas like "Game Change" and "VEEP" or earlier crime shows like "Homicide" and"The Wire."
6:08 PM EST, February 4, 2012
Local TV news ratings in Baltimore are rarely news.
11:41 AM EST, March 9, 2012
Sarah Palin says it's a lie.
4:35 PM EST, February 27, 2012
It's not often in judging the biography of a great artist that you can just pick up the phone and call one of the people who knew him best — and remains a principal keeper of the historical flame.
5:37 PM EST, January 27, 2012
Everyone who has ever tuned into a cable channel has heard the names Natalee Holloway and Laci Peterson. Show hosts like Nancy Grace have used their TV pulpits to chronicle the disappearance of such white, female victims night after night.
8:40 PM EST, January 5, 2012
For almost two decades, Baltimore was mainly seen by the TV industry as a place to make shows about cops and crime. But now, the city is looking more like the nation's capital to some of Hollywood's top producers.
1:38 PM EST, January 20, 2012
It's Saturday night at Canton's Du Burns Arena, and Mike "The Prodigy" Bennett flexes and preens as his opponent, Ring of Honor champion Jay Lethal, staggers across the mat.
9:45 AM EST, November 26, 2011
WBAL radio show host Ron Smith doesn't hesitate when asked if anything has changed since he announced he has Stage Four pancreatic cancer and will no longer undergo chemotherapy.
2:52 PM EST, December 16, 2011
Duty, service and honor are big words. They are also ones that are often abused these days by Washington politicians who thank each other for their "service" even as they sink deeper into partisan gridlock.
6:01 PM EST, January 6, 2012
With a reported $100 million price tag and a big-name star like Kevin Spacey, "House of Cards" looks like a drama series that should be headed for HBO or AMC.
11:39 PM EST, December 19, 2011
Ron Smith, who came to Baltimore 38 years ago as a weekend TV anchorman but found his greatest success on radio as WBAL's "Voice of Reason," died Monday night of pancreatic cancer at his home in Shrewsbury, Pa.. He was 70.
5:01 PM EST, November 23, 2011
It might be hard to imagine that anyone is more psyched-up for Thursday night's matchup between the Ravens and 49ers than Baltimore and San Francisco fans.
7:13 PM EDT, November 3, 2011
After 50 years as host of "It's Academic," the longest-running quiz show on television, Mac McGarry, the longest-tenured host, says that "it's really time" to step down.
12:04 PM EST, November 22, 2011
Jason Winer was directing Julie Bowen on first episode of "Modern Family" when inspiration struck.
10:15 AM EDT, October 11, 2011
While the War of 1812 might be known as "America's Forgotten War" elsewhere, that's definitely not the case in Baltimore and Maryland. Our obsession with all things 1812 is one of the regional characteristics so pronounced that it is lampooned in "The Second City Does Baltimore" satire now running at Center Stage.
11:30 PM EDT, October 21, 2011
Lisa Simeone thinks the media storm over whether, as an NPR show host, she should also be an activist for an Occupy D.C. protest group is "really overblown."
7:44 PM EDT, September 9, 2011
For stations in Baltimore and across the country, Monday is the first day of the post-Oprah Winfrey era.
6:07 PM EDT, October 28, 2011
In the new world of endless channels and multiple ways to watch TV, you almost never see as dramatic a change in viewing as the one unfolding in Baltimore this fall.
July 31, 2011
The departure last week of Marianne Banister from WBAL-TV after 15 years of co-anchoring a team that always finished first or second in its time period raised big questions about the changing face of television news in Baltimore.
3:20 PM EDT, October 2, 2011
Baltimore takes its TV image seriously — very seriously and at the highest levels.
11:30 PM EDT, September 18, 2011
Baltimore native Julie Bowen, of ABC's "Modern Family," grabbed the first headline of the night at the 63rd Emmy Awards — winning for best supporting actress in a comedy.
4:41 PM EDT, September 26, 2011
The 1968 football game between Baltimore's Morgan State and what was then Louisiana's Grambling College was a good one — a nail-biter that went down to the wire.
6:05 PM EDT, September 23, 2011
Michael Kenneth Williams is feeling lucky these days.
8:02 PM EDT, July 12, 2011
When Scott Garceau was forced out of the sports anchor chair at Baltimore's ABC affiliate, competitors said it was a desperate move by a station trying to cut costs.
6:47 PM EDT, August 26, 2011
BET has a mixed history when it comes to news, documentaries and public affairs — and much of it is for the worse.
10:34 AM EDT, September 8, 2011
The national TV audience for Baltimore's Grand Prix on Sunday fell short of projections offered by the city when the deal bringing the race to the Inner Harbor was first announced.
4:39 PM EDT, September 16, 2011
Josh Charles is a very competitive guy. But he's feeling absolutely no pressure to win as he arrives for his first Emmy Awards telecast as a nominee Sunday.
3:03 PM EDT, July 22, 2011
As the scandal that sunk Rupert Murdoch's News of the World continued to unfold last week, one of the questions that loomed was whether there would be any fallout on this side of the Atlantic.
12:48 PM EST, January 25, 2011
Duff Goldman has just baked a cake of Baltimore's Washington Monument in Mount Vernon. And it looks just like the city's most famous landmark — right up to the statue of the nation's first president that stands atop its tower and down to the fine black piping that mimics the wrought-iron fence at its base.
August 12, 2011
With Felicia "Snoop" Pearson's guilty plea last week to conspiracy to sell heroin, one question being asked by fans of "The Wire" is how other cast members of the Baltimore-based series are doing.
5:19 PM EDT, August 19, 2011
Last Tuesday, Baltimore had its first live on-air mayoral debate among all the candidates, including incumbent Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.
4:54 PM EDT, June 25, 2011
Nick Charles, a pioneering figure in cable TV sports at CNN and one-time Baltimore broadcaster at WJZ-TV, died Saturday at his home in New Mexico, according to the cable news network. He was 64 and had been battling bladder cancer since 2009.
10:45 AM EDT, August 27, 2010
As the television industry comes together Sunday night in Hollywood to honor the best work of last year, there will be few creative communities better represented than Baltimore.
April 23, 2011
Last season in previewing HBO's "Treme," I said that in 30 years of writing about television, I had never heard music used as organically, wisely and powerfully as it was in the New Orleans-based series created by David Simon and Eric Overmyer. I also said I never expected to hear it done better on TV.
6:49 PM EDT, July 15, 2011
When Josh Charles first appeared opposite Julianna Margulies in "The Good Wife" on CBS in 2009, you couldn't help but wonder if this was going to be a breakthrough role for him.
8:06 PM EST, February 4, 2011
At the end of a wild week that saw more than 100 attacks on journalists and press facilities in Egypt, TV news executives were left shaking their heads at the volatility and violence, but vowing to continue to find ways to cover the tumult in days ahead.
4:54 PM EDT, October 8, 2010
Even in the mashed-up world of TV these days, it is a little jarring in the middle of a Baltimore Ravens game or "Late Night With David Letterman" to suddenly see the screen fill with images of Martin O'Malley and Bob Ehrlich talking about a 72 percent energy rate hike that they were fighting about in 2006, during the last governor's campaign.
6:59 PM EDT, June 17, 2011
In the Tiger Woods era, it was hard to find a better Father's Day storyline for the network announcers to ply than that of the young superstar and his dad.
6:59 AM EDT, May 18, 2011
Oprah Winfrey is one great storyteller.
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