Brad Oswald

  • In conversation with... TV stars

    Every trip to Los Angeles for the semi-annual TV press tour results in a notebook overflowing with quips, observations and assorted amusing quotes about all things television. Here, in no particular order, are some of the most memorable talking points from this summer's tour:  
  • Doc delves into dire straits of flood evacuees

    It isn't an easy story to watch; clearly, it has been a far, far more difficult one to live. The new locally produced documentary Treading Water: Plight of the Manitoba First Nation Flood Evacuees is the straightforward telling of an intensely frustrating tale. The film, which airs Saturday, Aug. 23, at 7 p.m. on CBC, showcases the raw emotions and beyond-exhausted patience of a group of displaced Manitobans who just want to go home.
  • Clean-scrubbed comedy came naturally to Regan

    A college education can be very important in deciding your life's direction, because it helps you figure out what you're good at doing. Or, as in Brian Regan's case, what you're not so good at doing.
  • Rock 'n' roll all night, and market every day

    For a show that features two of rock 'n' roll's most bombastic, flamboyant personalities, 4th and Loud is a surprisingly mild-mannered affair. The new docu-reality series offers viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the inaugural season of the L.A. Kiss, the Arena Football League expansion franchise co-owned by Kiss frontmen Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons.
  • This One Night Stand could lead to long-term relationship

    There's a school of thought -- adhered to by pretty much every teenager's dad -- that states nothing good ever happens after midnight. Annie Sibonney doesn't share that point of view.
  • BLOOD, SWEAT & FEARS

    When you hear the term "medical drama," it's likely that your thoughts turn to stories about brilliant, heroic doctors who use courage, intellect and the latest technology to save patients from ailments and injuries that might otherwise prove fatal. The Knick is not that kind of medical drama. Not even close.
  • Missing the target

    It was a tough one to watch. And a much, much tougher one to endure. The elimination of Winnipeggers Nicole and Cormac Foster in this week's instalment of The Amazing Race Canada surely ranked as one of the most heart-wrenching exits in the reality/competition franchise's history, with mom Nicole struggling mightily to pick off a series of rifle-range targets during a "Yukon biathlon" challenge while son Cormac did his best to stay upbeat long after the pair's Race fate had been decided.
  • Grammer-Lawrence sitcom has mouldy '70s stink

    Back in the 1970s, Jack Klugman and Tony Randall struck TV-sitcom gold playing complete opposites -- one a neat freak, the other a slob -- forced by circumstance to coexist. As The Odd Couple's fastidious Felix and oafish Oscar, the pair enjoyed five successful seasons in roles originally created, first for stage and then for the big screen, by playwright Neil Simon. Despite nearly being cancelled several times, The Odd Couple ran for 114 episodes and is remembered by nostalgia-TV fans as one of the best sitcoms of its era.
  • Uprooted teen discovers she has two moms in complex, compelling drama

    HOLLYWOOD -- The relationships between mothers and daughters are, without exception, complicated. Just imagine the challenges facing a daughter with two mothers.
  • Idiotic shark-storm TV movie takes a big, hilarious, deliciously entertaining bite out of the Big Apple

    Stupid. Pointless. Mindless. Ridiculous. Flimsy. Cheap. Clumsy. These are all aptly chosen adjectives for last year's surprise-hit made-for-cable movie Sharknado and its about-to-attack followup, Sharknado 2: The Second One.
  • Fargo embraces Canadian winter

    HOLLYWOOD -- During a career than spans more than three decades in the television industry, Warren Littlefield has been a lot of things -- a development executive, a network entertainment president, an independent producer and the author of a bestselling book about the inner workings of the TV biz. But there was, until recently, one thing that he had not been: Really, really, really, really freakin' cold.
  • Follow the script

    HOLLYWOOD -- If there's a one thing all TV actors have in common, it's probably the desire for a rich and diverse career. They talk constantly about wanting to expand creative horizons, about wanting to try new things and to play a wide variety of characters.
  • Long wait over for odd-couple cop show

    HOLLYWOOD -- A long, long time ago -- years before Breaking Bad broke big -- Vince Gilligan wrote a script. CBS executives liked it. Thought they might like to turn it into a prime-time series. But then, as so often happens in the TV business, the project got bogged down in the development process.
  • 'I could have texted all night': Selfie a modern My Fair Lady

    HOLLYWOOD -- For fans of Britain's most storied sci-fi export, she's immediately recognizable as Amy Pond. But these days, Scottish-born actress Karen Gillan is more like Amy Across-the-Pond, having transplanted herself and her career from the U.K. to the U.S. to take a starring role in the new ABC sitcom Selfie.
  • Peacock network regains top spot

    HOLLYWOOD — So, a funny thing happened to NBC on its way to the U.S. networks’ semi-annual press tour in Los Angeles. It stopped being the network everyone laughs at.
  • Ta-ta, traditional TV

    HOLLYWOOD -- If your TV viewing is limited to the old-fashioned television set in your living room or rec room and the familiar, traditional TV networks, there is a fast-growing roster of great shows and great performances by great actors that you're probably never going to see. The definition of "television" has changed greatly in the past few years, and will continue to evolve and expand with every new distribution platform and content-delivery option that arrives on the home-entertainment landscape.
  • Lisa Kudrow returns in comedy that HBO killed after one season, nine years ago

    HOLLYWOOD -- The Comeback is coming back. What makes this interesting, and not just slightly ironic, is that The Comeback was a made-for-cable comedy -- the post-Friends return to TV for Lisa Kudrow -- about a faded sitcom actress trying to use reality TV to re-energize her fading celebrity. Despite being a pretty funny show, it was cancelled by HBO after just one season. The Comeback wasn't much of a comeback vehicle for Kudrow.
  • Docu-reality series follows musicians' gridiron gig

    HOLLYWOOD -- They want to rock 'n' roll all night. That much, you already knew. But these days, the next part of the song lyric could just as well be "and score touchdowns every day."
  • Rock 'n' roll road trip

    HOLLYWOOD -- You probably already knew this: enthusiasm is infectious. The truth of this notion has seldom been more evident on the TV press tour than when Dave Grohl -- the rock 'n' roll genius whose two-decades-plus career started with the grunge invasion of Nirvana and continues with the hard-charging barrage of Foo Fighters -- made an appearance here during HBO's portion of the U.S. networks' semi-annual press tour in Los Angeles to discuss the upcoming music-documentary series Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways.
  • Naked and... certifiable?

    HOLLYWOOD -- The first question posed during an interview session for the Discovery Channel series Naked and Afraid was the best: "Why?"
  • Emmys snub Sarah and Cosima and Alison and...

    HOLLYWOOD -- It was a great morning for cable, but not so good for clones. Made-for-cable series such as Game of Thrones, Fargo, American Horror Story and Breaking Bad dominate the nominations for this year's Emmy Awards, which were unveiled Thursday at an early-morning announcement at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in Los Angeles. But the TV academy doubled down on last year's snub of the Canadian-made sci-fi series Orphan Black by once again leaving Saskatchewan native Tatiana Maslany out of the field of nominees for best actress in a drama series.
  • Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad garner nominations; Orphan Black left in the cold

    HOLLYWOOD — It was a great morning for cable, but not so good for clones. Made-for-cable series such as Game of Thrones, Fargo, American Horror Story and Breaking Bad dominate the nominations for this year’s Emmy Awards, which were unveiled Thursday at an early-morning announcement at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in Los Angeles. But the TV academy doubled down on last year’s snub of the Canadian-made sci-fi series Orphan Black by once again leaving Saskatchewan native Tatiana Maslany out of the field of nominees for best actress in a drama series.
  • TV ratings getting smarter

    HOLLYWOOD -- Times change. But they also stay the same. That, essentially, was the message being offered this week by executives from Nielsen, the research organization responsible for compiling and distributing audience-measurement statistics that make up the TV ratings and determine the rates networks charge for ads during their programs.
  • 'Was TV colour back then, mister?'

    Oh, my, how things have changed. In preparing for the latest edition of the U.S. networks' press tour in Los Angeles -- the semi-annual gathering of TV critics from around North America and the producers, network executives, actors and writers who make the television programs that fill the prime-time schedule -- it occurred to me the other day that this summer's jaunt to southern California marks the 25th anniversary of the first time I made the trip.
  • Amazingly dedicated

    There's no guarantee, of course, that they'll win it, but there was never a moment's doubt that they'd be in it. For Winnipeggers Nicole and Cormac Foster, being chosen as one of the 11 teams in The Amazing Race Canada was simply a matter of time.

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