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June 23, 2008

EW's list; KITT; Carlin

EW ranked "the new classic" TV shows from the past 25 years. With 50 slots to fill, only, oh, every other critically acclaimed hit show is included, plus a few bewildering choices thrown in for good measure (“Party of Five” made it? And “The Comeback”?).

Still, pop culture lists are never satisfying unless they prompt critic outrage. If everybody agrees on a list, then its results are perfectly obvious and therefore uninteresting.

So let’s play along and throw out some should-been-on’s…

“Band of Brothers” (if PBS’ “The Civil War” nine-episode documentary series is eligible, surely HBO’s magnificent ten-episode “Brothers” should be on the list) …  “DeGrassi High” … “Deadliest Catch” (launched a slew of blue-collar procedural shows exploring occupations other than the typical broadcast mainstays cops, doctors and lawyers) …  and the Japanese version of “Iron Chef” (hokey, dubbed and featuring foreign ingredients that U.S. audiences would never dream of eating, this 1993 series launched the cooking competition series craze) … “NYPD Blue” … “World Series of Poker” / “World Poker Tour” (how often is a new televised sport successfully launched?).

Also, making the rounds today:

-- Have you ever tried changing your GPS voice setting from its American default to the British accent? It’s nice. More polite. Like having Mary Poppins as your backseat driver. At any rate, there’s a “Knight Rider” GPS for sale, using the voice of the original KITT, William Daniels

-- Comparing the evocative, elaborate orchestral soundtracks of “Battlestar Galactica” composer Bear McCreary and “Lost” composer Michael Giacchino

-- Fox puts up a high-tech suggestion box

-- George Carlin’s “seven words you can never say on television”


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