When Mindy Kaling's sitcom "The Mindy Project" debuted two years ago, people, including critics (who are, appearances to the contrary, actually people) seemed to either love it or hate it.
Then, as it shifted a bit in tone and casting -- more on the guys, less on the work -- many of those folks switched sides. Either way, it is one of the more mercurial shows on TV, at least in terms of audience and critical reaction, with people expressing extreme admiration or disappointment, often on alternate weeks.
TV critic Mary McNamara and TV reporter Yvonne Villarreal talk about why this is and what it means for Kaling, for comedy and, possibly, even the fate of the world.
Speaking of which, the Golden Globes nominations are out this week, so they'll be talking about that as well -- and maybe even some residual "Walking Dead" and certainly a little "Sleepy Hollow" (Though they may have to do an entire show on that next week!)
So join them at noon, and, as always, tweet your comments and...
"Once Upon a Time" may be looking to find the magic once again after the events of "The New Neverland" episode of the show. Our heroes have triumphantly returned -- or so they think -- but may have brought back a worse evil in the form of Rumpelstiltskin's father, Peter Pan.
In a brief interlude that we don't return to in the show, Ariel finally meets up with Prince Eric. A fish-chopping scene, a kiss and it's over because Captain Hook's ship drops in from Neverland, descending through a rift in the air. There's congratulations and revelry on the pier for most as the boat docks -- for most, I say.
Poor evil Queen Regina doesn't get so much as a handshake. Even Rumpelstiltskin has someone to hug as Belle welcomes back her beast. It takes Snow White thanking her for saving them all for any acknowledgment. Meanwhile, Peter Pan-inside-Henry is looking to make mischief right off the boat. He helps get his loyal servant Felix imprisoned, then later watches as Rumpelstiltskin magically seals...
A high-stakes operation to assassinate Iran’s warmongering intelligence chief takes several unexpected turns on “Big Man in Tehran,” Episode 311 of Showtime’s “Homeland.”
Tasked by the CIA with the near-suicide mission is Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis), the disgraced congressman and world’s most-wanted fugitive.
After barely surviving a hazardous crossing from Iraq into Iran, he requests political asylum by falsely confessing to the deadly attack at CIA headquarters.
The plan calls for Brody to kill Iranian spymaster Danesh Akbari (Houshang Touzie) by jabbing him with a cyanide needle. To create a diversion for Brody, Israeli agents would remotely detonate a motorcycle bomb nearby.
If the elaborate plot succeeds, Col. Majid Javadi (Shaun Toub) – blackmailed into covertly working for the CIA – would assume control of Iranian intelligence.
“I’m aware it’s a lot of moving parts,” CIA Acting Director Saul Berenson...
The Independents Former MTV host Lisa Kennedy Montgomery anchors this new series — airing Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays — offering a more Libertarian-based look at major political, economic and financial stories. 6 and 9 p.m. Fox Business
Almost Human Kennex and Dorian (Karl Urban, Michael Ealy) must protect the only remaining witness in a major murder trial in this new episode. 8 p.m. Fox
The Sing-Off Vocal groups try to make a good first impression on the judges in the season premiere of this unscripted competition. 9 p.m. NBC
The Great Christmas Light Fight In each episode of this holiday decorating competition, airing over three Mondays, four families have 21 days to give their homes an extreme transformation in hopes of winning big money. 9 p.m. ABC
A developmental disorder on the milder end of the autism spectrum, Asperger's syndrome affects social interaction and communication skills.
As a child, Boyle, now 52, suffered from learning disabilities she was told resulted from oxygen deprivation at birth. A year ago, she sought the advice of a specialist who determined she had an above average IQ.
"I was told I had brain damage. It was the wrong diagnosis when I was a kid," she told the Observer. "I always knew it was an unfair label. Now I have a clearer understanding of what's wrong and I feel relieved and a bit more relaxed about myself."
Boyle became an overnight celebrity in 2009 when her audition for "Britain's Got Talent" went viral. In the clip, the modest church volunteer wowed a skeptical panel of judges, including Simon Cowell, with her rendition of "I...
Adding to what feels like the longest (although not unpleasant) movie rollout in history, stars of the movie sequel "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues" joined Paul Rudd on "Saturday Night Live" last night. Between the "SNL" alums and the boy-band supernova One Direction as musical guest, this created something of an old-versus-new dichotomy on the show — and by and large, it was a rollicking good time.
One Direction was mostly well-utilized in the episode. The segment of the population that is not familiar with their music (due to lack of being a young girl or living or working with them) had the opportunity to enjoy their legitimate singing talent during their performances of “Through the Dark" and “Story of My Life," where they little resembled the bopping teenage boy-band sensations from a generation or two ago. Their superstardom was also parodied in a video segment where Paul Rudd (who is clearly a vampire because he does not age) plays the world's No. 1 One...
You can now count live events and glossy musicals as a few of TV executives' favorite things.
Thursday's three-hour spectacular "Sound of Music Live!" with country star Carrie Underwood as Maria sang for 18.6 million total viewers, according to Nielsen. That was a number that exceeded all expectations and gave NBC its most-watched night of entertainment programming in nearly seven years.
But Underwood and the singing Von Trapp kids also carried heavy symbolic freight for the TV industry. Networks are under attack from all sorts of competing diversions, including not just Netflix and Amazon but also apps such as Instagram that leach away millions of young viewers.
Sports and awards shows have better withstood the eroding effects of audience fragmentation than regular scripted programming because viewers are forced to tune in to watch in real time. That dynamic is especially attractive to advertisers who often lose...
By Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times Television Critic
In terms of mythology, it was Bonnie Parker who turned a small band of murderous thugs led by Clyde Barrow into the stuff of legend.
Even as the Depression-era gang went on its murderous two-year crime spree, the idea of a female outlaw titillated a nation already prone to romanticizing criminals amid a failing economic system. When she and her lover died in a hail of gunfire, and photos of her posing with firearms and a getaway car were discovered, Bonnie became the pin-up girl for the hyper-sexualized archetype of the gun moll.
So it makes a certain amount of sense that the two-part miniseries "Bonnie and Clyde," which airs simultaneously Sunday and Monday on History, A&E and Lifetime, would frame Bonnie (Holliday Grainger) as a woman who, stymied by her lack of opportunities, sees small-time crook Clyde Barrow (Emile Hirsch) as a way to get out of her small-town life.
Television remembers and pays tribute to Nelson Mandela. This page will be updated as more programming is announced.
ABC World News With Diane Sawyer” 6:30 p.m. ABC
Nelson Mandela’s life and legacy; George Stephanopoulos’s interview with former President Bill Clinton as he reflects on Nelson Mandela’s impact. (N)
“20/20” 10 p.m. ABC
"Nelson Mandela: A Man Who Changed The World": Anchored by David Muir and Robin Roberts, the hour will feature Alex Marquardt reporting from South Africa, details of Mandela’s passing, worldwide reaction, plans for his funeral, and images of the day, as well as chronicle the long, eventful and polarizing political and personal life of one of the 20th century’s greatest figures. (N)
Miracle Rising: South Africa 5 p.m. History and 5 p.m. Sunday, H2
The remarkable story of South Africa’s political transformation that culminated in the first free and fair elections in April 1994. Narrated through...
"Sleepy Hollow," has been such a hit for Fox this fall that it's getting an expanded first-season finale on Jan. 20.
Previously, the network had announced a two-night second-season premiere for "The Following," with episodes airing on Jan. 19 and Jan. 20. Now, a special preview of the season will air on Jan. 19 after the NFC Championship game, with the actual premiere airing on Jan. 27.
"Sleepy Hollow" premiered in September to 10 million viewers, making it Fox's biggest fall drama premiere since "24" in 2001. Since then, it has consistently turned in solid ratings and gotten a big boost from DVR playback.
The network has reduced its order for the Kerry Washington political soap "Scandal" from 22 episodes to 18. The news is somewhat surprising, given the show's Nielsen's performance (12 million viewers a week) and dominance each Thursday night on social media (or at least on the nights when it isn't competing with "The Sound of Music Live!")
Though an ABC spokesperson declined to elaborate about the network's reasoning, most likely the order was reduced to accommodate series star Washington, who is reportedly pregnant with her first child. As regular viewers of "Scandal" will note, Washington's character, Olivia Pope, known for her sleek and stylish wardrobe, has been sporting a conspicuous number of roomy overcoats and bulky sweaters this season. Perhaps executives at ABC thought viewers would balk at the image of their heroine sporting third-trimester muumuus.