Thursday, August 28, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

POSTED: Thursday, August 21, 2014, 11:24 AM
Taney's Kai Cummings reacts to a called third strike in the sixth inning. Starting pitcher Mo'ne Davis struck out six batters but allowed three runs as Las Vegas rolled to an 8-1 victory. (MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff)
Wednesday night’s showdown between the Taney Dragons and Las Vegas was a blowout – in the ratings.

With national sensation Mo’ne Davis on the mound, the game set a ratings record, recording a 3.4 in the overnights.

That makes it the most watched Little League World Series game in history.

POSTED: Tuesday, August 19, 2014, 11:26 AM
Robin Williams on 'The Late Show,' as presented in David Letterman's tribute to the late comic. (Photo via CBS)
Talk about saving the best for last. David Letterman was on vacation last week when Robin Williams died. When Dave returned to The Late Show on Monday night, one of the first things he did was to offer up this fond remembrance of the incomparable comic and actor.

The two men met in 1976 at the Comedy Store in Los Angeles when both were trying to break in as standups. That explains why this is such a long and lovely tribute (Dave reminisces about Williams for more than eight minutes before showing the montage).

Dave’s summation was both sad and sweet: “Beyond being a very talented man and a good friend and a gentleman, I’m sorry like everybody else I had no idea that the man was in pain, that the man was suiffering. What a guy – Robin Willaims.”

POSTED: Monday, August 18, 2014, 7:07 PM
"THE LAST SHIP" (Richard Foreman/SMPSP)

TV ratings are an increasingly complex consideration as more and more people forego live viewing and catch up instead on their favorite shows on demand. Nielsen has to slice up its data into increasingly arcane categories, like L+7 (how many people watched a show from the time it first aired through the next week.)

Everybody talks about time-shifted viewing but it’s been tricky to quantify. Until now. Comcast issued this list today of the 20 most popular shows from Xfinity On Demand for the week of Aug. 3 – 9.

In other words, here’s what we’re really watching. Sigh.

POSTED: Monday, August 18, 2014, 12:30 PM
Taney's Scott Bandura exults after sliding home with the tying run in the bottom of the sixth inning. He scored on Zion Spearman's two-out triple to the wall.
Philadelphia’s phenoms, the Taney Dragons, are apparently popular all over the country.

Last night’s thrilling come-from-behind walkoff victory over Pearland, Texas drew the biggest numbers in the Little League World Series so far, a 1.5 rating in the overnight calculations. Just to put that in a little perspective, it's the highest rating for a non-championship Little League game on ESPN2 since they started trackling that audience in 2001. It’s more than twice the viewership of the comparable game last year. And don’t forget, it came on ESPN2, a channel that traditionally gets significantly lower ratings than ESPN’s flagship.

In fact, the ratings for Taney’s Sunday night victory were 200 per cent higher than the average numbers for LLWS games on ESPN2.

POSTED: Friday, August 15, 2014, 1:17 PM
They should sell ads for this commercial. There’s so much going on in Kevin Hart’s new spot for Madden NFL 15 that you need a “Making of” documentary to go with it.

The basic premise: Hart, who can make even knocking on a door llok funny,  throws down on Dave Franco. “I’ll wake you up with bullhorns at the break of dawn.”

It’s a doomsday scenario for poor Franco. First Damian Lillard runs off with his girlfriend (If Lillard can only get out of the driveway). Then he’s open-office tackled by Richard Sherman.

POSTED: Thursday, August 14, 2014, 1:53 PM
Adolescence is such an awkward age. Wouldn’t you agree? Your default reaction to almost everything in the universe could be a pithy “Ew!”

That’s why Jimmy Fallon’s Nickelodeon spoof, “Ew” is so much fun. Everything grosses poor metal-mouthed Sara out. Especially her stepfather.

On Thursday’s Tonight Show, Sara had company – the shy Natalie (played by Taylor Swift).


POSTED: Wednesday, August 13, 2014, 3:19 PM

If you haven’t seen IFC’s comedy series, Garfunkel and Oates (Thursday at 10 p.m.), this might be a good week to check it out.

The title characters, played by Riki Lindhome and Kate Micucci, are named for two of the most famous second thoughts in pop history. The ladies encounter all kinds of annoyances and scurrilous behavior as they pursue the composing and performing of their rather loopy brand of spoof songs. Think Flight of the Conchords with a dirtier mind.

This week the gals find out that they have reached a certain dubious level of fame: Someone has made a porn parody using their names and likenesses.


POSTED: Wednesday, August 13, 2014, 11:04 AM
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 0106 -- Pictured: Jimmy Fallon during the "House of Cue Cards" skit on August 12, 2014 -- (Photo by: (Douglas Gorenstein/NBC)

This combination might not have occurred to you: What if The Tonight Show was that taut political drama House of Cards? That would make Jimmy Fallon more like Kevin Spacey, right?

Well, we had a chance to find out just how well that collision would work Tuesday night, as the show uncorked an ambitious digital short, House of Cue Cards.

Kind of brilliant and totally goofy at the same time, from those note-for-note opening credits to the mumbling mockery of Fallon’s head writer, A.D. Miles to an arch Ellen Barkin as Claire with her monochromatic wardrobe.

About this blog

A true child of TV, David Hiltbrand has worked as a critic at People and as a columnist and editor at TV Guide.

Reach David at dhiltbrand@phillynews.com.

David Hiltbrand Inquirer TV Critic
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