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John Kiesewetter on the world of local and national TV

Senior Entertainment Reporter John Kiesewetter has been covering TV and media issues for 20 years. After joining the Cincinnati Enquirer in 1975 as a summer intern, he worked as a county government and suburban reporter; assistant city editor and suburban editor; and features editor supervising the Life section. He has a B.S. in journalism from Ohio University.

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Monday, July 09, 2007

Two TV Treats Tonight

So much for the Dog Days of Summer on TV. You'll find two really cool new TV shows on tonight.

--First is "Spielberg on Spielberg" (8 p.m. and midnight, Turner Classic Movies). Spielberg, arguably the greatest director of our generation, tells wonderful behind-the-scenes stories about making "Jaws," "Saving Private Ryan," "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and his other movies.... It's great fun for fans of his films. He also talks about his flop with "1941," and how that made him a better director. "Jaws" follows at 9:30 p.m. on TCM.
During the "Schindler's List" portion, he also talks for a minute or so about growing up here in Cincinnati, and remembering his grandmother teaching English to Holocaust survivors. (He was born here in 1946, and moved away in summer of '49.) For more info, see my stories posted/published Sunday:
In researching the story, I was not surprise to hear that Spielberg has shelved that movie idea about his family's Cincinnati life. He first mentioned it in 1989, and I talked to him about it as late as 1996. But it's not on the DreamWorksStudios development list.

--Baseball fans will enjoy "The Bronx is Burning" (10 p.m. today, ESPN, after the Home Run Derby). Unlike other TV baseball dramas, this one looks realistic. Part of that has to do with ESPN using actual video and audio from the 1976 World Series with the Reds (just briefly), to set up this 8-week miniseries about George Steinbrenner signing Reggie Jackson to play for the '77 Yankees managed by Bill Martin. (A subplot is the Son of Sam serial killer on the loose in NY in 1977.) John Turturro is great as Billy Martin (those can't be his real ears!), and Daniel Sunjata ("Rescue Me") captures the swagger of slugger Reggie Jackson. Oliver Platt is over the top as Steinbrenner, but then, King George is over the top himself. The first hour is very enjoyable. It will air 10 p.m. Tuesdays through August.

By the way, thanks to all of you who knew of the Spielberg family and emailed me last week. I got a lot of good tips. Thanks!


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