Tuned In

While I Was Out: The Old Man and the TV

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Department of Defense

I’m back from a long weekend in Dallas with Tuned In Jr. at the National Elementary Chess Championships. If you ever want to see something truly terrifying, sit in on a room full of hundreds of children at chessboards, staring in murderous silence at something that is not a handheld game system.

I’ve got a fair-sized viewing backlog to come home to, and I probably will not get to go back and retro-review most of it (Community, for instance, I may just weigh in on after the season finale; time permitting, I’ll post some quick thoughts on the Fringe finale). But here’s a roundup of what went on in the TV world while I was offline:

* Osama bin Laden‘s video trove was found and sampled for the public, and his villainy was confirmed by the ultimate modern humiliation: he videotaped himself watching himself on TV.

* And while President Obama refused to release the death photos of bin Laden, he did go on 60 Minutes to talk about the raid, with his interviewer-of-choice Steve Kroft. The full interview and transcript are now online.

* NBC finally got enough of a breather from breaking news to tell us what we already knew: Meredith Vieira is heading out, and Ann Curry is taking over.

* Simon Cowell is reuniting with Paula Abdul by bringing her on as a judge for The X-Factor. Which raises the question: is X-Factor the next new thing, or is it going to become the Classic Coke version of American Idol?