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FNL Officially Picked Up

If the broadcast networks are turning into large cable companies, here’s one bright side of it: a show like Friday Night Lights can get a fourth, and fifth, season on NBC with basic-cable-like ratings. NBC and DirecTV have confirmed a deal that will keep FNL around for two more seasons. The seasons will also be basic-cable-like—that …

Arts Advocacy Day

Some famous names — Josh Groban, Linda Ronstandt, Wynton Marsalis — are trooping up to Capitol Hill this morning to testify before a House appropriations subcommittee on the usefulness of the arts and arts education. Lest anyone miss the utilitarian point, the hearing is being headlined as “The Arts = Jobs”.

    All of this is part

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The Morning After: Basketball Jones

Not a lot that was either spoiler-worthy or comment-worthy in last night’s How I Met Your Mother, except to say that it may have been as close as possible to being a statistically average episode of HIMYM: ’80s movies references (check), Canadian jokes (check), a challenge (check) and a lesson about growing up (check). For me, the star …

Helen Levitt: 1913-2009

Helen Levitt was one of the pivotal figures of American street photography. Though she often photographed kids at play, it was without sentimentality. If anything she had a way of making you feel like they were signposts of the secret life of the city, doing their mysterious thing while the adult world bustled by unawares. Likewise …

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The Morning After: Programming Note

Some personal business (you don’t want to know) is probably going to keep posting lighter than usual here for a couple of days. For now, I’ll throw this post open for any weekend-TV discussion. For instance—speaking of programming—Friday’s Dollhouse, which seemed to me about half a step forward, and one or two back, after the …

The Future of the Rose

Here’s an update on the ongoing crisis of the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University. As you probably know, two months ago Brandeis administrators started talking about closing the museum and selling off some of its collection to help close the university’s budget gap. When that decision was met by an uproar on campus and off, …

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TV Weekend: The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

I put The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency (debuting Sunday night on HBO) in the DVR expecting it to be a chore. I’m not much of a fan of procedurals; I’m even less a fan of detective novels. (And hence, I have never read the Alexander McCall Smith novels on which this series is based.) Never saw the point. If I want to do a puzzle, …

John Cheever

This is a bit off topic, but at Time I write about the occasional book unrelated to art or architecture and this is one I raised my hand to do. I’m a major lifelong fan of Cheever’s, so I wanted to do whatever I could to get his name back into the conversation.

At the time of his death in 1982 Cheever was so famous that it seemed …

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