DMA: Joplin, MO-Pittsburg, KS
DMA rank: 151
TV Households in DMA: 145,700
Percentage of total U.S. TV households in DMA: 0.128
PO Box 1393
Joplin, MO 64802-1393
Digital channel: 43
Primary Programming: ABC
Shirley Morton, General Manager
Owner: Mission Broadcasting Inc
Using the Manson Family two years before the Tate-LaBianca murders as a portal into 1960s counterculture, Aquarius is actually pretty groovy — a bit like a poor man’s LA Confidential in its revisionist look at the LAPD in a tumultuous earlier time. That makes NBC’s handling of this David Duchovny vehicle puzzling: In making all the episodes available online after its premier, it’s either an interesting experiment, charitably speaking, or an unceremonious dumping of a project whose prospects are, admittedly, uncertain. While the dawning of Aquarius is hardly revolutionary, the show does kick off summer with a provocative, cable-like gamble.
The new Netflix comedy series Grace and Frankie has the odd distinction of seeming like it doesn’t belong on Netflix but also paling in comparison to a show on Netflix’s main streaming rival, Amazon. You might find yourself asking why it exists at all. For starters, the Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin vehicle feels a lot more like a network show than something trying to stand out in the modern streaming world. That doesn’t necessarily mean that either Netflix or Amazon are distancing themselves from “regular television,” but there’s a familiarity to Grace and Frankie that seems rather dated.
Two Jews walk into a bar .... There's no punchline. It's a silly, sentimental episode of FX's The Comedians in which Billy Crystal and Josh Gad sing karaoke in L.A.'s Little Tokyo and reminisce about aging, family and the nature of comedy. The generation gap provides the crux of a comedy collaboration by Crystal (old-school Borscht Belt) and Gad (youthful Broadway) that is by turns gently narcissistic, occasionally gross and musically inclined. The 13 episodes are fun, not groundbreaking, but slickly produced and accented with musical comedy. Like the two stars, the series is endearing, loud and desperate for attention, but ultimately a love letter to comedy and comedy history.
Kings, queens, presidents and dictators all have official histories, but power brokers, as they embody the precepts of Machiavelli, often operate in whole or part behind the scenes. Henry VIII takes second billing in PBS's Wolf Hall, the sprawling six-hour adaptation of two historical novels by Hilary Mantel. The miniseries is both brilliant and maddening and only really pays off in the final two episodes, after you’ve more or less figured out who the characters are, how they’re related to each other, and what the hell they are saying during endless, slow-moving conversations spoken, of course, in what to many Yanks is a foreign tongue: British English.
HBO's four-hour documentary Sinatra: All or Nothing at All captures all the singer's swash and buckle. It also reminds us, in a smart way, that Sinatra became one of the four or five best popular singers of the 20th century. In other words, director Alex Gibney hasn’t set out to make headlines by focusing on the flaws or the dark side of a life that had plenty of both.
NBC describes American Odyssey as “Traffic-like,” which might explain the lack of inspiration permeating this multi-pronged drama, which, much like sibling USA’s Dig, hinges on a vast (and tedious) conspiracy. The intersecting threads involve a U.S. soldier in North Africa, a corporate lawyer and an Occupy-type political activist, each embroiled in a monstrous plot reaching up and into government. First-rate casting — including Anna Friel, Peter Facinelli and Treat Williams — can’t obscure the been-there, seen-that sensation, which doesn’t spur much curiosity about how these tentacles connect or offer much hope the show will last long enough to find out.