Category Archives: courttv

Dominick Dunne 1925-2009

Bestselling author Dominick Dunne passed away yesterday in his home from complications of bladder cancer. He was 83.

An advocate for victims’ rights, a WWII veteran, a stage manager for the original Howdy Doody show, a movie producer and a correspondent for Vanity Fair magazine, Dunne was many things, but what he will be most of all, is missed. We’ve lost one of the good ones.

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Starting on the first day of 2008, CourtTV changed its name to TruTV with the tagline: “Not Reality. Actuality.”

What the F?

If they wanted to avoid the stigma that reality television has created in its recent reign the last thing they should have done is make up a word. Remember a couple decades ago when some radio stations tried out a format called “infotainment”? I think that word was responsible for more people tuning out than any actual programming.

The main thing that puzzles me, a frequent CourtTV viewer, is that the programming has remained much the same as it was before, save the annoying frequency of those “Actuality” commercials every break.

The real story is that Time-Warner and Turner Broadcasting acquired the network last year and have been uncomfortable with its ‘legal format.’ The real ‘excitement’ will begin when the new shows debut. Now in development are the unscripted “Neighbors 911,” “Black Gold,” “Outlaw Chasers” and, wait for it, “Ski Patrol.” It bears repeating at this point that they wanted to stress that this isn’t reality TV. As Bill Cosby used to say, Riiight.

Luckily, the TruTV network will continue the six-hour block of court coverage on weekdays that was the trademark and meat of CourtTV. I think that’ll be all the TruTV I’ll be watching.

"The Groom Reaper"

I love John Waters. And not just his work, I love him. He’s one of those individuals like George Orwell or Ernest Hemmingway or Paris Hilton that is as a person just as interesting (for good or bad) as their body of work. For John, it’s for good. he’s funny, quirky, smart and sly – my kind of person.

Like I said, I love John Waters, so imagine my surprise when I came across “‘Til Death Do Us Part” on CourtTV. Now I don’t normally watch CourtTV when they’re not exploiting a case trial while in progress. I usually have the channel on while I’m writing during the day, or while on the gazelle with my iPod on – the advantage being if I look up I can always see the news crawl while concentrating on something else. And sometimes the trials get nutty. And Nancy Grace’s biting sarcasm is always worth a hoot. Other than that, I pay it no mind.

But while surfing through the cable today I saw my man John Waters and stopped on CourtTV. “‘Til Death Do Us Part” shows true cases where one spouse has murdered another, in dramatization form, with the names changed to protect the innocent, and John Waters is the host. He plays the, are you sitting down? – The Groom Reaper.

You could stop right there as far as I am concerned. That alone is a laugh worth having over and over again. It’s beautiful. And the stories, told in twenty-two minute form are sooo campy. Campy enough to make John Waters or any John Waters fan proud. The acting and the writing actually remind me of “Divorce Court.” Not the “DC” of today with a semi-real judge and real couples burnt in the “People’s Court” mold, the “Divorce Court” of yesteryear. Back in the 1960s and 70s, “DC” was the master of melodrama, making even the soap operas green with envy – that’s what this show is like.

Now I’m not sure if this is a new show or an old show but there were about eight of them that aired today. So check out your TV schedule for “‘Til Death Do Us Part,” it’s a hoot!