<p>Even in publicity photos, Andy Griffith wound up playing straight man to co-star Don Knotts.</p>

Even in publicity photos, Andy Griffith wound up playing straight man to co-star Don Knotts.

Credit: CBS

Andy Griffith: Appreciating the late, great sincere TV icon

The star of 'The Andy Griffith Show' and 'Matlock' died today
Andy Griffith, who died today at the age of 86, was one of the great television stars of all time not because of his skill with a joke (though he was splendid as both comedian and straight man), nor because of his dramatic chops (though his performance in the 1957 movie "A Face in the Crowd" is seared in the memory of anyone who saw it), but simply because audiences found something innately decent and trustworthy about him. Whether as small-town sheriff Andy Taylor on "The Andy Griffith Show" or a crafty aging lawyer on "Matlock," Griffith was someone viewers wanted on their side.
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<p>Casey Wilson and Adam Pally in &quot;Happy Endings.&quot;</p>

Casey Wilson and Adam Pally in "Happy Endings."

Credit: ABC

If I had an Emmy ballot 2012: Outstanding Comedy Series

A great, diverse year for sitcoms offers an eclectic list of hypothetical nominees

Okay, we're almost at the finish line with this year's Emmy project. Completed Emmy ballots were due last Thursday, but that's not going to keep Dan and I from hitting the top two categories with our usual split: I'll pretend that I have an Emmy ballot and make my picks for the six actors or shows I would put on my ballot, while Dan will rank the potential nominees from most likely to least. And, as always, we are working off of the actual Emmy ballot, so we can't consider shows that didn't submit themselves, nor can we reassign one to a more suitable or easier category.

Today we're doing Outstanding Comedy Series. Dan's predictions are here, and my picks are coming right up...

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<p>HBO&nbsp;has renewed &quot;The Newsroom,&quot;&nbsp;starring Emily Mortimer and Jeff Daniels, for a second season.</p>

HBO has renewed "The Newsroom," starring Emily Mortimer and Jeff Daniels, for a second season.

Credit: HBO

HBO renews 'The Newsroom' & 'True Blood'

Sookie Stackhouse and Aaron Sorkin will both be back next year

HBO has renewed "True Blood" and "The Newsroom."

For a while there, HBO was like clockwork with its renewals, ordering new seasons of shows on the Tuesday after their premieres. But they've gotten out of that practice lately: "Enlightened" had to wait til the end of its season to get the good news, while "Girls" and "Veep" were a few weeks into their respective seasons when it happened.

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<p>Olivia Munn in &quot;The Newsroom.&quot;</p>

Olivia Munn in "The Newsroom."

Credit: HBO

Review: 'The Newsroom' - 'News Night 2.0'

Mackenzie unveils a new philosophy for the show, and Will discusses immigration

A review of tonight's "The Newsroom" coming up just as soon as I am the integrity...

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<p>Alice Krige and Garret Dillahunt in &quot;Deadwood.&quot;</p>

Alice Krige and Garret Dillahunt in "Deadwood."

Credit: HBO

'Deadwood' Rewind: Season 2, Episode 6: 'Something Very Expensive' (Veterans edition)

Anger rolls downhill in a violent episode for Wolcott, Cy, Seth and Joanie

We're into week 5 of our summer trip back through David Milch's epic revisionist Western "Deadwood." As always with this project, we're going to have two parallel discussions going at once: identical reviews, but one where the comments section is just for people who are new to the series and don't want to be spoiled on anything past the events of the episode being discussed, and one for people who know "Deadwood" backwards and forwards, and want to be able to discuss it all at once. This is the veteran-friendly version; click here for the newbie-safe one.

A review of episode 6, "Something Very Expensive," coming up just as soon as I think of Leon in a dress...

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<p>Alice Krige and Garret Dillahunt in &quot;Deadwood.&quot;</p>

Alice Krige and Garret Dillahunt in "Deadwood."

Credit: HBO

'Deadwood' Rewind: Season 2, Episode 6: 'Something Very Expensive' (Newbies edition)

Anger rolls downhill in a violent episode for Wolcott, Cy, Seth and Joanie

We're into week 5 of our summer trip back through David Milch's epic revisionist Western "Deadwood." As always with this project, we're going to have two parallel discussions going at once: identical reviews, but one where the comments section is just for people who are new to the series and don't want to be spoiled on anything past the events of the episode being discussed, and one for people who know "Deadwood" backwards and forwards, and want to be able to discuss it all at once. This is the newbie-safe version; click here for the veteran-friendly one.

A review of episode 6, "Something Very Expensive," coming up just as soon as I think of Leon in a dress...

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<p>Louis C.K. and Gaby Hoffman in &quot;Louie.&quot;</p>

Louis C.K. and Gaby Hoffman in "Louie."

Credit: FX

Season premiere review: 'Louie' - 'Something Is Wrong'

Louie loses a girlfriend and gains a motorcycle

"Louie" is back for a third season. I reviewed the start of the season yesterday, and I have some quick thoughts on the season premiere coming up just as soon as I get reading glasses...

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<p>Jason Gann as &quot;Wilfred.&quot;</p>

Jason Gann as "Wilfred."

Credit: FX

Review: 'Wilfred' - 'Letting Go'

After last week's dream, we get to see what's really happening for Ryan and Wilfred

A quick review of tonight's "Wilfred" coming up just as soon as I give you 150 bucks and a long hug...

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<p>Jessica Hynes and Hugh Bonneville in &quot;Twenty Twelve.&quot;</p>

Jessica Hynes and Hugh Bonneville in "Twenty Twelve."

Credit: BBC

Review: BBC America's 'Twenty Twelve' a formulaic mockumentary

HitFix
C+
Readers
B+
Hugh Bonneville and Jessica Hynes don't have a lot to work with

Attitudes about TV comedy are an ever-evolving thing. For decades, the most popular, respected version of the form was done in the style of "I Love Lucy": shot on a stage in front of a live studio audience who were prompted to laugh early and often. Even on the occasion where a comedy was put on film with no audience, a laugh track would be added later. There were rhythms to the jokes, and to the way each scene flowed to the next, that became a familiar, beloved language among the audience.

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<p>Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison on &quot;Homeland.&quot;</p>

Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison on "Homeland."

Credit: Showtime

If I had an Emmy ballot 2012: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series

Claire Danes seems like a lock to win, but who deserves to join her in the field?

We're in the home stretch now of our look at the 2012 Emmy ballot. (Today is, in fact, the deadline for Academy members to turn in their ballots; we still have two categories to go, but we've never assumed that these stories have any impact on the actual voting.) As always, Fienberg and I are going to approach things in two ways. I'll pretend that I have an Emmy ballot and make my picks for the six actors or shows I would put on my ballot, while Dan will rank the potential nominees from most likely to least. And, as always, we are working off of the actual Emmy ballot, so we can't consider people who didn't submit themselves, nor can we reassign anyone to a more suitable or easier category.

We're up to our final acting category, with Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. Dan's predictions are here, and my preferences are coming right up...

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