Eric Deggans

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This was the toughest TV show for me to watch in a long while.

When They See Us is director/writer/producer Ava DuVernay's searing, four-part drama about five black and Latino boys who were railroaded into falsely confessing to the most notorious gang rape in New York City history. But it wasn't difficult viewing for its violence—in fact, the Netflix series is very careful in how it presents many instances of assault, with the most grisly details left to viewers' imagination.

There was a bittersweet quality to ABC's triumphant two-hour live sitcom special on Wednesday night. At least, for me there was.

On the sweet side, watching talented stars like Jamie Foxx and Woody Harrelson re-create classic scripts from All in the Family and The Jeffersons was a shot of pure, uncut nostalgia. There are few spectacles as entertaining as these guys mugging their ways through impressions of classic characters like George Jefferson and Archie Bunker — in live performance.

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Tim Conway built a career playing goofballs who rarely took center stage — but he often helped turn good television shows into TV classics. The comic actor, who appeared on shows ranging from The Carol Burnett Show to SpongeBob SquarePants, died Tuesday morning, May 14. The cause was complications from a long illness, according to his representative, Howard Bragman. He was 85.

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Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey - those are just some of the big-name celebrities called in to help Apple announce new products yesterday. Among those products - a long-awaited streaming TV service called Apple TV Plus. NPR TV critic Eric Deggans has been taking a look.

ERIC DEGGANS, BYLINE: Oprah Winfrey made Apple's presentation sound less like a list of new products and more like a social renaissance.

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Many a movie begins with this brass fanfare.

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HBO's Leaving Neverland is ultimately a tribute to the power of personal testimony.

Over four hours, the film slowly excavates the stories of James Safechuck and Wade Robson. The two men each met Michael Jackson as children in the 1980s and allege the pop star sexually abused them for years while showering their families with attention and gifts.

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Michael Cohen named names from the Trump Organization during his public testimony before Congress. And now lawmakers have questions for those people.

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The investigation into the alleged attack of Jussie Smollett took a remarkable turn last night. It's been a confusing three weeks since the star of the TV drama series "Empire" claimed that he was the victim of a hate crime.

Pepsi should have chosen a different slogan for its ads during this year's Super Bowl.

The company's slogan was "More than OK." Well, not really. In fact, most of the high-priced commercials we saw between the football plays were just OK. They were so careful to avoid scandal and backlash that they felt leached of originality or bite.

That's pretty much what Greg Lyons, chief marketing officer of PepsiCo Beverages North America, predicted when I asked him last week what this year's spots would look like: nothing controversial.

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When stock markets around the world crashed in 1987, Some newscasters called it Black Monday.

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Listen at the audio link to hear Eric Deggans' review of Surviving R. Kelly. Read on for his extended interview with the show's executive producer, cultural critic dream hampton.

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It's the holiday season, and while others are baking cookies or gathering with family, our TV critic Eric Deggans has been feverishly watching television to create his list of 2018's best tv series. And Eric joins us now. Hi there.

ERIC DEGGANS, BYLINE: Hey.

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You may recognize this as a beloved children's song.

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UNIDENTIFIED CHILDREN: (Singing) This little light of mine, I'm going to let it shine.

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Hundreds and hundreds of series air every year. They are good and they are lousy; they are new and they are old. There's too much television for a comprehensive ranking, so Glen Weldon, Linda Holmes and Eric Deggans round up 16 of their favorite shows from 2018.

The Americans (FX)

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When a pair of convicted murderers broke out of an upstate New York prison three years ago, TV networks jumped on the story.

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Stan Lee was always a hero of mine; a feeling I share with many comic book fans. But it wasn't until recently – and especially following his death Monday at age 95 – that I began to realize that some of my love for him came specifically from my perspective as a black kid who grew up reading comic books in the 1970s.

Note: Spoilers abound for the upcoming and past seasons of House of Cards.

I wish I could say definitively that the #MeToo-fueled elimination of star Kevin Spacey from Netflix's House of Cards raised the political drama's game for its final season.

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