HBO had critics eating out of its hand at the Summer TV Press Tour, thanks to its biggest, ritziest drama in years. It’s called Boardwalk Empire, and it’s produced and occasionally directed by Martin Scorcese (oooh), written by Sopranos veteran Terence Winter (aaaah), and stars Steve Buscemi (hooray!). With a plot revolving around Prohibition-era gangsters in Atlantic City, the show, set to debut Sept. 19, seems perfectly calculated to make critics swoon, and swoon they did, according to Lisa de Moraes of the Washington Post.
Starz, meanwhile, showed off its new Camelot series, and star Joseph Fiennes (Flash Forward) put his foot in his mouth by likening his Merlin character to “a sort of cross between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Donald Rumsfeld.” National Geographic used its spot to talk up “Big Cat Week,” leading to some snark from critics. “Talk a little bit about the importance and impetus of having a week devoted to animals with big teeth,” said one, hinting at the similarity between the event and arch-rival Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week.” (Read more Boardwalk Empire stories.)