David Bianculli, TV critic for National Public Radio’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross, has been a TV critic for almost 40 years—and a TV viewer for 60. In Bianculli’s Personal Theory of TV Evolution, he exhibits the television programs and transitions that shaped him, impressed him, and maybe even warped him a little. He traces certain TV evolutionary themes through the ages, such as “single working women on TV,” and also exhibits some of his personal collections: of related artwork and toys, old television equipment, and decades of promotional press kits and freebies from various TV networks and production houses. He even displays his first surviving piece of television criticism—written in his diary at age seven.
Among the treasures on view are the story board from Breaking Bad‘s final episode, Mr. Rogers’ iconic sweater and sneakers, Rod Serling’s typewriter, and surrealist puppets from the soon-to-be-retired Late Late Show. All that, and a chance to enter your own TV “confessional,” see the glow-in-the-dark patron saint of television, and witness, up close and personal, Bianculli’s favorite moment from all of television: Rancid the Devil Horse.
David Bianculli has been the TV critic for National Public Radio’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross, where he also appears as occasional guest host, since 1987. Beginning in 1975, he’s worked as a TV critic for newspapers in Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York (in that order), most recently for the New York Daily News from 1993-2007. Currently, he is editor of the website TV Worth Watching which he launched in 2007. Bianculli has a B.S. in Journalism and an M.A. in Journalism and Communications, both from the University of Florida. He has written three books – Dangerously Funny: The Uncensored Story of ‘The mothers Brothers Comedy Hour,’ Teleliteracy: Taking Television Seriously and Dictionary of Teleliteracy – and is at work on a fourth. He now teaches TV and film as a tenured associate professor at Rowan University in Glassboro, NJ.