Video: Out of the Series Straitjacket

Anthology shows bring style and imagination to prime time

In TV, as in presidential primary campaigns, high expectations can often be dangerous. The expectations have seldom been higher than last September, when the networks prepared to unveil four new weekly anthology series. The shows boasted big-name directors and writers (headed by Hollywood's ubiquitous mogul Steven Spielberg), harked back to fondly remembered series from TV's past, and promised liberation from the straitjacket of recurring characters and continuing story lines. If the anthology shows worked, it seemed, a programming revolution might be in the offing.

And so it was that disappointment almost inevitably swept the land. When Spielberg's Amazing Stories debuted on...

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