DAVID BIANCULLI

Founder / Editor

ERIC GOULD

Associate Editor

LINDA DONOVAN

Assistant Editor

Contributors

ALEX STRACHAN

MIKE HUGHES

GARY EDGERTON

ROGER CATLIN

KIM AKASS

GERALD JORDAN

TOM BRINKMOELLER

NOEL HOLSTON

 
 
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FRIDAY
AUGUST 23
2019

BIANCULLI’S BEST BETS

 

TCM, 8:00 p.m. ET

This 1935 Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers movie is one of the all-time great musicals – and the perfect example of how the genre combatted the Depression by allowing moviegoers a chance to escape to a world where everyone was glamorous, and sophisticated, and about to fall in love. Oh, and the music… There’s so much to love here, but let’s just mention three words: “Cheek to Cheek.” Or two words: this film’s title song.
 
  
 
 

HBO, 10:00 p.m. ET

Tonight’s scheduled guests include Michael Smerconish, the CNN host who had me on his SiriusXM show once to talk about my Platinum Age of Television book, and knocked me out with both his enthusiasm for and knowledge of deep-dive TV history. So I expect whatever questions Maher throws at him here, he’ll be well prepared.
 
  
 
 
 
 
Read and add comments HERE for today's Best Bets!
 
 

TV WE'RE WATCHING

  
   Visit our TV We're Watching page for these and other shows on our DVRs right now...



A Black Lady Sketch Show
HBO
Fridays
11 PM ET

City on a Hill
Showtime
Sundays
9 PM ET 

Last Week Tonight
HBO
Sundays
11 PM ET 

Lodge 49
AMC
Mondays
10 PM ET 

Mindhunter
Netflix
Streaming 

Orange is the New Black
Netflix
Streaming 

Pennyworth
Epix
Sundays
9 PM ET 

Preacher
AMC
Sundays
9/10 PM ET 

The Righteous Gemstones
HBO
Sundays
10 PM ET 

Sherman's Showcase
IFC
Wednesdays
10 PM ET
 
 

VIDEO WORTH WATCHING

CAN YOU SAY “PERFECT CASTING,” BOYS AND GIRLS? –The first promo clip from the upcoming movie A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood has just been released, and it proves indisputably that this biopic of children’s TV host Fred Rogers has indeed found its ideal leading man. Tom Hanks portrays the soft-spoken, lovable host of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, and the illusion is accepted instantly and totally. Hanks already has portrayed Walt Disney, in the 2013 movie Saving Mr. Banks, and here he’s about to portray an even more beloved children’s TV icon. (And one, by the way, that Tom Hanks’ son, Colin, already has played, by portraying Fred Rogers on an installment of Comedy Central’s Drunk History.) Matthew Rhys from The Americans co-stars in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood as the magazine reporter who is unexpectedly charmed by Rogers’ honesty and inspirational manner, and he, too, seems wonderfully chosen. Speaking of choosing – I’m choosing an additional Video Worth Watching to add here. It’s of the real Fred Rogers, accepting his Lifetime Achievement Emmy Award in 1997. Prepare to be moved. – David Bianculli

 
 

BUT WAIT... THERE'S MORE!


FRESH AIR FAVES

Audio of Bianculli's favorite 'Fresh Air' reports, and the stories behind them...


FAVES FROM
"THE MORGUE"

Bianculli's favorite newspaper articles, and the stories behind them...


EXTRAS & FEEDBACK

Share your favorite TV in-jokes and first TV loves...
 
 
 
Good News TVWW readers: Television Finales: From Howdy Doody to Girls, the new collection edited by Douglas Howard and TVWW’s David Bianculli, is now on sale. More than ever, series finales have become cultural touchstones that feed watercooler fodder and tweet storms. TV Finales brings together seventy chapters, each focusing on a separate show, including reliable milestones such as The Fugitive and M*A*S*H through cutting-edge favorites like Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Breaking Bad. Writers include today’s leading TV critics, along with many TVWW contributors. "The last word on TV endings." (Matt Zoller Seitz, New York Magazine)
 
 
Television today is better than ever, and David’s book, The Platinum Age of Television: From I Love Lucy to The Walking Dead, How TV Became Terrific explores it all and how we got here. (Now on sale for $12). David maps the evolution of the classic TV genres – the sitcom, the crime show, doctor dramas, the Western – and many others. "The Platinum Age is an effusive guidebook that plots the path from the 1950s’ Golden Age to today’s era... interviews with Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Norman Lear, Matt Groening, Larry David, and Amy Schumer are high points. Bianculli has written a highly readable history." –The Washington Post
 
 
 

This Day in TV History

 
 
 

New This WWeek
Series and specials in variety formats