DAVID BIANCULLI

Founder / Editor

ERIC GOULD

Associate Editor

LINDA DONOVAN

Assistant Editor

KARLE DUNBAR

Social Media Manager

Contributors

ALEX STRACHAN

GERALD JORDAN

ROGER CATLIN

GARY EDGERTON

CANDACE KELLEY

TOM BRINKMOELLER

MONIQUE NAZARETH

DAVID SICILIA

GABRIELA TAMARIZ

NOEL HOLSTON

JONATHAN STORM

 
 
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MONDAY
SEPTEMBER 25
2017

BIANCULLI’S BEST BETS

 

NBC, 9:00 a.m. ET

SERIES PREMIERE: Just a notation: Megyn Kelley, when leaving Fox News for NBC, positioned herself in a couple of high-profile places on her new network. One was Dateline NBC, where she entered with an attention-getting entrance by interviewing Vladimir Putin and others, then falling out of the spotlight. The other, long in the works, is her new show and showcase, which premieres today, on Today, as the show’s third hour, now retitled Megan Kelly Today. The first two hours of the show remain the Today show of old, and the fourth hour remains “the days of wine and neuroses” as presided over by Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb. Consider Megan Kelly Today a transition pivot between those two very different types of program – which gives her a lot of freedom to set her own tone, whatever that might be.

 
  
 
 

CBS, 8:00 p.m. ET

SEASON PREMIERE: This is the Season 11 premiere of this incredibly successful CBS sitcom, easily the most visible and popular program continuing the multi-camera, filmed-before-an-audience format instituted so long ago by another CBS sitcom, I Love Lucy. Tonight’s program picks up where last season’s comedy cliffhanger ended: with Jim Parson’s Sheldon on one knee, proposing to Amy (Mayim Bialik).

 
  
 
 

NBC, 8:00 p.m. ET

SEASON PREMIERE: This is Cycle 13 of this good-hearted reality competition show – and good-hearted is what makes it stand out from so many others, which is why it just won another Emmy as Outstanding Reality Competition Series. The earliest episodes of each cycle are among the best, because they’re full of discovery and surprise. This cycle, the four judges who will listen to the voices of the contestants, and judge them sight unseen, are always-there anchors Blake Shelton and Adam Levine, recent Voice returning judge Miley Cyrus, and brand new judge Jennifer Hudson, who used to be one of the judgees – as a memorable contestant on American Idol.

 
  
 
 

PBS, 8:00 p.m. ET

Episode 7. Hold on to your historical seats. Tonight’s episode is titled “The Veneer of Civilization,” and it covers the period from June 1968 to May 1969. Just the summer of 1968 alone is one of the most tumultuous periods in our country’s history – I teach it, in my TV History & Appreciation class covering the 1960s and 1970s, and that summer alone because of the quantity and speed of tragic events. And this episode covers all that, then keeps going, in a manner that’s both understandable and, emotionally, almost incomprehensible. For a full review of this episode, see Alex Strachan’s TV That Matters. Check local listings.
 
  
 
 
 
 
Read and add comments HERE for today's Best Bets!
 
 

VIDEO WORTH WATCHING

‘Will & Grace’ 2.0 – Of all the shows premiering this fall, few are more anticipated than the return to NBC of Will & Grace. The show may have been off the air for ten years, but it’s clear the slightly dysfunctional, though very loving, Will, Grace, Karen, and Jack have been missed. A special, airing Sept 19 on NBC – The Paley Center Salutes the Best of Will & Grace – should be a treat for fans who are holding their collective breath until Sept. 28 when the show returns. To whet the appetite of fans (as if their excitement level isn’t already through the roof), NBC has released a short video with treasured old scenes, new scenes that are destined to become favorites and the story of the original casting sessions. And it’s not “Just Jack!” – Linda Donovan

 
 

TV WE'RE WATCHING

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


American Horror Story: Cult
FX
Tuesdays
10 PM ET

The Deuce
HBO
Sundays
9 PM ET

Episodes
Showtime
Sundays
10 PM ET

The Guest Book
TBS
Thursdays
10:30 PM ET

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
HBO
Sundays
11 PM ET

Manhunt: Unabomber
Discovery
Tuesdays
9 PM ET

Mr. Mercedes
AT&T Audience Network
Wednesdays
8 PM ET

Ray Donovan
Showtime
Sundays
9 PM ET

Real Time with Bill Maher
HBO
Fridays
10 PM ET

You're The Worst
FXX
Wednesdays
10 PM ET
 
 

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: David’s new book from Doubleday, The Platinum Age of Television: From I Love Lucy to The Walking Dead, How TV Became Terrific is now available in paperback for under $15. Doubleday says: “Darwin had his theory of evolution, and David Bianculli has his. Bianculli's theory has to do with the concept of quality television: what it is and, crucially, how it got that way."

"The Platinum Age of Television is an effusive guidebook that plots the path from the 1950s’ Golden Age to today’s era of quality TV. For instance, animation evolved from Rocky and His Friends to South Park; variety shows moved from The Ed Sullivan Show to Saturday Night Live; and family sitcoms grew from I Love Lucy to Modern Family. Interviews with Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Norman Lear, Bob Newhart, Matt Groening, Larry David, Amy Schumer are high points... Bianculli has written a highly readable history." —The Washington Post

 
 

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