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DAVID BIANCULLI

Founder / Editor

ERIC GOULD

Associate Editor

LINDA DONOVAN

Assistant Editor

Contributors

ALEX STRACHAN

MIKE HUGHES

GARY EDGERTON

ROGER CATLIN

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NOEL HOLSTON

 
 
THURSDAY
APRIL 2
2020

BIANCULLI’S BEST BETS

 

Hulu, 3:00 a.m. ET

This imaginative sci-fi series, like many before it, taps into time travel – or, at least, the stream of time – as an inspiration for its narrative. But the scientists of Devs see the time continuum as a natural resource to be tapped and perhaps exploited: mining the past, for sound and images captured like Arctic core samples, and predicting the future, up to a point. It’s fascinating. And, in this telling, spooky and more than a little sinister, as is made clear in tonight’s latest installment.
 
  
 
 

PBS, 8:00 p.m. ET

If your local public television member station isn’t devoting Thursday nights these days to the documentaries of Ken Burns, presenting them as a special and eminently worthwhile time-consuming TV treat, you can find the same material every Thursday on PBS streaming sites. Tonight, for example, you can choose among installments of The Roosevelts: An Intimate History (pictured), The War, and National Parks: America’s Best Idea. Check local listings.
 
  
 
 

MSNBC, 9:00 p.m. ET

Stephen Colbert, introducing MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow on a recent appearance on his CBS Late Show, described her as “America’s premier explainer,” which is a perfect unofficial title for what she does on her nightly cable show. Politically, she falls left of center – but academically, she constructs and deconstructs the day’s events as a born, stellar teacher, in ways so clear and incisive, I find her the best single source of breaking news analysis on television right now. Better than anyone on broadcast TV, or any of the cable networks. For the most part, wherever I write or speak, I try to avoid being political in my TV criticism and recommendations – but this is a time when straight, reliable information is elusive and invaluable, and, in my opinion, it can be found here. And, on the radio, I say with pride, on the NPR show with which I am sometimes associated, Fresh Air with Terry Gross. 
 
  
 
 

CNN, 10:00 p.m. ET

CNN anchor Chris Cuomo revealed this week he has tested positive for the coronavirus – and instead of stopping work as a network news anchor, continues to organize and host Cuomo Prime Time. He does it, though, quarantined in and telecasting from the basement of his home, presiding over TV’s most personal front-line account of the current pandemic. (He talks of the nightly fevers and chills, the chest contractions, the fear of not being able to breathe, as something worse than anything he’s ever endured.) Cuomo Prime Time usually is televised at 9 p.m. ET. Tonight it begins an hour later, at 10 – but only because Cuomo’s fellow CNN colleagues, Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta, are presenting a special CNN town meeting on the pandemic at 8. And by the way, though this observation and recommendation is anything but incidental: Around noon ET each weekday, Chris Cuomo’s older brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, holds a televised live press conference about New York’s status regarding the coronavirus. So each weekday, at different hours of the day, these two brothers are contributing mightily to their viewers’ understanding of this current crisis. Surely, that’s unprecedented. Personally, it’s also inspirational.
 
  
 
 
 
 
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...



Better Call Saul
AMC
Mondays
9 PM ET 

Better Things
FX
Thursdays
10 PM ET 

Cake
FXX
Thursdays
10 PM ET 

Devs
Hulu
Streaming  

Dispatches From Elsewhere
AMC
Mondays
10 PM ET

Homeland
Showtime
Sundays
9 PM ET

Ozark
Netflix
Streaming 

The Smother's Brothers Comedy Hour
getTV
Saturdays
11 PM ET  

Westworld
HBO
Sundays
9 PM ET 

Zoey's Extraordinary
Playlist
NBC
Sundays
9 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...
 
 
 

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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
 
 
 

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