SUNDAY
JANUARY 24
2021

BIANCULLI’S BEST BETS

 

Various Networks, 3:00 p.m. ET

In college basketball, they would refer to today’s pair of games as the Final Four: Two contests, with the victors of each game advancing to the national championship. Only in pro football, the championship game is the Super Bowl. The NFC Championship Game is played first – at 3 p.m. on Fox, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers facing the Green Bay Packers. Then, at 6:30 p.m. on CBS, the AFC Championship Game follows with the Buffalo Bills vs. the Kansas City Chiefs. And in both games, there’s a duel between marquee quarterbacks: the 13-5 Bucs are led by former New England Patriots QB Tom Brady, the 14-3 Packers by Aaron Rodgers (pictured). And over at the AFC, Josh Allen leads the 15-3 Bills against Patrick Mahomes and the 15-2 Chiefs.
 
  
 
 

Showtime, 8:00 p.m. ET

The year 2021 has been a roller-coaster already, but for The Circus, it’s been one triumph after anotherBeing behind the scenes to cover politics may be dull in some years, and maybe we’ll be fortunate enough to feel that again someday – but for right now, the tumult in Washington, D.C. has been captured up close and personal by the correspondents of this as-it-happens political documentary series. This week, the inauguration, the transfer of presidential power, and what happens next…
 
  
 
 

PBS, 8:00 p.m. ET

Last week’s premiere episode set up this new series with a lot of vintage TV touchstones. The episode began with Linda Shelby’s Eliza Scarlet introduced as a sort of Victorian Honey West, and ended with her being visited and advised by the ghost of her late father, as in the Canadian Mountie hero of Due South. And now we know not only her character, but a few others – so with her private eye agency opened, using her father’s name for acceptability, let’s see what kind of cases she deals with. Check local listings.
 
  
 
 

Showtime, 9:00 p.m. ET

This week, yet another highlights package of sorts – but this one divides its time among three of the smaller Gallagher offspring. The episode subtitle says it all: “Debbie, Carl and Liam.” And what the first two characters have gone through, since this Americanized version of Shameless began almost a dozen years ago, is amazing. Watch this “remember-when” hour, and see…
 
  
 
 
 
 
Read and add comments HERE for today's Best Bets!
 
 
 
 
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2043 Comments
 
 
Scott
Vladamir Horowitz's 86 Moscow Concert was on CBS Sunday Morning.

His interview with Mike Wallace for 60 MINUTES was in 1977.
Jan 22, 2021   |  Reply
 
 
Ben Dover
Well-stated write-up of the Inauguration coverage. Our National nightmare and embarrassment is over!
Jan 20, 2021   |  Reply
 
 
Bill
isn’t televised by one of the broadcast networks. Instead, you can watch it on ESPN, ESPN+

Don't forget ABC is still a Network.
Jan 10, 2021   |  Reply
 
 
kirk
Thank goodness Dickinson has come back! First season was brilliant!
Jan 8, 2021   |  Reply
 
 
jim
It's always fun to point out that Psycho actually takes place during the Christmas season.
Dec 30, 2020   |  Reply
 
 
Ben Dover
Day two with no advice? What will we do?!
Dec 30, 2020   |  Reply
 
 
Ken Rehfield
Are you on vacation David? Happy New Year
Dec 30, 2020   |  Reply
 
 
Ben Dover
Where are today's recommendations? I'm trying to plan my evening.
Dec 29, 2020   |  Reply
 
 
Rob
Thanks for the tip on 1917. Been waiting for a long time for that to show up on a non-rental channel.
Dec 26, 2020   |  Reply
 
 
Barry
Where’s Mac?
Dec 24, 2020   |  Reply
 
 
Barry
Where’s Mac?
Dec 24, 2020   |  Reply
 
 
rocketx2
Where's the scorecard?
Dec 17, 2020   |  Reply
 
 
Ed S.
It's not politics, it's obvious failure on an epic scale, and delusion on the part of 70M Americans for not seeing this.
Dec 15, 2020   |  Reply
 
 
Ken
I was in Gainesville then too Dave. Tom Petty probably played in Dub’s, but maybe also at the Lamplighter, Trader Tom’s, Bilbo and Gandalf’s, the Long Branch Saloon, Cin City Lounge, the Keg or the Great Southern Music Hall. My memory's not that good.
Dec 13, 2020   |  Reply
 
 
George A.
“Another way is to import programming filmed in countries that have a better record of handling and containing the virus than the U.S. – which means just about anywhere.” — Just can’t help yourself, can you David? Why can’t we get TV reviews without you shoving your politics down our throats?

Aside from being factually untrue (all of Western Europe says hi), it’s also completely unconstructive, especially as it relates to reviewing this program.
Dec 7, 2020   |  Reply
 
 
jim
Look close. One of those men surrounding Marilyn during "Diamonds are a Girls Best Friend" is George Chakiris who won an Oscar for playing Tony in West Side Story.
Dec 7, 2020   |  Reply
 
 
Jan Grant
David, I’ve started watching your bit every day during Covid - yeah, months now. I can tell you that it’s a positive highlight to hear your voice and recommendation and frequent puns and such. Thank you for being a daily dose of reality ( I can see the strain in your face as these months go on) leading us to a TV diversion. Thank you.
Dec 5, 2020   |  Reply
 
 
Ken Rehfield
David, you're a very punny person!
Dec 2, 2020   |  Reply
 
 
Phillip R. Crabb
Well, my 57th year of watching Rudolph - now, with my first Grandchild. Glad it's on Network television still. Even with Year-Round streaming, it's important to watch this as family-viewing...in your Living Room, in season....

Thank you CBS.

Phillip R. Crabb
Franklin, NJ
Dec 2, 2020   |  Reply
 
 
Jay Gold
"The present-day composer refuses to die" was said by Zappa's boyhood idol, the composer Edgard Varèse. Zappa included the quote, with attribution to Varèse, on the jacket of Freak Out.
Nov 27, 2020   |  Reply
 
 
 
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David Bianculli

Founder / Editor

David Bianculli has been a TV critic since 1975, including a 14-year stint at the New York Daily News, and sees no reason to stop now. Currently, he's TV critic for NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross, and is an occasional substitute host for that show. He's also an author and teaches TV and film history at New Jersey's Rowan University. His 2009 Dangerously Funny: The Uncensored Story of 'The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour', has been purchased for film rights. His latest, The Platinum Age of Television: From I Love Lucy to the Walking Dead, How TV Became Terrific, is an effusive guidebook that plots the path from the 1950s’ Golden Age to today’s era of quality TV.