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THURSDAY
JULY 30
2015

BIANCULLI’S BEST BETS

 

TCM, 8:00 p.m. ET

This is a repeat showing of the American Film Institute’s recent salute to Steve Martin – a salute that boasts not only a generous sampling of clips from Martin’s decades-long movie career, but appearances, and funny short speeches, by lots and lots of Martin’s cinematic colleagues and friends. Martin Short alone is worth tuning in to see, but there’s so much more. And afterward, TCM presents two of Martin’s films: At 9:30 p.m. ET, 1991’s Father of the Bride, and at 1 a.m. ET, the rarely televised, only intermittently successful, but still fascinating 1981 big-screen version of the 1978 Dennis Potter TV miniseries classic, Pennies from Heaven (pictured).
 
  
 
 

CNN, 9:00 p.m. ET

Tonight’s new episode is called “Terrorism at Home and Abroad” – and it’s kind of amazing, when you start tallying up all of the domestic and international terrorist incidents that occurred in the Seventies, how frequent and brazen they were. And it’s all recounted here, from the kidnaping of Patty Hearst by the Symbionese Liberation Army to the rash of airline hijackings that led to intensified airport security, and from dozens of bombings by the anti-war Weather Underground to the kidnaping and murder of Israeli athletes by Palestinian terrorists at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich.
 
  
 
 

FX, 10:00 p.m. ET

In this episode, Johnny Rock (Denis Leary) learns that his reformed band, now with his daughter as lead singer, is popular again – just not in this country.
 
  
 
 

CW, 9:00 p.m. ET

Tonight’s new dates feature more returning characters, who haven’t given up on dating entirely yet. In the first of this evening’s two episodes, Stephen and Mia (Ben Chaplin, Oona Chaplin) agree to meet for another date – but she’s a no-show, leading to another dating adventure entirely. And in the second episode, Jenny (Sheridan Smith) decides to try, try again, and go out on another date with a guy she met online: this time, a guy named Christian (Andrew Scott), who is charming initially, but may not be totally honest with her. Imagine that.
 
  
 
 

Comedy Central, 11:00 p.m. ET

On one of their final shows, Jon Stewart and his staff gleefully get to geek out: Tonight’s guest is J.J. Abrams, who’s not only a producer of the new Mission Impossible film, but is responsible for the reboots of both the Star Trek and Star Wars cinematic franchises.
 
  
 
 
 
 
Read and add comments HERE for today's Best Bets!
 
 
 
 
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652 Comments
 
 
Ones program any person inform concerning remedies crud!. They are often outstanding together with useful.
Jul 30, 2015   |  Reply
 
 
JOhn rogers
Thank GOD your back, had to watch bad TV for 2 weeks. I always take your advice just dont say follow me off a cliff.
Jul 29, 2015   |  Reply
 
 
Hans w
Ditto!! So great to have the site back up! I really missed it when it was down. Thanks Dave & gang.
Jul 29, 2015   |  Reply
 
 
Alex
Happy you're back...YEA!!!!
Jul 28, 2015   |  Reply
 
 
Bob
So glad you are back!
Jul 27, 2015   |  Reply
 
 
gail
David,
I watched Married on FX.
I thought it was pretty good, you?
Jul 18, 2015   |  Reply
 
 
Archie Phillips
I just add my strong support for the new series, Mr. Robot. This is one of the most creative and innovative series on TV. The writing is excellent, the acting is superb, and the series isn't afraid to try new things. It is very "raw" in some ways, but the characters are multidimensional, and even though it is often dark, you begin to really care about these people. The tech is 100% on point, and while that might make it a little more of a challenge for some viewers, the show is accessible on so many different dimensions that it really should appeal to a wide audience. I hope you take a deeper look at it.
Jul 17, 2015   |  Reply
 
 
Sarah
I caught the Emmy Nominations on CNN and even though most of the time I have no idea what is happy I am happy Tatiana Maslany has finally been nominated and am routing for Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
Jul 16, 2015   |  Reply
 
 
Gigi
I can't get audio on the Graham Norton highlight reel. Help!
Jul 12, 2015   |  Reply
 
 
Neil
David, Djok's on you. You may write these blurbs before your first cup of Djo', but your score that day was Nolan-Love, so Sanka very much.
Jul 12, 2015   |  Reply
 
 
Mark
What about Mr. Robot? As a technologist this show just gets it right. Rami Malek's acting is superb. I think it's one of the best shows on right now.
Jul 10, 2015   |  Reply
 
 
Bob
David, I am so glad you recommended Dates. I would not have watched it if you had not listed it in Best Bets, and I am really glad I did watch it.
Jul 10, 2015   |  Reply
 
 
jan
Thanks for the heads up on The Spoils Before Dying. I've seen the first two and love it so far, and I hadn't heard anything about it before you mentioned it. Loved the first series, too. If it had not been for this blog, I would have missed it.
Jul 10, 2015   |  Reply
 
 
Sue Marie
Dear Mr. Biancull,
We are on a quest to locate a parody by the Smothers Brothers based on the 1968 hit song "Honey" by Bobby Goldsboro. I believe the skit was referred to as "Honey House" and humorously portrayed the guys trying to sneak a peek up the girls dresses. My research indicates the skit appeared during season 3, however I have thoroughly watched The Best of the Smothers Brothers, Seasons 2 and 3, and Honey House is not on either of those two collections. Do you, or does anybody, have any information as to where the Honey House sketch might be located in the Smothers Brother's archives?
Many thanks and kind regards,
Suzie
Jul 7, 2015   |  Reply
 
 
Keith Robin
Well, you obviously( have you ever recommended a repeat broadcast?) enjoyed the season finale of "Penny Dreadful" as much as I did! It was certainly everything I expected and more, except the loss of a character who was just starting to become more interesting. For a second, I thought about taking him to Dr. Frankenstein, but I was very satisfied with the conclusion. I anxiously await next season of this remarkable show...at least I don't have to wait too long for season two of "The Strain"!
Jul 6, 2015   |  Reply
 
 
SharonGS
Wimbledon and the Women's World Cup are certainly 'TV Worth Watching', but once again you have failed to mention the equally exciting Tour de France, which started this year on July 4. Great competition and great scenery for three weeks.
Jul 5, 2015   |  Reply
 
 
Sarah
I saw the daily show live 10 years ago and love that Jon Stewart us just interviewing people he likes and no long goodbye (just some quick montages each week. As for Larry Wilmore his show has gotten so much better since it began.
Jul 2, 2015   |  Reply
 
 
Martha
If you are looking for the David Attenborough/Obama interview On Demand it's listed under the show BBC Earth, at least on Comcast.
Jun 30, 2015   |  Reply
 
 
Terry
I appreciate Jon Stewart, but don't watch him much because of the canned laughter, which I can't stand. Apparently there is a studio audience, but its reactions are overwhelmed by the recorded stuff.
Jun 29, 2015   |  Reply
 
 
Sarah
Why is there so much good TV on Sunday nights?!
Jun 28, 2015   |  Reply
 
EG
Sarah - Larger advertising dollars are to be won since Sunday night commands a large share of viewers -- and those equal income. Networks and cable channels are competing for the biggest pieces of the pie. --EG
Jun 29, 2015
 
 
 
 
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David Bianculli

Founder / Editor

Behind David in the picture is the first TV owned by his father, Virgil Bianculli, a 1946 Raytheon. (The TV, not his father. His father was a 1923 Italian.) 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 also teaches TV and film history at New Jersey's Rowan University, and his most recent book, 2009's Dangerously Funny: The Uncensored Story of 'The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, has recently been purchased for film rights.  He's currently at work on another.