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SATURDAY
FEBRUARY 6
2016

BIANCULLI’S BEST BETS

 

ABC, 8:00 p.m. ET

Thursday’s Democratic national debate from New Hampshire, pared down to just the two remaining candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, was the most substantive debate to date in this already lengthy election cycle. That’s as much a function of the reduced number of voices as anything else, which viewers should keep in mind if they turn tonight to the Republican debate from New Hampshire. This one is televised by ABC News, and moderated by David Muir and Martha Raddatz, with invitations extended to seven Republican candidates: Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, and John Kasich. For all but the first three, this debate, and next week’s primary, are pretty much stand out or get out.

 
  
 
 

TCM, 8:00 p.m. ET

This 1987 James L. Brooks comedy – which he wrote, produced, and directed – is a solid romp from start to finish. It ranges from all-out slapstick (Albert Brooks’ on-camera flop sweat) to a tenderly depicted romantic triangle, with TV news producer Holly Hunter caught between brainy colleague Albert Brooks and vapid but handsome anchor William Hurt. The female analogue of this, with a man torn between two women, has been done hundreds of times – but not the reverse, as Jim Brooks presents here, brilliantly.
 
  
 
 

BBC America, 9:00 p.m. ET

Here are two more Season 9 repeat episodes of Doctor Who, embellished with what BBC America is calling “Doctor’s Notes,” pointing out details and “in jokes” you might have missed the first time around. Tonight’s episodes are “Under the Lake” and “Before the Flood,” and they were very entertaining the first time – so why not revisit them?

 
  
 
 

OWN, 10:00 p.m. ET

Oprah Winfrey’s guest tonight is a female African-American TV star who boldly went even where Oprah had not gone before. Oprah’s guest is Nichelle Nichols, who played Lieut. Uhura on the original Star Trek series – and was told then by, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. himself, how important her TV role was to race relations in the 1960s.

 
  
 
 

NBC, 11:29 p.m. ET

This must be so sweet a victory lap for Larry David. Decades ago, in the 1980s, he was a writer for Saturday Night Live, but only lasted one year – and in that year, got only one sketch on the show. He and another under-utilized SNL alumnus from that period, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, turned around and reteamed for a little show called Seinfeld – then reteamed again for a full-season Seinfeld “reunion” story line on his subsequent hit series, HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm. And now, after all that, Larry David has killed it this season whenever guest starring to impersonate Bernie Sanders – and tonight, for the first time in his career, Larry David gets to appear on SNL as guest host. The musical guest: The 1975.

 
  
 
 
 
 
Read and add comments HERE for today's Best Bets!
 
 
 
 
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756 Comments
 
 
jan
Loved the Bob & Ray clip. I had the good fortune to see them years ago at a college interim on humor. I had never heard of them, but they were really funny, and I've been a fan ever since. (That was one great interim, BTW: we had several funny movies including "Bedazzled” with Peter Cook and Dudley Moore and “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” with Danny Kaye; and we also had terrific speakers like Kurt Vonnegut, Richard Armour, and Bob & Ray. It was wonderful.) Thanks for posting the segment.
Feb 5, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
Mac
Thanks for the Bob & Ray moment,a favorite. If you don't get that bit,you don't get it. A reason,like Fresh Air,This American Life and others,for a RadioWorthListening.com as,even though they did appear in places where you could see them,one only needed a good pair of well tuned ears and a different way at looking at the world to enjoy. Another personal favorite-Chocolate Wobblies-the ad for a warehouse of Easter candy that was stored a little too close to the ceiling lights. Rocks fans are still mourning the loss of David Bowie. The true end of Bob & Ray hits me as hard. But fear not-I'll hang by my thumbs and write when I get work.
And don't throw things into the Grand Canyon. If you do it will stop being so
Grand.
Fitting that Bob passed on Ground Hog Day,and not because of Chris Elliott's sublime part in that movie. It's Ground Hog meat in discussion,folks. Look and listen. And laugh.
Feb 5, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
Michele
I'm enjoying the zom-com iZombie and I'm glad it's returning finally. However, the main character's name is not Ivy, it's Olivia Moore. As in 'Liv' Moore. Get it?
Feb 2, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
Janet Masters
Trump on Trump funny.
Jan 31, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
Mac
Absent-Minded Professor is definitely a product of its time,but many a boomer,including myself,sure loved it! Our local second-run theatre had a long line of kids, literally around a steep incline block,waiting, each kid holding a quarter for admission and a nickel for a box of root beer barrel candy. Supporting cast of adults if fine,too. TCM shows the first MacMurray Disney kid film,The Shaggy Dog,at 10PM. This one I saw at least twice on first release. This one features Annette & the recently deceased Kevin "Moochie" Cocoran,where the kids carry the story. These first few Disny live action,low budget comedies were pretty good with Bill Walsh producing after toiling successfully on Davy Crockett & the Mickey Mouse Club for TV.
Jan 27, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
Angela
I believe I finally found a YouTube video TVWW worthy. Hope you agree! https://youtu.be/qRv7G7WpOoU
Jan 24, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
Sean Dougherty
Ant Man actually came out after Age of Ultron, so it isn't "the latest" Marvel film.
Jan 22, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
Bob516
"disinterested Penelope (Sabina Sciubba), who marries him only to get her greed card." Greed card? Pun intended?
Jan 21, 2016   |  Reply
 
EG
Right you are, Bob. Green card is correct, although "greed card" read pretty good, too. TVWW has revised. --EG
Jan 21, 2016
 
 
 
Dave
Disappointed that there was no mention of The Godfather marathon today on HBO. Saw it mentioned in a story on Yahoo, but it was already almost an hour in. Will it be re-broadast?
Jan 18, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
Angela
I think I had almost as much fun watching Adele's Karaoke, as they had making the video. Thanks for the heads up!
Jan 18, 2016   |  Reply
 
EG
Her reaction to James' first harmony is so unscripted, so genuine. Gold. --EG
Jan 19, 2016
 
 
 
jim
According to the on line TV Guide listings tonight's episode of The Good Wife is scheduled to be broadcast at 10 PM on the east coast and, as usual, it could be later than that if the game goes long.
Jan 17, 2016   |  Reply
 
Angela
Why do I keep forgetting The Good Wife is always broadcast much later than it's supposed to be aired. I now have 3, 1/2 hour show recordings with 1/2 hour of whatever game was on before it I guess. I'm surprised anyone still watches The Good Wife considering....Ugh!
Jan 18, 2016
 
 
 
jan
I noticed you mentioned the DVD for "When Things Were Rotten." Do you think there's any chance that they will put out a DVD for Seasons 1 and 2 of "Galavant"? I would buy that.
Jan 17, 2016   |  Reply
 
EG
Hello, Jan: "Galavant" Season 1 is available now at Amazon Video. Haven't seen a DVD release date yet. With the show's success, DVDs and extras will likely be coming. -EG
Jan 19, 2016
 
 
 
Ryan
This website is now my home page whenever i open my browser!!!
Thanks David Bianculli for keeping me informed : )
Jan 16, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
Marie
Wow! Just happened on to this website after reading David Bianculli years ago in the Akron Beacon Journal and more recently hearing him on Terry Gross' show. Love this website and I WILL be back.
Jan 15, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
Ken
Our listings for Showtime does not have The Imitation Game on at 9PM
Jan 15, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
Mark
Psycho and The Birds tonight on BBC America? In my viewing area it's Batman for four hours. WTF?
Jan 15, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
Ken
No mention of the Republican debate tonite on FBN? Should be very entertaining
Jan 14, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
jim
I certainly hope you are mistaken when you describe "Gone With The Wind" as being shown in "the full wide-screen ratio" GWTW was released in 1939 and should properly be shown in the old academy standard aspect ratio of approx. 4:3. Although it has been modified in the past for wide screen that is not the way it was filmed and is not the way it should be seen.
Jan 14, 2016   |  Reply
 
Casey
IMhumpleO, it should be seen where details and soundtrack are complete and as crisp as possible. I'm sure the producer and director would love best the versions that accomplish this.
Jan 15, 2016
 
 
 
Phillip R. Crabb
As someone who has been here from the earliest days, the website seems to be the best ever in my opinion. Would love to see Dave be able to interact with the commenters as often as he did back then.
Jan 13, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
Bob516
"wide the wave of The Hunger Games" Is that a typo or are you channeling Peter Cook as the The Impressive Clergyman?
Jan 12, 2016   |  Reply
 
Linda Donovan
Wow! You got our hidden joke, Bob! He's one of our favorite characters here at TVWW, but it was a mere typo, unfortunately. We've since corrected it. Thanks for the laugh.
Jan 12, 2016
 
 
 
 
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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.

 
 
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