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MONDAY
JANUARY 21
2013

BIANCULLI’S BEST BETS

 

Various Networks, Check local listings

To watch President Obama’s public inauguration to begin his second term (the private one was held yesterday), tune in, starting at 7 a.m. ET, to any of the broadcast or cable morning shows. It’ll be the big topic, and include expanded live coverage. C-SPAN begins coverage an hour earlier, and CNN plans coverage most of the day and night, covering inaugural balls and other related events.
 
  
 
 

CBS, 8:00 p.m. ET

Last week, the closing seconds teased us with the actual occurrence of the title – if only for a second, and if all we saw of her was from the rear, as she was playing a guitar onstage. But at least it’s a start, and moves the plot forward, however incrementally. Meanwhile, Ted seems intent on moving backwards, by dating a girl so young, she asks him if he fought in Vietnam. She’s played by Ashley Benson, who plays Hanna on ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars.
 
  
 
 

HBO, 8:00 p.m. ET

I liked hearing Martin Short so much on this first Real Time of 2013, which premiered live on Friday, that I thought it was worth pointing out in this repeat telecast. Especially on such a slow night.
 
  
 
 

Fox, 9:00 p.m. ET

SERIES PREMIERE: Kevin Bacon stars in this bold, intriguing but very violent new series, playing a former FBI agent who’s called in to help recapture a serial killer obsessed with the works of Edgar Allen Poe. One thing this series is guaranteed to do? Quoth the critic: Neverbore. For a full review, see Bianculli’s Blog.
 
  
 
 

PBS, 10:00 p.m. ET

If you liked American Splendor, the quirky, original film biography of quirky, original comic-book writer Harvey Pekar, chances are you’ll like this, too. Beauty is Embarrassing is a close, inventive look at artist Wayne White, whose works have enlivened everything from Peter Gabriel videos to Pee-wee’s Playhouse. Part of this feature is an autobiographical comic strip, narrated by White himself, telling how he met his future wife. It’s a charming study of a Tennessee wild child who left town, but never conformed – and never completely grew up. Check local listings.
 
  
 
 
 
 
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923 Comments
 
 
Bill
Tuesday's Suggestions

9:00 and 10:00 AMC Halt and Catch Fire returns now based in Silicon Valley

11:00 HBO Real Sports

10:00 NBC Better Late Than Never - A new show, if you watched the Olympics you know about it

You know the shows, no need to add much detail.
Aug 23, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
Abbie Peters
I am loving BrainDead and fear it will not be renewed. It's my recommendation for tonight besides Olympics closing ceremonies.
Aug 21, 2016   |  Reply
 
Stacey
Absolutely agree about BrainDead! Binge watched the first 8 episodes last week. Smart writing, good acting (Tony Shaloub is great), novel premise that is well executed. I haven't watched a network series in a long time, but this one is definitely worth it. And hopefully it will survive even though it's a bit smarter than most network fare.
Aug 22, 2016
 
 
 
E Lomke
Cf Joe in SF (8/19). W F Buckley was buried with his TV remote (true). But you and I have been thro that, & this is not our fate.
Aug 21, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
Danny Miz
9:00 - AMC- Fear the Walking Dead
Aug 21, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
BEBE
Re today's post showing the odious Michael Cohen's interview with Brianna Keeler on CNN.. you should try to find the interview from 8/19 with she and the equally odious Jack Kingston, when - in response to her question about DT addressing rallies full of white faces while discussing (insulting) African Americans - he replied "well I guess he could have had a burning car behind him, then"...appalling, to say the least.
Aug 21, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
Mac
Another night of Anything But Olympics finds few treasures. Boston EMS is new and,though buried on Saturday night,provides an hour of reality medicine drama that won't leave you feeling dirty,as say, Sex Sent Me To The ER(same Bat Time,different Bat Channel).
TBS has the usual marathon of six-count 'em-six episodes of The Big Bang Theory. TBS shows them in sequence,so if you stumble upon the 8PM,ET,episode tonight you will see the last episode of Season 8(2015) followed by the pilot(2007),which was re-shot from the original idea that had a darker tone,as well as no Penny.
Antenna TV,one of those broadcast oldies channels has the last episode of The Newhart Show,cleverly titled The Last Newhart. Don't be fooled. It is classic. Hopefully,the network includes the MTM logo ending,featuring Mimsie the Cat as you've never heard her before. Wait for it.
Aug 20, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
Joe in SF
Last night, I dreamt that Mr. Bianculli was in his recovery room when the Grim Reaper floated in and stood by his bed. He pointed his bony finger at David and said, “’DC’s Legends of Tomorrow’ on the CW. ‘Houdini & Doyle’ on Fox. ‘Preacher’ on AMC. ‘Heartbeat’ on NBC. ‘Angel from Hell’ on CBS”. David yelled, “NO! Those aren’t recommendations! Those are warnings!!” David pointed his trusty TV remote at the ghoul and clicked the button.

I woke up all panicky, but I knew then that Mr. Bianculli would be fine. Get well soon, David. And keep your TV remote close by, just in case.
Aug 19, 2016   |  Reply
 
Angela
Where's the "like" button when you need it? This is a wonderful comment, Joe from SF. Thanks for the grin on my face.
Aug 20, 2016
 
 
 
Mac
Thurs. 8/18/16-Larry Wimore closes shop on his two-year Nightly Show. Comedy Central,the channel bleeding money since the exits of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert,also lost John Oliver & Samantha Bee to do their own versions of Stewart's job(and Oliver gets to let the f-bombs go out without censoring). Hoping there's lots of Wilmore and less of his posse,which sometimes drew cringe-worthy moments(Nightly! Nightly!-that catchphrase and segment was annoying from the start. And the Trump guy-once is enough. Trump,live on the campaign trail,gives plenty of comedy fodder and horrors,too.) But if Larry kicks Cosby one more time(besides last night),he will have accomplished much. These last shows have been alcohol-fueled,thanks to care packages from Ms. Bee & Mr. Colbert. Larry,throw the last glass of that cable-quality wine in the fire and move on.
Aug 18, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
Chris Wilcox
Sex&drugs&rock$roll.... All right! Need I say more? Dennis Leary is an aging super cool, almost famous, rock 'n' roll star--trying to make a comeback with his beautiful daughter as the lead singer in the band. They dress like rock 'n' roll stars. They've got attitudes and quirks and personality. And there's a great music that sounds great blasting through my new sound bar! They just need a little bit more nudity! It's on at 10 PM on FX.
Aug 18, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
Amy
Mr Robot is great, on USA, at 10 pm Wed night (also can get reruns). I also really like the show Tyrant on tonight, 10 pm on FX.
Aug 18, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
Angela
Nothing on TV? :-/ Man I miss TVWW BBs. Those hidden gems I could never find on my own. Wish I had a recommendation for Tuesday but I don't. Sorry. I'm just checkin in hoping to see TVWW Live once again!
Aug 17, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
Mac
Just how hard up are the cable channels to put up something against the second Olympic Sunday,when NBC/Comcast really pours it on with coverage on their many networks? Well,The Food Network has a new episode of their flagship show,Chopped!,centering around the lowly hot dog. This isn't an episode with kids in the kitchen(those are earlier in the day),but grown adults,pro chefs,working with tube streaks,including dessert.
Meanwhile,TCM has 24 hours of Cyd Charisse films(6AM to 6AM,ET)so they get to pull out such oft-shown MGM musical treats as Singin' In The Rain, Brigadoon,Silk Stockings,The Band Wagon and It's Always Fair Weather(in that order,from 2PM to Midnight). But set your DVR for the overnight(4AM) spooling of The Unfinished Dance,Cyd with Margaret O'Brien(the ten year-old got top billing, as she was a box office scene stealer)and Danny Thomas. Not the usual joy-filled MGM fare,but a drama of ballet,a child responsible for a hurtful act and the consequences that follow.
Aug 14, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
Joe in SF
It’s the grand finale of this season’s Great British Baking Show tonight (Fri. 8/12) on PBS. We’re down to the final three and they are going to make filled iced buns! I know, right?! I hope that means there will be yeast rising and proofing because there is nowhere else on television where you can watch bakers stare at their proofing drawers. I didn’t even know what a proofing drawer was until I started watching this show.
Aug 12, 2016   |  Reply
 
jan
I love this show. Unfortunately, I read someplace by accident who this season's winner was, but even that didn't spoil the finale for me.
Aug 13, 2016
 
 
 
SharonGS
BBC America has done it again: "Ripper Street" was moved to 6 p.m. ET rather than 10 p.m. ET on Thursdays this week, without any apparent warning. And Dave's favorite "The Graham Norton Show" is now at dawn on Fridays. Horrible scheduling.

Tonight, Friday, the final competition of this year's "Great British Baking Show" should be available on most PBS stations.
Aug 12, 2016   |  Reply
 
jan
Imagine my surprise when "Ripper Street" was taping much earlier than anticipated, but, fortunately, my cable will tape a series at whatever time it occurs. I don't know what happened with Part 2 of the opener, though, as I didn't get that one. Luckily, I was able to find it On Demand, so I watched it before I watched the last episode. I knew when they had the "Previously on" section that I definitely had not seen some of what they were showing. I'm not sure what you do about changes in show times if your DVR only records the exact time listed.
Aug 13, 2016
 
 
Frank Dracman
Depsite the indicator saying they are "New" on BBCAmmerica, The Graham Norton Show episodes being shown at 5:15am, are from Season 18. Season 19 just concluded in prime time.
Aug 12, 2016
 
 
 
Joe in SF
For tonight (Thurs. 8/11), you can watch “Big Brother” on CBS at 9PM (“oooh, somebody said something about so-and-so behind their back!”). Or you can watch “Naked and Afraid Pop-Up Edition XL: South Africa Part 5” on the Discovery Channel at 10PM (“oooh, if I squint my eyes and turn my head sideways, I think I see someone’s you-know-what!”). Or you can watch the Olympics on NBC continuously (“Is the pool supposed to be that green color?”). I’ll be watching Rose Nyland fight with Daisy over a teddy bear on the Hallmark Channel at 8PM Pacific Time. I’m pretty sure that “Golden Girls” episode is cheesecake-free, but it does feature a pepper sandwich.
Aug 11, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
Joe in SF
For tonight (Wed. 8/10). I’m recommending “Whose Line Is It Anyway” at 9PM on the CW. The improv show has been around for twelve (!) seasons, but Aisha Tyler and company manage to keep it feeling fresh. And tonight, everyone’s favorite Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Rachel Bloom, makes a guest appearance. The good news is that I’ll also probably watch, “Penn and Teller: Fool Us” on the CW at 8PM, so I won’t have to get up from the couch and ‘touch that dial’ to change the channel.
Aug 10, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
kathy b
Sure do miss you, David. I discovered you about 2 years ago on NPR - was so surprised as I received my undergraduate degree from Rowan College (then Glassboro State) - I'm now in Tennessee, and about jumped out of my car seat when I heard that is where you teach. Get well soon from this special education teacher from NJ : ) My little guilty pleasure is watching Botched on E !
Aug 9, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
searle
hope david is watching the night of ... best show currrently on
Aug 8, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
mikeindc
Really looking forward to the final series of Inspector Lewis tonight on PBS and here's hoping for Inspector Hathaway in the futute
Aug 7, 2016   |  Reply
 
Casey Chapple
The mysterious, deep-flowing Hathaway. I hope so too.
Aug 8, 2016
 
 
 
Keith Robin
I, too, want to wish you a speedy recovery, David. I continue to visit the site every day and I look forward to your return, both here and on NPR. Get well soon!
Aug 7, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
 
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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. His next, The Platinum Age of Television: From I Love Lucy to the Walking Dead, How TV Became Terrific, is coming this fall, 2016.

 
 

Good news, TVWW readers: An advance copy of David’s upcoming book from Doubleday has just arrived! The Platinum Age of Television: From I Love Lucy to The Walking Dead, How TV Became Terrific is now available on Amazon for pre-order for its November 15th release. You can read some of the dustcover summary here, including: “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. In tracing the evolutionary history of our progress toward a Platinum Age of Television,…he focuses on the development of the classic TV genres, among them the sitcom, the crime show, the miniseries, the soap opera, the Western, the animated series and the variety show. David Bianculli's book is the first to date to examine, in depth and in detail and with a keen critical and historical sense, including exclusive and in-depth interviews with many of the most famed auteurs in television history.” —TVWW