TUESDAY
JANUARY 22
2013

BIANCULLI’S BEST BETS

 

ABC, 8:00 p.m. ET

SERIES PREMIERE: Does TV really need another cooking competition show? Of course not. But this one, like The Voice, brings something new to the mix: a democratic sense of fair play. In The Voice, contestants, in the initial round, are heard but not seen, so judges spin their chairs around in approval based on only the singing skills of the competitors. The Taste is the culinary equivalent of that. A quartet of judges, including Nigella Lawson (pictured) and Anthony Bourdain, select the best recipes in a blind taste test. Not blind as in blindfolded, but blind as in not knowing which chefs prepared which dishes, and having only one spoonful to register a very important first impression. So taste tonight's episode, and form your own first impression.
 
  
 
 

PBS, 8:00 p.m. ET

This installment is devoted to prime-time soaps – but has such a narrow focus, it’s devoted almost entirely to Dallas, its spinoff Knots Landing and its main Eighties competitor Dynasty. Though ABC’s Sixties hit Peyton Place does get a mention, the genre’s first prime-time series, DuMont’s Faraway Hill in 1946, isn’t noted at all, not even with a fleeting mention. Nor, for that matter, is the current TNT revival sequel to Dallas, which seems really odd. All that said, this hour is worth watching for getting Larry Hagman on the record before he died, and for exploring and explaining both the “Who Shot J.R.?” and “Bobby Ewing in the Shower” Dallas phenomena. Check local listings.
 
  
 
 

NBC, 10:00 p.m. ET

SEASON FINALE: This final episode of the season is a pivotal one, especially for the women on the show. Kristina (Monica Potter, pictured) gets ready for the next stage of her cancer treatment, and Sarah (Lauren Graham) makes the choice regarding the two men in her life.
 
  
 
 

BBC America, 10:00 p.m. ET

SERIES PREMIERE: Dominic Monaghan, the charismatic actor who played Charlie on Lost and “Merry” Brandybuck in the Lord of the Rings movies, takes viewers on a hectic romp to try and hunt dangerous animals and insects – but only with a film crew, and a lot of knowledge and enthusiasm. He ends up being an infectiously delighted, unafraid and nature-loving mixture of Sir David Attenborough and the late Steve Irwin. The opener takes him, and us, to Laos, and deep into a cave in search of the world’s largest spider. For a review of the show, and an interview with Monaghan, see Bianculli’s Blog.
 
  
 
 

FX, 10:00 p.m. ET

Where are things going this season? I’m not sure – but the twin primary plots this year, a cold case involving a skyjacker thief and the intrusion of a new fundamentalist religious sect into the Kentucky countryside, seem quite promising. And Timothy Olyphant, as U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens, continues to swagger with a wry comic edge that hasn’t been seen since early Eastwood.
 
  
 
 
 
 
Read and add comments HERE for today's Best Bets!
 
 
 
 
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1253 Comments
 
 
Lois
Also, sometimes the site posts stuff shown during the day, and by the time I can check the site (typically in the evening) it is too late to set a DVR. Posting the previous night would be a big help.
Oct 18, 2017   |  Reply
 
 
Ken
what no mention of ALCS Yankees game 5PM?
Oct 18, 2017   |  Reply
 
 
Tom
2017 NATIONAL LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES
TBS, 3:30 p.m. ET

2017 AMERICAN LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES
Fox Sports 1, 8:00 p.m. ET

Check your times.
Oct 17, 2017   |  Reply
 
Keith Robin
The actual cablecast times according to MLB.com are:
HOU@NYY [ALCS]
Game 4
Today
5:00 pm ET
FS1
LAD@CHC [NLCS]
Game 3
Today
9:00 pm ET
TBS
Oct 17, 2017
 
 
 
Mac
Who knew that the best post season announcing would be on MLB Network. Bob Costas & Jim(Kitty) Kaat-65 & 78 yrs. old. They understand baseball on TV. Lots of pictures,not lots of words. Sad that Ernie Johnson isn't involved more for MLB on TBS. At least Pedro Martinez shows up in the studio panel. Those fortunate to get ESPN Radio get Dan Schulman & Aaron Boone for the NLCS-now that's talkin' baseball. Yankee fans still get the laughable John Sterling & Suzyn Waldman who ruin your entire season on radio.
Oct 16, 2017   |  Reply
 
 
Mac
10/11-TCM DVR alert! Tonight and 10/12-George Pal. Creator of some of the best animated shorts-Puppetoons-pioneering stop-action with wooden parts,sometimes 5,000 per 7 min. short. The Puppetoon Movie(10:00PM),is a celebration of those shorts,some made as commercials for European movie houses to sell radios-but as dazzling as any animation you've seen. His John Henry and Tubby the Tuba are classic! But the evening begins with The Fantasy Worlds of George Pal(10PM),a 1985 overview primarily of his live action productions,many of which show up these nights,including his masterpiece,The Time Machine,1960,@1:15AM.
Without George Pal,no Star Wars,no Indiana Jones,no Speedy Alka Seltzer,no Pillsbury Doughboy(honest). Gumby introduces-honest. The Puppetoon Movie gets a second showing Thurs./Fri. @4:30 AM. Blu-ray and DVD packages of the movie have lots of extra material,including early Dr. Seuss.
Oct 11, 2017   |  Reply
 
Keith Robin
Thanks, Mac. I've been a big fan of George Pal's work since I was a youngster.
Oct 11, 2017
 
 
 
There hasn't been a new entry in the "Shows We're Watching" in a long time. What gives? Nothing new worth seeing?
Oct 11, 2017   |  Reply
 
 
Sandra Henry
Caught your interview with Terry and wanted to tell you that I, also, was blown away by Death of a Salesman aired on TV years ago. I don't watch much TV any more but do collect choice mini-series on DVD.
Oct 6, 2017   |  Reply
 
Matt Alpern
Yes, I was too young to see the original production.. but have never forgotten
seeing "Death of a Salesmen" on broadcast television in the 1960's.
Oct 7, 2017
 
 
 
Tom
Guess it's being skipped this year.....
Oct 6, 2017   |  Reply
 
Linda Donovan
Apologies, Tom. We decided to approach the 2017 fall season exclusively through reviews this year. Judging from your comment, perhaps we made a mistake. Thank you for asking...
Oct 11, 2017
 
 
 
Mac
I was in a record store the other day and while the store was playing Simon & Garfunkel's Greatest Hits,a true radio/records guy proclaimed Paul Simon's solo output amounted to nothing. I had to walk to another part of the store. Start with the first solo single,Mother and Child Reunion and there is nothing but adventures in listening. Graceland?The most important U.S. LP in the '80s. The styles new for most ears,the great musicians,the videos,the tour(chronicled on video),the politics-it is the '80s. Simon has trucked his catalog from Columbia to Warner Bros. and back to Columbia. One of the most re-released albums in modern times,there are CDs that contain bonus tracks as well as vinyl reissues and a box set with CDs,DVD and vinyl combined. Simon created a World Music section in stores with this release.
Oct 4, 2017   |  Reply
 
 
Neil
>>"This 1979 Woody Allen movie may be most remembered, and perhaps uncomfortably, as a love letter to May-December romances, with Allen portraying a New Yorker pursuing a high-school girl played by Mariel Hemingway."<<

Ya know, Woody was born at the end of 1935, and so was 43 (maybe 44) when Manhattan came out. And a year or two younger when it was being filmed. As one sexagenarian to another, DB, this was a May-August relationship at best. I'd like to think that October is the new December. (Otherwise, WHYY ain't letting a Decemberist like you spray spittle anywhere near those expensive Neumann mics they use.)
Oct 2, 2017   |  Reply
 
 
Bob516
Former co-founder? Did Kurt Anderson somehow unfound Spy magazine?
Sep 29, 2017   |  Reply
 
 
Mac
Redford & Fonda go way back 51 years to 1966's The Chase,a Marlon Brando vehicle. Next up,just months later,Neil Simon's Barefoot In The Park. Redford starred in the Broadway production in 1963,directed by Mike Nichols. Elizabeth Ashley was the female lead onstage and Natalie Wood was supposed to star in the film(after two Redford/Wood movies). Barefoot proved to be a smash for Simon and he wrote the screenplay. This is one of those '60s colorful New York comedies that show up often on TCM's Sun. afternoons. Like The Odd Couple,great Neil Hefti music and a TV version(this one failed).
Sep 29, 2017   |  Reply
 
 
Jjoek1
Agree completely that The Orville feels more like the original Star Trek, and is more enjoyable than Star Trek: Discovery. Hope this show continues to go where it seems to be going.
Sep 28, 2017   |  Reply
 
 
Mac
Inside the NFL tonight could indeed be interesting. Basically a mouthpiece of the league.Since Roger Goodell was given feint praise by John Oliver by stating that Trump "lost the moral high ground to Roger F***ing Goodell,something is horribly wrong."
Sep 26, 2017   |  Reply
 
 
Curtis
Groat cakes again? Heavy on the thirty weight, Mom!
Sep 25, 2017   |  Reply
 
 
Tom
Where is the fall preview page? Won't that be done this season? It's usually up way before the season starts.....
Sep 25, 2017   |  Reply
 
Lois
Yes, I've been looking for that too - please post!
Sep 27, 2017
 
 
 
Mac
Tone for Megyn Kelly? Her Fox roots betray her ability to attract women in general and women in lower-income households who make up the audience for many daytime hours. She doesn't have that "next door neighbor" vibe to talk over a cup of coffee. She doesn't seem like someone getting involved in cooking segments. She has zero ability to small talk celebrities plugging a new film or book. Any attempt to put her over at MSNBC on occasion would be disastrous-that gang of smart folk would eat her alive. NBC spent a boatload of money for Kelly and she doesn't fit in anywhere.
Sep 25, 2017   |  Reply
 
Mac
Megyn Kelly Today,9/25/17-Gay Thing. I rest my case.
Sep 27, 2017
 
 
Mac
How do I really feel about MK? John Oliver spent a few seconds Sun. with clips reminding us of her unscripted rants on gays, the race of Santa(an imaginary person),the race of Jesus(white was probably not a check-off choice on the Census of Quirinius questionnaire ),Black Lives Matter and the New Black Panthers (roll that always ready Philly voting video,Fox),ending with Kelly telling Al Sharpton that she is a "journalist". Yeah,and Al is the new William Buckley.
Sep 26, 2017
 
 
Tom
Mac, how do you really feel about Megyn Kelly?
Sep 25, 2017
 
 
 
Matt Alpern
David:
In watching Sterling K. Brown's acceptance speech and his tribute to Andre Braugher (the last African American to win a Best Actor Emmy), I was reminded of Pembleton's first case back after his stroke.. when he solves the cold-case murder of Bianculli.
Sep 22, 2017   |  Reply
 
 
Bill Bennett
Love the website. Problem is timing. The daily best bets are often posted late in the morning and early afternoon. It would be great to wake up to the selections so we have time to set our DVR's before going to work.
Sep 22, 2017   |  Reply
 
Keith Robin
Doesn't EVERY major service provide have an app that lets you do that remotely?
Sep 22, 2017
 
 
 
Bob516
I'm curious why the words SERIES PREMIERE starts off the section on Vice Principals, since it was first on last year. Are you going British on us?

I can handle that if you are, but The Orville?
Sep 17, 2017   |  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 and his latest, The Platinum Age of Television: From I Love Lucy to the Walking Dead, How TV Became Terrific, is now available at Amazon. The paperback version will be released fall, 2017.