Encore, 7:59 p.m. ET

It’s been 20 years since Howard Stern starred, quite effectively, as a younger version of himself in this 1997 biographical film comedy, based on his bestseller. Betty Thomas directs the movie, and Mary McCormack stars as his wife Alison, whose loving relationship with shock-jock radio personality Stern forms the core of the film. In real life, they divorced in 2001. In Private Parts, the scene-stealer, in addition to Stern himself, is Paul Giamatti, in an early breakout role as WNBC radio executive Kenny, whose clashes with Stern are hilarious.


NBC, 9:00 p.m. ET

SERIES RETURN: After a hiatus, and a time-slot grab by inferior spinoff Blacklist: The Redemption, the original article, starring James Spader, returns – with a doubleheader. For a feature story, see David Hinckley's All Along the Watchtower.

CNN, 10:00 p.m. ET

DOCUMENTARY SERIES PREMIERE: This new series aims to trace and point out some of the connections between music and real life – singling out some of the songs that reflected or propelled the events of the time. The topic for this opening hour is Martin Luther King, Jr., from the rise of the civil rights movement to King’s assassination and beyond. In that context, Soundtracks makes room for everything from James Brown’s “Say It Loud (I’m Black and I’m Proud)” to Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright.” And I’m hoping, at some point, it also makes room for Dion’s quiet, moving 1968 anthem “Abraham, Martin and John,” which also managed to allude to the assassinations of Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, and Bobby Kennedy.


Starz!, 10:51 p.m. ET

With this week’s first taste of Season 3 of FX’s Fargo, Noah Hawley has now made three delectable variations on the Coen Brothers’ original theme. But tonight on Starz, you can revisit their 1996 original, starring Frances McDormand as a Minnesota police chief investigating a particularly bizarre and brutal murder case. Hawley’s TV miniseries versions of Fargo have been superb… but the original film, co-starring William H. Macy, Steve Buscemi and Peter Stormare, was utterly flawless.

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Steve Valentine
Trumbo is on Starz, not Showtime 3/17/2018
Mar 17, 2018   |  Reply
Vince Everett
Sorry , nitpicking , the exchange in NYC was PN (for Pennsylvania) long before the Post Office decided PA was better
Mar 15, 2018   |  Reply
Using a reference to Butterfield 8 with Pennsylvania 6-5000,a song from 1940,ain't gonna make it with the youngins'. Neither will dialing M for Murder get them.Dialing? What is that? Did Trump dial when grabbing...nevermind. Kids don't know who Allen Sherman was,let alone his protest song to AT&T about the loss of alpha prefixes decades ago. But AT&T still exists,for some. 867-5309 for Jenny doesn't even mean much to their parents. Since I don't own a cell phone,I don't know how folks do it today. Sarah from Mayberry? Replaced by Siri,Alexa and "Open Channel D"? Gets you Ducky from NCIS.
Mar 15, 2018   |  Reply
Why is John Oliver so highly touted here("smartest of all the topical comedy shows)? I just watched the 3/11 episode on You Tube and literally did a spit take @ the 10:40 mark.I can never look at a chicken nugget the same. John Oliver & food-caution. And the episode is not about how they make chicken nuggets,nor is it a Trump dump. But brilliant!
Mar 12, 2018   |  Reply
With Oscars over,some TCM changes. The Essentials,recently hosted by Alec Baldwin,seems to be on hold. Sat.,3/10 prime time,celebrates Noir, a genre of crime,double crosses, dangerous dames and guys making wrong choices and never learning. This, in celebration of TCM's Noir Alley now getting two screenings:Sat. @ midnight & Sun. 10AM. That Sun. AM viewing has been going on for a while, seems strange scheduling as Sun.10AM is a popular time for church services. Watch Commandments break or find Salvation? Sat.@ midnight?Perfect.
With this shift,TCM moves Underground -a four hour block of the weird and cheap cult titles-moves from Sun AM to Sat. AM,approximately 2 to 6AM.
Mar 7, 2018   |  Reply
3/6-A plug for David: Philly's WHYY Radio Times(10AM) features Mr. Bianculli for an hour about Fred Rogers,with David Newell(Mr. McFeely) and Sherri Hope Culver from Temple U. Call ins,emails and on line questions/comments are encouraged. Also listen @ show has a satellite presence.though I don't have details. Repeats @ 10PM and is archived. Radio Times' host,Marty Moss-Coane,is great friends with David and the show,now reduced to just an hour,is stellar programming. Who needs TV when there are smart folk with mikes...
Mar 6, 2018   |  Reply
Fun fact. Betty Aberlin,aka Lady Aberlin from the Make Believe Neighborhood,was the first choice for the female lead in Night of the Living Dead,the low-budget zombie classic film with Pittsburgh ties. Director George Romero previously worked for Mister Rogers. Fred nixed the idea. Betty would show up on the 1975 Smothers Brothers comeback attempt,and,if I remember,these were decidedly grown up skits.
Mar 7, 2018
Frank Dracman
If I may be so bold as to inquire, when and why did you stop watching "Counterpart"?
Mar 4, 2018   |  Reply
Oscars are on 3/4 because of the Olympics. The Oscars used to be late late March/early April but were spooked by NCAA March Madness pulling viewers,so they went to late Feb/early March. Usually counts for Feb. sweeps. Weird that TCM never changed their "31 Days Of Oscar" format,since,statistics show,Feb. never has 31 days. They always plug the Oscar ceremony,though many times the channel is still spooling Oscar movies. Probably because of the deal TCM works out with The Academy to use the names/images of the awards. Nothing is free in Promoland-just ask folks who pump up "The Big Game" because they aren't Super Bowl sponsors. Sigh.
Still basking in yesterday's Razzies award purple glow. Emoji Movie got four. Gibson,Cruise,Basinger,Tyler Perry,50 Shades & Baywatch-Twwwt! A special In Memoriam to predators Weinstein,Trump,Cosby,et al. Sad piano music. When they grab 'em by the p****,kick 'em in their privates. Paraphrasing Mike Kelly:"Lock 'em up!"
Mar 4, 2018   |  Reply
I have never seen Gandhi, but freshly home from a month long first trip to India? I placed it on my "must see" list. Lucky me!! Guess what I'll be watching tonight?!
Mar 3, 2018   |  Reply
Matt A.
Gandhi is a wonderful movie.. a great epic in the David Lean tradition.. with an unforgettable performance by Ben Kingsley. A favorite story.. it took Richard Attenborough a long time to raise the money for the film and casting Gandhi proved quite controversial and difficult. Then, when a young actor came to casting dressed in simple Gandhi "peasant" clothing, Attenborough saw him and burst into tears. Knew he had found "his" Gandhi.
Mar 3, 2018
Some typos
-Alien came out in 1979
-"And unlike almost all other re-edited projects of this sport..." Will re-edited movies be joining the summer or winter Olympics?
Mar 2, 2018   |  Reply
Imdb lists Meryl Streep's first movie role as 1977's Julia,followed by The Deer Hunter(best Supporting Actress Nom). She got a Best Actress Emmy for 1978's Holocaust miniseries,gaining a wide audience to boot.
Interesting,for me,that her first Imdb credit is for voiceover work on John & Faith Hubley's fascinating animated film,Everybody Rides The Carousel(1975), explaining psychologist Erik Erickson's 8 stages of human development. I remember seeing this on CBS,not PBS, back then. Imagine CBS today offering such a serious subject with non-comedic animation, to guide the viewer about growth from womb to tomb. More though provoking than a season of NCIS. I came across the DVD of this,which also has the Hubleys' Doonesbury TV special, cheap in a second hand bin. A good find.
Mar 2, 2018   |  Reply
Agreed. I'm all but certain Meryl Streep's first nomination was for The Deer Hunter, and that was released a year before KvK.
Mar 2, 2018
Mary B.
Golly gee whiz, I wonder why Chicago P.D.'s latest picked just this moment to try to terrify male viewers who may already fear girls, women?
Mar 2, 2018   |  Reply
Current showrunner for P.D. and credited co-writer for the Sisterhood episode is Rick Eid,who was the showrunner for L&O:SVU last year. Eid has worked on lots of Dick Wolfe shows. Eid is listed as co-writer for the buried SVU take on Trump's ripped from the headlines activity. One could suggest it's in Rick's genes. Male viewers who fear women may have cause to fear women if something happened unless they have a degree from Trump University or the Electoral College.
Mar 2, 2018
Dunno. Watched a few minutes of The Voice while waiting for Good Girls. I've stayed away from these talent shows since I've felt that American Idle did as much to destroy pop radio than Iheartradio. Ms. Clarkson was the winner of the first AI. We have yet to recover. Her film with Justin Guarini doesn't even sell in the dollar store.
Then Good Girls. I conked out after that faux hold up set against really annoying music. My wife stayed with it but came away with great observations about the balance of comedy and drama was all wrong. Nothing jelled.
Here's a goodie.TCM,2/27@10PM-All The Kings Men. A fine book bettered by a coarse performance by Broderick Crawford.
Feb 27, 2018   |  Reply
If you like story lines that revolve around children I believe you'll like, The End of the F***ing World found on Netflix. It's a little far out there and a bit dark and loads of fun to watch.

It's sort of like Bonnie and Clyde only with two young teens as the leads. Trouble ensues when they decide to run away from home. The execution is quite unique, and it has really great cinematography and the same can be said for the storyline. I hope TVWW will decide to review it.
Feb 27, 2018   |  Reply
Can you expound on your choice of describing Malcolm X as "less nonviolent". I'm no William F. Buckley, or Yogi Berra for that matter, but I wonder if there is a better word choice?
Feb 26, 2018   |  Reply
FYI, the season 2 finale for Crashing is NEXT week.
Feb 26, 2018   |  Reply
The ransomware storyline of Homeland went too far for my ability to suspend disbelief. That she could be a victim of ransomware, ok, if Carrie's bipolar is kicking in again and she did not think clearly about clicking on an unknown link, that I might be able to accept.

That the hacker who sent her the ransomware was within driving distance of where she was living, that point was too absurd for me. Of all the places in the world the hacker could be living he was close enough to where she lived, I cannot trust the writing of this show anymore.
Feb 25, 2018   |  Reply
Angela, I sincerely hope you continue to enjoy the show. For me, this was the straw that broke the camels back.
Mar 2, 2018
Angela Siegfried
Not being able to suspend my disbelief has also been my problem with Homeland. And I'm the queen of disbelief. To be honest I keep hoping Homeland will be as good as it was in the first season once again. That said, I thought the first two episodes were great! So much so that that I have to let the hacking storyline evolved slide. To me, they've earned it.
Feb 27, 2018
Butch Cassidy was not the only comedic western of 1969. Support Your Local Sheriff! is a broad comedy with no dark elements. James Garner plays an Easterner passing through a town suffering problems from within and out after gold is found. It is filled with familiar faces-Walter Brennen,Harry Morgan,Jack Elam,Henry Jones,a young Bruce Dern and a fine physical comedy turn from Joan Hackett. Shot one a made for-TV movie budget but it had a sturdy script and able director with Burt Kennedy. Sure,Butch is a classic and Mel Brooks did the scathing Blazing Saddles a bit later,but this,and a followup,Support Your Local Gunslinger,are fine family fare that are full of smiles for everyone. Because of the ties to TV,they play well on a small screen. Sheriff shows up 3/10@4:15PM ET on TCM.
Feb 25, 2018   |  Reply
I meant to mention yesterday that there is now lots of pretend baseball on Today has three games on board,while local Comcast Sports will show the Phillies/Orioles game this P.M. Who needs real Olympics,when there is pretend baseball? Added interest is that MLB uses local feeds from one of the teams instead of generic announcers, so you can get the feel of the broadcasters' biases(expected in sports). Yesterday they had the World Series champs Astros,lots of coaches input(which I hate during real games),listening to Todd Kalas(Harry's kid-Harry was a Philly institution who always had "high hopes")and lesser known players trying to get a higher spot on the team. Everyone is relaxed,no one tries to get hurt with stupid sliding(did see a catcher involved with a bat in the head accident). Local ads,too, Folks like me want to know about Whataburgers and why we can't get one.Some in Fl. can get one AND grab a Wawa hoagie and a Tastykake. Not fair. Oh,my heart doctor says neither.
Feb 24, 2018   |  Reply
Looks like Fox decided to drop "The X-Files" episode so they could give "The Resident" another chance to attract viewers. Too bad. I was looking forwardto seeing it again as well.
Feb 21, 2018   |  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.