SUNDAY
APRIL 14
2019

BIANCULLI’S BEST BETS

 

CBS, 9:00 a.m. ET

Because of a forecast of inclement weather in late afternoon, today’s fourth and final day of the Masters Tournament will begin early, with broadcast coverage beginning as early as 9 a.m. ET. The leaders tee off very shortly after that – and while Francesco Molinari has a two-stroke lead on the nearest players, the nearest players, tied for second place after three days of competition, are Tony Finau and, yes, Tiger Woods. Woods, it should be noted (so I’m noting it) is making his first appearance in a final pairing at Augusta National in 12 years.

 
  
 
 

BBC America, 8:00 p.m. ET

Last week, in the Season 2 premiere, Villanelle (Jodie Comer) managed to avoid dying from Eve’s stab wound, and before sneaking out of the hospital that had treated her, also managed to murder someone. It was a mercy killing, as she saw it, but still. Anyway, in this new episode, Villanelle is on the loose – and grocery shopping, where even that mundane setting and errand has its possibilities of peril. Cleanup on Aisle Four!

 
  
 
 

TCM, 8:00 p.m. ET

Frankly, my dear, I’m still kind of amazed whenever this 1939 Civil War epic romantic drama shows up on television – especially in uninterrupted and complete form in one giant showing. And tonight, on TCM, here it is. Since it’s opposite the final-season premiere of Game of Thrones, this is what DVRs were invented for. Record now. Watch later. Because tomorrow is another day…

 
  
 
 

HBO, 9:00 p.m. ET

SEASON PREMIERE: You may have heard: The final season of Game of Thrones begins tonight. And any plot summary I could offer, especially since HBO hasn’t provided any new episodes for preview, would just be conjecture, and unduly dragon things out. Better to just read Alex Strachan’s new TV That Matters blog offering his overview of the entire series.
 
  
 
 

Showtime, 9:00 p.m. ET

This is the fifth episode of the new season of Billions – which means, since Showtime sent previews of the first four episodes to TV critics, that this is the first new episode I haven’t seen in advance. And boy, considering how last week’s episode ended between Chuck and Wendy, I can’t wait to see how things develop in tonight’s show. Nothing seems to be set on simmer, so expect the plot, like the tempers, to boil over.

 
  
 
 

HBO, 10:00 p.m. ET

Barry, in season one, identified and ended up playing to its biggest strengths. This season, not only are all those key actors and characters featured prominently, but they’re given more chances to interact directly. And that means, for sure, more screen-sharing scenes between Bill Bill Hader and Henry Winkler… but also between Hader and Sarah Goldberg.

 
  
 
 

HBO, 10:30 p.m. ET

Tonight’s episode is called “The Pledge,” and is about promises made during a presidential campaign – and we all know how much those are worth.

 
  
 
 

HBO, 11:00 p.m. ET

Okay, John Oliver, make me laugh about current events. Please.

 

 
  
 
 
 
 
Read and add comments HERE for today's Best Bets!
 
 
 
 
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1737 Comments
 
 
Mac
A favorite 1/2 hr. comedy episode-from "Car 54,Where Are You"(1962,"Boom,Boom,Boom". Nat Hiken was behind this show about NYC cops after his time on Phil Silvers' army show,with many borscht belt comics and Jewish
character actors on both. Filmed in the Bronx. The plot involves comic Jan Murray( best known on TV for hosting game shows) as a celebrity judge for a city-wide barbershop quartet competition. 163 versions of "By the Light of the Silvery Moon",barbershop-style,with all groups singing "boom,boom,boom" for background effect. Murray-straitjacket ready. As subtle as a Bugs Bunny cartoon and just as funny. "Car 54" shows up on Decades & MeTV,but Shout! Factory TV has episodes streaming for free.
Aug 21, 2019   |  Reply
 
Matt Alpern
Thanks Mac.

Many of us (of a certain age) remember "Car 54" with great affection.
Joe E. Ross as Gunther Toody.. Fred Gwynne (pre-Munsters) was hilarious
as Gunther's befuddled partner, Francis Muldoon.. Captain Bloch.. Al Lewis
as Leo Schnauzer (sure, I've gotten the spelling wrong).. etc. etc. One of the
first theme songs that stuck in my head. Matt A.
Aug 22, 2019
 
 
 
Mac
Sports broadcaster Jack Whitaker,died 8/18 at 95. Deep Philadelphia ties,including his time at CBS owned channel 10. Late '50s,Whitaker did regular sports reports alongside news reader John Facenda. Whitaker joined CBS Sports in 1961,hosting the CBS Sports Spectacular(their version the ABC's Wide World of Sports)golf,horse racing and others,including part of the first Super Bowl broadcast team. Both CBS and NBC broadcast the game with separate announcing teams with both using the CBS camera feed.
In 1965 Facenda would become the voice of NFL Films,later nicknamed The Voice of God.
Aug 19, 2019   |  Reply
 
 
Mary Bolduc
The key word for "New Girl"'s writers might be "lazy." Creating a plot point around the title character's alleged obsession with a hard-to-identify-with movie like "Dirty Dancing" just seems like a very weak joke. So many actors then were more lovable than Patrick Swayze of "Dirty Dancing," for one thing. Her fictional attachment to that movie just doesn't work. The beginning of that episode put me off so much I don't want to watch more.
Aug 17, 2019   |  Reply
 
 
SharonGS
Tonight (Tuesday) on my local PBS are hours two and three of « Family Pictures ». Having enjoyed the « North Carolina » hour, I’m looking forward to these and urge others to find them.
Aug 13, 2019   |  Reply
 
 
SharonGS
Tonight (Tuesday) on my local PBS are hours two and three of « Family Pictures ». Having enjoyed the « North Carolina » hour, I’m looking forward to these and urge others to find them.
Aug 13, 2019   |  Reply
 
 
Mac
Giving advance for Wed. 8/14 TCM 24 hrs. of Liv Ullmann. Many interesting choices that rarely make it to TV,including a lengthy 2012 documentary involving Ingmar Bergman,who directed Liv in 11 films and was her lover,1965-70. But I'm spotlighting a stinker,earl AM:Lost Horizon,the 1973 musical film based on an interesting book(James Hilton) and a classic Frank Capra 1937 film(7:45AM). This dud ruined the Burt Bacharach/Hal David songwriting team,almost ruined Columbia Pictures, ended "roadshows"-expensive films that had advanced ticket sales and nearly ruined the all-star cast. In 1973 my future ex & I celebrated our first night out after the birth of our first child. We saw the roadshow version,including horrid dancing(prancing?,maybe shuffling) and all,and left midway. We disagreed on much over the years,but agreed about this dismal film. George Kennedy in an airplane-what can go wrong? Enjoy the positive reviews at TCM.com and wonder what drugs were used when viewing.
Aug 12, 2019   |  Reply
 
 
Mac
8/11-TCM has 12-count 'em-12 Humphrey Bogart films and not one dud,save possibly Passage to Marseille,which,at its worst,is merely pretty good. The Leonard Maltin reviews on the TCM website has 11 of them 3 &1/2 or 4 star rating,and I would move exchange a star or two around a few(Caine Mutiny is overblown). Only 2 Bogey & Bacalls and it still is a great schedule. 6:15PM-In A Lonely Place,with Gloria Grahame. Such a vanilla title for a multi-10 commandment breaker.
Aug 11, 2019   |  Reply
 
 
ThoroughbredOfSin
Of course, a paper on Cleopatra's sister in a Modern European History class would probably get an F.
Aug 6, 2019   |  Reply
 
 
Mac
Odd that(I believe)TCM never showed Star Wars:A New Hope till 7/30 and,less than 24 hours later,shows it again tonight. Why? Last night was the conclusion of TCM's month long exploration of space travel movies.Tonight is part two of a celebration of Fox. This,as Disney gobbles up the Fox film catalog. Some Star Wars fans also noticed that Disney renamed this film as merely "Star Wars:A New Hope",eliminating the numeration system George Lucas assigned the series."A New Hope" was Episode IV-now that has disappeared. Possibly to dilute the I,II & III episodes that received mixed reviews. Still no mention if the pre-1997 version will ever make it to theatrical release,TV or DVD. Will Disney use the old version for the new Disney Plus?
Jul 31, 2019   |  Reply
 
 
Michele
Agree Galaxy Quest is a lot of fun with Sigourney Weaver and Tim Allen, but you forgot to give a shout out for the late, great Alan Rickman!
Jul 30, 2019   |  Reply
 
 
Kathy Muisiner
David...thank you for sharing the Trailer of the Fred Roger's movie and the link
to see him receive his Lifetime award. I must say, that there was a smile in heaven from Christy when you shared this. He was "special" to her and her "Mom"..Kathy
Jul 28, 2019   |  Reply
 
 
Leila L'Abate
Why no mention of the new "Veronica Mars" David reviewed very favorably on "Fresh Air?"
Jul 24, 2019   |  Reply
 
 
Mac
1960's The Time Machine-Leave it to director George Pal,creator of Puppetoons,to know how to capture the imagination of kid thinking of time travel by focusing on a clothing store window and the rapidly changing styles of women's clothing. He spent the money needed to create what I consider the best Saturday matinee ever. The monster Morlocks were scary to this 8 year old,as well they were supposed to be. Oh,and a fine Scottish accent from Alan Young-so good he used it to voice Scrooge McDuck in the first batch of DuckTales,after success on an LP of Mickey's (Mouse) Christmas Carol. Young also never pandered to kids.
Jul 23, 2019   |  Reply
 
 
Judith
Will there be more episodes of BettervCall Saul?
Jul 23, 2019   |  Reply
 
Angela
It seems like Better Call Saul was on ages ago so I had to check when it last aired. Wiki says the last show was in 8/2018. I wonder why the longer than usual wait times for a new season. Does anybody know?
I sure do miss Vince Gilligan's incredible talent and the actors in BCS.
Aug 3, 2019
 
 
Mac
As per Wiki,filming began this past April. No exact premiere date set,but it will be some time in 2020.
Jul 23, 2019
 
 
 
Mac
7/21-TCM had a Tom Hanks double feature-Sleepless In Seattle and A League Of Our Own. James Stewart comparisons from Ben Mankiewicz-its TCM,where Stewart reigns.
7/22,the first trailer for Hank's biopic as Mister Rogers-A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood drops. Hanks nails it as Rogers and the excuse for a plot is a reporter,possibly jaded,succumbing to Fred's universal message like a 5 year old. Obvious? After the last week of phony namecalling and back pedaling from leaders without ethics,we need Fred now more than ever. Releases Fri.11/22. I can't wait to see the other shoe drop and Tom, as Fred, gets his sneakers on. Crowdfunding a ticket forcing blowhard Stephan Miller to watch? I'd toss a few bucks. Nate Heller,with few credits, is in charge of the Johnny Costa-style piano on the soundtrack. Sounds good to me.
Jul 22, 2019   |  Reply
 
 
MAS
For everyone looking in vain for Season 2 of "Trapped" rejoice -- it's now on Amazon Prime.
Jul 13, 2019   |  Reply
 
Angela
Yay! Finally! Thanks for the heads up.
Jul 18, 2019
 
 
 
Kathy Ingrao
I don't want to watch Years and Years - I'm living it! Woe is me.
Jul 8, 2019   |  Reply
 
Angela
I've had that exact same thought jan, more than once.
Aug 3, 2019
 
 
jan
I know exactly how you feel! I'm in the middle of the last episode, and I can hardly stand it. Makes me wish I were young enough to be a revolutionary.
Jul 30, 2019
 
 
jan
I know exactly how you feel! I'm in the middle of the last episode, and I can hardly stand it. Makes me wish I were young enough to be a revolutionary.
Jul 30, 2019
 
 
 
MAS
Hank, in spite of the fact that he was unknowingly after Walter White, was a relatively sympathetic character. When he was shot and severely injured and when he was dealing with his wingnut wife we felt sorry for the guy. Mary Louise is just plain creepy. And I know we're going to find something out about her other son's death that makes her seem even creepier. I don't see any connection between the two characters.
Jul 7, 2019   |  Reply
 
 
SharonGS
The Tour de France starts today and takes place all month. Today and tomorrow the race is in Belgium to honor Eddy Merckx, who first raced the Tour in 1969.
Jul 6, 2019   |  Reply
 
 
scott
I do think 1939 was a great year for movies (although a good case could be made for 1927 with Sunrise, Metropolis, The General, and Duck Soup) and some recently argued for 1999 (with Being John Malkovich, The Matrix, American Beauty, Galaxy Quest. The Thin Red Line and Fight Club). Of course, Casablanca was released in 1942 and was popularized by being shown finals week at Harvard and later rerun many times on network television
Jul 6, 2019   |  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.