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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1683 Comments
 
 
MAS
My Comcast schedule has "Killing Eve" on at 8pm Eastern on BBCA and repeated at 10:03.
Apr 7, 2019   |  Reply
 
 
Frank Dracman
I guess you're REALLY anxious for the start of the last season of Game of Thrones because in your write-up for Saturday Night Live, you're eight days early. This is not a criticism,just an observation because I am (as I'm sure many others are as well) just as excited for April 14th to arrive!
Apr 6, 2019   |  Reply
 
 
Reiny in Berkeley
In the listing for TV we’re watching it should be Santa CLARITA Diet, not Santa Clara. One is in Southern CA, and the other up here in Silicon Valley, where we have substantially fewer zombies, tho at least as many vampires.
Apr 6, 2019   |  Reply
 
 
Reiny in Berkeley
In the listing for TV we’re watching it should be Santa CLARITA Diet, not Santa Clara. One is in Southern CA, and the other up here in Silicon Valley, where we have substantially fewer zombies, tho at least as many vampires.
Apr 6, 2019   |  Reply
 
 
Neil
Am I the only reader who finds it annoying that the previews at the top of the main (landing) page flip every 7 seconds? I'll be reading a blurb on a new entry and the tile will flip mid-sentence, and I'll have to cycle back to finish what I was reading. Anyone else find 7 seconds a bit too short for anything beyond a one-liner?
Apr 5, 2019   |  Reply
 
Angela
ps: I'm using Safari and I just tried it with Chrome and it also works there, too!
Apr 11, 2019
 
 
Angela
Neil, My mistake. When you hover your mouse pointer on the thumbnail in the correct place a black arrow pointing to the right will appear and that's when the tiles will freeze for as long as you keep your mouse pointer there. (I thought I wrote about the arrow before but apparently not). Try that and see if it doesn't work for you.
Apr 11, 2019
 
 
Neil
Angela, I use a Mac, but on mine hovering doesn't freeze the frames the way you say it does on yours. (I use Firefox, but just tried it with Safari just in case it's a browser disparity. No difference.) If that's a feature Eric intentionally built in, he should verify that it's consistent across all browsers and operating systems. Or else do the simple thing and change the delay to 10 seconds.
Apr 10, 2019
 
 
Angela
See the little thumbnail photos for each show on the left hand side of the page? At least on my Mac, if I take my mouse pointer and hover over any one of them the tiles don't flip! (It took me forever to learn that. :)
Apr 8, 2019
 
 
 
Bob516
I've been waiting for this day, and you did not disappoint. 'Tales of the Expected', brilliant!
Apr 1, 2019   |  Reply
 
Angela
Or they're just too gullible. (blushing)
Apr 3, 2019
 
 
David Bianculli
Dear Bob: Thanks! You and I may be the last ones embracing this particular "April Fools" TVWW tradition -- but I'm stubbornly sticking it it. -DB
Apr 2, 2019
 
 
 
AR
Hey, the Women's NCAA Final Four today is so much better than the dunk fest by top men's teams. Where is that recommendation?
Mar 29, 2019   |  Reply
 
 
Mac
Hark! The Dark Fox Fortnight of Fear is over. Pirro is on the schedule. Even after Hannity told Trump not to worry,the Fox News schedule,at least on my devices,didn't show a change. Hannity is like the weatherman predicting sunshine so you bring an umbrella. Miraculously,a few minutes after midnight this morn,the online schedule replaced the double shot of Watter's World with Justice with Judge Jeanine in her usual
9PM slot, balancing the world. Still nothing from the higher ups about the last 2 weeks. Summon the Catheter Cowboy that all is right in the land. But keep the paramedics nearby should Ms. Pirro go frothing in the Opening Statement. What revelations from the Barr Report has she gleaned over the vast 4 pages while America awaits the Mueller Report? Do I hear a My Pillow jingle? Someone has earned their angel wings.
Mar 29, 2019   |  Reply
 
 
jan
Don't forget that the final season of "Jane the Virgin" starts tonight--Wednesday, March 27--as well. It's over the top, but I love that show.
Mar 27, 2019   |  Reply
 
 
Mac
TV Worth Avoiding-Dr. Pimple Popper has competition. Toe Bro-a podiatrist documenting ingrown toenails. Scheduled after the zit doc on a different network,so the viewer doesn't have to decide. As much as I hate any "unscripted" stuff,this is a new low. Well,outside of Sex Sent Me To the ER,Mama June and the Obese Hour. What next? Wreck-It Rectum? Where the Cologuard Box Roams? The Relux Reflects,starring Justin Burper?
3/1 comics-Doonesbury had Roland Hedley doing a Fox News documentary in search of Trump's brain,as Roland did for Reagan(twice)only ending where Trump makes all of his decisions-the gut. Not a pretty sight. Sigh.And April 1st is still days away.
Mar 27, 2019   |  Reply
 
 
Bill
Why do u never recommend Madame Secretary? It is a well put together show
consistently.
Mar 26, 2019   |  Reply
 
 
Mac
3/25 TCM has Disney Vault night,centering on true-life stuff in anticipation of the live action/CGI "Dumbo",which hits the plexes later this week. "The African Lion" @8PM(after a 'foon), is what Disney presented 64 years ago that lead to the BBC's Planet Earth. Cinematographers Elma & Alfred Milotte spent 3 years getting footage for the project. Host Leonard Maltin rates this one possibly Disney's best True-Life Adventure. Over the years Disney chopped the films up for TV & educational films for schools,so seeing this one as it appeared in theatres is a treat. The couple left Disney in 1959 but remained chronicling nature for books. The couple died less than a week apart in 1989. Disney Legend award in 1998.
Mar 25, 2019   |  Reply
 
 
Mac
With Trump taking his Victory Lap,one of his favorite lap dogs,Jeanine Pirro, may still be in the dog house. Or not. A Huff Post story has an unnamed spokesperson saying she'll be back 3/30,but an online schedule for this Sat. has a double dose of Jesse Watters slotted for Pirro's 9PM,giving Jeanine a 3 week spring break since her 3/9 "opening statement". More time to keep up that tan? The 3/31 repeat cycle has "Scandalous",the pseudo-documentary that was slugged in for 3/23 as filler before the weekend Mueller Report events and an Ed Henry rehash of,well,a headline,since AG Barr had yet to release his 4 page Cliff Notes. Did a dog eat the Mueller Report? The MAGA Base wants to know. Cue the My Pillow jingle,Mike....
Mar 25, 2019   |  Reply
 
 
MAS
You are not wrong. It's a rerun from March 3
Mar 24, 2019   |  Reply
 
 
Bob
I believe John Oliver mentioned he would be off this week.I hope I am wrong.
Mar 24, 2019   |  Reply
 
 
Mary B.
I've heard the real Queen Victoria was not as fond of children as her character on "Victoria" is portrayed as being. How close is the TV series to historical reality?
Mar 22, 2019   |  Reply
 
 
Mac
TCM with movies with "Alice" in the title? Heck,it took me over a week till I figured out this month's Star of the Month is Frederic March because the month is....March.
Mar 20, 2019   |  Reply
 
Angela
:-D
Mar 22, 2019
 
 
 
Mac
Fox News preempted Sat. 3/16 Jeanine Pirro show with little response from the higher ups,sighting "internal scheduling matters". After Pirro's 3/9 remarks concerning Minnesota Democrat Ihan Omar,which Fox News condemned and led to at least 4 advertisers pulling out what has been a cable news ratings leader. Variety reported around 4PM and some online schedules caught the change. Many news sources didn't kick in till after the fact,with MSNBC & CNN live broadcasts missing the story. Hopefully Monday will bring some clarification as to either a temporary or long term punishment. The online Fox schedule for 3/23 already lists no Pirro.with the show that filled in last night,a repeat of the pretaped Scandalous,but that could be a mistake.
Mar 17, 2019   |  Reply
 
Mac
3/19 check of the online schedule of Fox News 3/23 still lists no Pirro and 3/24 overnight schedule,which includes early morning repeats of the 3/23 prime time shows also excludes Pirro,but no official word from Fox,as Trumps laments her absence,fans threaten boycott of Fox News in general and advertisers face boycotts if they don't abandon Pirro. This Sat. is the 2nd round of NCAA men's basketball and what some sports junkies consider a perfect storm including pro b-ball,pro hockey,spring training pro baseball and others,so maybe they can get away with a 2nd week without comment or final decision.
Mar 19, 2019
 
 
 
Mac
St. Patty's Day brings an all day,all Irish bunch of films on TCM,with the 8PM slot for another airing of A Quiet Man,John Ford's fantasy of love and lust in a small Irish town.
If you have access via DVD or non-broadcast services,I''ll suggest Brooklyn(2015), another Irish fairy tale (and America). Starring Saiorse Ronan. Luminous.
Mar 17, 2019   |  Reply
 
 
Mac
This just in. As AMC showed The Godfather II,Frank Cali,head of the NY Gambino family,was assassinated outside his home. Nothing this big for the Gambinos in over 30 years. No reports of anyone named Paulie,Rocco,Frankie Five Angels or Fredo involved. Also no Don Jr. nor Eric,but if Johnny Ola shows up at your door,run.
Mar 14, 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.

 
 
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