TCM, 5:45 p.m. ET

Harper Lee’s unforgettable novel about childhood, parenthood, bigotry and the law was made into this marvelous 1962 film – made even more unforgettable and marvelous by the performance of Gregory Peck as small-town lawyer Atticus Finch. This film always is worth watching – but even more so if you’ve seen Aaron Sorkin’s brilliant Broadway version of Lee’s story, starring Jeff Daniels as a more flawed, still evolving Atticus. I’ve seen the Broadway play three times, and consider it one of the best dramas I’ve ever seen on stage. But the ticket costs are way too high for me to see the play as often as I’ve watched this 1962 movie. And here comes the movie again…

FXX, 8:00 p.m. ET

Tomorrow night is the live Fox telecast of the prime-time Emmys. Tonight, sister cable network FXX presents taped coverage of last weekend’s Creative Arts Emmy Awards, which includes such categories as Outstanding Creative Archievement in Interactive Media Within a Scripted Program. (The winner – well-deserved, by the way – is Netflix’s Bandersnatch episode of Black Mirror.) The categories also include Outstanding Variety Special (Pre-Recorded), where, again, the winner was very well-deserved: CBS’s Carpool Karaoke: When Corden Met McCartney Live from Liverpool.

HBO, 8:00 p.m. ET

The first movie in this comedy franchise took everyone by surprise, especially by being much funnier and more original than expected. As with most sequels, this 2019 follow-up doesn’t deliver on either count nearly as much. But if you really enjoyed The Lego Movie, you’ll enjoy this one, too. Or this one, 2.
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The Haunting-another Robert Wise film. Curse of the Cat People. The Day the Earth Stood Still. Tribute To A Bad Man.I Want To Live. Odds Against Tomorrow. West Side Story. The Sound of Music. Andromeda Strain. Excellence in every genre.
Oct 17, 2019   |  Reply
10/16-Megyn Kelly comes out swinging against NBC News on Tucker @ Fox. NBC paid Kelly the remaining $30 million on her contract,with a nondisparagement clause but no non-compete clause. Her big criticism aimed at NBC about Weinstein & Laurer:"The question is open as to whether NBC put dollars ahead of decency." They hired her,right? Meanwhile,the trailer for Bombshell,centering on Gretchen Carlson and Co.-aka The Women At Fox When Roger Ailes Was Still Alive comes out same day. Does the real Kelly realize she is promoting the film? "Unknowing" seems to be part of her DNA. The film has heavy Oscar buzz. Take a look at the entire cast and lots of real footage-looks like the real Brian Kilmeade & Steve Doocy with Nicole Kidman as Gretchen Carlson in the middle via special effects. Real Trump news footage-no SFX needed. 12/20 in theatres. Can't wait.
Oct 17, 2019   |  Reply
The game tonight (Monday 10/14) starts at 7:38pm.
Oct 14, 2019   |  Reply
After a pretty lame opening,I passed on the resat of 10/12 SNL(Woody Harrelson-you're no Joe Biden You weren't two weeks ago,either). Missed the trailer for Grouch,which looks better than Joker. Find it online. Laugh.
Oct 13, 2019   |  Reply
Matt Alpern
RIP Marshall Efron. For those of you not familiar with this brilliantly funny man, go to YouTube and read the well written obit in the NY Times,

Matt A.
Oct 11, 2019   |  Reply
Re-Best Bet Tomorrow video-thankfully,no Twitter or other social media needed-just You Tube(and you can subscribe for free). Another ball to juggle. Waiting for the spinning plates after Topo Gigio kisses Eddie goodnight. David & Co.-very upfront-this is an experiment,with comments allowed on You Tube. Fingers crossed. Next up-the Flying Wallendas and watch Ed Sullivan hold a grudge for decades. Magic!
Oct 11, 2019   |  Reply
10/11-another Addams Family film in theatres,this time animated. A history:
1938- Single panel New Yorker cartoons by Charles Addams.
1964 TV sit-com. 64 1/2 hr. episodes.
1973-Sat. morn animated series. 16 episodes. Jodie Foster voices Pugsley.
1977-Halloween With the New Addams Family-Live action made-for-TV movie.
1991-Addams Family live action feature film.
1992-Sat.morn animated again. 21 episodes.
1993-Addams Family Values-sequel live action feature film.
1998-Addams direct-to-video live action-a pilot for...
1998-New Addams Family sit com-65 episodes-one more than original.
2010-Broadway musical. Nathan Lane & Bebe Neuwirth.
Add to that-video games & books(and original panel cartoon collections).
Over the years the true love in this close-knit family(especially Mom Morticia and Dad Gomez)wanders from the 1964 series.
This new one is getting so-so reviews. Sad. This family is always needed for a check up vs. reality;more today than ever. Rudy as Fester-Yes!
Oct 11, 2019   |  Reply
Matt Alpern
Thanks, Mac. Enjoyed the original TV show with John Astin, Carolyn Jones, Jackie Coogan and company. But nothing can compare to the sublime Raul Julia (who is deeply missed), Angelica Houston (and great supporting cast) movies written by Paul Rudnik. Matt A.
Oct 11, 2019
Are you okay David? I don't know what to watch tonight!
Oct 7, 2019   |  Reply
Where the hell is today's recommendations?
Oct 7, 2019   |  Reply
RIP Rip. Taylor.In this age of scary clowns,Rip Taylor,in his PG-13 way,proved that a true clown is always needed. Back when talk shows were less planned,Rip Taylor may not have been someone who kept you from staying past the monologue,but when the credits rolled,you may,indeed,have left your troubles outside. Who needed "reality TV" when surreality TV like The $1.98 Beauty Pageant was around. Q few weeks ago,we lost Rip Torn. Not a good year for Rips.
Oct 7, 2019   |  Reply
So Goliath Season 3 started tonight or recently. I can't believe you didn't put it on your list. I check your site nightly and recommend it to all my friends. Am I missing something, do you not think this amazing program worthy?
Oct 4, 2019   |  Reply
Linda Donovan
Please see our Best Bets and our carousel, David. You'll see we agree with you.
Oct 4, 2019
Weds. in Oct. TCM has an interesting angle on reguritating old movies-selecting 100 that are 75 mins. or less. Pre-TV,the movie house was more than Bogie,Gable & Hepburn. A feature to lure you in. A lesser,often shorter film,exploiting a genre attached.The National Anthem,a cartoon,trailers.a newsreel,a two reeler (15 min.) of a travelogue or slapstick humor- all to keep you coming back to the concession stand and coming back next week. TCM spotlights those shorter films, breaking them down by blocks of genres. 10/2 is romance(daytime) & romantic comedies(prime time). Lots of '30s;lots of b&w;lots of character actors;some stars on the rise. Some you may have seen often.Some unknowns you may find quite interesting. A bunch better than the network new slate of scripted series. Bored by too much Dick Wolf? Lawyers,doctors & cops-oh,my! Try a TCM quickie instead.
Oct 2, 2019   |  Reply
Leila L'Abate
Mac, then current country music, with only one female @#1, is one female more than you have as active reviewers of TV on this site....
Oct 2, 2019   |  Reply
Linda Donovan
Make sure you're reading on Friday, Leila. We want more voices, too! Always!
Oct 3, 2019
Paging Linda Donovan! Know that at least one woman keeps this place from falling down.And paging anyone wishing to contribute here in the peanut gallery. I stayed away with hopes others would add to the mix.I encourage more,not less. Just no stupid. Watch as Hillary Clinton on the book tour with her DAUGHTER. 2016-one woman in the Big Race. Now,lots are involved. Even more to hold lesser seats. No more 110% work for 80% pay.
As for country music-check out Highwomen-a quartet who,while not having the firepower of the Highwaymen,recently re-wrote Jimmy Webb's original lyric that brought those guys onstage. Mr. Webb granted the new ideas while reportedly wept at the new result. No 10 gallon Stetsons-a good thing,right Garth Brooks?.
Oct 2, 2019
Frontline is a two-hour show tonight which starts at 9 on the East Coast.
Oct 2, 2019   |  Reply
Keith Robin
You posted an entire article in "All Along the Watchtower" about Emergence, which sounded positive to me (along with many other reviews I have read). So don't you consider it a Best Bet? You only had two for 9/24, so I'm sure you must have had enough room for at least a line or two.
Sep 24, 2019   |  Reply
Good question Keith, & I couldn't agree more, Mac.
Oct 1, 2019
Linda Donovan
Mac has the idea, Keith. David Bianculli, our Editor/Founder, might find a show that he enjoys and note it as a Best Bet while other critics on the site might not agree. In fact, some of our critics in the carousel don't always agree with each other on the same show. Different voices for you to read. Thanks for writing, and thank you, Mac, for responding.
Sep 26, 2019
Know that this site is a watering hole for many opinions. A good thing,right? The Watchtower columns come from David Hinckley. David Bianculli's name is attached to the Best Bets. During these first weeks of a new broadcast season,Mr. Hinckley has provided with lots of food for thought-Monday alone brought three-count 'em-three columns. A good thing,right? After weeks of game show reboots,awful reality stuff and icky Big Brother which tries to combine both-scripted series returned. A good thing-right? For me,as my hapless Phillies were eliminated from post-season baseball yesterday,at least a B-grade scripted series is better than a bunch of judges judging talent. Then Sean Spicer shows up in a puffy shirt. Meanwhile, Jerry Springer as Judge Jerry. A good thing,right? Or not.
Sep 25, 2019
Country Music,PBS-Tues.,9/24 episode is #7. Wed. is the last episode,thankfully ending mid-90s with the success of Garth Brooks,a paint-by-numbers singer/songwriter who dominated Soundscan-era CD sales for all types of music. It is no accident that Brooks has an affinity for the rock band Kiss,seemingly above most of the Country musicians in this documentary. Hopefully,no Jimmy Buffet/Eagles soundalikes that dominate modern country radio. Muscles,beer,tractors and many more males than needed-Country 2019. Country airplay chart for 2019 has one-count 'em-one female at #1 and that was for one week.
Sep 24, 2019   |  Reply
You usually show which channels that the Best Bets will be on.
Sep 18, 2019   |  Reply
Linda Donovan
Yes. Our apologies, Mike...and everyone else. Computer glitch. All fixed. Thanks for your patience!
Sep 18, 2019
Times as well. And the decade from 1953 to 1956 in country music probably runs 1953-1963 and basically how those pesky Beatles would change all music for the masses in 1964. Country music affected by the popularity of the Fab Four? Absolutely! Add to that,stereo moving to front, better sound,live recordings and album,as opposed to single,sales making the labels super rich. Country albums have been notorious for short timings. As LPs went from 12 to 11 tracks in the pop world,lots of country LPs did one better by going to 10 tracks. Quality vs. quantity? For one track less-really?
Sep 18, 2019
TV news junkies may be mourning the loss of Cokie Roberts as ABC News correspondent,Sunday talk show host and commentator. Outside of flipping by stations,I don't recall ever watching Cokie. Instead I listened to Ms. Roberts,via NPR,back when that "R" meant "radio"(today it means nothing). Everyone's loss. Bright with the gifted ability to communicate,never dumbing down to the audience. She was still showing up to work on Mondays to answer questions about how this screwy experiment called the United States of America works.
Sep 17, 2019   |  Reply
You seem to be missing good shows time and time again. You didn't mention the return of Veronica Mars in your best bets. No mention of "The Spy" in your best bets even though it is a spectacular series with AMAZING performances by all. They don't even get so much as a, "This is not a recommendation"? Yet, you will continue to mention Dancing with the stars and other horrible reality shows? You seem to have lost your touch about good TV. And even today, no mention of "A little late with Lilly Singh"? A woman who is breaking through all kinds of glass ceilings & skin color stereotypes! A woman who has achieved so much in such a short time and she doesn't even make a blip on your radar? How can you keep recommending bullies like Bill Maher, yet, miss out on Women who are actually making a difference. I have been a follower of your TV recommendations way back from your NY Daily News. Today is the day that you have lost me after so many years. You have lost touch with good TV, IMHO
Sep 16, 2019   |  Reply
The PBS Country Music show is a scant 1/2 hour and tacked on(at least for Philly) as filler to an American Masters doc on Raul Julia. And that "check local listings" is always important for PBS. Our local PBS outlet,WLVT,usually goes against the network offerings(partially because of the overlap with Philly) and tends to offer a rather bland mix of shows far less expensive. Tonight-an Antiques Roadshow and two-not just one- Great American Railroad Journey episodes-zzzzz.
As for the recommendation of the concert of the O Brother musical stars-Down From the Mountain-highly recommended. But know that fans of current country music will be disappointed as this show has lots of women folk in charge and no
greasy muscled guys in cowboy hats doin' that "it's five o'clock somewhere" masochistic schtick that pretends to be modern country.
Sep 13, 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.