MONDAY
SEPTEMBER 9
2019

BIANCULLI’S BEST BETS

 

ESPN, 7:10 p.m. ET

SEASON PREMIERE: This season of Monday Night Football begins on ESPN with a doubleheader, with two Week 1 games played back to back. First, at 7:10 p.m. ET, is the Houston Texans vs. New Orleans Saints, followed at 10:15 p.m. ET by the Denver Broncos vs. Oakland Raiders. And it’s worth noting that Monday Night Football remains the second oldest continuing series in prime time. Before moving to ESPN, it began on sister broadcast network ABC in 1970. The record holder, though, is 60 Minutes, which began on CBS in 1968 – and has remained there ever since, and remained impressively popular.
 
  
 
 

HBO, 9:00 p.m. ET

SEASON PREMIERE: This is the third and final season for The Deuce, the latest series from David Simon and his talented collaborators, including co-creator George Pelacanos. And once again, there’s a significant time jump between seasons. The initial season of The Deuce began in 1971, culminating in the 1972 arrival in Times Square (and the rest of the country) of the first “mainstream” porn film, Deep Throat. The second season jumped to 1977, when the invention of the VCR and the opening of home-video shops and rental stores would transform the porn industry yet again, with Maggie Gyllenhall’s streetwalker-turned-filmmaker, Candy (pictured), becoming an auteur porn success by mounting an X-rated urban version of the Little Red Riding Hood fable. (Her movie’s title: Red Hot.) And now, for the third and concluding season of The Deuce, the action jumps ahead again, this time to 1985, when Rudy Giuliani was mayor, vowing to clean up the porn-theater stretch around Times Square, and when the hot new X-rated films included New Wave Hookers. (There. Finally justified the tax write-off for that particular video rental.) For a full review, see David Hinckley's All Along the Watchtower.
 
  
 
 

HGTV, 9:00 p.m. ET

MINISERIES PREMIERE: This is not exactly a recommendation.  But I know viewers of a certain age will watch this anyway, and may even enjoy it – so here it is. This is a home remodeling series with a celebrity and nostalgia twist: It takes the home made famous, or at least recognizable, by The Brady Bunch, the blended-family sitcom that premiered 50 years ago on ABC, and does a full-scale makeover. And it has to, because the property, at 11222 Dilling Street in Los Angeles, was used only for exterior shots. The interior Brady home, including those famous stairs, were built and housed on a Hollywood soundstage. But for the HGTV designers and contractors, the challenge was to build an interior to match the TV series, inside the familiar exterior house structure. Quite a challenge – especially since the original home is a single-story structure, so why (and how) the staircase? Along for the ride, and this renovation: surviving members of The Brady Bunch cast, who are paired with various HGTV hosts: Jonathan and Drew Scott of Property Brothers, Mina Starsiak and Karen E. Laine of Good Bones, Lara Spencer of Flea Market Flip, and so on. HGTV bought the home last year for $3.5 million – and you can bet the network won’t be losing money on this particular redo.
 
  
 
 

HBO, 10:00 p.m. ET

I’d recommend this show anyway, but tonight I’m mentioning Our Boys for an additional reason. Until now, the series has been shown on HBO at 9 p.m. ET on Mondays – but tonight, with the third-season arrival of The Deuce, HBO is moving Our Boys to a later time slot at 10 p.m. ET. If you have a season pass to record Our Boys, or watch on HBO Go, that won’t matter – but if not, consider this a heads up.
 
  
 
 
 
 
Read and add comments HERE for today's Best Bets!
 
 
 
 
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1838 Comments
 
 
Rose Hawley
I get notices on my phone of David’s videos on YouTube, but I always hit the wrong button (?) and lose it, without seeing video. Could you send me a link where I can see videos? ps. Tell David that Mickey said, “Hello!”
Jan 27, 2020   |  Reply
 
 
Rose Hawley
I get notices on my phone of David’s videos on YouTube, but I always hit the wrong button (?) and lose it, without seeing video. Could you send me a link where I can see videos? ps. Tell David that Mickey said, “Hello!”
Jan 27, 2020   |  Reply
 
 
Mac
Trump just complained about the Reps turn at the impeachment well,calling Sat. "Death Valley on TV". Seems appropriate since Ronald Reagan hosted Death Valley Days. Some of those shows were fiction,not unlike what happens Sat. in the Senate. Trumps lies for the first three years in office-16,241(source_Wapo). Borax sponsored Death Valley Days. Maybe the three days of the Reps. telling their side could be sponsored by Whoppers candy.
Jan 24, 2020   |  Reply
 
Mac
Joe Isuzu! Perfect. How '80s/Reagan can you get?(Well,outside of Back To The Future). Joe Isuzu-when Ollie North was someone who stood for Truth,Justice and the Amer....I can't continue. Scruples get in the way.
The comic strip "Lil Donnie" by Mike Norton had Trump offering "thoughts and prayers",then quickly shutting down,admitting that he is capable of neither.
Jan 25, 2020
 
 
Matt Alpern
Matt A.
Or, Joey Isuzu..
Jan 24, 2020
 
 
 
Mac
Wondering how Moscow-Midnight- Merrickless- MItchpoo McConnell will disrupt network TV in general with late night shenanigans in Congress and how it might affect the airing of the two-par This Is Us in particular. A real hell of a week,no matter how The Turtle undermines events once again.
Jan 21, 2020   |  Reply
 
 
Ken
Hi Dave. You should mention Schitt's Creek on Pop TV Tuesday's at 9PM. It is a very funny show.
Jan 21, 2020   |  Reply
 
Mac
A head's up to Mike Hughes' column just posted today(1/21).
Jan 21, 2020
 
 
 
Mac
1/21-TCM prime time double feature,with Patrica Neal's greatest performances. 8PM-A Face In The Crowd. This shows up often on TCM with good reason. So tonight maybe concentrate on Ms. Neal,who is an equal partner with Andy Griffith,just not as monstrous. 10:15PM-Hud. While Ms. Neal's screen time is less here,her moments are powerful,in a film just bursting with energy. Little in common between both films,outside of great supporting actors and black & white in a time of technicolor taking over. Hud especially shows the art of b&w. Best Actress Oscar for Ms. Neal for Hud.
Jan 21, 2020   |  Reply
 
 
Marty Winkler
Duuuude! You did NOT just solicit MORE Hawaiian Shirts!!! OMG. I hope they show up in droves, so that you can roll your eyes and remind yourself to "be careful what you pray for." With great affection, Your Georgia Connection
Jan 20, 2020   |  Reply
 
 
Neil
>>...he’s returning at a time when the current has amped up from 110 to 220 volts.<<

David, buddy, you know I love ya, but -- uh, how can I say this nicely -- VOLTAGE IS NOT CURRENT!!! 110 (or 220) volts is voltage. Amps are current. Think of a garden hose: you open up the spigot to a certain point, and a certain amount of water (i.e., gallons per minute) comes out. That's the equivalent of current or amperage. But put a nozzle on the end of that hose and dial it around to different amounts of force behind the water, and that's voltage, the equivalent of pressure. The same amount of water can come out in a wide dispersion (lower voltage) or a tightly focused ribbon that hurts your hand if you hold it in front of the water (higher voltage). Same *amount* of water, different pressure behind it. I know you were just turning a phrase, but that's not even electrical engineering, it's 8th Grade Shop class.
Jan 17, 2020   |  Reply
 
Neil
My wife says the same thing, Angela. (Were you in the same Home Ec class?)
Ohms are a measure of resistance. The classic formula is E=IR, or in English, voltage equals current times resistance. Or, flipping the equation mathematically, R=E/I (resistance equals voltage divided by current). In my "garden hose" analogy, the nozzle provides more or less resistance, depending on the setting. (Wide open is the lowest resistance, whereas torqued down to the tightest setting before it's completely closed is the highest resistance that gets some water output. (Completely closed is a resistance of infinity, no amount of water volume or pressure allows output, so I and E go to zero. Though in reality, if "E" gets high enough, the hose itself won't be able to withstand the pressure and will rupture.)
OK, enough Electrical Engineering 101 for today.
Jan 22, 2020
 
 
Angela
I must have missed shop class (honestly, girls had boring home economics when I went to school) 'cause that's the best analogy I've heard for volts/amps. Can you tell me how ohms would fit in? I want to use a mechanical mod to vape with & ohms law verses having enough battery amps so I don't stress them too much always confuses me.
Now, back to your regularly scheduled program. :)
Jan 22, 2020
 
 
 
Mac
NBC has been showing spots promoting "Lincoln Rhyme" with Keith Morrison,host of Dateline,evidently trying to say:"If you like true crime from,me, the goofy-looking white hired guy telling you a true crime story,you'll like this pretend-crime story that's on next." The spot shows no footage from the pretend-crime show(possibly because only one episode aired,there may not be much without spoilers). Dunno. I consume lots of pretend crime stuff(nowadays Dick Wolf stuff),but true crime on TV is stupid and relies on talking heads or faux footage acting out the true crime. If the spot helps attract viewers,fine,but it fails for me. I've yet to watch an episode of Dateline and this Morrison guy doesn't help. Blurring the line between "news" and "scripted" TV is a no-no. Reading or audio-only is how I explore true crime. Book stores often classify "true crime" as an ugly stepchild of fiction and non-fiction heritage-NBC seems to take the same approach.
Jan 17, 2020   |  Reply
 
 
Ken
THE LAST DAYS OF RICHARD PRYOR starts at 9PM
Jan 16, 2020   |  Reply
 
 
Mary Padgelek
David,
I just finished “Seriously Funny” and “The Platinum Age of Television” and I love them both and I’ve learned lots! Thanks so much for writing them and sharing your insight and information!
Jan 11, 2020   |  Reply
 
 
Elise
Congrats to Mark and all the family!!!!! Sweet.
Jan 10, 2020   |  Reply
 
 
Cathy B.
Loving the JEOPARDY tournament! Very confusing schedule. Thank you so much for providing the particulars about where and when to watch so we don’t miss it!
Jan 9, 2020   |  Reply
 
 
Mac
Of interest to the boss but too early to mark it on your calendar-ABC today announced a live musical version of "Young Frankenstein",with Mel Brooks producing. Probably set for near end of this year,casting and other details have not been announced. The musical has been around for over ten years and,while not a "My Fair Lady",it has done decent business both in the U.S. & London. Megyn Mullally,Andrea Martin & Sutton Foster were part of the Broadway premiere in 2007. Interesting that Disney-owned ABC is behind this even though their only other live musical was last Nov.'s "Little Mermaid Live",a property they owned for years. Disney has had tremendous success with Broadway versions of "Beauty and the Beast" ,"The Lion King","Mary Poppins" but only "The Little Mermaid" has made a televised version.
Jan 9, 2020   |  Reply
 
 
Mac
1/7,10PM As NBC previews a new show,CBS premieres a new one ,FBI Most Wanted,not only an FBI spinoff but another Dick Wolf operation-six on air for 2020. While the FBI series isn't nearly as interesting as the politics of the real FBI butting heads with the Cheeto-In-Chief, this Most Wanted series has longtime Wolf associate,Rene Balcer, in charge. Balcer's work with the Law & Order franchise is long and oft-nominated,but for me,it has been Law & Order:Criminal Intent where he found his stride. A whodunit where the intro often tipped off the baddie before credits,how Detectives Goren & Eames(and a few others) got to the questioning room for the denouement was great fun. Goren,often described as a modern Sherlock Holmes,had lots of personal issues and a truly deranged arch nemesis,Nicole Wallace, sprinkled throughout the seasons;Nicole even caused a ruckus in absentia. If you're breezing by an L&O:CI episode and see Olivia d'Abo in the credits,stop and enjoy
Jan 7, 2020   |  Reply
 
 
Courtney
Where did you get that title for the Linda Ronstadt show?
Jan 1, 2020   |  Reply
 
Linda Donovan
It’s been fixed, Courtney.
Jan 1, 2020
 
 
 
Mac
TCM's night of "A Star Is Born" is actually a triple feature,as the 1976 Streisand/Kristofferson version shows up @ 1:15AM. All 3 back-to back-to back-almost an 8 hour shift.
Bloated and forgettable. Garland's 1954? Bloated yet unforgettable,with even the outtakes a plus.
Dec 30, 2019   |  Reply
 
 
frank steen
We enjoyed (were taken in by) DUBLIN MURDERS on Starz great acting, many
Irish police cars and colorful language in this intense 8 part series. Captions on for us.
Dec 30, 2019   |  Reply
 
 
Maura
Gavin and Stacey - where is a mention to this absolutely hysterical BBC series! I have been following your site for years and am surprised not to see it mentioned on your site. Thanks, Maura
Dec 29, 2019   |  Reply
 
Mac
While not familiar with this show,it seems that the recent holiday special was the first episode since 2010. Add to that,the new episode seems to be only available in the U.S. via BritBox,another dreaded subscriber system. NBC,ABC & Fox have attempted a U.S. version-zero episodes.Seems like a series about a show never making it to series could be in order. Maybe CBS,as they haven't put their toe in the water and they have Jams Cordon,who c-wrote it all..
Dec 30, 2019
 
 
 
Mac
Wondering if this idea was ever actually used:a marathon of Rocky movies for 12/26. Include the two Creed films. Throw in The Champ(1931),Requiem For A Heavyweight, Raging Bull,Somebody Up There Likes Me,Ali: Boxing Day.
Dec 26, 2019   |  Reply
 
Mac
Thanks,Matt Sure,lots of boxing movies out there-just Ali alone as bio fiction & documentary would fill up hours. My choice-When We Were Kings. Google places The Set Up from Robert Wise,but,yes,a film much better than it had to be.
Dec 28, 2019
 
 
Matt Alpern
Matt A.
Hey, Mac, you left off "The Set Up," a great little movie, directed by Fred Zinneman, with a superb performance by Robert Ryan. Happy Festivus and thanks for all your writing.
Dec 27, 2019
 
 
 
 
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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.