DAVID BIANCULLI

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JONATHAN STORM

 
 
2014
Dec
31
 
 
For 20 years now, Syfy – starting from when it called itself SciFi – has been presenting New Year’s Eve marathon showings of The Twilight Zone. This Rod Serling showcase is one of the most tenured TV marathons around, and with good reason: Whether the show is a classic you know by heart or an obscure episode you’ve somehow managed never to see until now, every single program pulls you into the Zone, in the very best way. The two-day marathon begins this morning. Today&rsq
 
 
 
  
 
 
2014
Dec
31
 
 
The prime time portion of this live special begins at 8 p.m, ET, with the festivities resuming after local news ends at 11:30. This is the network that boasts the best lineup of any New Year’s celebration. It has Taylor Swift, who performed on this same show two years age (pictured), along with Elton John, Iggy Azalea and One Direction. And, unlike CNN, it doesn’t have Kathy Griffin.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2014
Dec
31
 
 
I’m a sucker for George Gershwin’s music, so I’ll be popping in here as well – and recording it for later consumption, as I have with previous PBS Gershwin concerts. You can’t have too many recordings of “Rhapsody in Blue.” This year, singers Dianne Reeves (pictured) and Norm Lewis are featured. Check local listings.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2014
Dec
31
 
 
TCM, though it usually stresses the classics, is devoting tonight to a little “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” of its own – by presenting a mini-marathon of rock ’n’ roll movies. First up: 1973’s Elvis on Tour, a record of Elvis Presley’s sizzling 1972 concert tour.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2014
Dec
31
 
 
Made in 1964, this Richard Lester film captures the Beatles, and Beatlemania, perfectly. This film isn’t long enough to take you into midnight – but as a way to start sending out the old year in the interim, you couldn’t ask for anything more infectiously enjoyable.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2014
Dec
31
 
 
With a 10 p.m. ET prime time hour, and more festivities beginning at 11:30 p.m. ET, NBC’s Carson Daly manages to present a lineup that’s both super-traditional and oddly modern. His guests include Pharrell Williams and occasional crooner Seth MacFarlane, along with the generations-spanning duo of Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2014
Dec
31
 
 
Leading roles for minority actors remain scarce, but this TV season brought some major achievements for network programming and the advertisers who support them...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2014
Dec
30
 
 
Strap in and ride: Beginning at 9 a.m. ET today, AMC is ushering in the New Year by repeating, in sequence, all five seasons of The Walking Dead, beginning with the stunning opener that sets the scene in goosebumps-raising fashion. Watch this marathon if you dare – but side effects of binge-watching The Walking Dead include an increase in dramatic tension and the occasional sudden loss of beloved characters.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2014
Dec
30
 
 
Tonight on TCM, the evening is devoted to acknowledging artists who died in 2014, by presenting representative samples of their cinematic work. The salute begins at 8 p.m. ET with 1964’s Topkapi, starring Maximilian Schell, and ends late into the night with 2008’s Doubt, featuring Philip Seymour Hoffman. In between: 1959’s Imitation of Life (10:15 p.m. ET), featuring Juanita Moore in her Oscar-nominated role as the housekeeper; Elaine Stritch in 1959’s Kiss her Goodbye (1
 
 
 
  
 
 
2014
Dec
30
 
 
Right on schedule, the best variety show on TV returns for another year of honoring the best in a wide sampling of the arts. Tonight’s honorees: Tom Hanks, Al Green, Sting, Lily Tomlin and Patricia McBride. Stephen Colbert hosts. For a full review, see Bianculli’s Blog.