DAVID BIANCULLI

Founder / Editor

ERIC GOULD

Associate Editor

LINDA DONOVAN

Assistant Editor

KARLE DUNBAR

Social Media Manager

Contributors

ALEX STRACHAN

TOM BRINKMOELLER

GERALD JORDAN

MONIQUE NAZARETH

GABRIELA TAMARIZ

CANDACE KELLEY

DAVID SICILIA

NOEL HOLSTON

JONATHAN STORM

 
 
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SUNDAY
JANUARY 22
2017

BIANCULLI’S BEST BETS

 

Fox, 3:00 p.m. ET

Today, we find out who’s going to the Super Bowl this year. In the first of today’s two divisional championship games, the Green Bay Packers and the Atlanta Falcons do battle for the NFC crown.

 
  
 
 

CBS, 6:30 p.m. ET

In today’s second divisional championship, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the New England Patriots do battle for the AFC crown.

 
  
 
 

PBS, 9:00 p.m. ET

Last week’s two-hour premiere episode, starring former Doctor Who companion as the newly anointed Queen Victoria, was a little more stiff and stodgy than Downton Abbey, but though it played its behind-the-throne conflicts predictably and at times almost ploddingly, Coleman, at its center, overcame it all, and is the major reason to keep watching. Check local listings.

 
  
 
 

Showtime, 9:00 p.m. ET

For this second episode of the season, the new reality, and new setting, of Homeland has been firmly established. We’re in the days after a new President of the United States has been inaugurated, and there’s a battle of wills and power between the new chief executive and the intelligence community. Oh, and instead of being based overseas, the action in this new season of Homeland talks place in New York City, home of Trump Tower and the former headquarters of now-President Donald Trump. One difference in this Homeland reality: in this series, the new president is a woman, one of the few things the writers, in shaping this series early last year, got wrong…

 
  
 
 

PBS, 10:00 p.m. ET

Part 1 of 3. SERIES PREMIERE: There’s a British rhyme that’s used to teach schoolchildren the respective fates of the six wives of King Henry VIII. Its lyrics, brief and to the point, were: “Divorced, Beheaded, Died; Divorced, Beheaded, Survived.” This new PBS series, hosted by British historian Lucy Worlsey, looks at the six wives over a total of three episodes  – and looks at their lives from their perspective, beginning with tonight’s initial installment, called “Divorced.” Recreations are used extensively, and at times expensively, with Worlsey herself not only commenting on the events, but sometimes “witnessing” them, by appearing in the recreations as a bit player in the royal court. Check local listings.

 
  
 
 
 
 
Read and add comments HERE for today's Best Bets!
 
 

VIDEO WORTH WATCHING

Scrambled Dregs  — As Idina Menzel premieres this weekend in the Lifetime remake of the 1988 Bette Midler/Barbara Hershey film, Beaches, we're thinking her most remembered moment wasn’t her run as the original Elphaba in Wicked on Broadway. Or, as part of the Glee cast, or even with her voicing of Queen Elsa in Frozen, singing the smash hit “Let it Go.” Rather, it was when John Travolta introduced her at the 2104 Academy Awards, relying on the phonetic spelling of – and completely botching — her introduction to a live TV audience as “Adele Dazeem”. It lived on in this Conan O’Brien bit shorty after when we finally got to meet the real Dazeem… and others. Menzel returned the favor the following year when she introduced Travolta as “Glom Gazingo.” —Eric Gould
 
 

TV WE'RE WATCHING

  
   Visit TV We're Watching for these and other shows on
our DVRs right now...


Baskets
FX
Thursdays
10 PM ET

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
CW
Fridays
9 PM ET

Emerald City
NBC
Fridays
9 PM ET

Full Frontal with Samantha Bee
TBS
Wednesdays
10:30 PM ET

Curling Night in America
NBCSN
Thursdays
7:30 PM ET

Lemony Snicket’s
A Series of Unfortunate Events

Netflix
Streaming

Man Seeking Woman
FXX
Wednesdays
10:30 PM ET

The OA
Netflix
Streaming

Portlandia
IFC
Thursdays
10 PM ET

Victoria
PBS
Sundays
9 PM ET
Check Local Listings
 
 

BUT WAIT... THERE'S MORE!


FRESH AIR FAVES

Audio of Bianculli's favorite 'Fresh Air' reports, and the stories behind them...


FAVES FROM
"THE MORGUE"

Bianculli's favorite newspaper articles, and the stories behind them...


EXTRAS & FEEDBACK

Share your favorite TV in-jokes and first TV loves...
 
 
 

Good news, TVWW readers: David’s new book from Doubleday, The Platinum Age of Television: From I Love Lucy to The Walking Dead, How TV Became Terrific is now avaialble on Amazon.

Doubleday says: “Darwin had his theory of evolution, and David Bianculli has his. Bianculli's theory has to do with the concept of quality television: what it is and, crucially, how it got that way."

"The Platinum Age of Television is an effusive guidebook that plots the path from the 1950s’ Golden Age to today’s era of quality TV. For instance, animation evolved from Rocky and His Friends to South Park; variety shows moved from The Ed Sullivan Show to Saturday Night Live; and family sitcoms grew from I Love Lucy to Modern Family. A high point is the author’s interviews with Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Norman Lear, Bob Newhart, Matt Groening, Larry David, Amy Schumer and many others...Bianculli has written a highly readable history." —The Washington Post

 
 

This Day in TV History

 
 
 
 
TV WWorth Buying
 TOP TVWW SPECIAL DEAL$
The Dana Carvey Show

In a recent interview, SNL veteran Dana Carvey mentioned that an upcoming documentary about his failed 1996 ABC sketch comedy show was in the works at Hulu (no release date announced yet.) Too Funny to Fail will recount how the iconoclastic series, cancelled after eight episodes, got off to a horrendous start with network executives and advertisers. (The premiere included a sketch with Carvey playing then-President Bill Clinton — so eager to demonstrate his compassion he suckled a baby, puppies and a kitten simultaneously from a canine-like array of prosthetic nipples.) Considered a lovable sketch character and impressionist, Carvey’s edgier side turned out to be somewhat ill-suited for prime time. The show is considered a milestone however, for it’s now A-list stable of performers and writers: Louis CK, Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert and Robert Smigel. (Includes one unaired episode and deleted scenes.) On sale at Amazon for $14. —Eric Gould