DAVID BIANCULLI

Founder / Editor

LINDA DONOVAN

Assistant Editor

GABRIELA TAMARIZ

Social Media Manager

ERIC GOULD

Associate Editor

Contributors

ALEX STRACHAN

CANDACE KELLEY

GERALD JORDAN

TOM BRINKMOELLER

MONIQUE NAZARETH

NOEL HOLSTON

JONATHAN STORM

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MONDAY
JULY 6
2015

BIANCULLI’S BEST BETS

 

ESPN, 8:00 a.m. ET

The opening day of Week 2 at Wimbledon is to tennis fans what a college bowl game day is to football fans: nonstop action, all day long. The round of 16 begins today, and all players, men and women, play today in hopes of advancing. Several top seeds have been upset already, including Rafael Nadal. But there’s plenty of action and excitement still to come – starting this morning in particular: among the opening matches covered live by ESPN this morning is the latest example of the sport’s most electrifying sibling rivalry: Serena Williams vs. Venus Williams, who first faced each other at Wimbledon 15 years ago, in the semifinals (pictured). Today, they start serving right at 8 a.m. ET, so tune in early.

 
  
 
 

CW, 8:00 p.m. ET

SEASON PREMIERE: The premise of this show is simple: amateur magicians perform their bits of business in front of, and sometimes with the involvement of, master illusionists Penn Gillette and Teller. If Penn & Teller are impressed, so are we. It’s a basic idea, but always fun because of the hosts, who also serve up some enjoyable tricks of their own. Last year, Fool Us seemed like a one-off summer series, but it fooled us. Presto: It’s back!

 
  
 
 

Showtime, 9:00 p.m. ET

In case you missed last night’s intense season finale of Penny Dreadful, here it is again, in prime time. Don’t miss it twice. Eva Green stars.

 
  
 
 

PBS, 10:00 p.m. ET

Tonight’s installment is called Tough Love, and examines two separate custody cases – of parents trying to regain custody of children taken away from them. It’s a tough fight, and emotional, and sometimes very hard to judge – which, looking at it from a legal standpoint, is the point of this study. Check local listings.

 
  
 
 

Comedy Central, 11:00 p.m. ET

Jon Stewart is taking the week off – one last break before he comes back for his final laps – but even Stewart’s Daily Show reruns, out of their current-events context, are fun to watch. Tonight’s isn’t that old a repeat: It’s from last week, with guest Jon Hamm, enjoying a very playful relationship with the show’s host. They’re very good together. And remember: If it’s older Daily Show vintages you care to sample, the Comedy Central website’s “Month of Zen” feature continues to live stream, in order, every Daily Show program Stewart has ever done. As I type this on Monday morning, we’re up to October 2002, and the guest is Peter Jennings (pictured)… who, admitting that Stewart says everything on his show that Jennings would love to say on ABC World News Tonight, was charming.
 
  
 
 
 
 
Read and add comments HERE for today's Best Bets!
 
 

VIDEO WORTH WATCHING

A Confused Slim Shady - Stephen Colbert seems to be warming up for his September Late Night premiere. He took over as guest host on the public-access cable show "Only in Monroe" in Michigan. The full segment is 41 minutes but the highlight is when he interviews native Michigander Marshall Mathers otherwise known as Eminem. The rapper seems confused through much of the interview, but by the end you feel that he's in on the joke. Colbert is in character here leaving us wondering what we can expect when he takes on the hosting duties for real on CBS. Still, it's another appetizer and a reminder how much we've missed him. – Monique Nazareth

 
 

TV WE'RE WATCHING

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


The Brink
HBO
Sundays
10:30 PM ET

Deustchland 83
Sundance
Wednesdays
11 PM ET

Hannibal
NBC
Thursdays
10 PM ET

HUMANS
AMC
Sundays
9 PM ET

Maron
IFC
Thursdays
10 PM ET

POV
PBS
Check Local Listings

Ray Donovan
Showtime
Sundays
9 PM ET 

Rectify
Sundance
Thursdays
9 PM ET

The Seventies
CNN
Thursdays
9 PM ET

True Detective
HBO
Sundays
9 PM ET
 
 

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...

TV JUKEBOX

A new edition of Bianculli's favorite TV themes, coming soon!
 
 
 

From TV Worth Watching
TOP PICKS FOR YOUR HOME LIBRARY

The TVWW Seal of Approval is an honor we save for TV’s very best – our picks for a truly teleliterate home video library.
 
 

FRASIER: THE COMPLETE SERIES – Cheers already has been awarded the TVWW Seal of Approval, and Frasier becomes one of the few TV spinoff series deserving to make the list as well. Frasier, just collected in a compact edition presenting every episode from the show’s 11 seasons – that’s 257 episodes, folks – seems surprisingly fresh, given that it premiered in 1993, the season after Cheers ended, and called it quits in 2004. Kelsey Grammer’s character of Frasier was gold-plated comic brilliance by then, as was his relationship with icy ex-wife Lilith (beautifully played by Bebe Neuwirth). But on Frasier, Grammer got two more spectacularly gifted comic foils: David Hyde Pierce as fussy brother Niles, and John Mahoney as no-nonsense father Martin. These shows are great fun to revisit, and almost every episode provides, as a bonus treat, an unexpected familiar face as a guest star. Or, at least, a familiar voice, courtesy of Frasier’s phone-in radio show. And right now, it’s offered by Amazon at a ridiculously low price: under $60 for the entire set. – David Bianculli

 
 

This Day in TV History

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
TV WWorth Buying
 TOP TVWW SPECIAL DEAL$

Rectify: Season 1

Rectify returns for its third season on Sundance this month, and the series about a convict being released to his Georgia family after spending most of his adult life in prison has been worth following for its small town drama. Aden Young is featured as Daniel Holden, who is vindicated on new DNA evidence after 20 years on death row following the murder of his girlfriend. After long isolation, Daniel returns as a virtual blank slate to a much-changed modern world around him, and the case still isn’t completely solved. Written and directed by Deadwood actor Ray McKinnon, Rectify won a 2014 Peabody award. Season 1 is on sale for under $12 and Season 2 is under $20, both at Amazon. —Eric Gould