DAVID BIANCULLI

Founder / Editor

LINDA DONOVAN

Assistant Editor

GABRIELA TAMARIZ

Social Media Manager

ERIC GOULD

Associate Editor

Contributors

NOEL HOLSTON

GERALD JORDAN

MONIQUE NAZARETH

JONATHAN STORM

DONNA J. PLESH

DAVID SICILIA

 
 
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TUESDAY
MAY 5
2015

BIANCULLI’S BEST BETS

 

NBC, 9:00 p.m. ET

LIVE TELECAST: Employing the same gimmick used a couple of times by 30 Rock, this NBC sitcom presents a live episode – one for each coast, performed three hours apart. And it’s an expanded episode, too, a full one hour long. I note this because it’s unusual, not because it’s recommended. Because live or no, Undateable remains pretty much Unwatchable.

 
  
 
 

ABC, 9:00 p.m. ET

As we near the season finale, the characters on this show are splitting more and more into separate camps – and Skye, once safely ensconced with the remnants of S.H.I.E.L.D., is getting closer each week to identifying with the Inhumans – whose members include a teleporting guy with no eyes and a woman who brings new meaning to the fashion statement of spiked hair.

 
  
 
 

Fox, 9:00 p.m. ET

SEASON FINALE: Say goodbye to Damon Wayans, Jr. – for the second time. The son of the popular In Living Color co-star was part of the original New Girl pilot in 2011, but had to bow out when the other series on which he co-starred, ABC’s Happy Endings, was renewed unexpectedly. (And undeservedly.) He returned to New Girl, reprising his role of Coach, in 2013, but leaves again tonight, for good, as Coach prepares for a move to New York City.

 
  
 
 

Comedy Central, 10:30 p.m. ET

Reginald Rose wrote Twelve Angry Men as an original teleplay for the CBS anthology series Studio One, where it was performed live in 1954. The next year, it was rewritten as a stage play, then, in 1957, as a movie. In the Sixties, The Dick Van Dyke Show devoted an episode to an affectionate full-length parody of it, with Van Dyke’s Rob Petrie as the only person on a jury persuaded that an attractive defendant was innocent. And now, half a century later, Amy Schumer devotes an entire episode of her comedy series to another black-and-white full-length Twelve Angry Men parody. This time it has a dozen men arguing about whether Amy is “hot enough” for TV, and the vociferous “jurors” include, among others, Jeff Goldblum, Paul Giamatti, and, from Mad Men, Vincent Kartheiser.

 
  
 
 

Showtime, 11:00 p.m. ET

SEASON PREMIERE: Why Showtime holds this David Steinberg interview series until the 11 p.m. ET hour confounds me. It ought to be shown earlier, and celebrated more often. Tonight’s Season 4 premiere shows why: The guests this week, talking about their comedy influences, achievements and lessons learned, are Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.

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

VIDEO WORTH WATCHING

ANOTHER ONE LEAVES 'THE DAILY SHOW' NEST – As Jon Stewart himself said, The Daily Show has been "down this road a few times this year. Each time it's not easy." He was talking about another departure from the show; this time "Senior Senior Correspondent," Samantha Bee, whose last day was April 30. What followed was a montage of some of the crazier pieces she's done followed by clips of the more pointed pieces that, as Stewart said, were "closest to her heart.” It was a fantastic way to showcase her amazing work over the last twelve years, but Bee herself was too choked up to say anything after the wonderful tribute. She's leaving Comedy Central to work on two projects for TBS. One is a show she'll host and executive produce with her husband, former Daily Show correspondent Jason Jones. The talented Canadian couple is also developing a scripted series for the network. All the tearful goodbyes on The Daily Show are leading up to Stewart's own farewell on August 6. So keep that box of tissues handy.  – Monique Nazareth

 
 

TV WE'RE WATCHING

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


American Crime
ABC
Thursdays
10 PM ET

Big Time in Hollywood, FL
Comedy Central
Wednesdays
10:30 PM ET

The Good Wife
CBS
Sundays
9 PM ET

The Graham Norton Show
BBC America
Saturdays
11 PM ET

Louie
FX
Thursdays
10:30 PM ET

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
HBO
Sundays
11 PM ET

Mad Men
AMC
Sundays
10 PM ET

Nurse Jackie
Showtime
Sundays
9 PM ET

Parts Unknown
CNN
Sundays
9 PM ET

VEEP
HBO
Sundays
10:30 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.
 
 

THE WONDER YEARS: THE COMPLETE SERIES SET – The Wonder Years ran for six seasons, from 1988 to 1993, and featured an adult narrator looking back on childhood with both nostalgic affection and a wizened perspective. It wasn’t a new idea for a sitcom – one of TV’s very first, Mama, pulled the same trick in 1949. But in The Wonder Years, which had narrator Daniel Stern portraying the adult Kevin Arnold looking back on his own junior high and high school years in the Sixties and Seventies, series creators Carol Black and Neal Marlens gave us one of TV’s all-time best comedies. Fred Savage stars as young Kevin, with Danica McKellar and Josh Saviano as unforgettable childhood friends Winnie and Paul, respectively. This complete set, which looked back at a previous generation, took another full generation to arrive on DVD, but it’s well worth the wait. – David Bianculli

 
 
Bob  Dylan 300x250 Mono Box

This Day in TV History

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 TV WWorth Buying
 TOP TVWW SPECIAL DEAL$

Bates Motel: Season One (DVD + UltraViolet) 

FX’s Fargo recently resurrected a Hollywood classic and built a new series around the original’s mise-en-scène. Same thing for Bates Motel (now in its third season on A&E), with a backstory which envisions budding psychopath Norman Bates (Freddie Highmore) and his equally unbalanced Mommy (Vera Farmiga) as they establish their infamous roadside inn. There has been plenty of territory for Bates Motel to explore Norman’s slow descent before delivering his well-known room service to unwitting guests. On sale at Amazon, $17.Eric Gould