DAVID BIANCULLI

Founder / Editor

ERIC GOULD

Associate Editor

LINDA DONOVAN

Assistant Editor

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MONDAY
JULY 28
2014

BIANCULLI’S BEST BETS

 

TCM, 6:00 a.m. ET

TCM clears its previous film schedule today to present a dozen movies featuring the late James Garner. The tribute begins early, at 6 a.m. ET, with 1956’s Toward the Unknown, one of the Wartner Bros. studio movies he made as a supporting player before breaking out as a star, for the studio’s newly formed TV division, in the classic Western Maverick. Shoot-Out at Medicine Bend, made in 1957, follows at 8 a.m. ET, and the first real Garner starring vehicle of the day begins at 9:30 a.m. ET, with him driving a vehicle in 1966’s Grand Prix (pictured). Among the rest of the day’s Garner films are these especially worthy examples: 1966’s Mister Buddwing, co-starring Jean Simmons, Suzanne Pleshette and a pre-Graduate Katharine Ross, at 6:15 p.m. ET; 1964’s The Americanization of Emily, co-starring Julie Andrews, at 10 p.m. ET; and his version of Marlowe, from 1969, at 4:30 a.m. ET.

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

VIDEO WORTH WATCHING

Kristen Bell Takes on Mary Poppins -- and Minimum Wage - Here's a new Funny or Die video that serves two purposes. One is political, in that it has Kristen Bell, as the magical singing governess personified by Julie Andrews in Disney's Mary Poppins, quitting her job because she refuses to work for the current federal minimum wage. The other purpose is to remind us that, though Bell reportedly was offered but turned down (because of scheduling conflicts with her Showtime House of Lies demands) the title role of Peter Pan in NBC's upcoming live adaptation, she belongs in a musical. And not just Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical, either -- though she was great in that, too. -- David Bianculli 


 
 

TV WE'RE WATCHING

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


The Divide
WeTV
Wednesdays
9 PM ET

Drunk History
Comedy Central
Tuesdays
10 PM ET

The Leftovers
HBO
Sundays
10 PM ET

NY Med
ABC
Thursdays
10 PM ET

POV
PBS
Mondays
10 PM ET
Check Local Listings

Ray Donovan
Showtime
Sundays
9 PM ET

Real Time with Bill Maher
HBO
Fridays
10 PM ET

Rectify
Sundance
Thursdays
9 PM ET

The Strain
FX
Sundays
10 PM ET

Welcome to Sweden
NBC
Thursdays
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.
 
 

BARBARIANS AT THE GATE – Partly in honor of the passing of James Garner, but also because this 1993 HBO movie fully deserves a Seal of Approval, here it is: a boldly conceptualized, brilliantly realized black comedy about a subject as complex as it would appear to be humorless: the true-life behind-the-scenes story of a leveraged buyout corporate takeover of a major tobacco company. Larry Gelbart wrote the teleplay, based on the nonfiction book by Bryan Burrough and John Helyar, that achieved this triumph, and Garner, starring as plain-spoken tobacco executive F. Ross Johnson, absolutely nails it. One of the best, and smartest, and funniest, telemovies ever made, by HBO or anyone else. Co-stars include Jonathan Pryce, Peter Riegert and Joanna Cassidy. Glenn Jordan directs. –David Bianculli

 
 

This Day in TV History

1952: NBC Introduces 'Up to Paar'
By Christy Slewinski
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 TV WWorth Buying
 TOP TVWW SPECIAL DEAL$

'Shameless’: Original UK Series, Seasons 1&2

Like The Office, Shameless first appeared in the UK before arriving in the US, illustrating yet again that some of our best worst-behaving characters like William H. Macy’s Frank Gallagher come from across the pond. (1970s working class bigot Archie Bunker from All in the Family was based on Alf Garnett of the UK’s Till Death Us Do Part). In this case, the UK Shameless began the story of a deadbeat father of six spending his days drunk and out of work before it arrived on Showtime. Only the British brand of humor can look for the comic in grinding poverty and child neglect – and find it. The original first two seasons are on sale here for $10. –Eric Gould