DAVID BIANCULLI

Founder / Editor

ERIC GOULD

Associate Editor

LINDA DONOVAN

Assistant Editor

KARLE DUNBAR

Social Media Manager

Contributors

ALEX STRACHAN

GERALD JORDAN

ROGER CATLIN

GARY EDGERTON

CANDACE KELLEY

TOM BRINKMOELLER

MONIQUE NAZARETH

DAVID SICILIA

GABRIELA TAMARIZ

NOEL HOLSTON

JONATHAN STORM

 
 
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MONDAY
FEBRUARY 19
2018

BIANCULLI’S BEST BETS

 

Various Networks, Check local listings

Today is the golden anniversary of the premiere of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood on public television. All manner of tributes are on the way, from film and book biographies and a PBS special to a U.S. Fred Rogers postage stamp (pictured), but even the PBS KIDS network is holding its televised week-long Fred Rogers salute to next week. Today, though, there are a few places you can go to honor one of the best children’s shows, and hosts, in TV history. One is to travel to Latrobe, PA, where St. Vincent College will be hosting a special 7 p.m. ET showing of that first, Feb. 19, 1968 Neighborhood episode. (I’ll be there as one of the introductory panelists, if you’re in the neighborhood.) Another is to listen to Fresh Air on your local public radio station today, because Terry Gross is scheduled to revisit a vintage interview with Fred Rogers – and I’m scheduled to provide a tribute there, too. Oh, and if you’re a member of Amazon Prime, you can watch many seasons of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, including that 50-year-old premiere episode, by streaming it here.
 
  
 
 

Various Networks, 1:30 a.m. ET

NBCSN is heavy into curling today, with delayed coverage in women’s curling – USA vs. Denmark – in the early early morning block (1:30-4:30 a.m. ET), and men’s curling in both the early block (4:30-7:10 a.m. ET) and early afternoon block (12:30-3:30 p.m. ET), covering the USA vs. Canada. Women’s curling also is shown by CNBC from 5-8 p.m. ET, with the USA vs. China match. But let’s face it: Unless you’re a curling nerd like I am, the biggest cable Olympics event today surely is in the prime-time 7-10:10 p.m. ET block on NBCSN, when live coverage is provided of the ice skating gold medal final in figure skating. But that’s available on NBC, in part, as well. And much of it is available live, too, on NBC's Olympics website.
 
  
 
 

NBC, 3:00 p.m. ET

Tonight in prime time, starting at 8 p.m. ET, NBC devotes part of its schedule to live coverage of the ice skating gold medal final in figure skating – but also juggles scheduled the halfpipe gold medal final in women’s freestyle skiing.

 
  
 
 

HBO, 8:00 p.m. ET

This documentary is only 32 minutes long. It also happens to be one of this year’s Oscar nominees for Best Documentary Short Subject. The bulk of the story comes from actual footage, recorded on police-car dashboard cameras, of the 2015 arrest in Austin, TX of a schoolteacher by an Austin police officer. The officer is a white male, the teacher an African-American female, and a seemingly routine traffic stop escalates into a charge of resisting arrest. “Why?” she asks. And so does this documentary…

 
  
 
 

PBS, 9:00 p.m. ET

The initials HBCU stand for Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and in this new documentary, filmmakers Stanley Nelson and Marco Williams trace the history and legacy of such institutions of learning. Check local listings. For a full review, see Gerald Jordan's Crossing Jordan.

 
  
 
 

TCM, 2:15 a.m. ET

TCM is saluting Best Supporting Actress winners in tonight’s ongoing “31 Days of Oscar” TV festival – and tonight, it saves the best for, well, very late. At 2:15 a.m. ET, TCM presents Peter Bogdanovich’s 1971 adaptation of Larry McMurtry’s haunting tale of small-town Texas life, starring Timothy Bottoms and Cybill Shepherd. Cloris Leachman, while appearing as a series regular on The Mary Tyler Moore Show as Phyllis, won a Supporting Actress Oscar as Ruth Popper, the coach’s lonely wife, in The Last Picture Show. She was only 45 when she won her Academy Award – but in the movie’s black-and-white starkness, playing a woman beaten down by both circumstances and environment, Leachman portrayed someone who looked much less vibrant.

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

TV WE'RE WATCHING

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



 The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
FX
Wednesdays
10 PM ET

Baskets
FX
Tuesdays
10 PM ET

Counterpart
Starz
Sundays
8 PM ET

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
CW
Fridays
8 PM ET

Full Frontal with Samantha Bee
IFC
Thursdays
10 PM ET

Homeland
Showtime
Sundays
9 PM ET

My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman
Netflix
Streaming

Portlandia
IFC
Thursdays
10 PM ET

Real Time with Bill Maher
HBO
Fridays
10 PM ET

Victoria on Masterpiece
PBS
Sundays
9 PM ET
Check Local Listings
 
 

VIDEO WORTH WATCHING

Love WILL Find You – For Valentines Day, here’s Liam Neeson auditioning for the role of Cupid in a bit from The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Of course, it’s in his usual tough-guy Taken character, and is ill-fitting, along with his love-sprite wardrobe. Neeson has played the clueless straight guy to Ricky Gervais before, so we’re thinking when the action roles stop coming, he’ll have a long run as Leslie Nielsen did in crime comedies like Police Squad and Naked Gun. –Eric Gould
 
 

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 available in paperback for under $13. Doubleday says: “Darwin had his theory of evolution, and David Bianculli has his. Bianculli's theory has to do with quality television: what it is and 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. Interviews with Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Norman Lear, Bob Newhart, Matt Groening, Larry David, Amy Schumer are high points... Bianculli has written a highly readable history." —The Washington Post 
 
 
 

This Day in TV History

 
 
 
 
TV WWorth Buying
TOP TVWW SPECIAL DEAL$$
Roseanne: The Complete Series

Roseanne is scheduled to return to ABC for nine episodes in March, 20 years after it went off the air. Most of the original cast is returning, include Roseanne Barr and her television spouse Dan, played by John Goodman, whose character will be revived (along with the show) even though he died in the prior series finale. Roseanne’s chiming chord with the working middle class was the series main draw, making it the most popular sitcom for a time. Producers are betting that, along with its reunion appeal (as with the recent reboot of Will & Grace) will make a success. On sale at Amazon for $25. –Eric Gould

 
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