DAVID BIANCULLI

Founder / Editor

ERIC GOULD

Associate Editor

LINDA DONOVAN

Assistant Editor

Contributors

ALEX STRACHAN

MIKE HUGHES

GARY EDGERTON

ROGER CATLIN

KIM AKASS

GERALD JORDAN

TOM BRINKMOELLER

NOEL HOLSTON

 
 
Enter your email address:
 
 
 
 
SUNDAY
SEPTEMBER 22
2019

BIANCULLI’S BEST BETS

 

Fox, 8:00 p.m. ET

This year’s Emmy Awards will be hostless, but not prizeless. And while the final season for Game of Thrones may give that HBO series a sentimental edge in some quarters, other quarters were so disappointed by the finale that it may be a wide-open contest across the board.
 
  
 
 

PBS, 8:00 p.m. ET

Episode 5. The opening episode of this second week of Ken Burns’ Country Music documentary series, “The Sons and Daughters of America,” covers a very short period, from 1964-68. But when you remember what was happening during those pivotal, explosive years, that sharp focus makes sense. And when you’re looking at, say, women’s rights and civil rights, who better than to channel those respective concerns in the world of country music than, respectively, Loretta Lynn and Charley Pride? Check local listings.
 
  
 
 

AXS TV, 8:00 p.m. ET

This week, the guest is former Hollies and Crosby, Stills & Nash member Graham Nash. In the past, Nash has hosted his own radio and TV shows about music, so he’s very at ease talking about the subject. And, as a conversationalist as well as a musician, he plays well with others – including, in this case, Paul Shaffer, who gets Nash to explain the development of “Teach Your Children” and other classic songs.
 
  
 
 

Showtime, 8:00 p.m. ET

SEASON PREMIERE: Eight new episodes of this history-on-the-fly political nonfiction series appear on Showtime, beginning with tonight’s season premiere. Mark McKinnon, John Heilemann, and Alex Wagner return. And their attention, this week, is partly on the Democratic hopefuls for the 2020 presidential race, and partly on the latest scandal embroiling our current President. Just in time for the Circus premiere, this week it’s a big one, involving Ukraine, the U.S. intelligence agencies, and a concerned whistleblower. The Circus couldn’t write this sort of stuff – and since it’s a documentary, it doesn’t have to.
 
  
 
 

Showtime, 10:00 p.m. ET

Both Krystal and Cody managed to catch the eye and ears of the mercurial founder of FAM, using very different methods: Krystal made a scrapbook presentation, and Cody killed a pelican. And both methods eventually worked, setting the stage for one of TV’s oddest couples to rise significantly in the FAM social structure this week.
 
  
 
 
 
 
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...



Country Music
PBS
Check Local Listings 

The Deuce
HBO
Mondays
9 PM ET 

Good Talk with Anthony Jeselnik
Comedy Central
Fridays
11 PM ET 

The I-Land
Netflix
Streaming

Last Week Tonight
HBO
Sundays
11 PM ET 

Lodge 49
AMC
Mondays
10 PM ET

Mr. Mercedes
Audience Network
Tuesdays
10 PM ET 

On Becoming God in Central Florida
Showtime
Sundays
10 PM ET   

The Righteous Gemstones
HBO
Sundays
10 PM ET  

Unbelievable
Netflix
Streaming
 
 

VIDEO WORTH WATCHING

CAN YOU SAY “PERFECT CASTING,” BOYS AND GIRLS? –The first promo clip from the upcoming movie A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood has just been released, and it proves indisputably that this biopic of children’s TV host Fred Rogers has indeed found its ideal leading man. Tom Hanks portrays the soft-spoken, lovable host of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, and the illusion is accepted instantly and totally. Hanks already has portrayed Walt Disney, in the 2013 movie Saving Mr. Banks, and here he’s about to portray an even more beloved children’s TV icon. (And one, by the way, that Tom Hanks’ son, Colin, already has played, by portraying Fred Rogers on an installment of Comedy Central’s Drunk History.) Matthew Rhys from The Americans co-stars in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood as the magazine reporter who is unexpectedly charmed by Rogers’ honesty and inspirational manner, and he, too, seems wonderfully chosen. Speaking of choosing – I’m choosing an additional Video Worth Watching to add here. It’s of the real Fred Rogers, accepting his Lifetime Achievement Emmy Award in 1997. Prepare to be moved. – David Bianculli

 
 

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: Television Finales: From Howdy Doody to Girls, the new collection edited by Douglas Howard and TVWW’s David Bianculli, is now on sale. More than ever, series finales have become cultural touchstones that feed watercooler fodder and tweet storms. TV Finales brings together seventy chapters, each focusing on a separate show, including reliable milestones such as The Fugitive and M*A*S*H through cutting-edge favorites like Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Breaking Bad. Writers include today’s leading TV critics, along with many TVWW contributors. "The last word on TV endings." (Matt Zoller Seitz, New York Magazine)
 
 
Television today is better than ever, and David’s book, The Platinum Age of Television: From I Love Lucy to The Walking Dead, How TV Became Terrific explores it all and how we got here. (Now on sale for $12). David maps the evolution of the classic TV genres – the sitcom, the crime show, doctor dramas, the Western – and many others. "The Platinum Age is an effusive guidebook that plots the path from the 1950s’ Golden Age to today’s era... interviews with Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Norman Lear, Matt Groening, Larry David, and Amy Schumer are high points. Bianculli has written a highly readable history." –The Washington Post
 
 
 

This Day in TV History