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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WEDNESDAY
AUGUST 15
2018

BIANCULLI’S BEST BETS

 

NBC, 8:00 p.m. ET

Again, I mention this only for fans of this NBC competition show, or for those curious enough to check in once the chaff is being separated from the wheat in a vigorous way. There were 36 competitors left as this week begins, and last night a dozen of those performed again, hoping to advance to the next level. Tonight, seven of those 12 will receive reprieves from the judges – which means, in this one night of TV, five contestants will not. One of the 12 who performed last night is Courtney Hadwin (pictured), who’s expected to make the cut.

 
  
 
 

PBS, 8:00 p.m. ET

Tonight’s final installment of this three-part nature documentary miniseries about Australia is titled Return of the Wet, and focuses on that continent’s ruthlessly oppressive rainy season, which usually follows a long, dry, brutally hot spell. Yeah. Tell me about it. Try living in New Jersey in the summer of 2018. Check local listings.
 
  
 
 

TCM, 11:45 p.m. ET

In August, TCM salutes a different movie star each day, showing a generous sampling of that performer’s films all day and night. Today’s star in Peter Finch, whose salute begins at 6 a.m. ET with 1957’s The Shiralee, and continues with such Finch-featuring films (say that three times) as 1956’s A Town Like Alice (12:45 p.m. ET) and 1967’s Far from the Madding Crowd (5 p.m. ET). The most gleaming jewel, though, is 1976’s Network, starring Finch as unhinged TV anchor Howard Beale – a brilliant performance at the center of an equally brilliant movie. Network, co-starring William Holden and Faye Dunaway, is televised at 11:45 p.m. ET, and is well worth the wait. Paddy Chayefsky, America’s first breakout television writer (Marty, for starters), wrote the script, which, all these decades later, is astoundingly intelligent, and even more astoundingly prescient.

 
  
 
 
 
 
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...



Castle Rock
Hulu
Wednesdays
3 AM ET

The Great British Baking Show
PBS
Fridays
9 PM ET

The History of Comedy
CNN
Sundays
10 PM ET

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
HBO
Sundays
11 PM ET

Real Time with Bill Maher
HBO
Fridays
10 PM ET

Sharp Objects
HBO
Sundays
9 PM ET

The Sinner
USA
Wednesdays
10 PM ET

Somebody Feed Phil
Netflix
Streaming

Swedish Dicks
Pop
Thursdays
10 PM ET

Who Is America
Showtime
Sundays
10 PM ET
 
 

VIDEO WORTH WATCHING

Take On Manafort – The Late Show with Stephen Colbert kick’s it 80s-style with this look at what happens when courtroom illustrations from the Paul Manafort tax fraud trial come to life via the original sketch-romance from the “Take On Me” video by Norwegian synth-pop band, A-ha. This one may have a somewhat more unhappy ending. –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 book, The Platinum Age of Television: From I Love Lucy to The Walking Dead, How TV Became Terrific is available in paperback for under $13. Doubleday says: “Darwin had his theory of evolution, and Bianculli's has to do with quality television: what it is and how it got that way." The Washington Post adds, "The Platinum Age of Television 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, Bob Newhart, Matt Groening, Larry David, Amy Schumer are high points. Bianculli has written a highly readable history."
 
 
 

This Day in TV History

 
 
 
 
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