DAVID BIANCULLI

Founder / Editor

ERIC GOULD

Associate Editor

LINDA DONOVAN

Assistant Editor

KARLE DUNBAR

Social Media Manager

Contributors

ALEX STRACHAN

TOM BRINKMOELLER

GERALD JORDAN

MONIQUE NAZARETH

CANDACE KELLEY

GABRIELA TAMARIZ

DAVID SICILIA

NOEL HOLSTON

JONATHAN STORM

 
 
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MONDAY
AUGUST 21
2017

BIANCULLI’S BEST BETS

 

Science Channel, 12:00 p.m. ET

Today’s rare occurrence of a total solar eclipse, an event tracked today in a narrow swath across the entire continental United States, is so monumental – and, to most of us at TVWW, so universally cool – that it eclipses all other programming on TV today. At least on Bianculli’s Best Bets, which today provides an all-eclipse addition. Science Channel is the most prominent to go on cable, and will be providing live coverage, from coast to coast, as the celestial event works its way from Madras, OR to the east coast of South Carolina. Live TV coverage begins there at noon, with the first televised images of totality from the continental U.S. scheduled for 1:15 p.m. ET. And be on time, because these things are seldom late.

 
  
 
 

PBS, 9:00 p.m. ET

While Science Channel is televising the eclipse live all day, other TV operations are recording it for their own purposes, and not just for live streaming sites. On PBS, for example, the venerable science series Nova is presenting a special tonight that not only presents the best eclipse views from across the country, but also people’s reactions to them. For full previews of this TV event, on Nova and elsewhere, see Alec Strachan’s TV That Matters and David Hinckley’s All Along the Watchtower. And this time, Hinckley had to build a bigger watchtower… Check local listings.
 
  
 
 

Science Channel, 9:00 p.m. ET

And after following and televising the events visible in the U.S. path of the 2017 solar eclipse, and doing it live, Science Channel crashes on deadline to present its own prime-time special: The Great American Eclipse. And it’s scheduled to stress not only the best images from the clearest skies across the country, but also tastes of the many experiments being carried out during the eclipse itself. One important TVWW reminder: If you’re going outside to witness the eclipse yourself, rather than filtered safely through television, make sure to take proper precautions. This is an event too intense and dangerous to be watched directly with the naked eye – a warning we haven’t issued since the premiere of The Anna Nicole Show.

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

VIDEO WORTH WATCHING

Lewis & Griffin – Comedian Jerry Lewis passed away today, Sunday, August 20, at his home in Las Vegas. He was 91. Lewis, a brilliant slapstick writer and performer, was equally notorious for his difficult reputation. The Washington Post perhaps put it best, saying “Mr. Lewis could be candid and coy, insightful and insulting in the same sentence. He was tireless, demanding and insecure – in his own words ‘a neurotic, temperamental imbecile.’” Lewis’ influence was far and wide, including in this 2010 Family Guy tribute to his Count Basie “Blues in Hoss' Flat” bit from his 1961 comedy, The Errand Boy. A side-by-side comparison here shows Seth MacFarlane’s animators getting every loving detail of Lewis’ performance. —Eric Gould
 
 

TV WE'RE WATCHING

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


Comrade Detective
Amazon Prime Video
Streaming

Episodes
Showtime
Sundays
10 PM

Full Frontal with Samantha Bee
TBS
Wednesdays
10:30 PM

Game of Thrones
HBO
Sundays
9PM ET

The Guest Book
TBS
Thursdays
10:30 PM ET

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
HBO
Sundays
11 PM ET

Manhunt: Unabomber
Discovery
Tuesdays
9 PM ET

Mr. Mercedes
AT&T Audience Network
Wednesdays
8 PM ET

Ray Donovan
Showtime
Sundays
9 PM ET

Weekend Update Summer Edition Live!
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...
 
 
 

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 available on Amazon for $20. (Paperback will be available September 5th, here.)

Doubleday says: “Darwin had his theory of evolution, and David Bianculli has his. Bianculli's theory has to do with the concept of quality television: what it is and, crucially, 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. For instance, animation evolved from Rocky and His Friends to South Park; variety shows moved from The Ed Sullivan Show to Saturday Night Live; and family sitcoms grew from I Love Lucy to Modern Family. A high point is the author’s interviews with Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Norman Lear, Bob Newhart, Matt Groening, Larry David, Amy Schumer and many others...Bianculli has written a highly readable history." —The Washington Post

 
 

This Day in TV History

 
 
 
 
TV WWorth Buying
 TOP TVWW SPECIAL DEAL$
Ray Donovan: Season One

The Liev Schrieber series is now back on Showtime for its fifth season and one thing is certain – no matter how bad the jam is, Ray, a Hollywood fixer for stars and crooks alike, finds an inventive way out. Created by Southland writer Ann Biderman, Ray Donovan has the similar emotional stakes and gravitas of that series, all starting with the release from prison of Ray’s father Mickey, a Whitey Bulger doppelganer. Things come unglued from there and season one sets Ray’s house of cards in motion. On sale at Amazon for under $12. –Eric Gould