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

MONIQUE NAZARETH

TOM BRINKMOELLER

NOEL HOLSTON

 
 
2013
Jul
2
 
 
Yesterday, in the latest upset from this year’s early rounds of tennis at Wimbledon, Serena Williams – seeded No. 1 and heavily favored to win the tournament – was beaten in three wildly momentum-changing sets by Germany’s Sabine Lisicki, a No. 23 seed. But you can still watch a Williams sister fight valiantly on TV tonight: ESPN presents a new documentary about big sister Venus Williams, whose toughest tennis battle of 2005 may have taken place off the court. That’
 
 
 
  
 
 
2013
Jul
2
 
 
Like Downton Abbey? Of course you do. And that’s why you’ll also like this 2001 movie by Robert Altman, which, long before so many people went venturing down the Abbey road, Altman presented this sprawling, wickedly entertaining story about the guests and servants at a country house in England between the wars. Sound familiar? Well, the similarities are anything but coincidental. Altman’s co-author for this screenplay was Julian Fellowes, who would go on, before the decade was
 
 
 
  
 
 
2013
Jul
2
 
 
This new telemovie stars Gabrielle Union, co-star of NBC’s Life and one of the few black actresses to penetrate the Friends universe, as a TV news anchor on and off the job. It’s the telemovie pilot for a new BET series that already has been ordered, and Union says she’s excited by both its message and its often intimate, sometimes unflattering content.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2013
Jul
2
 
 
SEASON FINALE: Among the sketches in tonight’s season finale is one in which Amy agrees to a three-way, with her boyfriend and… their local pharmacist. And afterward, she’s not happy with her percentage of the proceedings.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2013
Jul
1
 
 
The sitcom Mama debuted on this day in 1949...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2013
Jul
1
 
 
SERIES PREMIERE: Actually, technically, this new TCM offering is a miniseries – in the truest sense of the word. Each element in this “series” is less than a half hour long, so the term mini truly applies. But these are classic Johnny Carson Tonight Show interviews with various celebrities, boiled down to just the conversations themselves – followed, in most cases, by a movie or two featuring that star. All that, and Conan O’Brien hosts these shorts, too – the
 
 
 
  
 
 
2013
Jul
1
 
 
This new HBO documentary begins with a captivating fact: That an accused prisoner’s right to counsel, to being represented by a public defender if if he or she cannot afford an attorney, came about only relatively recently, as the result of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling after a man represented himself in court for allegedly robbing $5 and some sodas from a pool hall in 1961. That defendant was named Clarence Earl Gideon, but this documentary isn’t about him. After that Gideon factoid i
 
 
 
  
 
 
2013
Jul
1
 
 
Last week’s premiere episode took off like a shot, becoming an instant summer hit – at least for one week. If the interest, and the ratings, hold, for tonight’s Episode 2, then the rules for future summer seasons may be rewritten yet again. So for all those who prefer scripted shows over reality series, root for Under the Dome. And watch, this week, as the characters under glass continue to respond in increasingly extreme ways. Dean Norris stars.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2013
Jul
1
 
 
SERIES PREMIERE: This isn’t a recommendation, just an observation. CBS and NBC both want to enliven their summers a little, and offer some original scripted programming to go along with their reruns and reality shows. CBS presents Stephen King’s Under the Dome, which looks like an instant hit. NBC, by contrast, tonight launches Siberia, a scripted series about contestants on a reality show. Sigh. It’s also virtually indistinguishable, in concept, from a “real” reali
 
 
 
  
 
 
2013
Jul
1
 
 
Here’s another series that’s working its way towards a finite conclusion. Last week, Claudia (Allison Scagliotti) was turned into a bronze statue, a reversal of which is the top priority of this new episode. (Being turned bronze, in Star Wars fashion, is the third-worst living-statue fate a hero can endure, after being turned gold or silver.) And after we finally get to the Season 4 finale, Warehouse 13 will go dormant for a bit, then return with a final, six-episode mini-season. And