DAVID BIANCULLI

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Goodbye, Conan -- Hello, Returning Cable Series and Other Good TV
January 25, 2010  | By David Bianculli
 

Conan O'Brien said farewell to his NBC show, and his audience, Friday with absolute class -- thanking NBC rather than trashing it, and sending a special message to young fans not to be cynical. So long as entertainers such as Conan still get to follow their bliss on TV, that'll be an easier message to embrace.

Meanwhile, TV marches on -- and on this particular Monday night, there's a LOT worth watching...

Fox's House, and especially this week's edition of 24, are worthy offerings by commercial broadcast TV, while PBS brings us an excellent American Experience installment on Wyatt Earp. Tune in (9 p.m. ET; check local listings), and I predict you'll learn a lot more about Earp, and not just about his most famous gunfight, than you knew before.

glenn-close-damages.jpg

And then there's cable, where the evening's returning shows include FX's sensational Damages (10 p.m. ET), starring Glenn Close, and Showtime's Secret Diary of a Call Girl (10 p.m. ET), starring Billie Piper.

[I originally mistyped that latter series title as Secret Dairy of a Call Girl. Whole other series entirely -- but I'd watch that, too.]

Both shows are starting season three, and starting them creatively and intriguingly. Damages introduces Martin Short, Lily Tomlin, Keith Carradine and Len Cariou in new recurring roles, and Secret Diary picks up its story with Hannah, a.k.a Belle, publishing her first, successful tell-all book. But in a last-second programming switch, Showtime is delaying season three of Secret Diary until next week, and instead presenting tonight a 30-minute special in which the TV version of Belle, Billie Piper, interviews her recently unmasked real-life counterpart, Brooke Magnanti, who's now a neuroscientist.

For more on all these topics, listen to my report on today's Fresh Air with Terry Gross. After 5 p.m. ET, you can hear it online by clicking HERE.

 

1 Comments

 

Katy said:

I heard you this afternoon on Fresh Air and couldn't believe that you didn't mention the USA returning series; White Collar and Psych (unless you were just talking about Monday shows). Actually Monday and Wednesday is pretty good for broadcast network (Big Bang, Castle, Chuck, 24, Modern Family, Glee (whenever it returns and LOST (one more week)the rest of the week stinks...and we go to USA, PBS and our DVR.

Please shines some light on USA cast of characters; too bad NBC treats them like a wayward cousin.

[I was focusing just on Monday... I'll get to the USA shows later. My favorite: Burn Notice. -- David B.]

Comment posted on January 25, 2010 5:40 PM
 
 
 
 
 
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