DAVID BIANCULLI

Founder / Editor

LINDA DONOVAN

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GABRIELA TAMARIZ

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ERIC GOULD

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TUESDAY
JULY 7
2015

BIANCULLI’S BEST BETS

 

ESPN, 8:00 a.m. ET

Yesterday, as promised, was an exciting day of tennis at Wimbledon. Serena Williams faced, and defeated gracefully, elder sister Venus. Roger Federer advanced to the quarterfinals with an impressive showing of skill, patience and nerve, as did Andy Murray. And defending champion Novak Djokovic (pictured), after losing the first two sets in tough tiebreakers to towering (6’8”), cannon-serving Kevin Anderson, evened the match by taking the next two sets, in a grueling duel that was stopped after four sets and just over three hours, because of fading light. Their final set will be played this morning, which ESPN will telecast live – along with all the women’s matches in this year’s quarterfinals. Three Americans are in the women’s quarterfinals: Serena Williams, CoCo Vendeweghe and Madison Keys. Along with the USA taking the World Cup in women’s soccer Sunday, it’s been a great week for American female athletes.
 
  
 
 

TCM, 4:30 p.m. ET

Today and tomorrow, TCM is saluting the centennial of the invention of Technicolor. The tribute begins at 6 a.m. ET Tuesday with a showing of the first feature-length color film, 1922’s The Toll of the Sea (before that, Technicolor was used sparingly, and mostly in shorts). Colorful examples of the pioneering color process are available all day and night today and Wednesday. Among the Day 1 highlights is this 1938 Michael Curtiz-direction action film, starring Errol Flynn as Sir Robin of Locksey – a.k.a. Robin Hood – and Olivia De Havilland as Maid Marian. Co-stars include Basil Rathbone, Claude Rains (who would work with Curtiz again, a few years later, on Casablanca), and, as the imposing Little John, Alan Hale – whose son, Alan Hale Jr., would end up playing the Skipper on Gilligan’s Island.

 
  
 
 

Comedy Central, 10:00 p.m. ET

SEASON FINALE: What a triumphant season for Amy Schumer – a Peabody award, a new movie about to open, and a series of shows, this year, that started boldly and brilliantly and never slowed down. Tonight’s season finale presents the usual number of titillatingly twisted sketches – including one in which Amy plays a witch accused, in Puritan times, of cursing the town’s menfolk… with what sounds an awful lot like a series of cases of STD.

 
  
 
 

NBC, 10:01 p.m. ET

SEASON PREMIERE: This friendly little game show, a spiritual throwback to the good-natured fun of Password and the like, begins Season 3 with host Jane Lynch presiding over a mix of oddball quizzes, in which regular contestants are paired with teams of boisterous celebrities. Tonight, that roster includes musician John Legend and wife and model Chrissy Teigen, and actors Zachary Quinto and Jesse Tyler Ferguson.

 
  
 
 

TCM, 11:30 p.m. ET

Michael Powell’s 1948 movie fable, about a ballerina (Moira Shearer) torn between love of her craft and of a young composer, and both possessor of and possessed by a pair of magical ballet slippers, may be the most sumptuous Technicolor film ever released. It’s the sort of film that has inspired generations to become dancers – or filmmakers.

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

VIDEO WORTH WATCHING

A Confused Slim Shady - Stephen Colbert seems to be warming up for his September Late Night premiere. He took over as guest host on the public-access cable show "Only in Monroe" in Michigan. The full segment is 41 minutes but the highlight is when he interviews native Michigander Marshall Mathers otherwise known as Eminem. The rapper seems confused through much of the interview, but by the end you feel that he's in on the joke. Colbert is in character here leaving us wondering what we can expect when he takes on the hosting duties for real on CBS. Still, it's another appetizer and a reminder how much we've missed him. – Monique Nazareth

 
 

TV WE'RE WATCHING

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


The Brink
HBO
Sundays
10:30 PM ET

Deustchland 83
Sundance
Wednesdays
11 PM ET

Hannibal
NBC
Thursdays
10 PM ET

HUMANS
AMC
Sundays
9 PM ET

Maron
IFC
Thursdays
10 PM ET

POV
PBS
Check Local Listings

Ray Donovan
Showtime
Sundays
9 PM ET 

Rectify
Sundance
Thursdays
9 PM ET

The Seventies
CNN
Thursdays
9 PM ET

True Detective
HBO
Sundays
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...

TV JUKEBOX

A new edition of Bianculli's favorite TV themes, coming soon!
 
 
 

From TV Worth Watching
TOP PICKS FOR YOUR HOME LIBRARY

The TVWW Seal of Approval is an honor we save for TV’s very best – our picks for a truly teleliterate home video library.
 
 

FRASIER: THE COMPLETE SERIES – Cheers already has been awarded the TVWW Seal of Approval, and Frasier becomes one of the few TV spinoff series deserving to make the list as well. Frasier, just collected in a compact edition presenting every episode from the show’s 11 seasons – that’s 257 episodes, folks – seems surprisingly fresh, given that it premiered in 1993, the season after Cheers ended, and called it quits in 2004. Kelsey Grammer’s character of Frasier was gold-plated comic brilliance by then, as was his relationship with icy ex-wife Lilith (beautifully played by Bebe Neuwirth). But on Frasier, Grammer got two more spectacularly gifted comic foils: David Hyde Pierce as fussy brother Niles, and John Mahoney as no-nonsense father Martin. These shows are great fun to revisit, and almost every episode provides, as a bonus treat, an unexpected familiar face as a guest star. Or, at least, a familiar voice, courtesy of Frasier’s phone-in radio show. And right now, it’s offered by Amazon at a ridiculously low price: under $60 for the entire set. – David Bianculli

 
 

This Day in TV History

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
TV WWorth Buying
 TOP TVWW SPECIAL DEAL$

Rectify: Season 1

Rectify returns for its third season on Sundance this month, and the series about a convict being released to his Georgia family after spending most of his adult life in prison has been worth following for its small town drama. Aden Young is featured as Daniel Holden, who is vindicated on new DNA evidence after 20 years on death row following the murder of his girlfriend. After long isolation, Daniel returns as a virtual blank slate to a much-changed modern world around him, and the case still isn’t completely solved. Written and directed by Deadwood actor Ray McKinnon, Rectify won a 2014 Peabody award. Season 1 is on sale for under $12 and Season 2 is under $20, both at Amazon. —Eric Gould