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TUESDAY
FEBRUARY 9
2016

BIANCULLI’S BEST BETS

 

ABC, 8:30 p.m. ET

Perhaps coincidentally, on the heels of a Super Bowl, this week’s new episode features a plot in which Miss Piggy has a wardrobe malfunction. More notable, perhaps, and a lot easier to look forward to, is the week’s guest star: Joan Jett.

 
  
 
 

Fox, 8:00 p.m. ET

With Zooey Deschanel on maternity leave, and her lead character Jess still on “jury duty,” New Girl needs a new New Girl. And it has one, beginning tonight. Playing a friend of Cece’s who moves in temporarily is Megan Fox.

 
  
 
 

TCM, 8:00 p.m. ET

TCM’s prime-time schedule tonight presents two stunningly photographed and imaginatively framed and sculpted movies from the 1970s. First up: 1972’s Cabaret, Bob Fosse’s tour de force of choreography and film direction, which handed Liza Minnelli the role of a lifetime. Which she, in turn, devoured. Joel Grey, as the emcee, is fabulous as well – though on Broadway in two revivals, Alan Cumming has been spectacular enough to claim ownership of the role. No one’s really done that, before or since, with Minnelli’s interpretation of Sally Bowles.

 
  
 
 

ABC, 9:00 p.m. ET

This season’s episodes of Marvel’s Agent Carter, since this period spy show’s relocation from New York to California, have been sunnier and stranger, and not just because of the location. And tonight’s outing is potentially explosive – because it’s about the threat of an atomic explosion leveling California. To stop this threat, Agent Carter has to go undercover – this time as a shapely secretary.

 
  
 
 

PBS, 9:00 p.m. ET

Two headline-grabbing real-life crimes are examined tonight in prime time. One is this American Experience documentary, recalling the infamous 1924 case in which two University of Chicago students, Nathan Leopold Jr. and Richard Loeb, killed someone just for the thrill of committing the “perfect crime.” (Spoiler Alert: Had they succeeded, this documentary wouldn’t exist.) Check local listings. For the full story, see David Hinckley's All Along the Watchtower. 

 
  
 
 

FX, 10:00 p.m. ET

Episode 2. …And this is the other true-crime case, Episode 2 of a 10-part dramatization of the O.J. Simpson trial. This episode sets out to recreate the “low-speed chase” that captivated America, captured by local TV stations’ traffic helicopters as Simpson was driven by a friend across the freeway at very low speeds, a gaggle of police cars right, but respectably, behind. This recreation does reflect the absurdity of it all, particularly with some details that were withheld from the public at the time – like the smiley face with which the temporary fugitive signed his apparent suicide note.

 
  
 
 

TCM, 10:15 p.m. ET

One of Stanley Kubrick’s many masterpieces, this 1975 film is positively gorgeous. Ryan O’Neal gives a performance that’s so restrained, yet so appropriate, and no period film has ever used natural lighting to such perfect effect.

 
  
 
 
 
 
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758 Comments
 
 
Bob516
David, you asked, "And is there any way this type of TV interaction, even at this young age, can be anything but good?"

From the American Academy of Pediatrics-
"Pediatricians should urge parents to avoid television viewing for children under the age of 2 years. Although certain television programs may be promoted to this age group, research on early brain development shows that babies and toddlers have a critical need for direct interactions with parents and other significant caregivers (eg, child care providers) for healthy brain growth and the development of appropriate social, emotional, and cognitive skills. Therefore, exposing such young children to television programs should be discouraged."

BTW, your granddaughter is incredibly cute, and her cry of joy would melt even the hardest of hearts.
Feb 9, 2016   |  Reply
 
Watching TV doesn't mean their can't also be direct interactions with parents and other significant caregivers. I wonder why the AAOP feels the need to say otherwise.
Feb 10, 2016
 
 
 
Nancy
Have no interest in watching the O.J. Simpson story. Did it really need to be told? Feel sadness for the deaths of Ron and Nicole, their families and the Simpson children.
Feb 9, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
jan
Loved the Bob & Ray clip. I had the good fortune to see them years ago at a college interim on humor. I had never heard of them, but they were really funny, and I've been a fan ever since. (That was one great interim, BTW: we had several funny movies including "Bedazzled” with Peter Cook and Dudley Moore and “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” with Danny Kaye; and we also had terrific speakers like Kurt Vonnegut, Richard Armour, and Bob & Ray. It was wonderful.) Thanks for posting the segment.
Feb 5, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
Mac
Thanks for the Bob & Ray moment,a favorite. If you don't get that bit,you don't get it. A reason,like Fresh Air,This American Life and others,for a RadioWorthListening.com as,even though they did appear in places where you could see them,one only needed a good pair of well tuned ears and a different way at looking at the world to enjoy. Another personal favorite-Chocolate Wobblies-the ad for a warehouse of Easter candy that was stored a little too close to the ceiling lights. Rocks fans are still mourning the loss of David Bowie. The true end of Bob & Ray hits me as hard. But fear not-I'll hang by my thumbs and write when I get work.
And don't throw things into the Grand Canyon. If you do it will stop being so
Grand.
Fitting that Bob passed on Ground Hog Day,and not because of Chris Elliott's sublime part in that movie. It's Ground Hog meat in discussion,folks. Look and listen. And laugh.
Feb 5, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
Michele
I'm enjoying the zom-com iZombie and I'm glad it's returning finally. However, the main character's name is not Ivy, it's Olivia Moore. As in 'Liv' Moore. Get it?
Feb 2, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
Janet Masters
Trump on Trump funny.
Jan 31, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
Mac
Absent-Minded Professor is definitely a product of its time,but many a boomer,including myself,sure loved it! Our local second-run theatre had a long line of kids, literally around a steep incline block,waiting, each kid holding a quarter for admission and a nickel for a box of root beer barrel candy. Supporting cast of adults if fine,too. TCM shows the first MacMurray Disney kid film,The Shaggy Dog,at 10PM. This one I saw at least twice on first release. This one features Annette & the recently deceased Kevin "Moochie" Cocoran,where the kids carry the story. These first few Disny live action,low budget comedies were pretty good with Bill Walsh producing after toiling successfully on Davy Crockett & the Mickey Mouse Club for TV.
Jan 27, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
Angela
I believe I finally found a YouTube video TVWW worthy. Hope you agree! https://youtu.be/qRv7G7WpOoU
Jan 24, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
Sean Dougherty
Ant Man actually came out after Age of Ultron, so it isn't "the latest" Marvel film.
Jan 22, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
Bob516
"disinterested Penelope (Sabina Sciubba), who marries him only to get her greed card." Greed card? Pun intended?
Jan 21, 2016   |  Reply
 
EG
Right you are, Bob. Green card is correct, although "greed card" read pretty good, too. TVWW has revised. --EG
Jan 21, 2016
 
 
 
Dave
Disappointed that there was no mention of The Godfather marathon today on HBO. Saw it mentioned in a story on Yahoo, but it was already almost an hour in. Will it be re-broadast?
Jan 18, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
Angela
I think I had almost as much fun watching Adele's Karaoke, as they had making the video. Thanks for the heads up!
Jan 18, 2016   |  Reply
 
EG
Her reaction to James' first harmony is so unscripted, so genuine. Gold. --EG
Jan 19, 2016
 
 
 
jim
According to the on line TV Guide listings tonight's episode of The Good Wife is scheduled to be broadcast at 10 PM on the east coast and, as usual, it could be later than that if the game goes long.
Jan 17, 2016   |  Reply
 
Angela
Why do I keep forgetting The Good Wife is always broadcast much later than it's supposed to be aired. I now have 3, 1/2 hour show recordings with 1/2 hour of whatever game was on before it I guess. I'm surprised anyone still watches The Good Wife considering....Ugh!
Jan 18, 2016
 
 
 
jan
I noticed you mentioned the DVD for "When Things Were Rotten." Do you think there's any chance that they will put out a DVD for Seasons 1 and 2 of "Galavant"? I would buy that.
Jan 17, 2016   |  Reply
 
EG
Hello, Jan: "Galavant" Season 1 is available now at Amazon Video. Haven't seen a DVD release date yet. With the show's success, DVDs and extras will likely be coming. -EG
Jan 19, 2016
 
 
 
Ryan
This website is now my home page whenever i open my browser!!!
Thanks David Bianculli for keeping me informed : )
Jan 16, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
Marie
Wow! Just happened on to this website after reading David Bianculli years ago in the Akron Beacon Journal and more recently hearing him on Terry Gross' show. Love this website and I WILL be back.
Jan 15, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
Ken
Our listings for Showtime does not have The Imitation Game on at 9PM
Jan 15, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
Mark
Psycho and The Birds tonight on BBC America? In my viewing area it's Batman for four hours. WTF?
Jan 15, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
Ken
No mention of the Republican debate tonite on FBN? Should be very entertaining
Jan 14, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
jim
I certainly hope you are mistaken when you describe "Gone With The Wind" as being shown in "the full wide-screen ratio" GWTW was released in 1939 and should properly be shown in the old academy standard aspect ratio of approx. 4:3. Although it has been modified in the past for wide screen that is not the way it was filmed and is not the way it should be seen.
Jan 14, 2016   |  Reply
 
Casey
IMhumpleO, it should be seen where details and soundtrack are complete and as crisp as possible. I'm sure the producer and director would love best the versions that accomplish this.
Jan 15, 2016
 
 
 
 
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David Bianculli

Founder / Editor

Behind David in the picture is the first TV owned by his father, Virgil Bianculli, a 1946 Raytheon. (The TV, not his father. His father was a 1923 Italian.) David Bianculli has been a TV critic since 1975, including a 14-year stint at the New York Daily News, and sees no reason to stop now. Currently, he's TV critic for NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross, and is an occasional substitute host for that show. He also teaches TV and film history at New Jersey's Rowan University, and his most recent book, 2009's Dangerously Funny: The Uncensored Story of 'The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, has recently been purchased for film rights.  He's currently at work on another.

 
 
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