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FRIDAY
JULY 1
2016

BIANCULLI’S BEST BETS

 

HBO, 8:45 p.m. ET

SEASON FINALE: More viewers watched last Sundays season finale of Game of Thrones than had tuned to any episode in the show’s history, so the popularity of this game of warcraft chess has far from peaked. But if you missed it, or would like to see it again, HBO is repeating it in its entirety with this same-week rerun. You have to wonder, given the increasing acceptance of Video on Demand and HBO Go, how much longer this network, or any other, will be able to continue pulling the same-week rerun trick.

 
  
 
 

PBS, 9:00 p.m. ET

SEASON PREMIERE: Some shows imported from the U.K. are fascinating, and hypnotic, largely because they proceed at their own pace, with their own rules, and with their proudly idiosyncratic interests and obsessions. That was the case, for many decades, with One Man and His Dog, and it’s the case here, with many men and women, and judges, and their cakes and pies. Check local listings.

 
  
 
 

TCM, 9:15 p.m. ET

It’s Olivia de Havilland night on TCM, and that means another chance to see, in all its widescreen glory, 1939’s classic Civil War drama, Gone with the Wind. She played Melanie Hamilton, not Scarlett O’Hara, but that’s a good enough excuse to run it again.

 
  
 
 

HBO, 10:00 p.m. ET

What a political week… and, once again, what a show to look forward to, to help put it all into perspective. Tonight’s scheduled guests include comedian Jim Gaffigan, though I’m not sure he’s the one to shed the most light this week.

 
  
 
 
 
 
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838 Comments
 
 
Frank Dracman
Re Game of Thrones and the comment about same week reruns:that is, IMHO, absolutely ludicrous! Do you ever watch premium cable? EVERY network runs its "primetime" programs multiple times during the following week. Just so you know, HBO repeated the GoT final a total of six times on HBO alone from Sunday night to Thursday, and in addition to the 8:45 cablecast tonight, it is scheduled to run at 10 pm Saturday night. It also ran once on HBO2 and twice on HBO Signature AND HBO is rerunning every episode from season six Sunday, July 3rd, starting at 11am EDT on HBO2, followed by a new 30-minute special, "GoT:18 Hours, a behind the scenes look at the filming of a particularly challenging season six episode. This is in addition to any and all of the On Demand options that are also available.
Jul 1, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
jim
I made this comment the last time you recommended "Gone With The Wind" and it seems I need to make it again. GWTW is NOT a wide screen film. It was filmed in the Academy Ratio which is closer to the shape and size of old square tv sets. To be viewed properly, as filmed, on a widescreen tv there should be black bars on the left and right hand sides of the picture.
Why is this important? Because this is how GWTW was filmed and intended by it's creative artists to be seen. When you stretch it out for "widescreen" it destroys the integrity of the original film, distorting the work of those artists who made a great film.
Jul 1, 2016   |  Reply
 
Keith Robin
Although I agree with you Jim, GWTW was released as a wide screen stereo roadshow attraction in 1969. It was done by MGM and I don't think any of the principals, producer, director(s), or production designer were alive. Only the cinematographers Ernest Haller and Lee Garnes were still living in 1969. I know the film was 70mm stereo, because I drove from Topeka, KS to Kansas City, MO just to see it. I don't remember whether TCM runs it in Academy ratio or widescreen, but the point is, the widescreen version does exist.
Jul 1, 2016
 
 
 
Mac
Further into the Disney Vault 6/28/16,Turner spooled Waking Sleeping Beauty,a documentary about Disney's Renaissance in animation,post Black Cauldron. Though a Disney production,it reveals more than a few warts in telling the story of how Roy E. Disney brought in Frank Wells,Michael Eisner and Eisner's hiring of Jeffrey Katzenberg to revitalize Disney,including a string of animation hits which included The Little Mermaid,Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King,which rank amongst the jewels of Walt's crown of the King of Animated Features.
In between-great Disney 'toons,including those Mickey Mouse greats mentioned before WSB and Silly Symphonies after. BTW, the soundtracks to all 75 Silly Symphonies were recently released as a vinyl-only boxset with fantastic artwork for each of the eight double LP covers .
Jun 29, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
Keith Robin
To take it a step further, I watched last night's episode and it was a rerun of the first episode! It appears to me, CBS didn't want to go up against the NBA Finals with a new episode of a "promising" new series. It also indicates how unreliable program guides on the various tv platforms have become.
Jun 20, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
Mark
BrainDead: Looking at the schedule on the CBS web site at http://www.cbs.com/schedule/?t=8 it sure looks like tonight's BrainDead is a rerun of last Monday's episode (The Insanity Principle ...), and Episode 2 (Playing Politics ...) will be airing tomorrow night 9:59-11pm ET/PT. (Hover the mouse over the show title to see the expanded description, and it is there where one sees air time is really 9:59-11pm, not just 10-11pm).
Jun 19, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
Martha
Mr Darcy "spongeworthy?" Oh, no, you dd not!
Jun 18, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
Mary Bolduc McKeown
Job news site says CBS in Dallas looking for a part time entertainment and media news writer, if your staff knows people who might be interested. Thanks.
Jun 17, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
Grey
Jerry Seinfeld on The Cooking Channel? Really??
Jun 16, 2016   |  Reply
 
Talbert
Best guess is that this is a "cereal-ized" program.
Jun 16, 2016
 
 
 
Neil
Apropos of today's Best Bet on 'To Tell The Truth,' the Buzzr channel, which airs on a digital subchannel in many markets, reruns episodes of the original TTTT, as well as 'I've Got A Secret' and 'What's My Line.' I especially enjoy WML, where the panelists have to guess the weird occupations of everyday people, as well as a celebrity guest while being blindfolded. The sets are embarrassingly rudimentary and the video comes from old kinescopes, but the panelists build on each others questioning to zero in on the correct occupation. For its time, it was a surprisingly smart game show.

Question for the dean of teleliteracy: Was WML ever implicated in the quiz show scandals? Because sometimes the leaps of logic to guess the right answer seem to defy credulity.
Jun 14, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
Susan
Pretty sure that Vincente Minelli wasn't Judy Garland's father, but rather her then future husband.
Jun 11, 2016   |  Reply
 
Neil
I was about to write the same comment. Minnelli was Liza Minnelli's father.
Jun 11, 2016
 
 
 
Neil
Regarding Sunset Boulevard and Ace In The Hole, I do my TV watching either over the air (OTA) or via streaming, having cut the cord a few years back. That means I don't get TCM, but I do get digital subchannels like Movies, GetTV and The Works, which predominantly run older films. And both "Sunset" and "Ace" have aired on one of these channels in recent months, albeit with lots of commercials aimed at seniors (i.e., drugs, walkers, scooters, law firms, etc.). If you can tolerate the spot load, some of these films do get alternate ways of distribution, assuming you can find the x.2 and x.3 type channels on your TV.
Jun 10, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
Frank Dracman
Hey, Sean, are you mental? Last time I checked, 1950 came before 1951. The way you expressed it, 1949 came AFTER 1950. And according to iMDB, the folks at TVWW are correct.
Jun 10, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
Sean Dougherty
The Dragnet TV showed debuted in 1951 - after Sunset Boulevard, so if his role in 1950's SB was "just before" he started the role of Joe Friday, it was on the radio show, which debuted in June 1949, not the later TV version.
Jun 10, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
Casey
Where are picks for Tuesday?
Jun 7, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
Kathleen Weber
where are picks for Monday?
Jun 6, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
Mac
Many theaters will be showing the 1971 Willy Wonka on June 26 & 29 via Fathom Events. I always found this movie to be deeply disturbing,then my first born told me,after reading much of Roald Dahl's kiddie material,that was the point.:"Mom & Dad aren't watching. Let me tell you about this..."
Also,later this summer,Dahl's BFG comes to theaters directed by Steven Spielberg from a screenplay by Melissa Mathison(both behind E.T.)
And what's up with Choclae?Sounds like a new pretend sweet from Nestle,who own the real Willy Wonka trademark for some truly disturbing candy.
Jun 3, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
Keith Robin
David and staff, having seen the first episode of "Outcast", I want to commend you for your listing and comments. I think it is one of the best you have ever posted because you tell your readers to decide for themselves based upon their own viewing choices. Many time critics will dismiss a quality show based solely upon their personal feelings about a genre. I agree that if you are a fan of "exorcism" drama, as am I, you'll probably enjoy this series. I was attracted to it mainly because Philip Glenister is one of the lead actors. I always enjoy whatever he's in.
Jun 3, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
Julie
Casey says "EAT IT"

ALSO "the amount of entitlement on display here by certain (always male) posters is staggering. What IS it, guys? WHAT IS WRONG?"

What is up with that?
Control your anger, don't make it look like all of us girls are angry at men.
May 31, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
Casey
Mark, et al: Here's my canned response to this kind of complaint. The Best Bets come from a mind that has no allegiance to any particular taste, except for damn good, worth a look, weird and/or rare, or godawful. (Godawful saves me the most time. It's my favorite.) Every BB can fit into one of these. They're ALWAYS right on. If your taste is more particular than any of these, you will be disappointed time and again because, think about it now, there is NO WAY Mr. Bianculli can mention everything appearing on a given day that would suit your preferences and still serve the rest of us. The only entity that can do that is a basic TV guide. BUT, we have the internet now, and you can probably find a site that has chosen to limit its gaze to those programs that you might find of interest. So here's the canned part: Your must-see TV may or may not be MY must-see TV. BB does not need to fix itself. YOU need to eat what's put in front of you. It's DINNER. It's nourishing. EAT IT.
May 31, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
Mark Miller
How do you not list "The Dresser" among today's Best Bets? An adaptation of a critically acclaimed play and starring Sir Anthony Hopkins and Sir Ian McKellen, on Starz.
May 30, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
 
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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.