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SATURDAY
NOVEMBER 24
2012

BIANCULLI’S BEST BETS

 

HBO, 7:45 p.m. ET

This film, a pet project of George Lucas’, finally came to the screen in 2012, directed by Anthony Hemingway, who also has directed some recent episodes of HBO’s Treme. It’s a dramatization of the WWII aerial combat unit known now as the Tuskegee airmen, a group of African-Americans who belatedly, but bravely, were sent into combat in 1944. Stars include Nate Parker, Terrence Howard, Bryan Cranston and Cuba Gooding, Jr.
 
  
 
 

CBS, 8:00 p.m. ET

This new CBS series from the fall 2012 crop was cut down so instantly and emphatically, only two episodes were televised before CBS pulled it from the schedule: the pilot, and one other. But this is Thanksgiving weekend, when network TV presumes no one is watching or caring very much about what’s on the tube (all that family around and such), so why not broadcast a never-before-seen third episode of Made in Jersey, starring Janet Montgomery as Jersey girl attorney Martina? And, in the same spirit of post-turkey ennui, or saluting a different sort of turkey altogether, why not highlight it?
 
  
 
 

Encore, 8:00 p.m. ET

This 2003 movie, the culminating installment in Peter Jackson’s directorial exploration of the J.R.R. Tolkien trilogy, won Best Picture and an additional 10 Oscars – and the story isn’t over yet. Or, rather, it’s only just begun: Movies based on its prequel, The Hobbit, are just around the corner. And, no doubt, they’ll prove to be no less Hobbit-forming.
 
  
 
 

TCM, 8:00 p.m. ET

Even in black and white, you can tell, in this 1938 Oscar-winning role for Bette Davis, that the party dress she’s wearing in antebellum New Orleans is scandalously red. Okay, so the plot and dialogue help – but still.
 
  
 
 

TCM, 10:00 p.m. ET

There’s a lot more to this 1959 biblical epic than its famous chariot race – but oh my, there’s a reason why that chariot race, in this version, is so famous, and so iconic. And if you have a wide-screen, high-definition TV, you can see why, in a big way. A big way, and a wide way, too – the image you see here is only half the picture.
 
  
 
 
 
 
Read and add comments HERE for today's Best Bets!
 
 
 
 
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818 Comments
 
 
Casey Chapple
This is the age of DVRs that can be set remotely. Please upgrade your equipment.
OR
Please find another site that runs more according to your requirements. There are many, now that the internet has realized we are no longer embarrassed to admit we adore TV.
AND
Leave us, who have gratitude for all the things this site offers us for FREE, alone.
ALSO,
the amount of entitlement on display here by certain (always male) posters is staggering. What IS it, guys? WHAT IS WRONG?
May 28, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
Dan
10:17 am Eastern Time and no Friday article. This is the age of DVRs and some of us like to set record in the morning. Please set the release time for "best bets" much earlier. I know it can be done because twice in the last ten days it was there early in the morning.
May 27, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
Mac
5/23/16-A night of OK premieres and finales. Meanwhile,TCM celebrated films with TV roots that won Peabody Awards:
Green Eyes-a 1977 story about a vet returning from Vietnam.
Hoop Dreams,the 1994 documentary about two Chicago kids taking different paths to,hopefully, achieve pro basketball success,told over a five year filming process. If it looks like a PBS doc,that was intentional.
Promise,starring James Garner and James Woods. This delicate story was originally made to sell last-minute Christmas cards for Hallmark.
George Wallace,the 1997 made-fro-cable historical drams by noted director John Frankenheimer. He started work in TV during the first Golden Age(including Rod Serling's The Comedian) and,as he branched out to feature films,tackled difficult subjects,including the original Manchurian Candidate. TCM showed both parts with no interruption.
So, TV & feature film mixing it up-a truly great night for TCM and viewers.
May 24, 2016   |  Reply
 
Angela
Thanks for the detailed information and recommendations. Green Eyes is a film I'd like to see. And Hoop Dreams was great! I am unfamiliar with the film, George Wallace but anything by the writer of Manchurian Candidate is worth seeing. Right this moment I am need of pure entertainment, I'm on information overload and need to "output" all that's bouncing around in my brain, so I'll probably watch The Voice, tonight, so thank you, too, TVWW.
May 25, 2016
 
 
 
Angelique
While I agree about the 2012 Dark Shadows being pale, dissing the great Jonathan Frid is well beyond that or any pale. Jonathan Frid was, is, and will always be the Barnabas Collins who haunted the dreams of millions of us then-preteen and teen girls, some of whom, decades later, are proud to own the complete show on DVD.
May 21, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
Robin Clark Jenkins
Knew Mr Bianculli through my mother Nancy in my young teenage years and adored his wonderful father, God rest his sole. Here is my email address if he remembers me. Robjenkins7@yahoo.com. Thank you.
May 19, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
Neil
OK, 'splain this to me, Lucy. One of the marquee articles in the last few days was a rave about PBS's Frontline and it's investigative journalism regarding ISIS, airing tonight. And yet, when I check today's Best Bets, I see The Voice, NCIS, Agents of SHIELD, but nary a mention of Frontline. Isn't that just a bit inconsistent?
May 17, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
Amy S
Hi Everybody. This is my first time commenting, yet I am a big fan of David Bianculli on Fresh Air, which inspired me to find this site, which I embarrassingly?) check almost daily. I am not embarrassed about my love for t.v. and movies, just kind of embarrassed that I spend an inordinate amount of time on this every day. Thank you for creating such an informed and helpful site. I guess what brought me currently, is a) the Night Manager (really like it but the last episode made me guffaw at their suspended reality a couple of times). It's not like the first two episodes were realistic, I don't know, just curious and excited to see where it will go. Always happy to see Hugh Laurie and cinematography. B) And, yes, I know I am five years late to the game, but I was goofing around and found Big Love and just watched the finale last night at 2:00 a.m. This show had interesting things to say! Plus, I thought their use of music was so different. And did the producers HAVE a message?
May 10, 2016   |  Reply
 
Angela
Hm...I have yet to see, Big Love! I meant to some years back but then I forgot. Thanks for the heads up. I'm going to check it out. :)
May 25, 2016
 
 
 
Greg Anders
New to this web site but listen often to Fresh Air. Today all I see is what has already happened yesterday - How to I get to see what is recommended in advance?
May 8, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
jim
One interesting factoid regarding "All About Eve" is that it was originally intended for Claudette Colbert. As much as I adore Ms. Colbert I have always had a hard time imagining her in the role. It would either have been a very different Colbert or a very different Eve, but either way it's interesting to think about while watching the movie.
May 7, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
SharonGS
I'm very happy that TV providers like Sundance and Netflix are beginning to show quality TV from other countries, often in languages other than English. Viewers interested in this kind of programming need to know about MHz and MHz Choice, its streaming service. MHz, often broadcast on one of the digital PBS channels, has a block of 'international mystery' programming from 9 - 11 p.m. ET. MHz Choice is a reasonably-priced subscription service that has a wealth of TV series in languages other than English with English subtitles. I don't subscribe to Netflix, so I'll miss Marseille, but I'll be more than satisfied with what I can view on MHz Choice.
May 5, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
It does us no good if you don't publish until afternoon to tell us : "Oh yes, there was a great show on EARLY THIS MORNING." Why don't you post the day before the early morning program? Some days you post early Am, but most of the time you post much LATER in the day. Makes it hard to set the recorder before I go to work.
May 4, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
Keith Robin
That's a wonderful idea, Bob. I'd be happy to get a daily call from the TVWW staff-anything I can do to help, and I'm there! And I'm almost always available, the occasional aforementioned appointments notwithstanding.
May 1, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
Keith Robin
UPDATE! Sorry to inform everyone that the date and time I listed on 4/25, have apparently been changed. David Attenborough's Conquest of the Skies, according to the Smithsonian Channel website, is scheduled to be cablecast on Saturday, May 7, 2016, starting at 6pm EDT. This is preceded by two other productions: Micro Monsters with David Attenborough: Conflict and Flying Monsters with David Attenborough. And, there are two more hours after the three-part CotS, that will run, with selected shows repeated all the way to 1am!
Detailed information is available at http://www.smithsonianchannel.com/tv-schedule/20160507
Apr 29, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
Keith Robin
Re: David Attenborough's Conquest of the Skies...information that would have been useful YESTERDAY!!! And to add insult to injury, David, 6AM? 6AM? Do you know how many times in the last fortnight I have come to this website in MID-morning, only to find the previous day's recommendations? I had an early a.m. doctor's appointment, so I didn't see today's TVWW until after 12N...what time was the website for Mon April 25th updated? OK, my rant is over and believe me, my appreciation for your enthusiastic recommendation prompted me to seek and find the following more timely and, hopefully, useful information: the three episodes of DA's CotS will be shown again Saturday, April 30th, 2016, on the Smithsonian Channel starting at 3pm EDT. I hope all your loyal followers will take advantage of the opportunity. Thank you again for bringing this to everyone's attention-I know your intentions were well-intended; thanks to you and your staff for continuing to enlighten us.
Apr 25, 2016   |  Reply
 
Bob516
Keith, I guess everyone who runs this website should have a daily conference call with you to make sure their schedule is planned around you doctor appointments.
Apr 29, 2016
 
 
 
MJ
Linda - thanks for that great Prince post!! The URL seems to loop a bit - if people want to jump right to the best part - and you shouldn't miss it - start at 5:25
Apr 24, 2016   |  Reply
 
Linda Donovan
You're welcome, MJ! Glad you enjoyed it as much as we did. I agree with you on the best part -- it's why I tried to sneak the links into the summary to those points in the video -- but thank you for giving everyone the direct info. Talk about must-see TV! It really is very sweet, isn't it?
Apr 25, 2016
 
 
 
Mac
The Gullible Channel-there you go again. Not unlike your April 1st listings,an idea who's time has come. While it's too cheap a shot to simply choose Fox News,if I was programming a real Gullible Channel,I would pick that crazy eye Jeanine Piro as my ongoing hostess to introduce each show. Just wipe some of that foam from around her mouth,as Bill Cosby said in simpler times. Besides a source for reality show repeats,Lots of weight loss ads in-between.I'd have to include a weekly documentary style wanderer like Anthony Bourdain crossing the globe in search of buying bridges not named The Brooklyn. Of course,the show would be titled Gullible's Travels.
Apr 23, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
Jim O
I normally agree with your picks but tonight is the premier of The Night Manager and by all accounts, it looks like it is going to be a great show. AnD no mention on your Best Bets?
Apr 19, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
Mac
David,as much as Amoeba is a great store(and all I got from there was a t-shirt thanks to a relative living nearby the place)you are not too far from the Princeton Record Exchange (PREX) and my favorite(just blocks away from where I write this),Double Decker Records in Allentown,Pa. The second hand business in vinyl is alive and thriving,while CDs,new or used,plummet in price and desire. But the disappearance of Tower-that was pretty emotional for this vinyl junkie. Anyway,Record Store Day is April 16-time to get my place in line.
Apr 8, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
Nancy
Better Call Saul is one of the best shows on TV. The acting is superb and its shot beautifully. Last episode with Saul changing his wardrobe was brilliant. I'm rooting for Mike and Saul even though I know what their future holds. Thanks Vince Gilligan for bringing your art to the landscape.
Apr 2, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
Phil
Thanks for wasting our time
Apr 2, 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.