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SUNDAY
DECEMBER 16
2012

BIANCULLI’S BEST BETS

 

AMC, 8:00 p.m. ET

The best modern version of Charles Dickens’ holiday classic is shown tonight on AMC, when George C. Scott steps into the role of Ebenezer Scrooge in this splendid 1984 CBS telemovie. Scott nails the part, from the first moments of humbuggery to the triumphant final Christmas goose. And yes, I meant that description to sound a little inappropriate. Ho ho ho.
 
  
 
 

NBC, 8:15 p.m. ET

Facing each other for the first time in four years, these two teams are having great seasons: The 49ers are 9-3-1, the Patriots 10-3. And it’s a quarterback duel with a lot of drama. The Patriots have imposing veteran Tom Brady, and the 49ers have impressive young replacement Colin Kaepernick, who’s stepped up big time since Alex Smith was sidelined with a concussion.
 
  
 
 

Showtime, 9:00 p.m. ET

SEASON FINALE:  Last week, when Dexter (Michael C. Hall) learned that Hannah (Yvonne Strahovski) had drugged his sister Debra (Jennifer Carpenter), he gave Debra the evidence to put Hannah behind bars. But their story may not end there – and Dexter, thanks to evidence piling against him, may be headed for prison himself, unless he can do something drastic. Which, for Dexter, isn’t that much of a stretch.
 
  
 
 

TCM, 9:30 p.m. ET

Here’s a classic version of a classic: Alastair Sim as Ebenezer Scrooge, in this 1951 adaptation of the Dickens story. This one manages to be scarier than most, and Sim’s performance is wonderful.
 
  
 
 

Showtime, 10:00 p.m. ET

SEASON FINALE: Given the framework of this series, either Carrie (Claire Danes) or Brody (Damian Lewis) could die in this Season 2 finale – or they could both live. My guess is that Carrie’s character has become too valuable to lose, but Brody has served his purpose. Yet this series, at its best, confounds expectations – so let’s see what happens.
 
  
 
 
 
 
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756 Comments
 
 
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
 
 
 
Phillip R. Crabb
As someone who has been here from the earliest days, the website seems to be the best ever in my opinion. Would love to see Dave be able to interact with the commenters as often as he did back then.
Jan 13, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
Bob516
"wide the wave of The Hunger Games" Is that a typo or are you channeling Peter Cook as the The Impressive Clergyman?
Jan 12, 2016   |  Reply
 
Linda Donovan
Wow! You got our hidden joke, Bob! He's one of our favorite characters here at TVWW, but it was a mere typo, unfortunately. We've since corrected it. Thanks for the laugh.
Jan 12, 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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