DAVID BIANCULLI

Founder / Editor

ERIC GOULD

Associate Editor

LINDA DONOVAN

Assistant Editor

KARLE DUNBAR

Social Media Manager

Contributors

ALEX STRACHAN

TOM BRINKMOELLER

GERALD JORDAN

MONIQUE NAZARETH

GABRIELA TAMARIZ

CANDACE KELLEY

DAVID SICILIA

NOEL HOLSTON

JONATHAN STORM

 
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2015
Jan
1
 
 
All 10 episodes of FX’s delightfully different take on the Joel and Ethan Coen Fargo film, a series that presented its own characters and story but kept the original spirit intact, are presented today by sister network FXM. It’s a very different way to begin the New Year – but also a very, very good one. Martin Freeman, Billy Bob Thornton star.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2015
Jan
1
 
 
Well, here it is – the day of the semifinal games for the brand new College Football Playoff. Four teams play today in two games, and the winners of those games move on to the national championship 11 days from now. First up, in the Rose Bowl: the defending national champions, the Florida State Seminoles (seeded No. 3), battle the No. 2 seed, the Oregon Ducks. Both teams feature hot young quarterbacks: FSU’s Jameis Winston and Oregon’s Marcus Mariota.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2015
Jan
1
 
 
Here’s an offer that may be difficult to refuse: Cinemax is presenting Francis Ford Coppola’s 1972 film version of the Mario Puzo Mafia family saga as a New Year’s Day treat – in prime time, uninterrupted and unedited. Al Pacino and Marlon Brando star.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2015
Jan
1
 
 
This New Year’s Day collection of Marx Brothers movies begins with 1932’s Horse Feathers (8 p.m. ET), followed by the team’s classic 1935 comedy, A Night at the Opera (9:15 p.m. ET, pictured). Sadly, there’s no Duck Soup this time around. But how sad can you be, really, when it’s wall-to-wall Marx Brothers?
 
 
 
  
 
 
2015
Jan
1
 
 
Part 2 of today’s first-ever College Football Playoff semifinal features the nation’s top-seeded team, the Alabama Crimson Tide, against No. 4 seed the Ohio State Buckeyes, in this year’s Sugar Bowl. The stakes are high – and the reputation of Alabama receiver Amari Cooper is even higher. He’s lauded as the best receiver in college football. For more on today’s bowl games, see Gerald Jordan’s Crossing Jordan.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2014
Dec
31
 
 
For 20 years now, Syfy – starting from when it called itself SciFi – has been presenting New Year’s Eve marathon showings of The Twilight Zone. This Rod Serling showcase is one of the most tenured TV marathons around, and with good reason: Whether the show is a classic you know by heart or an obscure episode you’ve somehow managed never to see until now, every single program pulls you into the Zone, in the very best way. The two-day marathon begins this morning. Today&rsq
 
 
 
  
 
 
2014
Dec
31
 
 
The prime time portion of this live special begins at 8 p.m, ET, with the festivities resuming after local news ends at 11:30. This is the network that boasts the best lineup of any New Year’s celebration. It has Taylor Swift, who performed on this same show two years age (pictured), along with Elton John, Iggy Azalea and One Direction. And, unlike CNN, it doesn’t have Kathy Griffin.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2014
Dec
31
 
 
I’m a sucker for George Gershwin’s music, so I’ll be popping in here as well – and recording it for later consumption, as I have with previous PBS Gershwin concerts. You can’t have too many recordings of “Rhapsody in Blue.” This year, singers Dianne Reeves (pictured) and Norm Lewis are featured. Check local listings.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2014
Dec
31
 
 
TCM, though it usually stresses the classics, is devoting tonight to a little “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” of its own – by presenting a mini-marathon of rock ’n’ roll movies. First up: 1973’s Elvis on Tour, a record of Elvis Presley’s sizzling 1972 concert tour.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2014
Dec
31
 
 
Made in 1964, this Richard Lester film captures the Beatles, and Beatlemania, perfectly. This film isn’t long enough to take you into midnight – but as a way to start sending out the old year in the interim, you couldn’t ask for anything more infectiously enjoyable.
 
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 

Good news, TVWW readers: David’s new book from Doubleday, The Platinum Age of Television: From I Love Lucy to The Walking Dead, How TV Became Terrific is now avaialble on Amazon.

Doubleday says: “Darwin had his theory of evolution, and David Bianculli has his. Bianculli's theory has to do with the concept of quality television: what it is and, crucially, how it got that way."

"The Platinum Age of Television is an effusive guidebook that plots the path from the 1950s’ Golden Age to today’s era of quality TV. For instance, animation evolved from Rocky and His Friends to South Park; variety shows moved from The Ed Sullivan Show to Saturday Night Live; and family sitcoms grew from I Love Lucy to Modern Family. A high point is the author’s interviews with Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Norman Lear, Bob Newhart, Matt Groening, Larry David, Amy Schumer and many others...Bianculli has written a highly readable history." —The Washington Post

 
Nyrius