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

 
vudu.com
 
2015
Nov
30
 
 
SPECIAL: Kristin Chenoweth, who won a Tony Award playing Charlie Brown’s little sister, Sally, in the Broadway revival of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown 16 years ago, is one of the musical performers in this new special, which celebrates the original telecast of the first Peanuts animated TV special – and that was 50 years ago, on Dec. 9, 1965. Sarah McLachlan, Boyz II Men and Pentatonix also appear, and the host is Kristen Bell (pictured), a mean vocalist herself. When I thi
 
 
 
  
 
 
2015
Nov
30
 
 
FALL FINALE: The first half of the Gotham season ends with a showdown of evil armies, and the promise by the show’s producers that not everyone will come out alive. But we know most of them will, because they show up in the comics – so no matter how bad it looked last week for Alfred, Jim Gordon, and the future Batman, all of whom were captured, beaten, stabbed, or some combination of the three, they’re destined to live to fight another day. Others, though, indeed are at risk&h
 
 
 
  
 
 
2015
Nov
30
 
 
Satyahit Ray’s The Apu Trilogy – consisting of three movies from the 1950s, widely acclaimed as masterpieces of world cinema – is presented tonight on TCM, in an extremely rare showcase. Two of the three movies have never been shown on TCM before, and all three are being televised in new, pristinely restored Criterion versions. Ray, who co-wrote, produced and directed the films, which are adapted from the novels of Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay. Note that Ravi Shankar, years bef
 
 
 
  
 
 
2015
Nov
30
 
 
The best animated TV special ever made – and 50 years later, to see the half-hour program intact, on commercial broadcast TV, takes an hour, to make room for enough of those commercials. But whatever the cost, so to speak, it’s a family tradition well worth continuing and passing on. A Charlie Brown Christmas, music and message and all, is perfect.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2015
Nov
30
 
 
I haven’t previewed this new History documentary, so I don’t know if it’s fawning, highly critical, or something in between. But it’s a biography that, at least, is well timed, and ratings for it are likely to be huuuuge.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2015
Nov
30
 
 
SNEAK PREVIEW: This is a warning, not a recommendation. I loved America Ferrera in Ugly Betty, and love her still. But this new NBC sitcom, which premieres officially on January 4 after this oddly scheduled 10 p.m. ET double-header preview, is bad and unfunny – even by NBC’s current low standards. It takes place in a generic we-sell-everything superstore, but all it’s really selling is cardboard characters and lazy, recycled jokes. Midway through the first of two episodes tonig
 
 
 
  
 
 
2015
Nov
30
 
 
This is such a marvelous episode of Fargo – and this one makes great use of Jeffrey Donovan, late of Burn Notice, as the quick-to-anger Dodd Gerhardt. It also makes great use of Kirsten Dunst as loopy, self-obsessed Peggy Blomquist. And the best news is, it makes great use of them at the same time, with him as her captive, and with the power dynamic flipped, and fantastic. Oh, and give Jesse Plemons, who plays Dunst’s butcher husband, lots of credit: He’s now snagged, and perfo
 
 
 
  
 
 
2015
Nov
30
 
 
Fox’s Gotham, which underwent major surgery for its second season, wraps up the first half of that season Monday night at 8, and the results are mixed...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2015
Nov
29
 
 
This 1975 movie, produced by Michael Douglas, took the role that Michael’s dad, Kirk Douglas, long had wanted to play himself, and gave it to Jack Nicholson – who was brilliant in it. But so is almost everyone in this Milos Forman movie, from Louise Fletcher as Nurse Ratched to Danny DeVito and Christopher Lloyd, later reunited on Taxi, as inmates at the lunatic asylum where Nicholson’s Randall McMurphy voluntarily commits himself. Shockingly good film, from start to finish.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2015
Nov
29
 
 
From this point in the football season, and going forward, any team that’s still undefeated deserves to be watched. Tonight, it’s the 10-0 New England Patriots against one of the toughest remaining opponents on its schedule, the 8-2 Denver Broncos. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady could be in danger of letting his perfect record to date go to his head – but he’s not likely to suffer from an overinflated ego. If anything, he prefers to under-inflate.
 
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 

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

 
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