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

CANDACE KELLEY

GABRIELA TAMARIZ

DAVID SICILIA

NOEL HOLSTON

JONATHAN STORM

 
Save 50% off on 26 weeks of The New York Times Digital
 
2015
Apr
30
 
 
Last week, Grey’s Anatomy said a surprise and sudden goodbye to one of its major and most beloved characters. Tonight, in a two-hour episode, it has the rest of the hospital staffers becoming aware of what Meredith already knows: That Patrick Dempsey’s character of Dr. Derek Shepherd is… no longer with the hospital. Or the series.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2015
Apr
30
 
 
SEASON FINALE: Tonight’s episode marks the first time that Sheldon’s mother and Leonard’s mother, played respectively (and equally delightfully) by Laurie Metcalf and Christine Baranski, have appeared in the same episode. That’s a lot of Big Bang for your sitcom buck, so don’t miss it.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2015
Apr
30
 
 
MINISERIES PREMIERE: Part 3 of 3. This is the conclusion of J.K. Rowling’s miniseries, which stars Michael Gambon as the prominent patriarch of a small British town, trying to steer a public election to favor the transformation of a rehabilitative halfway house to a luxury hotel and spa. There are a few good performances, but this final episode takes an unforgivably bleak turn, and also, on balance, isn’t that good, period. If it were, would HBO be showing this miniseries on a Wednes
 
 
 
  
 
 
2015
Apr
30
 
 
Six movies about or featuring the infamous Western outlaw Billy the Kid are presented in tonight’s all-night cinematic shoot-out. With half a dozen movies, you might even call it a six-shooter. The action begins with 1970’s Chisum, a fact-based Western in which John Wayne stars in the title role as John Chisum, and Geoffrey Deuel appears as Billy “The Kid” Bonney. That’s followed, at 10 p.m. ET, by the must-see Western of this wild bunch: 1973’s Sam Peckinpah-
 
 
 
  
 
 
2015
Apr
30
 
 
In tonight’s Louie, Louie (Louis C.K.) spends some time with his older brother – who has some observations about life that tend to be vastly different from his more successful sibling’s.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2015
Apr
29
 
 
I’m not really recommending this – just noting what is a very rare TV event. Tonight, NBC presents three different one-hour dramas all telling the same sequential story. It begins on Chicago Fire with an episode about an investigation that brings to town Sgt. Benson (Mariska Hargitay) from Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. The story continues at 9 ET on a new episode of Chicago P.D., an NBC drama series also executive produced by Dick Wolf. Finally, it concludes at 10 ET on Law
 
 
 
  
 
 
2015
Apr
29
 
 
The winnowing continues: Tonight the Top 5 are whittled down to the Final Four, after tonight’s live performances.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2015
Apr
29
 
 
MINISERIES PREMIERE: This three-part, three-hour miniseries, based on the novel by Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, is presented over two nights by HBO, with the first two hours tonight and the concluding hour tomorrow night. It’s about a fictional small town in England, called Pagford, awash in some particularly nasty local politics. A charitable halfway house for low-income families and recovering addicts, housed in a stately old donated building, is one council vote away from being rep
 
 
 
  
 
 
2015
Apr
29
 
 
SEASON PREMIERE: This period series is back, starting this year not with a murder, but with a train robbery.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2015
Apr
29
 
 
This oddball series continues to get odder – so inventively, it also deserves to get more viewers.
 
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 

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 available on Amazon for $20. (Paperback will be available September 5th, here.)

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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