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
 
2016
Jun
30
 
 
It didn’t take a lot of persuading to get Robert Kelly to sign on for FX’s Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll. "I’m the drummer in a rock band?," says Kelly. "Denis Leary is writing it? It’s on FX? I am f—ing in."...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2016
Jun
30
 
 
If you got held up in traffic, don’t worry. There’s still plenty of shark action left this week on your television set...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2016
Jun
30
 
 
Tonight’s Best Bets are entirely, coincidentally, musical – and the evening begins with a true rarity. She Loves Me, the current Roundabout Theatre Company revival of the classic Sheldon Harnick-Jerry Bock musical (which itself was based on the same Miklos Laszlo play that inspired You’ve Got Mail), is being performed tonight at 8 p.m. ET, as usual, on Broadway. It’s anything but usual, though, that it’s also being streamed live, and available for viewing nationwide
 
 
 
  
 
 
2016
Jun
30
 
 
Movie Musical Thursdays, on TCM, has a ridiculously strong lineup tonight, beginning with Bob Fosse’s breathtakingly energetic movie version of Cabaret. Liza Minnelli is given her most indelible and iconic role – and slays it.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2016
Jun
30
 
 
SERIES PREMIERE: ABC is trying a lot of old tricks this summer – game and quiz shows, mostly – and here’s another one, a musical variety show that invites both current acts and oldies to perform numbers from a particular five-year era. It starts with the 1980s, so these are relatively newer oldies, but time goes on. Hosted by Arsenio Hall, who’s 60, and rising country star Kelsea Ballerini, who’s 22, this new six-part series, which is arriving without previews, may
 
 
 
  
 
 
2016
Jun
30
 
 
SEASON PREMIERE: For Season 2, Denis Leary and company don’t indulge in a moment of scene-setting: If you don’t know these characters well from last season, you’ll have little or no sense of how they came together, stay together, or are so comically dysfunctional. (A fast binge view of Season 1 is highly recommended.) But basically, Leary plays the former lead singer of a vintage rock band hoping to make a comeback, but with Leary’s long-estranged daughter, played by Eliz
 
 
 
  
 
 
2016
Jun
30
 
 
Speaking of Hamilton, when it comes to Broadway shows that introduced or popularized new types of music to Broadway, TCM includes two film musicals representative of that trend. First, at 10:15 p.m. ET, comes the 1979 film version of Hair, directed by Milos Forman, who loved the musical’s embrace of political, lyrical and visual freedom. John Savage and Treat Williams star, and Central Park is the setting for most of the action, and the hits include the title song, “Easy to Be Hard,&
 
 
 
  
 
 
2016
Jun
30
 
 
This is sort of a stretch for an all-Musical Best Bets, but it includes, as Norton’s guest stars, Rebel Wilson, now starring in London in the musical Guys and Dolls. So there. But the real reason is that other guests on Norton’s couch tonight include Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley, all three of whom are in a new Absolutely Fabulous film, and very vintage punk musician Iggy Pop.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2016
Jun
30
 
 
Jesus Christ Superstar may be the closest Broadway analogue to Hamilton, in both approach and reception, so seeing this 1973 movie adaptation in this new era is quite instructive. This rock opera, by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, started as a concept album, then was transferred to the stage, with Ben Vereen and Yvonne Elliman its breakout stars as, respectively, Judas Iscariot and Mary Magdalene. Elliman reprises her stage (and original LP) role in this film, but Vereen does not. Judas, in t
 
 
 
  
 
 
2016
Jun
30
 
 
Now here’s a classic. This is a filmed performance by the 1982 national touring company of Sweeney Todd, with George Hearn replacing Len Cariou in the title role (very commendably), but with Angela Lansbury still playing her Tony-winning role as cannibalistic piemaker Mrs. Lovett. Stephen Sondheim’s music and lyrics are as good as musicals get, the story is great, and this particular performance is well worth setting your DVRs to capture. Attend the tale of Sweeney Todd…
 
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 

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

 

Dispatches From TVWW