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

 
 
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THURSDAY
AUGUST 17
2017

BIANCULLI’S BEST BETS

 

NBC, 9:00 p.m. ET

Last week’s premiere of this Saturday Night Live summer series was just what you wanted from an August edition of Colin Jost and Michael Che’s “fake news”: full of jokes, topicality, and attitude. It was fast and furious (Alex Moffat and Mikey Day, as Eric and Donald Trump Jr., stole that first show), and I’m looking forward to tonight’s second edition.

 
  
 
 

TBS, 10:30 p.m. ET

Jaime Pressly, who co-starred in Greg Garcia’s My Name Is Earl, checks in at the remote rental cabin in his new TBS series, The Guest Book. She plays Christy, who’s there to bond with her new boyfriend and his eight-year-old daughter – but new technology, and old demons, prove formidable obstacles.

 
  
 
 

TCM, 12:00 a.m. ET

Rosalind Russell is today’s featured actor for TCM’s Summer Under the Stars salute. You can watch her movies all day and all night – but the standout arrives at midnight ET, when TCM televises 1940’s delightful His Girl Friday, the razor-sharp remake of The Front Page. Russell plays a star newspaper reporter, and Cary Grant co-stars as her editor – and ex-husband. One-liners fly furiously. So do sparks.

 
  
 
 
 
 
Read and add comments HERE for today's Best Bets!
 
 

VIDEO WORTH WATCHING

Taking Both Sides – CNN’s The History of Comedy is focusing in on political comedy this week, and one of their early citations is the late Pat Paulsen, who ran for president in 1968 as a gag as part of his stint on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. Paulsen was notable for his satire of politician's double-speak and bald-faced lies, all delivered in his trademark deadpan style. That’s evident here in a performance art-like split screen of him answering a question two ways, one for liberals, the other for conservatives. Paulsen went on to run for President again five more times, getting 1% of the New Hampshire Democrat primary vote against incumbent Bill Clinton in 1996. –Eric Gould
 
 

TV WE'RE WATCHING

  
   Visit TV We're Watching for these and other shows on
our DVRs right now...


Baroness von Sketch Show
IFC
Wednesdays
10 PM ET

CBSN: On Assignment
CBS
Mondays
10 PM

Comrade Detective
Amazon Prime Video
Streaming

Full Frontal with Samantha Bee
TBS
Wednesdays
10:30 PM

Game of Thrones
HBO
Sundays
9PM ET

The Guest Book
TBS
Thursdays
10:30 PM ET

Manhunt: Unabomber
Discovery
Tuesdays
9 PM ET

Mr. Mercedes
AT&T Audience Network
Wednesdays
8 PM ET

Ray Donovan
Showtime
Sundays
9 PM ET

Room 104
HBO
Fridays
11:30 PM ET
 
 

BUT WAIT... THERE'S MORE!


FRESH AIR FAVES

Audio of Bianculli's favorite 'Fresh Air' reports, and the stories behind them...


FAVES FROM
"THE MORGUE"

Bianculli's favorite newspaper articles, and the stories behind them...


EXTRAS & FEEDBACK

Share your favorite TV in-jokes and first TV loves...
 
 
 

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

 
 

This Day in TV History

 
 
 
 
TV WWorth Buying
 TOP TVWW SPECIAL DEAL$
Ray Donovan: Season One

The Liev Schrieber series is now back on Showtime for its fifth season and one thing is certain – no matter how bad the jam is, Ray, a Hollywood fixer for stars and crooks alike, finds an inventive way out. Created by Southland writer Ann Biderman, Ray Donovan has the similar emotional stakes and gravitas of that series, all starting with the release from prison of Ray’s father Mickey, a Whitey Bulger doppelganer. Things come unglued from there and season one sets Ray’s house of cards in motion. On sale at Amazon for under $12. –Eric Gould