DAVID BIANCULLI

Founder / Editor

ERIC GOULD

Associate Editor

LINDA DONOVAN

Assistant Editor

KARLE DUNBAR

Social Media Manager

Contributors

ALEX STRACHAN

GERALD JORDAN

CANDACE KELLEY

TOM BRINKMOELLER

MONIQUE NAZARETH

GABRIELA TAMARIZ

DAVID SICILIA

NOEL HOLSTON

JONATHAN STORM

 
 
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THURSDAY
FEBRUARY 23
2017

BIANCULLI’S BEST BETS

 

CBS, 8:00 p.m. ET

This week’s episode is called “The Comic-Con Conundrum,” and In this week’s episode, there may be a slightly different lineup of attendees among the nerd squad. Penny has agreed to go with Leonard again, but Raj, whose father cut him off financially last week, may not be able to afford to go – and Amy is fairly determined not to go to Comic-Con, where Sheldon will be way too much in his element.

 
  
 
 

CW, 9:00 p.m. ET

Earlier this week, I was asked about this series by some of my students in class at Rowan University. They asked if I still watched Riverdale, and, if so, what I thought about it. I explained that I’d seen the first four episodes in advance, and was oddly intrigued enough by it to keep watching when episode five arrives – which it does tonight. I also said it wasn’t that I liked it, really, or thought it was very good, but that it was just so strange and tonally bizarre, as though Gossip Girl had been raped by Twin Peaks. “Did you write that in your review?” asked the somewhat stunned female student. “No,” I admitted. Not until now. Stars include Madelaine Petsch (pictured) as Cheryl Blossom.

 
  
 
 

NBC, 10:00 p.m. ET

SERIES PREMIERE: This spinoff of Blacklist is about a resourceful and formidable female, Scottie Hargrave (played by former cinematic Bond girl and X-Man Famke Janssen), recruited by Blacklist familiar figure Tom Keen (Ryan Eggold). It was not available for preview – but here it is, preceded by a fresh episode of Blacklist just to give it a strong boost at launch.

 
  
 
 

CMT, 10:00 p.m. ET

MINISERIES PREMIERE: In the well-known Lovin’ Spoonful song “Nashville Cats,” songwriter and lead singer John Sebastian sang about all the great guitar pickers in that city, and all the great music emanating from there. He also sang about falling in love with the dynamic new rockabilly, country, and rock and roll songs played on the radio in the early 1950s, and noting that the disc jockey informed him that “Every one is a Yellow Sun record from Nashville.” Well, either the deejay or Sebastian was wrong, because those Yellow Sun records – featuring the likes of Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash and others – came not from Nashville, but from Memphis. The song should have been called “Memphis Cats,” and would have played just as well, at least syllablically (if that's a word). Well, this new dramatic miniseries hopes to set the record, and the records, straight. It tells the story of the founding of Sun Records by Sam Phillips (played by Chad Michael Murray), in this music-filled miniseries, based on the Broadway musical Million Dollar Quartet. Starring, and pictured from left, are Kevin Fonteyne as Johnny Cash, Kerry Holiday as Ike Turner, Drake Milligan as Elvis Presley, Dustin Ingram as Carl Perkins, and Christian Lees as Jerry Lee Lewis. For a full review, see David Hinckley's All Along the Watchtower.
 
  
 
 

CNN, 10:00 p.m. ET

Tonight’s episode in this well-researched, clip-laden documentary miniseries is called “Comedy in Real Life,” and focuses on the minute observations that comics make about real life – the “Did you ever notice…?” observations that might as well be called Seinfeldian.

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

VIDEO WORTH WATCHING

Inside Stephen Colbert — Bob Odenkirk will return for Season 3 of Better Call Saul in April and also has a new movie opening this week, Girlfriend’s Day. Odenkirk visited The Late Show with Stephen Colbert recently to discuss both and he also showed rough clips for another movie idea, Late Show: The Movie in which he stars as Stephen Colbert. Turns out, Colbert also appears in it — in the role of Bob Odenkirk. But the Inception-like reversals don’t stop there. This takes late night fare smartly to the fringe... with more wigs. –Eric Gould

 
 

TV WE'RE WATCHING

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


Baskets
FX
Thursdays
10 PM ET

Legion
FX
Wednesdays
10 PM ET

Girls
HBO
Sundays
10 PM ET

The History of Comedy
CNN
Thursdays
10 PM ET

HUMANS
AMC
Mondays
10 PM ET

Last Week Tonight
HBO
Sundays
11 PM ET

Man Seeking Woman
FXX
Wednesdays
10:30 PM ET

Riverdale
CW
Thursdays
9 PM ET

Taboo
FX
Tuesdays
10 PM ET

Victoria
PBS
Sundays
9 PM ET
Check Local Listings
 
 

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 under $20.

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$
House of Lies: Season One

Don Cheadle’s Showtime vehicle ran out of steam and was cancelled last year, but it’s safe to say Season 1 was a rocket launch. Based on Martin Kihn’s book about the debauched, back-stabbing world of high-stakes business consultants, the 30-minute comedy originally lived on high-style art direction. It liberally borrowed freeze-framed asides, vari-speed rates, super graphics and other editing tricks seen in Guy Ritchie films like Snatch, and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. Cheadle was nominated four times for an Emmy for his role as Marty Kaan on the series, and Kristen Bell (in a decidedly different role from her current run on The Good Place) costarred as Marty’s partner, rival and love interest, Jeannie. On sale at Amazon for $9.  – Eric Gould