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

 
 
Welcome to TV We're Watching (yes, another TVWW!), a handy, but by no means comprehensive list of weekly shows we enjoy watching – and that are in rotation right now. And on our DVRs. (Check out the full list -- not all shows are featured in the thumbnails. –TVWW.)

TV WE'RE WATCHING

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


Comrade Detective
Amazon Prime Video
Streaming

Episodes
Showtime
Sundays
10 PM

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

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
HBO
Sundays
11 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

Weekend Update Summer Edition Live!
NBC
Thursdays
9 PM ET
 
 
2017
Aug
17
 
 
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.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2017
Aug
16
 
 
Last week, this new series from Stephen King and David E. Kelley began with a horrifying opening sequence: At a snaking line for admittance to a jobs fair, hopeful people gathering hours early for their turns at finding potential employment were mowed down by a murderous motorist. It was chilling to see a week ago, and even more chilling to recall, in retrospect, after this weekend’s horrifying act of vehicular homicide in Charlottesville. And tonight comes episode two, where there’s
 
 
 
  
 
 
2017
Aug
16
 
 
This program premiered last week, so this is a rerun – but it felt so good to watch it, I’m pointing out its prime-time repeat tonight in case you’d be similarly interested in watching some civil political discourse. Rubinstein’s joint interview this week is between former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, and they take turns answering very interesting questions about their experiences as the chief executive – including how they felt when they first occupi
 
 
 
  
 
 
2017
Aug
15
 
 
Part 4. Give Discovery some props here. Two weeks ago, it presented the premiere of its first major scripted dramatic series – and surprised almost everyone by how good it was, and remains. Tonight is the fourth installment of this eight-part miniseries, which stars Paul Bettany as the Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski, and Sam Worthington as FBI profiler James Fitzgerald. And, because of half-hearted scheduling from other networks, Discovery can claim to be presenting the best first-run offering o
 
 
 
  
 
 
2017
Aug
14
 
 
DOCUMENTARY PREMIERE: This documentary is so engrossing, and so fascinating a forensic mystery, that it’s a very good bet it’ll be turned into a movie, or made-for-TV movie, before too long. But truth, in this case, isn’t only stranger than fiction – it’s bound to be more fascinating. This is the story of how former KGB officer Alexander Litvinenko, living in London in exile, died suddenly in 2006 by very strange circumstances. So strange that, according to the New
 
 
 
  
 
 
2017
Aug
14
 
 
The theater continues to stage new plays by William Shakespeare, and the playwright continues to search for inspiration wherever he can find it. The question this week, with another opening-night deadline looming, is: “Will he, or won’t he?”
 
 
 
  
 
 
2017
Aug
13
 
 
This week’s installment is called Politics Aside, and looks at the many ways comedy has influenced politics over the ages. I haven’t previewed this installment, but here’s hoping Mark Twain, Will Rogers, Mort Sahl, That Was the Week That Was, and The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour and Pat Paulsen (pictured), among other early political-comedy pioneers, all get credit where it’s due.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2017
Aug
11
 
 
SERIES PREMIERE: This new Netflix series stars Jennifer Jason Leigh as a mother fiercely determined to help her teen child, who’s autistic, navigate the world. Keir Gilchrist plays Sam, an 18-year-old on the higher end of the autism spectrum, and Michael Rapaport and Brigette Lundy-Paine play his father and sister, respectively. Tonally, Atypical is a comedy with sharp edges, closest on the TV comedy spectrum to ABC’s Speechless, which is about the supportive yet barely functional fa
 
 
 
  
 
 
2017
Aug
9
 
 
This week’s sketches include “Last Year You Weren’t 40,” a skit that, like the infamous “Last F***able Day” sketch on Inside Amy Schumer, is a woman’s take on some of the potential indignities facing them as they reach certain chronological milestones.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2017
Aug
8
 
 
SERIES PREMIERE: In my latest book, 2016’s The Platinum Age of Television, in the chapter charting the evolution of TV talk shows, I concluded by suggesting that the future of talk shows might be to re-fashion them in smaller, self-contained mini-programs, as by taking the “Carpool Karaoke” segments from James Cordon’s The Late Late Show, which have amassed hundreds of millions of views when isolated on YouTube, and building a show around them alone. That idea, apparently
 
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 

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