Best-bets for June 17: an Aussie, New Zealand night

1) American Film Institute lifetime award, 10 p.m., TNT. The first 48 winners have included lots of Americans and Englishmen, plus ones from Germany, Scotland, Austria-Hungary and the Bahamas … but none from Australia. Now that’s rectified. Nicole Kidman (shown here) did Aussie TV at 16; 40 years later, she has an Oscar (“The Hours”), an Emmy and more. Read more…

With the right heroine, “Bridgerton” soars

OK, I’ll admit that I once had misgivings about “Bridgerton.”
When the show arrived – on Christmas Day, 2020 – I said the show is “part classy Jane Austen and part tawdry Harlequin novel.”
It still is, but the classy side keeps gaining. This third season – which released its second half on Netflix Thursday (June 13), four-weeks after its first half – is a delight, partly because of the surprising choice (shown here) of whom to focus on.
(One caution: I won’t spoil anything that happens in this second half. I will, however, talk about things that preceded it. If you haven’t seen the first half — or the first two seasons — stop reading and start watching.) Read more…

Best-bets for June 16: Tonys and lots of dramas

1) Tony Awards, 8-11 p.m., CBS. We can expect lots of vibrant music numbers – from the host (Ariana DeBose), the five nominated musicals (led by Alicia Keys’ “Hell’s Kitchen,” shown here, with 13 nominations) and three of the nominated revivals – of “Cabaret,” “Tommy” and “Merrily We Roll Along.” There’s more, including plays and (unlike last year, during the strikes) a script. Read more…

Best-bets for June 15: swimming stars and singing Barnum

1) Olympic swimming trials, 11 a.m., Peacock; 6:30 p.m., USA; 8 p.m., NBC. The Olympics are still six weeks away, but they’re already gobbling up TV time. For Americans, swimming — with stars like Katie Ledecky (shown here), already with seven gold medals — is especially popular. Trials continue through June 23; track-and-field starts June 21, with gymnastics June 27. Read more…

It’s time for size-and-spectacle, season two

This is a question many of us might ponder: What is it like to ride one of Hollywood’s make-believe dragons?
“It’s just like riding a dragon in real life,” Eve Best semi-explained. “It’s deeply uncomfortable.”
She should know. She’s Princess Rhaenys in “House of the Dragon” (shown here), the “Game of Thrones” prequel that starts its second at 9 p.m. Sunday (June 16) on HBO and Max. Late in the first season, she had a dragon-riding escape that fans considered spectacular.
Best will have to take their word for it. “I’ve never seen it (the show),” she claimed, in that dry, British way. “I heard it’s fantastic.”
And the new season could be bigger. It has “two sequences that outstrip the size and spectacle of anything in Season One,” said producer Ryan Condal, Read more…

Best-bets for June 13: a journey to the ’80s

1) ‘80s journey. Cable keeps offering fun films from the 1980s. Fitting into that trend is the debut of Hulu’s “Brats”: Andrew McCarthy visits former colleagues, who were smudged by a 1985 article calling them the “brat pack.” As it happens, two of their films are on AMC – “Sixteen Candles” (1984) at 9:30 and “Breakfast Club” (snown here, 1985) at 11:30. Read more…

TCA nominations: “Dogs,” “Bear,” “Hacks” and newcomers

Some new– or almost-new — titles are up for the top prize in the Television Critics Association awards.
“Baby Reindeer,” “Ripley” and “Shogun” – each in its first (or only) year – are nominated for program of the year. They’re jpined by three returning shows – “Hacks,” “The Bear” and “Reservations Dogs” (shown here) … which is seeking some belated awards glory, after its third and final season. Read more…

Presume this one is compelling

Many of us like writers a lot and lawyers a lot less.
But lawyers who become writers? That can be John Grisham or Erle Stanley Gardner or Scott Turow or David E. Kelley; it can sometimes be wonderful.
And now two of the best have combined: Kelley has adapted Turow’s novel, “Presumed Innocent” (shown here), into an eight-part mini-series that starts Wednesday (June 12) on Apple TV+. Read more…