Month: May 2019

Best-bets for May 28: “AGT” is set to rule the summer

1) “America’s Got Talent” opener, 8-10 p.m., NBC. Now NBC starts its annual bid for summer domination. It has other key shows, but the centerpiece is “AGT” (shown here with Eric Chien auditioning), a perpetual ratings leader. Simon Cowell and Howie Mandel remain, but Gabrielle Union and Julianne Hough replace Heidi Klum and Mel B; Terry Crews replaces Tyra Banks as host. Read more…

Best-bets for May 27: Memorial Day glory

1) “Glory” (1989), 5:45 p.m. ET, Turner Classic Movies. Here’s a Memorial Day military marathon, with moments of greatness. That starts strong at 6 a.m. ET with “From Here to Eternity” (1953); it won eight Academy Awards, including best picture. Another highlight is “Glory,” a powerful story of black Civil War soldiers; it won three Oscars, including Denzel Washington (shown here with Morgan Freeman) as best supporting actor. That’s followed by “Men in War” (1957) at 8 p.m., “The Steel Helmet” (1961) at 10 and more. Read more…

New York Times reports: From taxi tragedies to transcript cheats

In the newspaper world, there are opposite extremes.
There’s the quick whirl of breaking news. Deadlines loom, editors wait, expectations build. And there’s the way the New York Times and some others approach a detailed piece.
Viewers will see that when “The Weekly” debuts June 2 on FX.
“To spend six, nine, 12 months on (a story) is something that The Times has always done,” said Caitlin Dickerson, whose immigration report is scheduled for June 16. Read more…

Best bets for May 26: Memorial Day eve music and emotion

1) “National Memorial Day Concert,” 8 and 9:30 p.m., PBS (check local listings). It was 30 years ago that producers moved the “Capitol Fourth” approach to the eve of Memorial Day: Mix a rich collection of music and some emotional words. This time, the music is from Patti LaBelle, Gavin DeGraw, Alison Krauss, Justin Moore, Christopher Jackson and Amber Riley. Sam Elliott, Dennis Haysbert and Jaina Lee Ortiz tell the true stories; Joe Mantegna and Mary McCormack (a late addition) host, Read more…

Best-bets for May 25: “Ransom” wraps its season

) “Ransom” season-finale, 9 p.m., CBS. With Saturdays awash in reruns and sports, this has been an exception — a four-nation co-production, based loosely on some real-life police negotiators. Tonight, things again get personal: Cynthia, a member of the team, has been kidnapped with her brother, who has steep gambling debts. Now Eric and Kate (Luke Roberts and Natalie Brown, shown here) and others break the rules, in an attempt to save them. Read more…

Best-bets for May 24: Hilty brings Broadway zest

1) “Live From Lincoln Center,” 9 p.m., PBS. A three-week spree of personal concerts concludes with the terrific Megan Hilty touring her far-flung career. She does songs from NBC’s “Smash” (“Don’t Forget Me,” “Let Me Be Your Star”) and from Broadway’s Wicked (“For Good,” with Shoshana Bean, her friend from their standby days; they’re shown here) and “9 to 5.” She’ll also do pop and more. At 10, PBS reruns last year’s hour with another top talent, two-time Tony-winner Sutton Foster. Read more…

Week’s top-10 for May 27: NBC eyes summer dominance

1) “America’s Got Talent” opener, 8-10 p.m. Tuesday, NBC. This is the week NBC tries to dominate the summer. The key is “AGT,” the perpetual ratings champ. Simon Cowell and Howie Mandell remain, but Gabrielle Union and Julianne Hough replace Heidi Klum and Mel B; also, Terry Crews replaces Tyra Banks as host. (The newcomers are shown here.) And there’s a companion show: “Songland” debuts at 10, with four writers pitching to producers (including Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic), who choose one for their guest star. Read more…

Best-bets for May 23: It’s Red Nose Day

1) “Red Nose Day,” 8-10 p.m., NBC. Screenwriter Richard Curtis started this in England, as an annual fundraiser for kids’ causes, then nudged it to the U.S. For this one, he’s written a mini-sequel to his “Four Weddings and a Funeral” movie, with Hugh Grant and Andie MacDowell (shown here) and more. There’s music by Kelly Clarkson and Blake Shelton; comedy with Kate McKinnon, Rob Gronkowski and more; plus a serious film with Milo Ventimiglia (“This Is Us”) seeing overseas projects. Read more…

Hilty: Second-hand fame, first-class talent

Megan Hilty has built an impressive life from second-hand parts.
“Most of my career (is) basically stuff that other people have already made ridiculously famous,” said Hilty, who has a special Friday (May 24) on PBS.
That started as Kristen Chenoweth’s stand-by in “Wicked,” on Broadway. “It was terrifying …. My Broadway debut, I had two-hours’ notice. It was opposite Idina Menzel, shortly after she won her Tony. And I’d never done the show with people before.” Read more…