Month: June 2021

Best-bets for June 25: soap stars, track trials, Vienna vibes

1) Daytime Emmy Awards, 8-10 p.m., CBS. For eight years, this was relegated to TV’s hinterlands — small cable channels (HLN, Pop) or just online. Last year, it returned to CBS, for a drab night of at-home acceptance speeches, with nominees. That format returns now, possibly with better results; Sheryl Underwood hosts. Categories include soap operas, talk shows and a chance for one more Emmy for Alex Trebek (shown here), who died last July at 80; it would be his eighth win and his third in a row. Read more…

A world re-emerges on July 4; so does a star

Sure, you could consider this year’s 4th-of-July mega-concert to be same-old, same-old.
After all, this is the 41st year for “A Capitol Fourth” on PBS …. and the 83rd year since July 4 became a paid federal holiday … and the 245th since the Declaration of Independence was signed.
But Ali Stroker (shown here), one of the performers, feels this time is different. “In the re-emerging, we have the option to make the world we’d like to have.”
She’s emerging from a year on pause. A Tony-winner, she suddenly had no Broadway to audition for, fewer places to perform. “Singing in my bathroom, to my laptop, wasn’t necessarily prime conditions.” Read more…

Best-bets for June 24: Amid a finale flurry, “Making It” begins

1) “Making It” season-opener, 8 p.m., NBC. This has never been your ordinary reality competition. As hosts and producers, Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman (shown here) provide offbeat humor and a warm view of the contestants. They’re a likable bunch of laymen – taxidermist, muralist, market researcher, etc. – who do crafts at home. One was a pitcher, ready for the majors until his arm gave out; another’s dad (Dave Kingman) hit 48 home runs one season. Blue-collar artistry ripples through the opener. Read more…

“Highway” gets a movie reboot

“Highway to Heaven” will return to TV, three decades after the death of the man who molded it.
Michael Landon (shown here with Victor French, his co-star) created the show, produced it, directed most of the episodes and starred as a probationary angel, helping people on Earth.
The new version will be on cable’s Lifetime, with key differences: It will be a movie (not a series), planned as the first of several. And this time, the angel will be a Black woman, played by Jill Scott. Read more…

Best-bets for June 23: Season ends for “Black,” starts for “Dark”

1) “The Blacklist” season-finale, 10 p.m., NBC. After eight years of tangled twists and smart dialog, “Blacklist” might be ready to share a few secrets. Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone) has shattered her FBI career, while obsessing on catching Raymond Reddington (James Spader), the former mentor who killed her mother. (They’re shown here in an early episode.) Now he has a disturbing request, before he’ll reveal his true identity. Read more…

Best-bets for June 22: College kids are brainy or witchy

1) “College Bowl” debut, 10 p.m., NBC. This notion goes back to 1953 on radio and ‘59 on TV. Now it has droll, dry work from Peyton Manning (shown here) as the host and his brother Cooper as sidekick. The opener has Auburn-Alabama and Michigan-Minnesota, with eight more schools arriving on the next two Tuesdays. A few of the categories (including spelling) make so-so viewing and the “speed round” makes the first round fairly insignificant. Overall, however, it’s a modestly interesting hour. Read more…

Best-bets for June 21: Start summer on the beach

1) “Gidget” (1959), 9:45 p.m., Turner Classic Movies, and more. On the first full day of summer, TCM has a spree of summer movies (see separate story, above). “Gidget” is partly old-school — sweet girl, warm family — and partly new, with a teen (Sandra Dee, shown here) who surfs with the guys. Other summer settings are in Betty Grable’s “Moon Over Miami” (1941, 8 p.m.), the French comedy “Mr. Hulot’s Holiday” (1953, 11:30), the Bogart-Bacall “Key Largo” (1948, 1:15 a.m.) and Andy Hardy’s “You’re Only Young Once” (1938, 3:15 a.m.). Read more…

Miley sets Pride Month concert on Peacock

For the second straight Friday, viewers can catch a major special keyed to Pride Month.
On June 18, it was a “Pose” marathon. And on June 25, Peacock will add a concert, “Miley Cyrus Presents Stand B You.”
Cyrus (shown here), who identifies as pansexual, has been a long-time supporter of LGBT issues. She’ll sing her own hits, including “The Climb” and “Party in the U.S.A.,” plus such slongs as “True Colors,” “Believe,” “We Belong,” “Dancing Queen” and a medley of “Music,” “Express Yourself” and “Like a Prayer.” Read more…

Best-bets for June 19: A busy, passionate Juneteenth

1) “Fight the Power: The Movements That Changed America,” 8 p.m., History. On Juneteenth – a day that celebrates the end of slavery — this film views the impact of key movements. Co-produced by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, it ranges from early civil rights protests to current Black Lives Matter (shown here) ones, plus others involving gays, women and union members. The channel also has documentaries on the Tuskegee Airmen (7 p.m.), the Tulsa massacre (9:02 p.m. and 12:03 a.m.) and civil rights (11:05 p.m.). Read more…

Summer movies: silly, sunny, sometimes splendid

For filmmakers, summer has always been a favorite time.
It has the right backdrops – sun and surf and such; it also has people in shorts and swimwear.
But there’s more to it than that. It’s the time when characters “get out of their comfort zone,” said John Malahy, author of the new “Summer Movies.”
His book outlines 30 films, from the serious to the silly, from the highly regarded “Jaws” to … well, “Beach Blanket Bingo” (shown here). Some trends arise. Read more…