Month: July 2024

Best-bets for July 20: pleasant (mostly) nature and fun films

1) “Mammals,” 8-9:23 p.m., BBC America. In Chile, sea lions stroll a marina, snacking from fish merchants. In Singapore, otters cavort in pools; in Zimbabwe, elephants walk the streets at night. These are pleasant portraits of the “new wild,” adding humans. But there are also nasty moments – dogs confront the seals (shown here), farmers drain hippos’ water holes. Read more…

Emmy nominations: belated nods to quirky “Dogs”

Gone too soon and noticed too rarely, “Reservatioon Dogs” is finally getting a tad of attention.
“Dogs” (shown here) voluntarily ended this year, after only three wonderfully eccentric seasons. It finally got some Emmy attention this morning – nominations for best-comedy and for young actor D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai (second from left).
Yes, that’s just a mini-ripple in an Emmy ocean. (“Shogun,” leads with 25 nominations, including best drama.) But it’s a sign that an oddly brilliant show can get some attention. Read more…

Best-bets for July 19: Streamers fill the Friday void

1) “Lady in the Lake” opener, Apple TV+. In a 30-year career, Natalie Portman (shown hwew) has ranged from epic (three “Star Wars” films, three “Thor: ones) to artful (an Oscar for “Black Swan” and two more nominations). But except for brief visits, she’s skipped TV. Now, at 43, she stars in this seven-parter, as a housewife-turned-journalist, probing a murder. Read more…

Convention viewing: small sip or supersized

These days, viewers can try three sizes of convention coverage. There’s:
— The big gulp. PBS (shown here) has three hours (8-11 p.m.ET,, through Thursday) of gavel-to-gavel coverage of the Republican convention. So do the cable and digital news channels.
— Small sips – an hour a night, starting at 10 ET. That’s on ABC, CBS and NBC (which adds a 9 p.m. hour on Wednesday and Thursday).
“We gave much more time to the conventions” in the old days, Andrew Lack — a network news executive from 1976 to 2001 – told the Television Critics Association. That gave networks room “for more reporting that they could share with the public over a longer period of time.” Read more…

Best-bets for July 18: Convention ends; Shaq show begins

1) Republican convention. The four-day event (shown here iin a prevous year) concludes, as always, with the acceptance speech by the presidential nominee, followed by balloons and commotion. That’s expected to be at 10 p.m., when ABC and CBS join the coverage (and when Fox stations can use the Fox News Channel feed). NBC starts at 9 p.m., PBS at 8, news channels even earlier. Read more…

PBS’ fast start this fall: mysteries, elections, Hispanic history

While the broadcast networks get off to a semi-groggy start this fall, PBS will be busy quickly.
Its three-mystery Sundays will start Sept. 15, centering on “Moonflower Murders” (shown hare), witty sequel to the 2022 “Magie Murders.” Some of its non-fiction shows start that week, with an early emphasis on the elections.
A few hings will arrive even earlier, including a profile of writer-director Blake Edwards (“Pink Panther,” “10”) on Aug. 28. Like the late Edwards, it managed to be funny and joyous, with moments of morose depth.
And some will be late. Sara Bareilles will star in her “Waitress” musical on Nov. 15. Three days later, PBS starts Ken Burns’ “Leonardo Da Vinci,” a richly detailed, two-night, four-hour film Read more…

Best-bets for July 16: Judge Steve and Judge, Aaron

1) ”Judge Steve Harvey” return, 9 p.m , ABC.Tuesdays become Harvey’s night. At 8 p.m., he hosts “Celebrity Family Feud” (shown here in a previous episode); one round pits singers (Meghan Trainor vs. Tori Kelly), the other has alumni of “Bachelor” shows. At 9, he hears real-life conflicts, including a missing wedding officiant and a defamed pickleball player. Read more…

CBS sets a staggered start this fall

After rushing into a post-strike season this spring, CBS is taking a pause.
Its new season will officially start Oct. 14, three weeks later than usual. And its ratings-leaders – “Tracker” and “The Equalizer” –will wait until Oct. 27.
Those dramas usually dominate Sundays. This fall, however, the Sunday slot will be used for various things – advance previews of “Matlock” (shown here) and “The Summit,” a music special and “Big Brother,” a summer show that extends to Oct. 13. Read more…

Best-bets for July 15: sharks, politicians and romance

1) Republican convention (shown here in a previous year). As the campaign grind speeds up, networks have varied approaches. PBS will be there from 8-11 p.m. ET … CBS and ABC will jolin at 10 … cable nnews channels will obsess. And in a late change, NBC will have two parts – at 9 p.m., Lester Holt’s interview of Joe Biden; from 9:40 to 11, convention coverage.
Read more…