Mike Hughes

Best-bets for July 14: Tough “Tulsa” leads a dramatic night

1) “Tulsa King” opener, 8 p.m., CBS. In the wobbly world of CBS and its owners (Paramount), Taylor Sheridan has been vital For Paramount Network, he made “Yellowstone”; for Paramount+, he made its prequels, plus “Mayor of Kingstown” and this show, with Sylvester Stallone (shown here) as a newly arrived mobster. Before its second season starts, the first reruns on CBS. Read more…

Week’s top-10 for July 15: baseball, “Big Brother” & lots of politics

1) “Big Brother” opener, 9 p.m. Wednesday, CBS. This began in 2000 with a high-tech, futuristic notion: Strangers shared a house filled with cameras; the world could peek in at any time. Now life is even higher-tech and this edition is being dubbed “BB:AI.” Julie Chen Moonves (shown here) hosts, as always, with new hours also at 9 p.m. Thursdays and Sundays. Read more…

Best-bets for July 13: mammals, sharks and a sponge

1) Kids Choice Awards,” 8-9:30 p.m., Nickelodeon, CMT and TV. Land. The previous shows have had famous hosts, but none were cartoons – until now. SpongeBob Squarepants (shown here) and Patrick Star host; nominated for favorite movie: “Barbie,” “Wonka,” :”The Marvels,” “Little Mermaid” and sequels of “Aquaman,” “Ghostbusters,” “Transformers” and “Guardians of the Galaxy.” Read more…

Really? A cheery musical fits the election year?

It’s probably by accident, but the new Disney+ movie fits this campaign year.
“The Descendants: The Rise of Red” (shown here), arriving Friday, June 12, has two opposite forces. The Blue one wants kindness, warmth and inclusiveness; the Red wants power and revenge.
The Red leader underlines that with a song that savors the fact that “red” rhymes with “you’re dead” and “off with your head.”
The Blue is currently in charge, but then the Red thugs start to break in. “What?” their leader asks. “You’ve never heard of a coup?” Read more…

No retreat: FX plans a one-of-each fall

With some basic-cable channels in full retreat, FX remains fairly ambitious.
The network has set a plan for this fall with one of everything, It has an edgy comedy, a one-shot documentary, a documentary mini-series, a scripted mini-series and the return of the fierce drama, “The Old Man” (shown hre in its first season).
As streaming grows and cable declines, many key channels – TNT, TBS, USA, etc. — have been dropping scripted shows. Even FX Productions makes some shows — “The Bear,” “Reservation Dogs,” “Clipped,” etc. — that are only for Hulu, not for the FX network.
But there are still some key shows that will air first on FX, reaching Hulu the next day. Chronologically, they include: Read more…

A surprise: Older crimesolvers are welcome again

Right now, TV is going back to its future.
That’s almost 30 years back. That span connects “Murder, She Wrote” to “Elsbeth,” “Matlock” to … well, “Matlock.”
At the core is a key change: Broadcast networks were once ignoring older viewers; now they need them. Let’s go back to 1995, when:
— “Matlock” was canceled – again. NBC had dumped it after seven seasons; ABC took three more, then dropped it.
— “Murder She Wrote” was still thriving. In its 11th season, it was No. 8 in the Nielsen ratings; it reached the top-10 in seven other seasons, peaking at No. 4. But CBS moved it to an impossible timeslot, then cancelled it a year later. Read more…

These movie masters started with micro-budgets

Where do the great filmmakers come from?
Baseball has its minor leagues, NASCAR has county fairgrounds, music has juke joints and dive bars. And for a time, filmmakers had Roger Corman.
Now that will be noted in a cable marathon. In eight hours (starting at 8 p.m. ET, July 17), Turner Classic Movies has the first films of Francis Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Joe Dante, Jonathan Demme and Peter Bogdanovich (whose “Targets,” with Boris Karloff, is shown here). Read more…

Best-bets for July 11: ESPYs, Eva & Elsbeth

1) ESPYs, 8-11 p.m. ABC, The sports awards show is hosted byr Serena Williams (shown here), who has twice been female athlete of the year. Special awards are for Dawn Staley (coach of the undefeated South Carolina basketball champs), Steve Gleason (ex-football pro, helping others who have ALS) and Prince Harry (creator of Invictus Games for disabled veterans). Read more…

Best-bets for July 10: ABC plays games, TCM goes wild

1) “Claim to Fame” season-opener, 9 p.m., ABC. This fun show has players guessing about family links. In the first two seasons, we’ve met the daughter of Eddie Murphy and (shown here) the son of Donny Osmond; we’ve seen grandchildren of Jimmy Carter and Whoopi Goldbrg and the identical twin of Laverne Cox. Kevin Jonas hosts with his less-famous brother, Franklin. Read more…