Best-bets for April 7: true drama and lots of music

1) “Mr. Bates vs. the Post Office” debut, 9 p.m., PBS. In tiny postal sub-stations across England, managers were told the same things: They owed money … they might lose their jobs and go bankrupt … and no one else had this trouble. Then they linked and found that LOTS of people had the trouble, tied to an iffy computer system. Over three weeks, Toby jones (shown here)leads a stirring, real-life story. Read more…

Week’s top-10 for April 8: music greats, Thursday fun

1) “The 100th,” 9 p.m. Sunday, CBS. Even for Billy Joel (shown here), this was ambitious – a concert every month in the 20,000-seat Madison Square Garden. The result? Every show has sold out; now the 100th one (March 28) is edited into his first broadcast-network special. Jerry Seinfeld raised a banner, Sting sang two songs … and Joel sang many, including, of course, “Piano Man” and “New York State of Mind.” Read more…

Elton and Bernie: lots of hits, lots of lore

Somehow, Montgomery Clift turned into Marilyn Monroe and then into Princess Diana.
And that begat the No. 1 (or maybe No. 2) single record of all time.
Bernie Taupin, Elton John’s lyricist, had lots of such stories, while discussing a top honor: They’re this year’s winners of the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. ‘It’s a joy,” he told the Television Critics Association. “I’ve got the best job in the world, man.”
John (shown here in a previus concert) and Taupin seemed joyful during the ceremony, which airs at 8 p.m. Monday (April 8) on PBS. Their songs were done by stars with roots in country (Garth Brooks, Maren Morris), gospel (Jacob Lusk), rock (Metallica), Broadway (Billy Porter) and pop: Joni Mitchell, Charlie Puth, Brandi Carlile … and, for the final three songs, John himself. Read more…

Best-bets for April 5: The Friday dramas return

1) “Fire Country” return, 9 p.m., CBS. The term “fire tornado” sounds like horror fiction, sort of like “Sharknado.” But lt’s is a real thing, when fire creates a deadly whirlwind. Alternately called a “fire whirl” or a “fire devil,” it was seen in California in 2018 and 2020; in tonight’s episode (shown here) it approaches the fictional town of Edgewater. Read more…

Best-bets for April 4: Elsbeth and Sheldon are back

1) “Elsbeth” return, 9 and 10 p.m., CBS. This is Elsbeth (shown here in red) at her best – all bright colors and bright smiles, clashing with dark-hued New Yorkers. That peaks in the first hour, with Linda Lavin, 86, as a despotic co-op head. Soon, Elsbeth is probing board members and a realtor (Jane Krakowski). It’s a clever hour, followed by one with the star of the “Lavish Ladies” reality show found dead. Read more…

Best-bets for April 3: “Walker” returns; sun departs

1) “Nova,” 9 p.m., PBS. A solar eclipse (shown here) requires lots of coincidences, we’re told. That starts with the fact that the sun is 400 times the moon’s size and 400 times as far away. The April 8 eclipse will cut a swath from Dallas to Montreal, with 4-plus minutes of blackout. The start of this interesting hour has warnings – even with special glasses, don’t look through a telescope or camera – and details. Read more…

“Sheldon” gives us another splendid mismatch

Television loves to link opposites.
It gives us Lucy and Desi, Sam and Diane, Turner and Hooch, Frasier and anyone. And now it has Georgie and Mandy. As “Young Sheldon” continues its final season (see overview under “stories”), they’re read for their wedding (shown here) at 8 p.m. April 11 and for their own show, next season.
When they met, she was 28, a former TV weatherperson; he was 17 and lying about his age. And the actors who played them were just as opposite:
Montana Jordan is now 21. Before “Sheldon,” his resume consisted of one obscure movie. Emily Osment is 32; she had already been a regular in six series. Read more…

Best-bets for April 2: NBC seeks fun on a drama night

1) Game shows, 9 and 10 p.m., NBC. Facing strong dramas on three networks, NBC really needs to find fun. But “The Voice” has trimmed to Mondays-only, leaving a void. “Weakest Link” takes the 9 p.m. slot, starting with “Days of Our Lives” actors. At 10, “Password” includes an alpaca-lover, an opera singer and a vogue dancer. As usual, Jimmy Fallon and host Keke Palmer manage to find some fun, despite format flaws. Read more…

Off the sidelines, “Sheldon” sets its final push

For two weeks, TV’s top comedy was on the sidelines, waiting for the basketball tournament to end.
Now “Young Sheldon” (shown here) is back – for a while. It returns April 4, has the wedding of Georgie and Mandy a week later … then moves toward its May 14 finale, with the return of Jim Parsons and Mayim Bialik as the not-young Sheldon and his wife Amy.
And that’s it … except for reruns and a Georgie-and-Mandy spin-off next season.
That may sound like there’s been a master plan, but co-creator Chuck Lorre insists he and the others have been improvising. “The whole process has been learning as we go.” Read more…