Tune In Tonight: ‘Good Wife,’ ‘Vikings’ end their seasons
April 28, 2013
Two acclaimed series wrap up Sunday, and happily for fans, both are assured of a new season. “The Good Wife” (8 p.m., CBS) finishes its fourth season with Zach certain he has evidence of vote rigging. This legal drama, set in Chicago (but shot in New York), has never been at the top of the ratings. But it has given CBS something it doesn’t get from its more popular shows: critical acclaim, prestige and a positive buzz from the chattering class. “NCIS” may get more than 20 million viewers, but cutting edge it is not. CBS has long maintained that it’s not in the business of collecting Emmys, but it’s nice to have at least one show that gets some respect.
Tune In Tonight: Lifetime’s bad girls out for ‘Revenge’
April 27, 2013
Where would the women’s network be without bad girls or femme fatales? Brooke Burns (”Baywatch”) stars as the conniving other woman in “A Sister’s Revenge” (7 p.m. Saturday, Lifetime). Michael Miller (Tim Rozon) has put his wild ways behind him. The former Lothario has settled down with a wife and baby and is focused on running the hottest new restaurant in town.
Tune In Tonight: ‘Hearst’ tells different tale from ‘Kane’
April 23, 2013
As media experiences go, there’s nothing more peculiar — and interesting — than spin control seven decades after the fact. Released in conduction with the 125th anniversary of the Hearst Corp., the documentary “Citizen Hearst” (7 p.m., BIO) has the unenviable task of retelling its subject’s story, a tale many people will associate with the 1941 drama “Citizen Kane,” whose title character was loosely based on Hearst. And that’s only a film generally considered to be the greatest movie ever made.
Tune In Tonight: New thriller appeals to smart crowd
April 22, 2013
What happens when a closed case comes undone? A smart whodunit and a superior psychological thriller, “Rectify” (8 p.m., Sundance) deserves a large audience. It will probably get a smart one. Convicted of rape and murder, Daniel Holden (Aden Young) spent 19 years in prison, most of them on death row awaiting execution. After DNA evidence appears to exonerate him, he returns to his shattered, confused family in the small town of Paulie, Ga., which is filled with friends of the murder victim — who still want him behind bars. Chief among them is Sen. Roland Foulkes (Michael O’Neill), whose prosecution of Holden launched his political career. The local sheriff (J.D. Evermore) doesn’t seem too pleased with Holden’s release either, and most of the scuttlebutt at the coffee shop involves conversations about returning him to prison, evidence be damned.
Tune In Tonight: Watergate special tries too hard
April 21, 2013
Too often, history — particularly recent history — is reduced to nostalgia and show business. So a week after “The ‘80s: The Decade That Made Us” premiered on the National Geographic Channel, I was hesitant about “All the President’s Men Revisited” (7 p.m., Discovery), hosted by Robert Redford. The rewarding documentary just tries to tackle too much in its two-hour running time. I’m not sure if a weeklong or even a monthlong documentary miniseries could have done the subject justice.
Tune In Tonight: Cable shows on Saturday aim higher
April 20, 2013
Are Saturday nights where network shows go to die? NBC’s “Smash” makes the case for that assumption. On the other hand, the competition for cable viewers seems to be heating up. AMC recently announced that when its ambitious Western “Hell on Wheels” returns in August, it wouldn’t air on Sunday nights, like the channel’s other original series do, but on Saturday nights. AMC found that it already had a solid audience for Western movies on Saturday afternoons and evenings, and “Wheels” would appeal to that crowd.
Tune In Tonight: Cable’s TBS struggles to stay fresh
April 16, 2013
In the years since the cable channel TBS rebranded itself as a comedy outfit, we’ve seen some great innovations in comedy. But not on TBS. While shows like “Louie” and “Modern Family” have brought some discerning viewers back to TV comedies, TBS has played it relatively straight, airing fairly old-school sitcoms including “The Bill Engvall Show” “My Boys,” “Men at Work” and “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne.” Tonight, TBS dials it back decades with the newest variation on “Candid Camera.” “Who Gets the Last Laugh?” (9 p.m.) asks three professional comedians to devise hidden camera pranks to scare and surprise unsuspecting strangers. At the end, a studio audience, aided by host Donald Faison (“Scrubs”), will decide the funniest of the three and award $10,000 to that comic’s favorite charity.
Tune In Tonight: “Defiance” to bring gamer action to TV
April 15, 2013
“Defiance” (8 p.m., Syfy) offers an entertaining twist on the post-apocalyptic thriller. Set in the year 2046, “Defiance” explores the Earth more than 30 years after an alien invasion sparked a violent global war for domination, and 15 years after a treaty established an uneasy truce between battling races of humans, aliens, cyborgs and mutants.
Look familiar? After many TV roles, Lawrence native lands lead in TV series
April 14, 2013
“Modern Family.” “Bones.” “The Mentalist.” These are three of the most popular shows on TV today, and Lawrence native and actress Annie Tedesco has appeared in all of them. Now she’s landed the lead role in the new TV series “Granite Flats.” By Sara Shepherd
Tune In Tonight: Nostalgia the focus of “The 80’s”
April 14, 2013
Rob Lowe narrates “The 80s: The Decade That Made Us” (8 p.m. Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, National Geographic), a six-part flashback to a formative period. The commentary surrounding the recent death of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher reminds us of some of the stark choices of the period, a time when leaders in both the United Kingdom and the United States began to enthusiastically extol the virtues of market forces and downplay or demonize the more distributive government actions of previous decades.
Tune In Tonight: Bets placed on babies in new show
April 13, 2013
We share an impulse to find joy in infant behavior. But taken to extremes, such pleasures can become infantile. That, in a nutshell, is both the appeal and the pitfall of the new game show “Bet On Your Baby” (7 p.m. Saturday, ABC). Like the old “Newlywed Game,” where the recently hitched won money and prizes based on correct answers to slightly naughty questions about their spouses, “Bet” asks proud parents to wager on the behavior of their barely toddling children. Can junior be coerced into spinning in a circle seven times in 20 seconds? Are you willing to lose money if he doesn’t?
Trading barbs with Bill Maher
Comedian bringing his liberal sense of humor to Topeka
April 11, 2013
For a comedian like Bill Maher, our fair — red — state has provided plenty of fodder over the years, some of which may work its way into his stand-up routine Saturday night at the Topeka Performing Arts Center. By Sara Shepherd
Tune In Tonight: Sitcom stars gather for ‘Parents’
April 3, 2013
Stars of sitcoms past appear in something new that feels very old. “How to Live With Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life)” (8:30 p.m., ABC) stars Sarah Chalke (“Roseanne,” “Scrubs”) as Polly, a sensible wife and mother who abandons her goofy, irresponsible husband, Julian (Jon Dore), to move back with her middle-aged but free-spirited parents, Max and Elaine (Brad Garrett, “Everybody Loves Raymond,” and Elizabeth Perkins, “Weeds”).
Tune In Tonight: ‘Detectives’ makes way out West
April 2, 2013
“History Detectives” (7 p.m., PBS, check local listings) returns with a Western theme. After buying a Kit Carson biography for cheap, Charles Burns discovers some papers hidden between the covers that could be linked to the frontiersman’s family. Another investigation explores some secrets behind the lyrics to the popular song “Tumbling Tumbleweeds,” a 1930s cowboy number composed by Bob Nolan popularized by The Sons of the Pioneers in 1946 and reintroduced to listeners in 1998 as part of the soundtrack to “The Big Lebowski.”
Tune In Tonight: Melodrama in ‘Selfridge’ a tough sell
March 31, 2013
A new variation of “Upstairs Downstairs” set in a department store, the “Masterpiece Classic” presentation of “Mr. Selfridge” (8 p.m. Sunday, PBS, check local listings) is scripted by Andrew Davies (“Bleak House”) and features the first starring role for Jeremy Piven since his Emmy-winning turn in “Entourage.”