Category Archives: Winter Press Tour 2018

Upholding Family Legacy in ‘Little Women’

The BBC shifts to American literature (and a largely American cast) for its version of Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women” on “Masterpiece” (PBS, 8 p.m., check local listings). While the three hour adaptation by “Call the Midwife” creator Heidi Thomas may be highlighted by the appearance of TV legend Angela Lansbury briefly in the role [...]

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Who Was Azaria’s ‘Brockmire’ Inspiration?

There are a lot of vile jokes and uproarious situations in the series “Brockmire,” in which Hank Azaria plays a slightly unhinged alcoholic sports announcer. But there’s nothing funnier in the show, which begins its second season on IFC tonight, than Azaria’s central impersonation of a Midwestern sports announcer who uses that flat cadence to [...]

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Antonio Banderas Becomes Picasso

Smoldering leading man Antonio Banderas takes a big turn Wednesday portraying the second 20th century giant to get the spotlight in the miniseries “Genius: Picasso” (National Geographic, 9 p.m.). Odd that the man who portrayed Zorro and Pancho Villa would play the bald, white-haired artist in a striped sweater, even though the series has provided [...]

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Detective Thriller with ‘Fleabag’ Touch

What might have been another dreary detective chasing serial killer series is turned on its head when women portray both roles, exploring the kinds of things that aren’t often considered in such dramas. In the stylish new “Killing Eve” (BBC America, 8 p.m.), the versatile Sandra Oh plays a frazzled, half-American desk jockey at Mi-5 [...]

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Al Pacino Becomes Joe Paterno for HBO

Al Pacino has specialized in playing actual people for HBO films, from Roy Cohen to Phil Spector, Jack Kavorkian and now Joe Paterno, in an understated and effective portrayal of the beloved Penn State coach whose image was tarnished by its proximity to the considerable claims of sexual misconduct of his former defensive coordinator, Jerry [...]

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‘Trading Spaces’ Doubles Down in Return

You may be seeing double in the return of “Trading Spaces” (TLC, 8 p.m.), the granddaddy of the home improvement shows, returning tonight a decade after it went off the air. Not only has the cast roughly doubled to 16 (while still including old favorites like Paige Davis, Ty Pennington, Vern Yip and  Frank Bielec), but [...]

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Marcia Clark Gets Back to Investigating

Until she became a heroine of the inaugural “American Crime Story”, the former Los Angeles prosecutor Marcia Clark had been keeping a basement-deep low profile. But the sympathetic portrayal of her thankless work in the unsuccessful case against O.J. Simpson in an Emmy-winning performance by Sarah Paulson, brought her back into the limelight. She met [...]

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‘Dolores’ Recounts Life of Activist Huerta

When Lois Vossen, executive producer of “Independent Lens” (9 p.m., PBS, check local listings) was growing up in Minnesota, she had a direct connection to the subject of tonight’s film, but didn’t know it. “Fifty years ago I stopped eating grapes to support a boycott thousands of miles away.”  Vossen told reporters earlier this year. [...]

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Apatow Pays Long Tribute to Mentor

A funeral was the spark of Judd Apatow’s big two-night, four-hour documentary on his comic mentor “The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling” (HBO, 10 p.m.). And if Shandling was still around, he’d get the self-deprecating humor in that. After Shandling died suddenly at 66 a year ago of a blood clot, Apatow quickly put together [...]

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‘Friday Night Lights’ Starts Singing

NBC’s new prestige show “Rise” (NBC, 10 p.m.), about the establishment of a musical theater program in a rural Pennsylvania high school, may remind some of a rural “Glee,” but it’s also grounded in the midwest ethos of a previous show by one of its executive producers, Jason Katims, “Friday Night Lights.” “What I love [...]

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