David Bianculli

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm David Bianculli, editor of the website TV Worth Watching, sitting in for Terry Gross.

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

We hardly get to know the lead character of new sci-fi comedy Upload — and the world of the near future in which he lives — before he stops living.

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. These days, many people are watching much more TV. That's certainly true of our TV critic David Bianculli, who has recommendations not only about what to watch and where but how.

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Seven Worlds, One Planet, BBC America's new big-budget, big-scope documentary series, devotes one episode to each of Earth's continents — beginning with an episode devoted to Australia.

There are two main theories about how the commercial broadcast networks can continue to compete against the onslaught of such streaming video operations as Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and Disney+. One is to attack them directly by offering the same sort of unusual and imaginative programming. The other is to retreat — and offer familiar comfort food, like police procedurals.

Good TV seems to be coming at us in increasingly large quantities and from so many different directions. Just last month, two major services — Apple TV+ and Disney+ — launched, joining the crowded field of streaming services. All this added up to a great year for quality television. Here's a list of my favorite shows of 2019.

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Tonight HBO premieres a new four-part miniseries called "Catherine The Great" starring Helen Mirren as the 18th century Russian empress. Our TV critic David Bianculli has this review.

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm TV critic David Bianculli, editor of the website TV Worth Watching, sitting in for Terry Gross.

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Back in the old, old days of TV, before either streaming or cable television, the broadcast networks were king — enjoying a virtual monopoly. And each fall, CBS, NBC and ABC would roll out their new shows at the same time to attract the most viewers for their automotive advertisers, who, in turn, were rolling out their new fall models. It's a TV tradition that has persisted, even though neither Detroit nor the networks are nearly as dominant as they used to be.

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

The original Veronica Mars premiered on television 15 years ago, which, in TV terms, was a whole different era. David Milch's HBO series Deadwood, which just reunited its cast for a fabulous TV movie, premiered that year. So did two major hits for ABC, Lost and Desperate Housewives.

On June 30, the Showtime network launches a new TV miniseries called The Loudest Voice. Based on the Gabriel Sherman book The Loudest Voice in the Room, it's a seven-part drama about the television triumphs and controversies of Roger Ailes, who created and ran the Fox News Channel.

City on a Hill is a period cop series about trying to change the system from within, and encountering resistance — sometimes deadly resistance — everywhere you turn. It's a bit like the 1973 biographical crime film Serpico, except set in '90s Boston instead of '70s New York, and starring Kevin Bacon in the Al Pacino role.

Pages