Ken Tucker's TV Prime-Time TV commentary

Tag: TV Tonight (11-20 of 131)

'Cougar Town': Its strengths and weaknesses, its ratings challenge: VIDEO review

Cougar Town is on tonight, once again facing overwhelming counter-programming from American Idol, NCIS, The (gag) Biggest Loser, and a PBS documentary about The Amish (no kidding, it’s good). Is Cougar Town the little, misnamed-sitcom that can prevail, can retain an audience large enough to keep it alive? READ FULL STORY

'Smash': Measuring its success, and its importance to NBC

Smash returns for its second week this evening, the eager wagging tail behind the big-dog success The Voice. Tonight’s episode, titled “The Callback,” pits Megan Hilty’s Ivy and Katharine McPhee’s Karen against each other for the role of Marilyn Monroe, and I think — I hope — you’ll be impressed with the way Smash deals so forthrightly, and so quickly, in confronting the competition that a lesser series might leave slack for weeks to come.

Here are a few thoughts about Smash, in my weekly video review:

Twitter: @kentucker

'The River' premiere review: Take me to the river, wash me in the scary

The River is a fun, scary tale that arrived on Tuesday night disguised as a grim, scary tale. That’s the way these things work: The frights wouldn’t be nearly as effective if the characters didn’t find blood-curdling precisely the stuff that made us jump and giggle. Thus, when Leslie Hope’s Tess  got abruptly sucked beneath what was thought to be shallow water (for a few seconds, only her frantically gesticulating hand remained in view), you might have yelped, but you might also have laughed at how smoothly executed the scare effect was achieved. READ FULL STORY

'John Mulaney: New in Town' review: Watch it tonight; more laughs than 'Saturday Night Live'

You may have seen John Mulaney on Saturday Night Live, where he’s made some drolly precise, funny appearances on “Weekend Update.” (Mulaney is also a writer for SNL.) He’s been a guest on Conan O’Brien’s show. But tonight, his Comedy Central special John Mulaney: New in Town proves something: He’s one of the best stand-up comics alive. READ FULL STORY

UPDATE: 'Alcatraz' week 2, 'Kit Nelson': Why it's caught on with a large audience so quickly, and why it may deserve to

Alcatraz premiered last week with back-to-back episodes that lured more than 10 million viewers and bested the premiere of its time-period predecessor, Terra Nova. The show had two things going for it from the start: A catchy premise (Alcatraz prisoners from the 1960s are somehow transported into our current era) and fan-favorite Jorge Garcia. READ FULL STORY

'¡Rob!' premiere: A brief review

Rob Schneider starred as a charmless dweeb on a show that spent 30 minutes making cheap Mexican-American jokes, culminating in the horror of seeing Rob simulating intercourse with his wife’s grandmother. READ FULL STORY

'Work It' premiere review: So bad, you felt a little sorry for it?

Work It made its sad little debut on Tuesday tonight, for a half-hour that ABC might have given over to coverage of the Iowa caucuses. Not that ABC deserves any special criticism in that latter regard — NBC might have saved the Republic two hours of idiocy if it hadn’t aired the 13th season premiere of The Biggest Loser. READ FULL STORY

'Suzilla, The Mouth That Roars' review: Tonight's debut is easy to stomach

I thought I’d just about had my fill of reality food/eating shows, but the debut of Suzilla, The Mouth That Roars is awfully fun and satisfying. It airs tonight on Planet Green network.   READ FULL STORY

Fox News Republican debate review: Throwing red meat to the candidates, they bit, with a dash of zany

Two factors dovetailed to make Thursday night’s Republican debate lively, occasionally cut-throat television: It was the final set-to before the Iowa caucuses and thus the candidates’ last chance to reach a wide audience, and it was hosted and broadcast by the Fox News Channel, which knew how to dangle the red meat in front of the seven participants.  READ FULL STORY

'Batman: The Brave and the Bold' series finale tonight: What a fan-boy Bat-hoot!

Batman: The Brave and the Bold wraps up its run on Friday evening with a terrific send-off, a comic-book fan’s delight: a wittily self-conscious half-hour that finds Bat-Mite trying to get The Brave and the Bold cancelled by turning it into an awful show, to make way for what he really wants — “a darker Batman series!” The fact that that sentiment comes from the voice of Paul Reubens as Bat-Mite only makes it more satirical. READ FULL STORY

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