Show Tracker
What you're watching
TV This Week Aug. 31 - Sept 6: 'Houdini' on History

Customized TV Listings are available here: www.latimes.com/tvtimes

Click here to download TV listings for the week of Aug. 31 - Sept. 6, 2014 in PDF format

This week's TV Movies


 

SUNDAY  

"Jay Leno's Garage: The Ultimate Car Week" finds the former "Tonight Show" host in Pebble Beach for the annual Concours d'Elegance. Leno likes cars? Who knew? 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. CNBC

See if Britain's MI6 espionage agency really sends its agents out in Aston Martins equipped with missiles and ejector seats in the special "Secrets of Her Majesty's Secret Service." 8 p.m. KOCE

The Muscular Dystrophy Assn. has no Ice Bucket Challenge, just the "2014 MDA Show of Strength Telethon" with performances by American Authors, Aloe Blacc and Jason Derulo. 9 p.m. ABC

"Masterpiece Mystery!" will leave you "Breathless" with this three-part tale about a smooth-talking surgeon (Jack Davenport) in early 1960s London. Zoe Boyle and Catherine Steadman also star. 9 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. KOCE; next Sunday, 9 p.m.

...

Read more
Friday Highlights: 'American Masters: Dorothea Lange' on PBS

Customized TV Listings are available here: www.latimes.com/tvtimes

Click here to download TV listings for the week of Aug. 24 - 30, 2014 in PDF format

This week's TV Movies


 

SERIES

American Masters This new episode, "Dorothea Lange: Grab a Hunk of Lightning" profiles the American photographer. Lange's granddaughter, Emmy winner Dyanna Taylor, serves as the program's producer, director, writer and narrator. 9 p.m. KOCE

The Almighty Johnsons The goddesses (Michelle Langstone, Rachel Nash, Eve Gordon) may have found the lost Frigg in the form of a goth-singing butcher (Brooke Williams), but they keep their discovery a secret from Agnetha (Alison Bruce) in this new episode. 11 p.m. Syfy

SPECIALS

George Strait: The Cowboy Rides Away This new special features interviews with Strait and highlights from his final concert in Dallas along with performances from Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney, Eric Church, Sheryl Crow, Vince Gill, Faith Hill, Alan Jackson, Miranda Lambert and Martina McBride....

Read more
TV Picks: 'Houdini,' 'Breathless,' 'Doctor Who'

Oscar-winner Adrien Brody is the obvious draw for History's four-hour, two-part bio-pic "Houdini," which attempts to show the man behind the great-escape legend. That it winds up spending most of its time showcasing all the escapes, relying almost entirely on a voiceover to fill in the "man behind" bits, is no fault of Brody or, indeed, screenwriter Nicholas Meyer ("The Seven-Percent Solution," "The Human Stain.") As interesting as Houdini's obvious flirtation with death might be, the psychology, for once, pales in comparison with its physical manifestation.

In other words, the tricks were amazing! And this film shows us how he did many of them! That not all of the escapades featured are historically documented, well, History, which should perhaps change its name a third time to "History," has been smudging the lines of scholarship for a while now, especially since it got into the docudrama business.

Further blurring the accuracy issue is the fact that Meyer is working from the 1976...

Read more
Is Tony Soprano dead? David Chase responds to debate that won't die

It's been seven years since "The Sopranos" came to an end with the fate of its protagonist, Tony Soprano, left intentionally, if maddeningly, open to interpretation. 

Despite the passage of time, creator David Chase has been unable to escape the question of what "really" happened to Tony, played by the late James Gandolfini, after that abrupt cut-to-black. To borrow some lyrics from Journey, some fans just won't stop believing that hidden somewhere in those tense minutes at a New Jersey diner is the truth about the crime boss' destiny. 

The debate has once again flared up online, thanks to a story published by the website Vox on Wednesday with the attention-getting headline, "Did Tony die at the end of 'The Sopranos'? David Chase finally answers the question he wants fans to stop asking."

In what amounts to a lengthy critical essay disguised as a scoop, writer Martha P. Nochimson looks far and wide for insight into what remains perhaps the most confounding finale in television history....

Read more
Zach Galifianakis carries 'Baskets' comedy to FX

Zach Galifianakis, who often plays characters who could be considered basket cases in such films as "The Hangover" and "Due Date," has a new show called "Baskets" -- and he's carrying it to FX.

The comedy will star the comedian, who co-created the show with Louis C.K. ("Louie") and Jonathan Krisel ("Portlandia"). The trio also wrote the pilot and are executive producers, with Krisel acting as show runner.

"Baskets" revolves around a Bakersfield man who dares to follow his dream of becoming a professional clown. But after an unsuccessful enrollment at a prestigious clowning school in Paris, the only job he can get is with the local rodeo.

FX has ordered 10 episodes of the series, which will begin production next year with a planned premiere in 2016.

Twitter: @GeBraxton

Read more
Thursday's TV Highlights: 'Rush' on USA

Customized TV Listings are available here: www.latimes.com/tvtimes

Click here to download TV listings for the week of Aug. 24 - 30, 2014 in PDF format

This week's TV Movies


SERIES

Great Performances Violinist Itzhak Perlman and cantor Yitzchak Meir Helfgot perform liturgical and traditional works in arrangements for chamber orchestra and klezmer settings in this new episode. 9 p.m. KOCE

MythBusters What's the most efficient way to board an airplane? 9 p.m. Discovery

Project Runway In this new episode, designers create unconventional wedding dresses. 9 p.m. Lifetime

Rush Rush (Tom Ellis) tries a hallucinogenic drug that drives him to a personal epiphany in this new episode. Larenz Tate and Sarah Habel also star with guest stars Laurie Fortier and Colin Cunningham. 9 p.m. USA

Welcome to Sweden Bruce (Greg Poehler) returns to New York to help Amy Poehler (herself) with her financial problems, 9 p.m. NBC. Then, in the season finale at 9:30 he's stuck in New York and gets in a...

Read more
Chelsea Handler signs off from 'Chelsea Lately' on E!

In one of the most underhyped farewells in recent memory, Chelsea Handler signed off from "Chelsea Lately" Tuesday night after seven years. 

The finale on E! was sparsely promoted ahead of time by the network and just so happened to arrive on a day when Emmys coverage dominated entertainment news. 

But Handler, who will launch a new talk show on Netflix sometime in 2016, made the most of her under-the-radar finale. Three of her besties, Jennifer Aniston, Sandra Bullock and Mary McCormack, stopped by to stage a loving quasi-intervention for their vodka-swilling friend. 

Aniston accused Handler of "stealing" her hairstyle and yoga instructor and questioned her hygiene practices. "There's a reason your stage is so far from the audience," she quipped, while McCormack joked that, "Never once have you let your job get in the way of your drinking problem."

When it was Bullock's turn to roast, she pretended to have mixed up her letter for Handler with one for infamous prankster George Clooney....

Read more
Wednesday's TV Highlights: 'Motive' on ABC

Customized TV Listings are available here: www.latimes.com/tvtimes

Click here to download TV listings for the week of Aug. 24 - 30, 2014 in PDF format

This week's TV Movies


 

SERIES

So You Think You Can Dance Figure skater Tara Lipinski returns to the judges' panel along with Jesse Tyler Ferguson as the top four perform before next week's season finale. Jason Mraz also performs in this new episode. 8 p.m. Fox

Young

Read more
Emmys 2014: Little awards love for big 'Game of Thrones'

Monday night was very good for "Breaking Bad" at the Emmy Awards. Bryan Cranston, Anna Gunn, Aaron Paul and the series itself all won top awards. But all that Walter White love meant the poor, put-upon citizens of Westeros went back to the kingdom relatively empty-handed.

Despite becoming a massive international hit -- it's the most pirated TV show in the world -- "Game of Thrones" took home just four technical Emmys out of the show's 19 total nominations.

------------

FOR THE RECORD

An earlier version of this post stated that "Game of Thrones" received 11 Emmy nominations. "Thrones" received 19 nominations.

------------

After winning one back in 2011, Peter Dinklage has come and gone every year without a repeat victory. And he remains the only member of the cast to be recognized by the TV academy.

EMMYS 2014: Full coverage | Top winners/nominees | Show highlights | Red carpet arrivals | Show recap | Quotes from the stars | Best and worst | Winners room | Complete list

The HBO series,...

Read more
Emmys 2014: The 'McConaissance' loses steam, thanks to Bryan Cranston

Going into Monday night's Emmys, most pundits predicted that Matthew McConaughey would clinch the prize for lead actor in a drama series for his portrayal of haunted Louisiana cop Rust Cohle in HBO's brooding murder mystery "True Detective."

The win would have capped off a transformational year for McConaughey, who took home an Oscar in March for his role as a swaggering AIDS patient fighting for access to unapproved drugs in the best picture nominee "Dallas Buyers Club."

The 44-year-old Texan first gained notice in the '90s with roles in the stoner comedy "Dazed and Confused" and the legal thriller "A Time to Kill," but as recently as a few years ago his star had faded after a string of lackluster romantic comedies that traded on his toned physique -- and not much else.

EMMYS 2014: Full coverage | Top winners/nominees | Show highlights | Red carpet arrivals | Show recap | Quotes from the stars | Best and worst | Winners room | Complete list

But with risk-taking turns in such films as...

Read more
Emmys 2014: A night of highs and lows for women

We may be living in "a wonderful time for women on television," as Julianna Margulies observed Monday in her Emmys acceptance speech, an era when there are so many great dramatic roles for women on the small screen that people like Tatiana Maslany and Elisabeth Moss fail to even receive nominations. 

But that doesn't mean television is exactly a bastion of gender equality. Case in point: To many observers, Monday's telecast was marred by a bit in which Television Academy Chief Executive Bruce Rosenblum quite literally put "Modern Family" star Sofia Vergara on a pedestal

EMMYS 2014: Full coverage | Top winners/nominees | Show highlights | Red carpet arrivals | Show recap | Quotes from the stars | Best and worst | Winners room | Complete list

The gag seemed designed to bring some levity to the dull yet obligatory awards-show moment when whichever institution happens to be handing out the trophies rattles off its mission statement, but instead it struck many as being unabashedly sexist....

Read more
Gwen Stefani mispronounced Stephen Colbert's name at the Emmys

When Emmy presenter Gwen Stefani mangled the name of Emmy-winner Stephen Colbert at the awards on Monday night, it wasn't as bad as Adele Dazeem, but viewers still took note.

Stefani was on her second award show in as many days (she was also a presenter at the MTV VMAs on Sunday), so maybe she was a little over-tired when she pronounced Stephen Colbert (rhymes with stare) as "Col-bore."

Back in March, John Travolta earned heaps of scorn after attempting to introduce singer Idina Menzel as "Adele Dazeem." The flub quickly became a dreaded Internet meme.

EMMYS 2014: Full coverage | Top winners/nominees | Show highlights | Red carpet arrivals | Show recap | Quotes from the stars | Best and worst | Winners room | Complete list

Fellow nominee Jimmy Fallon seized on the moment to rush the stage with Colbert and his team.

"She said it wrong, so there must be a mistake," Fallon said.

The real test of whether or not Stefani's verbal snafu will have legs is if Colbert addresses the...

Read more
Loading