Category Archives: Books

The Entertainment Forecast

Jan. 6 – 12

The week’s top picks for TV, books and home entertainment

Dan Rather interviews Trisha Yearwood as part of an all-day programming block about country music’s most acclaimed female artists.

FRIDAY, Jan. 6


All the Single Ladies
Taking its title from the Beyonce hit, this new unscripted reality series features Black women across the nation discussing intimacy, dating, sex and love in the modern world (9 p.m., Own).

Rose (left) is one of the “Single Ladies” in the new series taking its title from the Beyonce hit.

Boys in Blue
Docuseries follows a high school football team coached by officers in Minneapolis following the police killing of George Floyd (8 p.m., Showtime). The Pale Blue Eye
Christian Bale stars as a detective investigating a savage murder at an 1830s military academy (Netflix)

SATURDAY, Jan. 7
Svengoolie Classic Horror & Sci-Fi Movie
The classic kooky spooky-movie series expands tonight to two and a half hours, with more corny jokes, fan mail, interviews, special guests and surprises. Tonight’s film is the Vincent Price/Boris Karloff classic The Raven, which includes in its cast a very young Jack Nicholson! (8 p.m., MeTV).

The Women of Country
Shania Twain, Dolly Parton, Trisha Yearwood, Wynonna Judd, Lady A, Tanya Tucker and more are featured this all-day programming “stack” of specials, interviews and concert events from country music’s top female artists (begins 12 p.m., AXS TV).

Alert
New police procedural set in the Philadelphia PD’s Missing Persons department stars Hawaii Five-O’s Scott Caan and Diana Ramirez (right) from Devious Maids (8 p.m., Fox).

SUNDAY, Jan. 8
Anne Rice’s Mayfair Witches
This new series in the “Anne Rice Immortal Universe” is based on the best-selling author’s best-selling trilogy, Lives of Mayfair Witches, focusing on a young neurosurgeon (Alexandra Daddario) who discovers she’s the unlikely heir to a supernaturally gifted family (9 p.m., AMC and AMC+).

READ ALL ABOUT IT

Singing legend Roberta Flack details the beginning of her love of music (and the roots of her tremendous talent) in The Green Piano: How Little Me Found Music (Anne Schwartz Books). About how she started with a beat-up piano her father found in a junkyard, it’s written and illustrated for young kids, but the testimony is ageless: Music can change lives. It certainly did for the “Killing Me Softly with His Song” superstar.

MONDAY, Jan. 9
NCIS Crossover
If you can’t get enough of crime procedurals, well, tonight’s your night. Tune for this three-hour TV event in which the casts and plotlines of NCIS, NCIS: Hawali and NCIS Los Angeles intersect and overlap (8 p.m., CBS).

I Didn’t See You There
Acclaimed documentary takes viewers inside the life of a disabled person, using only footage shot from his personal perspective in a wheelchair, often “invisible” to those around him. It’s moving and mesmerizing (10 p.m., PBS).

TUESDAY, Jan. 10
The Rookie
The search for a missing boy leads the team into the middle of a dangerous drug war between two rival gangs. With Nathan Fillion and Alyssa Diaz (8 p.m., ABC).

NEW ON DVD

Get reacquainted with country star Tanya Tucker in The Return of Tanya Tucker (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment), an insightful documentary about the “Delta Dawn” singer on her recent comeback trail, aided by Americana singer/songwriter Brandi Carlile.

Dwayne Johnson brings a new superhero to the screen in Black Adam (Warner Bros Home Entertainment), based on a character that originally appeared in the 1940s and reappeared in the 1970s as a bad guy, an archenemy to Captain Marvel and other Marvel superheroes. Pssssst: He’s still a badass, just not so bad anymore.

She Said (Universal Home Entertainment) is the riveting true-life story of two intrepid New York Times reporters (Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan) broke open the story of Hollywood’s biggest sexual abuser, Harvey Weinstein.

WEDNESDAY, June 11
Celebrity Name That Tune
Star contestants test their musical knowledge in a new season of this one-hour game show hosted by Jane Krakowski (9 p.m., Fox).

Superkitties
If your kid’s a cat person, they’ll love this new animated series about four cute and cuddly kittens—with superpowers! Mee-oww, it sounds marvelous! (10.30 a.m., Disney Channel).

The Traitors
Actor Alan Cumming hosts this new streaming competition in which a group of 20 contestants vie for a sizeable cash prize. The catch, though—three of them are “traitors” trying to devise a deceitful plan to cheat and steal their way to victory (Peacock).

THURSDAY, June 12

The Vikings are coming…back!

Vikings: Valhalla
The gritty hit series returns for a second season of 11th century Scandinavian raids, sword-rattling and ice-covered adventure. Sam Corlett stars as legendary explore Leif Eriksson (Netflix).

How I Caught My Killer
New true-crime docuseries highlight real-life stories of unique homicides and the crucial clues that help crack each case (Hulu).

The Climb
Actor Jason Momoa and legendary rock climber Chris Sharma host this new climbing competition series, as contestants scale some of the most daunting summits in the world in hopes of clinching a $100,000 prize (HBO and HBO Max).

—Neil Pond

The Entertainment Forecast

Jan. 6 – 12

The week’s top picks for TV, books and home entertainment

Dan Rather interviews Trisha Yearwood as part of an all-day programming block about country music’s most acclaimed female artists.

FRIDAY, Jan. 6


All the Single Ladies
Taking its title from the Beyonce hit, this new unscripted reality series features Black women across the nation discussing intimacy, dating, sex and love in the modern world (9 p.m., Own).

Rose (left) is one of the “Single Ladies” in the new series taking its title from the Beyonce hit.

Boys in Blue
Docuseries follows a high school football team coached by officers in Minneapolis following the police killing of George Floyd (8 p.m., Showtime). The Pale Blue Eye
Christian Bale stars as a detective investigating a savage murder at an 1830s military academy (Netflix)

SATURDAY, Jan. 7
Svengoolie Classic Horror & Sci-Fi Movie
The classic kooky spooky-movie series expands tonight to two and a half hours, with more corny jokes, fan mail, interviews, special guests and surprises. Tonight’s film is the Vincent Price/Boris Karloff classic The Raven, which includes in its cast a very young Jack Nicholson! (8 p.m., MeTV).

The Women of Country
Shania Twain, Dolly Parton, Trisha Yearwood, Wynonna Judd, Lady A, Tanya Tucker and more are featured this all-day programming “stack” of specials, interviews and concert events from country music’s top female artists (begins 12 p.m., AXS TV).

Alert
New police procedural set in the Philadelphia PD’s Missing Persons department stars Hawaii Five-O’s Scott Caan and Diana Ramirez (right) from Devious Maids (8 p.m., Fox).

SUNDAY, Jan. 8
Anne Rice’s Mayfair Witches
This new series in the “Anne Rice Immortal Universe” is based on the best-selling author’s best-selling trilogy, Lives of Mayfair Witches, focusing on a young neurosurgeon (Alexandra Daddario) who discovers she’s the unlikely heir to a supernaturally gifted family (9 p.m., AMC and AMC+).

READ ALL ABOUT IT

Singing legend Roberta Flack details the beginning of her love of music (and the roots of her tremendous talent) in The Green Piano: How Little Me Found Music (Anne Schwartz Books). About how she started with a beat-up piano her father found in a junkyard, it’s written and illustrated for young kids, but the testimony is ageless: Music can change lives. It certainly did for the “Killing Me Softly with His Song” superstar.

MONDAY, Jan. 9
NCIS Crossover
If you can’t get enough of crime procedurals, well, tonight’s your night. Tune for this three-hour TV event in which the casts and plotlines of NCIS, NCIS: Hawali and NCIS Los Angeles intersect and overlap (8 p.m., CBS).

I Didn’t See You There
Acclaimed documentary takes viewers inside the life of a disabled person, using only footage shot from his personal perspective in a wheelchair, often “invisible” to those around him. It’s moving and mesmerizing (10 p.m., PBS).

TUESDAY, Jan. 10
The Rookie
The search for a missing boy leads the team into the middle of a dangerous drug war between two rival gangs. With Nathan Fillion and Alyssa Diaz (8 p.m., ABC).

NEW ON DVD

Get reacquainted with country star Tanya Tucker in The Return of Tanya Tucker (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment), an insightful documentary about the “Delta Dawn” singer on her recent comeback trail, aided by Americana singer/songwriter Brandi Carlile.

Dwayne Johnson brings a new superhero to the screen in Black Adam (Warner Bros Home Entertainment), based on a character that originally appeared in the 1940s and reappeared in the 1970s as a bad guy, an archenemy to Captain Marvel and other Marvel superheroes. Pssssst: He’s still a badass, just not so bad anymore.

WEDNESDAY, June 11
Celebrity Name That Tune
Star contestants test their musical knowledge in a new season of this one-hour game show hosted by Jane Krakowski (9 p.m., Fox).

Superkitties
If your kid’s a cat person, they’ll love this new animated series about four cute and cuddly kittens—with superpowers! Mee-oww, it sounds marvelous! (10.30 a.m., Disney Channel).

The Traitors
Actor Alan Cumming hosts this new streaming competition in which a group of 20 contestants vie for a sizeable cash prize. The catch, though—three of them are “traitors” trying to devise a deceitful plan to cheat and steal their way to victory (Peacock).

THURSDAY, June 12

The Vikings are coming…back!

Vikings: Valhalla
The gritty hit series returns for a second season of 11th century Scandinavian raids, sword-rattling and ice-covered adventure. Sam Corlett stars as legendary explore Leif Eriksson (Netflix).

How I Caught My Killer
New true-crime docuseries highlight real-life stories of unique homicides and the crucial clues that help crack each case (Hulu).

The Climb
Actor Jason Momoa and legendary rock climber Chris Sharma host this new climbing competition series, as contestants scale some of the most daunting summits in the world in hopes of clinching a $100,000 prize (HBO and HBO Max).

—Neil Pond

The Entertainment Forecast

Dec. 16 -22

A new ‘Yellowstone’ prequel, Metallica rocks for charity & Mariah Carey at Madison Square Garden

Harrison Ford as Jacob Dutton in 1923 streaming on Paramount+ 2022. Photo Credit: James Minchin III/Paramount+

Harrison Ford saddles up as Jacob Dutton for ‘1923,’ the new installment in the ‘Yellowstone’ franchise


FRIDAY, Nov. 16
Love after Lockup
Is there romance after time behind bars? This reality series, headed tonight into its new season, explores couples who met when they were doing time, and what happens now that they’re free (9 p.m., WEtv).

Metallica Presents: The Helping Hands Concert
The iconic, hard-rocking metalheads join with the young Zep-inspired band Greta van Fleet for this charity show to raise funds fighting hunger around the globe (Paramount+).

Litvinenko
If you think being an international spy is all glamorous, James Bond stuff, watch this true-story documentary about the 2006 poisoning of Russian agent and the 10-year hunt for his murderer (AMC+ and Sundance Now).

SUNDAY, Dec. 18
The Sound of Music
Lift your holiday spirits with this classic song-filled, Oscar-winning 1965 movie (which has become a Christmas-time TV staple) based on the Rogers & Hammerstein Broadway musical. Sing along with Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer and the rest of the cast to “Edelweiss,” “Climb Every Mountain,” “My Favorite Things,” “Do-Re-Mi” and other soundtrack favorites. Fun fact: Plummer intensely detested working on the film, cynically referring to it as “The Sound of Mucus” and describing acting alongside Andrews, his sweet costar, as “like behind hit over the head with a big Valentine’s card, every day” (7 p.m., ABC).

1923
Yellowstone fans, rejoice. Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren star in this new series, the next in the popular franchise, about the origins of the Dutton ranching family in the early 20th Century—an era of the Great Depression, the end of Prohibition and historic drought (Paramount+)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SIXEy4cwiw

TUESDAY, Nov. 20
Mariah Carey: Merry Christmas to All!
The best-selling female superstar with the five-octave vocal range hosts this concert special from Madison Square Garden, performing festive holiday hits—including, of course, her chart-topping seasonal favorite “All I Want for Christmas is You” (8 p.m., CBS).

NEW ON DVD

Looking for a last-minute Christmas gift for that special Game of Thrones fan? Then hie thee to House of the Dragon: The Complete First Season (Warner Bros. Home Entertainment). The bloody-good sequel to the groundbreaking HBO series gets the royal treatment in this 8-disc box set loaded with nine bonus features and all 10 epic episodes.

The family friendly adventure romp Secret Headquarters (Paramount Home Entertainment) stars Owen Wilson as the world’s most awesome superhero, forced back into action when kids discover his lair.

Get on The Staircase (Warner Bros. Home Entertainment), the new DVD and Blu-ray release of the hit HBO Max series about a real-life murder mystery that turned into a media circus. Starring Collin Firth and Toni Collette.

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 21
Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan
The dang-near-indestructible espionage all-star is back for season as John Krasinski returns to the role in an action-packed race against time—and on the run from both the CIA and an underground criminal faction chasing him across Europe (Prime Video).

The Letter: A Message for Our Earth
Based on a controversial 2015 letter from Pope Francis reflecting on the precarious state of our planet, this documentary explores how global warming continues to affect people around the world (8 p.m., PBS).

READ ALL ABOUT IT

A perfect Christmas gift for all rock fans, Shot! By Rock: The Photography of Mick Rock (Weldon Owen) is a picture-packed coffee-table chronicle showcasing the wide work of the acclaimed London-based photog who “shot the Seventies” in all its rock ‘n’ roll glory.

THURSDAY, Dec. 22
The Best Man: The Final Chapters
Series based on the Universal film-comedy franchise picks up the lives of its character as midlife crisis meets later-life renaissance, relationships evolve and past grievances re-emerge. Starring Morris Chestnut, Melissa De Sousa, Taye Diggs and Terrence Howard (Peacock).

Top Gun: Maverick
Hit the holidays on a high note with this summer’s megahit Tom Cruise flick—a long-awaited follow-up to the 1986 big-screen smash—as it soars into streaming (Paramount+).

The Entertainment Forecast

Dec. 2 – 8

Top picks for TV, books, music, home entertainment & more

A steamy new take on a romance classic, all hail country music’s king and queen, & celebs play bar games

FRIDAY, Dec. 2
Lady Chatterley’s Lover
Steamy new adaptation of the classic D.H. Lawrence novel stars Emma Corwin (above) as the wealthy Englishwoman who finds that love—and marriage—ain’t what it was cracked up to be (Netflix).

Firefly Lane
Katherine Heigl and Sarah Chalke return to their roles for season two of the drama about lifelong best friends facing the ultimate test of their bond and wanting to nurture the other relationships in their lives (Netflix).

Pentatonix: Around the World for the Holidays
The superstar a cappella group goes on a magical musical whirlwind trip around globe in this streaming special, gathering holiday cheer and inspiration (Disney+).

SATURDAY, Dec. 3
The Great Holiday Bake War
Can a yummy recipe have all the ingredients for romance? Find out in this original network movie starring LeToya Luckett and Finesse Mitchell as contestants who meet on a holiday baking competition (9 p.m., Own).

SUNDAY, Dec. 4
Fit for Christmas
Amanda Kloots (of TV’s The Talk) executive-produced and stars in this new holiday flick as a Montana fitness instructor who falls for a mysterious businessman, complicating both of their plans (8:30 p.m., CBS).

George & Tammy
Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain star in this six-episode saga about the turbulent, often torrid relationship of superstar country music couple George Jones and Tammy Wynette (9 p.m., Showtime).


Home Town
Renovation experts Erin and Ben Napier (left) return for a new season of bringing new life to outdated homes in their own small town of Laurel, Miss. (8 p.m., HGTV).

MONDAY, Dec. 5
Barmageddon
Country star Blake Sheldon and buddy Carson Daily are the rowdy ringleaders of this wild new game show, hosted by WWE wrestling superstar Nikki Bella, pitting their celebrity friends against each other in “bar games” at Sheldon’s Old Red nightspot in Nashville. With appearances by

His Dark Materials
Season three of the series, based on the final novel in author Philip Pullman’s award-winning epic fantasy series, finds the prophesized child (Dafne Keen) venturing to a dark place as her father’s war against the Authority edges closer. With Ruth Wilson and James McAvoy (9 p.m., HBO).

How the Grinch Stole Christmas
It wouldn’t feel like the holidays without a viewing of this classic 1966 TV special, featuring the voice of Boris Karloff as the green-goblin Christmas thief transformed by the sweetness of the season (7:30 p.m., TNT).

Tiny Toony’s Christmas Carol
Get in the ha-ha holiday spirit with this Dickens-themed roundup of classic ‘toons from Popeye, Bugs Bunny, Porky the Pig and others, plus vintage holiday shorts rarely seen on broadcast TV (8 p.m., MeTV).

TUESDAY, Dec. 6
Liam Gallagher: Knebworth 22
Let’s rock! Documentary and full concert chronicles the Oasis frontman’s return to the stage at England’s iconic music venue (Paramount+).

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 7
The Goldbergs
In this holiday episode, Erica buys a festive baby toy and Beverly goes full Grinch in an attempt to steal Christmas (8:30 p.m., ABC).

The Great Holiday Baking Special
Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith are the judges, and Ellie Kemper and Zach Cherry host this celebrity-filled holiday special, in which you’re invited “into the tent” for a star-studded competition of whisking, baking and faking (Roku Channel).

THURSDAY, Dec. 8
CMA Country Christmas
Carly Pierce hosts this 13th annual holiday TV musical special, with performances by Steven Curtis Chapman, Scotty McCreery, Marin Morris, Old Dominion, The War and Treaty, and more, all filmed on colorful Christmas-themed sets in Nashville, Tenn. (9 p.m., CBS).

The Real Housewives of Miami
New season six of the feisty franchise drama turns up new heat in the Sunshine State with its returning high-drama housewives and some new acquaintances (Peacock).

Doom Patrol
Brendon Fraser, Matt Bomer, April Bowlby and Michelle Gomez star in season four of the action-packed series based on characters in DC Comics, about a group of people who all suffered horrible accidents that left them with superhuman abilities (HBO and HBO Max).

NOW HEAR THIS


Relive the smooth, spiritually-inclined grooves of the 1972 Cat Stevens’ No. 1 platinum album Catch Bull at Four—the best-selling album of his entire career—with this newly remastered vinyl 50th anniversary re-release (AME/Ume). 

The seminal sounds of the Beach Boys can be rediscovered in the new box set Sail On Sailor-1972 (Capitol/Ume). The multi-disc collection, available as both CDs and LPs, includes rarities, remastered versions of original albums from the group’s post-pop period, and a live Carnegie Hall concert.

Sweet indeed! The cast recording of the Broadway smash A Beautiful Noise: The Neil Diamond Musical (UMe) is a tune-filled journey through the iconic singer-songwriter’s catalog of hits, including “Sweet Caroline,” “I’m a Believer,” “Kentucky Woman,” “Solitary Man.”

Legendary former Beatle Paul McCartney sounds as great as ever on The 7” Singles Box, a new-release collection of 80 career-spanning single releases, newly remastered on CD, including “My Love,” “Live and Let Die,” “Band on the Run,” “Silly Love Songs,” plus rare mono recordings of “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” and “Too Many People.”

READ ALL ABOUT IT

Long before the #MeToo movement, Joyce Chopra was breaking down barriers in Hollywood. Find about how in Lady Director: Adventures in Hollywood, Television and Beyond (City Lights). As this new bio details, among her many other achievements, Chopra produced the first TV-movie adaptation of Joyce Carol Oates’ novel Blonde—beating the controversial Netflix adaptation (starring Ana de Armas as Marilyn Monroe) to the screen by 20 years.

Learn about the rockin’ roots of the music that changed the world in The Birth of Rock & Roll: The Illustrated Story of Sun Records (Wheldon Owen) by noted music journalists Peter Guralnick and Colin Escott. This lavishly illustrated coffee-table showcase details the start of a musical revolution in Memphis, Tenn., where Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, B.B. King and others churned out an explosive mix of hillbilly boogie, Beale Street blues, Southern soul and juke-joint jump at visionary producer Sam Philliips’ now-legendary studio.

The coolest cat in all of pop culture is the Bat. Batman: The Definitive History of the Dark Knight, by Andrew Farago and Gina McIntyre (Insight Editions), spreads its wings with a lavishly illustrated tour of Batman across the spectrum of entertainment, from comic books and TV to animation and live action, video games and ultimately a franchise of blockbuster movies.

WATCH IT NOW

One of TV’s hottest series is now available on Blu-ray. The sixth and final season of Better Call Saul (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment) follows star Bob Odenkirk as he dramatizes the last leg of his character’s transformational journey from a former con artist into criminal lawyer Saul Goodman.

The Entertainment Forecast

Nov. 25 – Dec. 1

Top picks for TV, streaming, home entertainment & more!

Omari Hardwick & Marsai Martin star in ‘Fantasy Football.’

FRIDAY, Nov. 25
Fantasy Football
Family sports comedy film, set in a fictional world around the Atlanta Falcons, stars Marsai Martin as a young woman who can magically control the moves of her father (Omari Hardwick) on the gridiron. With Kelly Rowland (Paramount+)

Stepping into the Holidays
Mario Lopez stars as a former Broadway idol who returns to his hometown for Christmas after being fired as the host of a TV dance competition. Can he help the owner of the local dance studio (Jana Kramer) revive the burg’s annual holiday show? What do you think? (8 p.m., Lifetime).

The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special
Chris Pratt, Karen Gillan, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper and Dave Bautista reprise their movie roles in this merry Christmas adventure about the Guardians’ mission to make this Christmas an unforgettable holiday (Pratt) (Disney+).

SATURDAY, Nov. 26
Robbie the Reindeer
Animated special about a reindeer in training for the “reindeer games” to determine the coveted spots on Santa’s sleigh team (8 p.m., CBS).

Soul Train Awards
All aboard! This present-day awards event preserves the cultural legacy of the landmark 1970s series with appearances from some of the brightest stars in Black entertainment (8 p.m., BET, MTV2, VH1). 

SUNDAY, Nov. 27
Christmas Cooking Challenge
In tonight’s episode, hosts Ree Drummond and Eddie Jackson oversee talented cookie makers all trying their best to end up on Santa’s good list and go home with a $10,000 prize (8 p.m., Food Network).

A Christmas…Present
After multiple projects for the Hallmark network, Full (and Fuller) House star Candace Cameron Bure branches out as producer and star of this new holiday movie, on a new network, about a harried real estate agent who learns to value the reason for the season (Great American Family).

MONDAY, Nov. 28
The Great Christmas Light Fight
The search is on for season 10 and more homes with extravagant holiday lighting and over-the-top decorations (10 p.m., ABC).

Pitch Perfect: Bumper in Berlin
New installment of the PP franchise stars Adam Levin reprising his movie role as Bumper Allen, now venturing to Germany when one of his songs becomes a big hit there. With Sarah Hyland (Peacock).

Kids Baking Championship: All Star Holiday Homecoming
Hosts Duff Goldman and Valerie Bertinelli welcome back four previous winners to show off their holiday-cheer kitchen skills (9 p.m., Food Network and Discovery+).

TUESDAY, Nov. 29
Reindeer in Here
New animated holiday original—following tonight’s 1964 classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer—is about a young reindeer and his friends who band together to save Christmas. Of course! (9 p.m., CBS).

Casey Anthony: Where the Truth Lies
True-crime lovers will love this: For the first time, Casey Anthony sits down to answer questions in this three-part limited-series event, sharing her side of the story about her culture-defining trial for killing her own child—and her subsequent acquittal—11 years ago (Peacock).

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 30
Willow
Live-action fantasy adventure series—based on the 1988 movie—features an international cast on an epic adventure set in a magical world with brownies, sorcerers, trolls and other mythical creatures—and a young girl destined to unite the realms, defeat an evil queen and bring light to the doom-y darkness (Disney+)

Irreverent
A criminal mediator from Chicago is forced to flee for his life and hide out in a small Australian coastal community while posing as the community’s new reverend. Starring Colin Donnell, PJ Byrne and Ed Oxenbould (Peacock).

THURSDAY, Dec. 1
Hush
New series about a sex and relationship “fixer” (Joyful Drake) who becomes the gatekeeper and problem solver for rich and famous clients who don’t want their between-the-sheets secrets airing out in public (ALLBLK).

Inside the Black Box
New season of the interview series spotlighting artists of color, from producers, directors and writers to musicians, as they reflect on how their complexions have impacted their journeys to success (Crackle).

Zion Morino and Savannah Lee Smith bring the glitter to ‘Gossip Girl.’

Gossip Girl
It’s back to school time tonight for season two of the rebooted series based on the novels of bestselling author Cicily von Giegzesar, about the juicy goings-on at an exclusive Manhattan academy (HBO Max).

Dolly Parton’s Magic Mountain Christmas
The country queen stars in this new holiday special—as herself, putting together a Christmas TV special about the Tennessee “mountain magic” at her theme park, Dollywood. With guest appearances by Willie Nelson, Jimmy Fallon, Miley Cyrus, Billy Ray Cyrus and more (8 p.m., NBC).

READ ALL ABOUT IT
Read all about it in Totally Wired (Thames and Hudson)—author Paul Gorman’s epic account of how once-thriving “music journalism” became a force through magazines like Rolling Stone, Creem, Crawdaddy, Melody Maker and a plethora of smaller, niche ‘zines), giving rise to a pop-cultural explosion of writers, photographers and print outlets. 

How powerful is the influence of entertainment? Pretty potent, according to Entertainment Nation (Smithsonian), an engrossing dive into the wide-ranging effects of movies, TV, music and spectator sports. The handsome volume includes 225 photos of artifacts from the Smithsonian’s pop culture collection, including Frank Sinatra‘s bowtie, Cyndi Lauper‘s dress and a costume from The Handmaid’s Tale.

BRING IT HOME
Prepare to enter a suburban dystopia in Don’t Worry Darling (Warner Bros. Home Entertainment), a psychological thriller about a young housewife (Florence Pugh) who comes to realize something is seriously wrong with the idealized life she’s made with her husband (Harry Styles). Maybe the creepy CEO of her hubs’ company (Chris Pine) has something to do with it….

NOW HEAR THIS

Hey, hey, it’s the Monkees! The new Headquarters: Super Deluxe Edition (Rhino) features four CDs and a 7” vinyl. It’s a treasure trove of previously unreleased tracks, early demos, alternative takes and remixes, which provide a soundtrack for the made-for-TV ensemble’s struggle for creative control of their music with their music supervisor, Don Kirschner—and a snapshot of the group’s enthusiastic emergence as a “real band.”

Moving Pictures

A spectrum of boundary-crossing music photography

 Danny Clinch_Still Moving

Danny Clinch:

Still Moving

By Danny Clinch

Hardcover, 296 pages, $50 (Abrams)

 

Clinch, a preeminent music photographer and Grammy Award-nominated documentary film director, has used his camera to chronicle a spectrum of popular performers in both explosive performances and during reflective private moments for Rolling Stone, SPIN, Vanity Fair, Esquire, GQ and other publications. This handsome collection of his work—with a title taken from a Willie Nelson song and featuring powerful portraits as well as more photojournalistic, fly-on-the-wall shots of a Who’s Who of boundary-crossing rock, country, blues, hip-hop and soul performers—is a visual feast for music lovers of all kinds.

 

—Neil Pond, American Profile Magazine

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Cool Cat Daddy

Sammy Davis Jr. bio has daughter’s personal touch

SammyCVR1_Layout 1

Sammy Davis Jr.—A Personal Journey With My Father

By Tracey Davis

Hardcover, 208 pages, $30 (Running Press)

Fans of the Rat Pack will enjoy this poignant, personal memoir, accompanied by a wealth of rare photos, from Davis’ only daughter with Swedish actress May Britt, who traces her father’s remarkable life and career at home and in Hollywood across six decades, in more than 20 movies, on more than 40 record albums, in seven Broadway shows—and in millions of American living rooms as a black entertainer on TV who broke the “color barrier” for many others who would follow. It’s often hard to define “cool,” but Sammy Davis Jr., baby, he had it, in every way, from every angle. He was it.

—Neil Pond, American Profile Magazine

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Musical History Tour

How 50 instruments shaped the development of modern music

 The History of Music in 50 Instruments

The History of Music in 50 Instruments

By Philip Wilkinson

Hardcover, 224 pages, $29.95 (Firefly Books)

 

Strike up the band! This informative, generously illustrated guided tour of musical history looks at 50 orchestra instruments and how they each contributed to the march of musical time—the spread of the lute from the Middle East throughout Europe during the Renaissance; the importance of the organ in cathedrals and churches; the versatility of the “exotic,” jingly-jangly tambourine; the role in the drum and the piccolo in the military; saxophones as the backbone of jazz. It’s a treasury of facts about composers, musicians and compositions and—of course—the instruments that made it all possible.

 

—Neil Pond, American Profile Magazine

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Java Juiced

A wide-ranging look at “our daily habit” and its effects

Caffeinated 

Caffeinated

By Murray Carpenter

Hardcover, 270 pages (Hudson Street Press)

 

Had your fix today—your caffeine fix? The most popular drug in America is the completely unregulated one that we get in our coffee, teas, colas, chocolate and even some pain relievers. This well-researched, wide-ranging look at “how our daily habit helps, hooks and hurts us”—by a writer for NPR, The New York Times and Wired—is compelling, comprehensive, insightful and more than a little bit scary. Read it and you’ll probably never sip that morning cup of java so nonchalantly again.

 

—Neil Pond, American Profile Magazine

 

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Not-So-Simpler Times

Re-examining the era of James Dean, ‘Ozzie & Harriet,’ & ‘I Love Lucy’

The Forgotten Fifties_cover

The Forgotten Fifties

By James Conaway

Hardcover, 224 pages, $45 (Skira Rizzoli)

From the pages and archives of LOOK magazine, a publication that defined the Fifties in images and words, comes this handsome photographic celebration of the complicated, often contradictory era that transformed America’s identity through an unprecedented confluence of socio-economics, culture and politics at the end of World War II. With 200 color and black and white photos, it’s a chronological museum of memories charting the ups and downs of a nation as it finds its way through the often mixed signals of Ozzie and Harriet and I Love Lucy, John F. Kennedy, James Dean, Disneyland, suburban prosperity, urban slums and other touchstones from an era that wasn’t quite as simple as it might seem.

 

—Neil Pond, American Profile Magazine

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