Bianculli’s Best Bets for June 11, 2013 

TVWorthWatching.com is experiencing technical problems at the moment. While we work to fix the issue we’re releasing the Best Bets for today, June 11, here on Tumblr. Thanks for your patience!

 

BLAZING SADDLES 

Encore, 8 p.m. ET

Mel Brooks suddenly seems to be everywhere – and that’s anything but a complaint. The PBS series American Masters just profiled him, and this weekend TNT televises his receipt of the AFI Life Achievement Award. Tonight, Encore presents two of those Life Achievements, starting with this 1974 classic that redefined comedy in films and TV – and which, Brooks told me recently, he’s playing with turning into his latest stage musical. Cleavon Little and Gene Wilder star, Richard Pryor co-wrote the script, and Madeline Kahn steals the show with her weary Marlene Dietrich impersonation.

BABY FACE

TCM, 8 p.m. ET

This 1933 movie is one of the films that prompted the institution of Hollywood’s infamously chaste production code – which means, for its time, it was daringly racy, even in a version that suffered some edits before it was released. Barbra Stanwyck stars in the title role, playing a calculating young woman who sleeps her way from the bottom to the top, attracting and discarding men as she sees fit.

NBA FINALS: MIAMI HEAT VS. SAN ANTONIO SPURS

ABC, 9 p.m. ET

Game 3: The San Antonio Spurs made this year’s NBS Finals look like a close contest by winning Game 1, but the Miami Heat made it look like a blowout by thoroughly dominating the Spurs in Game 2. With the series tied at 1-1 and the locale shifting from Miami to San Antonio, you’d think the Spurs might have an advantage. But after Sunday’s game, it’s hard to imagine the Heat not hitting the court with more of a purpose, and a vengeance.

SPACEBALLS

Encore, 9:40 p.m. ET

Here’s another Mel Brooks comedy shown tonight on Encore – this one from 1987, a spoof of Star Wars made a decade after that George Lucas space epic first hit theaters. Surprisingly (it surprised me, anyway), Mel Brooks told me that Spaceballs was his most popular film on DVD, and here’s a chance to see why. Start with the casting, which includes John Candy as the furby-ish Barf, Rick Moranis as Dark Helmet, and Bill Pullman as the heroic Lone Starr.

THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART

Comedy Central, 11 p.m. ET

Jon Stewart can rest easy this summer, and so can we: The Daily Show is in great hands with John Oliver. Last night, his debut as host featured a great opening segment – on the latest electronic surveillance controversy – followed by an even funnier segment in which all of Oliver’s fellow correspondents got to vent their envy at Oliver’s summer promotion. It’s not easy being green, but they made it fun. The interview segment, with Seth Rogen, was less of a home run, but interviewing is tricky, so give Oliver time. Based on the rest of his first solo flight, he deserves some slack. And lots of support.