Television critic David Bianculli previews two new TV shows. Broken Trail, a western starring Robert Duvall and Thomas Haden Church, premieres on the AMC cable channel this Sunday and Monday night at 8 p.m. ET. Bill Moyers: On Faith and Reason debuts Friday night on PBS.
Fresh Air TV critic David Bianculli says two new miniseries this week are worth special mention — and couldn't be more different. The Spoils Of Babylon is a miniseries soap-opera spoof on IFC; True Detective looks like the best HBO drama since The Wire.
Set in London in the early 1930s, the five-part miniseries is about a black jazz band trying to crack the dance halls and radio playlists. Critic David Bianculli says this music-centered show features full, unpredictable characters and some exceptionally intriguing performances.
I, Claudius is loaded with bloody violence, graphic sex, tales of epic battles and intrigue and characters who are in danger of being killed at any time. The British miniseries has now been remastered and is available in a 35th anniversary edition DVD.
Actress Helen Mirren has been nominated for three Golden Globes this year. For her roles in the TV mini-series Prime Suspect and Elizabeth I, and for her work in the film The Queen. Mirren has performed with the Royal Shakespeare Company, and in the films Gosford Park, The Comfort of Strangers, The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover, Age of Consent, The Long Good Friday and Excalibur. This interview originally aired on Apr. 18, 2006.
British actress Helen Mirren, perhaps best known for her long-running role as Det. Supt. Jane Tennison on TV's Prime Suspect, has had two quite closely related roles recently. She plays Elizabeth I in a new HBO four-part miniseries premiering April 22; then she appears as Elizabeth II in The Queen, a film from Stephen Frears.