Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Curl up with The Great American Read

The Great American Read
The Great American Read
Photo: Nutopia (PBS)

Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Tuesday, September 11. All times are Eastern.


Top pick

The Great American Read (PBS, 10 p.m.): Books are good. People like them. That’s the engine behind this Meredith Vieira-hosted series, which celebrates the 100 books best beloved by American readers (as determined by an advisory panel that worked with “public opinion polling service ‘YouGov’ to conduct a demographically and statistically representative survey asking Americans to name their most-loved novel.”) Note that the show isn’t concerned with the best American books, or even the best-loved American books. Or books by American authors: Instead, it’s looking at the works of fiction (published in English) most loved by American readers, no matter the country of origin or whether or not they’re works of titanic intellectual accomplishment. You can check out the full list here. Alphabetically by title, it begins with 1984 and ends with Wuthering Heights; authors include Harper Lee, Leo Tolstoy, Stephenie Meyer, Dean Koontz, Nicholas Sparks, Louisa May Alcott, Zora Neale Hurston, J.K. Rowling, and the Left Behind guys, so it’s pretty varied, you might say.

Viewers can vote for their favorite title, and a collection of writers, actors, journalists, and other famous types will be on hand to discuss these dog-eared favorites. Serena Williams discusses The Chronicles Of Narnia! Come on, who doesn’t want to watch that?

Regular coverage

Wild card

The X-Files (BBC America, all day): BBC America is right this second kicking off day two of its five-day marathon of The X-Files, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this week. The network is including episodes from seasons one through nine, as well as the films The X-Files: I Want To Believe and The X-Files: Fight The Future. Today’s offerings include “Fearful Symmetry” (the one with the rampaging elephant), “Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose” (the one where Peter Boyle plays a psychic insurance salesman), and “Soft Light” (Tony Shalhoub!), among many others.

Contributor, The A.V. Club and The Takeout. Allison loves TV, bourbon, and overanalyzing social interactions. Please buy her book, How TV Can Make You Smarter (Chronicle, 2020). It’s short!