“MTV Music Video Awards,” 9 p.m., MTV, VH1 and Comedy Central;
rerunning at 11:20.
Once a year, MTV
remembers music videos; then it does it up big. Tonight, it has Miley
Cyrus hosting, Kanye West getting a Vanguard Award and Taylor Swift
(in the 8 p.m. pre-show) debuting a video.
And there are lots
of performances – Pharrell Williams, Demi Lovato, Macklemore &
Ryan Lewis, Tori Kelly, Weeknd, A$AP Rocky and Twenty One Pilots.
Kendrick Lamar leads with five nominations, including
video-of-the-year, alone (“Alright”) and with Swift (“Bad
Blood”). They face Beyonce (“7/11”), Ed Sheeran (“Thinking
Out Loud”) and Mark Ronson with Bruno Mars (“Uptown Funk”).
II: “Save My Life, Boston Trauma” finale, 10 p.m. Sunday, ABC.
Tossed around the
weekend schedule, this well-made ABC News series hasn't had the
attention it deserves. Tonight's finale sees the results of two
falls: A young woman, about to win a rock-climbing event, fell 25
feet; a man tried to stop his wife from plunging down the stairs, but
they both fell.
Also, a man's wife
and kids fume because he didn't take his blood-pressure medicine ...
then turn somber when they learn he could die or lose his leg.
ALTERNATIVE: “Explorer” return, 8 p.m., National Geographic; and
“Elephant Queen” 9 p.m., NatGeo WilD.
Back in 1985, when
basic-cable channels were scrambling for anything new, “Explorer”
arrived. Produced by National Geographic, it bought documentaries
from around the world. It drew praise and awards, while shuffling
between five cable channels ... then disappeared in 2012.
Now it's back and
ambitious. This opener uses a fake elephant tusk to trace the link
between the slaughter of elephants and the arming of warlords. It's a
grim hour, but afterward switch channels; NatGeo focuses on one
elephant-family's trek, reminding us why these animals are worth
Football, 8 p.m. ET,
NBC. A weekend filled with pre-season football concludes with two
teams that have had opposite success. The Arizona Cardinals were 11-5
last season, but are 0-2 this pre-season; they visit the Oakland
Raiders, who were 3-13 last season, landing receiver Amari Cooper as
the No. 4 draft choice overall. He's caught four passes for 62 yards
this pre-season, with the Raiders at 1-1.
(2010), 8-9:45 p.m., Disney. A weekend stuffed with animated hits
concludes with this musical version of the Rapunzel tale.
Nine-Nine,” 8:30 p.m., Fox. Garret Dillahunt (“Raising Hope”)
guests in this rerun, as the best police detective in New York. Jake
is happy he's there ... until he plans to ask Amy for a date.
Secretary,” 9 p.m., CBS. Shaken by the attack in Iran, Elizabeth
tries to prevent ecological disaster in the Amazon. Also, she and her
husband disagree about their son's security at his new school.
“Fear the Walking
Dead,” 9 p.m. Sunday, AMC, rerunning at 10:01. Like last week's
opener (which reruns at 7:30 p.m.), this is relatively light on gore
and strong on character depth and emotion. We're still in the first
moments of a zombie apocalypse, through the eyes of two smart, decent
people, beautifully played by Kim Dickens and Cliff Curtis. They know
something is wrong and want to flee to the desert, but must retrieve
his son, her daughter and her drug-addicted son.
“The Strain,” 10
p.m., FX. As soon as “Fear” ends, you can switch to another
well-crafted horror story. As vampire-like creatures (including his
wife) roam New York, Eph gropes for his son's respect. Now they must
work together, performing impromptu surgery under field conditions.
finale, 10 p.m., TNT. For five seasons, Tom Mason (Noah Wyle), once
an American history professor, has led a guerilla fight against alien
conquerers. Here's the final showdown.