TV column for Tuesday, Aug. 1


TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE:
“World of Dance,” 10 p.m., NBC.

Tonight, we'll have
a championship – three of them, actually -- but that still won't be
the end. The show chooses a winner in each of the three categories.
Next week, they'll compete for the overall title.

In the junior
division (ages 17 and under) are two pre-teens, Diana Pompo and Eva
Igo. In the 18-plus division (including small groups), the
contemporary duo Keona & Mari faces the French hip hop twins,
simply called Les Twins. And in large groups (five or more), the
Kinja bring ninja-inspired moves and Swing Latino gives ballroom
dancing a Colombian flavor.

TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE
II: “Manhunt: Unabomber” debut, 9-11 p.m., Discovery.

These were crimes
that frightened the public and bewildered the police. The victims
seemed random; anyone could get a deadly bomb in the mail. Now an
eight-hour mini-series leaps between two phases: A profiler (Sam
Worthington) searches for a clue; later, he meets the bomber (Paul
Bettany) in prison. There are plenty of flaws here: The story takes
too long and time-jumps too often. It portrays the profilers' bosses
as total fools, making the whole story seem hard to believe. But
underneath it all is a story of two nimble minds (one of them
demented) at work; the result is sometimes riveting.

TONIGHT'S
MUST-RECORD: Monroe marathon, Turner Classic Movies.

In a wondrous little
14-year career, Marilyn Monroe did 26 movies and had uncredited
moments in others. She made a few great ones and a lot of
entertaining ones, as we'll see today.

One of the greatest,
“Some Like It Hot” (1959), is at 11:30 a.m. ET, alongside trifles
-- “The Asphalt Jungle” (1950) at 9:30 a.m., “Love Nest”
(1951) at 2 p.m. Then it's “There's No Business Like Show Business”
(1954) at 3:45 p.m., “Bus Stop” (1956) at 6, “The Seven Year
Itch” (1955) at 8, “Niagara” (1953) at 10, “River of No
Return” (1954) at midnight, “How to Marry a Millionaire”
(1955) at 2 a.m.

Other choices
include:

“America's Got
Talent,” 8-10 p.m., NBC. The judges continue to make their cuts,
this time with Laverne Cox joining them and getting the power of the
“golden buzzer.”

“NCIS,” 8 p.m.,
NCIS. In a rerun, a congresswoman (Mary Stuart Masterson) gets
escalating threats. Vance (Rocky Carroll), the NCIS director,
oversees a temporary protection detail.

“Black-ish,” 9
and 9:30 p.m., ABC. In the first rerun, it's Dre's turn to choose a
baby's name; he goes for something culturally significant. In the
second, Zoey has been accepted to several colleges, some of them far
away; now her parents become sentimental.

“Animal Kingdom,”
9 p.m., TNT, rerunning at 10. Baz drops out of the yacht heist and
instead wants J to join him for a more-personal job. That leaves
Craig and Deran pondering their yacht options.

“The Bold Type,”
9:01 p.m., Freeform. Jane's writing career was zooming, but now
there's a detour: She and the magazine are being sued by the subject
of her story about a woman who left a finance job to be an exotic
dancer. Sutton sees progress in her fashion work; Kat is discouraged
about romance.

“Somewhere
Between,” 10 p.m., ABC. Last week's opening hours saw Laura wake up
with a chance to re-live the previous week ... and maybe stop a
serial killer who would eventually slay her daughter. The first try
by Laura and Nico failed; now they endanger themselves while trying
to set a trap.

“NCIS: New
Orleans,” 10 p.m., CBS. A JAG lawyer who handles controversial and
classified cases has gone missing. Now Pride's friend (Chelsea
Field), a military attorney, asks him to investigate.

TV column for Monday, July 31


TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE:
“The Bachelorette,” 8-10:01 p.m., ABC.

Things wrap up next
week, with Rachel Lindsay – a Dallas lawyer, 31 – choosing among
three guys. First, however, is the annual “Men Tell All” detour.
Some of the men Lindsay rejected return to talk about her or about
the other guys. Then we get quick views of the finalists.

There's Bryan
Abasolo, 37, a Miami chiropractor who seems confident – too
confident, her family insists. The others are personal trainers --
Eric Bigger, 29, and the slow-to-commit Peter Kraus, 31.

TONIGHT'S MUST-TRY:
“To Tell the Truth” or “Loaded,” 10:01 p.m., ABC, or 10:03,
AMC.

From “West Wing”
to “In Plain Sight,” Mary McCormack keeps playing brainy types.
That's a subject she knows well; how many other stars have a sister
who's a state Supreme Court jusice?

Now she competes
with herself. In the “Truth” rerun, she's a panelist. And in the
delightful “Loaded,” she's the new boss of a videogame company.
Tonight's hour starts hilariously, as she cracks down on guys who
just want to have fun; then one of them (Josh) is dismayed when his
parents return home.

TONIGHT'S
ALTERNATIVE: “CBSN: On Assignment” debut, 10 p.m., CBS.

In summers past, the
networks would use the slow time to add extra news shows – real
ones, not just true-crime tales. Now CBS links with its streamig
service, www.CBSNews.com, for
this hour.

Adam Yamaguchi looks
at Japan, with the largest population decline in modern history. He
visits an abandoned school and sees robots being used as friends and
roommates. Vladimir Duthiers views how visa fraud is used to put
foreign works in U.S. auto plants. And Charlie D'Agata is in Iraq,
where parents say ISIS is indoctrinating a generation of children to
become potential killers.

Other choices
include:

“So You Think You
Can Dance,” 8 p.m., Fox. This is the final night of the “Academy”
callbacks. Next week, we'll learn the top 10. And with “Super
Human” (9 p.m.) ending tonight, next week “Dance” gets the
two-hour slot that it deserves.

“AFI Life
Achievement Award” and “Reds” (1981), 8 and 9 p.m. ET, Turner
Classic Movies. First is a rerun of Diane Keaton being honored. Then
we see her in a supporting role in Warren Beatty's film. The first
half is a sweeping epic; the second – like life itself – stumbles
into semantic tangles.

“Mom,” 9 p.m.,
CBS. In a rerun of the season-opener, Adam moves in with Bonnie;
lovers turn into squabblers. Also, Christy is ready to meet guys; she
makes the mistake of letting Jill be her guide.

“Preacher,” 9
p.m., AMC, rerunning at 11:03.. Tulip confronts her near-death
experience.

“Life in Pieces,”
9:30 p.m., CBS. Joan's forgetfulness is dismissed as “old age,”
an excuse she's not happy about. Meanwhile, Greg revives an old
family feud and Tim makes the kids try an extreme hardship: Get home
without money or cell service.

“Midnight, Texas,”
10 p.m., NBC. Last week's terrific debut centered on Manfred, a fake
(usually) medium who suddenly finds that it's too real. On the advice
of his dead grandmother, he moved to a distant Texas town. Now a
friend is accused of murder; Manfred can help him by talking to the
victim.

“Sharknado”
(2013), 10 p.m., Syfy. This film brought so much goofy fun that Syfy
started copying it – and then re-re-re-copying it. Tonight, it's
preceded by the new “Mississippi River Sharks” at 8 p.m., with
lots of other shark tales before that. It all leads up to Sunday's
“Sharknado 5.

TV column for Sunday, July 30


TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE:
“Grantchester” season-finale, 9 p.m., PBS.

A superb season ends
with subtlety and passion. Yes, there's a fresh mystery to solve;
this one – involving a missing boy – again brings surprises,
subtlety and a quiet sense of human frailty.

But the mysteries
have been overshadowed by personal stories. There is Sidney, the
village vicar who will be defrocked if he marries the divorcee he
loves. And his assistant,who's never admitted to anyone (including
himself) that he's gay. And their housekeeper, now widowed and free
to marry. And the cop, who shattered his own marriage with an affair.
Their stories offer depth and bittersweet emotion.

TONIGHT'S MIGHT-SEE:
“5-Headed Shark Attack,” 8 p.m., Syfy.

If two heads are
better than one, can five heads be worse than three? They may be,
when attached to a cranky shark. Two years ago, Syfy had a cruise
ship face “3-Headed Shark Attack,” which reruns at 6 p.m. today.
Now a new film has more heads and a bigger target – Puerto Rico.

That's part of a
shark marathon, including “Sharktopus” (2010) – yes, it's
part-octopus – at 10 a.m. and “Atomic Shark” (2016) at both
noon and 10 p.m. There will be much more; today's onslaught launches
a week-long build-up for next Sunday's “Sharknado 5”; goofy
films, new and old, will abound.

TONIGHT'S MIGHT-SEE:
“Lost Tapes: The Son of Sam.” 9 p.m., Smithsonian.

It was 40 years ago,
on Aug. 10, that the terror in New York began to fade. David
Berkowitz – eventually convicted as the “Son of Sam” shooter –
had been arrested.

The shootings has
begun a year earlier (on July 29, 1976), with little in common. Six
people were killed and seven were critically wounded; most victims
were young women with long brown hair, sometimes with their
boyfriends. Fear had grown; lives had changed. Skillfully edited from
old news footage, this tells the story of a case that gripped a city
... then got its break from a parking ticket.

Other choices
include:

More shark stuff.
Alongside the silliness of those shark movies, here's the conclusion
of the eight-day “Shark Week.” The final two hours involve
Olympic champion Michael Phelps – at 7 p.m., a rerun of the
“Sharkopedia” version of his race with a shark; at 8, “Shark
School with Michael Phelps.”

“Wild Alaska
Live,” 8 p.m., PBS. This concludes the ambitious, three-part visit,
much of it live (in some time zones) at what is 4 p.m. Alaskan time.
The salmon are expected to be in full run now, trying to overcome
beaver dams, bears and wolves. We also see wolves migrating and bears
feasting.

“Celebrity Family
Feud” and “Funderdome,” 8 and 9 p.m., ABC. Steve Harvey has his
double-header. Tonight's “Funderdome” offers such
semi-necessities as a shirt with a giant pocket and a tie that can
hold bottles and cans.

“Chesapeake
Shores,” 9-11 p.m., Hallmark. We're a week from the second-season
opener of this oft-charmig series. Tonight reminds us how it began,
with a young woman returning – briefly, she thinks – to the
gorgeous coastal town where she grew up. Memories (and ex-boyfriend
Jesse Metcalfe) linger.

“The $100,000
Pyramid,” 10 p.m., ABC. Are famous chefs good game-players?
Tonight, Rachael Ray faces Curtis Stone; also competing are David
Arquette and RuPaul.

“Remember Me,”
10 p.m., PBS. This odd three-parter concludes as Tom faces a terrible
decision and we finally learn why there's been an obsession with the
song “Scarborough Fair.”

“The Strain,” 10
p.m., FX. This fairly good episode focuses on extreme bits of
guerilla warfare: Fet and Quinlan learn it isn't easy to steal a
nuclear warhead; Eph and Alex try to poison a blood supply. On the
lighter side, young Zack tries to nurture a quiet romance with the
new maid.

TV column for Saturday, July 29


TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE:
“Saturday Night Live,” 11:29 p.m., NBC.

Lyn-Manuel Miranda
keeps triumphing – Broadway's most-praised musical, great “Moana”
songs, even the finest award-acceptance speeches. It shouldn't
surprised us that he triumphed as “SNL” host.

And the timing was a
bonus: This came one day after the release of Donald Trump's infamous
Billy Bush tape; “SNL” rippled with Trump humor, from the opening
to “Weekend Update” to Kellyanne Conway forever racing to explain
what Trump really meant. Still, there was time for Miranda to be a
musical guy, from his opening bit to a timely twist on the “Wells
Fargo” song from “Music Man.”

TONIGHT'S MIGHT-SEE:
“Doubt,” 8 p.m., CBS.

Until now, Sadie had
kept secret her affair with Billy, the doctor she's defending for
murder. Now Albert (Dule Hill) finds out and steps in as first chair
at the trial.

That comes at a time
when Isaiah (Elliott Gould) is taking a break from the firm.
Meanwhile, Cam (Laverne Cox) has a kidnapping defendant and Tiffany
(Dream Walker) tries to get over her ex-fiance.

TONIGHT'S
ALTERNATIVE: “Declassified,” 9 p.m. and midnight ET, CNN.

Monzer al-Kassar
lifestyle was supersized. Dubbed “The Peacock” and “The Prince
of Mirabella,” he had a mansion in Spain, a 12-car garage and a jet
he piloted. Much of the money, officials said, was from illegal arms
deals; this hour traces the decades-long effort to convict him.

That starts a night
(subject to late change) of CNN series. At 10 p.m., two “The
Nineties” hours offer a rich portrait of the Clinton years; then
come “History of Comedy” reruns, from 1-4 a.m.

Other choices
include:

“Kingsman,” 7
p.m., FX. Before the sequel arrives in September, catch this clever
spy tale. It leads a movie night that has the vibrant “Descendants
2” (2017) at 8 on Disney and the delightful “Some Like It Hot”
(1959) -- No. 22 on the American Film Institute's list – at 8 p.m.
ET on Turner Classic Movies.

“The F Word With
Gordon Ramsay,” 8 p.m., Fox. This rerun has Katy Perry, Max
Greenfield and Kal Penn as guests; it's followed by a “Love
Connection” rerun at 9.

“In an Instant,”
9 p.m., ABC. This rerun focuses on a young woman who was a sexual
assault victim in a cult. It includes the search for the cult leader,
who had fled from Minnesota to Brazil.

“Turn,” 9 p.m.,
AMC, rerunning at 10:02. Abe finally gets his day of reckoning with
Simcoe, the evil British soldier who killed hs father.

“Still
Star-Crossed,” 10 p.m., ABC. Returning to Verona, Rosaline tries to
prove Benvolio is innocent. Now, however, there are troubles for both
families: A secret about Lord Motague is revealed; also, Lady
Capulet's relationship with Count Paris reaches a key point.

“Law & Order:
Special Victims Unit,” 10 p.m., NBC. In a tentative change, NBC
moves “Dateline” to 8 p.m. and has this rerun at 10. A woman
accuses a charismatic spiritual healer of using hypnosis to
incapacitate and assault her.

“Orphan Black,”
10 p.m., BBC America. Amid the life-and-death crises, there's
supposed to be a respite: “Mrs. S,” the foster mother of Sarah
and Felix, insists that everyone celebrate Felix's art opening. Sarah
is uncertain, convinced that she's hiding something.

TV column for Friday, July 28


TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE:
“Dark Matter,” 9 p.m., Syfy.

“It's so primitive
here,” one guy grumbles. It's early in the 21st century,
in a Wisconsin town on the planet Earth; the pace is slow, the ice
cream is good and people keep inexplicably discussing football.

Our crew got here
without detection. (Back then, Android explains, most of the
satellites were used for entertainment and social media.) But three
bicycle-riding kids – kind of “ET” meets “Stranger Things”
-- are figuring them out. The result is a delight, a time-travel tale
done with wit. There are slyly funny moments, as Android tries –
with mixed success – to fit everyone into long-ago archetypes.

TONIGHT'S MIGHT-SEE:
“MacGyver,” 8 p.m., CBS.

Last week this show
was bumped by “Big Brother.” That was the last thing we needed on
a night when CBS is a rare refuge for people who want a scripted,
non-fantasy drama.

Now “MacGyver”
returns and reaches back to this rerun of its sixth episode. “The
Ghost,” whose work led to the death of Mac's mentor, has planted a
bomb near the United Nations. There's nothing available to defuse it
except a wrench and a rope; for Mac, that's being overequipped.

TONIGHT'S
ALTERNATIVE: “Sizzling Summer Camp Special,” 8 p.m., Nickelodeon.

Kids are in the
second half of their summer vacations now, so Nick kindly reruns this
start-of-season special. Two of Santa's elves discuss the time the
Nick stars took over a camp.

That sets up some
comedy sketches, music videos and the discovery of Bighand, a
way-less-famous variation on Bigfoot. The show includes all four
actors in the title roles of “Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn,”
plus the “Thundermans” twins and people from “Henry Danger,”
“School of Rock” and more.

Other choices
include:

“Vacation”
(1983), noon and 6:15 p.m., AMC. This classic comedy had lots of fun
moments ... and a bunch of sequels, with mixed qualities and
different kids, but always with Chevy Chase as the well-meaning dad.
“European Vacation” (1985) is at 2, “Christmas Vacation”
(1989) at 4 and “Vegas Vacation (1997) at 8:15 ... then “European”
at 10:15, “Christmas” at 12:15 a.m., “Vegas” at 2:30.

More movies, 7 p.m.,
cable. There are good ones to choose from, including “Ghostbusters”
(2016, at 7:02) on Starz, “Legally Blonde” (2001, repeating at 9)
on Bravo and “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” (2002) on
Freeform. And at 8, IFC has a quiet masterpiece, “Fargo” (1996).

“America's Got
Talent,” 8-10 p.m., NBC. In a rerun, judges have their second night
of cuts.

“Masters of
Illusion,” 8 p.m., CW. This new round has quick-paced magic from
Billy Kidd, Nathan Burton, Xavier Mortimer, Chris Korn, Leon Etienne
and Jarrett and Raja. It's followed by a rerun at 8:30 and then a 9
p.m. rerun of “Penn & Teller: Fool Us.”

“Hawaii Five-0,”
9 p.m., CBS. When McGarrett meets an abused girl, he suspects she may
be a victim of a sex-trafficking ring. Meanwhile, Grover probes a
murder at a sober-living facility.

“Blue Bloods,”
10 p.m., CBS. It's a busy time for Danny (Donnie Wahlberg). He
searches for a witness to testify against a gang leader. Also, he and
his dad (Tom Selleck) try to identify the mob that beat Lt. Gormley
outside his home. They bring in a detective (Steve Schirripa) who
knows the neighborhood.

“Wynonna Earp,”
10 p.m., Syfy. There's some time-trekking here, but not the fun kind
in tonight's “Dark Matter.” As a mere observer, Wynonna is
transported to see early moments of the curse that has plagued Earps
ever since the long-ago Wyatt. Also, DNA tells Waverly if she's
really an Earp.