TV column for Saturday, June 23

TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE: “Castle,” 10
p.m., ABC.

With Mondays consumed by reality this
summer, “Castle” reruns must settle for Saturdays.

Tonight, a womanizer has been killed.
The investigation brings new complications – and could upset the
wedding of Det. Ryan (Seamus Dever); his fiancee is played by Dever's
real-life wife, Juliana.

trials, 8-9 p.m., NBC; earlier, NBC Sports Network.

The cable channel gets a little action
today – track-and-field reruns (11:30a.m.), then field hockey
(1:30-3:30 p.m.) and rowing (6-7:30 p.m.).Still, the big events are
saved for NBC.

Today brings the semi-finals and finals
of the women's 100-meter sprint and 100-meter hurdles. It has the
second half of the decathlon and the semifinals of the 400-meter and
800-meter (men and women).

8-10 p.m., HLN.

In the giddy days when its nominees
included Oprah Winfrey and Susan Lucci, this was a big draw. Now its
world is shrinking; only six soaps remain and two of those ended
their runs this season.

Those two – ABC's “All My Children”
and “One Life to Live” – have their last shot at the Emmys;
each has 11 nominations, including best daytime drama. Also nominated
for best drama are ABC's “General Hospital” (the leader with 23
nominations) and NBC's “Days of Our Lives”; both CBS shows (“The
Young and the Restless” and “The Bold and the Beautiful”) were

This is also the last chance for Regis
Philbin, nominated (alongside Kelly Ripa) for best talk-show host.
They face Anderson Cooper, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Rachael Ray and the six
“Doctors” stars.

Other choices include:

– “The Legnd of Korra”
season-finale, 11 and 11:30 a.m., Nickelodeon. In the first episode,
the war intensifies and Korra goes undercover; in the second, it
comes to a head and she confronts Amon.

– “Cars” (2006, ABC Family) or
“Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” (1988, Cartoon), both 7 p.m. It's a
dandy night for cartoons. “Roger Rabbit” pushed their comeback,
cleverly merging animation and live-action. Then “Cars” was one
of the Pixar films that soared; it reruns at :9:30.

– “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,”
8-10 p.m., ABC. Reruns of this feel-good show are settling into a
Saturday slot. This one involves a family that retreated to an Oregon
farm, to give more room to its two autistic boys. Temple Grandin, a
famed scholar despite autism, visits.

– “Rebel Without a Cause (1955), 8
p.m., Turner Classic Movies. Nicholas Ray beautifully directed this
tale of teen angst, getting great work from a young cast led by James
Dean and Sal Mineo.

– “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,”
9 p.m., CBS. Las Vegas usually glows with electrical excess. In this
rerun, however, there's a black-out; high-tech cops must resort to
old-school methods.

– “Arachnoquake,” 9-11 p.m.,
Syfy. An earthquake opens holes in New Orleans, allowing killer
spiders to roam and crazed people to scream. Bug Hall (appropriately)
stars with Edward Furlong and Tracey Gold., in a movie that has
enough odd moments and goofy characters to keep us watching.

– “Saturday Night Live,” 11:29
p.m., NBC. Jonah Hill hosts, with the Shins as music guests.

TVcolumn for Friday, June 22

TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE: “Community,”
8:30 p.m., NBC.

Here's another of those special (and
odd) episodes that make “Community” stand out.

Administering psychological tests,
Britta decides that someone in the study group is deeply disturbed.
The tests were anonymous, though, so she's not sure who it is.

Her plan: At a pre-Halloween party,
have each of the seven people tell a spooky story.

10 p.m., CBS.

Religion – a subject often overlooked
by TV – is viewed twice in this fairly good rerun.

Frank Reagan (Tom Selleck), a devout
Catholic, probes the past of a local priest who is about to be
canonized. Meanwhile, his New York police department faces an oddity:
A woman insists that God has told her that her dad (Emmy-winner
Timothy Busfield) killed her mom.

9 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network.

Over the next 10 days, trials will help
choose the U.S. team. Swimming starts on Monday, gymnastics on
Thursday (June 28), but track-and-field gets an early jump.

On this first day, we have half the
men's decathlon, plus the finals for men's and women's 10,000-meter.
There's the first rounds in 400- and 800-meter (men and women) and in
women's 100-meter hurdles, plus qualifying in others. This cable
network has it tonight, then starts sharing with NBC on Saturday.

Other choices include:

– Hockey draft, 7-9 p.m., NBC Sports
Network. It's a busy time for this once-obscure sports channel, which
was previously the Outdoor Life Network and then Versus. Fresh from
carrying NHL play-offs, it has the first-round draft, then has its
share of the Olympic tryouts and (next month) the Olympics.

– “House,” 8 p.m., Fox. In a
rerun, a violent incident with a patient brings an investigation.
Foreman's former mentor – played by Jeffrey Wright, an Emmy- and
Tony-winner for “Angels in America” – is in charge. He has each
person tell what happened.

– “Whitney,” 8 p.m., NBC. Romance
complications pile up in this rerun. Lily and Neal ponder a
pre-nuptial agreement, Roxanne packs up Lance's stuff after their
break-up … and Whitney finds that her new, shaping bra oversucceeds
in getting Alex's attention.

– “American Masters,” 9-11 p.m.,
PBS (check local listings). This reruns a 2004 documentary on Judy
Garland. With full use of the MGM library, “Masters” uses
extensive clips (including screen tests) and had Garland's own voice
providing much of the narration.

– “Bones,” 9 p.m., Fox. A tricky
combination – a love triangle and a lottery win – may have been
fatal. This rerun brings back Ralph Waite (“The Waltons”) as
Booth's father and Tina Majorino (“Napoleon Dynamite,” “Big
Love”) as a special agent; Ben Savage (“Boy Meets World”) plays
the prime suspect.

– “CSI: NY,” 9 p.m., CBS. This
rerun has Jo pursue a suspect who went free in her Washington years.

– “Common Law,” 10 p.m., USA. Now
that “Fairly Legal” has finished its season, this entertaining
show is on its own during a tough night. Here, the guys feel
pressured by a work milestone,while they pursue robbers who emulate
Bonnie and Clyde.

TV column for Thursday, June 21

TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE: Basketball, 9
p.m.ET, ABC.

Here's the fifth game of the
best-of-seven finals – and the last one in Miami. Things would move
back to Oklahoma for the final two games (Sunday and Tuesday), if

Tonight, Jimmy Kimmel is at 8 p.m. ET,
with a pre-game show at 8:31.

JWoww” debut, 10 p.m., MTV.

At a time when way too many celebrities
are tall, slim and blonde, Nicole (“Snooki”) Polizzi stands
apart. She's 4-foot-9, Chilean-born, Italian-raised, pregnant,
engaged and 24. She's also a TV star, jumping from three years (and
five editions) of “Jersey Shore” to this show.

She's with Jenni (JWoww) Farley, her
“Jersey Shore” friend and, in some ways, her opposite. Farley,
26, is 5-foot-7, Spanish-Irish, a graphic-designer before “Shore”
fame. Tonight, they hunt for a Jersey City apartment and Snooki tells
her friend about the pregnancy.

p.m., NBC.

Let's give NBC credit for effort: Like
ABC and Fox, it has rerun-free Thursdays in the summer.

“Justin Bieber: All Around the World”
(8 p.m.) follows Bieber on a 12-day, seven-country tour.

That's followed by two above-average
series. “Saving Hope” (9 p.m.) is a drama., with Charlie in a
coma, but walking the hospital halls, seen only by others who are
dead or dying; tonight, he counsels a young man who died and has a
severely injured brother. “Rock Center” (10) is a news magazine.

Other choices include:

– “Jersey Shore,” 9 a.m. to 10
p.m., MTV. Leading into “Snooki & JWoww,” here's a sampling
of key episodes. That starts with the debut and ends with three
hours of the Snooki-Mike-Jionni triangle.

– “The Big Bang Theory,” 8 p.m.,
CBS. Sheldon – faces an unthinkable requirement – vacationing,
away from his university job. In a funny rerun, he helps (or bothers)
Amy Farrah Fowler at her neurobiology lab. Also, Bernadette wants
Howard to sign a prenuptial agreement.

– “2 Broke Girls,” 8:30 p.m.,
CBS. This rerun finds Max and Caroline throwing a '90s-themed party,
to raise money for their cupcake business. Caroline is upset to see
her rich ex-boyfriend arrive.

– “The Choice,” 9 p.m., Fox. A
mixed batch of bachelors choose dates, sight-unseen. That includes
Sorrentino, plus “Idol” Taylor Hicks, football star Warren Sapp
and chef Rocco DiSpirito.

– “Matilda,” 9-11 p.m., ABC
Family. Roald Dahl's darkly comic novel was brilliantly directed by
Donny DeVito, creating a kids' classic for grown-ups.

– “Burn Notice,” 9 p.m., USA.
Fiona remains in custody; Michael agrees to tackle a tough case, in
exchange for a visitation.

– “The Mentalist,” 10 p.m., CBS.
The son of a Mob boss has been killed. While bringing in a witness,
Van Pelt (Amanda Righetti) is haunted by memories of O'Laughlin being

– “POV” season-opener, 10 p.m.,
PBS (check local listings). Imagine your father being considered a
spiritual master, the reincarnation of a Tibetan leader. Yeshi
Silvano Norbu – born after his dad fled the Chinese – wanted to
embrace the Italian culture of his youth; others insisted he's also a
holy reincarnation. Jennifer Fox followed them for two decades,
catching major changes in the father and son, at 70 and 39,.

TV column for Wednesday, June 20

Can Dance,” 8-10 p.m., Fox.

Yes, the first-round auditions take way
too long on this show – and on most others.

We're finally past that, though.
Tonight, the survivors are in Las Vegas for callbacks. Next week, on
the 200th episode of TV's best reality competition, we'll
learn who's in the top 20..

season-opener, 10 and 10:30 p.m., Comedy Central.

For a robot, Bender has a brisk sex
life. His latest mate is Bev, the beverage dispenser.

That leads to this cartoon's version of
a just-past-Father's-Day episode: Bender turns out to be one of the
worst TV dads ever … and then is OK, after all. Also, a
glow-in-the-dark Fry is helpful.

The second episode offers a variation
on the Mayan calendar's end-of-the-world. Both ripple with the
offbeat wit that makes “Futurama” a delight for sci-fi fans and
other pleasantly odd folks.

p.m., TNT.

Last week's two-part opener left us
with high hopes. It had visual flair – lots of outdoor action
against Texan expanse – and youthful vigor, as a new generation

Tonight's episode retreats a bit,
spending much of its time with old people in rooms, talking.

J.R. knows he's been conned by his son
John Ross; now they're teaming to scam Bobby – who's unaware. So is
his adopted son Christopher, whose new wife has her own scam. And at
the end of the hour, we learn who sent the E-mail that split
Christopher from his real love, Elena.

Other choices include:

– “The Middle,” 8 p.m., ABC. This
rerun has a great moment from Axl (demonstrating pull-ups) and
several good ones pairing two ignored souls – a guidance counselor
(Whoopi Goldberg) and Sue.

– “Baby Daddy” debut, 8:30 p.m.,
ABC Family. In the tradition of most single guys in TV comedies,
these three are loose and giddy. Then one finds his a baby at his
doorstep (literally); it turns to be his daughter and humor –
sometimes funny, often broad – ensues.

– “Modern Family,” 9 p.m., ABC.
This rerun opens with all 11 family members gathered around the pool.
It's a fun moment; then they scramble to put together an instant
Christmas party.

– “Inside Nature's Giants,” 10
p.m., PBS (check local listings). The squid seems like a
science-fiction creation, this excellent film says. It has three
hearts; it's brutal when attacking, yet has defenses that include
camouflage and jet-propelled escapes. Small ones are creepy; deep-sea
giants are terrifying.

– “School Spirits” debut, 10
p.m., Syfy. The cable world has way too many shows about purported
hauntings, but at least this is from “Survivor” producer Mark
Burnett, with skillfully filmed re-enactments. Three recent
University of Michigan grads describe sorority-house horror.

– “Inside Men” debut, 10 p.m.,
BBC America. Stick with this one, because it unfolds in an odd but
compelling way. It's fierce at first, as masked men take over a
money-counting warehouse. Then it starts to flash back and forth,
between the robbery and the events that led to the heist. Steven
Mackintosh is particularly good as the fragile-seeming manager.

TV column for Tuesday, June 19

TONIGHT'S MIGHT-SEE: “Bristol Palin:
Life's a Tripp” (Lifetime) and “Teen Mom” (MTV), 10 p.m.

Who knew that teen pregnancy would be a
route to TV stardom?

In the season's first “Teen Mom”
episodes (rerunning at 8 and 9 p.m.), Amber Portwood raged, then went
to rehab. Farrah Abraham prepared to move to Florida for college and
work. Maci Bookout foolishly drove away (and then got back) the one
good guy in her life. Catelynn Tyler and Tyler Baltierra had an
emotional reunion with the daughter they'd given up for adoption.

Tonight, Catelynn and Tyler graduate
from high school. That faces the debut of a show with a famous former
teen mom: Bristol Palin, now 21, visits Los Angeles with her son
Tripp and sister Willow.

Angeles,” 9 p.m., CBS.

Here's a benefit of “NCIS” and
“CSI” shows, plus “Bones”: At times, they nudge their lab
workers into the spotlight; we get some heroics from the smart, the
nerdy and the quirky.

Tonight, that's Nell (Renee Felice
Smith). When a researcher is killed, she goes undercover as his
replacement. Also, Miguel Ferrer arrives as the assistant NCIS
director, who has doubts about Hetty.

Bash,” 10 p.m., TNT.

Two clever, twisty cases give this
episode some light moments.

One has Cybill Shepherd as the boss'
second and fourth ex-wife, sued over custody of a dog she says she
rescued. Facing lawyers from their rag-tag days, the guys have a
crisis of conscience.

The other has opposites – Pindar and
Karp – working a case of robbery by cheese gun.


– “NCIS,” 8 p.m., CBS. This rerun
sees things get personal for NCIS director Vance (Rocky Carroll): His
brother-in-law is the chief murder suspect.

– Basketball previews (8 and 8:31
p.m. ET) and game (9 p.m., ET), ABC. Things stay in Miami for the
fourth game of the best-of-seven series, with the Heat hosting the
Oklahoma City Thunder.

– Action movies, 8 p.m., TNT.
“Spartacus” (1960, Turner Classic Movies) is a well-crafted epic,
with Stanley Kubrick directing Kirk Douglas and Laurence Olivier.
“The Fugitive” (1993, AMC) was beautifully directed by Andrew
Davis, with Harrison Ford and an Oscar-winning Tommy Lee Jones.

– “MasterChef,” 9 p.m., Fox. The
15 remaining chefs must make a meal from unappealing innards.

– “The L.A. Complex,” 9 p.m., CW.
This drama – about young Canadians, struggling in U.S. show
business – is erratic, but makes OK summer viewing. Tonight, thing
hits bottom for both Raquel (Jewel Staite of “Stargate: Atlantis”)
and Abby, but Nick turns a bad date into a comedy breakthrough.

– “The Real Housewives of Orange
County,” 9 p.m., Bravo. A decade ago, Heather Paige Kent was the
likable star of CBS' “That's Life,” playing a bartender who goes
to college. Now she closes her first season with a party (continuing
next week) celebrating taking her husband's name. Soon, she's raging
at the guest who ate the bow on the cake. Also, Jeana Keough, who
left the show three years ago, visits.

– “Love in the Wild,” 10 p.m.,
NBC. After working well the first year, “Love” keeps adding
gimmicks. Now trios are shackled together, before competing in the
jungle. Then six women are sent home.