TV column for Saturday, June 25

“In an Instant,” 9-11 p.m., ABC.

It was 25 years ago
that a gunman stormed into a Utah hospital, demanding to see the
doctor who had performed a tubal ligation on his wife. The doctor hid
and phoned police; that led to an 18-hour crisis for the hostages,
including nurses, babies and a patient who gave birth during the

planned to use the story as last week's season-opener, then delayed
it for a week because of the Orlando shootings. Now it's scheduled
for tonight, with re-enactments and first-person interviews.

II: “Saturday Night Live,” 11:29 p.m., NBC.

How universal is
Adele's popularity? In one sketch, a family can agree on nothing –
except her.

Fortunately, Adele
is the music guest, singing “Hello” and “When We Were Young.”
Matthew McConaughey hosts, ranging from a cheerful blues singer to a
messy cook on a talk show. Since this rerun is from November, there
are also sketches about Syrian refugees and “Star Wars”

ALTERNATIVE: “Hell on Wheels,” 9 p..m., AMC.

Amid waves of pain,
last week closed with some bedded bliss. It was Durant, the crooked
railroad man, with Maggie, the hotel-owner; and Cullen with Fong, the
translator who disguises as a man.

Now we start there
... and, of course, soon find fresh pain. To break through a
mountain, Cullen is making perilous use of nitroglycerin; to salvage
his schemes, Durant has a daring new one. As usual, “Hell”
skillfully delivers fresh twists and surprises; tonight's final
minutes bring both joy and shock.

Other choices

Diving, 4:30-6 p.m.,
NBC Sports; 8-9 p.m., NBC. Here are springboard finals, to choose
this year's Olympic team. The men are on cable; then the women are on

“Center Stage: On
Pointe,” 8-10 p.m., Lifetime, rerunning at 12:02 a.m. In 2000, the
movie “Center Stage” inhabited two worlds: Ostensibly a teen
film about ballet students, it was a classy drama directed by
Nicholas Hytner – who lbecame Sir Nicholas, head of England's
National Theatre. Now comes a belated sequel, directed by the
music-video maker called Director X. The students are new, but Peter
Gallagher returns as the boss, now pressured to give this ballet
group a young, hip feel.

Gymnastics, 9-11
p.m., NBC. These are the men's finals, for spots on the Olympic team.
The women have their finals Sunday.

Boxing (9-11 p.m.
ET, CBS) and more sports, everywhere. It's a crowded night, with
baseball (7 p.m. ET) on Fox, Olympic trials on NBC and the
consolation game of the Copa America Centenario soccer tournament, at
8 p.m. ET on FX. Into this crowded turf, CBS adds Keith Thurman
defending his welterweight title against Shawn Porter.

“Outlander,” 9
p.m., Starz, rerunning at 10 and 11. In last week's episode
(rerunning at 8 p.m.), leaders sent the Highlanders north, toward the
Redcoat troops. Now Jamie is desperate to prevent a slaughter.
Meanwhile, Claire tries to comfort Alex Randall, who comes up with an
extreme plan.

“The American
West,” 10 p.m., AMC. Last week, this excellent documentary saw
President Grant bring peace by pledging that whites would stay out of
Lakota territory in the Black Hills. Then George Custer shattered
that by announcing the discovery of gold. Tonight, Grant scrambles to
preserve order; also, Allan Pinkerton is hired to stop Jesse James.

“The Grinder,”
11:30 p.m., Fox. As school-play auditions approach, the contrasts
between the brothers are obvious: Ethan wants to be an actor like his
uncle, not in the tech crew like his father.

TV column for Friday, June 24

Gymnastics, 9-11 p.m., NBC.

Every four years,
Americans re-discover their interest in women's gymnastics. This is
one of those years, with the Olympics coming up, Aug. 5-21.

In 2012, the U.S.
women won three gold medals -- for team overall, individual overall
(Gabrielle Douglas) and floor (Aly Raisman). Now Douglas, 20,
Raisman, 21, and others compete for the five spots on the Olympic
team. NBC has them tonight; the finals are Saturday (men) and Sunday (women).

“Blue Bloods,” 10 p.m., CBS.

This is a Tom
Selleck rerun night. There are five of his terrific Jesse Stone
movies on cable, plus this solid series in which he's Frank Reagan,
New York's police commissioner.

Tonight, the focus
is on Frank's kids. Erin, an assistant district, takes over a case
and must find a witness, aided by the department's investigator
(Steve Schirripa of “The Sopranos”). Jamie, a street cop, and his
police partner (played by actors who are 37 and 35) go undercover as
an elderly couple.

“Adventures in Babysitting,” 8 p.m., Disney.

This is the
channel's 100th original movie, going back to the lovely
little “Tiger Town” in 1983. For a while, some involved serious
issues, including racism; lately, the focus has been on teen fun.
That has included some vibrant musicals, plus comedies like this one,
which remakes a 1987 hit.

This time, there are
two babysitters, one diligent and one not. When the latter (Sofia
Carson of “Descendants”) bungles her first job, the other
(Sabrina Carpenter of “Girl Meets World”) must help. That means
taking all of the kids on a big-city adventure.

Other choices

Jesse Stone
marathon, 1-11 p.m., Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. Slow and
somber, the Stone movies are also beautifully crafted. Most are
directed by Robert Harmon; all star Selleck as a former big-city cop,
now a small-town police chief. The final four Stone films for CBS
(2009-12) are at 1, 3, 5 and 7 p.m., followed by “Lost in Paradise”
(2015), the first Hallmark one, at 9 p.m.

“Rosewood,” 8
p.m., Fox. This reruns the episode that introduced Joy Bryant
(“Parenthood”) as Dr. Rosewood's cardiologist and potential love
interest. Meanwhile, Villa need a new police partner.

“NCIS: Los
Angeles,” 8 p.m., CBS. This rerun catchs a key time for Kensi
(Daniela Rush) and Deeks (Eric Christian Olsen). Just as they
announce that they're moving in together, they're assigned to guard
her ex-fiance, who has an Afghanistan-contact list that people are
willing to kill for.

“Hawaii Five-0,”
9 p.m., CBS. In this rerun, a promising young boxer has been killed.
The prime suspect is the outspoken champion.

Masters,” 9 p.m., PBS (check local listings). This reruns a profile
of Jimi Hendrix, the former paratrooper who mastered the electric
guitar and wowed audiences at the Monterey and Woodstock festivals,
then died at 27.

“Greenleaf,” 9
p.m. to midnight, Opran Winfrey Network. Here's a second chance to
see the first three episodes of this well-made drama, eyeing an
extended (and wobbly) family and the big church it runs.

ALSO: Today, Netflix
releases “The Fundamentals of Caring” (an indie film starring
Paul Rudd) and more episodes of the “Dragons: Race to the Edge”
series. Also available this week: On Acorn, “Raised by Wolves,” a
brash and sometimes funny British comedy; on Crackle, “Dead Rising:
Endgame,” virtually non-stop action, as Jesse Metcalfe splatters
zombies while trying to save the world.

TV column for Thursday, June 23

“The Big Bang Theory” and “Life in Pieces,” 8 and 8:30 p.m.,

Lately, networks
have re-discovered the notion of stacking four comedies from 8-10
p.m.; this fall, CBS and ABC will each do that twice. So it's too bad
that CBS is going the other way this summer – breaking up its
Thursday four-plex to make room for “Big Brother.”

All we can do is
savor the two Thursday comedy reruns that remain. “Big Bang” has
a great one; it celebrates Sheldon's birthday, with Leonard's
ex-girlfriend (Sara Gilbert), plus Wil Wheaton and Adam West, TV's
Batman. “Pieces” includes, among other things, a floundering
search for the right nanny.

II: “The Jim Gaffigan Show,” 8:30 p.m., Comedy Central.

Three years ago,
Gaffigan tweeted (fairly accurately) that no man on Earth cares what
a woman's nails look like. He was hit by a cascade of criticism,
claiming he was a mysogynist and more. Now that's become a great
episode mocking political correctness, with Zachary Quinto perfect as
the prosecutor.

This is one of two
episodes that launched the season Sunday on TV Land and are now
visiting some other channels. Oddly, it's placed after a so-so
episode – Jim seeks a “calling” – at 8 p.m.

ALTERNATIVE: “Queen of the South” debut, 10 p.m., USA.

Try to skip the
first two minutes, which reveal way too much. Also, forgive the final
15 minute, which turn melodramatic and a tad absurd; in between is a
bracing adventure.

Teresa is a
hard-luck beauty who finds joy and luxury with her drug-dealing
boyfriend; then it all changes. Alice Braga -- a movie star
(including “City of God”), like her aunt Sonia – is Teresa,
with Justina Machado (“Six Feet Under”) as her vibrant friend and
Joaqim de Almeida as a kingpin.

Other choices

“The Croods”
(2013), 6-8 p.m., FX. This pre-historic family comedy is part of a
busy night for animated movies: FX follows with “Hotel
Transylvania” (2012) at 8 and 10 p.m. Also, Starz has “The Good
Dinosaur” at 7:25 p.m. and Disney has “Finding Nemo” (2013) at

“Pride and
Prejudice” (2005), 7 p.m., Oxygen. It's also a night of great movie
romances, let by this one, beautifully directed by Joe Wright. Also:
“Dirty Dancing” (1987) at 8 p.m. on Pop and the musical “West
Side Story” (1961) at 8 p.m. ET on Turner Classic Movies.

“Bones,” 8 p.m.,
Fox. This case stretches all the way to Antarctica. An explorer's
body has been found there ... apparently 10 years after he was
murdered. That makes Dr. Edison a prime suspect.

“BattleBots,” 8
and 9 p.m., ABC. The first round begins, with robots in three-minute
matches. There are 48 teams, ranging from teens to NASA scientists;
today and next Thursday, that will be cut to 24.

Reality overload, 9
p.m., everywhere. OK, a little variety please. When “BattleBots”
has its second hour, all four major networks will have reality shows.
This will be the second night for CBS' “Big Brother” and for
Fox's “Home Free,” a feel-good show that gives away a house each
week. And “Spartan” -- the team obstacle race – moves into its
regular spot at 9, after a rerun at 8.

“Beauty and the
Beast,” 9 p.m., CW. Cat may be pregnant, which means the world
might have another beauty or beast or combination. Meanwhile, Vincent
is targeted and J.T. is kidnapped.

“Code Black,” 10
p.m., CBS. Rushing to a fog-shrounded accident scene, the doctors put
their own lives in danger. Also in this rerun: Jesse (Luis Guzman)
loses confidence after his heart attack; the condition of Carla
(Shiri Appleby of “UnReal”), Malaya's ex-girlfriend, is


TV column for Wednesday, June 22

“American Gothic” opener, 10 p.m., CBS.

Here's your classic
success story: The dad started a thriving concrete company. One
daughter teaches; another is running for mayor of Boston. Both sons
had trouble,but one seems fine now. All is well – except that many
of them have dark sides and at least one may be linked to a previous
serial killer.

Subtle and
well-modulated, “Gothic” has only one character – a
gore-obsessed boy – who feels false. Jamey Sheridan and Virginia
Madsen join talented young actors, including “Banshee” star
Antony Starr as a prodigal son and “Defiance” star Stephanie
Leonides as a troubled former daughter-in-law.

II: “Greenleaf,” 9 and 10 p.m., Oprah Winfrey Network.

In Tuesday's opener
– rerunning at 8 p.m. -- Grace returned for her sister's funeral
and found the family's mega-church in transition. Her brother is
cynical and his wife is scheming; her sister – played by Deborah
Joy Winans, from the gospel-music family – is a great singer who
wants to preach.

This is a world of
secrets – including big ones involving the late sister. Nudged by
her mother's sister – perfectly played by Oprah Winfrey – Grace
sets her own career aside to stick around and investigate. All of
this may sound soapy, but it's sharply written and (with the
exception of Grace) skillfully acted.

ALTERNATIVE: “Big Brother” season-opener, 8-10 p.m., CBS.

This year's theme is
“summer vacation,” so the house is designed to suggest the best
warm-weather frolics. That inclues a new pool, hot-tub and gym

It's a playground
for anyone who happen to be young and pretty – which most of the
dozen contestants are. Ten are in their 20s, including a disc jockey,
an event planner and a baseball coach. They're joined by a
dog-groomer (and ex-cop), 50, and a teacher, 32. Tonight, Julie Chen
introduces them and explains the new twists; then this continues at 9
p.m. Thursdays and 8 p.m. Sundays.

Other choices

“The Martian”
(2015), 7:35 p.m., HBO. Science and humanity blend in a smart story
of an astronaut (Matt Damon) stranded on Mars. At 8 p.m., the films
include Tom Hanks in the involving, real-life “Captain Phillips”
(2013, FXX) ... the animated “Despicable Me” (2010, Disney) ...
and the flashy but disappointing “Alice in Wonderland” (2010,

“MasterChef,” 8
p.m., Fox. Last year, Nick Nappi – a dishwasher sales rep from San
Diego – finished fourth. Now it's a different situation:
Contestants cook for Nappi, his bride and 72 wedding guests.

“Young &
Hungry,” 8 p.m., Freeform. Gabi and her friend Sofia start working
together. Then they learn that only one can land a promotion they
both want.

“Baby Daddy,”
8:30, Freeform. Two Minnesota blondes collide. Loni Anderson, 70 –
mostly absent from TV for the past decade – plays the estranged
mother of Melissa Peterman, 45; they soon argue.

“Wayward Pines,”
9 p.m., Fox. A flashback shows how Pines was created by Pilcher (Toby
Jones). And the ruthless Megan (Hope Davis) performs experiments on
one of the creatures from outside the wall.

“Kingdom,” 9
p.m., DirecTV/AT&T. In the title-fight aftermath, Jay celebrates
wildly and Ryan broods ... which are their natural modes. Jay's
sexual romp with Alicia's gorgeous sister goes on pause, when
Christina (his mom) returns from being attacked by her rehab
therapist. This is a good show, but a repetitious one. Both Christina
and Nate have been sexual targets lately; now it may be Alicia's

“Night Shift,”
10 p.m., NBC. As San Antonio seethes with racial unrest, the hospital
must treat the man who is accused of a racially motivated shooting.

TV column for Tuesday, June 21

“Person of Interest” series-finale, 10 p.m., CBS.

When this all began
– five years and 102 episodes ago – “POI” was another
crime-of-the-week tale, with a slight sci-fi twist. A computer
predicted people who would be victims or villains, but didn't know
which. The brainy Finch (Michael Emerson) and brawny Reese (Jim
Caviezel) had to do the rest.

Now – following a
TV trend – it's become much bigger. An opposing machine, Samaritan
is trying to control the world. Finch and Reese – linking with
Fusco the cop and Shaw the ex-assassinn – scramble to save their
machine and thwart Samaritan.

II: “Greenleaf” debut, 10 p.m., Oprah Winfrey Network.

In her youth, Grace
(Merle Dandridge) was considered a powerful pastor in her dad's
church. Disillusioned, she left, becoming a top TV journalist and a
single mom. Now she reluctantly returns for her sister's funeral ...
and soon is struggling with family secrets, old and new.

This is a smartly
layered drama, giving depth to its characters. Dandridge is way too
bland, but others make up for it. Keith David (the voice of many Ken
Burns films) and Lynn Whitfield play her parents; Winfrey is perfect
as Whitfield's estranged sister, who's aware of the abundant family

ALTERNATIVE: “Pretty Little Liars” season-opener, 8 p.m.,

Ever since their
friend Allison died seven years ago, these four women have faced a
cascade of crises. Last season (rerunning from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.)
ended with Hanna being kidnapped.

Now Caleb – who's
been dating Spencer, but kissed Hanna – leads the desperate search.
That brings a tough situation: To save Hanna, the friends might have
to turn over the details of Charlotte's real killer.

Other choices

“Celebrity Wife
Swap,” 5 p.m. to 4 a.m., Lifetime. A rerun marathon includes two
new hours. At 8 p.m. (rerunning at 12:02 a.m.), Robin Leach's friend
leaves her champagne lifestyle to live in Eric Roberts' pet-filled
home. At 9 (and 1:02 a.m.), the wives of soap stars Tyler Christoher
and Ron Moss switch.

“Hotel Hell,” 8
p.m., Fox. In a lakeside town in Washington, a hotel-testaurant-ice
cream parlor business flounders. Gordon Ramsay says it must get the
local community involved.

“The Middle,” 8
p.m., ABC. Stepping into the spot it will hold this fall, “Middle”
has a rerun with Sue anxiously waiting to meet her college roommate.
She inundates her parents with text messages.

“NCIS,” 8 p.m.,
CBS. In a rerun, the murder of a petty office seems to reflect the
approach of a local serial killer.

“NCIS: New
Orleans,” 9 p.m., CBS. This rerun finds Pride and others taking
part in the “Red Dress Run” fundraiser ... until they're pulled
away to probe a death, possibly from a drug overdose,

“Uncle Buck,” 9
and 9:30 p.m., ABC. There are some funny moments during Buck's first
official day as nanny for his brother's family. Soon, he's relucantly
searching for gluten-free cupcakes and special-diet dog food. In the
second episode, his brother is jealous when his work colleagues like

“To Tell the
Truth,” 10 p.m., ABC. Comedian Iliza Shlesinger joins the panel.
Contestants include someone who's both a drag queen and a top
Tupperware salesman.