TV column or Tuesday, Aug. 8


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

Racing through its
first season, this show has already found its champions in all three
categories. Now comes one last burst: Each act does two numbers and
one gets the overall, $1-million prize.

At one extreme is
Swing Latino, winner of the large-group division; it's a 16-member
salsa team, high-octane and high-spectacle. At the other is Eva Igo,
winner of the junior division; she's a lone 14-year-old from
Minnesota. Then there's the upper-division winner, a French duo
called Les Twins; last week, it concocted a new routine, complete
with wheelchair, after one twin injured his leg.

TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE
II: “America's Got Talent,” 8-10 p.m., NBC.

While “Dance”
crammed an entire season into 10 noisy hours, this summertime ratings
giant takes its time. Tonight's show, the 11th this
season, finally wraps up the “judges' cuts” round. There will be
a recap Wednesday, before the live episodes start next week.

Joining the judges
tonight will be Seal, who is the ex-husband of host Heidi Klum.
Unlike most of the world's ex-spouses, he has the power of the Golden
Buzzer.

TONIGHT'S
ALTERNATIVE: “Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath,”
6-11:03 p.m., A&E.

A week before the
second season begins, here's a trip through a controversial series.
Remini (“King of Queens”) offers scathing views of the
Scientology movement that was once a key part of her life.

The result is a
dichotomy – clumsily crafted, but with a subject that remains
compelling anyway. Overlooking its huge flaws, people have praised it
and given it an Emmy nomination and a Television Critics Association
award. Tonight's episodes include a portrait of group leader David
Miscavige and of the retaliations against those who leave.

Other choices
include:

“American Sniper”
(2014), 6 p.m., TNT. There are plenty of military movies and series
coming to TV now, but none match this true-story blend of intensity
and warmth, perfectly molded by director Clinr Eastwood and star
Bradley Cooper. Two other excellent movie dramas: Francis Coppola's
“The Outsiders” (1983), 7 p.m. on Sundance; Lasse Hallstrom's
“Safe Haven” (2013), 8 p.m. on E.

“NCIS,” 8 p.m.,
CBS. It's Thanksgiving – yes, it's a rerun – and Bishop's
brothers visit, obsessed with learning whom she's dating. Also, a
case leaves her questioning her work at Guantanamo Bay.

“The Fosters,” 8
p.m., Freeform. These Foster teens keep finding new ways to get in
trouble. Tonight, they visit a warehouse party; then the police show
up.

“Black-ish,” 9
and 9:31 p.m., ABC. The first rerun is a January episode; it has
Dre's office in chaos, after the presidential election. The second
has his daughter question her belief in God.

“Animal Kingdom, 9
p.m., TNT, rerunning at 9:59. As “Smurf” (Ellen Barkin) tries to
figure out who robbed her, the guys keep taking bigger chances in the
heists they try without her. Now Craig leads the guys and Nicky in a
scheme to pirate a yacht.

“The Bold Type,”
9:01 p.m., Freeform. The magazine's breast-health program creates
huge demands. Jane writes a controversial piece and Kat, unleashing
her competitive nature, tries a big message.

“NCIS: New
Orleans,” 10 p.m., CBS. In this rerun, a Marine with a spotless
record suddenly assaults six people in a bar and then disappears. The
team tries to find him ... and to figure out what happened.

TV column for Monday, Aug. 7


 

TONIGHT'S MUST-TRY:
“The Bachelorette” finale, 8-11 p.m., ABC.

It's been an
historic season: For the first time in 34 editions of “Bachelor”
or “Bachelorette,” a black person – Rachel Lindsay, 31, a
Dallas lawyer – does the choosing.

The result? Her
final three guys are neatly diverse – one black, one white, one
Latino. Lindsay rejected most of the professionals, choosing two
personal trainers – Peter Kraus, 31, and Eric Bigger, 29 – plus
Bryan Abasolo, 37, a chiropractor. To avoid leaks, ABC says her
choice will be made live.

TONIGHT''S MUST-SEE:
“So You Think You Can Dance,” 8-10 p.m., Fox.

So far, this “Dance”
season has been confined to an hour a week; a big, vibrant show has
been crammed into a tiny box. Now that phase is done and the fun
begins.

The show announces
its top 10 and each performs with a past star. These are gifted pros
– Fik-Shun, Gaby Diaz, Comfort Fedoke and more – linking with the
newcomers. Then viewers vote; next Monday, we'll learn who is the
first person to be sent home.

TONIGHT'S
ALTERNATIVE: “Hooten & the Lady,” 9 p.m., CW.

Flaws and all, this
is a fairly entertaining bit of summer fluff. After being thoroughly
unnoticed on Thursdays, it moves to an easier night with a breezier
lead-in (“Supergirl”).

Fulfilling all the
stereotypes, this links opposites: Alex, a museum curator, is British
and thereby refined; Hooten, an explorer, is American and thereby
rough, tough and kinda crude. Tonight, a friend is kidnapped in
Ethiopia; our heroes must escape from bandits and solve an epic
mystery.

Other choices
include:

“Vera,” any
time, www.acorn.tv. These movies
tend to be well-acted (Brenda Blethyn, a two-time Oscar-nominee,
stars), with stories that range from pretty good to excellent. Now
the seventh season brings four new films, starting with a superb one.
A wildlife ranger has been killed on a remote island. In a place
where people are close and emotions are taut, there's a shifting
batch of suspects.

“Supergirl,” 8
p.m., CW. This is why we're wary of shapeshifters: One of them has
entered the headquarters, using someone else's form. Now he may have
shifted anew; no one can be trusted.

“Despicable Me 2”
(2013), 8 and 10 p.m., FX. On a night filled with vampires and such,
here's fun animation. Also at 8: Pop has the bright romantic comedy
of “You've Got Mail” (1998).

“Mom,” 9 p.m.,
CBS. In a fairly funny rerun, Bonnie learns that Adam smokes pot
before they have sex. She fears that this proves she's undesirable.

“Preacher,” 9
p.m., AMC. Earlier, we learned why Cassidy befriended a wrinkled old
man: The codger is his son. (Did we mention that Cassidy, a vampire,
never ages?) Now we learn more about them.

“Midnight, Texas,”
10 p.m., NBC. This little Texas town was suppose to be a refuge from
civilization. Now, however, some deadly vampires arrive and want to
re-unite with Lem; Manfred and Olivia try to uncover the real story.
Others create back-up plans or simply prepare for the worst.

“Loaded,” 10
p.m., AMC. Watto's mom suddenly returns and claims she didn't know
that his son had made millions by selling his videogame company; Ewan
is suspicious.

TV column for Sunday, Aug. 6


TONIGHT'S MUST-TRY:
“Sharknado 5: Global Swarming,” 8 p.m., Syfy, rerunning at 10:01.

Maybe, by some odd
twist in life, you've never seen the previous “Sharknado” movies.
That's no problem – you can catch all of them from noon to 8 p.m.
... or just take our word for it: These films have goofy concepts,
quirky scripts and some truly bizarre casting.

A shark-storm hit
Los Angeles in the first film, New York in the second, then more. Now
the entire planet is in danger. Fin and his bionic wife (Ian Ziering
and Tara Reid) search for their son, who is aswirl; they come across
the pope and the queen of England, played, of course, by Fabio and
Charo.

TONIGHT'S MIGHT-SEE:
“American Grit” finale, 8-10 p.m., Fox.

This action reality
show started with a basic concept: City folks head into the
wilderness, with tough-guy coaches ... and tougher-guy host Jon Cena,
the wrestler-turned-actor.

Tonight, a
double-elimination cuts things down to the final four; then one
person must pick someone to eliminate. That leaves three people, in
the final push for a $250,000 prize.

TONIGHT'S
ALTERNATIVE: “Chesapeake Shores” season-opener, 9 p.m. Sunday,
Hallmark.

Everything is
gorgeous here, including the setting and the people. Still, problems
persist.

Abby and Trace
(Meghan Ory and Jesse Metcalfe) fell in love as teen-agers, then
split. She succeeded in business, he scored briefly in country music;
now both are back home and happy – almost. In the first minutes, we
hear of his two crises. Meanwhile, Abby has to rush to work, her dad
has a big business deal, her sister is overwhelmed by her new project
and their mom is back. Life gets tanged.

Other choices
include:

“Knocked Up”
(2007) and “Wedding Crashers” (2005), 4:40 and 7:30 p.m., Comedy
Central. Here's an entertaining double-feature for grown-ups, with
clever scripts and bright actors. For family fun, the vibrant
“Descendants 2” musical is 9 p.m. on Disney.

“Celebrity Family
Feud,” 8 p.m., A BC. One round has the families of Lea Thompson and
Sandra Lee. The other has women from “The Bachelor” (Jubilee
Sharpe, Amanda Stanton, Lace Morris, Olivia Caridi, Caila Quinn) face
men from “Bachelorette” (Luke Pell, Wells Adams, Daniel Maguire,
Robert Graham and Chase McNary).

More games. “The
Wall,” which is a clear ratings success, has a rerun at 8 p.m.;
“Candy Crush,” which clearly is not, has a new episode at 9

Cable collision, 9
p.m., everywhere. Now that HBO's “Game of Thrones” is back, this
is TV's toughest hour. Tonight, two cable shows start their seasons
(“Chesapeake Shores” and Showtime's “Ray Anthony”) and two
continue -- “Power” on Starz and “Claws” on TNT, both
rerunning at 10.

“The Nineties,”
9 p.m. ET, CNN ( barring local news). The decade brought bursts of
violence, only one case (the first World Trade Center bombing) linked
to the Middle East. Others included the Unabomber, Oklahoma City,
Waco, Ruby Ridge and anti-abortion activist Eric Rudolph.

“NCIS: Los
Angeles,” 10 p.m., CBS. In a rerun, a Homeland Security agent is
poisoned and the team discovers counterfeit goods and stolen
government money..

“100,000 Pyramid,”
10 p.m., ABC. Bobby Moynihan has been busy, jumping from NBC's
“Saturday Night Live” to a promising CBS comedy this fall. Now he
visits a third network, facing Debi Mazar. The other round has Wendie
Malick against Jesse Palmer, who went from pro football to “The
Bachelor” and “Good Morning America.”

TV column for Saturday, Aug. 5


TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE:
“Turn,” 9 p.m., AMC, rerunning at 10:02.

In its four seasons,
this tale of Revolutionary War spies has been interesting, but
uneven. Now – this week and next – it is ending powerfully.

Posing as a Redcoat,
Abe has learned of the British vulnerability in Yorktown. He takes
the information to George Washington, who has some clever deception
by land and immense French help by sea. Some other stories – one
involving Benedict Arnold's wife, another involving a nasty British
officer – are merely OK. But the key one is compelling; it's
October of 1781 and a continent is about to transform.

TODAY'S MIGHT-SEE:
“Big Hero 6” (2014), 8 p.m., ABC, and more.

This is a day when
families can camp together in front of the TV. At night they don't
need cable; they can catch this film – an Oscar-winner for best
animated feature – about a tech kid saving the planet.

The rest is on
cable. Freeform, has switched its cartoon marathon a bit, but starts
with classics – “Snow White” (1937) at 9:05 a.m., “Alice in
Wonderland” (1951) at 11:10, “Pinocchio” (1940) at 1:05 p.m.;
in the evening, it has action with “Tarzan” (1999) at 5:20,
“Mulan” (1998) at 7:20 and “Brave” (2007) at 9:25. Disney has
the non-cartoon “Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer” (2011) at
8 p.m.

TODAY'S ALTERNATIVE:
“Son of Sam” documentaries, cable.

Thursday will mark
the 40th anniversary of the day David Berkowitz was
arrested, ending New York's “Son of Sam” ordeal. Today, two
cable channels jump in.

The Smithsonian
Channel reruns its “The Lost Tapes: Son of Sam” at 2 p.m. and 2
a.m.; it manages to paint a compelling portrait, using only footage
(especially newscasts) from the time. Investigation Discovery is
more ambitious. At 9 p.m. ET, rerunning at midnight, its two-hour
“Son of Sam: The Hunt For a Killer” includes fresh interviews
with cops, victims and more.

Other choices
include:

Football Hall of
Fame, 7-10 p.m. ET, ESPN. The induction ceremonies are strong on
offense – quarterback Kurt Warner, running backs Terrell Davis and
LaDanian Tomlinson, placekicker Morton Andersen. They're joined by
defensive end Jason Taylor and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

“Doubt,” 8 and 9
p.m., CBS. After failing earlier (despite big stars and a comfy
timeslot), “Doubt” was exiled to Saturdays. A week before its
finale, lives are crumbling around Sadie (Katherine Heigl). She's
defending her sometimes-lover (Steven Pasquele) in a murder trial
that's going badly. Also, her mom (Judith Light) remains in prison.

“The 'F' Word”
and “Love Connection,” 8 and 9 p.m., Fox. Gordon Ramsay and Andy
Cohen host these reruns dealing with two eternal favorites, food and
romance.

“Declassified,”
9 p.m. ET, CNN (barring breaking news). This hour outlines the FBI's
search for the men responsible for the deadly highjacking of EgyptAir
Flight 648 in 1985.

“In an Instant,”
10 p.m., ABC. On Thanksgiving eve of 2014, two cousins (ages 11 and
9) were building a snow fort in Newburgh, NJ. A plow driver
unknowingly dumped more snow on top of them. This hour – shortened
from a two-hour film in June – recalls the frantic effort to find
and rescue them.

“Law & Order:
Special Victims Unit,” 10 p.m., NBC. Flipping its pattern, NBC
nudges “Dateline” to 8 p.m., following it with this “SVU”
rerun. A rape suspect argues that his genetics made him do it.

“Saturday Night
Live,” 11:29 p.m., NBC. Emily Blunt hosts this rerun of a
pre-election episode, with Bruno Mars as the vibrant music guest.

TV column for Friday, Aug. 4


TONIGHT'S
SHOULD-SEE: “WE Day,” 8 p.m., CBS.

The “WE Day”
movement has only been big in the U.S. or a decade; during that time,
however, it's worked wonders in stirring young people to give time
and money to community projects.

This special
includes an April concert in Los Angeles, but also visits other
places. The concert has lots of music – it's hosted by Selena Gomex
and includes Demi Lovato, Alessia Cara, Stomp, DJ Khalid and Alicia
Keys – and talk. Guests range from Oprah Winfrey to Seth Rogen and
Miss Piggy.

TONIGHT'S MIGHT-SEE:
“The Great British Baking Show” finale, 9 and 10 p.m., PBS (check
local listings).

This is pledge-drive
time, when stations tend to sweep things away and insert specials.
Many, however, will still make room for this quietly pleasant – and
extremely British – show.

We're down to the
final four home bakers now. In the first hour, they must make a yeast
cake with a fruity top, then must bake several mini-cakes. In the
second, they try meringues; they also must make a British classic,
with only one recipe instruction and no measurements.

TONIGHT'S
ALTERNATIVE: All night, Syfy.

Lots of silly shark
stuff has filled Syfy this week, to get us ready for “Sharknado 5”
on Sunday. Wisely, however, the channel has left its excellent Friday
line-up alone.

At 8 p.m.,
“Killjoys” has Johnny battle someone from his past, while Dutch
has her own agony. At 9, “Dark Matters” may find answers about
Two's past; that starts when Android's friend Victor makes a distress
call. And at 10, “Wynonna Earp” forces Doc to make an impossible
choice.

Other choices
include:

Tom Hanks films,
5:30 p.m., VH1, and 6:56 p.m., Starz. VH1 has Hanks' beloved
“Forrest Gump” (1994); Starz has his “Inferno” (2016), which
wasn't even universally beliked.

More movies, cable.
A strong night starts with “Black Swan” (2010) at 5 p.m. on
Lifetime and “The Help” (2011) at 7 on TNT; it peaks with the
brilliant little “Juno” (2007) at 8 p.m. on Pop. Also: the
“Addams Family” films (1991, '93) at 6:40 and 8:50 on Freeform,
“Titanic” (1997) at 9 p.m. on VH1.

“America's Got
Talent,” 8-10 p.m., NBC. In a rerun, the judges have their third
round of cuts. The fourth and final one is coming Tuesday, setting up
the live rounds.

“MasterChef,” 8
p.m., Fox. A rerun brings in the purveyors of fine ingredients, from
butchers and beekeepers to herb growers and vegetable farmers. Then
the contestants must use those ingredients.

“Hawaii Five-0,”
9 p.m., CBS. In this rerun, William Forsythe returns as a private
detective, working a kidnapping case. The victim is a rich woman
whose husband may be hiding something; the team helps.

“Blue Bloods,”
10 p.m., CBS. Danny probes the death of an elderly woman who was hit
by a stray bullet in her home. Also in this rerun, Erin tries to help
her detective find a legal solution to a personal matter; their dad,
the police commissioner, must discipline a disrespectful cop.

“CNN Special
Report,” 10 p.m., CNN (barring breaking news). Back in 1994,
Carolyn Warmus was convicted of killing her lover's wife. It was soon
dubbed the “Fatal Attraction murder” and there were two TV
movies, with Jenny Robertson and Virginia Madsen playing her. Now CNN
looks at the case.