“MasterChef” season-opener, 8 p.m., Fox.
For many reality
shows (“Voice” excluded), the audition phase lacks competitive
drama. Here's a solution – with 40 people people and 20 slots; it's
one-on-one (mostly), with a quick winner and ouster.
A charming 5th-grade
teacher from a Kentucky town of 1,181 faces a drink “mixologist.”
A college student from Miami faces a former cheerleader and sorority
girl from Texas. A poker champion faces a restaurant marketer.
There's more, from a tuxedo salesman to Miss San Diego 2015. Fans
will pick favorites ... some of them soon ousted by Christina Tosi
and Gordon Ramsay, in an involving start.
II: “Wayward Pines,” 9 p.m., Fox.
Let's credit Fox for
skipping reruns and giving us new shows ... even if they are
bizarrely mismatched. Tonight leaps from chefs to science-fiction, on
an Earth where humankind was almost destroyed. With a wall to block
mutant invaders, a town struggles on, re-stocked with cryogenically
The founder is now
dead. So is last season's hero; his rebel son was banished outside
the wall. Now we have a new protagonist – a surgeon (Jason Patric)
who uses his status to demand answers. “Pines” lacks the mystery
and wonder of the first season, but remains a strong story of the
individual and the system.
ALTERNATIVE: “The Americans,” 10 p.m., FX.
Sure, Paige has
learned the basics: Her parents are Russian spies, enbedded in 1980's
America. Still, she never fully grasped this until last week's
episode, when a mugger attacked her; with astonishing speed and
skill, her mom killed the guy.
In tonight's episode
– the second-to-last of the season -- “Americans” deals with
the emotional aftershock and more. The Russians are trying to steal a
virus from U.S. labs; they've done it before, but this one is so
powerful that even a career spy will pause. Emotions build, in a
ALTERNATIVE II: “Kingdom” return, 9 p.m., DirecTV/AT&T.
TV's most-macho show
is back for 10 summer episodes, radiating energy and emotion.
Foirtunately, it has gifted actors who can make all of this overdrive
At the core is Alvey
(Frank Grillo), running a martial-arts gym with his pregnant
girlfriend. His estranged wife has been shattered by drug abuse;
their sons – the flamboyant Jay (Jonathan Tucker) and earnest Nate
(Nick Jonas) are at his gym. So is the intense Alicia (Natalie
Martinez) and her lover Ryan (Matt Lauria). As Ryan and Jay prepare
to fight each other, there are fierce shellshocks.
Warrior,” 8-10 p.m., NBC. Here's another network with a no-rerun
Wednesday. “Ninja” had an all-star competition Sunday, but now it
starts its try-outs in Los Angeles.
8-10 p.m., ABC. The second quick-run season ends for this show, which
has smart people trying to answer questions without flubbing three
Summer Pool Party,” 8 p.m., CW. June starts with youthful music.
Hailee Steinfeld hosts with Joe Josnas and sings with DNCE; others
include Jason Derulo, Flo Rida, Tinashe and Kygo.
“Roots,” 9 p.m.,
History, A&E. Lifetime, Lifetime Movie Network; rerunning at
11:21 p.m. and 1:42 a.m. In the third of four parts, George works to
buy his freedom ... then gets a setback. The first two nights rerun
at 4:35 and 6:50 p.m.
Kitchen,” 9 p.m., Food Network. A five-part “time warp
tournnament” begins, with chefs dealing with the quirks and the
cooking of the 1950s.
season-opener, 10 p.m., NBC. This hospital show keeps turning to
high-octane action. Near a Texas military base, most of the doctors
and many of the patients are ex-military. Tonight starts with fierce,
action-scene surgery plus Afghanistan drama with Jennifer Beals as