Mike Hughes

Best-bets for May 15: Pop star, vaccine stars

1) “Saturday Night Live,” 11:29 p.m., NBC. Most teenagers don’t have a weekend quite like this: On Friday, Olivia Rodrigo (shown here) had the second-season opener of “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series,” on Disney+; today is her “SNL” debut, with Keegan-Michael Key hosting. Six days later, her album will debut. Rodrigo, 18, starred for three seasons in “Bizaardvark,” before playing Nini in the Disney+ series. Her first single, “Drivers License,” was No. 1 in the U.S. and seven other countries. Read more…

Kennedy Center Honors grab Tony timeslot

This year’s Tony Award telecast will be last year’s Kennedy Center Honors … sort of.
And that could satisfy people who want high-class celebrations of the performing arts.
CBS has set the Kennedy Center show for 8-10 p.m. June 6. Gloria Estefan will host and the honorees will range from violinist Midori, 49, to actor Dick Van Dyke, 95; others are country’s Garth Brooks (shown here), 59; folk’s Joan Baez, 80; and actress-dancer Debbie Allen, 71. Read more…

Best-bets for May 14: “Blood” finishes, “Pride” begins

1) “Blue Bloods” season-finale, 9 and 10 p.m., CBS. In last season’s finale, Frank Reagan (Tom Selleck) met Joe Hill, an adult grandson he didn’t know about. (Hill’s biologic father, Joe Reagan, was killed as an undercover cop.) The new Joe was in the first three episodes this season, then vanished. Now we learn he’s been working undercover, in a gang that Danny – a police detective who is Joe’s uncle — is investigating. Now Danny (center) and Jamie (right) try to save their nephew (back to camera), in a two-part finish to the 11th season. Read more…

It’s an anthem of life for Memorial Day star

The song “American Anthem” ripples through decades of Denyce Graves’ memories.
She met it 23 years ago, when her friend, composer Gene Scheer, sent it by cassette. Her reaction, she recalls, was instant: “It’s beautiful …. It’s a reflective piece that makes you think about your life.”
So she sang it often – from the a Hillary Clinton event to George W. Bush’s second inauguration. (“I’m a bi-partisan, equal-opportunity singer.”) After the latter, Sen. Joe Biden “came up to me and said, ‘What was that song!?’” Sixteen years later, he would quote it in in own inaugural speech.
Now comes another lofty occasion. From a rooftop overlooking the Capitol, Graves (shown here) sings “American Anthem” for the “National Memorial Day Concert,” at 8 p.m. May 30 on PBS, rerunning at 9:30. Read more…

Best-bets for May 13: A great comedy ends beautifully

1) “Mom” series finale, 9 p.m.,, CBS. One of the decade’s best comedies ends with a cascade of plot twists – some grim, some joyous, some just silly. One dandy scene has Bonnie (Allison Janney, furthest right of the women shown here) navigate the plot twists by phone, alternately putting different people on hold. Another has an Alcoholics Anonymous newcomer learn that these now-cheery women can match any of her nightmares. All of this is both hilarious and warm, twin moods that Janney handles deftly. Read more…

“Kat’ comedy called back for next season

“Call Me Kat” – Mayim Bialik’s amiable, throwback sort of comedy – will be back next season.
The Fox network made the belated announcement today (May 10), just a week before it unveils its schedule for next fall. It even managed to somehow proclaim “Kat” (shown here with Bialik and Cheyenne Jackson) as “television’s #1 new comedy.” Read more…

CW, Freeform set scripted summer shows

The CW network is expanding its lone (almost) mission to have new, scripted shows this summer.
The latest step is to add a third season of “The Outpost” (shown here), a modestly budgeted fantasy adventure. That will arrive July 15; also, two Canadian dramas will adjust their debuts slightly: “Burden of Truth” starts its fourth and final season July 30, “Coroner” starts its third on Aug.19.
That’s part of a scripted summer that makes CW unusual in the broadcast (non-cable) world.
Cable networks will have summer scripted shows, as usual. Freeform, for instance, has just announced the starting dates for “Motherland: Fort Salem” (June 22), “Grown-ish” (July 8) and the second half of the “Good Trouble” season (July 14). Its “The Bold Type” will also have a brief, final season, from May 26 to June 30. Read more…

Best-bets for May 12: from goofy masks to intense protests

1) “The Masked Singer,” 8 p.m., Fox. Two weeks from its finale, this fifth edition is down to its final five – Black Swan, Piglet, Chameleon, Yeti and several people inside Russian Dolls (shown here). Lately, this has unmasked top singers — Bobby Brown, Mark McGrath and, last week, Tyrese Gibson. Earlier, it dumped movie villain Danny Trejo, Internet star Logan Paul, ex-Olympian (and current politician) Caitlyn Jenner, actress Tamera Mowry-Housley and all-around superstar Kermit the Frog. Read more…

Best-bets for May 11: Tough times for “Mayans,” “Prodigal Son,” more

1) “Mayans M.C.” season-finale, 10 p.m., FX; reruns at midnight. At times, “Mayans” seemed headed for a great series-finale; then came the word it’s been renewed for next year. This hour is, as usual, beautifully written, directed and acted; still, there are times when its seems to strain to prolong the story. Last week, EZ told Gaby he wants to leave town with her (they’re shown here in a previous episode); also, Galindo drugged his wife, started to drown her, then relented. Now two compelling characters – Adelita and Potter – finally collide. Read more…

A splendid comedy says farewell

One of the best TV comedies is saying farewell on Thursday (May 13).
But don’t expect a big send-off in the “MASH”/”Seinfeld”/”Big Bang” mode. “Mom” (shown here, 9 p.m., CBS) has spent its eight seasons in a middle ground – usually funny, sometimes poignant, rarely honored.
Its honors have been strictly for Allison Janney, the show’s amazing star – five Emmy nominations and two wins. (There have also been four nominations for editing and one for cinematography.) Read more…