Mike Hughes

Best-bets for July 24: Nearing the finish, “Jane” soars

1) “Jane the Virgin,” 9 p.m., CW. At the end of a terrific episode. Jane’s mom quietly asks: “How do we say goodbye?” Good question; after five seasons and 98 episodes, we hate to see “Jane” end. It started well (including a Golden Globe for Gina Rodriguez and a best-comedy-series nomination), stumbled a bit, but is ending with humor and warmth. This episode manages to settle most of the plot points, even providing some warmth for ex-spouses Rafael and Petra, shown here. In fact, one problem is disposed of quite spectacularly. We’re not sure what will be left for next week’s two-part finale. Read more…

Best bets for July 23: Catch a comedy while you can

1) “Modern Family,” 9 and 10 p.m., ABC, and more. In giddy stretches of the 1990s, a network would have 16-18 situation comedies. And next week? Counting everything (except cartoons), the broadcast networks will have a total of four sitcoms. Really. CBS and NBC had already replaced theirs with summertime reality; next Tuesday, most of ABC’s sitcoms will be replaced by the “Bachelorette” finale. So savor these laughs while you can,including “Modern Family” (shown here in a graduation episode), plus “The Connors” (8 p.m.), “American Housewife” (8:30) and “Black-ish” (9:30 and 10:30). Read more…

Best-bets for July 22: At last, a Lukeless Hannah

1) “The Bachelorette,” 8-10:01 p.m., ABC. This edition takes longer than usual, due to a lingering Luke. Two weeks ago, Hannah Brown refused to trim from four guys to three, inexplicably keeping Luke Parker (shown here with Brown). She dismissed him last week, but he’s persistent. Tonight, he finally leaves; Chris Harrison talks to Brown and to Parker and 16 other rejects, finding emotional moments with Mike Johnson. That sets up next week’s two-parter with Jed Wyatt, Peter Weber and Tyler Cameron. Read more…

Now “Grantchester” has its rock ‘n’ roll, crimesolving preacher

For “Masterpiece” fans, waiting for the new vicar is like waiting for Halley’s Comet or a Cubs pennant.It takes patience … but yes, it’s worth it.
On July 28 – in the season’s third week and fourth episode – Tom Brittney finally takes over as Will Davenport, the crimesolving vicar in a little English village. He replaces James Norton, who had finished his three-year contract and stayed for some transition episodes.
In some ways, it might not seem like a big change. Both stars are tall, handsome and young; Norton is 34, Brittney is 28.But this is set at a time when a few years seemed like a new generation.
“I represent this sort of youth coming in at the end of the ’50s – the rock ‘n’ roll, leather-jacket-wearing, motorbike-riding, Elvis-listening people,” Brittney said. Read more…

Best-bets for July 21: The end of “Truth” and “Lies”

1) “Big Little Lies” season-finale, 9 p.m., HBO. It’s a night for shows to conclude their second seasons, wrapping up mini-series-type stories. At 8 p.m. is CW’s eight-week “Burden of Truth”; then is this seven-week story. The first season won eight Emmys, including best actress (Nicole Kidman) and mini-series. The second ends with Celeste (Kidman) grilling her late husband’s mother (Meryl Streep) about his childhood tragedy. Also, Madeline (Reese Witherspoon) feels secrets are tearing the five friends apart; they’re shown here, with Streep looming in the background. Read more…

Week’s top-10 for July 22: End is near for Jane and Hannah

1) “Jane the Virgin,” 9 p.m. Wednesday, CW. This terrific episode ends with Jane’s mom asking: “How do we say goodbye?” Good question; after five seasons and 98 episodes, we’ll hate to see the show end. It started well (including a Golden Globe for Gina Rodriguez and a best-comedy-series nomination), stalled a little, and then is soaring at the end. Indeed, this episode manages to settle most of the plot points, one of them (at Jane’s dad’s party, shown here) spectacularly. We’re not sure what will be left for next week’s two-part finale. Read more…

Field and Ronstadt: Together at last

Am I the only person who can’t tell the difference between Sally Field and Linda Ronstadt?
That will be tested in December, when both receive Kennedy Center Honors. It’s a great honor – we’re talking Bernstein and Basie and Bacall, Sinatra and Aretha and all the others – and (via CBS) one of the best shows on TV.
And this year, Field (shown here, from a while back) and Ronstadt will both be honored, alongside conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, the entire “Sesame Street” show and the vibrant group Earth, Wind & Fire. Read more…

Best-bets for July 20: Moon, moon, moon (and “SNL”)

1) Moon documentaries, everywhere. On the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, cable is busy. Discovery has “Apollo: The Forgotten Films” at 8 p.m. and “Confessions From Space” at 10. BBC America uses CBS’ original reports as the core, from 9-11 p.m. ET, rerunning at 2 a.m. At 9 p.m. ET, CNN reruns its “Apollo 11” movie (repeating at 11). Also, at 9, Smihsonian has “The Day We Walked the Moon”; at 10:05, History has “Moon Landing: The Lost Tapes.” Read more…