Mike Hughes

Best-bets for May 25: Chefs begin; other shows end

1) “MasterChef” season-opener (shown here), 8 p.m., Fox. Forty contestants from past seasons get one more shot. Derrick Pelz was a drummer in 2015 … Brandi Mudd was an elementary school teacher in 2016… Lindsay Haig was a lawyer in 2018 … Wuta Onda was an English teacher in 2019. None won (although Mudd was runner-up), but all four became food professionals. In this brisk opener, they’re among 12 people competing for six spots. Read more…

Best-bets for May 24: A great series ends; so do lots of seasons

1) “This Is Us” (shown here) series finale, 9 p.m., NBC. It’s farewell time for the best broadcast-network drama in recent years. Life has been especially tough on Rebecca, who has lost two husbands and much of her memory. But she has three excellent offspring (one adopted) who keep remaking their lives. For six seasons, this has brought richly nuanced emotion. Now the family is together for the 106th and final episode. Read more…

Morgan brings extra emotion to Memorial Day eve concert

Craig Morgan (shown here) woke at 4:30 one morning, with a song forming in his head.
That happens often; he keeps a notepad near his bed. But this was different, he recalled: “I don’t ever remember getting up and picking up the guitar.”
In less than an hour, he had finished “The Father, My Son and the Holy Ghost.” That’s the song he’ll do on the Capitol lawn for the “National Memorial Day Concert,” at 8 p.m. Sunday (Memorial Day eve) on PBS, with most stations repeating it at 9:30. Read more…

Best-bets for May 22: It’s finale time for “Idol” … and many others

1) “American Idol” finale, 8-11 p.m., ABC. Three young singers remain. Noah Thompson (shown here) and HunterGirl are from small-town South; Leah Marlene is from Illinois, but spent two college years in Nashville. Now they’ll each do two songs (one from Bruce Springsteen) and viewers will pick a champ. The judges will also perform; so will Carrie Underwood, Sara Bareilles, Michael Buble, Melissa Etheridge, Flo Rida, Thomas Rhett, Gabby Barrett, Tai Verdes, and more, including Earth, Wind and Fire. Read more…

Week’s top-10 for May 23: The end of a season … and of a great show

1) “This Is Us” series finale, 9 p.m. Tuesday, NBC. For six seasons, this has been the best broadcast-network drama. Now – voluntarily and way too soon – it’s ending with its 106th episode. During this time, we’ve seen Kate change husbands, Randall change careers and Kevin change lovers, returning now to his first love, Sophie. We’ve seen them (shown here) lose their dad suddenly, when they were kids, and their mom slowly, to Alzheimer’s disease. Now they’re back together; we can expect strong emotions. Read more…

CW sets new shows … and delays its big ones

When the big networks battle this fall, a smaller one will wait semi-patientlly.
The CW will hold many of its top shows until mid-season. That includes “The Flash,” “Superman & Lois,” “Nancy Drew” and the final year of “Riverdale.”
Instead, it will try an intriguing assortment. Two summer shows – “Stargirl” and “Coroner” – will be promoted to the main season. Four new dramas will also be there – including a “Walker” prequel (shown here) and a “Supernatural” prequel. Read more…

Best-bets for May 21: “SNL” finale, puma premiere

1) “Saturday Night Live” season-finale, 11:29 p.m., NBC. Natasha Lyonne (shown here) – a streaming star via “Orange is the New Black” and “Russian Doll” – gets her first chance to host. The music guest is Japanese Breakfast, led by Korean-American musician-author Michelle Zauner. Also, “Weekend Update” anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che have a season-finale tradition of making each other read rude jokes. Read more…

CNN boosts its Sunday plans

Somewhere amid the storm and fury of the first Warner Brothers Discovery presentation to advertisers there were glimpses of what’s ahead for CNN.
Yes, Chris Licht, the network’s new chief, is talking about getting back to basics. “In a time when extremes are dominating cable news, we will go a different way,” he insisted.
But Licht is also continuing CNN’s habit of being an entertainment network on Sunday nights. This fall, that will include:
— Some of the shows that were slated for the now-vanished CNN+. Chris Wallace (shown here) will have his interview show then … on the same night where his dad (Mike Wallace) used to rule with “60 Minutes.” Eva Longoria will also have her food-and-travel show viewing Mexico. Read more…

CBS schedule gets a major overhaul

At a time when other networks are timid, CBS is giving its schedule a full-scale renovation.
Gone are “Magnum P.I.” “Bull,” “Good Sam,” half the Thursday comedies and several reality shows. Arriving are three new dramas (including “Fire Country,” shown hre) and a dating show.
Others are changing nights, as the network shifts its philosophy. For instance: Read more…