Mike Hughes

Best-bets for Aug. 14: Four seasons end, one begins

1) “Masterpiece: Grantchester” season-finale, 9 p.m., PBS. It’s been a terrific season, a quick rebound from the drab “Masterpiece: Endeavour.” Alongside some solid mysteries, there have been personal crises for Geordie (lost in an alcoholic funk) and Will (shown here, center, last season), who dallied with a temptress while overlooking Geordie’s good-hearted niece Bonnie. Last week, Geordie’s wife let him return home; now come more key moments, including another murder of a homeless man. Read more…

Lifetime line-up: Heche, “Bad Seed,” true-crime, more

Anne Heche’s next film – an intense one – is ready to air on Sept. 17.
An Aug. 5 crash left Heche (shown here) in a coma, but she’d already finished “Girl in Room 13,” which has been edited and is ready to go. “She did a phenomenal job,” said director Elizabeth Rohm.
Heche plays the mother of a young woman (Larissa Dias) who has disappeared. It’s a fictional story, done with Polaris, which tracks human trafficking.
That’s part of a flurry of movies Lifetime and the Lifetime Movie Network discussed today (Aug. 11) with the Television Critics Association. They include: Read more…

Best-bets for Aug. 13: Movies have Diana, DeBose, “Desire”

1) “The Princess” debut, 8 p.m., HBO. This feels like a wonderfully mismatched triple-feature. HBO’s new Diana (shown here) documentary is surrounded by Oscar-winning performances in terrific 2021 films. At 5:30 p.m., Will Smith is an unstoppable tennis dad in “King Richard”; at 10, Ariana DeBose is a potent Anita in Steven Speilberg’s superb “West Side Story.” Read more…

Week’s top-10 for Aug. 15: dragons, da Vinci & reality

1) “House of the Dragon” debut, 9 p.m. Sunday, HBO, rerunning at 10:10. Towering over everything else is this “Game of Thrones” prequel (shown here). HBO spent a reported $200 million on the 10-episode season, which started filming 16 months ago. Set 200 years before “Thrones,” the show has newcomer Emma D’Arcy as the princess and dragonrider. Sci-fi fans will spot Matt Smith of ”Doctor Who” and Olivia Cooke of “Ready Player One.” Read more…

It’s the end of the “Breaking Bad” world

Vince Gilligan was getting ready to close his “Breaking Bad” world … again.,
He’d already done this once, wrapping up “Breaking Bad” in 2013. He killed the main character and saved his colleague, drawing lots of praise and some dismay.
Now he’s at it again. At 9 p.m. Monday (Aug. 15) on AMC — rerunning at 10:38 — the acclaimed “Better Call Saul” (shown here) has its series finale. Did he feel pressure to do it right?
“If we don’t win the Nobel Prize for winning this, I’ll be highly disappointed,” he joked to the Television Critics Association. Read more…

Best-bets for Aug. 12: feel-good night from Chen, chefs

1) “Secret Celebrity Renovation,” 8 p.m., CBS. Nathan Chen (shown here) grew up in Salt Lake City, the son of a research scientist and a medical translator. His own interests were elsewhere – piano, ballet, gymnastics and, especially, figure-skating. He’s won three world championships and Olympic gold and holds the all-time best under the current scoring system. Now he returns home to help create a skaters’ lounge in the Salt Lake City Sports Complex. Read more…

Best-bets for Aug. 11: baseball’s field of memories

1) Baseball, 7 p.m. ET, Fox. Baseball (shown here) may be slow and stodgy, but it has acres of history. The National League began in the wild-West era; that was 1876, the year Custer and Hickok were killed, Earp became sheriff and Bell made the first phone call. Now two of the original eight teams – Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds – meet on the Iowa diamond created for “Field of Dreams.” They’re about 40 games below .500 (combined), but bring a living history. Read more…

Best-bets for Aug. 10: “Dance” ends, “Alien” returns

1) “So You Think You Can Dance” finale, 9 p.m., Fox. Two gifted dancers (shown here with host Cat Deely), trained in opposite styles, remain. Keaton Kerrmode, 20, is a husky guy who was a 190-pound running back and safety in small-town Indiana; he’s a contemporary dancer. Alexis Warr, 21, trained in the Utah dance studio where Derek Hough began, then backed him on tour. She hopes to be the show’s first ballroom champ. Read more…

Coming to Hulu: more, more and (yes) more

If you’re summarizing Hulu’s current line-up in three words, it might be “more,” “more” and “more.” And then maybe a little more.
At a time (late summer) when some networks nap, the streamer has a surge. There are a few big stars – two Steves (Martin and Carell) and, later, one Oprah. There are also names — Emayatzy Corinealdi, Chris Estrada, Travante Rhodes, D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai – you haven’t seen on many movie marquees.
Part of the surge is due to airing two major, second-season shows in the summer:
— “Only Murders in the Building” has new episodes Tuesdays, through Aug. 23. Its first season drew 17 Emmy nominations, including best comedy and comedy actors (Steve Martin and Martin Short, shown here with Selena Gomez).
— “Reservation Dogs” has new ones Wednesdays, through Sept. 28. Its first season won Peabody and American Film Institute awards. Read more…

Best-bets for Aug. 9: A great game returns

1) “Password” debut, 10 p.m. Tuesday, NBC. For 61 years, off and on, this game has provided quick, slick fun. The new version has Keke Palmer hosting, with Jimmy Fallon (also the producer) playing each time; they’re shown here. Tonight, he’s with Jon Hamm (who’s especially good), then at 9 p.m. Wednesday, he’ll be with Heidi Klum. In the modern trend, people work way too hard at being cheerful. Still, these are smart, likable souls who make an old game feel fresh in its 60s. Read more…