Mike Hughes

Best-bets for May 23: Combat, in basketball and in life

1) “The Last Dance,” 8-10:02 p.m., ABC. After drawing praise and strong ratings on ESPN, this 10-hour documentary gets a second life, this time on the broadcast side. Over the next five Saturdays, it will show Michael Jordan (shown here) and the Chicago Bulls pursue their sixth championship in eight years. Cameras followed the team in 1997-98, profiling Jordan, Scottie Pippin, Dennis Rodman, Steve Kerr and their coach, Phil Jackson; this also has dozens of current-day interviews with rivals and others. Read more…

Surprise: Daytime Emmys make a comeback

The Daytime Emmy Awards – once the land of Oprah triumphs and Susan Lucci disappointments – are returning to primetime, broadcast TV.
CBS has set the show for 8-10 p.m. June 26, with the nominees and others at their homes. Key nominees will be announced Thursday (May 21) on its “The Talk,” at 2 p.m. ET and 1 p.m. CT and PT; then all the nominees will be on Etonline.com.
The awards began in 1974 and moved to primetime in 1991, when the daytime was filled with well-known stars. Lucci was on her 19th nomination before being named (shown here) best soap actress in 1999; Bob Barker won 14 times as ga,me-show show host. In one stretch, Phil Donahue was named best talk host nine times in 11 years; Oprah Winfrey later won five straight times, before withdrawing. Read more…

Best-bets for May 22: Roe vs. a “stomping on” world

1) “AKA Jane Roe,” 9-11 p.m., FX. Norma McCorvey (shown here) spent her life in the spotlight. She was “Jane Roe” in Roe vs. Wade … then was outspoken on both the pro- and anti-abortion sides. In this film (shot shortly before her death in 2017), she flips again and says she went anti for the money. Still, neither side will feel much joy. Deep pain ripples through a woman who says her role “was to be stomped on and spit on.” Her one joy was a lesbian romance … which the evangelists convinced her to shed. Read more…

CBS this fall: same time, same night, same …

This fall, CBS will take “stability” to an extreme.
With few exceptions, it will have the same shows … at the same time … on the same nights.
In fact, four nights will be unchanged from what they had at the end of this season. The other three, changing only a tad, are:
Thursdays. Three shows from producer Chuck Lorre will be back-to-back, when “B Positive” is at 8:30, wedged between “Young Sheldon” and “Mom.” The new show (shown here) stars Thomas Middleditch (“Silicon Valley” and Annaleigh Ashford (“Masters of Sex”); she plays the rough-hewn woman who may become his kidney donor. “The Unicorn,” which started this season in the 8:30 slot, moves back to 9:30. Read more…

Fox renews “Last Man Standing,” “The Resident”

In a belated move, the Fox network has renewed two more shows – “The Resident” and Tim Allen’s “Last Man Standing.”
Both are among the network’s top-rated shows (despite sharp declines this season), but were notably absent May 11, when Fox announced its new-season plans. The network set a fall schedule, plus seven mid-season shows, without mentioning either.
Now “Last Man” (shown here) will return for its ninth season and “Resident” for its fourth. Read more…

Best-bets for May 21: A fun night for charity

1) “Celebrity Escape Room,” 8 p.m., NBC. Do we really want to watch other people try to escape from rooms? Yes, if they’re clever people who make droll comments to each other and the camera and game-master Jack Black. Against an ’80s-teen theme (show here), we learn that Ben Stiller doesn’t know how to play “rock, paper, scissors” … Adam Scott hasn’t been to a prom … Courteney Cox frightens easily … and that Lisa Kudrow doesn’t know the song “Fight For the Right (to Party),” but “might have solved a Rubik’s cube once; let’s say I have.” Read more…

Yes, “Aretha” is coming … eventually

For Cynthia Erivo, the timing seemed perfect:
On May 17, she led a soaring Aretha Franklin medley during the “American Idols” finale …. On May 24, she’s set to sing “Hero” during the “National Memorial Day Concert” … And on May 25, the mini-series “Genius” would start its third edition (shown here), this time with Erivo as Aretha Feranklin.
The only problem: The virus shutdown has now delayed “Genius” until sometime this fall. Read more…

Best-bets for May 20: The last masks are gone

1) “The Masked Singer” finale, 8 p.m., Fox. The big surprise came last week, when Barry Zito was unmasked, finishing fourth. He’s now a musician (as his parents and sister have been), but is mostly known as a retired baseball star – a Cy Young Award winner and World Series champion. Now he has topped such pros as Chaka Khan, Bret Michaels, Hunter Hayes and the angelic-voiced Jackie Evancho. Tonight, the show unmasks the final three — Frog (shown here), Turtle and Night Angel –and has a champion. Read more…

Memorial concert scrambles in the year of COVID

As the virus shut down large chunks of life, Michael Colbert was sure of two things.
Yes, there would still be Memorial Day, even without some of the parades and picnics and such.
And the night before that, there would be the annual “National Memorial Day Concert” (shown here from a previous year); that’s at 8 and 9:30 p.m. May 24 on most PBS stations. “We need to have our rituals,” Colbert said. Read more…