News and Quick Comments

Here’s the “Sharkfest” schedule

Let’s say you want a compromise plan for this summer’s “Sharkfest.”
You’re not planning on watching the full, five-week marathon. (What, you have something better to do?) You’ll skip all the reruns – tons of them – and stick to the new shows.
Here (subject to change) are the premieres. “Sharkfest” (see separate story) starts July 19 on the National Geographic Channel, then jumps to Nat Geo Wild on Aug. 9 – the same day Discovery launches its Shark Week. Read more…

“The Nest” brings subtlety and venom

“The Nest” (shown here) arrives Monday (July 13) on Acorn, giving us one of those couples we can all envy.
Rich, smart and attractive, they live in a gorgeous, waterfront home near Glasgow. And then … well, then they meet a woman who has a mysterious past and nothing to lose.
Parts of that plot could describe many movies. This could be “Chloe” with Amanda Seyfried or “The Hand That Rocks the Cradle” with Rebecca De Mornay or countless others. Storytellers love to start with perfection, then stir things up.
But “The Nest” has the advantage of time and detail. It’s a five-hour story – the first two hours debut Monday on – with the time to provide depth to each character, while spinning them through fresh detours. Read more…

“Stargirl,” a summer surprise, is renewed

Right now, we’re short of good news and of new, scripted shows in the summertime.
So here’s something that combines both: “Stargirl” (shown here) has just been renewed for next season.
The show was created for the DC Universe streaming service, then set a two-part plan: Each week this summer, a new episode reaches DC on Mondays, then airs at 8 p.m. Tuesdays on CW.
The result has been a pleasant surprise, with smart writing and sharp casting. It still has six more episodes for this summer … and now more: For next year, DC Universe will drop out; CW will air each episode first, then move it to its next-day streamers. Read more…

More Reiner tributes on the way

The first phase of TV’s Carl Reiner tribute has finished now, but there’s much more on the way.That includes “Dick Van Dyke Show” reruns on digital networks and Hulu, plus five movies July 28 on cable’s Turner Classic Movies.
That first phase included CBS rerunning two “Van Dyke” episodes that had color added by computer. One of them – Laura (Mary Tyler Moore) accidentally tells the world that her husband’s boss Alan Brady (Reiner) wears a toupee – was hilarious. The other – a nude painting of Laura, who had posed fully clothed – was only so-so; it was apparently chosen strictly because Reiner played the artist.That toupee episode reran Sunday on the digital MeTV network and will run yet again at 10 p.m. this Friday (July 10) on the digital Decades TV. And you can catch all of the “Van Dyke” episodes on Hulu.

Other tributres continue, That includes: Read more…

More on the 4th: CNN jumps in

There’s a late addition to our stay-at-home choices for the 4th of July.
This one is on CNN – a four-hour marathon that offers an early start for the West Coast. PBS ad NBC (see separate stories) start at 8 p.m. ET/PT, continuing (counting reruns) until 11; CNN goes from 8 to midnight ET … which is 5-9 p.m. PT.
Don Lemon will host for CNN from New York, with Dana Bash in Washington. This will include the fireworks from both cities, plus Houston, Nashville and Jacksonville. It adds lots of music, including Andy Grammer (shown here), who will also be on PBS. Also performing are: Read more…

Here’s a guide to at-home 4th

So now we face the prospect of a stay-at-home 4th of July.
In many places, that means no fireworks, no parades, no music. In others … well, it still seems safer to stay away this year.
Not to worry, television is ready to fill in … just as it did for Easter and Memorial Day. It has two big-deal shows, with music and fireworks – PBS (see separate story, alongside this one) in Washington, D.C. (shown here), NBC in New York. It also has shows aimed at the day’s emphasis on history or music; here’s a guide: Read more…

Supervise my bath, please

Sometimes, you pass by a sign that jolts you.
That happbned to me today. It was an election sign that simply said: “Curtis For Bath Supervisor.”
What? We elect people to supervise our bathing? The mind jumps to — well, Ernie (shown here) singing “Rubber Ducky.” Or Marilyn Monroe in a bubble-bath secne or some such.
It sort of needs context, I guess. Like the time I saw a sign that said “Rich Girls Track Team.” Read more…

NBC on the 4th: country, rock & fireworks

Now we have two large-scale choices for the 4th of July. And neither involves wedging into a noisy crowd of COVID-deniers.
NBC has just announced its plan for the night. It includes some country, some rock, a tad of poetry and a lot of fireworks. That’s at the same time that PBS (see separate story) has country, pop, Broadway …. and a lot of fireworks.
The annual NBC event has been linked to Macy’s fireworks (shown here in a previous year), which were on hold for a while, while New York worked out a way to avoid people congregating: Read more…