ABC’s Saturday night programming appears to be the result of a terrible dare
With Lisa Rinna as Britney Spears.
With Lisa Rinna as Britney Spears.

ABC’s Saturday night programming appears to be the result of a terrible dare

Also: Orphan Black, Babylon 5, and asshole animals

Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Friday, May 30, and Saturday, May 31. All times are Eastern.

TOP PICK
Bet On Your Baby/Sing Your Face Off (ABC, 8/9 p.m., Saturday):
ABC’s shrugging and tossing over a full hour of programming to parents placing wagers on their toddlers, then to celebrities learning to sing just like other celebrities? Hm. Must be summer. Yes, more TV is coming eventually, but for right now, it’s just going to be an unending onslaught of weird reality concepts that are just successful enough in the summer to keep coming back but would never be let anywhere near a regular season TV schedule. We reviewed the former last year, and Dennis Perkins will check in on the latter.


ALSO NOTED
Orphan Black (BBC America, 9 p.m., Saturday):
Caroline Framke is off doing other things this week, so she’s left the travails of Alison (and other characters) to Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya. We forgot to ask Kayla who her favorite clone was, but it had better be Alison, we mean it.


TV CLUB CLASSIC
Babylon 5 (11 a.m., Friday):
Rowan Kaiser took last weekend off for the holiday, but he’s back this weekend with more considerations of season four of this show. Even if you don’t watch the show, check these out, as he’s offering up some great thoughts on serialized sci-fi storytelling on TV.


ELSEWHERE IN TV CLUB
Todd VanDerWerff has apparently just been locked in a tiny bunker while feverishly turning out content, which is not all that different from his normal life. Check out his TV Review of AMC’s new Halt And Catch Fire, and then his For Our Consideration on the role of God in the recent wave of cable shows.

We also have a couple of interviews of interest to TV fans. First, Marah Eakin launches our new feature 11 Questions with Jon Lovitz, tied to, yes, Sing Your Face Off (full circle!). Then, Will Harris has another of his patented Random Roles jaunts with Mr. Don Johnson.


WHAT ELSE IS ON
No Limits (Animal Planet, 8 p.m., Friday):
A new show about people being dropped into extreme wilderness situations and trying to survive ignores that it’s title is a lie, because we are all, always, limited by gravity. Really makes you think.

Say Yes To The Dress: The Big Day (TLC, 9 p.m., Friday): Is this any different from garden variety Say Yes To The Dress? We don’t know, and we refuse to find out! Journalism!

American Pickers (History, 10 p.m. Friday): Hey, look, this show is still on!

Crossbones (NBC, 10 p.m., Friday): Todd VanDerWerff reviewed this new pirate drama featuring John Malkovich as Blackbeard, and you fine commenters have a great point: Why the hell isn’t Malkovich wearing a black fucking beard in this?

Mariah Carey: In Concert At Home With Matt Lauer (NBC, 8 p.m., Saturday): Those three prepositional phrases really throw this special in a new light. For one thing, who knew Matt Lauer could sing?

My Tiny Terror (Animal Planet, 9 p.m., Saturday): Every other show on Animal Planet appears to be about people who can’t handle their pets. Everybody just get a spray bottle already, okay?

The Matrix (AMC, 7 p.m., Friday): If you’re suffering from Hannibal withdrawal, here’s a chance to check out Laurence Fishburne in one of his most famous roles, then pretend that Morpheus is just Jack Crawford.

Pearl Harbor (Bravo, 7:47 p.m., Friday): The humble team at What’s On Tonight industries should have made this the movie pick every single night of this week, because it totally could have, just to spite you.

My Fair Lady (TCM, 8 p.m., Saturday): Long and filled with horrifyingly retrograde attitudes about gender? Sure. A bastardized adaptation of Pygmalion that misses much of that work’s power? Of course. But dammit, What’s On Tonight likes this movie and likes all the songs. Let us have this one!

Stanley Cup Playoffs: Game 6: Blackhawks at Kings (NBC Sports, 9 p.m., Friday): The Kings lead this series 3-2, but the thrilling Blackhawks win in double overtime Wednesday night may have given Chicago some momentum. Of course, momentum is a myth. Sorry, Chicago.

NBA Playoffs: Game 6: Spurs at Thunder (TNT, 8:30 p.m., Saturday): The Spurs took a 3-2 lead in the series Thursday night thanks to help from Tim Duncan (who is still alive, apparently), but the action heads back to Oklahoma City to see if the Thunder can even it up.


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Friday Night Lights (Thursday):
Christ, nothing is on TV anymore, so why not embrace some old TV in honor of TV Club Classic’s summer launch week, which begins Sunday? Do that by dropping in on Sonia Saraiya’s reviews of the first season of Friday Night Lights, which have been great.


TALES OF THE FIERI BEAST
This week: The Fieri Beast Cares Not For Your Jeopardy! Thread

Diners, Drive-Ins, And Dives (Food Network, Friday, 10 p.m): “Grillin’!” cried the assembled mass of cultists, bowing toward the statue of the Fieri beast. Praetorius looked down upon them, doom in his eyes. “They know not what they do, Simon,” he said to his inquisitive nephew, so named for his resemblance to the Chipmunk. “Chillin’!” called the cultists. “My God, Simon! We have to stop them!” shouted Praetorius. But the boy was nowhere to be found. “Uncle! Help!” he cried, borne away on the shoulders of the cultists toward the statue of their dark god, grist for his insatiable maw. Praetorius’ mind began to shatter from the horror, as the cultists invoked the phrase that would cause the Fieri beast to break free from his interdimensional prison. “Huli!” they chanted. Praetorius twisted his hands together in terror as the earth shook. “Huli!” they repeated, and Praetorius’ eyes rolled back in his skull. “CHICKEN!” The only sound then was the dying.

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