Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Sunday, July 7. All times are Eastern.
Family Tree (HBO, 10 p.m.): Even by the relaxed standards of premium cable, Family Tree hasn’t attracted big ratings—outranked by Animal Planet fishermen, Bravo princesses, and a TLC medium, last week’s episode of the Christopher Guest faux-documentary drew just over half a million viewers. Renewal simply doesn’t seem to be in the cards for the Chadwicks, so join Erik Adams as he says a tentative “farewell” to the clan. Oh, Monkey—he’ll miss you most of all.
The Killing (AMC, 9 p.m.): “Sarah and Holder get a break in the case”—which, sure, viewers of The Killing have heard that song-and-dance before. But if it involves an actual song-and-dance this time, Phil Dyess-Nugent wouldn’t mind seeing it.
True Blood (HBO, 9 p.m.): The Etta James torch song referenced in the title of tonight’s episode, “At Last,” could be linked to a halfling love connection—it could also be linked to the union of the vampires with a new kind of blood. Carrie Raisler hopes for a third answer, where Beyoncé shows up in the guise of James and blasts the gathering anti-vampire forces with her supernaturally enhanced belting.
Dexter (Showtime, 9 p.m.): The Big Bad of Dexter’s final season is known as The Brain Surgeon, a gruesome step up in naming conventions from the show that brought you the Trinity Killer, The Doomsday Killer, and The Ice Truck Killer. It’s also an appropriate choice because Joshua Alston feels like the last few years of the show have scooped out chunks of his brain one episode at a time.
Falling Skies (TNT, 9 p.m.): The potential threat Les Chappell has dubbed Evil!Hal finally makes himself known, which must be a relief for all the alien parasites in the show’s audience who feel like they’re under-represented elsewhere on the TV dial.
Ray Donovan (Showtime, 10 p.m.): Sonia Saraiya steps up to wrangle with the man who fixes Hollywood’s problems—with the exception of the problems that arise under his own roof. She can’t wait to meet other Ray Donovan characters who suffer the same type of affliction, like maybe there’s a painter who can capture every image imaginable—though she can’t paint a self-portrait to save her life.
The Venture Bros. (Adult Swim, midnight): No spoilers intended, but it seems Zack Handlen thinks tonight’s Venture Bros. might be one of the season’s best. And if you don’t end up agreeing with that assessment, please direct all online anger at Zack and not your friendly, neighborhood What’s On Tonight? correspondent.
TV CLUB CLASSIC
Saturday Night Live (Classic) (1 p.m.): Phil Dyess-Nugent is proud to present the one-and-only (so far as we can tell) performance of late-night musical dynamos Lily Tomlin With Howard Shore And His All-Nurse Band. If only the band’s debut LP (that we just made up) Sutures For Smoochers hadn’t been lost to the ages…
WHAT ELSE IS ON?
Bikinis & Boardwalks (Travel Channel, 7 p.m.): Stuck at home in front of the tube this holiday weekend? Here’s a quick remedy: Fill the living room with sand, throw on your bathing suit, and watch Travel’s new beachfront travelogue while fighting away thoughts about having to sweep up all that sand in a few hours.
Endeavour (PBS, 9 p.m.): ITV’s prequel to Inspector Morse makes its Stateside debut, with the future inspector working his way up the ladder in the mid-’60s. Think he’ll cross paths with any displaced castmembers of The Hour looking for a quick investigative fix?
Food Court Wars (Food Network, 10 p.m.): Dearest Martha: It has been many fortnights since our last correspondence; the damnable Cupcake Wars being nearly concluded, sergeant has given orders for our regiment to make camp at what is referred to as a “shopping mall” to participate in a battle to sell our wares among merchants with confounding names like “Hot Topic” and “Forever 21.” Watch for future letters to be printed on wax paper, next to a table of nutritional information.
Totally Royal Tots (VH1, 10 p.m.): Look, any network can bring you royal tots, but only VH1 has the gall, the sheer cajones, to present you with totally royal tots. These are the real deal: 100 percent, uncut, all-natural royal tots.
The Big Lebowski (Flix, 8 p.m.): At the end of a long holiday weekend, slouch back into real life with the shaggiest of shaggy-dog stories, the neo-noir Coen brothers comedy that really ties the room together.
The Incredible Shrinking Man (TCM, 8 p.m.): Cold War paranoia meets post-war existential angst—which is then shot through a lens of practical special-effects wizardry and the science-fiction mastery of the late Richard Matheson, who adapted the screenplay from his own novel.
MLB Baseball: Red Sox at Angels (ESPN, 8 p.m.): As the MLB season approaches its halfway point, Boston sits pretty with a wide lead atop the AL East. That lead is likely be wider at the end of this three-game stand in Anaheim.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
King (Friday): O, Canada: Without you, where would Reelz get any of its “original programming”? It’d certainly be down one TNT Lite police procedural, which Will Harris shotgunned while his own home and native land was celebrating its independence.