Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Tuesday, July 29. All times are Eastern.
Dance Moms (Lifetime, 9 p.m.): Abby Lee Miller returns to dominate Lifetime programming and the lives of her unbelievably talented protégés. In this fourth season summer premiere, Abby pits her “Select Team” against her original “Elite Team.” Since it’s Comics Week around here, we have to mention that this dance team showdown will be just like that time The Avengers fought The X-Men. Only with more pirouettes, relevés, and switch kicks. Plus the weird way the girls walk offstage after completing a dance (which should definitely be the way Wolverine exits a battle). Presumably all those moves and more will be featured in tonight’s premiere along with the requisite mom drama that is far and away the least interesting part of this show.
Degrassi: The Next Generation (TeenNick, 9 p.m.): The 13th season finale of the second generation of Degrassi is here to make you feel old! This Canadian teen drama started way back in 2001 when George W. Bush was president, the first Harry Potter film hit theaters, and Shaggy’s Hotshot topped the Billboard 200.
Raising Asia (Lifetime, 10 p.m.): If Dance Moms didn’t fulfill today’s dancing quota, Lifetime is also premiering a new reality series following “child dance prodigy” Asia Monet Ray and her former body builder parents as they push her to be the best. In other words, this is a show about an eight-year-old trying to find the perfect work/life balance.
The Real Housewives of New York City: Reunion (Bravo, 9 p.m.): Lest any usual Bravo viewers be lured over to Lifetime’s dance-themed programming, Andy Cohen has scheduled his own guilty pleasure must-see for the same time slot. He sits down with the ladies of NYC for the first of a three-part reunion special that is sure to rival Dance Moms for cattiness, if not for arabesques.
Nathan For You (Comedy Central, 10:30 p.m.)
TV CLUB CLASSIC
The Shield (Classic): With his computer problems ironed out, Brandon Nowalk is now ready, willing, and able to jump into The Shield’s fifth season. Up this week: a high school riot stemming from racial tensions and a possibly-murderous preacher. Ahh, it’s good to be back.
ELSEWHERE IN TV CLUB
TV Club is quiet today as Comics Week continues to take over our site, but that doesn’t mean our TV Club writers aren’t busy elsewhere. Erik Adams reviews the new Jenny Lewis album, Oliver Sava chats with Hip-Hop Family Tree’s Ed Piskor about terrible songs, and Sonia Saraiya celebrates Kim Karsashian’s iPhone game.
WHAT ELSE IS ON?
Celebrity Wife Swap (ABC, 10 p.m.): In this third season finale, NFL player Plaxico Burress’ wife and Three Six Mafia rapper DJ Paul’s fiancée swap households. Just a friendly reminder that one of these participants has an Oscar.
Knife Fight (Esquire, 10 p.m.): We were all set to make fun of this ridiculously-titled show for glamorizing male violence until we realized it’s actually a cooking competition. In this season two summer premiere two chefs battle with beef (but not literally).
Chaos In The Skies (AHC, 10 p.m.): This American Heroes Channel show documents aviation disasters. The second season premiere examines a tail fin mystery on the Boeing 737 jet.
Restaurant Start Up (CNBC, 10 p.m.): It’s small plate week on Restaurant Start Up! We’ve never quite understood the appeal of paying a lot of money for a little bit of food, but presumably this episode will at least teach us how to market the concept.
Jumping The Broom (BET, 7 p.m.): Ever since Robin Thicke went full-on creep with his stalker-ish album, Paula, we’ve thought more kindly of Ms. Patton for putting up with him for so long. Her wedding comedy Jumping The Broom may not be the best film to grace the silver screen, but it’s likely a lot better than Thicke’s straight-to-video feature film debut.
Holes (Disney, 8 p.m.): This somewhat generic adaptation of a fantastic young adult novel marks a time when Shia LaBeouf was still an adorable Disney moppet just transitioning to the big screen rather than a piece of conceptual art masquerading as a human.
The World Series Of Poker (ESPN, 8 p.m.): We’re just tickled that the World Series of Poker is being covered by ESPN in a six part series. Coming soon: The International Monopoly Tournament and The Hungry Hungry Hippos Open.
HEY, WHAT’S ON THE INTERNET?
In honor of the return of Dance Mom, it seems appropriate to salute the best piece of performance art ever broadcast on national television.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Under The Dome: Gwen Ihnat has had a chance to look at the good and bad (mostly bad) of this show for the past two weeks. Now Scott Von Doviak brings his fresh eyes back to the program.