Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Sunday, July 14. All times are Eastern.
The Newsroom (HBO, 10 p.m.): Look, Aaron Sorkin is not a waiter in a restaurant serving you TV just how you want it prepared: For reasons passing understanding, The Newsroom continues to cover the big stories of two years ago, opening its second season on the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Think that’s a mistake? He doesn’t give a damn. Do you think this is the best time to talk about what has changed between the first and second seasons? Whoever ends up reviewing the show for us thinks it’s the best time to talk about what happened to the show between its first and second seasons. There it is.
The Killing (AMC, 9 p.m.): If Phil Dyess-Nugent had any concerns about the progress of this season’s investigation, they’ve probably doubled now that Sarah has gone missing. This’ll get worse before it gets better.
True Blood (HBO, 9 p.m.): When the fall is all that’s left, it matters a great deal, which is why Carrie Raisler will spend part of her evening watching Bon Temps residents summon dead parents and undertake perilous rescue plans, then use the remaining portions to wonder how it took True Blood this long to call an episode “Fuck The Pain Away.”
Dexter (Showtime, 9 p.m.): If you haven’t seen Dexter Morgan commit a murder, then you haven’t seen Shakespeare the way it was meant to be done. Joshua Alston can only assume this is why Dr. Vogel is so interested in helping the show’s protagonist.
Falling Skies (TNT, 9 p.m.): Les Chappell asks “What is the virtue of a proportionate response?” and Falling Skies answers by saying “But Les, don’t you think it’ll be cool to watch the characters build an alien weapon?”
Ray Donovan (Showtime, 10 p.m.): Sonia Saraiya has trouble figuring out what Mickey’s trying to get at by working his way back into the good graces of the family. The way she sees it, he’ll just end up living the rest of his life on a very charitable grant from the Ray Donovan Foundation.
The Venture Bros. (Adult Swim, midnight): From TV Guide: “Doc and Billy land in hot water when they’re caught in the middle of a surveillance mission targeting a top member of the Council of 13.” Ya think? You bet. From Zack Handlen: “This isn’t happening.” This sideshow is over.
TV CLUB CLASSIC
Farscape (11 a.m.): Someone must’ve received Alasdair Wilkins’ Farscape/Multiplicity crossover fan fiction at the turn of the century, because this week he’s wrangling with three distinct copies of Crichton. It’s like when you make a copy of a copy, but it’s not as sharp and one of the copies is a caveman.
Saturday Night Live (Classic) (1 p.m.): Bending to the pressures of a skittish NBC, Phil Dyess-Nugent puts his review of Richard Pryor’s one and only SNL appearance on a seven-second delay, so discussion of that classic, Paul Mooney-scripted bit of provocation, “Word Association,” just might get a bit jumbled.
The Simpsons (Classic) (3 p.m.): David Sims steps into a spot in the Simpsons rotation, just in time to consider the show’s fifth Halloween special and its superb parody of The Shining—sorry, we mean The Shinning. (We’d like to avoid getting sued, thanks. Because “let’s kill all the lawyers” or some such other Shakespearean quote that Aaron Sorkin is cramming into that Newsroom première.)
WHAT ELSE IS ON?
Catastrophe Inc. (HGTV, 10 a.m.): Ordinarily, we’d ignore something debuting this early in the day, but a) that early airtime is so odd, and b) we really hope the title of the first episode, “Fallen Tree Fiasco,” is an indication that someone finally got all of our letters asking HGTV to adapt the Upright Citizens Brigade sketch “Trees Are Down” into a full series.
Pop Innovators: Will.I.Am (E!, 8 p.m.): Scoff at Will.I.Am being branded an “innovator,” but the evil genius in charge of the Black Eyed Peas did translate his stage name into a working URL.
Hillbillies For Hire (CMT, 9 p.m.): Now that most of basic cable is composed of some sort of redneck-reality docuseries, Hillbillies For Hire affords viewers the chance to turn their real lives into a prank-filled variation on the Duck Dynasty/Swamp People model. But will they fulfill your What’s On Tonight correspondent’s dreams of turning real life into one long string of jokes in the Hee Haw cornfield?
Adam Richman’s Fandemonium (Travel, 10 p.m.): All that isn’t redneck on cable will soon involve Adam Richman in some capacity. The première of this new series, set at the Daytona 500, represents both faces of this Brave New Cable World.
Batman & Robin (Syfy, 8 p.m.): In the eye of the shark storm that is Syfy’s Asylum era, the network has no qualms about putting what’s essentially the Transmorphers of the original Batman film series up against The Dark Knight (which, since it’s a Sunday outside of basketball season, is airing over on TNT). If your Twitter feed explodes with Mr. Freeze-style punning, you’ll know why.
The Magnificent Seven (TCM, 8 p.m.): Kicking off a classic-movie tribute to the number seven (seriously: Seven Angry Men, Seven Years Bad Luck, and Seven Chances follow) is this Old West take on Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai—which insomniacs can watch at 2:15 a.m., capping off the best TCM theme night in months.
MLB Baseball: Cardinals at Cubs (ESPN, 8 p.m.): How heated is the National League rivalry between St. Louis and Chicago? When former Card Albert Pujols came to Wrigley Field with the L.A. Angels this past week, he was mercilessly booed—and it’s been two whole seasons since he was with St. Louis. He plays in a completely different league now, and Cubs fans can’t forgive the guy for being a Cardinal for 10 years.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
666 Park Avenue (Saturday): Phil Dyess-Nugent offers the final word on one of the higher-profile flameouts of the 2012-13 season. We hear Satan’s putting the show’s titular building on the market, if you’re seeking a real-estate investment that comes with eternal damnation and a gorgeous, not-at-all symbolic spiral staircase.