Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Wednesday, August 28, 2013. All times are Eastern.
Patrick Dempsey: Racing Le Mans (Discovery, 10 p.m.): To some people—fine, to pretty much everyone who has heard of him—Patrick Dempsey is a TV star, the guy with the handsome face and the handsomeness-referencing nickname on Grey’s Anatomy. But as far as Patrick Dempsey is concerned, Patrick Dempsey is a race car driver, and he aims to prove it with this four-part miniseries, which details not only how Dempsey and his team prepare to compete in the legendary, grueling 24 Hours of Le Mans race but also just why he is so much more comfortable driving than he ever was acting.
MasterChef (Fox, 8 p.m.): The show moves an hour earlier for a two-hour episode, as the top five chefs face off in a battle to create the best Southern-inspired dish. But first, the judges invite their sons to help pick the winners of the mystery box challenge, which leaves Phil Dyess-Nugent pondering the terrifying possibility of Ramsays screaming in stereo.
The Bridge (FX, 10 p.m.): Tonight’s episode has the always promising title “Vendetta,” as Sonya pursues a lead that Marco thinks is a dead end and Charlotte discovers her ranch is in jeopardy. Molly Eichel doesn’t mean to brag, but she’s never had these sorts of problems with her ranches.
Broadchurch (BBC America, 10 p.m.): After eliminating an obvious suspect from the murder inquiry, David Tennant’s Alec Hardy turns his attentions to a townsperson whose scandalous past has just come to light, all while he desperately tries to keep his own damaging secret under wraps. Gwen Ihnat would like to stress that she has absolutely nothing to hide, at least not until the plot demands that it’s her turn to reveal her own dark secrets a couple episodes from now.
Futurama (Comedy Central, 10 p.m.): The show’s penultimate episode features a guest voice from Game Of Thrones’ very own Danaerys Targaryen, as Emilia Clarke plays a beautiful woman whose inability to smell leads her to fall in love with Dr. Zoidberg. Zack Handlen is frankly flabbergasted that Zoidberg’s odor was apparently the only thing keeping him from finding a girlfriend, when there’s still everything else about him.
WHAT ELSE IS ON?
Evil Kin/Surviving Evil (ID, 9 p.m./10 p.m.): These new shows form part of the channel’s ongoing exploration of the nature of criminality, which so far has involved churning out a bunch of lurid true-crime shows with the word “evil” stuck somewhere in the title. Joining such other sure-to-be-tasteful efforts like Evil, I and Evil Twins, Evil Kin looks at a pair of murderous siblings and wonders whether being a psychopath is genetic, while the Charisma Carpenter-hosted Surviving Evil recounts tales of people who, well… it really is more or less in the title, isn’t it?
Law & Order: UK (BBC America, 9 p.m.): For those seeking a crime drama that’s much more self-contained than Broadchurch or The Bridge, the British entry in the indestructible Law & Order franchise is halfway through its seventh season. Tonight’s episode is an update of the flagship show’s 1994 story “Family Values,” which just so happened to be the acting debut of a then-teenaged Sarah Paulson. Although that original episode didn’t have erstwhile Doctor Who star Peter Davison wandering in every so often to offer legal advice in a fatherly tone, so score one for the remake there.
The Unexplained Files (Science, 9 p.m.): The latest series depicting real-life mysteries—which are almost certainly either are hoaxes or have perfectly reasonable explanations—opens with the story of blue-eyed, livestock-mutilating, hunchbacked creatures that supposedly live in Texas. Based on our extensive knowledge of Texas, we’d hypothesize that this is really just a prank by some punk kids from McMaynerberry, or possibly Durndle.
FanAddicts! (Reelz, 10 p.m.): This new show looks at fandom’s most avid collectors with profiles of a fan who owns just about everything Superman-related as well as someone who possesses what’s described as “an impressive Harry Potter collection.” Since your What’s On Tonight? correspondent is blissfully unaware of the full extent of Harry Potter memorabilia, we choose to respond to that description by asking, “This person owns all seven books!?”
Premium Rush (Starz, 8:20 p.m.): One of the most giddily entertaining movies of 2012, this action caper turns the crowded, congested streets of Manhattan into the site of an intentionally ludicrous game of cat and mouse—or, given one character’s name, perhaps that should be coyote and roadrunner—between Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s smartass bike messenger Wilee and Michael Shannon’s corrupt cop Bobby Monday. Your What’s On Tonight? correspondent isn’t saying that the incompetent, intentionally cartoonish Monday still represents a more compelling, more fully-realized villain than General Zod, but your What’s On Tonight? correspondent isn’t not saying that.
Passenger 57 (TVGN, 10 p.m.): This 1992 airplane thriller is the movie that made Wesley Snipes an action star, paving the way for the likes of Blade, Blade II, Blade: Trinity, and presumably some other movies that aren’t strictly speaking part of the Blade franchise but very much exist within its philosophical framework, which mostly consists of Wesley Snipes kicking ass and snarling out pithy, vaguely coherent one-liners. Speaking of which, this movie also features the single most important gambling advice in cinematic history.
MLB Baseball: Orioles at Red Sox (ESPN, 7 p.m.): Baltimore first baseman Chris Davis—known as Crush Davis to his friends, so Chris Davis it is—is still in the hunt to become the sixth player in Major League Baseball history to hit 60 or more homeruns in a season (and the first since Roger Maris to do so without allegations of PED use, if you care about that sort of thing). But a couple relatively quiet months have left him on pace for “only” 57 homers, so there’s no better time to blast some dingers and get back on track for 60 than against the division rival, AL-leading Red Sox.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Drunk History: Eric Thurm checks in on the first season finale of the Comedy Central series, and while he reports the show still has a way to go before it moves beyond its web series roots, he’s pleased to announce that New Girl’s Jake Johnson has a bright future ahead of him as an impersonator of Alamo defender William Travis.