Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Wednesday, July 25. All times are Eastern.
Top Chef Masters (Bravo, 10 p.m.): The first—and best?—Top Chef spinoff returns, and we’re assuming it will have been heavily re-envisioned, as has happened every other season with the show. Our best guess is that this season will take place at Space Camp, and then the chefs will be accidentally blasted into space but for real, and then they’ll have to figure out how to get their rocket back to Earth and/or beat the Soviets to the moon! Margaret Eby thinks that turning that ship toward Mars to provide the Red Planet with gourmet cuisine would make more sense.
So You Think You Can Dance (Fox, 8 p.m.): Tonight, Christina Applegate is the guest judge, and that makes perfect sense. If there’s one thing we’ve thought in all our years watching Christina Applegate, it’s that she should be guest judging on a dance show. Oliver Sava says we know nothing of her work.
Dallas (TNT, 9 p.m.): The episode summary says “Murderous intrigue surrounds the family,” and this just makes us cringe to imagine when the series inevitably decides it’s time to re-visit the “Who shot J.R.?” arc, but only with, like, Julie Gonzalo this time or something. Phil Dyess-Nugent shot the sheriff.
Damages (DirecTV’s Audience Network, 9 p.m.): So the show wants us to think good ol’ Ellen dies at some point in the near-ish future. Joshua Alston’s not buying it, since he knows how this show loves to pull fakeouts. And they wouldn’t really kill Rose Byrne, right? Right? We’re already crying for her.
The Franchise (Showtime, 10 p.m.): What up, Miami Marlins? We know you’re struggling, what with that 45-51 record, but we still believe in you! We think you can turn this around with the help of magical fish! When they make a movie out of it, Claire Zulkey will buy a DVD of Marlins In The Outfield.
Futurama (Comedy Central, 10 p.m.): Hermes starts replacing his various body parts with robotic prostheses, and while we think that’s a good idea and all, what we really want to know is when we can start becoming cyborgs. Zack Handlen could review an episode in five minutes with robotic fingers!
Hit & Miss (DirecTV’s Audience Network, 10 p.m.): Both most of you and Farihah Zaman seem to be enjoying this tale of a transsexual assassin, and, hey, it’s only six episodes long, so it seems like the perfect way to wind down the summer. Unless you’ll all be watching the Olympics. Thanks, guys.
TV CLUB CLASSIC
Arrested Development (11 a.m.): This week’s two-parter aired as one, hour-long episode back in the dark days of 2005, when the show’s episode order had been cut, and it was yanked for most of February sweeps and seemed likely to be canceled. Noel Murray knows the story has a happy ending.
Carnivàle (1 p.m.): Brother Justin decides it’s time to take this whole “ending the world” thing into his own hands and heads off to get a certain evil tree tattooed on his skin. Todd VanDerWerff thought it would be that easy, too, and now, he’s really regretting his front-and-back full-body Lisa Frank panda tattoos.
Sports Night (3 p.m.): Aaron Sorkin’s female characters have come under fire in recent years, particularly now that The Newsroom is on the air. Yet while this week’s first episode of this show is a mess in that regard, Donna Bowman says the second presents his female characters in their best light.
WHAT ELSE IS ON
The CLIOS: World’s Best Commercials (NBC, 8 p.m.): Airing a special collecting the best commercials from all over the world, including those that have won at the advertising industry’s most prestigious awards ceremony? Well, why not get JB Smoove to host it? He seems like a natural fit, no?
Going For Gold: The ’48 Games (BBC America, 8 p.m.): The United Kingdom has OLYMPIC FEVER. The rest of us are trying to catch up—with reports of Opening Ceremonies featuring Mary Poppins battling Voldemort tamping down our enthusiasm—this look back at the last London Games might help.
Absolutely Fabulous (BBC America, 10 p.m.): Or, actually, it’s a safer bet that we’ll catch Olympic fever from our friends across the pond by watching Patsy and Edina offer their own take on the Games. Molly Eichel can’t wait to see which Hollywood celebrities the women will rent Edina’s house out to.
Wake Brothers (MTV, 11 p.m.): They’re pro wakeboarders… but they’re also brothers… and they have a new reality show for some reason! The Soven brothers—with the agreeably 1950s suburban names of “Phil” and “Bob”—take us on a guided tour of their presumably extreme life as the show debuts tonight.
L.A. Confidential (Sundance, 8 p.m.): One of the best American movies of the ‘90s airs two times over tonight, so if you’re so enamored of the show’s recreation of a bygone Los Angeles that you must see it again, Sundance has your back with a repeat airing immediately afterward. It’s all very hush-hush.
Glee Live! In Concert! (HBO2, 9:30 p.m.): The movie so amazing it had to have two exclamation points, consider this your chance to catch up with everybody from Glee in between seasons—except it was filmed between seasons two and three, so you’ll be a year behind. Hey! Just like The Newsroom!
2012 Summer Olympics: Women's soccer (U.S. vs. France; Cameroon vs. Brazil) (NBC Sports, 6 p.m.): The Olympics “open” on Friday, but they’ve technically already started, because it takes longer than 16 days to play out the soccer tournament. Our picks in these two games? The U.S., duh, and Cameroon.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
White Collar (Tuesday): The episode’s called “Diminishing Returns,” and given how much Kenny Herzog seems to feel the second and third episodes haven’t lived up to the season’s excellent premiére, that seems like a fairly accurate description of the whole season as well. Maybe things will pick up.