Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Friday, July 6, and Saturday, July 7. All times are Eastern.
Twenty Twelve (BBC America, midnight, Saturday): By sitting on the first season of Twenty Twelve in order to broadcast the entire run of the series in the weeks leading up to the London Olympics, BBC America has created a situation where the show will air a season finale and a season première in the space of a single night. Think of it as one leg of the Olympic Torch Relay giving way to the next, with Erik Adams serving as the guy who comments on how well the hand-off goes.
TV CLUB CLASSIC
Babylon 5 (11 a.m., Friday): Warning: Metaphor breech in the A.V. Sector. Commander Rowan Kaiser has been dispatched to tangle with episodes filtering Earth-bound conflicts of the military and religious kind through the J. Michael Straczynskizer. Commander Kaiser will report his findings ASAP.
Chappelle’s Show (3 p.m., Friday): Ryan McGee wants to weigh in on the last two episodes of Chappelle’s Show’s first season, but first you need to turn his headphones up. What? Yo, he said turn his motherfucking headphones up! Yeah—the headphones! Turn ’em up? What?! Whaaaaaaaat?!
Animaniacs (11 a.m., Saturday): This week’s episodes introduce the kiddies to Duck Soup, Pablo Picasso, and Les Misérables. In the future, when your kids ask why Hugh Jackman does nothing to save cats from being turned into pies in the big-screen adaptation of Les Mis, you can thank Genevieve Koski.
Pulling (3 p.m., Saturday): Saturday’s a good time to wrap up the first seasons of Britcoms, apparently: Pulling ends its initial run of episodes with an ultimatum: Donna can have Karl, or Donna can have Sam, but she can’t have both. Margaret Eby, meanwhile, will take Karl, no questions asked.
WHAT ELSE IS ON
The L.A. Complex (Fuse, 7 p.m., Friday): Miss the first six episodes of this Canadian-made, California-based showbiz soap? So did most television viewers in the United States! Use this marathon to catch up and help contribute to the sound of one hand clapping for Cassie Steele and Jewel Staite.
The Ricky Gervais Show (HBO, 9 p.m., Friday): Presumably, foreign television entities noticed that America’s been phoning it in all week, which is how you end up with a Ricky Gervais Show centered around soccer headlining your Friday night.
Outrageous RVs (HGTV, 9 p.m., Friday): Oh, here’s something the stars and stripes can get behind, right? Or, more likely, get around, in a gaudy decal that includes a head-swollen-with-pride Bald Eagle, a dash of “don’t tread on me” iconography, and a slogan like “Fuck soccer” or something.
The Mysterious Lost State Of Franklin (PBS, 10:30 p.m., Friday): Where was the last place you saw the Free Republic of Franklin, the U.S. territory that existed in the Appalachian Mountains between 1784 and 1788? Did you retrace your steps? Are you sure you didn’t leave the Free Republic of Franklin in your other jeans?
NYC 22 (CBS, 8 p.m., Saturday): Little-loved and swiftly canceled, Richard Price’s return to television runs out its rookie (and only) season, joining NBC casualty The Firm for some old-fashioned, mid-summer-weekend burn-off.
Dog Whisperer (NatGeo Wild, 9 p.m., Saturday): Cesar Millan’s final go-round of televised dog rehabiliations begins in Great Britain, where we hear they grow their dogs mean, mythically large, and capable of derailing a seemingly can’t-lose premise for Sherlock.
Man Vs. Wolf (Discovery, 8 p.m., Saturday): With the spirit of international competition in the air, this special misses the chance to pit a slew of the world’s greatest athletes against a bunch of wolves. Instead it tracks a pack of the beasts through the Pacific Northwest, never challenging them to jump over hurdles or anything.
Ball Boys (ABC, 9 p.m., Saturday): After a few months in the daytime minors, the Pawn Stars-meets-Wide World Of Sports series gets called up to the big leagues, slotting into the bottom of the lineup: a time when even hardcore sports collectors are out of the house.
The Man From Laramie (TCM, 8 p.m., Friday): Picking up on a thread that began with Destry Rides Again in 1939, James Stewart received a mid-career boost thanks to America’s fascination with the Old West, helping the western genre come of age in pictures like this collaboration with director Anthony Mann.
A Knight’s Tale (BBC America, 9 p.m., Friday): Sure, this bizarre, “What if medieval jousting operated like modern sporting events?” flick is dumb—but it’s a fun kind of dumb, and you could do much worse with a few minutes of your Friday night than watch Heath Ledger and Shannyn Sossamon twirl around to David Bowie’s “Golden Years.”
Goldfinger (Encore, 8 p.m., Saturday): Considered James Bond’s finest hour by people who’ve never seen Thunderball, Sean Connery’s third outing as 007 still packs plenty of iconic moments: That bombastic Shirley Bassey theme, Shirley Eaton’s death-by-gold-paint, the grand finale at Fort Knox, and “No, Mr. Bond—I expect you to die,” to name a few.
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (Starz, 9 p.m., Saturday): Elsewhere on the dial, current Bond Daniel Craig takes the assignment of bringing the first book in Stieg Larsson’s “Millennium trilogy”—and its investigation a crime that’ll make your dragon-tattooed skin crawl—to premium cable.
Tour de France: Stage 6 (NBC Sports, 8 p.m., Friday): At the end of Thursday’s fifth stage, Swiss rider Fabian Cancellara found himself wearing the Tour’s yellow jersey for the 27th time—a record for a rider who’s never won the race. He works toward increasing that total—and possibly notching the big win—in preempted coverage seen here.
NASCAR Racing: Sprint Cup in Daytona Beach (TNT, 7:30 p.m., Saturday): Daytona International Speedway plays host to The Coke Zero 400, a sugar-free stock-car race with great cola taste and 200 fewer calories, er, miles than the Coca-Cola 600.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Wilfred: Wilfred’s the new star of Ryan’s office, a trying situation for Ryan—one Rowan Kaiser would try to defuse with a classic “Hang in there!” poster.