Wednesday TV: Elvis Died 40 Years Ago

elvisIt’s the 40th anniversary of the death of the king of Rock ’n’ Roll and leave it to Turner Classic Movies to mark the solemn occasion with 24 hours of Elvis Presley movies, including nine movies and three documentaries, starting with “Elvis on Tour” (6 a.m.), “Clambake” (8 a.m.), “Spinout” (10 a.m.), “This is Elvis” (noon), “Kissin’ Cousins” (2 p.m.), “Girl Happy” (4 p.m.), “Jailhouse Rock” (6 p.m.), “Elvis: That’s the Way It Is” (8 p.m.), “Viva Las Vegas” (10 p.m.), “Kid Galahad” (midnight), “It Happened at the World’s Fair” (2 a.m.) and “Live a Little, Love a Little” (4 a.m.).

“Broadchurch” (BBC America, 10 p.m.) ends its run with the finale of its superior third season.

For the first season finale of “The F Word with Gordon Ramsay” (Fox, 9 p.m.), someone wins $100,000.

Kelsea Ballerini and Thomas Rhett host the three hour CMA Fest 2017 (ABC, 8 p.m.) with performances from Blake Shelton, Rascal Flatts, Darius Rucker, Dierks Bentley, Lady Antebellum, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert and Maren Morris.

Immediately after the last “Carmichael Show” last week comes the new “Marlon” (NBC, 9 p.m.), a much less issue-oriented comedy starring Marlon Wayans as a man with partial custody of his two kids.

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Tuesday TV: Brad Paisley Gets Funny

BradPaisleyNot since “Hee Haw” has there been such a pronounced effort to combine country music and comedy but here’s “Brad Paisley’s Comedy Rodeo” (Netflix, streaming) doing jokes and songs in an online special.

Ready to get the details once more of this missing person case? “The Murder of Laci Peterson” (A&E, 10 .m.), for which Scott Peterson was eventually convicted. It’s played out again in a six-episode true crime series.

Poltergeists with a twang are pursued by the Tennessee Wraith Chasers in the new series “Haunted Towns” (Destination America, 10 p.m.).

“Bachelor in Paradise” (ABC, 8 p.m.) is on for a second night, but for a special occasion: Evan Bass and Carly Waddell get married.

“Greenleaf” (OWN, 10 p.m.) returns with new episodes.

The top 12 perform at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on the first live show of “America’s Got Talent” (NBC, 8 p.m.).

Having not completely taken down the cult, “Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath” (A&E, 9 p.m.) is back for a second season.

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Monday TV: ‘Bachelor in Paradise’ Returns

DEREK PETH, CORINNE OLYMPIOS, ALEXIS WATERS, VINNY VENTIERA, ALEX WOYTKIW“The Bachelorette” made her choice last week (and so far the two are still together by all indications – congrats!). Now comes the island of losers in “Bachelor in Paradise” (ABC, 8 p.m.) in which the vaguely familiar participants are encouraged to pair up to stay in the game — and stay on their Mexican resort. Liquored up, they are happy to oblige. But the network assures that despite reports, there was no sexual assaults.

Reality dominates prime time, as the Top 10 loses one on “So You Think You Can Dance” (Fox, 8 p.m.).

A third two hour competition, “American Ninja Warrior” (NBC, 8 p.m.), is down to the Top 30.

The latest Princess Diana special is based on some old leftover interview tapes the journalist Andrew morton records in 1991, while preparing a book. Can’t imagine the fidelity is that good, for audio or autocrats, in “Diana: In Her Own Words” (National Geographic, 9 p.m.).

The documentary “Hunting the KGB Killers” (Acorn, streaming), investigators from Scotland Yard discuss the death of a poisoning death of a Putin critic in 2006.

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Don’t Miss ‘Get Shorty’

HOLD FOR EXCLUSIVEJust as “Fargo” successfully advanced the spirit of the original film without exactly duplicating it, the new variation of “Get Shorty” (Epix, 10 p.m.) takes the spirit of the Elmore Leonard novel made into a popular John Travolta movie in 1995.

Set in the present day, Chris O’Dowd plays the mob heavy who suddenly gets interested in Hollywood by shopping a script he took from a victim. Ray Romano plays a wild-haired director who is desperate enough to take him up on it.

They’re both very good, and it’s fun to see them and the cast creating that blend of mob battles and deadpan humor.

“We’ve taken the premise of tough guys, thugs who fall in love with making movies and come to Hollywood,” says creator Davey Holmes. “And outside of that, we wanted the freedom to completely start over with the story and, I think, going back to the book, the tone of Elmore Leonard’s work, which is, you know, a lot of quirky, specific renderings of thugs and finding the humor in what’s human about them — big big, tough guy  killers who get carsick when they read in the car, or have nervous breakdowns, that kind of thing.”

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Also On Sunday: 2017 Teen Choice Awards

teen-nodsNot to be confused with last weekend’s TCA Awards from the Television Critics Association, the much more popular Teen Choice Awards (Fox, 8 p.m.) holds its 19th annual event from the University of Southern California’s Galen Center to honor the most popular in music, film, TV, sports, fashion and even the internet. It’s hosted by Jake Paul, who is described as a YouTube star (in other words, never heard of him).

Performers include Rita Ora, Rae Sremmurd, Louis Tomlinson and Bebe Rexha, Kyle and Lil Yachty and  PrettyMuch. Selena Gomez is up for the most awards — 11 — followed by Justin Bieber’s nine.

Four who will get awards for sure are Miley Cyrus, Vanessa Hudgens, Maroon 5 and Bruno Mars, getting made up titles like the Ultimate Choice Award, Decade Award and Visionary Award.

Had it been held 60 years ago, the winner would have been Elvis Presley, whose death has its 40th anniversary this week. Before then is the two-hour special “Elvis Presley: Behind Closed Doors” (Reelz, 9 p.m.), hosted by Natalie Morales

The history of cars is history, too, right? So says “The Cars That Made America” (History, 8 p.m.), a three night, six-hour special executive produced by Dale Earnhardt Jr. that begins tonight, about the leading brands. I bet they’ll have car commercials too.

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Saturday TV: New Voices for ‘Duck Tales’

ducktales-2017-trailer-1-28fh_1280wYou can barely understand the accent on “Broadchurch,” and here’s David Tennant as Scrooge McDuck on a reboot of “Duck Tales” (Disney XD, hourly). It also features Dany Pudi, Ben Schwartz and Bobby Moynihan as Huey, Dewey and Louie; Kate Micucci as Webby Vanderquack and Beck Bennett as Launchpad McQuack. The animation is rudimentary, but there’s a lot of nostalgia packed in its return. The one hour return will be repeated all day beginning at midnight. The show gets a regular time slot net month.

Dogs find homes and veterans find important allies on the new series “Rescue Dog to Super Dog” (Animal Planet, 10 p.m.), an emotion packed series in which a dog helps a veteran with PTSD and another learns household chores for a woman with cerebral palsy.

“Orphan Black” (BBC America, 10 p.m.) ends its run tonight with a series finale, and Tatiana Maslany, who played so many roles in the clone saga, gets to rest for a while.

Also ending its run tonight, with far less fanfare after four seasons, is the historical drama “Turn: Washington’s Spies” (AMC, 9 p.m.). I hear it works out well for the revolutionaries.

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Friday TV: New from Netflix, ‘Atypical’

atypicalInclusion of special needs young people in TV shows can be tricky, especially in comedies. But there’s a sweet, honest tone to the new “Atypical” (Netflix, streaming) which stars Keir Gilchrist as a high school senior on the high-functioning end of the autism spectrum. But he’s obsessed with penguins, has a turtle as a best friend and is starting to explore dating.

Jennifer Jason Leigh and Michael Rapport play their well meaning parents; Brigette Lundy-Paine is his protective older sister.

Among the many documentary specials marking the 20th anniversary (on Thursday) of the arrest of David Berkowitz, “Son of Sam: The Killer Speaks” (CBS, 10 p.m.) is the only one that features an interview with the man convicted of killing six and wounding seven in a spree that paralyzed New York City. he talks to Maurice DuBois about the killings, his new life in prison, serving six consecutive life sentences at the Shawangunk Correctional facility in Wallkill, N.Y.

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Thursday TV: Summer ‘Weekend Update’

saturday-night-live-weekend-update-efcfade4bc0790ccWhen they broke the summer hiatus of “Saturday Night Live” to do primetime Weekend Update shows last year, they had a whole Presidential election to cover. You’d almost expect them to skip it in a non-election year, except the news pace may be faster now than ever. And there’s a lot for Colin Jost and Michael Che to catch up on in their “Saturday Night Live: Weekend Update Summer Edition” (NBC, 9 p.m.).

It’s the first of their four half-hour prime time specials this season, but of course there’s been some pretty consistent political humor on hand, from the regular late night hosts to John Oliver and Samantha Bee. And this week “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” (Comedy Central, 11 p.m.) has been recombining their recent coverage thematically. Tonight: How the news coverage has been.

The patients are often down to their last hope, the doctors counting on brand new processes. So what happens in an otherwise unassuming building on the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda is often miraculous. A new three part documentary, narrated by Jim Parsons, tells some of its inspiring story in “First in Human: The Trials in Building 10” (Discovery, 9 p.m.), even as its federal funding remains in question.

Preseason Thursday Night Football has Denver at Chicago (NFL, 8 p.m.).

The two-part, two night “The Story of Diana” (ABC, 9 p.m.) concludes with the abrupt end of her young life 20 years ago.

“Nashville” (CMT, 9 p.m.) reaches its fifth season finale — its second on cable and its first without Connie Britton. In it, Deacon and the artists at Highway 65 take a stand.

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Wednesday TV: ‘Mr. Mercedes’ Drives Up

mr-mercedes-promo-shotThe estimable Brendan Gleeson portrays the grizzled Irish detective who is obsessed with investigating a killer called “Mr. Mercedes” (DirecTV, 8 p.m.) The cast includes Holland Taylor, Kelly Lynch and Mary-Louise Parker and is run by TV vet David E. Kelley. Other literary lights, from A.M. Homes to Dennis Lehane, are individual writer

Peter Stormare and Johan Glans star as another pair of detectives in the new “Swedish Dicks” (Pop, 8 p.m.) except that they were once an stuntman and a DJ.

For those who never signed up for Amazon Prime, the great family series “Transparent” (Sundance, 10 p.m.) comes to cable, from the beginning, with stellar performances from Jeffrey Tambor, Judith Light, Gaby Hoffmann, Jay Duplass and Amy Landecker.

It’s the last episode ever for “The Carmichael Show” (NBC, 10:30 p.m.), a comedy with a good cast and intent, despite its occasional sidetracking. It didn’t get renewed, though, and after three seasons this is it.

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Glen Campbell, 1936-2017

GLen CampbellThough we knew it was coming, it was sad to hear of the death of Glen Campbell at 81.

His long bout with Alzheimer’s was brilliantly depicted in the sometimes painful 2014 film “I’ll Be Me,” which millions saw through replay on CNN (when that network had the luxury to show documentaries).

Campbell began as a session guitarist, appearing on records of Frank Sinatra, Rick Nelson, the Monkees, Elvis Presley, the Champs, the Hondells, Dean Martin, Johnny Cash and the Mamas and Papas as well as several of Phil Spector’s groups.

When Brian Wilson first quit the touring version of the Beach Boys in 1965, Campbell filled in for a few months on the road but turned down an offer to join.

His first Top 50 record was a cover of Buffy Sainte-Marie’s “The Universal Soldier.” His first hit, “Gentle on My Mind” in 1967, became his theme song. He hit three times with Jimmy Webb compositions — “By the Time I Get to Phoenix,” “Wichita Lineman” and “Galveston” — all great songs.

The latter was his stab at a Vietnam-era song — a soldier showing his homesickness for his hometown: “While I watch the cannons flashing, I clean my gun and dream.”

His first No. 1 pop song was “Rhinestone Cowboy” in 1975. His only other pop No. 1, “Southern Nights,” was written by Allen Toussaint.

He hosted two different TV shows, where his appeal was on full display, bringing bluegrass into the mainstream and easing pop and rock and roll to an older audience. My mother always compared my brother’s looks favorably to Glen Campbell (and mine to “something the cat dragged in”).

Campbell starred in movies such as the original “True Grit” and “Norwood.” He also lent his voice to the animated movie “Rock-A-Doodle,” which may not be as memorable.

He continued to perform extensively, recording the notable “Meet Glen Campbell” in 2008 covering songs by U2, the Replacements, the Velvet Underground, among others. His 2017 “Adios” had covers of George Jones, Roger Miller, Bob Dylan and his old pal Jimmy Webb.

 

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