Monday TV: More Singing in the Car

THE LATE LATE SHOW WITH JAMES CORDENBefore she winds up a Las Vegas residency at Caesars Palace of more than 15 years and 1,000 shows, Celine Dion jumps in a car in Las Vegas for “The Late Late Show Carpool Karaoke Primetime Special” (CBS, 10 p.m.). Corden will throw in some other of his favorite bits from the past year, including other carpool karaoke bits. Since his last prime time special participants have included Adam Levine, Shawn Mendes, Ariana Grande, Michael Buble, Barbra Strisand, Migos, Cardi B and Jonas Brothers. Plus one with Paul McCartney that warranted its own special.

More pop music in the air: A third season of the guess that tune quiz show “Beat Shazam” (Fox, 8 p.m.) begins. Surely, there’s a better use for Jamie Foxx.

A portrait of four high school wrestlers from Huntsville, Ala., with a lot of other problems off the mat, “Wrestle” makes its debut on “Independent Lens” (PBS, 10 p.m., check local listings).

Had enough of kings and queens on TV lately? Alas, the new “Private Lives of the Monarchs” (Smithsonian, 8 p.m.) is not about butterflies.

“DC’s Legends of Tomorrow” (CW, 8 p.m.) ends its fourth season with a plan to unite people with magical characters.

It’s the season finale, too, for the freshman series “The Enemy Within” (NBC, 10 p.m.) in which Jennifer Carpenter heads to Cuba. The series is still in limbo; there’s been no announcement whether it will be returning for season two.

Definitely not returning is the Marcia Clark series “The Fix” (ABC, 10 p.m.), which wraps its story tonight.

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Sunday TV: ‘Game of Thrones’ Finale

GoTfinaleIf tonight is the heralded finale of “Game of Thrones” (HBO, 9 p.m.), why were they striking the sets last week?

Daenerys may have been going off the deep end last week in destroying King’s Landing, but who’d even want to rule a place that is pretty much ashes now? For all of the killing in this warry (half) season, an awful lot of the main characters are still alive and apparently impervious to death. With feature-length episodes (and budgets) tonight’s farewell will still please probably no one, but still demands to be seen.

A less heralded finale is the one for “Les Miserables” (PBS, 9 p.m., check local listings) which has been a pretty good miniseries.

It’s preceded by the eighth season finale of “Call the Midwife” (PBS, 8 p.m., check local listings).

All kinds of stressful things happen in the season two finale of “Barry” (HBO, 10:22 p.m.).

“Supergirl” (CW, 8 p.m.) tries to stop Lex Luthor’s takeover of Washington, D.C., in the fourth season finale.

Macy’s newfound power is a pain on the first season finale of “Charmed” (CW, 9 p.m.).

The limited series “The Red Line” (CBS, 8 p.m.) comes to a conclusion as well.

On the 10th season finale of “NCIS: Los Angeles” (CBS, 10 p.m.), there will likely be another cliffhanger.

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Saturday TV: Prime Time Baseball Returns

IMG_6740Prime time Saturday night Baseball returns with regional games, such as Cubs at Washington (Fox, 7 p.m.). Other baseball today includes Tampa Bay at Yankees (MLB, 1 p.m.), Colorado at Philadelphia (MLB, 4 p.m.) and Kansas City at Angels (Fox Sports 1, 10 p.m.).

Many of the stars of the Kentucky Derby won’t be part of the Preakness Stakes (NBC, 5 p.m.). Actual post time is 6:48 p.m.

Four fans of the Backstreet Boys, One Direction, Take That and the Beatles describe their mania in the Australian documentary “I Used to be Normal – A Boyband Fangirl Story” (Fuse, 9 p.m.).

The animated “Smallfoot” (HBO, 8 p.m.), about a group of Yeti seeking the elusive human, makes its premium cable debut. It uses the voices of Zendaya, Channing Tatum, James Corden and LeBron James, among others,

Leah Renee plays a biology teacher runs into an ex (Chris McNally) while teaching on an island on the new romance (with the same old premise) “Sailing Into Love” (Hallmark, 9 p.m.)

Respect for the elderly goes out the window when the new “Psycho Granny” (Lifetime, 8 p.m.) is followed by “Killer Grandma” (Lifetime, 10 p.m.).

A bombing at a genetics company causes a woman to lose her memory on “Ransom” (CBS, 9 p.m.).

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Friday TV: The Catch to ‘Catch-22′

Catch22It’s such a literary milestone that it deserves more than one movie adaptation; its permutations would seem to be perfectly suited to serialized television. But a new six-pat adaptation of “Catch-22” (Hulu, streaming) takes a while to capture the perfect absurdity canonized in its title. It’s a noble effort, with George Clooney both as director, executive producer and putting in a role as the overheated Scheisskopf. The cast also includes Kyle Chandler (“Friday Night Lights”) as Col. Cathcart,  Hugh Laurie as Major de Coverley and Giancarlo Giannini as Marcello. Christopher Abbott has the central role of Yossarian.

The World War II satire that resonated so well for the Vietnam era, may be too far past now to serve as commentary for today’s military. More likely, the up-is-down craziness of the political and military world sadly may have long surpassed what Joseph Heller first devised.

Before she helped create “Killing Eve,” Phoebe Waller-Bridge was killing it in her own series “Fleabag” (Amazon, streaming), her adaptation of a stand up one-woman show (that was back off-Broadway earlier this spring). It’s back with its second and final season of six episodes, telling the tale of the wayward London woman who has a bit of a religious awakening this time out.

Broadway’s Annaleigh Ashford performs “Live from Lincoln Center” (PBS, 9 p.m.).

Gayle King marks the first anniversary of the royal marriage of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry on “Meghan and Harry Plus One” (CBS, 8 p.m.).

Then Jane Pauley looks at the history of highways on the special “No Exit!” (CBS, 9 p.m.).

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Upfronts: The CW Adds Three New Shows

TheCW logoThe CW closed out the week of broadcast upfronts with a 2019-2020 slate that continues the network’s slide into a full service comic book store.

“Batwoman” will join “Supergirl” on the recently-instituted Sunday night schedule of the network that already has “The Flash,” “Arrow” and “”DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.” Another new addition is  “Kate Keene” the latest parmutation of the Archie Comics world that brought “Riverdale.”

The other new series, “Nancy Drew” is more out of the line of youth fiction — but close enough.

The CW is reluctant to cut shows, so returns “All-American” “Roswell, New Mexico” and the recently started “In the Dark.”

“Jane the Virgin” and “Crazy Ex Girlfriend” and “iZombie” are all ending their runs this year to make room for the new shows. “Supernatural” has been announced to return for its 15th and final season in the fall.

The new dramas are:

  • “Batwoman” — Ruby Rose stars as Gotham’s woman in a cape, appearing three years after Batman disappeared. Dougray Scott, Meagan Tandy and Elizabeth Anweis, it’s from the Greg Berlanti team that has already brought “Arrow,” “The Flash” and a dozen other shows to the air. Sundays this fall
  • “Nancy Drew” — Kennedy McMann stars as the teenaged detective from the classic young adult novels. The twists include a supernatural presence and Nancy being accused of a murder as well. With Lean Lewis, Maddison Jaizani and Scott Wolf. Wednesdays this fall.
  • “Katy Keene” — Lucy Hale returns as the comic book fashionista, whose New York City roommate happens to be Josie of the Pussycats (Ashleigh Murray). Another one from Berlanti & Co. Midseason.

Returning to the schedule are: “Supergirl,” “All American,” “Black Lightning,” “The Flash,” “Arrow,” “Riverdale,” “Supernatural,” “Legacies,” Charmed,” “Dynasty,” “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow,” “Into the Dark,” “Roswell, New Mexico” and “The 100.”

Not returning are “iZombie,” “Crazy Ex Girlfriend” and “Jane the Virgin.”

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‘Big Bang’ Bye Byes

big-bang-theory-season-12-episode-2-14The final episode of “The Big Bang Theory” (CBS, 8 p.m.) comes after 12 seasons and more than 275 episodes, making it the longest-running multi-camera (that is to say, studio audience) sit com in history.

Not that it will ever really go away, with all those reruns to show. Tonight’s end will be an hour, then there will be a half hour wave goodbye, “Unraveling the Mystery: A Big Bang Farewell” (CBS, 9:30 p.m.). In between is the season finale of the prequel of the comedy that will be returning, “Young Sheldon” (CBS, 9 p.m.). And then the cast gets the final exit interview on “Late Night with Stephen Colbert” (CBS, 11:35 p.m.).

There are quite a few other finales tonight.

She may be “Busy Tonight” (E!, 11 p.m.), but not tomorrow, as Busy Philipps’ chat show has been canceled.

Fog rolls in on the 15th season finale of “Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC, 8 p.m.). “Station 19” (ABC, 9 p.m.) wraps its season fighting wildfires.

The great cable comedy “Better Things” (FX, 10 p.m.) closes its third season.

Court is adjourned forever in the cancelled legal drama “For the People” (ABC, 10 p.m.).

Returning after finales tonight are “S.W.A.T.” (CBS, 10 p.m.) and “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (NBC, 10 p.m.).

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Upfronts: CBS Adds Five Titles for the Fall

CBS-Logo-e1331750370386CBS announced eight new shows for the upcoming season, including there comedies and two dramas premiering this fall.

But things will look much the same on the network, with two dozen returning shows. And many of the new shows have familia faces, from Pauley Perette and Patricia Heaton to Billy Gardell and Marg Helgenberger.

“The Big Bang Theory” may be gone after this season, but “Young Sheldon” will continue. And final seasons will come for both “Criminal Minds” and “Madam Secretary.”

The new dramas are:

  • “All Rise” — Simone Missick stars as a newly appointed judge in a new ensemble legal yarn that also includes Wilson Bethel, Marg Helgenberger and Jessica Camacho. Mondays this fall.
  • “Evil” — Katja Herbers stars as a female psychologist who joins a priest in training (Mike Colter) as they investigate the church’s backlog of unexplained mysteries. From Michelle King and Robert King (“The Good Wife”), it also features Aasif Mandvi and Michael Emerson. Thursdays this fall.
  • “FBI: Most Wanted” — Dick Wolf’s spin-off of “FBI” focuses on the fugitive task force with a cast that includes Julian McMahon, Alana De la Garza, Keisha Castle-Hughes and Kellan Lutz. Midseason.
  • “Tommy” — Edie Falco stars as a former high ranking New York police officer who becomes the fist female chief of Police in Los Angeles

The new comedies are:

  • “Bob (Heart) Abishola” — Stars Billy Gardell (“Mike and Molly”) as a middle-aged sock salesman who falls in love with his cardiac nurse, a Nigerian immigrant (Folake Olowofoyeku). The nest comedy from Chuck Lorre (“Big Bang Theory”), it also features Christine Ebersole, Matt Jones and Maribeth Monroe. Mondays this fall.
  • “Carol’s Second Act” — Patricia Heaton returns to TV as woman who becomes a medical intern late in life. Produced in art by Sarah Haskins, the series also features Kyle MacLachlan and Lucas Neff. Thursdays this fall.
  • “The Unicorn” — Walton Goggins (“The Shield”) stars as a widowed parent trying to date again. With Rob Corddry and Michaela Watkins. Thursdays this fall.
  • “Broke” — Pauley Perrette (“NCIS”) is a single suburban mother who is invaded by her sister (Natasha Leggero) and her formerly rich family. With Jamie Cavil and and Izzy Diaz. Midseason.

Returning to the schedule are: “48 Hours,” “60 Minutes,” “NCIS,” “NCIS: L.A.,” “NCIS: New Orleans,” “Blue Bloods,” “Hawaii Five-0,” “Mom,” “Criminal Minds” “Man with a Plan,” “Bull,” “S.E.A.L. Team,” “S.W.A.T.,” “MacGyver” “Madam Secretary,” “”FBI,” “God Friended Me,” “”Magnum P.I.,” and “The Neighborhood.”

Not returning to the schedule are “Murphy Brown,” “Fam,” “Happy Together” and “Life in Pieces.”

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Ex Hex Triumphant in Hometown Date

IMG_0002Mixed amid the sheer exhilaration of an Ex Hex gig at the 930 Club is the added pride of a hometown date.

The D.C. rockers led by Mary Timony, once of Helium, Wild Flag and Autoclave, quite rightfully nearly sold out the place, but I’m wondering why the trio isn’t selling out everywhere they go.

The songs are catchy, the guitars rock out, the female harmonies alternately bracing and empowering. Female-led bands aren’t the novelty they once were, thankfully, and the trio has moved into trying to recreate the crunching, double-guitar attack of arena rock. But they’re better than that, with catchier songs that are smarter and more fun. One quietly has to be happy they aren’t bigger than they are, or they’d be in some cavernous theater or arena instead of a cozier rock club.

Closing out a six-week U.S. tour to boost their newest release on Merge, “It’s Real,” the band seemed as fresh as if starting it, a big neon logo behind them underscoring their determination to glow. Topping a bill that also boasted the best of D.C. rock, particularly the Messthetics, the instrumental power trio of guitar whiz Anthony Pirog with the Fugazi rhythm section of  Brendan Canty on drums and Joe Lally on bass, the night seemed to make a case of the health of rock in the Nation’s Capital.

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Wednesday TV: Would-Be Celebrities Cook

masterchef celebrityBecause there’s apparently not enough “MasterChef” spin-offs, here’s a new installment “MasterChef Celebrity Family Showdown” (Fox, 8 p.m.), a cooking competition that considers as celebrities such people as Lisa Vanderpump, Snooki and JWoww to be celebrities. Also, Johnny Weir goes up against Tara Lipinski.

A strange season of “Survivor” (CBS, 8 p.m.), clogged with denizens on the Edge of Extinction, reaches its night-long finale.

This actually started streaming yesterday: a live comedy show where contemporary stars such as Tiffany Haddish, Neil Patrick Harris, Taye Diggs, Maria Bamford, Margaret Cho, Ron Funches and others take on classic sketches that appeared a half-century ago on “Laugh-In.” Original cast members Lily Tomlin and JoAnne Worley are also part of “Still Laugh-In: The Stars Celebrate” (Netflix, streaming).

Archie, Jughead, Betty and Veronica all receive mysterious invitations on the third season finale of “Riverdale” (CW, 8 p.m.).

People with Tourette’s syndrome or autism try to get into the job market on the new series “The Employables” (A&E, 10 p.m.).

“Southern Charm” (Bravo, 8 p.m.), a series full of people who have little of it, returns for a sixth season.

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Upfronts: Three New Fall Shows on ABC

ABC_logo_2007Stressing consistency, ABC named only three new fall shows for its 2019-2020 prime time schedule, with two more dramas and a comedy set for midseason.

At least one of the new shows paid heed to the current roster, with “mixed-ish” playing off the ground paved by “black-ish,” returning for its sixth season.

For late night, ABC extended its contract with Jimmy Kimmel to a 20th season (he’s currently in his 17th). And it was announced that the upcoming 11th season of “Modern Family” will be its last.

The new ABC dramas are:

  • “Emergence” — About a police chief who takes in a mysterious child and becomes embroiled in a larger conspiracy. Allison Tolman (“Fargo”) stars, with Alexa Swinton, Donald Faison and Clancy Brown. From Michele Fazes and Tara Butters. Tuesdays this fall.
  • “Stumptown” — Cobie Smulders (“How I Met Your Mother”) stars as an Army vet turned private detective, in the series based on the graphic novel series of the same name by Greg Rucka, who produces alongside Ruben Fleisher and David Bernad (“The District”). With camryn Mannheim and Michael Ealy. Wednesdays this fall.
  • “The Baker and the Beauty” — Victor Rasuk stars as a baker from a Cuban family who gets involved with an international superstar (Nathalie Kelley). With Dan Bucatinsky and Michelle Veintimilla. Midseason.
  • “For Life” — A serialized legal drama about a prisoner who becomes a lawyer, representing other inmates while fighting his own conviction, with Nicholas Pinnock, Indira varma and Joy Bryant, from a production team that includes Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson.

The new comedies are:

  • “mixed-ish” — From the group that brought you “black-ish” — as well as a few of its stars ( Tracee Ellis Ross, Anthony Anderso and Lawrence Fishburne) produce a comedy about the experience of a young woman (Arica Himmel) rowing p in a mixed-race family in the 80s. With Tika Sumpter and Gary Cole. Tuesdays this fall.
  • “United We Fall” — Will Sasso and Christina Vidal star as parents of two young kids alongside a live-in mother (Jane Curtin). Midseason.

The long list of returning shows include “Grey’s Anatomy,” “The Good Doctor,” “The Conners,” “A Million Little Things,” “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” “American Housewife,” “American Idol,” “The Bachelor,” “black-ish,” “Bless This Mess,” “Dancing with the Stars,” “Fresh Off the Boat,” “The Goldbergs,” “How to Get Away with Murder,” “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” “The Rookie,” “Schooled,” “Shark Tank,” “Single Parents” and “Station 19.”

Not returning to the schedule are “The Kids Are Alright,” “Speechless,” “Splitting Up Together” and “Whiskey Cavalier.”

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