The second unusual documentary from HBO in as many weeks, “One Nation Under Dog” (HBO, 9 p.m.) can’t quite decide what it wants to say about American’s obsession with canines. That may be because it’s done by a number of different filmmakers.
The first part concerns a dog who bit seven people in suburban New Jersey and its doctor owner who arranged to keep it from being destroyed; another is about people mourning their dead pets, in therapy groups and spending a fortune in lavish funerals, Erroll Morris style.
Then we meet a couple of people dedicated to saving some of the millions of dogs taken to pounds to be destroyed each year. But that uplift is canceled out by the shock of seeing dogs euthanized or rescued from a puppy mill, still the most popular place where Americans get their dogs.
The most exciting moments in reality TV this summer have so far occurred off-screen, as CBS as furiously been trying to obtain a restraining order to prevent tonight’s “The Glass House” (ABC, 10 p.m.) from premiering.
It probably won’t happen, even though the show about 14 people living together in one house may seem similar to “Big Brother.” And while the audience sometimes got to vote on what the contestants would eat or what the occasional “America’s choice” candidate should do, the entirety of “Glass House” is responding to instant polls in which the audience joins in. Not sure how entertaining that will be but at least the house itself looks sleek and inviting compared to the tatty “Big Brother” house.
The debut comes at a time when reality TV has never so dominated broadcast television. Aside from the comedy reruns on CBS, everything is reality TV from “America’s Got Talent” (NBC< 8 p.m.) and a two hour “American Ninja Warrior” (NBC, 9 p.m.), to the one two Gordon Ramsay punch of “Hell’s Kitchen” (Fox, 8 p.m.) and “MasterChef” (Fox, 9 p.m.); even two hours of “Antiques Roadshow” (PBS, 8 and 9 p.m., check local listings) on public television.
And the highest ratings of them all will likely be for “The Bachelorette” (ABC, 8 p.m.), now down to just eight suitors and moving onto that love capital, Croatia.
Last week’s premiere of “Bunheads” (ABC Family, 9 p.m.) didn’t do much in the ratings, but you may want to tune in, especially if you were ever a “Gilmore Girls” fan.
On the new “Miss Advised” (Bravo, 10 p.m.) three supposed “relationship experts,” a matchmaker from New York, a radio host from San Francisco and a romance columnist from Los Angeles, try to follow their own device in finding their own mates, since they’re all single.
Sounds pretty bad, but compared to the adjoining “Real Housewives of New York City” (Bravo, 9 p..m.), maybe not so much.
Do you know ABC’s “Duets” (Sundance, 8 p.m.) reruns on cable? It gives you a second chance not to watch it.
I guess a spaceship clock would qualify as a good find on “American Pickers” (History, 9 p.m.).
Auti tries to see if she can have a baby at 42 and Tiphany ends a relationship on a new “Push Girls” (Sundance, 10 p.m.).
Ellen Barkin is guest programmer on Turner Classic Movies tonight. Her choices: “Fat City” (8 p.m.), “Nights of Cabiria” (10 p.m.), “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” (12:15 a.m.), “The Last Picture Show” (2:45 a.m.) and “The King of Marvin Gardens” (5 a.m.).
Today’s European Soccer Championship has Italy vs. Ireland (ESPN2, 2:45 p.m.).
Kelly Ripa: Michelle Obama, Marc Forgione, Bryant Gumbel. The View: Jimmy Fallon, Niecy Nash. The Talk: Carmen Electra, Sasha Alexander, David Zinczenko. Ellen DeGeneres: Meryl Streep, Ricky Gervais, Snow Patrol (rerun).
David Letterman: Denis Leary, Olivia Wilde, the Pierces. Jay Leno: Steve Carell, Cory Booker, Glen Hansard. Jimmy Kimmel: David Spade, Joel McHale (rerun). Jimmy Fallon: Joan Rivers, CM Punk, Fiona Apple. Craig Ferguson: Kelly MacDonald, Kevin McKidd. Tavis Smiley: Joseph Stiglitz, Glen Hansard. Carson Daly: Guy Pearce, Lee Fields and the Expressions (rerun). Jon Stewart: Parmy Olson. Stephen Colbert: Paul Krugman. Conan O’Brien: Martin Short, Aubrey Plaza, Spring Standard. Chelsea Handler: Kevin Nealon, Jeff Wild, Brad Wollack, Josh Wolf.