Thursday TV: So You Think You Can ‘Duet’

Sick of singing competitions?

Too bad. The first of several knockoff reality shows to fill the airwaves this summer is “Duets” (ABC, 8 p.m.), a show like the voice in that it stars some recognizable names mentoring some amateur singers, with whom they will also sing. Joohn legend, Kelly Clarkson, Robin Thicke and Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland are the stars. They begin the season with a big production number and no swivel chairs.

Another reality start comes in the season nine premiere of “So You Think You Can Dance” (Fox, 8 p.m.), which comes significantly retooled into a one night a week event, so that eliminations occur first thing before the competitive dances are presented. First, though, there are the auditions and Nigel Lythgoe’s determination to put himself into the public with catch phrases like “Cue music!”

Also returning for a summer season is “Rookie Blue” (ABC, 10 p.m.), the cop show that is so much like the recently debuted (and just as recently cancelled ) “NYC 22.” With William Shatner as guest star, the whole thing may seem like an episode of “T.J. Hooker.” If we’re lucky.

One of the byproducts at having a huge military presence in the Philippines are the thousands of Amerasian children born to U.S. soldiers and Filipino women. They are shunned and discriminated in their island country and denied U.S. citizenship. An affecting film “Left by the Ship,” premiering tonight on “Independent Lens” (PBS, 10 p.m., check local listings) follows the efforts of three people who have been affected, including a journalist who is the focal point of the film, Robert Ianne Gonzaga.

A series finale comes for “Awake” (NBC, 10 p.m.), the intriguing and well-acted police puzzle starring Jason Isaacs that wasn’t given much of a chance by the network.

The 24th annual geography bee for grades four through eight, run under the name “Geo Bee 2012” (National Geographic Channel, 8 p.m.) is hosted by Alex Trebek. Winner gets a $25,000 scholarship.

A new sitcom on cable premieres, named after an Australian rock band. “Men at Work” (TBS, 10 p.m.) stars Danny Masterson of “That 70s Show” as one of four guys who are living and working in New York.

How to become proficient with the ink and needle? Try “Tattoo School” (TLC, 10 p.m.), subject of a new reality show.

“Swamp Wars” (Animal Planet, 8 p.m.). A present in a neighborhood pool one Christmas: A 13-foot python. Not to be confused with the “Swamp People” (History, 9 p.m.). Both crews are busy; swamped, you might say.

A portrait of the clothier, “J. Crew and the Man Who Dressed America” (CNBC, 10 pm.).

“Undercover Boss: Abroad” (TLC, 8 p.m.) isn’t as exotic as it seems; it takes place in Canada.

The real crime series on Turner Classic Movies continues with “Dillinger” (8 p.m.), “Al Capone” (9:30 p.m.), “Mad Dog Coll” (11:30 p.m.), “The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond” (1:15 a.m.), “The Valachi Papers” (3 a.m.) and “King of the Roaring ’20s: The Story of Arnold Rothstein” (5:15 a.m.).

It’s game 6 in the NBA playoff series of Heat at Pacers (ESPN, 8 p.m.). No games scheduled in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Daytime Talk

Kelly Ripa: Kevin Costner, Katherine Jenkins, Seth Meyers. The View: Joe Scarborough, Gregg Allman, cast of “Jesus Christ Superstar.” The Talk: Rita Wilson, Chi-Lan Lieu. Ellen DeGeneres: Charlize Theron.

Late Talk

David Letterman: Johnny Galecki, Norah Jones (rerun). Jay Leno: Glenn Close, Phillip Phillips, Nelly Furtado. Jimmy Kimmel: Charlize Theron, Manny Pacquiao, Grafitti6. Jimmy Fallon: Will Smith, Bill Paxton, Stone Gossard & Shawn Smith. Craig Ferguson: Alfred Milina, Sara Watkins. Tavis Smiley: Kevin Costner. Carson Daly: Harvey Weinstein, Timur Bekmambetov, Kasabian. Conan O’Brien: Josh Brolin, Alison Brie, White Rabbits. Chelsea Handler: Malin Akerman, Dan Maurio, Loni Love, Mo Mandel.

This entry was posted in What's On TV. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.