Friday TV: Highwire Over Niagara

Walking a tightrope over Niagara Falls has been banned for 175 years.

But because the economy is so bad up there, they decided to let one of the Flying Wallendas up there to walk across it.

And while it hasn’t yet attracted the kind of Evel Knevel attention such a feat deserves, it does have a live TV special – “Megastunts: Highwire Over Niagara Falls – Live” (ABC, 9 p.m.) which points more to the economic desperation of the network involved. What if Nik Wallenda goes flying unexpectedly, and you’ve created a TV special out of death? Do you spin it like an especially intense episode of “Wipeout”?

And how do they keep it going for two hours, especially when we doubt they have footage of the last time the stunt was tried in 1890?

Maybe he walksthe 1,550 feet very slowly.

No, wait it’s three hours total with the preshow “Countdown to Niagrara: The Greatest Megastunts of All Time” (ABC, 8 p.m.).

You wouldn’t expect the next career turn of Tyler James Williams of “Everybody Hates Chris” as the lead in a new musical. But there he is in the new TV movie “Let It Shine” (Disney, 8 p.m.), yet another modern interpretation of “Cyrano de Bergerac.”  The days of “High School Musical” may be behind us, but this may be worth watching.

In the season finale of “Fairly Legal” (USA, 9 p.m.) Kate has to decide between her boyfriends.

Karl recounts the time he bought a bed and found there was no mattress on a new episode of “The Ricky Gervais Show” (HBO, 9 p.m.).

Scheduled guests on a new “Real Time with Bill Maher” (HBO, 10 p.m.) are Joseph Stiglitz, Alan Thicke, Karen Finney, David Frum and Kristen Soltis.

The films of Inoshiro Honda are featured on Turner Classic movies. You may not know the name but you know the monster movies: “Gojira” (8 p.m.), “Rodan” (9:45 p.m.) and “Mothra” (11:15 p.m.). They are followed by two other Japanese classics: “Hausu” (2:30 a.m.) and “Empire of Passion” (4 a.m.).

European Soccer Championship games have Ukraine vs. France (ESPN2, noon) and Sweden vs. England (ESPN2, 2:45 p.m.).

Baseball includes Yankees at Nationals (MLB, 7 p.m.).

The U.S. Open (ESPN, noon, 5 p.m.) continues in San Francisco.

But there’s always arena football with Tampa Bay at Orlando (NFL, 8 p.m.).

Daytime Talk

Kelly Ripa: John Slattery, Martha Plimpton, Laura Linney, Joel McHale. The View: Catherine Zeta-Jones, James Lipton. The Talk: Kevin McKidd. Ellen DeGeneres: Russell Brand (rerun).

Late Talk

David Letterman: Betty White, Moses Maddox, Best Coast (rerun). Jay Leno: Salma Hayek, Adam Brody, Olly Murs. Jimmy Kimmel: Kim, Kourtney & Khloe Kardashian, Adam Carolla, K’Naan (rerun). Jimmy Fallon: Adam Sandler. Craig Ferguson: Jenna Elfman, Don Winslow. Tavis Smiley: Chesley Sullenberger. Carson Daly: Gina carano, Dee Rees, Milow (rerun). Chelsea Handler: Charlize Theron, Chris Franjola, jen Kirkman, Dov Davidoff (rerun).

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