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Murder, Liars, Suits; TV must-sees for the week

- June 7th, 2014

Capture PLL for blog

Bill Harris’ TV must-sees for the week of June 8

1 Murder in the First
Debut: Taye Diggs and Canadian Kathleen Robertson star as detectives in this San Francisco-set series from Steven Bochco that follows developments in a single case throughout the entire season.
When: Monday on Bravo

2 Veep
Third-season finale with back-to-back episodes: The team tries to make presidential candidate Selina (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) seem more folksy as the New Hampshire primary approaches.
When: Sunday on HBO Canada

3 Suits
Fourth-season debut: Wait, didn’t the previous season of this show wrap up just a couple of months ago? Yup, it was back in April. Who’s in charge of this scheduling? Lawyers?
When: Wednesday on Bravo

4 Tony Awards
Live: Hugh Jackman hosts the 68th annual edition of this hardware handout from Radio City Music Hall in New York. I have to say, Jackman was pretty great when he hosted the Oscars in 2009.
When: Sunday on CBS, CHCH

5 Chasing Life
Debut: A 20-something named April, played by Canadian Italia Ricci, is on a roll professionally and personally. But some devastating medical news forces her to adjust her thinking about everything.
Tuesday on ABC Spark

6 Graceland
Second-season debut: When a cartel puts a hit on Mike (Aaron Tveit), he returns to the supposedly safe haven of the title house, only to find that the place has changed quite a bit.
When: Wednesday on Bravo

7 The Incredible Mr. Goodwin
Debut: In this five-part series, “escapologist” Jonathan Goodwin swings from burning ropes and emerges from rocket-launched cars, etc. Seriously, I did not know “escapologist” was a word.
When: Tuesday on OLN

8 Major Crimes
Third-season debut: Mary McDonnell returns as Los Angeles Police Captain Sharon Raydor, who heads up a special squad dealing with high-profile and/or sensitive cases.
When: Wednesday on Super Channel

9 Duck Dynasty
Sixth-season debut: The lucrative leap into the mainstream for this series likely has come to an abrupt halt due to Phil Robertson’s repeated anti-gay comments. But the show goes on.
When: Wednesday on A&E

10 Pretty Little Liars
Fifth-season debut (main cast pictured above): Aria (Lucy Hale) guards Ezra (Ian Harding) at the hospital following his shooting, while the others set a trap to draw out “A.” Wouldn’t if be funny if it were Fonzie all along?
When: Tuesday on M3

bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

@billharris_tv

Spring TV lineup: It’s not just for finales any more

- May 2nd, 2014

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Big TV debuts can “spring” up any time.

Spring used to be reserved for overwrought season finales and the arrival of crappy summer shows. But now there can be major debuts in May and June, as the jockeying for competitive advantage intensifies. Even as the weather warms up, here are some offerings to keep you inside. Keep in mind, networks can change broadcast dates at their whim, so check local listings as things approach:

24: Live Another Day
May 5 on Fox, Global
Jack is back. And as usual, he ain’t happy.

Louie
May 5 on FX Canada
Louis C.K. is back. And as usual, he’s confused.

Penny Dreadful
May 11 on The Movie Network, Movie Central
Horror series stars Josh Hartnett, Eva Green and Timothy Dalton.

Rosemary’s Baby
May 11 on NBC
Two-part mini-series based on the 1967 novel/1968 movie.

Rookie Blue
May 19 on Global
This show has displayed great resilience, heading into season five.

The Maya Rudolph Show
May 19 on NBC
A variety special. Say what?

Gang Related
May 22 on Fox
Action drama about L.A. police battling gangs.

Labyrinth
May 22 on CW
Time-jumping historical mini-series seeks the Holy Grail.

Undateable
May 29 on NBC
New sitcom from creator Bill Lawrence (Scrubs, Cougar Town).

Derek
May 30 on Netflix
Second season of nursing home-set series starring Ricky Gervais.

Crossbones
May 30 on NBC, Global
It’s a pirate’s life for John Malkovich.

Halt and Catch Fire
June 1 on AMC
About the computer revolution, set in the early ’80s.

Mistresses
June 2 on ABC, CTV
Second season of sultry series starring Alyssa Milano.

Orange is the New Black
June 6 on Netflix
Prison does not improve with time.

Defiance
June 19 on Showcase
Second season of sci-fi series starring Grant Bowler.

True Blood
June 22 on HBO Canada
The final blood-sucking season.

Falling Skies
June 26 on Super Channel
The skies are still falling, apparently.

Reckless
June 29 on CBS, Global
Sexy legal drama set in South Carolina.

The Leftovers
June 29 on HBO Canada
After the “Rapture,” these folks didn’t make the cut.

Under the Dome
June 30 on CBS, Global
Were they spared our nasty winter under that thing?

bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

@billharris_tv

Mad Men and Orphan Black’s clones visit Fargo; must-sees for the week of April 13

- April 11th, 2014

Jon Hamm as Don Draper

Bill Harris’ TV must-sees for the week of April 13

1 Orphan Black
Season-two debut: Clone-based series sees Tatiana Maslany returning in her signature role as Sarah. And Rachel. And Cosima. And Alison. And on and on and on. I hope Maslany is getting paid accordingly.
When: Saturday on Space

2 Fargo
Debut: This is not a direct remake of the Academy Award-winning movie, but rather a new story, “inspired by” the original. Billy Bob Thornton stars as Lorne Malvo, a dangerous drifter with a cruel sense of humour.
When: Tuesday on FX Canada and FXX Canada

3 Mad Men
Seventh-season debut: This technically is the final “season” for this acclaimed series, but it’s airing over two years, just like Breaking Bad. Last we saw Don Draper (Jon Hamm, pictured above), he was out of a job. Poor ugly schmuck.
When: Sunday on AMC

4 MTV Movie Awards
Live: Conan O’Brien hosts yet another annual hardware handout. So does this officially bring an end to “awards season?” Regardless, scheduled presenters include Kate Upton and Mila Kunis, so count me in.
When: Sunday on MTV

5 Vegas Rat Rods
Debut: No, this isn’t about an infestation of rats in Sin City and the questionable methods used to control them. Rather, it focuses on a company called Welder Up, which specializes in crazy vehicles known as “rat rods.”
When: Thursday on Discovery

6 When Calls the Heart
Canadian debut: Family drama based on a book series by Janette Oke, this stars Erin Krakow as Elizabeth Thatcher, a 19th-century, high-society teacher suddenly living in a coal town. Also with Lori Loughlin.
When: Wednesday on Super Channel

7 Mom
First-season finale: Christy (Anna Faris) and Bonnie (Allison Janney) try to help an emotional Violet (Sadie Calvano) through labour. This series has been renewed, so time to buy some cutesy baby clothes.
When: Monday on CBS, City

8 Unusually Thicke
Debut with back-to-back episodes: This is a reality show with Alan Thicke, his young wife Tanya, and his three sons, including pop star Robin Thicke. I’ll bet Robin gets into more mischief than Kirk Cameron on Growing Pains.
When: Wednesday on Slice

9 Californication
Debut of seventh and final season: As usual, Hank (David Duchovny) is desperate to reunite with his eternal love Karen (Natascha McElhone), while Charlie (Evan Handler) is overcome by performance anxiety.
When: Sunday on The Movie Network, Monday on Movie Central

10 Nurse Jackie
Sixth-season debut: Jackie (Edie Falco) is “using” again. And lo and behold, she is getting her drugs at the gym. You know, this show seemed a lot more daring and shocking before Rob Ford dulled our senses.
When: Sunday on The Movie Network, Monday on Movie Central

bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

@billharris_tv

Pretty Little Liars come Full Circle with a Crisis of Continuum? TV must-sees for the week of March 16

- March 14th, 2014

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Bill Harris’ TV must-sees for the week of March 16

1 Continuum
Third-season debut: Kiera (Rachel Nichols) jeopardizes everything to stop Alec (Erik Knudsen) from altering history in his mission to save Emily (Magda Apanowicz). But can Kiera’s new allies be trusted? Experience suggests no.
When: Sunday on Showcase

2 Crisis
Debut: The children of Washington’s elite are on a school trip when their bus is ambushed on a secluded road. Who are the kidnappers and what do they want? With Gillian Anderson, Dermot Mulroney and Rachael Taylor.
When: Sunday on NBC

3 Pretty Little Liars
Fourth-season finale: After years of questions surrounding the night Alison (Sasha Pieterse) disappeared, her four best friends – played by Shay Mitchell, Lucy Hale, Ashley Benson and Troian Bellisario – finally learn what happened.
When: Tuesday on M3

4 The 100
Debut: The only human survivors of nuclear destruction were in orbit, on space stations. Now, a century and three generations later, 100 juvenile prisoners secretly have been sent back to Earth, to see if it’s inhabitable.
When: Wednesday on CW

5 Glee
This is the 100th episode. In some ways doesn’t it feel as if this show has been around longer than that? Anyway, past and current members of New Directions gather to reminisce and reinvent their favourite performances.
When: Tuesday on Fox, City

6 Doll & Em
Debut with back-to-back episodes: Real-life best friends Emily Mortimer (The Newsroom) and Dolly West portray fictionalized versions of themselves in this semi-improvised comedy about an actress who hires her pal as a personal assistant.
When: Wednesday on HBO Canada

7 Love Under Cuban Skies
Documentary debut: Apparently there’s a steady stream of Canadian women partaking in sex tourism in Cuba. Many merely are looking for a little excitement. But some wind up bringing their new lovers back up north.
When: Thursday on CBC

8 Resurrection
Bellamy (Omar Epps) gets some help from Maggie (Devin Kelley) as he pushes hard for permission to exhume the tomb of Jacob (Landon Gimenez). Meanwhile, Pastor Tom (Mark Hildreth) reaches out to his childhood friend.
When: Sunday on ABC, City

9 Full Circle
Canadian debut: From DirecTV in the U.S., each episode has two characters talking in a restaurant. The next episode has one of those characters back, alongside a new character, and so on. Minka Kelly and Tom Felton get it started.
When: Thursday on Super Channel

10 Colin and Justin’s Cabin Pressure
Debut: The latest of many TV series from well-known Scottish interior designers Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan. In this one, they’re searching for a Canadian cottage in Muskoka on which to put their own stamp. Look out, loons!
When: Tuesday on Cottage Life

bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

@billharris_tv

Will Star-Crossed and Jimmy Fallon appeal to Generation Like? Must-sees for the week

- February 15th, 2014

Jimmy Fallon, Tonight Show, one

Bill Harris’ TV must-sees for the week of Feb. 16

1) The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
Debut: Fallon becomes the sixth host in the history of this fabled late-night talk-show franchise, following Steve Allen, Jack Paar, Johnny Carson, Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien, and then Jay Leno again.
When: Monday on NBC, CTV Two

2) Generation Like
Debut: Many teens today truly don’t understand the term “selling out.” This doc examines how kids are more than willing to work tirelessly for free online to market products, such as movies, to other teens.
When: Tuesday on PBS

3) Star-Crossed
Debut: Aimee Teegarden and Matt Lanter star as teens trying to overcome the prejudices of their respective peoples. Oh, did I mention Lanter’s character is an alien? That’s kind of important to know.
When: Monday on CW

4) Lost Girl
Season-four finale: Bo (Anna Silk) is forced to make the toughest decision of her life if she hopes to stop evil from bringing destruction to her world. No Fae-king this time.
When: Sunday on Showcase

5) About a Boy
Debut: Following nightly Olympics coverage, this is a sneak peak of a new sitcom that ultimately will air Tuesdays, on NBC and Global. David Walton, Minnie Driver and Benjamin Stockham star.
When: Saturday on NBC

6) Darknet
Debut: This horror anthology series shows the lives of everyday people being interrupted by vivid instances of unexpected strangeness or violence. Just in case you weren’t stressed out enough already.
When: Friday on Super Channel

7) Castle
Beckett (Stana Katic) and Castle (Nathan Fillion) take on the case of a high school mean girl who apparently was murdered by someone with telekinetic powers. More proof, thinking too much kills.
When: Sunday on CTV, Monday on ABC

8) Intelligence
Gabriel (Josh Holloway) and Cybercom investigate when artificial-intelligence scientists are infected and eventually killed by microscopic robots. That’s pretty much the scariest thing I’ve ever heard.
When: Monday on CBS, CTV

9) The Following
While Joe (James Purefoy) acclimatizes himself to his new surroundings, Emma (Valorie Curry) realizes that she is in dangerous company. Hey, if Emma’s scared, we all should be, too.
When: Monday on Fox, CTV

10) Shameless
Fiona (Emmy Rossum) goes to jail while Frank (William H. Macy) wakes up in the emergency room. Um, philosophically speaking, couldn’t all episodes of this series end up that way?
When: Sunday on The Movie Network, Monday on Movie Central

bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

@billharris_tv