News Column

ROE: Public television shines during networks' summer doldrums

August 24, 2013

YellowBrix

Aug. 24--So, it's come to this. The summer doldrums have forced us to resort to highlighting reruns. Still, public television boasts several fine offerings and somebody's got an arrow stuck in their neck, so it's not all bad. Here's what caught my eye on television this week:

Sunday: "Family Dance Off," 8 p.m., ABC: If this one-hour special is a new competitive reality series pilot, I'm going to dance off the edge of a cliff.

"2013 MTV Video Music Awards," 8 p.m., MTV: The nearly video-free music video channel hands out Moonman trophies for a 30th year and I feel super old. Performers include Lady Gaga and, as Stephen Colbert revealed some time ago, surprise guests Daft Punk.

"Masterpiece Mystery!" 8 p.m., PBS: The premiere of "Silk," a new British law drama, holds court tonight.

Monday: "American Ninja Warrior," 7 p.m., NBC: Finalists head to Vegas, where I presume they work off the all-you-can-eat shrimp from the casino buffet on a tough new obstacle course.

"Longmire," 9 p.m., A&E: Guest star Charles Dutton returns for the second-season finale.

"POV," 9 p.m., PBS: "5 Broken Cameras" tells the story of a Palestinian farmer who purchased a video camera to take footage of his new baby but used it to capture strife between Israelis and Palestinians in his village. I know that's important but, as a husband, I also know that if he taped over any of that baby footage he is toast.

Tuesday: "The March," 8 p.m., PBS: Fifty years after the March on Washington and Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech, this documentary looks behind the scenes of those epic civil rights events.

Wednesday: "Top Chef Masters," 9 p.m., Bravo: Guest judge Mindy Kaling reviews dishes inspired by romantic comedy films. I hope she likes the escargot dish, "You've Got Snails."

Thursday: "Motive," 7 p.m., ABC: Season one concludes.

"Age of Dinosaurs," 8 p.m., Syfy: It's like "Jurassic Park," but without Spielberg, a budget or that guy who played Newman on "Seinfeld."

Friday: "Side By Side: The Science, Art and Impact of Digital Cinema," 8 p.m., PBS: It's a digital vs. celluloid smackdown as today's most successful film directors debate the merits of the technologies.

"Cracked," 9 p.m., Reelz: Cops and psychiatrists team up to solve crimes in the premiere of this Canadian drama series import.

Saturday: "Bizarre E.R.," 9 p.m., Discovery Fit and Health: It's archery meets artery in an episode entitled "Arrow Through the Neck."

"Saturday Night Live," 10:30 p.m., NBC: If you missed Justin Timberlake's latest turn as host and musical guest, this repeat is worth tuning into.

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(c)2013 Austin American-Statesman, Texas

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