TV on Tap: HBO Goes “Behind the Candelabra” and “Smash” Ends at the Tonys


A&E has cancelled the long-running reality show Intervention. That puts the end to a pretty remarkable run that helped 156 people turn sober and stay sober.

Mrs. Frederic has found a new job, C.C.H. Pounder is taking a role for a multi-episode arc on Sons of Anarchy, according to EW.

In the Flesh doesn’t make its stateside debut for a couple more weeks, but you won’t have to worry about how it ends. BBC Three just ordered a second season (or commissioned a second series to follow the UK TV terms) of the zombie drama.

In the FleshIn the Flesh

At the very least, appalling reality TV gives the chance to give critics a chance to write epic takedowns. This time, NPR’s Linda Holmes goes after Fox’s Does Someone Have to Go?, which turns out to be so much worse than I imagined.

Speaking of appalling reality programming, Deadline reports that the National Geographic Channel has ordered a series described as “Kitchen Nightmares for churches.” I hope the show is nowhere as awful as I imagine, with the same kind of focus on profitability these other business rescue shows have

ABC Family is planning to air a game show where people have to spell words while facing “hilarious distractions,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. For a moment, I thought a spelling bee show sounded wonderfully nerdy but the “hilarious distractions” made me think of the awfulness that is Killer Karaoke. At least it has the amazing name of Spell-Mageddon.

The Americans, "The Colonel"With this kind of costuming, how could The Americans not be a hit.

Nielsen released the season’s ratings and most of the news is pretty depressing so I’ll just point you to this FX press release that declares The Americans as tied for the channel’s most-watched freshman season and the most time-shifted drama.

Friday’s Listings

The Ellen DeGeneres Show (syndicated) Check local listings
Grizzly Bear will be performing on today’s show — but not before they can surprise one of their biggest fans.

The Talk (CBS) Check local listings
La Toya Jackson is joining the Talk table today…

Syfy Mega-Monster Movies (Syfy) starting at 9:00 AM ET
Syfy’s Memorial Day weekend with a run of some of its memorable mega-monsters. It starts with Mega Piranha, followed by Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus at 11AM,
Mega Shark vs. Crocosaurus comes next at 1PM and it ends with Tiffany and Deborah Gibson in  Mega Python Vs. Gatoroid at 3PM.

Mega Shark vs Gatoroid…and Kathryn Joosten!

Audra McDonald in Concert: Go Back Home (PBS) Check local listings
The multiple Tony and Grammy award winner performs selections from her new album in this concert from the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

The Twilight Zone Marathon (Chiller) 9:00 AM ET
The 1985 revamp of The Twilight Zone is mostly remembered for having neutered the biting social commentary that made the original a classic. However, maybe time will provide the distance that will let us see it had its own qualities worth admiring? If so, Chiller has 8 hours to consider the possibility. At the least, it has occasional good segments.

A-List Listings (E!) 9:30 PM ET
This warmed over Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous wasn’t the show for me and I’m guessing I wasn’t alone based on the way it’s getting burned off on a Friday. Still, it is hosted by the adorable David Burtka.

Best Week Ever (VH1) 10:00 PM ET
Speaking of revivals, VH1’s attempt to bring back its week-in-review show wraps its first season this week. Best Week Ever was always a bit hit-and-miss, though this one did have Michelle Buteau to ensure the good parts were really good. That’s mostly my way of saying I’m hoping this season finale ends with a lengthy “Panties On/Panties Off” segment.

 Merlin, Colin Morgan

Merlin (Syfy) 10:00 PM ET
It’s the beginning of the end for Merlin with the beginning of a two-part finale. Morgana has found a way to separate Merlin from his magic… well, his spell-casting magic. Morgana doesn’t have enough power to undo Colin Morgan’s charms.

Maron (IFC) 10:00 PM ET
Marc usually needs some sort of personal issue to get him to do something, which is how finding out his ex-wife had a baby gets him to try dating again. ..

The Moment (USA) 11:00 PM ET
USA’s reality series about people getting a second chance at their dream career may have fizzled (too bad there isn’t a reality show where reality shows get a second chance) leaving it to a burnoff run on Fridays. Still, tonight’s episode follows someone who dreams of becoing a costume designer and gets a chance to join the Broadway show Kinky Boots. Burnoff or not, that might grab some of your interests.

Gabe LiedmanGame Liedman

The Half Hour (Comedy Central) Midnight ET
This weekend’s double-feature should be of interest to TBL readers. It starts with Jonah Ray, who you’ll best recognize as one of the Nerdist guys. That’s followed by a set from out comic Gabe Liedman.

Saturday’s Listings

Arrested Development Marathon (IFC) starting at 4:00 AM ET
Finding a few hours of Arrested Development on IFC isn’t a challenge, but with a new season about to make its debut. Thus, IFC is spending 24 hours with the Bluth clan. How many cockails is that for Lucille?

Defiance Marathon (Syfy) starting at 4:00 PM ET
I meant to check out Syfy’s TV series/MMO when it debuted, but between daylight savings (which means it doesn’t feel like dinnertime until bedtime) and my partner’s current MMO addiction (ironic, I know!) that two-hour premiere just ended up getting deleted, re-recorded and deleted again on my DVR. Syfy’s offering a chance to catch up with this marathon of the whole series so far, one that starts over again at 11 PM.

Adventure Time Marathon (Cartoon Network) 11:00 AM ET
Cartoon Network is spending a big chunk of the weekend with its charmingly surreal series. Saturday gets 8 hours of Finn and Jake but sadly I don’t see any of the episodes that featured Neil Patrick Harris as Prince Bubblegum

Orphan Black, "Unconscious Selection"Nobody better hurt Cosima, you hear me Delphine?

Orphan Black (BBC America) 9:00 PM ET
Sarah is on the warpath for revenge and Dr. Leekie thinks the way to stop her is to threaten Kira. I suspect he’s vastly underestimated someone he thinks of as a mere subject.

The Chew Ultimate BBQ Cookout Countdown (ABC) 9:00 PM ET
The Chew gets another primetime special that looks at the different kind of barbeque that goes on all over the country. That includes Clinton Kelly visiting a Connecticut clam bake, Mario Batali checking out a grill by the Talladega Speedway in Alabama and Carla Hall joining a chuck wagon cook off in Texas.

Da Vinci’s Demons Marathon starting at 9:00 PM ET
Since there was no new episode this week, Starz is giving viewers a chance to catch up with this repeat of all 6 episodes so far.

Da Vinci's Demons, "The Tower"

The Nerdist (BBC America) 10:00 PM ET
Chris’s guests are Guillermo del Toro and Katee Sckhoff, with comedy from Ron Funches.

Sunday’s Listings

Adventure Time Marathon (Cartoon Network) 11:00 AM ET
Cartoon spends another 7 hours in the Land of Ooo, though (still) no Prince Bubblegum.

Jem and the Holograms Marathon (Hub) starting at 12:30 PM ET
For many a gay boy who grew up in the 80s, one of the first moments of diva worship came with the debut of Jem and the Holograms, the animated drama about a hologram-powered singer and her secret identity. Hub’s getting ready for Memorial Day by re-airing the original miniseries that started the story.

Jem and the HologramsOutrageous!

Mad Men Marathon (AMC) starting at 11:30 AM ET
We’re just past the midpoint of the season and it’s turning out to be a pretty strange time for the Mad Men characters. We’ve seen Betty help squatters make goulash, ads that accidentally recall the suicide in A Star is Born to… I think we’re all still trying to figure out what we watched last week. Anyway, AMC is offering your chance to catch up on that strange trip with all of this season’s episodes, so far.

Doctor Who Revisited (BBC America) 8:00 PM ET
We’re up to the fifth Doctor. Peter Davison took over the iconic role in 1981. He was the youngest actor to play the Doctor yet and was probably the first actor to grow up watching Doctor Who and grow up to star in the series. The special is followed by Earthshock, where the Doctor fought the Cybermen.

North America (Discovery) 9:00 PM ET
This week’s episode heads to the mountains and forests where the cameras will capture bears, bighorn sheep and coyotes. I hear a chorus of “One of these things is not like the others” coming on.

Behind the Candelabra

Behind the Candelabra (HBO) 9:00 PM ET
HBO movies don’t usually aim for a camp sensibility, but in this case they’re doing a biopic about Liberace and Scott Thorson which rather calls for camp. Underneath the sparkly things and folksy demeanor, I’m still hoping this movie manages to take a look at what a different world it was for a gay man like Liberace. We’ve had a few excuses to gawk at the struggle of celebrities who have only just come out of the glass closet. It would be nice to have a reminder of how hard it was to be a closeted celebrity until recently.

Nurse Jackie (Showtime) 9:00 PM ET
When word gets out about a cop who has been shot, Jackie worries that it might be Frank. She still has the control to keep herself from checking out new arrials in the ER and cheer when they turn out to be someone other than Frank.

Smash (NBC) 9:00 PM ET
Now that sweeps is past, NBC can give Smash a prominent send-off (at least, as prominent as you can get with those ratings.) Things wrap up with the Tony Awards as Tom, Julia, Dereky, Karen, Ivy and Eileen wait to see if they get a “place in the Broadway pantheon.” (That’s not a phrase that will inspire snark at all.) At least we’ll get one final appearance by Rosie O’Donnell, Ron Rifkin, Bernadette Peters and Cheyenne Jackson.

Smash, "The Tonys"I figured this pic wasn’t spoiler-y, is it the look of “I’ll be proud of you when you finish your EGOT.” or
“I’m smiling through my confirmed expectation of failure.”

Mad Men (AMC) 10:00 PM ET
Hold on, did they tell us last week that Don was molested? This week’s cryptic teaser says that “Roger is tormented by a recurring dream.” I’m guessing its one that involves realizing he’s a week late in having his psyche examined in a bit of surreal storytelling.

D-Day in 3-D (Discovery) 10:00 PM ET
Despite the title, you don’t need one of those fancy 3-D TVs to watch Discovery’s Memorial Day weekend speical. Instead this one looks at how the Allies used 3-D phto technology to take arial photos to help plan for the Normandy invasion.

What Would Ryan Lochte Do? (E!) 10:30 PM ET
Usually, it’s Ryan who is getting photographed but this week the whole Lochte clan has to get ready for a photo shoot.

What will you be watching this weekend? Please share in the comments!


Monday’s Preview

Veronica Mars Marathon (SOAPnet) starting at 10:00 AM ET
SOAPnet still exists in some markets and its celebrating Memorial Day with the first nine episodes of Veronica Mars that made the world love the show.

Roger Corman Film Festival (Syfy) starting at 10:00 AM ET
Leave it to Syfy to celebrate Memorial Day with a collection of Roger Corman movies — well, Syfy original movies directed by Roger Corman. That means no Fantastic Four, unfortunately.

Lyle Masaki is a fan of obscure superheroes, video games, adorkable guys and that show you loved that got cancelled way too soon.