Thanks to cable television, no longer is the summer schedule a gulag of repeats and cheesy reality shows, like The Marriage Ref (sorry Jerry, this ain’t no Seinfeld) which returns this week. Don’t limit yourself to a few favorites, from Weeds to Breaking Bad, set to record this week’s highlights:
Entourage: Sunday, July 24 at 10:30 pm on HBO
The boys are back. The week’s hot premiere is the first episode of the final season of Entourage. Picking up the pieces: Vince returns from rehab, Ari and wife split, Eric splits from his agency, Drama gets even more animated, and Turtle hits the tequila. Plus guest star Andrew Dice Clay is resurrected (an old-school fave from show producer/creator Mark Wahlberg’s past?) Don’t rule out a future movie, Adrian Grenier told me recently.No Reservations: Monday, July 25 at 9 pm on the Travel Network
Always entertaining and delicious, Anthony Bourdain heads to Naples for real pizza.
The Looney Tunes Show: Tuesday, July 26 at 8 pm on the Cartoon Network
Bugs is back! Warner Bros’ funny bunny, Wiley Coyote and the Road Runner, Daffy Duck, Yosemite Sam and gang have gotten the reboot from the heyday of television cartoonage for a wacky antidote to Mickey Mouse.
Frontline: Tuesday at 9 pm on PBS
The legendary documentary series explores “The Pot Republic,” a/k/a the Golden State of California, where medical marijuana is legal, you can grow your own and take pot pills for what ails you.
Storage Wars: Wednesday, July 27 at 10 pm on A&E
Speaking of cheesy reality shows, a big ratings winner last week for A&E follows professional teams repossessing storage units. Back-to-back episodes include “Buyers on the Storm” and “School House Lock.”
Project Runway: Thursday, July 28 at 9 pm on Lifetime
Season nine debuts with Heidi Klum hosting a new batch of 20 fashion designer wannabes who compete in challenges (like outfits for stilt-walkers) to curry favor with judges Nina Garcia and Michael Kors. At 8 pm Tim Gunn “carries on” about the selection process.
Wilfred: Thursday, July 28 at 10 pm on FX
In case you missed the debut, Elijah Wood hangs up Frodo to take on sitcoms. Adapted from an Australian hit show about a guy struggling with life until he befriends his neighbor's dog, Wilfred—actually Jason Gann in a big furry dog suit, who ends up being the lost soul’s coach.
X-Games: Friday, July 29 at 7 pm through Saturday at various times on ESPN
Live coverage of summer’s annual motocross and x-treme sports competitions from downtown LA.
MTV30: Saturday, July 30 at 6 am through August 1 at 12 am on VH1 Classic
Bringing back the ‘80s and ‘90s in a three-day tribute to the
glory daze of MTV (which would rather not recall how old it is or its past
playlist of music videos), the spin-off of sister station, VH1 Classic will play the
first original hour of programming with The Buggles’ “Video Killed the Radio
Star,” as well as Headbangers Ball, Club MTV, Remote Control, YO! MTV Raps, and
Beavis and Butt-Head (which returns this fall on MTV). It all stirs up some of
my personal memories (more on that later this week).
Films on HBO include Ben Affleck’s The Town and The Kids Are Alright with Annette Bening and Julianne Moore, well-timed to celebrate New York’s new gay marriage law.