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On TV this week, July 11-15

Paul Provenza really wants to know why CMT started running a series like Texas Women. Maybe he’ll talk about it after it airs.

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Paul Provenza really wants to know why CMT started running a series like Texas Women. Maybe he’ll talk about it after it airs.

On TV this week


2011 Home Run Derby, 8 p.m., ESPN Gone are the days when muscle-bound steroid monsters dashed longballs into the stands for fans to gawk at. No, now we're stuck with yawner stringbeans who will bloop liners into the outfield fence, if a Phoenix dust storm doesn't swallow them first.

SEASON PREMIERE Man vs. Wild, 9 p.m., Discovery Jake Gyllenhaal hitches a ride with Bear Grylls for a two-day trip through Iceland. You know, land of hot springs and Bjork. A Brokeback Mountain joke is too easy here, so we'll just say mind the volcanoes.

SEASON PREMIERE Design Star, 9 p.m., HGTV Once again a dozen people try to gain the favor of the network's panel of entrenched designers in the hopes of one day being able to tell you, too, that you have terrible taste.

SEASON PREMIERE Warehouse 13, 9 p.m., SyFy An ATF agent who can tell when someone's lying joins the cast. Myka really could have used his help last season, huh?

SEASON PREMIERE The Closer, 9 p.m., TNT Kyra Sedgwick begins her last year as Brenda, meaning she's probably counting the days until she has to spend all her time with Kevin Bacon again.

SERIES PREMIERE Alphas, 10 p.m., SyFy A group with special powers takes the law into its own hands, as written by Zak Penn, who penned two X-Men movies. Where do you think he got the idea for this series?

Dance the World, 10 p.m., Travel Dancer Jaycee Gossett travels to Brazil to learn how to samba in this one-off special, which is likely a pilot for a new series. Wait until she goes back to learn the surra de bunda.


2011 MLB All-Star Game, 8 p.m., Fox If David Price and James Shields don't both get to pitch, it's time to riot.

Cupcake Wars, 8 p.m., Food Four previous winners come back to compete against each other. It's terrible when these shows do this. Y'all had your moment, already.

SEASON FINALE Only in America With Larry the Cable Guy, 9 p.m., History Larry rolls around with hogs in S.C., revisits his Houston rodeo and learns how Central Park was made. Which one of these things is not like the other ones?

SEASON PREMIERE Chopped, 10 p.m., Food British chefs must use American and Japanese foods to make an appetizer, which must be tough, given the Brits' difficulty making an appetizer out of British foods.

SEASON PREMIERE How the States Got Their Shapes, 10 p.m., History One last episode of quaint America that is dying because of cell phones, mobility and the death of the extended family. This week: How the Southern accent emerged after the Civil War and why some people say soda and other say pop (except in the South, where they say Coke).


I Shouldn't Be Alive, 9 p.m., Animal Planet A Hiker and his dog are stranded in New Zealand's South Island after a calamitous fall. Luckily, a pack of wayward hobbits eventually find them.

2011 ESPYs, 9 p.m., ESPN Seth Myers returns as host of this awards show, which honors the best person in every sport on Earth. Well, maybe not fisherman. Wait, that too?

The Curious Case of Curt Flood, 9 p.m., HBO A documentary on the St. Louis Cardinals outfielder who changed free-agency rules by fighting a 1969 trade to the Philadelphia Phillies. We'd fight that move tooth and nail, too.

SERIES PREMIERE Roseanne's Nuts, 9 p.m., Lifetime Ever wonder what Rosey has been up to lately? Can you believe she's managing a macadamia nut farm in Hawaii? Actually yes, yes we can.

SEASON PREMIERE Ghost Hunters International, 9 p.m., SyFy The ghost of a slave master haunts a cocoa plantation in Trinidad. That's what they tell the gullible tourists willing to pay for a tour, at least.

SERIES PREMIERE One Man Army, 10 p.m. Discovery Contestants battle military and law-enforcement operatives in a series of challenges to win $10,000. It's like American Gladiators meets Ninja Warrior, except here you very well could get killed by either the obstacle course or the other competitors.

SEASON PREMIERE Rescue Me, 10 p.m., FX Given the good-natured family fare this show usually offers, it's safe to say Tommy and the gang's last season will be all sunshine and lollipops, right?

SERIES PREMIERE The Franchise: A Season With the San Francisco Giants, 10 p.m., Showtime A documentary series that follows the world champs. As long as Barry Bonds doesn't show up, we're fine with that.

SERIES PREMIERE Legend Quest, 10 p.m., SyFy An adventure series that sounds like a cross between Indiana Jones and Stargate. Probably without the aliens, though. Probably.


The First 48, 9 p.m., A&E A detective investigates a triple murder in Birmingham, which is a little too close to the plot of Red Dragon for our taste.

SERIES PREMIERE Texas Women, 9 p.m., CMT It's like another installment in the awful Real Housewives series, but on CMT instead of Bravo, and in Texas instead of Orange County. Or New York. Or Atlanta. Or D.C. Or New Jersey. Or Beverly Hills. Or Miami.

SERIES FINALE The First 48: Missing Persons, 10 p.m., A&E A guy goes out for a bike ride and disappears, so the cops have to decide if he was kidnapped or killed in an accident. And that's why you should wear flashing lights and reflectors.

SEASON PREMIERE The Green Room With Paul Provenza, 11 p.m., Showtime Ray Romano, Garry Shandling, Judd Apatow, Marc Maron and Bo Burnham join the comedian to talk about stuff some more. AS if The View wasn't bad enough.


SERIES FINALE Friday Night Lights, 8 p.m., NBC As East Dillon prepares for the state championship, everyone on the show realizes high school football is largely inconsequential and lobbies city hall to attract a new Hyundai factory, helping the town double in size. Or something, because we don't have DirecTV and don't watch this.

Outrageous Food, 10 p.m., Food Tom Pizzica takes on a 71⁄2 pound steak in Las Vegas. Back home in Nebraska, that's an appetizer.

SEASON PREMIERE Haven, 10 p.m., SyFy Vinessa Antoine joins the cast and Jason Priestley guest-stars and directs as Agent Parker must find the answers to big mysteries like, who is Vinessa Antoine, and what has Jason Priestley been doing all this time?

— Joshua Gillin

On TV this week, July 11-15 07/10/11 [Last modified: Sunday, July 10, 2011 4:30am]
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