1. Life & Culture

Top TV week of Aug. 4: 'Outlander', 'Running Wild With Bear Grylls', 'America's Got Talent'

Ben Stiller and Bear Grylls. [NBC]
Ben Stiller and Bear Grylls. [NBC]
Published Aug. 1, 2014


SERIES PREMIERE Bachelor in Paradise, 8 p.m., ABC

The pleasant title of this new show belies its horrid concept: More than two dozen single alumni of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette are trapped on an island together in Mexico. It's no wonders the promos are full of nasty fights, actual blood spilled and the arrival of at least one ambulance.

Running Wild With Bear Grylls, 8 p.m., NBC

In a new episode of what is possibly our favorite new summer show, Bear (not his real name) travels to Northern Scotland with actor Ben Stiller for adventure on the Isle of Skye. Bear gets Stiller, who admits he's never even been camping before, to traverse the sides of foggy mountains, fly on the outside of a helicopter and scale a rock wall above a churning body of water. "I don't know why I'm doing this," Stiller says at the beginning the episode. "I thought it'd be a good way to see if it's real or not." Well, it certainly looks real. At one point, Stiller talks about all the releases he had to sign, and Bear just laughs in his face. Plus, it's the only place on TV you can hear famous actors saying things like "Tell me something about the ferns, Bear."


Food Paradise, 10 p.m., Travel Channel

Nitally's Thai-Mex Cuisine in St. Petersburg is being featured on this episode, all about "Hot and Spicy Paradise" foods. And Nitally's definitely has a contender in that category: The Thai-Mexican fusion spot is infamous for its super spicy Inferno Soup, a mouth-burning concoction of broth, veggies and hot chilies.

CMA Music Festival: Country's Night to Rock, 8 p.m., ABC

Thanks to one of my country music-loving co-workers, I now consider Brad Paisley one of the most interesting people in the genre. See: his Twitter account, where he's currently leaking his new album despite the repeated protests of his record label. The dude's got guts! Paisley is performing in this new three-hour special, along with Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Hunter Hayes, Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood.

America's Got Talent, 9 p.m., NBC

Not sure if America's got talent, but one contestant from Sarasota certainly does. We're not sure when he'll be on again, but keep an eye out for Christian Stoinev, a fifth generation circus performer whose speciality is eye-popping hand balancing. Even better? He does it all with an extremely adorable 11-year-old pooch in tow.


Nashville, 10 p.m., ABC

Finally, a night devoted to all we ever want out of a Nashville episode: really good music. The cast of the soapy show — including Hayden Panettiere and Charles Esten — set aside their characters and perform twangy songs from the show in this behind-the-scenes concert special.


SERIES PREMIERE Extreme Guide to Parenting, 9:30 p.m., Bravo

This new docu-series examines a bunch of different parenting styles, starting with the Adler family, who follow an "eco-kosher, shamanistic" style of child-rearing, emphasizing an all-natural approach when it comes to overactive son Yonah. Not sure what any of that means, but it all sounds more suitable to cooking a chicken than raising a kid.


Treehouse Masters: View From Above 2, 10 p.m., Animal Planet

For a thrill-seeking family in Seattle, Pete and Daryl work on a 30-sided geometric globe that is connected to the trees around it solely by wires. And you thought your childhood treehouse was the best treehouse ever.


SERIES PREMIERE Outlander, 9 p.m., Starz

This lavish new series was filmed on location in Scotland, and it shows. The gorgeous sci-fi adventure series is based on Diana Gabaldon's bestselling book series, which combines romance and history and time travel. It's about a married World War II combat nurse in 1945 who finds herself inexplicably whisked back in time to 1743 and away from her loving husband. Eventually, she's forced to marry a dashing young kilt-wearing Scottish warrior. Wait, we're not supposed to feel sad for her, are we?