1. Life & Culture

Top TV week of July 7: 'The Strain', 'MasterChef', 'Extant', 'Welcome to Sweden'

Halle Berry as a female astronaut trying to reconnect with her family in 'Extant'.
Halle Berry as a female astronaut trying to reconnect with her family in 'Extant'.
Published Jul. 7, 2014


MasterChef, 8 p.m., Fox

Not only is St. Pete native Francis Biondi still in this cooking competition, now down to 15 contestants, he's consistently one of the best performers. Let's hope tonight's partner cooking doesn't trip him up.

24: Live Another Day, 9 p.m., Fox

This penultimate episode of the miniseries takes place during the 9-10 p.m. hour, the same time it airs in real life, which surely means an Earth-devouring wormhole is imminent. Jack Bauer, we need you!

Murder in the First, 10 p.m., TNT

Taye Diggs investigates that kid who played Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies (Tom Felton) as a prime murder suspect. Yeah, but his most heinous crime? That bleach blond Draco 'do.


History Detectives Special Investigations, 9 p.m., PBS

Well, go ahead and file this one under Fascinating Unsolved Mysteries About Famous Big Band Musicians. "The Disappearance of Glenn Miller'' takes a look at what happened when the bandleader flew from England to France to entertain soldiers during World War II. Spoiler alert: He disappeared.



This one's a must-see, if only for the people involved: The 13-episode mystery thriller from executive producer Steven Spielberg stars Halle Berry as a female astronaut who just returned from a year in space. In addition to sorting through crazy space experiences that could change the course of human history (no pressure!), Berry's character also returns pregnant. Good luck explaining that one to your husband.

Secrets of the Dead, 10 p.m., PBS

This new episode of the grimly titled show delves into a juicy art conspiracy: What if there is a version of the Mona Lisa other than the one we know? Apparently an earlier variation of the Leonardo da Vinci masterpiece that shows the subject looking younger was found in 2012. Yeah, guys, it's called a first draft.


Hollywood Game Night, 8 p.m., NBC

Martha Stewart is among the contestants, so expect lots of tips on how to turn a bunch of pinecones into whimsical home decor. Or at least lots of jokes about it.

SERIES PREMIERE Welcome to Sweden, 9 p.m., NBC

This show, a huge hit in Sweden, was created by (and stars) Greg Poehler, Amy's brother. The semi-autobiographical comedy mirrors his real-life experience as a guy who moved overseas to be with his wife, which explains why we've never heard of him before.


The Pool Master, 9 p.m., Animal Planet

In this new episode, pool design virtuoso Anthony Archer-Willis gets a plum commission from a homeowner in the heart of California wine country who wants him to design a lavish pool area where he can host weekend wine tastings. On my way!

Carol Burnett: The Mark Twain Prize, 9 p.m., PBS

Comedy icon Carol Burnett becomes the 16th person to win the prestigious humor prize, and pals Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Julie Andrews are there to cheer her on.

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The Dead Files, 10 p.m., Travel

Think that fallen tree in your front yard is the worst thing that can happen after a hurricane? Not so fast. This episode takes place in a storm-ravaged portion of the Sunshine State where there are reports of paranormal activity at a home and a "shadow man'' who may be able to take possession of the living. Uh, not sure what in the hurricane preparedness kit is supposed to help with that.


SERIES PREMIERE The Strain, 10 p.m., FX

The promotional materials for this new 13-episode series — a fake beating heart sent to critics, graphic billboards showing a parasite coming out of someone's eye — make it clear you're going to need a strong stomach to enjoy it. Easier to swallow is its lead, Corey Stoll, an enigmatic actor (House of Cards) who's playing an epidemiologist battling a parasitic sickness. We'd watch him do anything, maybe even deal with that gross eye stuff. That'll go a long way in this horror series from director Guillermo del Toro, author Chuck Hogan and former Lost showrunner Carlton Cuse.


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