It’s Memorial Day this weekend! Networks are honoring the weekend with some historic-themed programming and then we’ll be hit with a deluge of reality shows. Ah summer!
TNT is marathoning The Last Ship on Monday as the culmination of their #SelfieWithaSailor campaign. For every selfie with a currently serving member of any branch of the United States armed services that’s posted and hashtagged, TNT will donate $1 to the USO. A worthy cause and a worthy show if you missed it.
HBO will be doing their annual Band of Brothers marathon. A terrific mini-series that sucks me in whenever its on, it’s also fun to go back and see Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Tom Hardy, Colin Hanks, Jason O’Mara, Simon Pegg, Dominic Cooper, Andrew Scott (Sherlock’s Moriarty) and Jimmy Fallon in supporting roles.
Another worthy marathon this weekend is Saturday’s Outlander marathon. Sadly there is no new episode this week, which is probably to give us a chance to recover from last week’s brutal episode. Even book readers, who knew what was coming, weren’t really prepared for that. The season finale will air next Saturday and it’s probably not going to be any less heartbreaking (and not just because Droutlander will be around 10 months this time).
For something lighter, Lifetime has Grace of Monaco which is a movie about the life of Princess Grace after her marriage to Prince Rainier and her decision about becoming royalty or heading back to Hollywood. Nicole Kidman and Tim Roth star as the royal couple.
Continuing the historic theme of this weekend, the History Channel begins its 10 part mini-series, Texas Rising about the origins of the Texas Rangers. The large cast includes Bill Paxton, Trevor Donovan, Jake Busey, Jeremy Davies, Jeff Fahey, Brendan Fraser, Crispin Glover, Thomas Jane, Robert Knepper, Kris Kristofferson, Ray Liotta, Olivier Martinez, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Rob Morrow, Chad Michael Murray and Max Thieriot.
But TV is not all about historical dramas this week. There are plenty of game shows and/or reality shows to fill the summer airwaves until more interesting fare returns. ABC and Fox are hoping for the next quiz show phenomenon with 500 Questions (answer trivia questions without getting 3 in a row wrong) and Boom! where contestants answer questions to avoid getting hit by a slime bomb. Strangely, Boom! is on Fox and not Nickelodeon. Kellen Lutz hosts Bullseye where contestants will use their bodies to hit the target.
Tonight: Late Night with David Letterman’s final show (CBS), Supernatural season finale (The CW), Masterchef season premiere (Fox), 500 Questions debut (ABC), Celebrity Wife Swap season premiere (ABC), Modern Family season finale (ABC), Black-ish season finale (ABC), Survivor season finale (CBS)
Thursday: Between debut (Netflix)
Saturday: Outlander marathon (Starz)
Sunday: Battle Creek series finale (CBS)
Monday: American Ninja Warrior season premiere (NBC), Boom! debut (Fox), Grace of Monaco (Lifetime), Texas Rising (History), The Island debut (NBC), Saving Private Ryan on repeat (AMC), The Last Ship marathon (TNT), Band of Brothers marathon (HBO)
Tuesday: America’s Got Talent season premiere (NBC), Are you Smarter than a 5th Grader? season premiere (Fox), Extreme Weight Loss season premiere (ABC), I Can Do That debut (NBC)
Wednesday: Bullseye debut (Fox)
And the network ratings winner for the season is….NBC!
Well, technically CBS had more viewers overall, but NBC had the most eyeballs among the key demographics that advertisers want (the ones that spend the most money) so the ratings crown goes to NBC.
NBC’s victory relied on The Voice, Sunday Night Football and special events like Peter Pan Live! and the Super Bowl to carry the network to victory. Notice how those aren’t scripted shows? Yes, even ratings champ NBC had some issues so there’s still a big shakeup planned for next season. Next year’s live musical, The Wiz, will likely look for a bigger name to anchor the show so that should be interesting. Mysteries of Laura is the only new 2014 show to get a second season and that was probably so NBC could say that they renewed at least one show this year.
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