You can tell from my choices that it’s a pretty slow week for TV (as you might expect in the middle of July), though Project Runway fans have a new season to get excited about.
Monday, July 15
Classic Battle of the Network Stars (8-9:30 pm, ESPN Classic)
Back in the 1970s and ‘80s, someone had the brainstorm to have a bunch of TV actors “battle” in silly athletic competitions like obstacle courses and relay races. The real reason for its existence was to put a bunch of good-looking people on display in tight, skimpy tank tops, shorts, and swimsuits. ESPN Classic decided these old shows (there are nearly 20) would make good filler programming, and since it’s a very slow night in TV land, why not ogle some retro beefcake and jiggle?
Tuesday, July 16
Whose Line Is It Anyway? (8-9 pm, CW)
The improv comedy show returns tonight, now hosted by Aisha Tyler and still featuring performers Ryan Stiles, Colin Mochrie, and Wayne Brady. (For those of a sportier persuasion, baseball’s All-Star Game is on Fox at 8.)
Wednesday, July 17
The 2013 ESPY Awards (9-11 pm, ESPN)
The sports equivalent of the Golden Globes, or something like that. The event is being hosted this year by Jon Hamm, who’s a huge St. Louis Cardinals fan and quite funny, so it may be worth tuning in for him.
Thursday, July 18
Project Runway (9-10:30 pm, Lifetime)
Yup, it’s still on; in fact, tonight is the premiere of the 12th season. I don’t know if anyone still watches it (I never have), but I do think Tim Gunn is a pretty awesome human being.
Friday, July 19
Netflix Pick: The Cabin in the Woods
Produced and co-written by Joss Whedon, this highly enjoyable horror flick adheres to the conventions of the genre while gleefully and knowingly subverting them at the same time.
Saturday, July 20
The Professional (8-9:45 pm, Sundance)
A hit man (Jean Reno) becomes a surrogate parent to an orphaned girl (Natalie Portman, in her first movie role) who wants him to help her get revenge on the crooked cop who killed her family. Written and directed by Luc Besson, it’s just one of those movies I think everyone should see.
Sunday, July 21
Axe Cop/High School USA! (9:30-10 pm, Fox)
Fox is rolling out an Adult Swim-esque block of late-night animated shows on Saturday the 27th, but is previewing two of them in prime time tonight.
(Note: this information is accurate as of publication time, but programming is subject to change at the discretion of channels and networks. All times listed are Eastern time.)