Several comedy shows return for new seasons, Fox swipes a page from the Adult Swim playbook, and another canceled show is back from the dead—all this week on your TV!
Monday, July 22
Top Gear (8:30-10 pm, BBC America)
The new season has been back on in the US for a couple of weeks; tonight’s episode features our intrepid hosts cavorting around Spain in three pricey convertibles, and a visit from Benedict Cumberbatch, who will take a spin around the test track as the “Star in a Reasonably Priced Car.”
Tuesday, July 23
Web Therapy (11-11:30 pm, Showtime)
Lisa Kudrow’s slightly daft therapist Fiona Wallace, who consults with her patients via Skype, is back for a third season. Guests include Megan Mullally and Steve Carell.
Wednesday, July 24
Die Hard (9-11:15, Cinemax)
Last week was the 25th anniversary of the release of this action classic, which is a great reason to watch it again (not that any reason is necessary).
Thursday, July 25
Children’s Hospital/NTSF:SD:SUV:: (12-12:30 am, Adult Swim)
Winking spoofs of incompetent doctors and incompetent counterterrorism agents return for seasons five and three. The comedy circles the writers and actors work in provide an ample supply of guest stars. Adult Swim’s bite-size program format works in these shows’ favor; if they were 30-minute comedies, they would grow annoying too quickly.
Friday, July 26
John Oliver’s New York Stand-Up Show (11-11:30 pm, Comedy Central)
Alongside his Daily Show duties, Oliver has hosted this stand-up showcase for three seasons. Tonight is the premiere of season four and features Colin Jost, Nick Turner, and Reggie Watts.
Saturday, July 27
Animation Domination High-Def (11-midnight, Fox)
Tonight is the official premiere of Fox’s Saturday late-night animated programming. New episodes of Axe Cop and High School USA! are followed by repeats of the episodes that aired in prime time last Sunday. For now it looks like they’re going to follow this pattern (new episodes followed by repeats), but additional shows are slated to appear later as the block eventually expands to 90 minutes.
Sunday, July 28
Unforgettable (9-10 pm, CBS)
This run-of-the-mill CBS crime procedural about a detective with a perfect memory ran for one season in 2011-12 and was canceled, but later revived specifically to run as a summer series and makes its return tonight. The only reason I mention it is because Saturday Night Live legend Jane Curtin plays a medical examiner.
Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life
I first discovered the glory and brilliance of these comedy pioneers in the mid-1970s, when local PBS station WGBH ran unedited, uncensored reruns of Flying Circus. I was 11 at the time, so it was truly a revelation to my young, highly impressionable mind. One of the strengths of the show was the seemingly random way sketches flowed into one another; by using the human life cycle as a framework, the vignettes in this 1983 movie are equally effective.
(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.)