Shark Week is once again upon us, and you could say it’s Breaking Bad week as well. That ought to cover about 98% of the TV viewing audience, but just in case, there are several new shows and season premieres arriving this week as well (making my job easier).
Monday, August 5
Major Crimes (9-10 pm, TNT)
Nostalgia alert: a bunch of veteran comic actors guest star tonight as residents of an apartment complex where a murder has occurred. Look for Ron Glass (Barney Miller), Marion Ross (Happy Days), Paul Dooley (Sixteen Candles), Doris Roberts (Everybody Loves Raymond), and Tim Conway (The Carol Burnett Show).
Tuesday, August 6
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (8-10:30 pm, Sundance)
This story of patients in a mental hospital is not exactly an uplifting movie, but is unquestionably one of the best of the 1970s.
Wednesday, August 7
Broadchurch (10-11 pm, BBC America)
Another BBC drama arrives on our shores, this one about the death of a child in a small town and the ensuing investigation. There’s just something about the way British crime shows are written and produced that makes them extremely compelling (to me, at least). Fox just announced that they are planning an American adaptation of this, but you know it won’t be anywhere near as good.
Thursday, August 8
Hollywood Game Night (10-11 pm, NBC)
This isn’t my kind of thing, but I’ve heard anecdotally that it’s kind of fun to watch, and I’m always fine with more Jane Lynch on my TV (she’s the host).
Friday, August 9
Strike Back (10-11 pm, Cinemax)
When this action series about counterterrorism agents premiered two years ago, it turned out to be far better and more entertaining than anyone expected, so you don’t even have to call it a guilty pleasure—just watch and enjoy. Season three starts tonight.
Saturday, August 10
The White Queen (8-9 pm, Starz)
This new series is a historical drama about three women vying for the chance to reach the throne of the British Empire in the 1460s. If you’d prefer something in a similarly historic vein but more recent and American-centric, season three of AMC’s Hell on Wheels, about a Civil War soldier, a freed slave, and others involved in building the transcontinental railroad in the 1860s, begins tonight at 9.
Sunday, August 11
Breaking Bad (9-10:04 pm, AMC)
Here we go: the final eight episodes, in which we will learn Walter White’s fate. I recommend you stick around afterward for the premiere of the new crime drama Low Winter Sun, a Detroit-transplanted remake of the British series of the same name (there we go again) starring Mark Strong (who also played the lead in the original) as a detective who kills a corrupt fellow cop.
End of Watch (2012)
A gripping look at the lives of LAPD patrol officers, much more realistic than most movies of this type. Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña star.
(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.)