World Cup action continues, but this is a busy TV week with a bunch of other stuff: four new series arrive, along with half a dozen season premieres.
Monday, June 16
The Fosters (9-10 pm, ABC Family)
At least in this instance, ABC Family takes its network’s name seriously, as this winning show returns for season two. With a lower profile than channel-mates like Pretty Little Liars, The Fosters presents a postmodern family unit, made up of a married lesbian couple and their children—biological, adopted, and fostered—in a genuine and heartfelt way.
Tuesday, June 17
Fargo (10-11:32 pm, FX)
I hope people watched this miniseries, which concludes tonight, because it has been tremendously entertaining. Each week has been like a mini-movie, and creator/writer Noah Hawley has done an admirable job combining nuance and suspense while creating a world that is connected to, but distinct from, the movie on which it was based.
Also tonight: TNT favorite Rizzoli & Isles returns for season five (9-10 pm), followed by the season three premiere of Perception (10-11:01 pm).
Wednesday, June 18
Unforgiven (9:45 pm-12 am, Encore)
Westerns haven’t gotten much play in Hollywood in the past 20 years or so, but decades ago movie studios cranked out scores of Westerns a year. Clint Eastwood, star of a trilogy of 1960s Westerns directed by Sergio Leone that solidified Eastwood’s fame, directs and stars in this throwback that won the Oscar for best picture of 1992, co-starring Morgan Freeman, Gene Hackman, Frances Fisher, and Richard Harris.
Thursday, June 19
Dominion (9-10 pm, Syfy)
Some movies—in this case, 2010’s Legion—aren’t necessarily viable prospects for turning into TV series. Dominion has something to do with angels waging war against mankind, and humans being protected by the archangel Michael. You’ve been warned…
Also tonight: season two of Defiance (8-9 pm, Syfy) precedes the premiere of Dominion; arguably a better use of your time would be to ignore both of those and watch the season two premiere of Rectify (9-10 pm, Sundance).
Friday, June 20
Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America (9-10 pm, PBS)
One of America’s foremost landscape architects, Olmsted’s work includes such significant projects as Boston’s Emerald Necklace, New York’s Central Park and Prospect Park (co-designed with Calvert Vaux), Mount Royal Park in Montreal, and the grounds of the US Capitol building.
Saturday, June 21
Almost Royal (10-11 pm, BBC America)
This mock-reality series appears to be a British riff on Borat, with a pair of allegedly royal siblings touring the US for the first time. I don’t understand how people can be duped by stuff like this, but if that didn’t happen there wouldn’t be a show. Rule of thumb, though: if you meet someone who’s traveling with a camera crew, that’s probably a tipoff that something’s up. (Two-episode premiere)
Sunday, June 22
The Last Ship (9-10:03 pm, TNT)
It’s not zombies, but the premise of this new series is definitely apocalyptic: a virus has wiped out 80% of the planet’s people, and the crew of a naval ship is tasked with finding a cure. Why them? Dunno, guess they’re the only ones left that can manage it. The cast includes Eric Dane, Rhona Mitra, and Adam Baldwin. Oh, and Michael Bay is a producer.
Also tonight: The Musketeers, yet another adaptation of the Alexandre Dumas classic (9-10:15 pm, BBC America); the final season of True Blood begins (9-10 pm, HBO); and Falling Skies returns for season four (10:03-11:05 pm, TNT).
Hit & Miss (2012)
Chloë Sevigny plays Mia, an assassin for hire who also happens to be a pre-op transsexual. Also, her ex is dying and Mia has a son she didn’t know about. That’s certainly an intriguing premise, but perhaps it was a bit too far out of the mainstream for TV audiences; the show lasted only six episodes.
(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.)