The summer’s TV activity continues with another batch of new shows making their debuts this week.
Monday, June 23
The Case Against 8 (9-11 pm, HBO)
HBO presents a documentary film about the efforts to overturn California’s Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage. The filmmakers followed the original plaintiffs and their attorneys over the course of five years.
Tuesday, June 24
Tyrant (10-11:30 pm, FX)
Tyrant is a new series that approaches a familiar story from a contemporary angle: the prodigal son returning to his home. In this instance, home is a fictitious Middle Eastern nation ruled by a dictator who is the son’s father. The son has stayed away for 20 years but returns for a wedding with his wife and children, and quickly gets pulled into political and familial intrigue. Howard Gordon of Homeland and 24 is one of the executive producers.
Wednesday, June 25
Taxi Brooklyn (10-11 pm, NBC)
Luc Besson’s 1998 movie Taxi, which also inspired the 2004 Queen Latifah/Jimmy Fallon disaster of the same name, gets recycled yet again as an American TV adaptation about a detective who teams up with a cab driver in pursuit of criminals. Once you get past the implausibility of the setup, the two lead actors (Chyler Leigh as the cop and Jacky Ido as the cabbie) are appealing, but it will take a few episodes to see how well this idea is executed in episodic form.
Thursday, June 26
NY Med (10-11 pm, ABC)
This outstanding documentary series about daily life of the staff at New York Presbyterian Hospital (from the same team that previously presented Boston Med and Hopkins 24/7) returns for a second season, and adds action at Newark’s University Hospital. In a more intelligent alternate universe, this would be considered reality TV and all that other garbage simply wouldn’t exist.
Friday, June 27
Funniest Wins (10-11 pm, TBS)
I overlooked last week’s premiere of this reality-competition series hosted by Marlon Wayans, in which ten aspiring comedians compete in a range of styles and situations.
Saturday, June 28
Outlaw Prophet: Warren Jeffs (8-10 pm, Lifetime)
The latest Bad Lifetime Movie stars Scandal’s Tony Goldwyn as the now-jailed leader of a polygamist sect.
Sunday, June 29
The Leftovers (10-11:15 pm, HBO)
Based on the novel by Tom Perrotta, The Leftovers examines a world where approximately 2% of the population abruptly vanished. Nearly three years later, those left behind are still struggling to understand the event and their own lives. The cast includes Justin Theroux, Amy Brenneman, Christopher Eccleston, and Liv Tyler; Lost’s Damon Lindelof, Perrotta, and Friday Night Lights’ Peter Berg are executive producers.
Also tonight: the premieres of Reckless, a legal drama with sexy-soap aspirations (9-10 pm, CBS) and the British import Vicious, starring Derek Jacobi and Ian McKellen as a cantankerous elderly gay couple (10:30-11 pm, PBS).
The IT Crowd (2006-10)
I suspect that many have already seen this relatively recent British comedy, but I need to fill this space each week and it’s a show very much worth mentioning. Roy and Moss are the two misfits who work in the IT department of Reynholm Industries; their new boss Jen doesn’t seem to know much about IT work, and the company’s chief executive seems to know very little about anything. Consistently funny and entertaining, and at times utterly hilarious, the show also helped make Chris O’Dowd a star. (Four seasons, 24 episodes total that you’ll probably want to watch more than once; there is also a series finale of sorts, “The Internet Is Coming,” available on Hulu.)
(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.)