Thursday, July 25 (Adult Swim)
Season Premieres: No advance review screeners of Adult Swim’s greatest live-action achievements not named Eagleheart were made available to The Only TV Column That Matters™, but this much is known: In Season 5 of Childrens Hospital, the doctors are relocating to a U.S. Army base in Japan (because, yeah, OK), while in Season 3 of NTSF:SD:SUV, the counter-terrorism agents will stay put in San Diego and deliver “even more civilian casualties than last season!” (but probably not more than Eagleheart). However, the biggest news for NTSF this season is that Doctor Who expat Karen Gillan is joining the cast, replacing Rebecca Romijn, who’s busy with TNT’s far-inferior cop show King & Maxwell.
Axe Cop, High School USA!
Saturday, July 27 (Fox)
Timeslot Premieres: Cable networks have tried (and miserably failed) to replicate Adult Swim, Cartoon Network’s stoners-in-the-night alter-ego, for years—but no one ever thought regular ol’ rabbit-ears TV would attempt it. Makes sense, though, that Adult’s Swim’s major rerun supplier Fox would be the first, and even get it half right. Fox Saturday’s ominously/hilariously titled Animation Domination High Definition (ADHD, get it?) is only a half-hour right now, made up of 15-minute cartoons Axe Cop (based on the kiddie-conceptualized series about an overzealous cop with an axe) and High School USA! (based on high school, presumably in the USA). Axe Cop, the lead voiced by Parks & Recreation’s Nick Offerman, nails it—and often beheads it—with the lunatic abandon of the best Adult Swim classics; High School USA! wants to be an “edgy” Archie Comics, but forgot to hire the writers to pull it off. Fortunately, more ADHD shows are coming—until then, you can amuse yourself at ADHDFox.com (also an AdultSwim.com multimedia knockoff in the making).
Celebrity Wife Swap
Sunday, July 28 (ABC)
Season Finale: Proving that ’Merica is running dangerously low on actual celebrities, Celebrity Wife Swap has somehow located pop footnotes Gerardo (“Rico Suave”) and Sisqo (“The Thong Song”) and convinced their significant others to trade households for a week—how this is the big Season Finale and not the Andy Dick/Lorenzo Lamas switch-up of a few episodes ago is beyond me. Or Gilbert Gottfried/Alan Thicke. Or “Nature Boy” Ric Flair/“Rowdy” Roddy Piper. Yes, these all happened … damn, maybe I should be watching this.
Sunday, July 28 (CBS)
Season Premiere: Remember this? Ha! Unforgettable was canceled by CBS last year, but the network reconsidered when they realized, hey, they’re CBS; if it has cops with great hair, somebody’s gonna watch it for an hour. Great-haired Poppy Montgomery still stars as Carrie Wells, an NYPD detective with the rare medical condition of being able to remember everything she’s ever seen or heard—except, subplot ahoy, who murdered her sister years ago. Season 1 suffered nagging “How exactly does this ability help with crime-solving?” and “Are we supposed to take that Nip/Tuck guy (co-star Dylan Walsh) seriously?” questions, but by now, Unforgettable has settled into a comfortable procedural-drama groove that’s at least as engaging as The Mentalist or whatever’s usually on CBS Sundays at 9. Could be a promo: “Unforgettable: Just don’t think too hard.”
New Season: Dr. Fiona Wallace’s (Lisa Kudrow) three-minute Internet-therapy biz continues for a third season; she’s (mostly) over her now-out gay Republican husband (Victor Garber) and ready to take on new patients, like a gambling addict (Matt LeBlanc), a religious cult leader (Steve Carell), her ex-husband who is now a woman (Chelsea Handler) and Project Runway judge Nina Garcia (Nina Garcia). Web Therapy is so funny, you’d be crazy not to watch. I know; I just can’t turn off the genius machine.