What happened last week, and what to watch during the week ahead:
- This week started with an unexpected exit in the Big Brother house that eventually had awesome repercussions. Also, evicted houseguest Chima apologized for calling Russell a “terrorist,” but not for any of her other comments. VH1 pulled a series off the air and won’t air another because a cast member is wanted for murder. Also this week, cast members got naked for fame and were re-arrested for talking to the media. But most notably, two favorite competition series returned, one on a new network, which thankfully didn’t change it at all.
Just watch Animal Planet tonight: Whale Wars ends its second season [9 p.m.] and Jockeys debuts its second with new hour-long episodes [10 p.m.].
Design Star [HGTV, 10 p.m.], which is a great competition even if it is inferior to Next Food Network Star, particularly in the judging, have to design rooms for kids, and actually start hosting so we can see how they do in front of a camera. Earlier in the day, What Would Brian Boitano Make? debuts [Food Network, 1 p.m.], on which he hosts dinner parties for his friends at his house. While the series focuses on him, he won’t talk about who Brian Boitano will do.
Three finales tonight: Great American Road Trip [NBC, 8 p.m.] ends it road trip, so if you’ve been sticking with this show for some reason, you’re free after tonight; Dating in the Dark [ABC, 9 p.m.] tests a final group of people to see how shallow they are; and Cake Boss [TLC, 10 p.m.] ends its first season and also stops making me crave cake every time I watch. There are also two very different debuts: Out of Egypt [Discovery, 9 p.m.], which turns the study of ancient civilizations into a personality-driven show by following UCLA professor Kara Cooney as she explores pyramids and the like, and Rachel Zoe’s self-titled reality show [Bravo, 10 p.m.], which I watch only because she’s so ridiculous that the whole show seems like a farce, as if she was parodying an L.A. stylist. Die.
The docudrama Tiny & Toya [BET, 10 p.m.] ends its first season, and I mention it primarily because Kathy Griffin told me she’s addicted to the series, although I’ve yet to watch it. At 10:30, BET spins-off Keyshia Cole: The Way it Is with Frankie and Neffe, which follows Keyshia’s mother and sister.
ABC offers Wipeout with cars: Crash Course [9:02 p.m.], which is hosted by Orlando Jones and Dan Cortese and puts pairs of people who know each other behind the wheel in crazy courses, kind of like The Amazing Race lite. This better be a great birthday present, ABC. Top Chef Las Vegas moves to its regular timeslot [Bravo, 10 p.m.], and hopefully stops with the random immunity and other nonsense it threw out in the opening acts last week.
Indiana high schools stage expensive stage productions and compete with each other in the documentary Battle Of The High School Musicals: Guys ‘N’ Divas [Showtime, 8 p.m.]. Also on pay cable, a series of short documentary films by photographer Bruce Weber will air [Sundance Channel, 10 p.m.]. Mark Burnett’s Bully Beatdown returns [MTV, 9:30 p.m.] as part of MTV’s new block of “more insane original programming.” Watching bullies get their asses kicked is disturbingly satisfying, even if the show is really crappy.