Televisualist: Aiken To Be an Apprentice
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Televisualist: Aiken To Be an Apprentice

Each week, Torontoist examines the upcoming TV listings and makes note of programs that are entertaining, informative, and of quality. Or, alternately, none of those. The result: Televisualist.

Actually, if Howard Stern did this on America's Got Talent, we'd appreciate him more.


America’s Got Talent is back, and they’ve made a change! This time around, Piers Morgan is gone and replacing him is none other than Howard Stern, which at last answers the eternal question of “is there any situation where replacing a person with Howard Stern would actually be trading up?” Turns out the answer is yes! We know, we were shocked too. (City, 8 p.m.)

American Masters this week celebrates Johnny Carson, and, while we are the first to say that old Carson clips from The Tonight Show never fail to be entertaining, what the hell else are they going to play other than clips and maybe some talking-head interviews from celebrities who loved him? There is not going to be a secret murder basement in this, is our point. And if there were a secret murder basement, it would be tastefully decorated and Ed McMahon would laugh comfortably while wielding a scourge. (PBS, 9 p.m.)

It’s summertime! How do we know this? Because The Bachelorette is back for an eighth season of bacheloretting (or whatever the transitive verb is for participating in this show). This season’s bachelorette is Emily Maynard, who is the second bachelorette on the show because she was rejected by Brad “I own a bar!” Womack in Season 15 of The Bachelor and the third to be rejected by Womack overall (since he has been on the show as the bachelor twice). Really, they could do a spin-off show called Rejected by Womack. It would work! In the sense that any of these shows “work,” anyhow. (OMNI-1, 9:30 p.m.)

Wedding-themed fat joke, wedding-themed fat joke, wedding-themed fat joke. Fat-themed wedding joke! Fat joke, fat joke, wedding joke, wedding joke, fat-themed wedding joke. Wedding-themed fat joke, fat joke, fat joke, wedding joke, fat joke! Fat-themed wedding joke. Fat joke, fat joke, wedding joke (ethnic or racial joke), fat joke, wedding joke, wedding-themed fat joke, Mike & Molly, fat joke. (CTV, 9:30 p.m.)


Fashion Star ends! We know, you forgot it was on! So did we. (NBC, 10 p.m.)

Canada Sings, Global’s dorky-but-fun little choral-competition show, returns for a second season. Tonight: the Ontario Provincial Police versus WestJet. It would be more awesome if they were battling each other with things other than song, because the OPP would have guns but WestJet would be able to crash jumbo jets into things. But song will do. (10 p.m.)


Backyard Inventors is a new show on Discovery about—wait, what? It’s not on Discovery Channel? It’s on W? But it has “Inventors” in the title of the show! Isn’t there a rule that any show about inventors that is also called, in part, “Inventors,” has to be on the Discovery Channel? Someone tell Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman about this! (9 p.m.)


NBC has announced that it is bringing back Community and 30 Rock for 13-episode seasons in the fall, which on the one hand is good (more episodes) but on the other hand is bad (only 13 episodes each? And Community is moving to Fridays?). The industry scuttlebutt seems to be that 30 Rock will end after its 13-episode run, but that Community might end up getting a full-season order once the rest of NBC’s new shows fail (as they most likely will—because come on, it’s NBC). Which makes tonight’s season finales for Community and 30 Rock all the more fraught with fraughtness, if you are a fan of quality television. (City, Community at 8, 9 and 9:30 p.m., 30 Rock at 8:30 p.m.)

The Simpsons rerun of the week: “A Midsummer’s Nice Dream,” wherein Cheech and Chong split up and form comedy teams with Homer and Principal Skinner, respectively. (We present this as a curiosity rather than as a recognition of excellence.) “Who the hell are Cheech and Chong?” “Bart, Cheech and Chong were the Beavis and Butthead of their day.” “Who are Beavis and Butthead?” (Fox, 11 p.m.)


Harry’s Law comes to an end, as the show in its second season rapidly became Just Another Law Show by David E. Kelley (leaving the shoe-store setting and going to a Proper Law Firm Office was not the wisest move this show could have made), and there’s a reason Boston Legal came to an end. Oh well—Kathy Bates will have to go find something else to be awesome in. This show didn’t deserve her. (Global, 9 p.m.)

Okay, total moment of critical ignorance here: Televisualist gave up on Grimm after three episodes because it sucked. But the show has been renewed for a second season and we have been hearing rumblings that maybe what we had here was a “first season of Buffy” situation, where a show stumbles out of the blocks but then improves as it builds up its own mythology. Is that what’s happened here? Does anybody who reads this column watch the show? Because we genuinely have no idea. (CTV, 9 p.m.)

The Weekend

It’s the 2012 Billboard Music Awards, or “the ones where the winners are determined by who sold the most records,” so, really, it’s not that much of an awards ceremony when you think about it. After all, the winners already won. Because, hopefully, they got money for selling records. And if they didn’t, well—maybe they got some groupies or something. Probably they did. (ABC, 8 p.m. Sunday)

Celebrity Apprentice concludes, as Aubrey O’Day, Clay Aiken, and Arsenio Hall are the remaining competitors. In case you’re wondering, O’Day is competing on behalf of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, Hall is competing for the Magic Johnson Foundation and Aiken is competing for the National Inclusion Project. Isn’t that nice? Well, no, but it would probably be nice if Donald Trump wasn’t involved. (NBC, 9 p.m. Sunday)

Keeping Up With the Kardashians returns for a seventh oh god my eyes can’t stop the bleeding! (E!, 9 p.m. Sunday)