Sunday always feels overcrowded with high-end TV (including Aaron Sorkin’s “The Newsroom,” which starts this week on the 24th), but what to watch the rest of the time? Each Monday, we bring you this guide to five noteworthy highlights from the other six days of the week.
“One Nation Under Dog: Stories of Fear, Loss and Betrayal”
Monday, June 18 at 9pm on HBO
HBO’s summer doc season kicks off with this look at our complex relationship with man’s best friend from trio of filmmakers Jenny Carchman, Ellen Goosenberg Kent and Amanda Micheli. “One Nation Under Dog: Stories of Fear, Loss and Betrayal,” which premiered at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival, looks at case studies small and large, going from shelters to the horrors of a puppy mill to a Florida couple who spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to clone a beloved pet.
This four-part British heist series stars Steven Mackintosh (“Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels”), rapper Ashley Walters and former boxer Warren Brown as a trio of men working in a cash counting house who decide they want their own piece of the action. Written by Tony Basgallop (of “Being Human”) “Inside Men” differs from the usual crime dramas in attempting to take the perspective of everyday workers who have to figure out how to be criminal and what it means to cross that line.
Wednesday, June 20 at 10pm on Comedy Central
Matt Groening’s delightful animated sci-fi comedy returns with a one-hour premiere for a seventh season of what’s been an erratic run spanning networks, cancelations and TV movies. This season in the strange lives of Fry, Leela, Bender, Hermes, Amy, Zoidberg and the Professor will, like “Breaking Bad,” be split into two, with the first 13-episode half kicking off with a double-feature on June 20th and the second half set to air in 2013. Not confusing at all! Here’s hoping this new season will have something to equal last season’s wonderful time travel episode “The Late Philip J. Fry.”
The new season of PBS doc series POV kicks off with Jennifer Fox’s film about exiled Tibetan Buddhist master Chögyal Namkhai Norbu and his Western-born son, Yeshi. While both POV and Independent Lens have faced scrutiny for schedule changes this year that have made the series hard to find for viewers in some areas, the line-up of films POV has on offer make it well worth seeking out, wherever it’s ended up on your local station. Fox raised an astounding $154,456 for “My Reincarnation” on Kickstarter — read about her experience here.
Thursday, June 21 at 10:30pm on FX
This surreal comedy starring Elijah Wood as a suicidal man who befriends a dog he for inexplicable reasons sees as a pot-smoking, beer-drinking dude (Jason Gann) in a canine costume, official returns for its second season on Thursday, June 28 at 10pm. FX is offering a sneak peek of the season premiere “Progress” this week — you can also stream the episode online at Hulu.
Also worth a look: “Sons of Anarchy” creator Kurt Sutter’s reality venture “Outlaw Empires” wraps up its run on Discovery with a look at the Aryan Brotherhood on Monday, June 18th at 10pm; TCM offers up four film written by Dalton Trumbo on Tuesday, June 19th starting with “Spartacus” at 8pm and going on to “The Brave One,” “The Boss” and “He Ran All the Way”; Cedric the Entertainer returns to TV with “Hot in Cleveland” spin-off “The Soul Man,” in which he plays an R&B singer-turned-reverend who moves to St. Louis with his family, starting Wednesday, June 20th at 10pm; Courtney Cox makes her feature directorial debut with Lifetime Original Movie “Talhotblonde,” starring Garret Dillahunt as a family man who gets pulled into a world of online gambling and chat room flirtation, on Saturday, June 23rd at 8pm.