Sure, with “True Blood,” “Girls,” “Nurse Jackie,” and more, Sunday is always overcrowded with high-end TV, 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.
“Bunheads”: Series Premiere
Monday, June 11 at 9pm on ABC Family
“Black Swan” it is not, but this new ABC Family series set at a dance school has potential to be interesting even without the whole crazy virgin/whore dichotomy — it’s the creation and marks the long-awaited return of Amy Sherman-Palladino, of the excellently chatty “Gilmore Girls.” Broadway star Sutton Foster plays Michelle, a classically trained dancer-turned-Las Vegas showgirl who ends up heading up ballet classes in a quiet coastal town after impulsively marrying a man and moving home with him. Emily Gilmore hersef, Kelly Bishop, plays Michelle’s stern mother-in-law.
David Morrissey (who was recently cast as the Governor on “The Walking Dead”) plays Detective Inspector Tom Thorne in this pair of 2010 U.K. mini-series based on the novels of Mark Billingham, making their U.S. premieres this week on Encore. A great detective but a haunted man, Thorne faces up against different brutal serial killers in the series, the first obsessed with leaving young women paralyzed, the others a pair seemingly working in tandem. Eddie Marsan, Aidan Gillen, Natascha McElhone and Sandra Oh all appear in the show, which has an uniquely ominous air unlike your usual crime dramas.
Wednesday, June 13 at 9pm on TNT
Who isn’t at least a little bit curious about this revival of the primetime soap? It is, after all, a continuation of the original series that will introduce new Ewings while bringing back original castmembers Larry Hagman (as J. R.), Linda Gray (as Sue Ellen), Patrick Duffy (as Bobby) and others — which shows an impressive devotion to continuity, or a commentary on certain post-“Dallas” careers.
Thursday, June 14 at 9pm on HBO
Directed by Jeffrey Roth (of 2007 Apollo mission documentary “The Wonder of It All”), this portrait of George H. W. Bush is produced by old friend of the family Jerry Weintraub and is slated to air two days before the former president’s 88th birthday. In other words, you shouldn’t expect anything other than fondness in “41,” which will offer the so-far unheard tale of the 41st president’s life in his own words — he hasn’t yet written a memoir.
“We Were Here”
Thursday, June 14 at 10pm on PBS
David Weissman’s heart-wrenching doc about how the AIDS epidemic affected San Francisco gets its U.S. broadcast premiere on Thursday, where it plays as part of the tail-end of this season of doc series Independent Lens. Check out our interview with the director, in which he discusses how he “realized that what would work [best] for the film I wanted to make was to really go for the depth of the individual human experience,” here.
Also worth a look: Soccer tough guy-turned-screen tough guy Vinnie Jones appears on the U.S. premiere of “Top Gear” season two (which originally ran in the U.K. in 2004) on BBC America on Monday, June 11th at 9pm; “White Heat” finishes up its first series, also on BBC America, on Wednesday, June 13th at 10pm; “Burn Notice” kicks off its sixth season on USA on Thursday, June 14th at 9pm followed by the start of the second season of “Suits” at 10pm; Andrea Blaugrund Nevins’ punk rock dad doc “The Other F Word” airs on Showtime Thursday, June 14th at 9pm.