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TV Wasteland: Blood or Skies?
Sunday night's loggerhead of genre shows seems to have found an opening.
By Rob Vaux
June 10, 2013
TNT and HBO have finally stopped throwing their summer tent-poles against each other. True Blood and Falling Skies long shared the same spot on Sunday nights. Thankfully, TNT is airing its show later, letting fans tune in to both without tying up their DVR or waiting for reruns.
Oddly enough, Falling Skies actually seems to have much more creative juice in the tank. This third season arrived with intriguing new developments: a human settlement still in existence and a new group of aliens arriving to aid the rebels in their fight against the intergalactic invaders. True Blood, on the other hand, has been spinning its wheels for a couple of seasons, and seems to be hunting for its purpose now as a means of survival. Of course, the HBO series has a higher profile, so it can still dictate the tone on Sunday night. So TNT flinches and sets its show an hour later.
Time was, a battle like this would be a battle to the death. But now TV is so diversified – and audiences so willing to drop a given show the moment it stumbles – that networks have to exercise a little programming flexibility. Everyone needs to share the tank, in part because there’s enough room for it now. That, thankfully, ultimately means good things for us viewers, who exercise more power than ever before and still have a huge amount of television to choose from.
True Blood premieres this Sunday at 9:00 PM EDT on HBO.
Teen Wolf (MTV, 10:00 PM EDT)
A buddy of Stiles is AWOL, while Allison and Lydia go looking for Erica and Boyd. Basically everyone is looking for everyone this week.
Defiance (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
Nolan and Tommy find a man from the past, kept in cold storage while the world went and had itself an interplanetary war.
Warehouse 13 (Syfy, 10:00 PM EDT)
A volcano erupts in Arkansas, allowing two prisoners to escape and sending Bering and Latimer out to hunt them down.
The Mummy (AMC, 8:00 PM EDT and 10:45 PM EDT)
Of all the Indiana Jones rip-offs out there, this is the best. Repeats on Wednesday at the same time.
Battlefield Earth (Cinemax, 8:00 PM EDT)
No one will ever use the term “best” to describe this movie. Ever.
V for Vendetta (IFC, 8:00 PM EDT)
Alan Moore has a point, but he doesn’t need to be such a jerk about it.
Crank 2: High Voltage (IFC, 10:45 PM EDT)
Jason Statham can sell us on a lot of otherwise unpalatable shit. Case in point… Repeats on Saturday at 8:00 PM EDT.
Exit (Syfy, 10:00 PM EDT)
Contestants this week involve a pair of models, a married couple, a couple of lifeguards and a pair of exes. Um, yay?
The Mummy Returns (AMC, 8:00 PM EDT)
Not as good as the first, but I will never say no to an army of undead pygmies.
AVP: Alien vs. Predator (Cinemax, 10:05 PM EDT)
So has Cinemax just declared this Worst Movies Ever week?
Superman Returns (FX, 8:00 PM EDT)
I know this was disappointing to a lot of folks, but it really deserves more than people give it credit for. Repeats on Sunday at 8:00 PM EDT.
Dark Shadows (HBO, 8:30 PM EDT)
No complaints about dumping all over this one. It sucks.
The Hills Have Eyes (IFC, 10:15 PM EDT)
Alexandre Aja delivers one of the better remakes of the last few years. Keep it up big guy!
Ghost Hunters (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
Survey says… Shreveport! Specifically, an auditorium where the likes of Elvis Presley once performed. The King may indeed make an appearance. If we’re lucky.
Paranormal Witness (Syfy, 10:00 PM EDT)
A childless couple claims to be haunted by the ghost of their not-son. Not quite sure how that works, but I’ll bet we get a snazzy explanation.
TRON (BBC America, 8:00 PM EDT and 10:00 PM EDT)
Jeff Bridges calls this one of his favorite roles.
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (FX, 8:00 PM EDT)
And again, no one will ever refer to this as a “favorite” anything.
The Shawshank Redemption (IFC, 8:00 PM EDT)
Frank Darabout’s glorious adaptation remains the finest version of a Stephen King movie ever put to film.
The Expendables (Spike, 6:30 PM EDT)
Frankly speaking, I prefer the sequel. But this one isn’t too bad.
Hannibal (NBC, 10:00 PM EDT)
Will finds evidence that the copycat killer is still alive.
Burn Notice (USA, 9:00 PM EDT)
Michael has to head back to Miami lest his cover gets blown… even though he can’t contact his buddies there.
Bigfoot (Syfy, 7:00 PM EDT)
Sasquatch terrorizes a small town. Presumably one making lots of money by hawking cheesy souvenirs with his face on it.
Axe Giant (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
Paul Bunyon’s a monster here. Really.
Drive Angry (Showtime, 9:00 PM EDT)
William Fichtner is truly awesome, isn’t he?
The Warriors (Sundance, 10:00 PM EDT)
Seriously guys: subway tokens!
Alice in Wonderland (ABC Family, 6:00 PM EDT)
It’s not that I dislike the Tim Burton version; I’d just like them to show another version once in a while. (Check out the one with Peter Sellers as the March Hare. It’s a trip.)
Twilight (ABC Family, 8:30 PM EDT)
Yeah, like this gobbler gets any better with age.
The A-Team (FX, 6:30 PM EDT)
I’m sorry I love this film so much. I just can’t say no!
Austin Powers in Goldmember (IFC, 8:00 PM EDT)
Flop sweat is never shagadelic, baby.
Starship Troopers (IFC, 10:15 PM EDT)
Neil Patrick Harris basically held the line with this one until Harold and Kumar came along.
Continuum (Syfy, 10:00 PM EDT)
Liber8t hijacks a prison transfer, throwing Kiera and Carlos back together as they try to stop it.
Batman (BBC America, 9:00 PM EDT)
It’s a flawed film, but without Tim Burton’s dark (and at times brilliant) vision, the Caped Crusader would never have lasted long enough to get to Christopher Nolan.
Snow White and the Huntsman (Cinemax, 7:45 PM EDT)
Okay, Colleen Atwood’s costumes are gorgeous. And Charlize Theron kind of rocks the house. There. I said something nice.
Up (Disney, 8:00 PM EDT)
Pixar may have slipped a bit since 2009, but the currency that this film (and numerous others) still carries will hold them for a great deal of time to come.
Zero Hour (ABC, 8:00 PM EDT)
Please inform the dozen or so Zero Hour fans that ABC has officially begun its burn-off.
Sinbad (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
Pirates kidnap Sinbad and his crew. I’m guessing he’ll show them the error of their ways before the hour is up.
Primeval: New World (Syfy, 10:00 PM EDT)
The team checks out reports of a waterborne dinosaur, while Dylan considers an interesting job offer.
The Dark Knight Rises (HBO, 8:00 PM EDT)
Every day and in every way, we’re getting closer and closer to this scenario. Repeats on Sunday at 6:15 PM EDT.
The Amazing Spider-Man (Starz, 6:40 PM EDT)
Okay, the reboot seems to have worked. We’ll see how well they can keep it going.
Misery (Sundance, 10:00 PM EDT)
Kathy Bates’ performance hasn’t diminished at all, ranking close to Sissy Spacek’s for the best ever in a Stephen King adaptation.
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (Cinemax, 6:50 PM EDT)
They really could have had something here. Instead, they gut-shot the franchise and left it to die.
Heat (Cinemax, 10:00 PM EDT)
Nice recovery, Cinemax. We’ll forgive you for the unpleasantness earlier in the week.
Monsters, Inc. (Disney, 8:00 PM EDT)
The sequel’s cute, so the original may be worth another look.
Megamind (FMC, 7:00 PM EDT and 9:00 PM EDT)
When Will Ferrell hits his groove, it can be pretty darn awesome.
Knight and Day (FX, 10:00 PM EDT)
Tom Cruise has done his penance people; leave the man be.
Saw (Showtime, 8:00 PM EDT)
It was never that great to begin with, so I was never bent out of shape by the sequels.
The Crow (Showtime, 10:00 PM EDT)
RIP Brandon Lee. You were the very best.
National Treasure: Book of Secrets (Spike, 7:00 PM EDT and 10:00 PM EDT)
This is an incredibly stupid movie, but not an inordinately offensive one.
True Blood (HBO, 9:00 PM EDT)
Bill is Lilith. Or is he? We’re still not sure. Also, Jason does some really stupid shit. See the top of the article for more.
Falling Skies (TNT, 10:00 PM EDT)
It’s been two years since the invasion, and the humans are finally getting ready to strike back.
Robocop (BBC America, 7:00 PM EDT)
Peter Weller, ladies and gentlemen!
I, Robot (Cinemax, 8:00 PM EDT)
Will Smith is fine, but Alan Tudyk really steals this one as a domestic robot accused of murder.
Black Swan (FMC, 8:00 PM EDT and 10:30 pm EDT)
Going crazy never looked quite so incredible.
The Shining (IFC, 8:00 PM EDT)
Still flawed, still fascinating and still well worth a look.
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (Syfy, 8:00 PM EDT)
The failure of the second Narnia adaptation may have ultimately doomed the franchise, but the film itself is still pretty solid.