Pirates, computer developers and more debut this week
A quartet of new scripted shows hit the air this week, divided evenly between comedies and dramas and broadcast and cable networks.
First up are the two broadcast offerings, both on NBC: “Undateable” at 9 p.m. Thursday and “Crossbones” at 10 p.m. Friday.
“Undateable,” which, based on the trailer, does not look especially great but certainly better than its title suggests, is a sitcom from “Scrubs” and “Cougar Town” creator Bill Lawrence. I’m willing to give it a shot because it stars Chris D’Elia and Briga Heelan, who I enjoyed in “Whitney” and “Ground Floor,” respectively.
D’Elia stars as Danny, a confident guy who decides to help his roommate, Justin, and Justin’s three nerdy pals overcome the habits and flaws that Danny proclaims makes them “undateable.” Heelan is the bartender at Justin’s bar who he’s crushing on, and Bianca Kajilch (“Rules of Engagement”) rounds out the cast as Danny’s recently divorced sister. It debuts with back-to-back episodes.
“Crossbones,” on the other hand, is a pirate drama that’s heavy on the action and deceit. It stars John Malkovich (“In the Line of Fire”) as the ruthless pirate legend Blackbeard and Richard Coyle (“Covert Affairs”) as Tom Lowe, the man who faces off against him.
Blackbeard covets a Longitude Chronometer, which is billed as “an invention that will change the world,” and tries to have it stolen. On board the ship with the device is Lowe, an undercover English spy sent to keep it out of pirate hands — and possibly assassinate Blackbeard. He’s taken prisoner back to Blackbeard’s secret island, and there, the battle between the two begins.
Next, AMC premieres the drama “Halt and Catch Fire” at 10 p.m. Sunday. Set in the ’80s, it’s a fictional account of “a visionary, an engineer and a prodigy” who jump into the personal computing fray and try to create a PC that will rival IBM’s. Lee Pace (“Pushing Daisies”) is the visionary, Scoot McNairy (“Non-Stop”) is the engineer and Mackenzie Davis (“That Awkward Moment”) is the prodigy. The show’s name comes from a programming instruction that would cause a CPU to stop functioning.
If you can’t wait until Sunday, you can see the first of the 10 episodes on AMC’s Tumblr page (amctv.tumblr.com) through Saturday.
Finally, TV Land rolls out a new sitcom, “Jennifer Falls,” at 10:30 p.m. Wednesday. Jaime Pressley (“My Name is Earl”) stars as the titular Jennifer, a single mom whose life goes awry when she loses her high-powered job, forcing her to move in with her mom (Jessica Walter, “Arrested Development”) and work at the sports bar owned by her brother (Ethan Suplee, also of “My Name is Earl”) and sister-in-law (Nora Kirkpatrick, “Greek”). Missi Pyle (“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”) plays her former best friend, who now has a bit of a grudge against her.
There’s also a new reality show premiering on ABC: “Sing Your Face Off,” which begins at 9 p.m. Saturday and airs back-to-back episodes for the next three weeks. In it, five celebrities (Skid Row singer Sebastian Bach, soap star Lisa Rinna, comedian Jon Lovitz, Disney Channel star China Anne McClain and NBA player Landry Fields) are transformed each episode into an iconic (according to ABC) musician, being made over and coached to look and perform like them. Some of the folks they’ll portray are Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Michael Jackson, Pavarotti, Pitbull, Britney Spears and Tina Turner.
Despite NBC advertising back-to-back “Growing Up Fisher” episodes for last Wednesday, the show was pre-empted for the World Music Awards. NBC’s press site still has the episodes scheduled as airing May 28 and has no other upcoming airings listed, so it’s unclear if those last two episodes will ever air.
Reality series premieres: “The Savage Line,” 10 p.m. Thursday, National Geographic (outdoorsmen protect professionals working in the wild); “No Limits,” 8 p.m. Friday, Animal Planet (wrestler “Showtime” Eric Young has adrenaline-pumping adventures); “Ice Holes,” 10 p.m. Friday, National Geographic (friends who are competitive ice fishermen); “Mystery Millionaire,” 10 p.m. Friday, WE (millionaires go undercover to find love); “My Tiny Terror,” 9 p.m. Saturday, Animal Planet (training troublesome small dogs); “Flex & Shanice,” 10 p.m. Saturday, OWN (the financially-troubled couple and their kids share a house with extended family); “The Real Housewives of Atlanta: Kandi’s Wedding,” 8 p.m. Sunday, Bravo; “Return to Amish,” 9 p.m. Sunday, TLC (“Breaking Amish” spin-off, cast catch-up special at 8 p.m.); “Last Seen Alive,” 9 p.m. Sunday, ID (people search for missing family members); “Copycat,” 6:30 p.m. Monday, MTV (singing competition with contestants performing as their musical idols); “Ladies of London,” 10 p.m. Monday, Bravo (British socialites and rich American ex-pats in the city); “Famous in 12,” 8 p.m. Tuesday, CW (a family of entertainers moves to L.A. to try to become famous); “Untying the Knot,” 10 p.m. Tuesday, Bravo (divorce mediation); “Cry Wolfe,” 10 p.m. Tuesday, ID (a private investigator solves cases); “Siberian Cut,” 10 p.m. Wednesday, Discovery (American loggers in Siberia).
Season premieres: “Our America with Lisa Ling,” 10 p.m. Thursday, OWN (final season); “Marriage Boot Camp,” 9 p.m. Friday, WE (this season features reality TV couples); “Bet on Your Baby,” 8 p.m. Saturday, ABC; “Mountain Men,” 9 p.m. Sunday, History; “Food Network Star,” 9 p.m. Sunday, Food Network; “Longmire,” 10 p.m. Monday, A&E; “Mistresses,” 10 p.m. Monday, ABC; “American Restoration,” 10 p.m. Monday, History; “Storage Wars,” 9 p.m. Tuesday, A&E; “Restaurant Stakeout,” 9 p.m. Wednesday, Food Network.
Returning: “Enlisted,” 7 p.m. Sunday, Fox (four episodes remain); “Beauty and the Beast,” 9 p.m. Monday, CW; “Top Gear,” 9 p.m., and “American Restoration,” 10 p.m. Monday, History.
New timeslot: “Whose Line is it Anyway?” 8 p.m. Monday, CW.
Season finales: “Total Divas,” 10 p.m. Sunday, E!; “Giuliana & Bill,” 8 p.m. Tuesday, E!; “Celebrity Wife Swap,” 10 p.m. Tuesday, ABC; “Inside Amy Schumer,” 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, Comedy Central; “The 100,” 9 p.m. Wednesday, CW (part one of two); “Deal with It,” 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, TBS.
Specials: “2014 CMT Music Awards,” 8 p.m. Wednesday, CMT (hosted by Kristen Bell with performances by Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood, Blake Shelton and more); “D-Day Sacrifice,” 9 p.m. Wednesday, National Geographic (examining the crucial moments from the months leading up to D-Day through the liberation of Paris).
Reach Amy Robinson at email@example.com.