All Times Eastern.
Sunday, Aug. 28
MTV Video Music Awards
MTV, 9pm Live
For the first time in the show’s history, the MTV VMAs will air live from New York City’s legendary Madison Square Garden. The VMAs are always fodder for water cooler talk (remember Miley’s twerking? Kanye telling Taylor Swift “Imma let you finish, but …”? Britney and Madonna’s steamy lip-lock? Lady Gaga’s meat dress?). In a year that features celebrity feuds, an ugly presidential race and the deaths of legendary performers, what will be this year’s most talked-about VMA moment?
FOX & NBC, beginning at 1pm Live
Week 3 of the NFL preseason concludes today with three nationally televised games. The Minnesota Vikings test out the new U.S. Bank Stadium against the San Diego Chargers, followed by the Houston Texans hosting the Arizona Cardinals, both on FOX. NBC has the Cincinnati Bengals at the Jacksonville Jaguars in primetime.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Pure Michigan 400
NBCSN, 2pm Live
Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Kurt Busch, Carl Edwards, Joey Logano, Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr. and other top Sprint Cup stars hope for a strong finish in today’s Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway.
Little League Baseball World Series: Championship
ABC, 3pm Live
The U.S. champion takes on the international champion today at Howard J. Lamade Stadium in South Williamsport, Pa., for the 2016 Little League World Series title.
The Last Ship: “Legacy”
Chandler comes face-to-face with his powerful enemy in a final showdown. Kara joins up with someone who can help with her mission.
The Night Of
He’s already on trial for murder and now has to call Rikers Island home—but things can, in fact, still get worse for Naz, whose case begins to crumble thanks to a controversy involving his defense team.
It’s the end of the you-know-what for Season 1 of Roadies, Showtime’s dramedy about the folks working behind the scenes on a rock ’n’ roll tour. But first, a few questions — like who will make the cut as the Staton-House Band continues on to its European dates. “The characters are dealing with the fact that one leg of the tour is over,” says creator Cameron Crowe. “There’s nervousness.” Also in flux: the romance between tour manager Bill (Luke Wilson) and his married colleague, Shelli (Carla Gugino). “They’ve been going by circus rules — now real life is intervening,” Crowe says. But soon enough, personal and professional concerns alike will be upstaged. “A seismic event occurs, and it will change lives,” Crowe promises. It’ll also create an opportunity for guest performances from major musicians, including Jackson Browne. “Ever since I started telling people I was doing a show called Roadies, they’ve said we gotta play Jackson Browne’s ‘The Load-Out,’” Crowe says. “So that’s what you’re going to hear!”
FX’s horror drama The Strain returns for a 10-episode Season 3, picking up after Nora’s (Mia Maestro) shocking death and Zack’s (Max Charles) disappearance in the Season 2 finale. Ephraim (Corey Stoll) is laser-focused on revenge in Season 3, and Setrakian (David Bradley) has the Occido Lumen and hopes the medieval book will reveal how to defeat The Master.
Murder in the First: “Rise of the Phoenix”
When a promising new clue is uncovered, Terry and Hildy push forward in hopes of finally solving the Normandy Parker conspiracy. Siletti pulls out all the stops in his crusade against the very system he championed as district attorney. Hildy’s home life continues to spiral downward as one of her own winds up in the interrogation room.
Monday, Aug. 29
Tennis: US Open, Early Rounds
ESPN, 1pm Live
The year’s last Grand Slam returns to the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens, N.Y., with US Open early rounds beginning today. Defending men’s singles champion Novak Djokovic looks to rebound after an early exit at Wimbledon. Flavia Pennetta retired after last year’s women’s singles win. ESPN and ESPN2 share tournament coverage through Sept. 11.
You know what happens to nosy fellas? They lose their noses. Determined to follow through on her latest cause, Callie (Maia Mitchell) pushes for the murder case of former foster brother Kyle to be reopened. But not everybody wants Callie finding out the truth or Kyle getting released from jail. Will it all work out? Forget it, Callie — it’s Fosters-town.
Rizzoli & Isles: “Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow”
In tonight’s penultimate episode, Jane (Angie Harmon) and Maura (Sasha Alexander) work to solve two murders — one from the past and one present day — that have deep personal connections for Korsak (Bruce McGill). As everyone prepares to move on to the next chapters of their lives, Jane gets a surprise visit that might lead to romance, and Maura gets upsetting feedback on her novel.
Odd Mom Out
Odd Mom Out may be wrapping up just its second season, but the scripted Bravo comedy about the hypercompetitive parenting scene on Manhattan’s Upper East Side has already developed its own finale tradition. “We always want to end with a party scene,” says creator and executive producer Jill Kargman, who stars as harried, potty-mouthed Jill Weber, a fictionalized version of herself. “And I’m always going to be wearing a pink dress!” In this case, she’s decked out for the vow-renewal ceremony between her materialistic in-laws, Brooke (Abby Elliott) and Lex (Sean Kleier). But the over-the-top event may not go off without a hitch when Jill locks horns with the officiant, Brooke’s idol and self-help guru, Joy Green (Molly Ringwald). “Like a lot of people who pretend to be perfect, Joy is deeply flawed,” Kargman says of the unabashedly wicked character. “Molly rocked it at being a villainess!” As if that weren’t enough to threaten the big day’s feng shui, there’s also a shocking twist that will be revealed moments before the credits roll. “Let’s just say that Joy isn’t the only party guest who wreaks havoc,” Kargman teases. “There’s an exclamation point of sheer drama!”
Tuesday, Aug. 30
BBC America, beginning at 8pm
BBC America airs all three episodes of the nature documentary series Wild Alaska tonight. See how Alaska’s abundant wildlife adapts to the seasonal changes in one of the planet’s harshest climates.
Pretty Little Liars
Following a summer of romantic betrayals, at least one possible homicide, the reveal of a secret twin and the return of several familiar faces, things are at a fever pitch as Pretty Little Liars heads toward its midseason cliffhanger. Teases executive producer Marlene King: “Heads will roll in the summer finale.”
Whether that is meant literally remains as mysterious as Uber A’s identity, but we do know that Aria (Lucy Hale) and Co. are about to encounter a fatal twist in the quest to expose their latest tormentor. “There will be an epic death,” confirms King, adding that “a Liar goes rogue” after the pressure to put an end to Uber A’s reign of terror drives the group to its breaking point. It’s not all scares and secrets. Besties Spencer (Troian Bellisario), Hanna (Ashley Benson) and Emily (Shay Mitchell) have been plagued by relationship woes but, promises King of the hour that’s both action-packed and emotional, “there is a big romantic reunion.” Still, she warns, “You’ll be left wondering the fates of several lead characters.” Again?!
Wednesday, Aug. 31
You’re the Worst
After concluding a stint as the love-struck Poussey on Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black, Samira Wiley is stepping out of her jailbird jumpsuit and into more polished attire to play Justina, troubled Gretchen’s (Aya Cash) therapist, on Season 3 of the biting comedy You’re the Worst. The offbeat, often dark romantic comedy series tells the story of Gretchen and Jimmy (Chris Geere), two imperfect people who seem perfect for each other.
Maybe she should have read the Old Testament a bit more carefully. Greenleaf wraps its premiere season with pot-stirring pastor Grace Greenleaf (Merle Dandridge) paying a devastating price after bringing shame and scandal to her family’s megachurch. You can’t really blame her. Grace busted her uncle Mac (GregAlan Williams) for pedophilia, and now the creep’s in the slammer. But this is a holy-roller world where seeking justice is high risk. “The Lord says, ‘Vengeance is mine,’ which basically means ‘It’s not your business. God will handle it,’” creator Craig Wright notes. “Grace took righteous action, and she will see the deep and lasting consequences of that.” Her revered dad, Bishop James Greenleaf (Keith David), “is hiding secrets only Mac knows about and he’s drawn into the web of culpability,” says Wright. And Grace could lose daughter Sophia (Desiree Ross) in a vicious court battle. There’s more bad news: It’s likely Mac will be back on the street next season. “Bad guys go free for inexplicable reasons,” Wright says, “and Mac is one of the most connected men in town.”