TV Best Bets

Thursday, June 18: Baron Vaughn Hosts ‘Syfy Wire’s The Great Debate’

Richie Knapp/SYFY

All Times Eastern.

Thursday, June 18

Syfy Wire’s The Great Debate
Syfy, 11pm
New Series!

Baron Vaughn (Grace and Frankie) hosts this series based on the popular Comic-Con event, in which a rotating panel of celebrities unleash their inner geeks to debate the most burning questions in sci fi, fantasy, horror, comic books and related genres. A droid sidekick named DB-8 will be on hand to fact-check as panelists try to settle once and for all questions like “Who’d be a worse boss — Darth Vader or the Joker?” before a live audience. Eight episodes that completed filming before the coronavirus pandemic shut down production will air.

A Whisker Away
Original Film!

In this fanciful anime film, bright and energetic young Miyo is secretly in love with classmate Kento. When Kento repeatedly takes no notice of her, Miyo realizes that the only way to get close to him is to transform into a cat. But at some point, the boundary between herself and the cat becomes ambiguous, and she is forced to give up her life as a human.

Golf: RBC Heritage: First Round
Golf Channel, 3pm Live

Originally scheduled for April, the PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage tees off Thursday at Harbour Town at Sea Pines Resort on Hilton Head Island, S.C. There will be no spectators on the course, and only players, caddies and essential tournament personnel are permitted on-site. Golf Channel and CBS combine to televise the tournament through Sunday.

Council of Dads: “Dear Dad”
NBC, 8pm

Robin (Sarah Wayne Callies) and the Council agree to tell Luly (Michele Weaver) a shocking truth, and she takes matters into her own hands. Sam (David Walton) does his best to support Robin, and she finds herself falling for him despite the chaos in her life. Meanwhile, Oliver (J. August Richards) and Peter (Kevin Daniels) finally decide to adopt, but learn some sobering news about the birth mother.

Bully. Coward. Victim. The Story of Roy Cohn
HBO, 9pm
Director Ivy Meeropol examines the life of the infamous attorney who prosecuted her grandparents, convicted spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, in the 1950s. With newly discovered archival material, the film traces Cohn’s career from his role in the McCarthy hearings to his death from AIDS in 1986.

Killer Couples
Oxygen, 8pm
Season Premiere!

The gripping true-crime series launches Season 14 with the case of Kelsey Berreth. In 2018, the Colorado mom went missing as her manipulative fiancé was having a clandestine romance.

Labor of Love: “40 Year Old… Fathers”
FOX, 9pm

The dating show continues to put Kristy’s suitors through their paces as potential papas. Tonight: Who can endure a labor simulation the longest? And with the fewest number of bleeps?

Mountain Men: “Beasts of Burden”
History, 9pm

Backcountry bravery abounds in this hour of the long-running reality staple. Ozarks bladesmither Jason Hawk weathers a serious cut on the job; mountain-lion hunter Jake Herak saves his dogs from a pack of wolves in Montana; and Idaho’s Youren brothers, modern-day frontiersmen, break a feisty colt.

Blindspot: “Fire & Brimstone”
NBC, 9pm

When Ice Cream (David Clayton Rogers), the Icelandic fixer, returns to collect his debt, the team is forced into a life-and-death race around the world to solve a series of puzzles and recover the infamous stolen Gardner paintings.

Broke: “The Test”
CBS, 9:30pm
Guest Star Alert!

Cheech Marin guest-stars as Luis’ (Izzy Diaz) dad, Don Dominguez, in the new episode “The Test.” Don, who works for Javier’s (Jaime Camil) wealthy father, has come to check on how Javier has handled being cut off financially.

Total Recall
AMC, 10pm
Catch a Classic!

In director Paul Verhoeven’s 1990 sci-fi/action classic set in the not-too-distant future, Arnold Schwarzenegger plays a man who takes a virtual trip to Mars and finds that the experience has altered his mind. Another personality emerges, telling him that people are after him and that he must go to Mars for real. Which personality is the right one, though? Sharon Stone also stars in this film filled with so much nonstop action that you may be struggling to catch your breath every bit as much some of the Mars inhabitants are when their atmosphere is turned off by Ronny Cox’s sinister Cohaagen.

Top Chef: “Finito!”
Bravo, 10pm
Season Finale!

In an epic Italian showdown, the final three All Stars cook the meal of their lives in an effort to take home the ultimate title and prize. To win, they’ll need to impress not only the judges — Tom, Padma, Gail and Nilou Motamed — but also culinary superstars Mauro Colagreco, Clare Smyth, Marcus Samuelsson, Janice Wong, Tony Mantuano, eighth-generation Italian butcher Dario Cecchini and Food & Wine magazine’s Hunter Lewis. It’s a fight to the bitter end, but only one will finally be crowned Top Chef.

Yum and Yummer: “Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner”
Cooking Channel, 10pm

Heading back to his Southern roots, Eddie Jackson is on the hunt for the best chicken dinners. Taking comfort food to the next level, these favorite dishes are trashy, messy and spicy. Winner, winner, it’s chicken for dinner!

The Bold Type: “Snow Day”
Freeform, 10pm

A blizzard hits NYC, and Kat is trapped at her new job with her nemesis. Sutton struggles to balance her career and relationship. Jane tries to emulate Jacqueline’s leadership with her new staff. Oliver comes face-to-face with his ex.

Alone: “The Rock House”
History, 10pm

The participants get to work building shelters that can make it for the long haul. One person chooses the security of stone to give him the protection he needs from the elements, while another can’t find the right place to call home. Others turn their attention to procuring food, inadvertently drawing the attention of dangerous predators.

Destination Fear: “Behind the Screams”
Travel Channel, 10pm

In this hourlong special, Dakota and Chelsea Laden, Tanner Wiseman, and Alex Schroeder look back together at some of their scariest, most insane and sometimes outrageous moments to date from their haunted road trip series. Plus, they’ll answer viewer-submitted questions, give insider information and insights, and offer up some bonus footage and evidence.

Friday, June 19

Father Soldier Son

This intimate documentary from The New York Times follows one military family over the course of 10 years in an intergenerational exploration of the meaning of sacrifice, purpose and American manhood in the aftermath of war.

Ovation, 12pm

In today’s double blast from British TV past, sexy, stressed-out forensic pathologist Iain McCallum (John Hannah) begins Season 2, from 1997-98, clearing a colleague and investigating organ harvesting.

Directed by Nicholas Ray
TCM, beginning at 8pm
Catch a Classic!

Influential film director Nicholas Ray is celebrated tonight with three of his most memorable films. First up is his most famous work, Rebel Without a Cause (1955), the classic drama about troubled suburban teens starring James Dean, Natalie Wood and Sal Mineo. Ray also developed the story for this film, which earned him his only Oscar nomination. The night continues with Ray’s first feature, the film noir They Live by Night (1949), and with another noir, In a Lonely Place (1950), which stars Humphrey Bogart and Gloria Grahame.

Winner Cake All: “A Candy-Coated Wedding”
Cooking Channel, 9pm

Giada De Laurentiis welcomes four teams of cake-makers and challenges them to make an over-the-top, candy-themed cake decoration. One team is sent home, and the remaining three meet their VIP clients, the founders of gourmet candy company Sugarfina. With impressive feats of design and engineering, the teams wow their clients, but only one can win $10,000 and the honor of presenting their cake on the couple’s big day.

Dino Hunters
Discovery Channel, 9pm
New Series!
Ranchers in Wyoming, Montana and the Dakotas have found a new way to bolster their profits — hunting for dinosaur fossils. The more complete the skeleton, the bigger the payday, all the way up to millions of dollars.

Great Performances: “Ann”
PBS, 9pm

Enjoy a powerful and revealing look at legendary, larger-than-life Texas governor Ann Richards, who enriched the lives of her followers, friends and family, in this critically acclaimed play written by and starring Emmy Award winner Holland Taylor.

Sherman’s Showcase: “Black History Month Spectacular”
AMC, 10pm & IFC, 11pm
Fictional legendary variety show host Sherman McDaniels (co-creator Bashir Salahuddin) presents the Sherman’s Showcase one-hour “Black History Month Spectacular.” The witty, irreverent and wholly original special honors historic African-American icons both past and present, alongside superheroes, period dramas, vampires and a very special re-imagining of the cult film The Last Dragon. Special guest stars in the spectacular include rapper Phonte Coleman, Michael Ealy, Jemele Hill, Lil Rel Howery, Terrence J, John Legend, Vic Mensa, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, Bresha Webb, Tom Sandoval, Tom Schwartz, Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter, Tyrin Turner, Mario Van Peebles and more.

Saturday, June 20

Dad Food Weekend
Food Network, 8am
Prep for your Father’s Day feast. Today’s six-hour marathon includes new episodes of The Kitchen — chef Jeff Mauro cooks with his dad — and Barefoot Contessa: Cook Like a Pro. Sunday’s batch has a new patty-melts-and-disco-fries installment of Valerie’s Home Cooking.

FXM, 11:20am
Catch a Classic!

Raquel Welch plays the title role — Fathom Harvill, a skydiver turned secret agent — in this cult-classic 1967 British spy comedy that cashed in on a newly popular film genre ushered in by the James Bond movies of the era. Lorenzo Semple Jr., who wrote for the Batman TV show in the ’60s, brings similar camp to these proceedings. The film looks gorgeous, colorfully shot by acclaimed cinematographer Douglas Slocombe, although, if we’re being fair, Welch would look fantastic even if she were shot by a high school AV student using an old Betamax camera.

Ford v Ferrari
HBO, 8pm
Based on a true story, this Best Picture nominee released last year stars Matt Damon as American racecar designer Carroll Shelby and Christian Bale as British driver Ken Miles. In the 1960s, Shelby is hired by the Ford Motor Company to design a car that will beat the indomitable Ferrari at the Le Mans race in France. Is Shelby’s GT40 up to the task? Can Shelby convince Ford that Miles is the right driver? And will this high-octane challenge change auto racing history? (Affirmative on that last one at least.)

Love Under the Olive Tree
Hallmark Channel, 9pm
Original Film!

Nicole (Tori Anderson) has plans to expand her family’s Northern California olive oil business until childhood crush Jake Brandini (Benjamin Hollingsworth), heir apparent to the neighboring ranch and her biggest competitor, discovers the land Nicole wants to build on may belong to his family. When a local judge decides to resolve the dispute by awarding the land to the winner of the upcoming olive oil competition, the flames are further fanned, but Nicole and Jake begin to find common ground as the big competition looms.