What to watch on Thursday, July 11...
SERIES PREMIERE, 12:01am PT, Netflix
Orange Is the New Black
Arrested on drug charges 10 years after the fact, an upper-crust woman (Taylor Schilling) adjusts to hardscrabble life in the minimum-security clink in this dramedy from Weeds creator Jenji Kohan, based on the memoir by Piper Kerman. Also starring Jason Biggs, Kate Mulgrew, and Laura Prepon, the series rolls out its full 13-episode first season today.
SERIES PREMIERE, 8pm, USA
For the second time in as many days, the NBC Universal family of networks foists a sleepaway-themed program upon the summer viewing schedule. This one takes the form of a competitive reality show in which 16 adult cabin-dwellers test their mettle at canoeing and arts-and-crafts-ing and the like. I for one hope this genre becomes a hit, if only to expedite a DVD/streaming release of Salute Your Shorts.
MOVIE PREMIERE, 9pm, Syfy
Son, exactly what part of “Sharknado” do you need explained to you? Cataclysmic storms descend upon the Pacific Ocean, Hoover up a few toothy battalions, sidle on over to L.A., and hurl their carnivorous payload straight at people’s faces. Couldn’t be simpler.
When you’re a spy show, sometimes your heroes need to stage a daring escape from certain doom. So Michael and one of Burke’s associates must concoct an “Exit Plan” to vacate Cuba, all with a lethal counterintelligence expert nipping at their heels. Fiona may lend a hand too, if Strong is able to strongarm her, and if they can run the blockade of shark-laden tornadoes patrolling the Straits of Florida.
A health food guru is electrocuted in his hot tub in “Public Enemy.” If Flynn and Vega were on a different cop show, they might observe that it’s rare for the victim in a case to be the one who gets... charged. Then a particularly irked sharknado would lob a hammerhead right at their jugulars, because sharks detest puns.
Troubled youths abound in “The Kids Are Not Alright”: Andy and Gail become enmeshed in the travails of a teenage boy they find trussed up in the trunk of a car. Swarek, Oliver, and Chris pursue the shooter of a potentially gang-connected 16-year-old. And everyone learns that adolescents can be lethal when those adolescents are sharks and also are joyriding through town on a big-ass twister.
In “O-Mouth,” Mike dives deeper into Bello’s crew while Briggs and Charlie assume the guise of a libidinous couple in order to investigate a drug supplier. Coincidentally, “O-Mouth” is the nom de guerre of the local sharknado’s most decorated squad commander.
Selecting the right roommate is as difficult as it is crucial, so Ryan enlists Wilfred’s help doing just that in “Shame.” After all, you’ve got to find someone who will reliably pay their share of the rent, manage their share of the chores, and fend off their share of the cyclone-flung sharks that periodically lay siege to the place.
Sullivan & Son
Steve gets into the community spirit when he coaches the bar’s youth hockey team in “Winning is Everything.” But that spirit is quickly supplanted by bitter competitiveness when he learns another coach is a long-time rival. Off the ice, Ok Cha encounters her would-be “free pass” paramour: a strapping mako shark majestically astride a whirling dervish.
SERIES PREMIERE, 10pm, NBC
Hollywood Game Night
A proud network tradition—pairing celebrities with regular folk and letting game show hilarity ensue—is revived in this party game competition hosted by Jane Lynch. Tonight’s contestants will vie for a $25,000 prize with the help of Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry, Kristen Bell, Martin Short, Daniel Dae Kim, and Alyson Hannigan. Hopefully the games include a full-cast round of Werewolf, except instead of a werewolf the secret player is a... well, you’ve picked up on tonight’s theme by now.
– John Malkovich, Derek Waters, and Skillet on Conan, 11pm, TBS
– Helen Mirren, Ben Schwartz, and The Olms on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, 11:35pm, NBC
– Kevin James, Shaun White, and Darius Rucker on Late Show with David Letterman, 11:35pm, CBS
– Jeff Bridges, designer Jeff Lewis, and Capital Cities on Jimmy Kimmel Live, 11:35pm, ABC
– Salma Hayek Pinault, Charlie Day, April Bloomfield, and Chrisette Michele on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, 12:37am, NBC
– Maria Bello and Scott Adsit on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, 12:37am, CBS