BET Awards 14, live awards show from 8 to 10pm on BET
– Chris Rock hosts, while smoothies like Usher and Lionel Richie perform.
Reckless, series premiere at 9pm on CBS
– Reckless is a sultry legal drama set in Charleston, S.C., where a gorgeous Yankee litigator and a charming southern attorney must hide their intense mutual attraction as a police sex scandal threatens to tear the city apart. Jamie Sawyer is enviously cool, confident and armed with south side of Chicago street-smarts as she takes on the good ol’ boys in the South. Her handsome courtroom rival is Roy Rayder, a divorced father of two, embodies the Old South and is the newly minted City Attorney, thanks to his influential former father-in-law, Dec Fortnum. When disgraced cop Lee Anne Marcus hires Jamie to represent her in a lawsuit against the police department, Jamie and Roy discover that Lee Anne is at the epicenter of a sinister case with dire implications for the members of the Charleston PD. Heading that department is Deputy Chief Holland Knox, a family man who radiates integrity. Working under him are Terry McCandless, a cocky and corrupt detective, and Preston Cruz, Jamie’s well-respected boyfriend who might not be all that he appears. Helping Jamie is her confidante and paralegal, Vi Briggs, an expert at digging up case-winning information. As Jamie and Roy spar in and out of the courtroom, dark secrets simmer behind every door and threaten to tarnish the genteel facade of seductive Charleston.
The Leftovers, series premiere at 10pm on HBO
– Two percent of the global population mysteriously vanishing feels like not enough, because let’s be honest: You’d need at least 20 percent to get shorter bathroom lines. Still, on HBO’s big new gambit, enough people disappear to demonstrate the existence of a higher power. As a result, the town of Mapleton is existentially bummed — particularly a police chief (Justin Theroux) who’s left to deal with a rebellious daughter and a creepy cult. ”There’s this level of surreal where these people don’t really live in the world that I live in,” says showrunner Damon Lindelof, who guarantees real drama with sci-fi sprinkles sure to have fans of his last show, Lost, debating questions like, What’s up with the dogs?
Vicious, series premiere at 10:30pm on PBS
– Vicious tells the story of partners Freddie (Ian McKellen) and Stuart (Derek Jacobi), who have lived together in a small central London flat for nearly 50 years. Constantly picking each other apart and holding on to petty slights for decades, Freddie and Stuart are always at each other’s throats, cracking snide remarks aimed at the other’s age, appearance and flaws. However, underneath their vicious, co-dependent fighting, they have a deep love for one another. Freddie and Stuart are often joined by feisty best friend Violet (Frances de la Tour, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”) and Ash (Iwan Rheon, Game of Thrones), their young, upstairs neighbor.
Monday, June 30th
Under the Dome, season premiere at 10pm on CBS
– The only reason to watch this small-town snow-globe anti-thriller is Dean Norris (Breaking Bad). But it’s a good reason: His character, local tyrant Big Jim, is the lone character with any meat. You live for the moments when he gets to yell at an irksome ghost, more peevish than scared: ”Shut up and be dead! I’m busy.” Beyond him, Dome remains bland and opaque, running on lo-fi sci-fi. (Why does anything happen? Because the Dome.) Let’s hope for more Big Jim and less everything else.
Tuesday, July 1st
30 for 30: Soccer Stories –White, Blue and White, sports documentary premiere at 8pm on ESPN
– Even those not gripped by World Cup influenza (you should be ashamed of yourselves!) will still be sucked into this absorbing doc, which lets Argentinean footballers Ossie Ardiles and Ricky Villa tell their touching story. Against their will, the tight-knit teammates’ careers were repeatedly interrupted by politics: They won the ’78 World Cup for — and, controversially, in — dictator-ruled Argentina. Then they played for England’s Tottenham…just as the U.K. and Argentina were about to fight over the Falkland Islands. ”The country I was born in was at war with the country that had adopted me,” says Ardiles. Internationally, they became symbols, but Ossie and Ricky just wanted to play soccer. Seeing how they found support in each other, and from fans in both countries, reminds us why it’s a beautiful game on and off the pitch.
Drunk History, season premiere at 10pm on Comedy Central
– Based on the award-winning and wildly popular web series, Drunk History is the liquored-up narration of our nation’s history. Host Derek Waters, along with an ever-changing cast of inebriated storytellers and top actors and comedians, travels across the country to reenact the rich tales that every city in this land has to offer. Booze helps bring out the truth. It’s just that sometimes the truth is a little incoherent.
Nathan for You, season premiere at 10:30pm on Comedy Central
– Nathan Fielder is a business advisor who implements strategies that no traditional consultant would dare attempt. Whether it’s creating a coffee shop called Dumb Starbucks, inventing a poo-flavored yogurt or staging an elaborate video where a pig saves a goat, no idea is too daring. And while Nathan’s efforts may not always succeed, they always have big results. This is Nathan For You.
Biker Battleground Phoenix, series premiere at 10pm on History
– Phoenix, Arizona—where the country’s top motorcycle builders compete day and night. It’s a dog-eat-dog world, where buyers are willing to pay upwards of $150,000 for a fully-customized, one-of-a-kind ride. Biker Battleground Phoenix follows the temperamental and talented bad boys of the bike business. In their world, showcases are for pride and bragging rights, competition is cutthroat and money talks. When egos and passion collide, the aftershocks echo across town. They don’t follow trends–they set them. No tactic is off limits and no move is too corrupt. From stealing ideas and poaching employees to public bashing on social media, these guys will do whatever it takes to give themselves and their shops the ultimate edge over the rest.
Wednesday, July 2nd
American Grilled, series premiere at 10pm on Travel Channel
– We’re traveling across America to discover the best and boldest flavors competitors can fire up on their grills in this ultimate, outdoor cooking challenge. From the Virginia countryside where whole hogs are a classic, to Maryland’s Eastern Shore where blue crabs are legendary, host David Guas visits a different city each week where he serves up amazing local ingredients to test the epic backyard skills of America’s hardcore grillers. Competitors come from all walks of life, including a patent attorney, a professional chef, an electrician and a suburban mom. Despite their differences, all contestants have a passion for high-heat, big meat and cooking over an open flame. Each episode starts with 4 competitors, but in the end only 1 walks away with the $10,000 cash prize and the bragging rights of being the killer griller.
Friday, July 4th
Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular, live music special from 8 to 10pm on NBC
– Let’s face it: You’ve got options this evening. You could go out to see the local fireworks. Or attend Awkward Carol From Accounting’s BBQ. Or light sparklers in your backyard. So why stay inside for Macy’s annual spectacle, taking place over the Brooklyn Bridge? Host Nick Cannon will tell you: ”Because Nick Cannon is hosting!” And if that isn’t enticement enough, check out the list of performers, which includes Lionel Richie, Miranda Lambert, Enrique Iglesias, Ariana Grande, and Hunter Hayes — and no Awkward Carols.
Philly 4th of July Jam, music special from 8 to 11pm on VH1
– Even more phireworks phun! Questlove and the Roots will preside, while friends like Nicki Minaj and Ed Sheeran join on stage.