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What to Watch: TV Picks for June 6-12

by Maureen Ryan, posted Jun 5th 2011 2:00PM

'Bobby Fischer Against the World' (9PM ET, HBO)
HBO kicks off its summer documentary series with a film that chronicles the brilliant rise of chess prodigy Bobby Fischer, who became a grandmaster as a teenager, battled Russia's Boris Spassky in a legendary 1972 match and, in his controversial later years, became paranoid and withdrawn. This documentary draws on interviews with chess legend Gary Kasparov, author Malcolm Gladwell, talk-show host Dick Cavett, Paul Marshall (Fischer's personal attorney), Harry Sneider (his trainer) and photographer Harry Benson, who had access to Fischer before and during the 1972 championship.

'Masterchef' -- In this Fox cooking contest, amateur cooks face judgment not only from sharp-tongued chef Gordon Ramsay but also from restaurateur Joe Bastianich and rising restaurant star Graham Elliot. (8PM ET, Fox) season premiere

'Great Performances: Eric Clapton's Crossroads Festival Guitar Festival 3' -- To benefit his addiction treatment center in Antigua, Clapton gathered a host of musical luminaries for a memorable Chicago jam session, for which Bill Murray acted as the emcee. Performers include Buddy Guy, Sheryl Crow, Jeff Beck, Steve Winwood and ZZ Top. (PBS, check local listings)


'White Collar' (9PM ET, USA) season premiere
Con man Neal Caffrey (Matthew Bomer) and FBI agent Peter Burke (Tim DeKay) continue to crack cases and occasionally (and amusingly) butt heads over methods this odd-couple pair should use. Hilarie Burton ('One Tree Hill'), who played Neal Caffrey's love interest Sarah last season, joins this USA drama as a series regular when it returns.

'Inside the Actor's Studio: The Cast of Modern Family' -- Host James Lipton quizzes the 'Modern Family' actors about their work on the hit ABC comedy. (8PM ET, Bravo)

'Covert Affairs' -- When this espionage drama returns, Annie (Piper Perabo) finds herself protecting a tennis player. (10PM ET, USA) season premiere

'The Good Wife' -- Sometimes 'The Good Wife' does ripped-from-the-headline stories, but this one aired months before a certain French politician in New York made headlines. In this episode from the show's outstanding second season, a masseuse says that a Nobel prize-winner sexually assaulted her in a hotel room, and the partners have to decide whether to take her case. (10PM ET, CBS)


'Temple Grandin' (8PM ET, HBO)
If you've never seen this award-winning film about autistic author Temple Grandin, do yourself a favor and watch it. Claire Danes' performance is wonderful, and this nuanced, understanding look at the complex challenges the brilliant Grandin faced is fascinating.

'Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman' -- Freeman's velvety voice narrates this inquiring series, which, in its second season premiere, has scientists and spiritual experts weighing in on the enduring question of whether there is life after death. (10PM ET, Science) season premiere


'Childrens Hospital' (midnight ET, Adult Swim)
Caring physicians. Thoughful nurses. Cutting-edge healthcare. None of these things exist at 'Childrens Hospital,' a delightful parody of medical melodramas (which are, let's face it, ripe for the mocking). Cast members Lake Bell, Erinn Hayes, Rob Huebel, Ken Marino, Megan Mullally, Malin Akerman and Henry Winkler are frequently joined by an all-star roster of guest actors -- and the Splitsider blog hinted that a 'Party Down' reunion might be in the offing in an upcoming episode. Reason enough to put this comedy on your Season Pass list.

'So You Think You Can Dance' -- The judges start whittling down the dancers as the eighth season of the Fox dance contest gets underway. (8PM ET, Fox)


'Camelot' (10PM ET, Starz) season finale
Starz's occasionally interesting, frequently muddled saga of Merlin, Arthur and Morgan comes to a close this week, without having quite decided if it was a bold and hard-edged coming-of-age story or a love triangle with extra added magic.


'Doctor Who' (9PM ET Saturday, BBC America) mid-season finale
Going so soon, Doctor? The current season of the sci-fi stalwart 'Doctor Who' has been split into two half-seasons, with the second half to air in the fall. This weekend's mid-season finale finds the Doctor encountering the mysterious River Song again and facing some old enemies. Let's hope this outing is better than the two-parter that just aired, which I thought was a choppy, muddled mess (though it ended on an intriguing cliffhanger).

'Battlestar Galactica' -- 'Battlestar Galactica,' reruns begin 10PM ET, BBC America: Never seen the show? Catch up with every (uncut) episode, which the U.S. version of the Beeb will air in its entirety. If you've never felt like shelling out for the 'BSG' DVDs, now's your chance to experience this compelling drama for free. (10PM ET Saturday, BBC America)

'The Protector' -- Ally Walker ('Sons of Anarchy,' 'Profiler') stars an LAPD homicide detective who's also a single mom. (10PM ET Sunday, Lifetime) series premiere

'The Glades' -- Detective Jim Longworth moved to Florida to get far away from Chicago, but an old case follows him to the Sunshine State in this solid outing for the A&E procedural (which I recently reviewed here). Illinois cop Samantha Harper (Natalia Cigluiti) turns up to work a big murder case that has connections to Longworth's Florida territory, and Todd Stashwick, who guest stars, cements his status as one of the hardest-working guest actors out there. Does he share an agent with Mark Sheppard? Because both actors apparently must, by law, appear in every scripted drama on television. (10PM ET Sunday, A&E)

For more what to watch goodness, take a look at our new listings page.

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We need to see the channel #s + what's on tv for every day.

June 11 2011 at 7:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

P-L-E-A-S-E return to WHAT'S ON TONIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

June 11 2011 at 7:00 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

I also wish they would bring back What's On Tonight! The major networks may be repeats but USA / TNT are having new shows. I always used this feature to be sure the DVR is set up to record as needed.

June 10 2011 at 2:20 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Rahul G

PLEASE bring back what's on tonight, i know it's the summer and there are a lot of repeats but i'd rather know that repeats are on every night than just this weekly update. Listings doesn't cut it, i dont want a channel guide i have that already on my DVR i want to know whats new

June 09 2011 at 9:29 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Why can you never comment on the important news

just what they want you to .. i think this is socialism at its best or would this be called

fixed media coverage lol

June 07 2011 at 8:41 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Wonder how many people have cancelled AOL since they bought Huff Post for their news? HP is a left wing socialist outfit. Their articles are slanted to the left politically and generally mock people they don't agree with. Comments made on the articles generally consist of more mocking and personal insults. There is no balance in the articles or any real analysis.

June 06 2011 at 3:32 PM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply

So excited for the return of White Collar!

June 06 2011 at 3:28 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to smoochbucket's comment

Me too! Matt Bomer is absolutely beautiful. He was on Regis & Kelly this morning and he was wearing glasses. Didn't matter. Still gorgeous. And the show isn't bad either.

June 06 2011 at 6:55 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

"Covert" is a poor man's "Alias." But the lead actress is great and highly watchable. I just can't believe the blind man can do what he does. Just isn't believeable. Last season he fought bad guys on a train (scene from James Bond) and managed to win. Oh well.

June 06 2011 at 3:17 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

My TV watching is simple, NEWS = Fox News and Fox Business News and a local channel for local news at 6 and 10. In between we watch movies from the Old movies channel up through all of the HBO's and the rest of the cable movie channels for the whole country and most of the special channel movies as well. I have Direct TV's best offering except for all the sporting event channels.

June 06 2011 at 2:18 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply

Up till today I had TV squad delivered to my inbox just for the feature of What's On Tonight... I have disabled this as of today. I hope they are seeing these comments!

June 06 2011 at 11:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Nancy's comment


June 08 2011 at 7:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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