Summer is no time to be a couch potato, so it’s good, I suppose, when summer specials come along that offer a little real-world excitement.
CBS’ “The Searchers” at 8 follows thrill-seekers, treasure hunters and cave divers on various adventures. Unavailable for review, it sounds typical of what has become today’s “variety” show.
More and more we see these reality-based shows that have a vague theme. The idea is that if you don’t like one segment, you’ll stay tuned for the next.
Never forget: The first rule of television programming is simply to keep people from changing channels.
From the creators of the sometimes eye-opening “How’d They Do That?” series, this hour features storm chasers who travel “Tornado Alley” to photograph twisters and witness their terrifying power.
Cave divers plunge into water-filled caves 30 feet beneath the floor of a Mayan jungle.
In the mountains of Southern Germany, treasure hunters look for the bunkers where Nazis stored pilfered gold and art.
And in San Francisco, a student attempts a treacherous climb to the top of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.
Perhaps “Searchers” will inspire some to get off the couch and go for it. Haven’t you put off mowing the lawn this week?
“Roseanne,” ABC at 8: Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley appear as their “Absolutely Fabulous” characters Edina and Patsy as Roseanne and Jackie taste the high life of New York City.
Arianna Huffington (a celebrity television could live without) and Marlo Thomas also guest-star.
Just remember: It’s all in Rosie’s mind. Repeat.
“The Three Musketeers” (1993), FOX at 8: Charlie Sheen, Kiefer Sutherland and Chris O’Donnell star in this frisky take on Alexandre Dumas’ classic swashbuckler.
O’Donnell seems to be the only one who came out of this one with his career still intact.
Much ado about nothing, this was a major box-office flop.
“The Naked Truth,” NBC at 8:30: About the only thing that works for me in this series is Mary Tyler Moore and George Segal as Nora’s (Tea Leoni) parents.
Mom’s completely neurotic, and Dad’s certifiable. They arrive for a visit at about the same time that Nora’s heart-to-heart with her sister Lizzy (Paula Cale) results in a broken engagement. Repeat.
“The Godfather, Part III” (1990), CBS at 9: The Corleone saga ends at an opera house and, at times, plays out like a soap opera. The third “Godfather” movie lacks the depth and atmosphere of the previous films as Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) strives to achieve his father’s dream of sparing his family from the dirty business of organized crime.
“‘Home Improvement,” ABC at 9: Tim and the boys camp in the back yard to avoid Jill’s three sisters, who are in town to plan their parents golden wedding anniversary. Prepare for a dose of what is becoming too-familiar humor. Repeat.
“P.O.V.,” KSPS at 2 a.m.: “In Whose Honor?” chronicles a Native-American woman’s crusade against the University of Illinois’ team mascot, Chief Illiniwek. The battle led to Charlene Teters being dubbed “the Rosa Park of Native Americans.”
“Silent Witness: Blood, Sweat and Tears,” A&E; at 6 and 10: Amanda Burton returns as pathologist Sam Ryan.
When a boxer dies in the ring, an autopsy shows that the death blows came before the match. And as police press for answers, a key witness dies of an apparent suicide.
This superb medical mystery makes “Diagnosis Murder” look like child’s play. Weak-stomached viewers may want to avert their eyes during the morgue scenes.
“Unplugged,” MTV at 10: The hour features R&B; artists Blackstreet.
“Tonight,” NBC at 11:35: Rapper-actor Coolio.
“Late Show With David Letterman,” CBS at 11:35: Actors Tim Robbins and Jackie Chan and singer Shawn Colvin.
“Politically Incorrect With Bill Maher,” ABC at 12:35 a.m.: Shaun Cassidy, Tommy Smothers, columnist Mona Charen and talk-show host Michael Jackson.
“Late Night With Conan O’Brien,” NBC at 12:35 a.m.: Author Leonard Garment.
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