Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Tuesday, August 16. All times are Eastern.
Andrew Zimmern’s Driven By Food (Travel, 9 p.m.): The host of Bizarre Foods has built an entire show around the hack columnist device—hi, Tom Friedman!—of revealing the state of the world by just talking to whoever is driving the taxicab back from the airport. This at least should be a fair bit more entertaining, as Andrew Zimmern uses his conversations with local cabbies in places ranging from Medellín to Bangkok to set him off on adventures in parts of the cities travelers rarely see. The first episode aired back in April as a special preview, but tonight marks the beginning of the series proper, with an Olympics-appropriate trip to Rio De Janeiro.
Hunt For Particle X (Science, 10 p.m.): This special looks at “a peculiar bump on the graph” in the data coming out of the Large Hadron Collider, and that bump might indicate “a new particle that could revolutionize physics.” We’re not 100 percent sure this is the same thing, but this might be the rare instance looking up a physics story on Wikipedia counts as a potential spoiler.
The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore (Comedy Central, 11:30 p.m.): With yesterday’s news that the show is ending this Thursday, tonight is the last chance for first-time viewers to someday be able to say, “Oh yeah, we’ve watched a few episodes. It wasn’t bad!” Yeah… as much as we kind of get the thinking behind the decision, this still sucks. A sympathy Top Pick is about all we can do, so here it is.
Premieres and finales
Music Moguls (BET, 9 p.m.): For those of us who keep track of what Snoop Dogg is up to from his WWE Hall Of Fame speeches, college football news, and the synopses for season finales for BET shows, well, he’s pretty much up to exactly what you’d expect: “Snoop takes the stage at the Merryjane.com tour.” Further research indicates the full name is “Merry Jane Presents Snoop Dogg & Wiz Khalifa: The High Road Tour.” Snoop is predictable, but he’s also the best.
Swamp Murders (ID, 9 p.m.): This particular entry in ID’s never-ending cache of true-crime shows returns for its fourth season, and we’re not sure we’ve ever loved anything quite like we’ve loved the description for the television show Swamp Murders: “Hot, humid swamps make great hiding places—for bodies that is. In Swamp Murders, moss-covered trees, dead-end trails, creaky docks and mangrove forests are the ominous backdrops for the murkiest of mysteries.” With a description like that, we hope every episode exists at the precise midpoint between first-season True Detective and an old Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! episode.
Big Easy Motors (History, 10 p.m.): This show, in which car expert Charles Handler explores the bayous of Louisiana in search of vintage cars, wraps up its first season, and we’re still misreading his name as Chelsea Handler just like we did a couple months back. We just think a show where Chelsea Handler looks for cars in the Louisiana backwaters would be a great use of her talents!
Scream: The TV Series (MTV, 10 p.m.): It was just over a year ago that we resolved once and for all that we were done with this shit, so we’re not getting back into it now. Suffice it to say, another season is ending. If you need more context, there’s always Scream After Dark at 11 p.m., because apparently Scream: The TV Series is just too complex and intricate to unpack without expert assistance.
Raise The Roof (DIY, 11 p.m.): The description says “Denver-based contractor and real estate investor Keith Nylund showcases how he transforms small historic houses into larger modern homes.” The first season is set to cover, as the title suggests, the process of adding another level to an older house, but we hope Nylund’s penchant for old home transformation ends with him crossing over into straight-up historic defacement, with him adding a sunroof and a rumpus room to the Lincoln Log Cabin. Only way we know to raise Honest Abe’s property values!
SmackDown! SmackDown! SmackDown!
WWE SmackDown Live (USA, 8 p.m.): It’s the last show before SummerSlam on Sunday, and it still feels like we could do with an extra match from the blue brand to go along with Dean Ambrose vs. Dolph Ziggler for the WWE World Championship, The Miz vs. Apollo Crews for the Intercontinental Title, and John Cena vs. A.J. Styles. Maybe the long-suffering Eva Marie will finally shake off that awful brute Becky Lynch by agreeing to a match? Maybe the hot new tag team American Alpha will fight… Breezango? Honestly, say what you want about SmackDown’s thin roster—it’s definitely a bit thin—but American Alpha vs. Breezango sounds like all sorts of fun. We’ll just assume LaToya Ferguson agrees with us.
“August 3, 2016,” Cruiserweight Classic (WWE Network): That’s right: bonus wrestling content! This show on the WWE Network is one of the absolute best bits of what is generally a strong year for professional wrestling. This single-elimination tournament pits 32 cruiserweight wrestlers (205 pounds or lighter) against one another, and it’s split the difference perfectly between presenting itself like a legitimate sports competition and utilizing the larger-than-life storytelling that wrestling has at its best. This episode from a couple weeks back is the standout thus far, with an incredible main event as fiery tag-team partners Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa go to war. It’s well worth a free month’s trial just to check this out. (And if you like that, check out last week’s instant classic between Kota Ibushi and Cedric Alexander.)