Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Wednesday, July 3. All times are Eastern.
BBQ Crawl (Travel, 8 p.m.): It’s practically Independence Day anyway, so you’re probably going to be off at your lake cabin, water-skiing and swimming and having fun with your family, while the rest of us have to sit here and write What’s On Tonights and live vicariously through you. Well, we’re just thankful we’ve got a new show about people eating barbecue to keep us entertained. For a full hour, we can watch people consume smoked meat products and ignore the emptiness of our lives. Hurrah!
Futurama (Comedy Central, 10 p.m.): There’s a new Futurama, too, with Bender meeting one of his heroes, a folk singer who’s been in and out of jail many times. Zack Handlen thinks this is a nice preview of next week’s TV Roundtable return, when that feature will discuss the Smother Brothers Comedy Hour.
TV CLUB CLASSIC
Freaks And Geeks (1 p.m.): Nick’s dad is skeptical of his son’s plans to make a living as a drummer in a rock band. Todd VanDerWerff’s dad was skeptical of his ability to make a living writing really long and irritating reviews of episodes of television, but Todd proved him wrong, huh? He’ll never farm again!
Sports Night (3 p.m.): Donna Bowman takes us back to the year 2000, when everybody was all excited about boxing for some reason. Having lived through 2000, Donna knows that wasn’t really the case, but she’ll indulge Aaron Sorkin’s thoughts on the subject when it produces an episode this entertaining.
WHAT ELSE IS ON
Summer Movie Hunks And Babes (TV Guide Network, 8 p.m.): TV Guide Network wants to know who your favorite summer movie hunks and babes are. Honestly, we can’t get over how sexy Johnny Five was in Short Circuit, sure, but especially in Short Circuit 2. That robot really knew how to shake it, baby.
The American Baking Competition (CBS, 9 p.m.): We’ve been quietly enjoying this program, but that might have less to do with its quality and more to do with the fact that we’re on a diet and seeing the various beautiful concoctions the people on this show come up with drives us just a little bit nutty.
Nova (PBS, 9 p.m.): Most networks are rerunning stuff tonight, and for good reason, so why not check out this Nova special about what’s hidden in the DNA of man’s best friend, the dog. Then find your dog, take a DNA sample from it, and see if you can figure out how to tweak that DNA so it grows wings.
Donut Showdown (Cooking Channel, 10 p.m.): Yes, we’re mostly highlighting food shows tonight. But can you blame us? That’s about all that’s new tonight, and just thinking about all those donuts having a showdown, well, we’re getting hungry. Seriously, guys. We can’t handle much more rutabaga. Save us.
Master And Commander: The Far Side Of The World (BBC America, 8 p.m.): Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany are a lot of fun in this surprisingly involving Peter Weir film based on the famed Aubrey-Maturin novels by Patrick O’Brian. The film was nominated for 10 Oscars and won two prizes. Check it out!
You Can Count On Me (Sundance, 8 p.m.): Kenneth Lonergan got the start to his directorial career with this moving little film about a woman whose brother returns home and asks her to loan money to him. As the sister and brother, Laura Linney and Mark Ruffalo are terrific, and Lonergan’s screenplay is too.
Tour de France: Stage 5 (NBC Sports, 8 p.m.): Yeah, you should probably watch a baseball game today, because “America!” and all that, but might we direct your attention to another great sporting event, happening just across the Atlantic? NBC Sports continues its coverage of the cycling race tonight.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Nine For IX (Tuesday): ESPN’s 30 For 30 gets its first official spinoff with this series of nine documentaries about women in sports, produced in honor of the historic Title IX decision. The first, reviewed by Kevin McFarland, profiles Venus Williams’ fight for equality in prizes at Wimbledon.