Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Tuesday, July 19. All times are Eastern.
WWE SmackDown (USA, 8 p.m.): WWE has been talking up its new era for a while now, so what we guess is its new new era kicks off tonight as long-time B show SmackDown moves from pretaped on Thursdays to live on Tuesdays. SmackDown and Raw will each have its own separate roster, so tonight sees respective show commissioners Shane and Stephanie McMahon drafting their shows’ wrestlers. But we can already exclusively announce their first two picks right here and now, as Shane has picked the people’s champion LaToya Ferguson to head up our SmackDown coverage, while Stephanie is begrudgingly stuck with absurd Roman Reigns superfan Kyle Fowle on Raw. Check out Kyle’s pre-draft power rankings to find out what’s in store. Hopefully, it’ll all go more smoothly than the first time WWE tried this.
Rome’s Buried Secrets (Science, 9 p.m.): Hey, didn’t we do this last week with Pompeii? Damnit, Rome, you didn’t even get buried alive by a volcano, and now you’re getting your own special about your hidden secrets? Somewhere, Herculaneum is very pissed off about this decision, we’ll tell you that much for free. Anyway, putting our dumb archaeological nerdiness to one side to focus on this special’s smart archaeological nerdiness, there should be some cool new findings uncovered by the latest cutting-edge scanning equipment, so that’s fun.
Republican National Convention Coverage (PBS, 8 p.m./CBS, ABC, and NBC, 10 p.m.): Day two of RNC coverage brings some decently big names for a convention that many Republican elites have been conspicuously avoiding. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker count as pretty good gets, all things considered, and former vice presidential hopeful Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn gets an RNC speech as his consolation prize. Oh, and a couple of the lesser Trump children are slated to talk, specifically Donald Jr. (not the Patrick Bateman-looking one; that’s Eric) and Tiffany (not the one her father has talked about dating in an alternate universe; that’s Ivanka).
Premieres and finales
Powers (Playstation Network, 3:01 a.m.): The second season wraps up, meaning this is your last opportunity for a little while to marvel at star Sharlto Copley’s, uh, unique interpretation of what an American accent sounds like. (That said, dude was fantastic in District 9, and nothing’s going to change that.)
Containment (The CW, 9 p.m.): So, uh, you think they ever managed to contain that virus or what have you? We’re going to go out on a limb and say not yet, but we bet they’ve got a good chance in tonight’s series finale! Or things are about to get just so, so, so bleak.
I Am Homicide (ID, 10 p.m.): One more series finale, and this is really just an excuse to keep alive our tradition of including absurdly lurid ID episode synopses. So then: “Det. McFadden investigates the case of a female professional whose body was discovered beside a highway two weeks after she disappeared.” Hmm, not as lurid as it could be, but the episode is called “Home Improvement,” so we definitely can’t rule out that Tim Allen is behind this one.
“Civil Defense,” Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (Netflix): Attention Bajoran workers! Our colleague Caroline Siede recently asked for picks of awesome Star Trek episodes that aren’t generally thought of as all-time classics, and this (along with “Explorers,” our personal favorite) was our emphatic choice. Go watch it, even if you’re not a Deep Space Nine fan. Hell, even if you’re not a Star Trek fan. The only way this answer is incorrect is if we all come together right now and agree this is actually the greatest Star Trek episode ever made, and so being underrated no longer really enters into it.