Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Hamilton’s probably going to win a bunch of Tonys tonight

Lin-Manuel Miranda, James Corden (Hamilton, The Tonys)
Lin-Manuel Miranda, James Corden (Hamilton, The Tonys)

Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Sunday, June 12. All times are Eastern.

Top picks

The 70th Annual Tony Awards (CBS, 8 p.m.): Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hip-hop musical about the life of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton has taken over popular culture in a way that few other creative endeavors of the last few years can claim. It’s making an astonishing amount of money, won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize in Drama, inspired mashups with everything from Star Trek to The Room to Space Jam, and spawned a legion of hashtag games. And tonight it looks to extend its dominance into the Tony Awards, as it’s up for a record-breaking 16 nominations and is the clear front-runner in several of those categories.


In non-Hamilton news, the ceremony will be hosted by The Late Late Show host/Carpool Karaoke creator James Corden, will feature appearances by Uzo Aduba and Cate Blanchett, and will include nominated performances from the casts of Waitress, She Loves Me, The Color Purple, School Of Rock, and Bright Star. No word yet on how many of these performances will inspire Hamilton mashups of their own before the night is over. Nevertheless, this is still likely to be one of the year’s most entertaining award shows.

We would also like to take this opportunity to remind you that before Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda was a regular cast member of Do No Harm as the right-(face)hand man to Dr. Facehands himself. This has no bearing on his Tony odds, we just find that fact deeply amusing.


House Of Lies (Showtime, 9 p.m.): Showtime’s clearing out some of its “Oh, that’s still on?” programming this year, between the announcement of the end of Episodes and the news that House Of Lies would fall after five seasons of people being awful in the pursuit of money. Tonight Don Cheadle, Kristen Bell, Ben Schwartz, and Josh Lawson will close their final shady deal, and ironically do so in the bright sun of Cuba— the finale is the first episode of a scripted U.S. series to shoot in the country since the two countries broke diplomatic relations. The team’s professional and personal futures are in doubt, but given Showtime’s track record of protagonists dodging all comeuppance (give or take a Nurse Jackie), we’re expecting Marty to end the series as dictator for life of Cuba.

Preacher (AMC, 9 p.m.): And now, to address a controversy. Last week while setting up the template, your What’s On Tonight correspondent mistakenly left Preacher off the regular coverage section. This was an unintended mistake due to the show being a new addition to the fold, but it sparked a portion of the What’s On Tonight commentariat to ask a lot of questions about where it was and challenge our fitness to hold this position. As a consolation for this—and the fact that last week’s episode was bonkers chainsaw crazy and teased the introduction of one of our favorite characters from the graphic novel—Preacher gets a top pick slot this week. Zack Handlen, your apology fruit basket is in the mail.


Premieres and finales

Cooper Barrett’s Guide To Surviving Life (Fox, 7 p.m.): Even in this Peak TV era where the summer is no longer the dead zone it once was, the tradition of summer burnoff theater continues as networks dump the product that couldn’t cut it during the regular season. Tonight, Fox begins unloading its leftover episodes of Cooper Barrett’s Guide To Surviving Life after a hiatus of almost two months. The tragedy is they had a plan to save it at the start, but the original title of Cooper Barrett’s Guide To Surviving Bad Reviews And Even Worse Ratings was too long for the network. (Sorry creators, but if you didn’t want us to make mean jokes about your show, you should have made it better or given it a name that doesn’t lend itself to said jokes.)


The Night Stalker (Lifetime, 9 p.m.): Not, as you might hope, a reboot of the classic Darren McGavin-starring horror series Kolchak: The Night Stalker through Lifetime’s… shall we say, “unique” viewpoint. Instead, it’s a film inspired by the Night Stalker murders of the 1980s, where Longmire star and Penny Can spokesman Lou Diamond Phillips plays serial killer Richard Ramirez. Bellamy Young plays an attorney who attempts to link further killings to his record in an attempt to exonerate her client, and things go in what we assume is a Clarice Starling direction. Horrifying as these crimes are, they’re probably still better than most of what Young’s had to experience on the latest wretched Scandal season.

Ride With Norman Reedus (AMC, 10 p.m.): It’ll be a few months before Norman Reedus once again picks up the crossbow of Daryl Dixon—assuming The Walking Dead is smart enough to not make him Negan’s mystery victim—but he’s keeping the motorcycle during the hiatus. AMC’s latest reality show sends Reedus across America on two wheels to visit the favorite haunts of bike enthusiasts, opening with a ride north up the Pacific Coast Highway. Hopefully Reedus is prepared for the possibililty that he’ll be attacked by Nicolas Cage on the road, now that the former has declared his ambitions to claim the flaming skull crown of Ghost Rider.


Regular coverage

The Girlfriend Experience (Starz, 8 p.m.)

Game Of Thrones (HBO, 9 p.m.)

Silicon Valley (HBO, 10 p.m.)

Penny Dreadful (Showtime, 10 p.m.)

Veep (HBO, 10:30 p.m.)

Streaming pick

Drunk History, “Vol. 1.—Featuring Michael Cera” (Funny Or Die, YouTube): In addition to inspiring a Tony-nominated musical, Alexander Hamilton’s life also drove the creation of Drunk History. In the first episode of the web series, Mark Gagliardi of The Thrilling Adventure Hour drank a bottle of Scotch and waxed poetic on Hamilton’s duel with Aaron Burr, and Michael Cera and Jake Johnson brought it to life. Someone please ask Lin-Manuel Miranda if this played any part in the Hamilton writing process. He’s admitted he knows the former exists, but there’s more to the story, we know it. Let’s get Miranda drunk and recount the history of Hamilton.

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