Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Sunday, June 19. All times are Eastern.
Game Of Thrones (HBO, 9 p.m.): As previous seasons have taught us—“Baelor,” “Blackwater,” “The Rains Of Castamere,” “The Watchers On The Wall,” “The Dance Of Dragons”—crazy shit tends to happen in Game Of Thrones’ penultimate season episodes. Characters die, massive action sequences take place, and the show obtains a focus and scale it occasionally struggles with as the narrative spreads across Westeros and beyond. This trend is likely to continue given that tonight’s episode is titled “Battle Of The Bastards,” indicating the long-teased showdown between Jon “Lord” Snow and Ramsay “The Bastard Of” Bolton. While it’s likely small comfort to those fans who had their CleganeBowl hopes shattered by King Tommen’s royal decree last week, Jon and Sansa marching to reclaim their ancestral home against the show’s worst villain since King Joffery is guaranteed to pay dividends. Myles McNutt and Brandon Nowalk are already settling into their ringside seats, munching popcorn, and checking the latest issue of Valar Morghulis, both holding out hope that Sansa pulls an upset and gets the chance to land the killing blow.
Penny Dreadful (Showtime, 10 p.m.): Penny Dreadful is taken from us too soon this season, its already short season of nine episodes cut even shorter with a two-hour finale tonight. Once again, the forces of darkness stand astride the world, held off only by the unknown strength and scenery consumption of the show’s main characters. It remains unclear just what battles will be raged tonight, but Scott Von Doviak’s already nervous about the results. He’s especially nervous given that at time of writing Showtime hasn’t renewed Penny Dreadful for season four, leaving the bleak possibility that this lurid and baroque story could be cut short before its time is over. That would be just like Showtime, wouldn’t it? Sorry. Your What’s On Tonight correspondent has never truly healed from the premature end of The Borgias.
The Jim Gaffigan Show (TV Land, 10 p.m.): In last year’s discussion of Best of 2015 runners-up, Gwen Ihnat singled out The Jim Gaffigan Show as a worthy contender, “both inventive and true to life.” Now in its second season, audiences will have a new opportunity to discover Gaffigan’s wryly good-natured comedy. Just don’t break out the “Hot Pockets!” cries, audience. You have to imagine Gaffigan’s really tired of hearing those prompts at this point. Molly Eichel isn’t tired of anything Gaffigan’s done, and will be checking out the first two episodes of its return.
Premieres and finales
Vicious (PBS, 8 p.m.): Ramsay Bolton’s been particularly despicable this season of Game Of Thrones even by this show’s standards, but by all accounts the actor who portrays him is a perfectly nice individual. To get a different flavor of Iwan Rheon on a night sure to showcase Ramsay’s psychopathic side, check out the series finale of Vicious, where the worst his good-natured Ash will have to endure is the insult crossfire of longtime couple Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi.
The Hunt With John Walsh (CNN, 9 p.m.): As long as there are dangerous criminals out there, John Walsh will be on TV to raise awareness of their fugitive status, and he continues his crusade for justice with the third season premiere of The Hunt. He’s like Batman, if Batman had a tip line!
The Good Witch (Hallmark, 9 p.m.): Again, your friendly reminder that The Good Witch is a concept that has somehow spawned seven movies and a television series with two seasons and counting. Its plan for total domination is going nicely. Today the Hallmark channel, tomorrow the world!
Endeavor (PBS, 9 p.m.): The Inspector Morse prequel returns for its third series tonight, as a young Endeavor Morse tries to move on from a recent stint of wrongful imprisonment and makes friends with a millionaire. All of us should be so lucky to meet a millionaire on the days we get out of jail.
The Last Ship (TNT, 9 p.m.): Delighting your older relatives who own a library of hardcover Tom Clancy novels and think that Donald Trump has some issues but at least knows how to tell it like it is, The Last Ship returns for its third season. In the season premiere, the titular last ship heads to Southeast Asia where the deadly epidemic appears to be mutating into a new form. If this is opening the door to a zombie storyline, our heads will never leave our desks.
Shark Week Sharktacular 2016 (Discovery, 10 p.m.): Jeff Winger told us that humanity is special because we’re the only species that celebrates Shark Week, and that proof of our uniqueness is upon us once again. While the actual event doesn’t premiere until next week, Discovery is throwing some chum into the waters with an hour-long special hosted by director Eli Roth. Features will include “the greatest sharks in Shark Week history, fan-submitted viral videos and exclusive sneak peeks of the most jaw-dropping moments that will be featured on this year’s Shark Week.” (Shouldn’t that be Jaws-dropping? Nailed it.) We’ve got the right jam to get us in the mood.
The Tunnel (PBS, 10 p.m.): Those still mourning the loss of FX’s The Bridge can now take solace in the existence of yet another adaptation of the original Scandinavian drama. This one comes to us from Sky Atlantic and sets the action between England and France, featuring Game Of Thrones’s Stephen Dillane as the lead investigator. Don’t change that channel—that Channel Tunnel, that is! Ah ha ha. We have fun, don’t we. And there’s fun to be had with The Tunnel, according to Danette Chavez: “This 2013 Sky Atlantic-Canal+ collaboration is one of the more impressive British-French imports to make its way Stateside, so it’s worth the déjà vu. It stands on its own on the strength of its cast and direction, but more importantly, has been adapted in such a way that it casts old European enmities in a new light.”
The Girlfriend Experience (Starz, 8 p.m.)
Preacher (AMC, 9 p.m.)
Silicon Valley (HBO, 10 p.m.)
Veep (HBO, 10:30 p.m.)
Jane The Virgin, “Chapter 20”: With a major grudge match looming in the north, get yourself psyched up with the equally heated confrontations of Jane The Virgin in the episode that embraced its characters’ combative alter egos. The Cold Warrior vs. Pregnant Punisher! Detective Danger vs. The Hot-elier! Mommy Long Legs vs. De La Vengeance!