Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Sunday, August 31. All times are
The MDA Show Of Strength Telethon (ABC, 9 p.m.): Tomorrow is Labor Day, thus marking the unofficial end of another summer. Of course, summer weather won’t truly subside for another month or so—you’re just running out of excuses to pass off day-drinking and other warm-weather outdoor activities under the guise of “summer fun.” But can you really enjoy yourself out among the stars when you know you could be donating to the Muscular Dystrophy Association during its annual Labor Day telethon? Won’t the guilt simply be too much? It’s not like the telethon asks for that much of your time these days: Just two hours on a Sunday, with musical like Rascal Flatts, American Authors, and Bret Michaels. Can you live with yourself if you miss out on this?
The Strain (FX, 10 p.m.): The Leftovers is taking the holiday weekend off, but not every global catastrophe of supernatural nature gets a day of rest: LaToya Ferguson stays on The Strain beat, standing strong alongside Setrakian as he discovers a new method of fighting the blood-sucking threat.
Masters Of Sex (Showtime, 10 p.m.): Office hours are also being held by Masters, Johnson, and Gwen Ihnat, who are operating under additional layers of secrecy this week—not that anyone will notice, what with the long weekend and everything.
The Outdoors (Outside, all the time): It’s not What’s On Tonight’s goal to get viewers away from their television sets, but come on: This horrible August is nearly at an end, and many of us don’t have work in the morning, so let’s ditch the living room for the night. It’ll be waiting for you when you come back.
Secrets Of Her Majesty’s Secret Service (PBS, 8 p.m.): In yet another disappointment to the International George Lazenby Fan Club, this special is about the actual MI6, and not a behind-the-scenes look at one of the least loved James Bon films.
The Simpsons (FXX, 8:30 p.m.): The Every Simpsons Ever marathon hits a milestone: “At Long Last Leave” marks the 500th consecutive episode of The Simpsons aired on FXX, an achievement that’s almost as impressive as when “At Long Last Leave” was merely the 500th episode of The Simpsons ever produced.
Falling Skies (TNT, 9 p.m.): Season finale. Have Noah Wyle and his ragtag group of alien-invasion survivors finally managed to prevent the sky from falling?
Game Of Crowns (Bravo, 10 p.m.): Season finale. Will the pageant queens be stunned when Daenerys Targaryen swoops in and eliminates the last competitors standing with several blasts of dragon fire?
Trading Places (VH1, 7:30 p.m.): Some summer traditions will never fall out of style: Grilling, lawn games, and endless basic-cable reruns of Eddie Murphy classics with all of the swears and nudity edited out.
Shane (TCM, 8 p.m.): Practice for summer’s departure by perfecting your impression of Brandon De Wilde in the role of Joey. “Summer! Come back!”
Celebrate Labor Day with an Inventory of the most bizarre objects ever birthed (Get it? Huh? Huh?) by TV and film characters. You’ll never believe how easily a 6-foot party sub (and accompanying bottle of Sunkist) once slipped out Cliff Huxtable—almost as easily as Harry Houdini slipped out of a pair of handcuffs. Unfortunately, History Channel’s new Houdini miniseries has greater difficulty working its way out from under omnipresent voiceover narration, as Genevieve Valentine notes in her pre-air review of this two-part primetime event.
Battlestar Galactica (Thursday): Sonia Saraiya’s BSG rewind has reached the series proper, and when “33” asks what it means to be human, she answers the call. (But when will she get to the original Battlestar Galactica? What’s On Tonight feels like Sonia would get along really well with Muffit the robot dog.)