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Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll has all that plus Denis Leary

Denis Leary, FX

Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Thursday, July 16. All times are Eastern.

Top pick

Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll (FX, 10 p.m.): Denis Leary is back baby! The former Rescue Me star returns to FX with a new comedy in which he plays Johnny Rock, the lead singer of a ’90s rock band that split up the day their first album was released. 25 years later, a desperate Johnny agrees to get the band back together with his ambitious daughter as the lead singer. In other words, it’s a twisted take on Hannah Montana minus the double-life angle and with a lot more substance abuse. In his pre-air review, Noel Murray called the comedy “inconsistent” and the commentary on 21st century celebrity “generalized,” but he did add that the show has “a certain scrappy charm, which is just as attributable to Leary as its faults.” Now our own superstar Michael Roffman will be weighing in weekly.


Also noted

Steven Universe (Cartoon Network, 6 p.m.): The Steven Universe schedule is seldom kind on our intrepid reviewer Eric Thurm. But nevertheless, he’s soldering on with another solid week of new episodes. Tonight Steven joins a theatre group! Eric is practicing his jazz hands to celebrate.

Married (FX, 10:30 p.m.): Now that the honeymoon phase of season one is over, Dennis Perkins settles into a familiar groove with the show’s second season. The premiere promises an “unexpected Thanksgiving,” which should hopefully give Judy Greer and Nat Faxon a chance to show off their knack for comedic frustration.

Geeks Who Drink/Reactor (SyFy, 11/11:30 p.m.): SyFy premieres two new series tonight. First up Geeks Who Drink pits two teams of “trivia geeks” in a head-to-head, shot-for-shot battle. Then Reactor gives David Huntsberger a weekly round up of nerdy pop culture a la the failed Wil Wheaton Project.


Comedy Bang! Bang! (IFC, 10:30 p.m.): James Marsden joins Scott Aukerman on the couch this week to act like a rabbit and discuss his good looks. Emily L. Stephens promises to approach both topics with complete objectivity.

Regular Coverage

Under The Dome (CBS, 9 p.m.)

Wayward Pines (Fox, 9 p.m.)

Rectify (Sundance, 10 p.m.)

TV Club Classic

Futurama (10 a.m.): Nibbler gets some character development in the “The Why of Fry,” a follow-up to “The Day the Earth Stood Stupid.” But first, Zack Handlen can’t stop singing the title of “Teenage Mutant Leela’s Hurdles.” Hurdles in the half-shell. Hurdle power!


Elsewhere in TV Club

TV Club takes it easy today with just Noel Murray’s aforementioned Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll review. But elsewhere Marah Eakin shares her Taylor Swift power hour, Nathan Rabin reexamines The Counselor, and our film crew list the best American directors from A To Z.


What else is on?

Spongebob Squarepants (Nick, 7:30 p.m.): While he was seen on the big screen in February, it’s been two whole years since Spongebob lived in a pineapple under the sea in a new episode of this Nickelodeon series. Tonight the show finally returns with two new adventures. Spongebob gets a driving lesson from Mr. Krabs in “Tutor Sauce” and then ends up adrift in “Lost In Bikini Bottom.” Welcome back Mr. Squarepants.


The Astronaut Wives Club (ABC, 8 p.m.): Trudy Cooper fights for the cause of women in space this week. Elsewhere John Glenn debates whether he should run for public office.

The Seventies (CNN, 9 p.m.): The latest episode of this historical docuseries looks at the various crises that plagued the Ford and Carter administrations including a recession, a fuel shortage, and a nuclear meltdown.


Lip Sync Battle (Spike, 10 p.m.): Justin Bieber continues his campaign to make himself likable again by battling Deion Sanders in a Lip Sync Battle. Whether this is a better or worse choice than a naked butt shot remains to be seen.

Maron (IFC, 10 p.m.): Marc Maron takes on patent trolls—those nefarious folks who register vague patents so as to sue creators down the line.


Terminator 2: Judgment Day (IFC, 7 p.m.): While it’s a perfectly enjoyable blockbuster, Terminator: Genisys mostly just wants to recreate the magic of T2. So save the $10 and stay home to watch this classic instead.

Lethal Weapon (AMC, 8 p.m.): For all those who are getting too old for this shit, return to a simpler time with this 1987 buddy cop drama—a time when problems were solved with shirtless wrestling matches in the rain.


Tour de France (NBC Sports, 8 p.m.): There are still nine more stages of the Tour de France left, but Chris Froome seems well on his way to winning the Yellow Jersey. However, there’s a chance that American rider Tejay van Garderen could earn a podium finish in Paris, so those who like supporting a hometown boy can root for him on this mountain stage.

In case you missed it

Mr. Robot: This USA Network hacker drama is far better than any show billed as a “USA Network hacker drama” has a right to be. Follow along with Alex McCown in his weekly reviews as he tries to figure out if Christian Slater is a figment of our imaginations.


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