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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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TV best bets with Aaron Sorkin’s HBO series ‘Newsroom,’ VH1’s ‘Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta,’ TNT’s ‘The Great Escape’

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Bristol Palin comes to Lifetime Tuesday with a new reality show. CREDIT: AP

June soldiers on and a raft of new series try to find distracted viewers.

“Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta” is the most obvious fresh program with local ties, courtesy of VH1 Monday.

Atlanta-based Bounce TV, a mere nine months old, introduces its two first original series Monday: a sitcom called “Family Time” and a stand-up comedy show “Uptown Comic.”

ABC is recycling “Big Brother” with “Glass House” Monday as well. (CBS sued to try to stop “Glass House” but failed.)

Like mother, like daughter. Sarah Palin did a reality show on TLC. Now it’s her daughter Bristol with “Bristol Palin: Life’s a Tripp” on Lifetime Tuesday.

ABC Family pays homage to “Three Men and a Baby’ with “Baby Daddy” Wednesday while TV Land brings Cedric the Entertainer back to sitcom land with “Soul Man.”  And if Palin isn’t your thing, how about more Snooki and JWoww? They are now part of an MTV spin-off show Thursday.

Two big-time gambles come Sunday: TNT’s “The Great Escape” is the network’s first strong effort to get into reality TV. And HBO is working with Aaron Sorkin to look at a fictional cable TV newsroom, his third effort to explore a media outlet (after an “SNL”-like show on “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip” and “Sports Night”).

MONDAY

“The Bachelorette” 8 p.m. ABC — Emily and her eight remaining suitors visit Croatia.
“Family Time” 8 p.m. Bounce (new series) — A new sitcom on a nine-month old Atlanta-based network.
“Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta” 8 p.m. VH1 (new series) — A local version of the New York original series.
“One Nation Under Dog” 9 p.m. HBO — Stories about dogs, both sad and inspiring.
Invention Hunters” 9 p.m. Food — The hosts check out new cooking-related inventions.
Miss Advised” 10 p.m. Bravo (new series) — The romantic lives of relationship experts.
The Glass House” 10:02 p.m. ABC (new series) — A lot like “Big Brother,” except viewers vote off who leaves.

TUESDAY

Hell’s Kitchen” 8 p.m. Fox —  The winning group receives a new wardrobe.
“Braving the Elements” 9 p.m. Weather (third season debut) — The life of pyro-technicians who give us fireworks displays.
“Deadliest Catch” 9 p.m. Discovery — Polar ice challenges the fleet.
Hardcore Pawn” 9 p.m. TruTV (fifth season finale) — Tensions run high when Les promises to fire the employee who makes the next big mistake..
“Rizzoli & Isles” 9 p.m. TNT — A different side of Maura emerges when she meets a new man..
Bristol Palin: Life’s a Tripp” 10 p.m. Lifetime (new series) — The lives of Bristol Palin and her son Tripp.
Franklin & Bash” 10 p.m. TNT — Peter and Jared happen upon two fellows who are low-level versions of themselves.
“United Stats of America” 11 p.m. History (first season finale) — The guys take a look at how much space is devoted to storage use in the U.S.

WEDNESDAY

Justin Bieber: All Around the World” 8 p.m. NBC — Part one of a special featuring sometime Atlantan Justin Bieber.
“So You Think You Can Dance” 8 p.m. Fox — Contestants go to Vegas for a spot in the top 20.
Baby Daddy” 8:30 p.m. ABC Family (new series) — Ben discovers he’s a father when an ex-girlfriend leaves a baby at his doorstep.
“Dallas” 9 p.m. TNT — J.R. decides to move back to Southfork, much to Ann’s chagrin.
Royal Pains” 9 p.m. USA — Hank and Evan compete for new business.
Duets” 9:31 p.m. ABC — Songs from movie soundtracks are the focus.
Diamond Divers” 10 p.m. Spike TV (new series) — Life as a diamond miner.
Necessary Roughness” 10 p.m. USA — T.K. plays hooky in his old neighborhood.
School Spirits” 10 p.m. Syfy (new series) — Paranormal encounters at schools.
“Soul Man” 10 p.m. TV Land (new series) — Cedric the Entertainer plays an R&B man who becomes a preacher.

THURSDAY

Justin Bieber: All Around the World” 8 p.m. NBC — Inexplicably, NBC has broken this special into two parts over two nights.
The Choice” 8:58 p.m. Fox — Men seeking dates: Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino, Taylor Hicks, Warren Sapp and Rocco Dispirito.
Burn Notice” 9 p.m. USA — Michael reconnects with his mentor.
Saving Hope” 9 p.m. NBC — Alex’s hopes are raised after Charlie (in a coma) moves his hand.
Men at Work” 10 p.m. TBS — Milo’s ideal woman is too eccentric.
Snooki & JWoww” 10 p.m. MTV (new series) — The “Jersey Shore” ladies move into a place in Jersey City and guess what? Snooki is pregnant!.
Suits” 10 p.m. USA — Mike approaches Rachel about her message.
America’s Worst Tattoos” 10 p.m. TLC — Regrets, we’ve had a few, and they usually involve tattoos.
Wilfred” 10:30 p.m. FX (second season debut) —  Ryan discovers life much more challenging without Wilfred around.

FRIDAY

Say Yes to the Dress” 9 p.m. TLC — A bride is willing to share the spotlight with her mom.
“Common Law” 10 p.m. USA — The guys’ work suffers when they feel pressured to reach an important milestone during the hunt for a pair of criminals who emulate Bonnie and Clyde.
Flying Wild Alaska” 10 p.m. Discovery — Winter wreaks havoc on the fleet.  A pilot’s brakes freeze on an icy runway.
“Louisiana Lockdown” 10 p.m. Animal — The warden sets an ultimatum on a hunger striker while Slater plans a horse auction.
Randy to the Rescue” 10 p.m. TLC — A woman is eager to show off her new figure.

WEEKEND

Tall Hot Blonde” 8 p.m. Saturday Lifetime — A middle-aged father poses as a young single marine and begins an online relationship with an 18-year-old girl.
Arachnoquake” 9 p.m. Saturday Syfy — An earthquake unleashes monstrous spiders on New Orleans.
“Mega Dens” 8 p.m. Sunday DIY (third season debut) — This makeover show is shot in metro Atlanta.
“Oprah’s Next Chapter” 8 p.m. Sunday OWN — Oprah Winfrey, in a whiff of desperation, interviews the Kardashians, part two .
“Drop Dead Diva” 9 p.m. Sunday A&E — The producer of a reality makeover show is sued.
“Falling Skies” 9 p.m. Sunday TNT — The renegade Berserkers scheme to cast out Tom.
The Glades” 9 p.m. Sunday A&E — Jim and Carlos investigate a fanatical nudist colony after discovering a naked, dead body.
“True Blood” 9 p.m. Sunday HBO — The search for Debbie Pelt becomes official.
Army Wives” 10 p.m. Sunday Lifetime (sixth season summer debut) — Claudia Joy recovers from surgery.
“The Great Escape” 10 p.m. TNT (new series) — Teams escape from various facilities such as Alcatraz to win $50,000.
The Newsroom” 10 p.m. HBO (new series) — Life in a CNN-MSNBC-Fox News-type newsroom, courtesy of Aaron Sorkin (“West Wing”). Will McAvoy, an anchor, returns after a public meltdown in the spring of 2010.

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By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk

12 comments Add your comment

Mercedes S.

June 18th, 2012
6:56 am

Morning!

The only raft I care about this week is the one carrying “The Newsroom”.
Watched a recorded “Dallas”last week, on Rodney’s recommendation, and it wasn’t half-bad; will probably check second installment too.

Other than that, little on this list appeals to me. “True Blood” has been a disappointment so far. Tara has perked up since she turned vampire, but she’s in each show, what, five seconds? Seeing Bill and Eric in silver chains is no fun and what’s with the degradation of every single one of the men? Booo. This season’s “True Blood” promises to have nothing whatsoever in common with the books…

Traffic Headache

June 18th, 2012
9:04 am

Justin Bieber is getting a prime time special on NBC? I don’t want to live on this planet anymore.

radioBoy

June 18th, 2012
9:49 am

although i’d love a fresh installment of ’soul train’ with ced as the host, i guess you meant soul ‘man’

radioBoy

June 18th, 2012
9:51 am

and ‘wilfred’ is the best show on tv

Rodney Ho

June 18th, 2012
10:09 am

@Mercedes S: “The Newsroom” is both fascinating, self-righteous and infuriating. Typical Aaron Sorkin, I fathom. I get a sense Aaron wants to do a news program like “The Daily Show” minus the humor.

Mercedes S.

June 18th, 2012
10:31 am

Thanks, Rodney. Btw, what do you think of “True Blood” so far? Never thought I’d say it, but… I was BORED last night. If you’ve watched screeners, does it pick up?

Kabooki

June 18th, 2012
12:04 pm

She’s got some nice cheek bones and a nice rack!

Congwessman Wewis

June 18th, 2012
12:19 pm

Speaking of Bwistol Pawin, abowtion clinics are gweat places to meet easy women of wittle mowality wid no childwen or husbands.

Sluggo

June 18th, 2012
12:46 pm

“Oprah Winfrey, in a whiff of desperation, interviews the Kardashians”

Poor Oprah, she is the only person on the planet that does not comprehend that she is no longer relevant in pop culture.

HAHE

June 18th, 2012
2:21 pm

OPRAH’S FIRST PART OF THE KARDASHIAN INTERVIEW WAS GOOD; SHE HOLDS NOTHING BACK AND GETS PEOPLE TO TALK. SHE IS STILL VERY RELEVANT TODAY; SHE ALWAYS WILL BE. GOOD GRIEF, SHE IS DOING HER TALK SHOW IN A DIFFERENT FORMAT AND NOW SHE’S NOT RELEVANT? PLEASE; MORE PEOPLE THAN YOU THINK WATCHED THIS AND WATCH ALL HER OTHER INTERVIEWS. THE ONLY WAY THE KARDASHIANS WILL GO AWAY IS IF PEOPLE STOP WATCHING; TO DATE, THEY HAVE ON OF THE HIGHEST RATED SHOWS ON TELEVSION. GO FIGURE!

Kay

June 18th, 2012
2:26 pm

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