I’m on vacation until July 21. If you have any breaking news, contact Jennifer Brett of Buzz at email@example.com. Until then, here’s TV tips before I left. If there were changes made in the interim, I apologize in advance.
AMC’s dark but mesmerizing “Breaking Bad” returns for its fifth and final season Sunday. But the conclusion is far off: we only get eight episodes this summer, then eight more next year. Nonetheless, I’ve screened the first two episodes back and though life isn’t quite the same without Gus, Walt is not off scot free. If he were, we wouldn’t have a show.
TNT on Monday is also beginning the final six episodes of “The Closer,” which isn’t quite as dark but the lead character Brenda Leigh Johnson gets her own kind of comeuppance.
Sigourney Weaver makes her TV series debut in a miniseries on USA Network Sunday “Political Animals” about life as a female Secretary of State who should not at all evoke Hillary Clinton.
And if you feel darkness is for idiots, well, then there’s CBS’s “Big Brother,” which returns Thursday for a 14th round.
“The Bachelorette” 8 p.m. ABC – Emily arrives in Curacao with three remaining suitors.
“Bizarre Foods With Andrew Zimmern” 8 p.m. Travel – A look back at six years and 100 episodes of this show.
“Fear Factor” 8 p.m. NBC – Challenges include dangling on a bungee cord from a helicopter and sitting in a tub full of leeches.
“Love & Hip Hop Atlanta” 8 p.m. VH1 – Joseline has to make a tough decision.
“Bunheads” 9 p.m. ABC Family – Michelle changes her living arrangements.
“The Closer” 9 p.m. TNT (seventh season summer debut) – Suspected rapist-murderer Philip Stroh pops up again.
“Hard Times: Lost on Long Island” 9 p.m. HBO – A profile of four middle-class families struggling in an anemic economy.
“Single Ladies” 9 p.m. VH1 – Keisha gets involved with a British military officer.
“Gene Simmons Family Jewels” 10 p.m.A&E (seventh season finale) – Gene faces temptation while on tour in South America.
“Opening Act” 10 p.m. E! (new series) – Singers found on the Internet are chosen to open for big acts.
“Perception” 10 p.m. TNT (new series) – Eric McCormack plays an eccentric neuroscience professor who helps the FBI.
“Destination Truth” 8 p.m. Syfy (fifth season debut) – Vietnam has its own version of Bigfoot.
“Hardcore Pawn” 9 p.m. TruTV (sixth season debut) – Seth continues his efforts to take over the store.
“HGTV Design Star” 9 p.m. HGTV – Final four designers make over condos and appear on a national daytime TV show.
“Rizzoli & Isles” 9 p.m. TNT – Maura develops stronger ties with her biological mother and her half sister.
“Trust Us With Your Life” 9 p.m. ABC (new series) – A new improv comedy show where comics re-enact key moments in a famous person’s life. First up: Serena Williams.
“White Collar” 9 p.m. USA (fourth season debut) – Peter tries to find Neal on a remote island before a bounty hunter finds him first.
“Franklin & Bash” 10 p.m. TNT – A former chop-shop worker is charged with a premeditated attack.
“NY Med” 10 p.m. ABC (new series) – Following the staff and patients at New York-Presbyterian Hospital.
“Covert Affairs” 10:01 p.m. USA (third season debut) – A tragedy leaves the agents shaken.
“Dogs in the City” 8 p.m. CBS (first season finale) — Justin partners with Edie Falco to renovate an animal shelter
“Beverly Hills Nannies” 9 p.m. ABC Family (new series) — Real-life nannies deal with their employers’ over-the-top demands.
“Dallas” 9 p.m. TNT — A frustrated John Ross moves into Southfork.
“Damages” 9 p.m. DirecTV (fifth season debut) — This is the final season of this complex, critically acclaimed drama.
“ESPY Awards” 9 p.m. ESPN — Rob Riggle hosts.
“Picked Off” 10 p.m. History (new series) — Teams compete to collect valuable items with only $100 to spend.
“Restaurant Impossible” 10 p.m. Food (fourth season debut) — Chef Irvine finds a filthy kitchen at a struggling steak-and-seafood restaurant in Fayetteville, GA.
“Necessary Roughness” 10:01 p.m. USA — Dani finally tells her kids she’s dating Matt.
“The Choice” 8:58 p.m. Fox (first season finale) — Dean Cain and Tyson Beckford seek dates.
“Big Brother” 9 p.m. CBS (14th season debut) — Twelve new houseguests and four returning players vie for $500,000.
“Natural Born Sellers” 9 p.m. HGTV (new series) — A successful California family of real estate agents.
“Saving Hope” 9 p.m. NBC — A hypnotist tries to psychically unite Alex with Charlie.
“Anger Management” 9:30 p.m. FX — Katie steals a patient from Charlie.
“Property Wars” 10 p.m. Discovery (new series) — Kind of like “Storage Wars” – with foreclosed properties.
“Rookie Blue” 10 p.m. ABC — Shaw’s 15-year-old daughter is apprehended as a material witness to a stabbing.
“Men at Work” 10:30 p.m. TBS (first season finale) — Milo revives an old competition with his pals to get past Lisa.
“Louie” 10:30 p.m. FX — Louie takes a trip to Miami.
“Say Yes to the Dress” 9 p.m. TLC – A woman who lost 70 pounds thinks she’s still overweight.
“God Bless Ozzy Osbourne” 9 p.m. Showtime – A documentary on the hard-rock legend and reality-show pioneer.
“Tyler Perry’s For Better or Worse” 9 p.m. TBS (second season debut) – With “House of Payne” drawing to a close soon, this is Perry’s remaining TBS show.
“Common Law’ 10 p.m. USA – Wes and Travis investigate a cop’s shooting and take care of the injured officer’s dog.
“Flying Wild Alaska” 10 p.m. Discovery – Emergency services are dispatched after Ariel disappears from radio contact.
“Randy to the Rescue” 10 p.m. TLC – A stop in Cincinnati features a bride-to-be who has a fear of wedding dresses.
“An American Girl” 8 p.m. Saturday NBC — A gymnast lacking in self confidence focuses on her strengths to get back to the top of her game.
“True Bloodthirst” 9 p.m. Saturday Syfy — A clash between vampires and humans.
“The Firm” 10 p.m. Saturday NBC (series finale) — A new enemy emerges on Ray and Tammy’s wedding day.
“Leverage” 8 p.m. Sunday TNT (fifth season debut) — The team takes down an arrogant shipping CEO.
“America’s Most Secret: Structures” 9 p.m. Sunday Discovery — An exploration of classified locations.
“Drop Dead Diva” 9 p.m. Sunday Lifetime — Parker tries to woo a potential investor in the firm.
“Falling Skies” 9 p.m. Sunday TNT — Hal happens upon bodies of de-harnessed kids.
“The Glades” 9 p.m. Sunday A&E — Jim and Jennifer run up against a troublesome antigovernment group during a murder investigation.
“The Next Food Network Star” 9 p.m. Sunday Food — The six remaining hopefuls star in promos for their own Food Network shows
“True Blood” 9 p.m. Sunday HBO — The Authority comes for Bill and Eric.
“Army Wives” 10 p.m. Sunday Lifetime — Pamela and Chase invite Roxy and Trevor to meet them in Miami.
“Breaking Bad” 10 p.m. Sunday AMC (fifth season debut) — Did Walt “win” after killing Gus? Not so fast…
“Political Animals” 10 p.m. Sunday USA (new series) — Sigourney Weaver plays a former first lady who is now Secretary of State.
“Small Town Security“ 11:04 p.m. Sunday AMC (new series) — A family-run private-security firm out of Ringgold, GA.
“Black Dynamite” 11:30 p.m. Sunday Adult Swim (new series) — Following the exploits of Dynamite and his crew of sidekick in 1970s Los Angeles.
By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk