Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Hugh Hefner and more: 7 TV shows worth watching this week (June 10 to 16)

A select viewing guide to the next seven days

1 of 7

MONDAY JUNE 10 The Winner Is (NBC, Global, 10 p.m.) Never underestimate the appeal of a flashy singing competition. In the vein of American Idol and The Voice (which wraps its fourth season this week), this new series a spotlight on amateur warblers of all ages and styles–so expect a steady succession of kids, teens, seniors and even family groups in pursuit of the $1-million grand prize. The format pits contestants against each other in heated duels belting out top-40 hits; the twist this time is that as the battle of the warblers progresses, each singer can opt to bow out in exchange for a predetermined cash prize. The redoubtable Nick Lachey hosts.

2 of 7

TUESDAY JUNE 11 Shipping Wars (A&E, 10 p.m.) If A&E can pull in viewers with reality programs about rich hillbillies (Duck Dynasty) and storage-locker scavengers (Storage Wars), why not a show about people who ship things for a living? Back tonight for a third season, this popular series documents the workday routine of independent shipping companies that transport items most carriers won’t touch. In the season-opener, veteran trucker Marc’s patience disappears while shipping a load of props for a Las Vegas magician while the comparative shipper rookie Jarrett foolishly agrees to transport a load of monkeys. That’s right, monkeys.

3 of 7

WEDNESDAY JUNE 12 The American Baking Competition (CBS, Global, 8 p.m.) If you haven’t sampled this sharp cooking competition yet, do it soon because U.S. ratings are underwhelming and there’s little chance of a second season. Based on a British series, the format assembles 10 amateur foodies in the same test kitchen toward the cause of discovering America’s next great baker. Their high-calorie creations are judged by food-TV personalities Marcela Valladolid and Paul Hollywood and when the flour settles at the end of each episode, one lucky person is named that week’s “Star Baker,” while another is sent packing home. And talk about drama! Last week the show challenged the bakers to make letter-perfect macarons. Tonight they have to create multi-layer cakes–and at least one contestant starts a fire in the oven.

4 of 7

THURSDAY JUNE 13 Intervention (A&E, 9 p.m.) Last call for Intervention, so to speak. A&E recently canceled the popular series chronicling the desperate lives of people addicted to drugs, alcohol and other temptations, even though it still ranks among its highest-rated programs. The show returns for its 14 th and final campaign tonight with a typically unflinching profile of a young woman named Jessica, who was once a successful career woman in Chicago with a bright future. Today, she’s living in an abandoned house and hopelessly addicted to heroin.

Story continues below advertisement

5 of 7

FRIDAY JUNE 14 Boardwalk Empire (Showcase, 10 p.m.) Although HBO’s fantasy series Game of Thrones has garnered most of the media attention lately (courtesy of that fantastically graphic recent wedding episode), the cable channel’s period-piece gangster saga is no less epic. Based on real-life events and characters, the premise is set in Atlantic City, circa 1920, shortly after the U.S. government declared Prohibition. The story focuses primarily on local entrepreneur Enoch “Nucky” Thompson and his ambitious scheme to corner the bootleg liquor market by partnering with original gangsters Arnold Rothstein (Michael Stuhlberg) and Charles “Lucky” Luciano (Vincent Piazza). In tonight’s first-season episode, Nucky travels to Chicago for the Republican National Convention, while back home in Atlantic City, his new widow paramour Margaret (Kelly Macdonald) suddenly finds herself entangled in his shady business dealings.

6 of 7

SATURDAY JUNE 15 Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist and Rebel (Citytv, 9 p.m.) An official selection at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival, this smart documentary chronicles the life and times of Chicago-born Hugh Hefner, best known for creating the Playboy magazine empire. While the film efficiently covers Hefner’s unlikely rise in the publishing business, there’s more screen time devoted to his carefully-cultivated public image and his ongoing efforts to promote social causes including racial equality, First Amendment issues and equality for women (seriously!). Watch it for the lively interviews with sixties-culture icons like Dick Gregory, Jesse Jackson, Pete Seeger and others.

7 of 7

SUNDAY JUNE 16 The MuchMusic Video Awards (MuchMusic, 9 p.m.) Get ready to go Gangnam Style. The South Korean pop stay Psy is the big name at this year’s annual awards fete in downtown Toronto. As in years past, the MMVAs are less an awards show than an excuse for record labels to haul out artists who have new product on the market. Besides Psy, the talent lineup includes Avril Lavigne, Demi Lovato, Canada’s own Shawn Desman and American Idol winner Phillip Phillips (real name). Notable presenters include actors Stephen Amell, Patrick J. Adams and Glee’s Naya Rivera. Expect the biggest crowd roar to be for Kunal Nayyar, better known as Raj on The Big Bang Theory.

Report an error