What’s Worth Watching: Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, MADtv, Difficult People and more for Tuesday, July 26
Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel (10/9c, HBO): For the first time in 22 years of powerful sports journalism, the series devotes an entire episode to a single investigation of a high-profile target: the International Olympic Committee and its impact on host cities including Rio de Janiero, Brazil, where the Summer Games will begin in little more than a week. The emphasis isn’t so much on whether the Games will be ready, but on the IOC’s ethical and legal controversies. Bryant Gumbel reports from Europe, where the IOC is based, and correspondent Jon Frankel goes to Rio to expose shameful health conditions at the venues and within the city itself. Looking back at human-rights abuses of past host cities, Bernard Goldberg visits Sochi, Russia, and David Scott travels to Beijing, China.
MADtv (9/8c, The CW): A new ensemble takes on pop culture with mixed results in a reboot of the sketch-comedy series, welcoming back original stars Nicole Sullivan and Will Sasso from the glory days on Fox. They do a mean Bill and Hillary Clinton appearing on The Trulywed Game, seriously upstaging the newbies playing the Trumps—but pity anyone tackling Melania after last week’s devastating impersonation by Laura Benanti on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. A Game of Thrones spoof is better in theory—even Brienne can’t keep up with the plot—than execution, but I did get a kick out of a Bachelor parody in which a faux Kenny Rogers is the suitor, explaining how he was chosen to be “the next emotionally bankrupt moron to star in their sadistic yet socially accepted form of modern-day prostitution.”
Difficult People (new episodes available Tuesday on Hulu): Portlandia’s Fred Armisen returns to this hysterical comedy as Billy’s (Billy Eichner) brother, Garry, who moves in and cramps his sibling’s lifestyle. In the latest who’d-have-imagined celebrity cameo, beloved documentarian Ken Burns appears as himself.
Inside Tuesday TV: NBC’s top-rated America’s Got Talent (8/7c) begins its live performances, with 12 contestants performing on the Dolby Theatre stage in hopes of advancing to the semifinals. … While the family prepares for their next big score on TNT’s Animal Kingdom (9/8c), young J (Finn Cole) is under pressure from the cops to turn on the animals he lives with. … A&E’s poignant docu-series Born This Way returns for a second season (10/9c), following the experiences of seven young Southern California adults living with Down syndrome and attempting to pursue their work and personal goals with independence.