Game Show Mania (‘Pyramid’ Returns, ‘Crime Scene Kitchen’), ‘Chicago,’ ‘SEAL Team’ and ‘S.W.A.T.’ Finales, Netflix Goes ‘High on the Hog’
As many network shows sign off, including NBC’s Chicago trilogy, summer game shows arrive, including the return of The $100,000 Pyramid and Fox’s new Crime Scene Kitchen. Netflix tempts the taste buds with a culinary history of African-American food traditions. The Property Brothers are back on HGTV.
The $100,000 Pyramid
With summer comes a flurry of prime-time game shows, and one of the best is the fast-paced word-association game that sat out the last cycle on ABC. Michael Strahan returns as the genial host, and his first celebrity guests include Rosie O’Donnell competing against Nate Berkus, and in the second round, The Daily Show’s Michael Kosta and Roy Wood Jr. Also back on ABC: Press Your Luck (8/7c), with Elizabeth Banks and a bunch of new Whammy icons.
Crime Scene Kitchen
Fox game shows tend to have a high cheese threshold, and this high-concept baking competition is no exception, though here it’s more about cream cheese or cheese-cake. Joel McHale is the snarky host, welcoming teams of bakers to play “culinary detective” as they snoop around the crumbs, utensils and scattered clues in a studio kitchen to deduce what had been baked there, and then try to recreate the dessert for the judges (Curtis Stone and Yolanda Gampp). The fun is in watching them go down very different paths—was it a Boston cream pie or a Sacher tort?—on the way to the reveal, which McHale describes as “a diabolical box of mystery so confounding it even has its own lighting effects.”
On a night of Chicago-based procedural finales, Med Dr. Will Halstead (Nick Gehlfuss) could pay a steep professional price over the stolen trial medication. Followed by Chicago Fire (9/8c), where more potential change is afoot at the firehouse and Severide (Taylor Kinney) gets a shocking call. Wrapping the night on a typically intense note is Chicago PD (10/9c), where Kim Burgess (Marina Squerciati) is in peril after being abducted by human traffickers.
High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America
Oscar-winning filmmaker Roger Ross Williams (Music by Prudence) directs a mouth-watering and culturally resonant four-part docuseries tracing the roots of Black America’s culinary history from Africa to the deep south to the country’s finest kitchens. Adapting food historian Jessica B. Harris’ book, the series follows food writer Stephen Satterfield as he savors the traditions behind West African stews, barbecue and soul food.
The Handmaid’s Tale
Arriving in Canada, June (Elisabeth Moss) is assured, “You’re home and you’re safe.” But the former handmaid has so much trauma process that this episode, titled “Home,” may be one of the most harrowing in the series’ history. With husband Luke (O.T. Fagbenle), she only has regret for the child she left behind in Gilead. But when she learns that her nemesis Serena Joy (Yvonne Strahovski) has miraculously conceived, June demands an emotional confrontation that leaves everyone shattered.
More season finales:
- The Masked Singer (8/7c, Fox): Last year’s winner LeAnn “Sun” Rimes returns for the finale as a guest panelist, just in time for this year’s champ to be rewarded with the Golden Mask.
- SEAL Team (9/8c, CBS): In what sounds like a grueling turning point for the military drama—which moves to Paramount+ next season after four Sunday episodes on CBS in the fall—Bravo suffers yet another setback when the unit takes a devastating hit. For team leader Jason Hayes (David Boreanaz), who’s had enough grief to last a lifetime, he and the rest of the guys will have to make some big life choices.
- S.W.A.T. (10/9c, CBS): The fourth-season finale leaves Hondo’s (Shemar Moore) future in the balance after the bombing of an LAPD station forces one last confrontation with the Imperial Dukes domestic extremists.
Inside Wednesday TV:
- Property Brothers: Forever Home (8/7c, HGTV): Twins Drew and Jonathan Scott are back with new episodes of the popular renovation series in which they turn meh houses into homes families will never want to leave. This can also be streamed same-day on discovery+, which premieres the new series 40-Year-Old Property Virgin, about prospective first-time home buyers who have waited a long time to leave the nest, leaning on family and friends for advice as they make the leap to ownership.
- Great Electric Airplane Race (9/8c, PBS, check local listings at pbs.org): NOVA explores a new horizon in air travel with a special that visits engineers and aviators experimenting with electric-powered aircraft that could reduce the carbon emissions so common in airborne transportation. Among the innovations observed: the Kitty Hawk Heaviside, a single-seat Electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing vehicle, and an electric air taxi that could revolutionize how people get around cities.
- The Bold Type (10/9c, Freeform): The drama about three young professional women making it in New York City returns for its fifth and final season, with Jane (Katie Stevens) rushing to deliver a risky exposé that could rock her mentor/boss Jacqueline’s (Melora Hardin) world.
- Curse of Akakor (10/9c, Discovery): A new reality series follows investigators into the Amazon jungle to find out what happened to three explorers who disappeared in the 1980s while seeking the legendary cities of Akakor and Akahim. Could the river guide Tatunca Nara have the answers they’re looking for in this exotic mystery?
- New to Netflix: Nail Bomber: Manhunt, a true-crime documentary about the search for the far-right extremist behind a series of 1999 London bombings; and two international imports: Baggio: The Divine Ponytail (Il Divin Codino) from Italy, a profile of soccer star Roberto Baggio over his 22-year career; and the Thai thriller Ghost Lab, about two medical researchers who go down a deadly rabbit hole while investigating spirits from the afterlife.