Worth Watching: ’30 Rock’ Touts NBCUniversal, CW Goes to ‘Killer Camp,’ Finales (‘The Bold Type,’ ‘Heartland’)
A selective critical checklist of notable Thursday TV:
30 Rock: A One-Time Special (8/7c, NBC): Is this a joke? Well, where 30 Rock is concerned, it’s always a joke. But in one of the more peculiar programming stunts, the brilliant cast of the beloved satire reunites for what amounts to a televised Upfront presentation of NBCUniversal product on its many platforms — from traditional NBC to cable cousins (USA, Bravo, Syfy, Telemundo, etc.) to the new streaming service, Peacock. The premise of this mock infomercial brings Liz (Tina Fey), Jack (Alec Baldwin), Jenna (Jane Krakowski), Tracy (Tracy Morgan) and the rest back to NBC to help their old pal Kenneth (Jack McBrayer) prepare for the presentation, along the way rediscovering their love of TV. But in a plot twist they may not have seen coming, many NBC affiliates are refusing to air the show, reportedly out of concern that the Peacock plugs are coming at the expense of their linear brand. (If you’re dying to see the special, it will be repeated Friday on the company’s cable platforms and will be available online and On Demand.)
Killer Camp (8/7c, The CW): Paging Jason Voorhees… Part reality show, part murder-mystery game, this intentionally campy British import gathers 11 strangers to what they think will be a televised “Summer Camp” series, only to learn they’ve been cast in Killer Camp, a spooky whodunit and who’ll-be-next-to-die caper in which someone’s going to be bumped off each night. The goal is to earn money while avoiding execution and trying to discover which of the campers is the killer. Though it’s actually an evil handyman, “Bruce,” who’s carrying out the mastermind’s bloody orders. At any rate, it can’t be worse than the Friday the 13th-inspired season of American Horror Story.
The Bold Type (10/9c, Freeform): The fourth season of the aspirational New York City young-adult soap ends with Sutton (Meghann Fahy) visiting her hometown and Jane (Katie Stevens) pursuing a big story that could blow back in a big way on Jacqueline (Melora Hardin). All the while, Kat (Aisha Dee) wonders if she should confide in her two besties about her new romance.
Also wrapping up its story for the 13th season: UPtv’s heartwarming Canadian Heartland (8/7c) with back-to-back episodes, including a crisis for the horse-ranching Flemings when their beloved king shepherd Remi is caught in a hunter’s snare.
Shows from the reality arena closing shop for the season include Discovery’s Treasure Island with Bear Grylls (8/7c), Fox’s Labor of Love (9/8c) and TBS’s comedic The Misery Index (10:30/9:30c).
Inside Thursday TV: Streaming highlights include the Sundance Now premiere of The Secrets She Keeps, an Australian psychological thriller starring Downton Abbey‘s Laura Carmichael and Arrow‘s Jessica De Gouw as very pregnant women from different social classes whose lives intertwine after a chance encounter… HBO Max acquires the first season of OWN’s Peabody-winning coming-of-age drama David Makes Man… Also on HBO Max: The House of Ho, a reality series about a Vietnamese-American family who worked hard, prospered and are now living the dream in Houston… The Netflix film Fatal Affair stars Nia Long and Omar Epps in a gender-reversed Fatal Attraction about a married woman whose ill-advised fling with an old friend turns potentially deadly… Controversial writer/producer and religious scholar Reza Azlan returns to TV in Topic’s Believer, traveling the globe to immerse himself in religious customs and rituals. Stops and topics include India’s holy city of Varanasi, Haiti for a study of vodou, a doomsday cult in Hawaii, the culture of ultra-orthodox Jews in Jerusalem and a deep dive into Scientology.