Worth Watching: A New ‘Tune,’ Surviving Disasters on PBS, ‘Surviving Death’ on Netflix, Food’s ‘Kitchen Crash’
A selective critical checklist of notable Wednesday TV:
Name That Tune (9/8c, Fox): We can name this reboot in one note. Here’s a given in these days of network uncertainty: Game shows are all the rage, including this time-honored format which has been around in various incarnations since the 1950s. (One of the most prominent Tune hosts, Tom Kennedy, passed away last year.) Fronting the latest version of the musical competition as host: Tony winner and bona fide Broadway baby Jane Krakowski, a veteran of 30 Rock and Ally McBeal, with American Idol veteran Randy Jackson as band leader. They’ll guide contestants through music-themed games leading to the all-important Bid-a-Note round, with the winner proceeding to the Golden Medley bonus round and a possible $100,000 grand prize.
When Disaster Strikes (10/9c, PBS, check local listings at pbs.org): A timely three-part docuseries takes a global look at the devastation from such natural calamities as flood, drought and hurricanes, with a focus on disaster relief from local and international sources. The opener travels to Mozambique, where a March 2019 cyclone triggered a 15-foot storm surge, flooding entire villages. The episode follows the efforts of humanitarian and government agencies from around the world as they help rescue and tend to survivors while preparing the region to mitigate the impact of any disasters that follow.
Nature Gone Wild (10/9c, A&E): Sensing a theme? Greg Aiello, an Emmy-winning back-country guide and explorer, shares his own and others’ footage of extreme events involving wildlife and nature, including animal attacks and natural disasters. Aiella analyzes these clips in half-hour episodes, airing back to back.
Surviving Death (streaming on Netflix): In recent years, we’ve seen whimsical treatments of the afterlife in life-affirming comedies including The Good Place, Forever, and Upload. But how do experts, including scientists and students of the paranormal, truly regard death and its aftermath? A six-part series looks into these profound questions about what lies in the great beyond, with first-person accounts of near-death experiences and investigations of séances, after-death communications, sightings of the newly dead and visions of those who are preparing to die.
Kitchen Crash (10/9c, Food Network): Would you let a stranger raid your fridge and pantry? In a throwback to a time when block parties were still a thing, this six-episode competition series, hosted by Jeff Mauro, sends professional chefs into a neighborhood where they have 10 minutes to convince a local resident to let them fill a bin with whatever’s in their kitchen and pantry. An outdoor cookoff follows, and the winner splits a $10,000 cash prize with the host family.
Inside Wednesday TV: NBC’s Chicago triumvirate returns with new episodes, including a life-or-death decision for Dr. Halstead (Nick Gehlfuss) on Chicago Med (8/7c), a mishap on an aerial ladder for Mouch (Christian Stolte) on Chicago Fire (9/8c) and the discovery of the murder of an entire family (save for a child found walking alone on the street) on Chicago P.D. (10/9c)… HGTV’s House in a Hurry (8/7c) returns with new episodes of ticking-clock house-hunting, airing back-to-back… ABC devotes the entire night to Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (starts at 8/7c), with celebrity guests including Amanda Peet, Zachary Quinto, Karamo Brown and Ray Romano… You thought Tiger King was wild? National Geographic’s Trafficked with Mariana Van Zeller (9/8c) goes inside the dangerous and secretive world of the global black market for smuggling tigers and, ugh, tiger parts.