WASHINGTON, July 21, 2013 —“True Blood” and “Dexter” have done a lot more than raise the demand for fake blood in Hollywood. Last Sunday night their combined viewer numbers beat the major network competition in the 9 p.m. time slot. “Big Brother” on CBS won the night with just over six million viewers, hardly a knockout, especially since five repeat episodes of scripted shows rated higher for the week.
This year Sunday nights have become all about cable, with record setting shows like “True Blood,” “The Bible,” “Dowton Abbey” and “The Walking Dead” wiping out all the competition. Expect this trend to continue since the major broadcast networks are still slotting competitive reality shows into their Sunday night line ups.
Elsewhere on basic cable tonight, the fascination with Alaska continues on “Ultimate Survival Alaska,” “Ice Road Truckers” and “Life Below Zero.” All three shows feature the unforgiving landscape of Alaska as the main character of the show.
Perhaps the most promising sleeper hit of the night is “Copper” at 10 p.m. on BBC. Set in 1860s New York City during the American Civil War, the show focuses on an Irish immigrant police detective trying to keep the peace in the historical Five Points neighborhood in 1860s New York City.
In the tradition of “Dowton Abbey,” “Copper’s” strongest asset is the accurate portrayal of a particular time in American history. Most recently depicted in the movie “Gangs of New York,” 1860s New York City provides a lush backdrop of scenery and characters that we never read about in history class. Add to the setting a likable immigrant “Copper,” and the result is a show that has enough potential to become a Sunday night staple.
All times are EDT:
ABC: Celebrity Wife Swap: (New) Actress Downtown Julie Brown and former professional basketball player Lisa Leslie swap lives for one week.
CBS: Big Brother: (New) Nominations for eviction are revealed.
FOX: The Simpsons: (Repeat) In the Season 24 finale, Marge unwittingly gets involved with a web site for married people seeking affairs, and meets a charming man (voice of Seth MacFarlane) who takes quite an interest in her.
FOX: Bob’s Burgers: (Repeat) Gene upstages Bob during a cooking segment on the morning news in the Season 2 finale.
ABC: Whodunnit: (New) The eight remaining guests investigate how the killer used a horse, snake and poisonous flowers on the latest victim.
CBS: The Good Wife: (Repeat) Alicia takes a case involving software coders in a contract dispute as a favor to her mother.
FOX: Family Guy: (Repeat) Peter, Quagmire and Joe must save the Clam from closing.
NBC: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: (Repeat) A sniper attacks the NYPD twice, and the shootings appear to be linked to one of Fin’s old cases in narcotics. As the violence escalates, Fin contacts his former partner and Lt. Eames assists with the investigation.
HBO: True Blood: (New) Bill seeks Lilith’s advice on the escalating crisis between humans and vampires; Eric, Pam, Nora, Jason and Jessica get an inside look at Vamp Camp; Sam tries to make the best decision for Emma’s future and Andy names his faerie daughters.
Showtime: Dexter: (New) Dexter tracks down another potential serial killer from Dr. Vogel’s list; Quinn defends Debra’s honor in a fight; Vogel begins treating Debra for post-traumatic stress disorder.
FOX: Axe Cop: (New) In a preview of an animated series about an axe-wielding police officer who gets by on two minutes of sleep per night and eats only cake, Bat Warthog Man’s friends go missing, prompting a night mission by Axe Cop, his partner Flute Cop, and their allies.
FOX: High School USA!: (New) A sneak peek at the animated series following an overly optimistic group of high-school students. First up: Marsh’s best friend is accused of bullying; Cassandra prepares for the “It Gets Better After High School” dance.
ABC: Castle: (Repeat) When the founder of an adult video franchise is murdered, Beckett and Castle are faced with a lengthy list of suspects; Castle is upset when Alexis starts a revealing video blog.
CBS: The Mentalist: (Repeat) The team investigate a case involving a graduate student at a natural history museum.
NBC: Crossing Lines: (New) Eva discovers another kidnapping in Florence; a secret jeopardizes Sebastian’s career; a search of the missing boy’s father’s financial records turns up surprising information.
Showtime: Ray Donovan: (New) Ray’s family visits Bel Air Academy, while the other Donovans drive out to Palm Springs to visit Mickey’s ex-girlfriend.
HBO: The Newsroom: (New) Neal gets arrested on Wall Street; Maggie lands a coveted assignment, but loses a friend; MacKenzie and Sloan push Will for more coverage of drones.
New episodes of:
HGTV Star at 8 p.m. on HGTV
The Real Housewives of New Jersey at 8 p.m. on BRAVO
Ultimate Survival Alaska at 9 p.m. on NGC
The Killing at 9 p.m. on AMC
Keeping Up With the Kardashians at 9 p.m. on E!
Food Network Star at 9 p.m. on Food Channel
Love it or List it, Too at 9 p.m. on HGTV
Rock My RV With Bret Michaels at 9 p.m. on Travel Channel
Princesses: Long Island at 9 p.m. on BRAVO
Bar Rescue at 9 p.m. on SPIKE
Sister Wives at 9 p.m. on TLC
Naked and Afraid: Uncensored at 9 p.m. on DSC
Call of the Wildman at 9 p.m. on Animal Planet
Call of the Wildman: More Live Action at 9:30 p.m. on Animal Planet
Naked and Afraid at 10 p.m. on DSC
Falling Skies at 10 p.m. on TNT
Ice Road Truckers 10 p.m. on History Channel
Copper at 10 p.m. on BBC
Brother vs. Brother at 10 p.m. on HGTV
Life Below Zero at 10 p.m. on NGC
Breaking Amish: LA at 10 p.m. on TLC
For movie lovers:
The Blind Side on ABCFAM
That’s My Boy on ENC
The Scarlet Letter on FLIX
The Twilight Saga: New Moon on FXM
True Grit on FX
Cherish on SUND
Due Date on TBS
Mon Oncle on TCM
Brokeback Mountain on TCM
Red on TNT
Ruby Sparks on HBO
American Reunion on HBO
Resident Evil: Apocalypse MOMAX
Looper on STARZ
The Good Doctor at 9:30 p.m. on SHO
How High at 10 p.m. on CINEMAX
Basic Instinct at 10 p.m. on ENC
Thelma & Louise at 10 p.m. on SUND
Modern Times at 10 p.m. on TCM
Mansfield Park at 10:30 p.m. on FLIX