TV tonight: True Blood and Dexter steal the night from major networks

Bloody Sunday reinforces cable’s domination of the night
Photo: Showtime/Dexter

WASHINGTONJuly 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.

SEE RELATED: TV tonight: Pay cable delivers with ‘True Blood’ and ‘Ray Donovan’

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.

SEE RELATED: TV tonight: ‘Ray Donovan’ premieres and ‘Dexter’ starts final season

Tonight’s viewing:

All times are EDT:

8 p.m.

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.

8:30 p.m.

FOX: Bob’s Burgers: (Repeat) Gene upstages Bob during a cooking segment on the morning news in the Season 2 finale.

9 p.m.

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.

9:30 p.m. 

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.

9:45 p.m.

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.

10 p.m.

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.

Basic cable:

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

Devious Maids at 10 p.m. on LIFE

Restaurant Impossible at 10 p.m. on Food Channel

Life Below Zero at 10 p.m. on NGC

Breaking Amish: LA at 10 p.m. on TLC

For movie lovers:

8 p.m.

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

9 p.m.

Ruby Sparks on HBO

American Reunion on HBO

Resident Evil: Apocalypse MOMAX

Looper on STARZ

Later tonight:

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

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Lisa King

I was born and educated in Southwest Virginia, traveled with my job all over America in my twenties and early thirties then came back to the mountains to raise my daughter.

I’ve been employed as everything from a quality control technician in industrial construction, to a mail processing plant manager, to postmaster of a small town. I’ve been to forty nine of the fifty states, as well as many other countries. Traveling will always be a passion I indulge, and something I’ll call upon often in my writing. 

I come from a long line of story tellers, and will shamelessly exploit a family tree resplendent with colorful and unique characters, both past and present.

In short my perspective will reflect the pride and familiarity I have of my Appalachian heritage. My stories will be a reflection of the values I believe we hold dearest here, all embellished with a healthy dose of Southern Appalachian flare.


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