TV tonight: Push Girls or The Winner Is…, another useless talent show

Tonight, Sundance’s ‘Push Girls’ features four wheelchair-bound go getters.

Photo: Sundance/Push Girls

WASHINGTON, June 10, 2013 —Just when you thought summer TV couldn’t get any worse, NBC will air the first episode of “The Winner Is…” tonight immediately following “The Voice” at 10 p.m.

This newest competitive reality show is a strange blend of “The Voice” and “Deal Or No Deal.” That should come as no surprise, because the creators of these two shows are responsible for this latest addition to an already crowded lineup of talent shows on the major broadcast networks.

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The gimmick that drives “The Winner Is…” is the addition of a game show element in which competitors can cash out or keep singing for a shot at more money. But at this point does anyone really care? After watching two hours of singing on “The Voice,” does NBC seriously think the TV audience wants to watch host Nick Lachey try to wax enthusiastic about yet another hour of the same kind of dross and dreck?

Contestants on “The Winner Is…” will be judged by a special in-studio panel led by one to-be-announced celebrity judge. Since the identity of the celebrity judge isn’t included in any of the promotional material, we can probably assume it isn’t Justin Timberlake or Jennifer Lopez. Who knows? Maybe it’s time to revive Pee-wee Herman’s career. Again. NBC could probably get him for cheap. But we digress.

After coming in fifth in the February sweeps behind CBS, ABC, FOX and Univision, (the most-popular Spanish-language network in the country) it defies comprehension that NBC would torture its rapidly dwindling audience with more useless summer filler like “The Winner Is…” But then, much of TV these days defies comprehension.

Fortunately cable programming, both basic and premium, has been stepping up to the plate in the networks’ absence, offering quality programming that is reflected in the nominations for tonight’s “Critic’s Choice Awards.” Two cable networks, HBO and FX, received the most nominations for this year’s awards, with 21 and 19, respectively.

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Among the nominees for best reality show is the cable network Sundance’s groundbreaking new series “Push Girls.” The series follows the lives of four women who have been paralyzed by illness or accident and highlights the day-to-day challenges and triumphs they encounter.

Tonight when the ten o’clock hour rolls around, “Push Girls” may actually prove to be our best viewing choice. It’s certainly a pretty decent alternative for escaping from the increasingly irrelevant offerings cynically flung our way by the major broadcast networks, whose current attitude toward viewers hearkens back to W.C Fields’ famous line: “Never give a sucker an even break.”

Tonight’s viewing:

All times are EDT:

8 p.m.

ABC: The Bachelorette: (New) Desiree and the remaining men play a game of dodgeball; Kate Earl serenades Desiree and a man; individual dates with the guys.

CBS: How I Met Your Mother: (Repeat) In the most important case of his career, Marshall is pitted against his old friend Brad. Meanwhile, the gang recalls youthful entanglements with the law and debate over who was the most notorious teenage delinquent.

FOX: Raising Hope: (Repeat) The Chances’ plot to spring Maw Maw from a nursing home hits a snag when Virginia begins to wonder if she’ll receive better care there than at home. Meanwhile, Jimmy worries about the onset of dementia as he gets older, so he quizzes elderly patients about staying mentally sharp.

NBC: The Voice: (New) Usher performs live and all five remaining artists give do-or-die performances in their quest to make the finals.

CW: Oh Sit!: (Repeat) Asher Monroe performs.

8:30 p.m.

CBS: Mike & Molly: (Repeat) Molly and her mother turn to Mike for help when Victoria is arrested for a number of driving violations.

FOX: The Goodwin Games: (New) Chloe has a career decision to make when her father’s new challenge forces her to reconsider the actor’s life and reenter the world of academia. Meanwhile, with Henry’s fiancée busy running for political office, it falls to him to plan the wedding.

9 p.m.

CBS: 2 Broke Girls: (Repeat) Caroline is in a tizzy when she develops a rash after a romantic evening with her former boyfriend.

FOX: New Girl: (Repeat) Jess and Winston want to get a bathtub for the loft; Nick encounters a beautiful customer at the bar; Schmidt must decide between his boss and Cece.

CW: The Carrie Diaries: (Repeat) Carrie lies and cancels plans with her family in order to spend time with Sebastian. Meanwhile, Maggie and Walt can’t get past their opposing views on sex; and Larissa wants Carrie’s handbag to take center stage in a photo shoot for the magazine.

9:30 p.m.

CBS: Mike and Molly: (Repeat) To improve their chances of becoming pregnant, Molly and Mike cut out caffeine and try eating healthy, but it leads to headaches, withdrawal and hunger pains.

FOX: Anger Management: (New) Charlie uncovers a dirty secret about Jen’s new boyfriend (Brian Austin Green).

10 p.m.

ABC: Mistresses: (New) Karen thinks Savi should hold off on telling Harry about her night with Dominic; April investigates a claim that her late husband, Paul, had another life; Joss befriends a new client (Shannyn Sossamon); Karen agrees to meet with Sam.

CBS: Hawaii Five-0: (Repeat) A college professor’s murder is investigated, and the chief suspects include the victim’s boss, a teaching assistant and a student who was caught cheating by the teacher.

NBC: The Winner Is…: (New) A sneak peek at the singing competition in which performers battle for a $1 million grand prize. First up: Six acts perform in front of 101 music experts. Host: Nick Lachey.

Basic cable:

New episodes of:

Fast ‘N Loud: Revved Up at 8 p.m. on DSC

Love & Hip Hop Atlanta at 8 p.m. on VH1

The Real Housewives of Orange County at 8 and 9 p.m. on BRAVO

Burger Land at 9 p.m. on Travel Channel

Fast ‘N Loud at 9 p.m. on DSC

Defiance at 9 p.m. on Syfy

Major Crimes at 9 p.m. on TNT

Sins & Secrets at 9 p.m. on ID

The Glades at 9 p.m. on A&E

American Pickers at 9 p.m. on History Channel

Love It or List It at 9 p.m. on HGTV

Cake Boss at 9 and 9:30 p.m. on TLC

Longmire at 10 p.m. on A&E

James May’s Toy Stories at 10 p.m. on BBC

Street Outlaws at 10 p.m. on DSC

Blood Relatives at 10 p.m. on ID

Newlyweds: The First Year at 10 p.m. on BRAVO

Warehouse 13 at 10 p.m. on Syfy

Deon Cole’s Black Box at 10 p.m. on TBS

King & Maxwell at 10 p.m. on TNT

House Hunters at 10 p.m. on HGTV

Push Girls at 10 and 10:30 p.m. on SUND

House Hunters International at 10:30 p.m. on HGTV

For movie lovers:

8 p.m.

The Mummy on AMC

Battlefield Earth on CINEMAX

Reindeer Games on ENC

Sylvia on FLIX

The Social Network on FMC

Kung Fu Panda on FX

V for Vendetta on IFC

Johnson County War on REELZ

Slumdog Millionaire on SUND

Caged on TCM

Shakespeare in Love on TMC

9 p.m.

Pussy Riot: A punk Prayer on HBO

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

The Big Lebowski on SHO

Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story on SPIKE

Later tonight:

Chain Lightning at 9:45 p.m. on TCM

Ransom at 9:45 p.m. on ENC

Meet the Fockers at 10 p.m. on CINEMAX

The Pallbearer at 10 p.m. on FLIX

Behind the Candelabra at 10:05 p.m. on HBO

Sparkle at 10:05 p.m. on STARZ

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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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