Diane Werts writes about television for Newsday. Werts previously was the founding editor of Newsday's trend-spotting magazine TV
TV highlights for the week.
San Diego's ginormous fanfest starts Thursday, with TV an ever-larger part of the madness. Crashing this year's event is late-nighter "Conan" (Wednesday, July 8-Saturday, July 11 at 11 p.m., TBS), whose Friday show has a cast mash of "Game of Thrones" and "The Walking Dead." Comic-Con even extends to "Cupcake Wars" (Thursday, July 9 at 8 p.m., Cooking), with comic cakes, and "Dateline on ID" (Sunday, July 12 at 8 p.m., ID), about a comic book murder. Conan goes comic at teamcoco.com/comiccon.
Last pair standing
Parent-child duos reach the season finale of the singing competition "Me Pongo de Pie" (Sunday, July 5 at 8 p.m., Univision/41). Video at univision.com
Depression-era moppet Shirley Temple is July's star of the month at Turner Classic Movies, where weekly quintuple features start with 1934's "Little Miss Marker" (Monday, July 6 at 8 p.m.). Then it's TCM's Tuesday-Wednesday's 48-hour festival marking the 100th anniversary of Technicolor -- 25 films ranging from 1922's Anna May Wong vehicle "The Toll of the Sea" (Tuesday, July 7 at 6 a.m.) to director Martin Scorsese's 2004 epic "The Aviator" (Thursday at 12:30 a.m.). Those lucky enough to get Sony Movie Channel can see two '60s takes on the Cold War nuclear threat: the black comedy "Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb" (Sunday, July 5 at 7 and 10:40 p.m.) followed by the thriller "Fail Safe" (8:40 p.m. and 12:20 a.m.). Full schedules at tcm.com and sonymoviechannel.com
Late-night live event
No bull, it's time for "Running of the Bulls" (Monday-Friday nights at 2 a.m., Esquire), covering this year's mayhem in the streets of Pamplona, Spain. Too late for you? Try 11 p.m.'s nightly hour of highlights. More at tv.esquire.com
Way too many "reality" arrivals this week. Among them: "The Seven Year Switch" (Tuesday, July 7 at 9 p.m., FYI) puts members of "couples at a crossroads" into an "experimental marriage" with a stranger. "Soccer Superstar" (Wednesday, July 8-Saturday, July 11 at 9 p.m., Nickelodeon) seeks the country's next great teen female player. "One Bad Choice" (Thursday, July 9 at 11 p.m., MTV) tracks fateful decisions that changed young lives, following the season return of "Teen Mom 2."
Will Ferrell's "Funny or Die" gang returns with another miniseries spoof, "The Spoils Before Dying" (Wednesday, July 8-Friday, July 10 at 9 p.m., IFC), as Maya Rudolph, Michael Kenneth Williams and Kristen Wiig hit the '50s jazz scene. "Why? With Hannibal Buress" (Wednesday, July 8 at 10:30 p.m., Comedy Central) debuts after "Key & Peele" starts a new season. "Lip Sync Battle" (Thursday, July 9 at 10 p.m., Spike) is back with new episodes. "Comedy Bang! Bang!" (Thursday, July 9 at 11 p.m., IFC) welcomes new musical co-host Kid Cudi.