Off the Wall: One year after Michael Jackson's death
Off the Wall goes on a Bender.
SERIES REVIVAL Back from the dead after six years is Matt Groening's animated spacecom "Futurama" (vintage marathon Sunday, 6 p.m.-2 a.m., new episodes begin Thursday at 10 p.m., Comedy Central). Reacquaint yourself with Fry, Leela and ornery robot Bender, comedycentral.com/futurama.
MICHAEL JACKSON ANNIVERSARY Marking his death June25, 2009, TV loads up on MJ videos, tributes and investigations. Cable's big premiere is "This Is It" (Saturday night at 9, Starz), the concert film of the tour rehearsal footage he left behind. Also in performance mode, a teen Michael Jackson stars with Diana Ross in the 1978 movie musical "The Wiz" (Monday at 1 p.m., BET). And his groundbreaking '80s music videos run with factoids in "Pop-Up Video" (Monday at 6 p.m., VH1 Classic). There's even the miniseries dramatization of his family's rise to fame in "The Jacksons: An American Dream" (Saturday night 11 p.m.-4 a.m., Sunday 1-6 p.m., VH1).
But Jackson rates plenty of reality screen time, too. "The Trials of Michael Jackson" (Saturday night at 8, Documentary Channel) covers his 2005 child molestation charge. Other new specials shift focus to those around him, in "The Secret Lives of Michael Jackson's Children" (Sunday at 9p.m., TLC) and "Michael Jackson and Bubbles: The Untold Story" (Tuesday at 10p.m., Animal Planet), about his chimp. Check back in Thursday's Newsday for details on TV's more extensive MJ blitz coming at the end of the week. In the meantime, peruse MTV's jam-packed MJ archive at michaeljackson.mtv.com.
REALITY ARRIVALS Animals, lesbians, criminals - this week is all over the map. "Last Chance Highway" (Saturday night at 8, Animal Planet) tracks rescuers saving soon-to-be-euthanized dogs by transporting them from the South to the Northeast. "The Real L Word" (Sunday at 10 p.m., Showtime) takes over in real life where the Los Angeles lesbians drama left off. "Inedible to Incredible" (Monday at 10 p.m., TLC) calls itself a "What Not to Wear" for home cooks, breaking bad habits through intervention by chef John Besh. "Unusual Suspects" (Monday at 10 p.m., ID) recounts tales of weird culprits. And "Boston Med" (Thursday at 10 p.m., ABC/7) eavesdrops on emotional moments at three hospitals.
FATHER'S DAY Soap gangsters, Sylvester Stallone and Atticus Finch - what's not to love? Among Sunday's celebrants: "General Hospital" (Sunday, 3-7 p.m., SOAPnet) abridges the suspenseful story of mobster Sonny and nobody-knows-it's-his-son cop Dante. "To Kill a Mockingbird" (Sunday at 8 p.m., Turner Classic Movies) is this week's Essentials Jr. entry introducing kids to classic films. This year's "Guys Choice Awards" (Sunday 10 p.m.- midnight, Spike) honors Stallone and also features LeBron James, Kiefer Sutherland, George Clooney, Chris Rock, James Gandolfini, Dwayne Johnson and, even more important, Jessica Biel, Scarlett Johansson and Sandra Bullock. Check spike.com/guyschoice.
SUNDAY SOAPS AND CABLE COPS Scripted summer shows. Replacing ABC's housewives and siblings this Sunday are Virginia Madsen's wacked-out crime family portrait "Scoundrels" (Sunday at 9 p.m., ABC/7) and suburban vampires in "The Gates" (Sunday at 10 p.m., ABC/7). Police roll with Jason Lee's blues-singing detective in "Memphis Beat" (Tuesday at 10 p.m., TNT) and Missy Peregrym's in "Rookie Blue" (Thursday at 9 p.m., ABC/7).
SERIES FINALES No more heads to roll, so it's over for Jonathan Rhys-Meyers' Henry VIII on "The Tudors" (Sunday at 9 p.m., Showtime). Also saying see ya is Holly Hunter's wild-child police detective on "Saving Grace" (Monday 9-11 p.m., TNT). Catch up to the (adult) action at sho.com/tudors and tnt.tv/savinggrace.