As the countdown to the season premiere of “Nash Bridges” continues, TV is pretty much just phoning it in until the start of the new fall season. How bad is it? Well, A&E’s venerable “Biography” series is running a full week of shows dedicated to Adam West and the actors who played villains on “Batman” in the 1960s. Oh, and there’s also a weeklong, four-hours-per-night “The Facts of Life” endurance test on Nick at Nite. Let us be the first to say finally!
Hey, remember this? “Do not attempt to adjust your television set! We control the vertical!” One guess. OK, that’s it …
Prepare to regain control of your TV’s “vertical hold!” The second coming of a classic science-fiction anthology series makes its second going as the final episode of “The Outer Limits” airs Sunday at 8 p.m. EDT on Showtime and finally releases control of your television set. The original series first took control of our collective vertical holds back in 1963, which makes us wonder: Do TVs even have vertical hold anymore? And if so, what’s going to happen to my set when there is no one to control it? The Showtime version of “Limits” has always been high on star power from actors and directors who were fans of the original. And tonight’s finale is loaded with big names including … hold on to your “vertical hold” … Charlton Heston! Yes!
ABC’s “Monday Night Football” starts up in earnest this week as the reigning Super Bowl champions St. Louis Rams take on the Denver Broncos in the season opener. You’d better keep a dictionary and maybe a good book on world history next to the beer and pretzels because Dennis Miller really is going to do color commentary. The Broncos should be back in the playoff picture this year if running back Terrell Davis’ surgically repaired knee holds together. Or as Miller might say, “Hey, I haven’t heard of a comeback like that since William of Orange overthrew King Jimmy the Second of England in the Bloodless Revolution! Right, Al?” Um … go Broncos?
Tuesday is Four Star Movie Night this week. First, big time movie star and heavily armed activist Charlton Heston gets his second mention this week, as he once again takes up the chariot reins in the 1959 Best Picture Oscar winner “Ben-Hur” (8 p.m. EDT on TCM). Heston also took home the Best Actor Oscar for this one. Or if you prefer something with a little more talkin’ and a little less butt-kickin,’ how about Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson, who won the Best Actress Oscar for this role, starring in 1992’s multi-Oscar winning adaptation of E.M. Forster’s “Howard’s End” (8 p.m. EDT on Bravo)?
HBO will be rerunning its graphic and powerful 2000 miniseries “The Corner” in six parts starting Wednesday at 11 p.m. EDT. Director Charles S. Dutton (“Roc,” “Alien 3” as actor) received an Emmy nomination for this look at one year in a Baltimore neighborhood infested with drugs, addictions and the lifestyles they breed.
The “MTV Video Music Awards 2000” will be live from Radio City Music Hall on Thursday at 8 p.m. EDT. MTV usually has the best award shows because, at the bare minimum, if it’s not entertaining, at least it’s going to be fast-paced. Also, Billy Crystal and Robin Williams will not be there. This year’s hosts are the latest in a seemingly endless stream of Wayans brothers, Shawn and Marlon. This year’s list of “controversial” performers will include Eminem (controversial lyrics), Britney Spears (controversial anatomy), Rage Against the Machine (controversial politics) and Janet Jackson (controversial brother).