Thursday, May 14 (Fox)
Of all the creepy TV mysteries set in idyllic little mountain towns, M. Night Shyamalan’s “Wayward Pines” is, well, the latest — and, if Fox sticks to its “10-episode limited series” promise (thanks for tainting our trust, “Under the Dome”), potentially one of the greatest. Matt Dillon stars as Ethan Burke, a Secret Service agent searching for a pair of MIA colleagues in Idaho who, after a car crash, winds up in Wayward Pines, a postcard-perfect hamlet with no roads or communication (the phones are all … landlines!) out. Disorienting weirdness and escalating clues that Wayward Pines maybe be some kind of pseudo-governmental “Truman Show” ensue, with supporting characters (including Juliette Lewis, Carla Gugino and the suddenly-“Empire”-hot Terrence Howard) offering Burke varying degrees of insight and/or misdirection. “Wayward Pines” doles out the answers slowly, but closure is guaranteed.
Thursday, May 14 (IFC)
Last season, “Marc Maron” (Marc Maron) further proved himself to be lousy at romantic relationships, familial bonding, social interaction and pretty much anything else that happens outside of his garage podcasting studio. Likewise, “Maron” established itself as more than a “Louie” knockoff, a worthy semi-autobiographical comedy with its own scratchy voice that’s as comfortable as it is occasionally dark. Season 3 doesn’t look to break the format: Marc’s still looking for love, falling into sitcom-adjacent wackiness (like being asked to be a sperm donor for a lesbian couple) and figuring out what the hell’s wrong with himself (spoiler: everything). Don’t ever change, Marc — look at the all grief it caused Louis C.K. last year.
“The 2015 Billboard Music Awards”
Sunday, May 17 (ABC)
If “The Grammy Awards,” “The Latin Grammys,” “The iHeart Radio Music Awards,” “American Music Awards,” “The MTV Video Music Awards,” “The MTVu Woodie Awards,” “The Country Music Television Awards,” “The Country Music Association Awards,” “The Academy of Country Music Awards,” “The American Country Countdown Awards,” “The BET Awards,” “The BET Hip-Hop Awards,” “The Soul Train Awards” and “The Radio Disney Music Awards” haven’t already satisfied your insatiable awards-show appetite, you are almost definitely Taylor Swift. Thanks for reading, Taylor.
Sunday, May 17 (AMC)
Someone knows how “Mad Men” ultimately ends — not you or I, but someone. The theories will likely end up being far more fantastical than what show boss Matthew Weiner actually closes with, while the more mundane “Don falls from the building a la the opening credits,” “Peggy opens her own agency and finally transforms into Don” and “Fed-up Joan becomes a chauvinist-killing vigilante supervillianess terrorizing New York City by night” don’t quite cut it. The almost year-long break in Season 7 sucked what little buzz was left out of “Mad Men,” but that’s probably for the best: Unlike “Breaking Bad,” this is a series that needs to end quietly and on its own stately terms. But that doesn’t mean I’m not holding out hope for a spin-off series — might I suggest “Trudy!”, starring Alison Brie? CV
Bill Frost writes about television for Salt Lake City Weekly, talks about it on TV Tan Podcast (iTunes and Stitcher), and tweets about it at @Bill_Frost.