Saturday, July 4 (CBS)
Series Burn-Off: Talk about “unceremonious.” Dumped on Saturdays, on the Fourth of July? Damn. Canceled family sitcom “The Millers” (starring Will Arnett, Margo Martindale, Beau Bridges and J.B. Smoove) deserves a better send-off than this; there are far worse CBS comedies with far less-capable casts (“The Odd Couple” comes to mind … and now my brain hurts), but at least Arnett’s time is now freed up for more of Netflix’s “BoJack Horseman” — we all win there. Ultimately, “The Millers” wasted funny people on aggressively unfunny writing, much like CBS mainstay “Mike & Molly” (Melissa McCarthy, hilarious; Billy Gardell, hysterical; the show, unwatchable) and, insult to injury, it’s being lowered into the TV grave alongside…
Saturday, July 4 (CBS)
Series Burn-Off: The worst CBS sitcom ever? Tough call, but I’m still going to have to go with “The Odd Couple” reboot — even if you’ve never seen it, you’ve probably heard Matthew Perry shouting his lines, wherever you happen to be. As for “The McCarthys,” its loudmouthed Irish Bah-ston clan with one odd-out kinda-gay son was too bland to be considered truly terrible, and there was no frittered star-power (Laurie Metcalf? Joey McIntyre? What is this, TBS?). But, while this is blowing out its remaining episodes, the final six installments of “The Michael J. Fox Show” — a legitimately funny series canceled by NBC last year — have never aired in the U.S. For shame, ‘Merica.
Wednesday, July 8 (IFC)
Miniseries Debut: It may have seemed like a bizarre fever dream, but 2014’s “The Spoils of Babylon” actually did happen. That ludicrously loopy Will Ferrell/Adam McKay tribute to epic ’70s and ’80s miniseries dynasties was as funny as Ferrell’s recent Lifetime flick, “A Deadly Adoption,” was painfully straight, and “The Spoils Before Dying” is set up as another “lost masterpiece” from author/director Eric Jonrosh (Ferrell). This time around, the six-episode/three-night event is a ’50s hard-boiled crime-noir set in “the seedy underbelly of Los Angeles’ jazz scene,” centered on a musician (Michael Kenneth Williams — Chalky from “Boardwalk Empire”!) framed for the murder of his occasional lover, Fresno Foxglove (Maya Rudolph). Kristen Wiig, Haley Joel Osment, Val Kilmer and Michael Sheen also return from “Babylon,” joined by new additions Kate McKinnon, Tim Meadows and, for no good reason, Emily Ratajkowski (OK, maybe two obvious reasons). [“The Spoils Before Dying” continues Thursday, July 9 and Friday, July 10.]
“Why? With Hannibal Burress”
Wednesday, July 8 (Comedy Central)
Series Debut: You know him as the comic who definitively outed Bill Cosby, or the boyfriend from “Broad City,” or the guy who seized the opportunity upon NBC’s cancellation of “Hannibal” to promote his new show with the Twitter hashtag #ThereCanBeOnlyOne. “Why? With Hannibal Burress” is a stand-up/sketch show with a twist: It’s taped the week it airs, offering a fresh-ish take on topical news and events — and the way things have been going lately, he’ll have plenty of material to work with (or as much as Burress’ slower-than-molasses delivery will allow him to squeeze in). CV
Bill Frost writes about television for Salt Lake City Weekly, talks about it on the TV Tan Podcast (Tuesdays on iTunes and Stitcher), and tweets about it at @Bill_Frost.