Earth in dan­ger of as­ter­oid col­li­sion on Sal­va­tion

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NORTHWEST/TELEVISION - MICHAEL STOREY The TV Col­umn ap­pears Sun­day, Tuesday and Thurs­day. Email: mstorey@arkansason­

Weary of sum­mer game shows with their scream­ing, overly fren­zied con­tes­tants? Here’s a sum­mer sus­pense thriller to help while away the time un­til Game of Thrones re­turns Sun­day.

In Sal­va­tion, the earth will be de­stroyed by an as­ter­oid in a mere six months un­less a small band of in­trepid geeks and bil­lion­aires can find a way to stop it. The se­ries de­buts at 8 p.m. Wed­nes­day on CBS. Ama­zon Prime Video will be the ex­clu­sive stream­ing ser­vice for Sal­va­tion; episodes will be avail­able four days af­ter they broad­cast on CBS. Sal­va­tion sounds a bit like 1998 films Deep Im­pact or Ar­maged­don, right? This se­ries also may re­mind some of Sean Con­nery’s 1979 dis­as­ter flick Me­teor, or even 2012’s Seek­ing a Friend for the End of the World with Steve Carell and Keira Knight­ley.

The point is that TV is noth­ing if not de­riv­a­tive. It started out as vis­ual ver­sions of ex­ist­ing ra­dio pro­grams and lit­tle has changed in the al­most 70 years since.

In Sal­va­tion, Mas­sachusetts In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy grad­u­ate stu­dent Liam Cole (Char­lie Rowe, Nev­er­land) dis­cov­ers an as­ter­oid headed to­ward Earth with the col­li­sion cal­cu­lated to be in 186 days.

Cole joins forces with tech bil­lion­aire Dar­ius Tanz (San­ti­ago Cabr­era, Mer­lin) and the Pen­tagon to try to stop it be­fore it ends life as we know it. Jen­nifer Fin­ni­gan ( Tyrant) plays Pen­tagon press sec­re­tary Grace Bar­rows.

Mean­while, Tanz re­cruits sci- fi writer Jil­lian Hayes (Jac­que­line By­ers, Road­ies) to work on a the­o­ret­i­cal ap­proach to sav­ing hu­man­ity. CBS notes her as­sign­ment is “a project that might prove to be all too real.”

Nat­u­rally, in the course of their labors, the Scooby team stum­bles upon “the great­est con­spir­acy the world has ever known.”

They’ll have 13 episodes to stop the as­ter­oid or die. I’m bet­ting they stop the as­ter­oid.

Added bonus: Rock star astro­physi­cist Neil deGrasse Tyson (the Carl Sa­gan for the 21st cen­tury) guest stars as him­self.

This gives CBS the lead in sum­mer thrillers as al­ter­na­tives to such shows as Candy Crush on CBS and ABC’s The Gong Show, Boy Band and Bat­tle of the Net­work Stars.

The other CBS sci-fi ad­ven­ture is Zoo at 9 p.m. Thurs­day (stream­ing car­ried by Net­flix). In that one, life as we know it is threat­ened by a global pan­demic that be­gan with an­i­mals at­tack­ing hu­mans and has evolved into mon­strous hy­brids run­ning amok.

I’d rather face the as­ter­oid.

The Fos­ters, 7 p.m. today, Freeform. This is the Sea­son 5 pre­miere for the se­ries star­ring Teri Polo as po­lice of­fi­cer Stef Fos­ter, wife of Lena Fos­ter (Sherri Saum). Stef is the bi­o­log­i­cal mother of Bran­don, while she and Lena are adop­tive moth­ers to twins Je­sus and Mar­i­ana and bi­o­log­i­cal sib­lings Jude and Cal­lie. Fam­ily drama en­sues.

The Bold Type, 8 p.m. today, Freeform. This new se­ries fol­lows three young, tele­genic em­ploy­ees of the women’s mag­a­zine Scar­let as they “ex­plore life, love and the world of fash­ion.” A sec­ond episode fol­lows at 9 p.m.

The se­ries stars Aisha Dee as Kat Edi­son, Meghann Fahy as Sut­ton Brady and Katie Stevens as Jane Sloan.

Added bonus: Melora Hardin ( Monk, The Of­fice, Trans­par­ent) por­trays Jac­que­line Car­lyle, ed­i­tor- in- chief of Scar­let.

Out­daugh­tered, 8 p.m. today, TLC. It’s Sea­son 3 of the un­scripted se­ries that fol­lows Danielle and Adam Busby as they at­tempt to wran­gle their all-girl quin­tu­plets and 6-yearold daugh­ter. A third sea­son has been or­dered.

Amer­i­can Rip­per, 9 p.m. today on His­tory Chan­nel. Was

Jack the Rip­per also Her­man Mud­gett, Amer­ica’s first se­rial killer? His great-great-grand­son, Jeff Mud­gett, teams with a for­mer CIA an­a­lyst to in­ves­ti­gate the the­ory.

Halt and Catch Fire. For the three who asked, the AMC drama will be­gin its fourth and fi­nal sea­son with a two-hour pre­miere at 8 p.m. Aug. 19.

The se­ries stars Lee Pace and Macken­zie Davis. The fi­nal sea­son will find the gang “nav­i­gat­ing the early days of the in­ter­net and web browsers, pon­der­ing their des­tinies both per­son­ally and pro­fes­sion­ally.”

Added bonus: For the fi­nal sea­son, Anna Ch­lum­sky ( My Girl, Veep) will por­tray Katie Her­man in a role that’s be­ing billed as cru­cial to the plot’s end game.

Bet­ter Call Saul. In case there were any doubts, AMC has also or­dered a fourth sea­son of one of the most out­stand­ing dra­mas on tele­vi­sion. Only 3.6 mil­lion watch each week. The rest don’t know what they’re miss­ing.

CBS’ new sus­pense thriller Sal­va­tion stars Char­lie Rowe (left) and San­ti­ago Cabr­era as part of the team try­ing to pre­vent an as­ter­oid from de­stroy­ing Earth.

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