“Star Trek: The Next Generation”
Friday 8am-8pm, Saturday 1-6am, SyFy
It’s Labor Day weekend, which means two things: Summer is officially over, and there’s nothing on TV until the new season starts next week. So why not spend the holiday simultaneously going to the past and the future with this “Next Generation” marathon. “Next” originally ran from 1987-1994 and pulled off the rare feat of taking a beloved sci-fi franchise, modernizing it, and somehow making it both cooler and more literate. This marathon features some of the best adventures of Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) and his crew, including some intercessions with the Borg, romps with that lovable scamp Q, and even the series’ two-part finale.
“MDA Labor Day
Sunday 6pm-midnight, various channels
The Muscular Dystrophy Association’s annual telethon is going through a major overhaul this year. The main broadcast has been trimmed from 21-plus hours to just six. More importantly, comedy legend Jerry Lewis—who was the face of the telethon for nearly 60 years—will reportedly not be appearing, replaced by co-hosts from reality shows and entertainment news magazines, like Nigel Lythgoe (“American Idol,” “So You Think You Can Dance”) and Nancy O’Dell (“Entertainment Tonight”). The talent line–up this year includes Lady Antebellum, Darius Rucker and Martina McBride.
“The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills”
Monday 9pm, Bravo
As I write this, the premiere for the second season of the glitziest installment of the “Housewives” franchise is still set, but that’s subject to change. Two weeks ago Russell Armstrong, estranged husband of cast member Taylor Armstrong, committed suicide, allegedly distraught over his impending divorce from Taylor and massive debt. Bravo has yet to officially say how it’s handling this, but rumor has it that the series is being hastily re-edited to remove any reference to Russell. That’ll be tricky, since the season preview showed Taylor repeatedly melting down over her failing marriage. Fact is, it seemed to be a major source of drama for the season. Time will tell how the network handles this tragedy (and it really is tragic), and whether it will have an effect on the “Housewives” juggernaut as a whole. In the meantime, S2 features all of the original Bev Hills ladies—including Camille Grammer, who got a horrendous bitch edit last time—as well as new “friends,” like Brandi Glanville, infamously cuckolded by LeAnn Rimes, who looks to be a first-rate shit-stirrer.