“Dogs in the City”
Wednesday 8pm, CBS
In the movie Scrooged, a television exec demands that Bill Murray’s character start developing programming for cats and dogs, because studies showed that one day household pets would become steady TV viewers. The future is apparently now. “Dogs in the City” is a new documentary series intended for dog lovers, and their dogs. It follows “dog guru” Justin Silver as he acts as an intermediary between various Manhattanites and their canines. Some dogs won’t stop chewing furniture or biting people. The pooch of a recently divorced couple is having trouble adjusting to joint custody. Another dog is terribly overweight. You get the picture.
Thursday 8pm, CW
Ballet has had something of a cultural resurgence over the past decade. The hit movie Billy Elliot and its subsequent Broadway translation showed that boys can dance, too. Borderline-campy cult fave Center Stage made the classical dance style seem hip to a younger generation. And of course Black Swan made professional ballet seem sexy, scary, and potentially mind-shattering. This new documentary series by BBC Worldwide goes behind the scenes of Salt Lake City’s Ballet West company, exploring the lives of the directors, choreographers, and dancers for whom ballet is very much an art, but with the physical demands of a sport. The previews look beautifully shot and promise lots of drama, stemming from professional rivalries and the brutal effects the rigorous art form can have on the dancers’ bodies.
“Real Housewives of New York”
Monday 9pm, Bravo
The Manhattan shingle of the “Real Housewives” franchise is one I’ve had a hard time really getting into. I’ve watched episodes here and there, but have never been sucked in like I’ve been with Atlanta, New Jersey, Orange County, and my favorite, Beverly Hills. That may change with this new, fifth season, because the show has gotten a major line-up change and these ladies are coming loaded for bear in the drama department. Gone are series originals Alex McCord and Jill Zarin, along with later arrivals Kelly Bensimon and Cindy Barshop. Sticking around are noted wackadoo Ramona Singer, erstwhile countess and wannabe pop star LuAnn de Lesseps, and polarizing fireball Sonja Morgan, joined by Aviva Drescher (cousin of Fran, and an amputee), award-winning journalist Carole Radziwill, and fashion designer Heather Thomson. The season preview features yelling—so much yelling—and some pretty juicy allegations.