TV Daily

Salon's guide to what to watch: "Survivorman" makes staying alive in the wilderness look like a day at the spa.

Topics: Television,

Prime Pick

Photo: Survivorman Productions

You may be over “Survivor,” but don’t let that turn you against “Survivorman” (second season premieres 9 p.m. EDT on Discovery), in which wilderness survival expert Les Stroud attempts to stay alive in scary places like the Amazon, the Kalahari Desert and the African Plains. Stroud’s deadpan delivery and no-frills camera work can feel a little bit lackluster compared to the staged excitement of other shows, but there’s a meditative, almost hypnotic quality to the show that makes it hard to change the channel. Stroud’s calm demeanor is what’s most impressive here: As he battles heat exhaustion, builds a fire bundle, roasts a locust or digs for moisture-rich roots in the desert to survive, he makes clinging to life in the middle of nowhere look as relaxing as a trip to a day spa.

Also…

Flash Gordon,” a dramedy that puts a modern spin on the classic comic superhero, premieres at 9 p.m. EDT on Sci Fi. And at 8:30 EDT, Animal Planet airs the third season premiere of its hit show about a clan of wild meerkats, “Meerkat Manor,” narrated by Bill Nighy.

Weekend Picks



The Awakening,” starring Terry O’Quinn as a UFO specialist called in to investigate strange happenings in Iraq, airs as the second installment of ABC’s “Masters of Science Fiction” series (10 p.m. EDT on Saturday). Also on Saturday, beloved indie songwriter Sufjan Stevens and Calexico perform in a repeat of “Austin City Limits” at 9 p.m. EDT on PBS. On Sunday night, the third season of “Robot Chicken” premieres at 11:30 EDT on the Cartoon Network.

On the talk shows

Regis and Kelly

ABC, 9 a.m. EDT

Lance Bass

The View

ABC, 11 a.m. EDT

Mat Kearney, Halle Berry (repeat)

Ellen DeGeneres

Syndicated, check local listings

Michelle Pfeiffer, Adam Brody (repeat)

Oprah Winfrey

Syndicated, check local listings

Tommy Hilfiger (repeat)

Charlie Rose

PBS, check local listings

Anthony Cordesman, Military Expert, CSIS

Larry King

CNN, 9 p.m. EDT

“Inside the world of transgender people”

David Letterman

CBS, 11:30 p.m. EDT

Denis Leary, Flight of the Conchords (repeat)

Jay Leno

NBC, 11:35 p.m. EDT

Rainn Wilson, Gordon Ramsey, Fuel

Tavis Smiley

PBS, check local listings

Charles Ferguson, Col. Paul Hughes

Jimmy Kimmel

ABC, 12:05 a.m. EDT

David Duchovny, Jonah Hill, El-P

Conan O’Brien

NBC, 12:35 a.m. EDT

Judd Apatow, Straylight Run

Craig Ferguson

CBS, 12:35 a.m. EDT

Cuba Gooding Jr., Grace Potter and the Nocturnals

Contributors: Matthew Fishbane, Heather Havrilesky, Amy Reiter

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