This week, Discovery hosts its celebration of all things shark, but which specials are worth watching? We've got you covered. Plus, we're nearing the end of True Blood; mini golf gets serious on Gravity Falls, and we get to see the mystery-solving past of Finn and Jake's parents on Adventure Time.
Top image from the National Aquarium's Blacktip Reef cam, which you can watch below:
Shark Week is upon us once again, and while it's a great opportunity to delve into shark science, the programming can be a mixed bag. While some of the Discovery Channel's shark-themed specials talk about the science of sharks, some are designed to inspire little more than terror of these magnificent animals. We've listed the programs recommended by the oceanic public relations firm Upwell below, but that doesn't mean that the specials are necessarily perfect—and you can also read about all of the programs at the Discovery Channel's website. Discovery also has links to some incredible Shark Cams. Steer clear of that Megalodon documentary airing on Friday. It's just plain fake.
When in doubt, it's a good idea to follow actual shark scientists, like David Shiffman, on Twitter to see what they're saying about the Shark Week shows. For example, last night's airing of Shark of Darkness was filled with misinformation. Enjoy Shark Week, but don't take everything you see at face value.
Jaws Strikes Back (9 PM, Discovery)
In Jaws Strikes Back, marine biologist Greg Skomal and the REMUS SharkCam team travel to the remote Pacific island of Guadalupe to film the hunting behavior of the largest great white sharks on earth.
Gravity Falls (9:30 PM, Disney XD)
Mini-golf can be dangerous when the putter is placed in hot-headed hands:
After being belittled by Pacifica one too many times, Mabel challenges her to a miniature golf-off which gets a tad out of control when some local residents offer their help.
Monster Hamerhead (10 PM, Discovery)
This one ranks higher on "terror" than "science":
Monster Hammerhead explores a legendary hammerhead shark that has been patrolling Florida's shores for the past 60 years. Now, a team of scientists and anglers look to explore the mystery and find out if the legend could be real.
Teen Wolf (10 PM, MTV)
Does this dangerous plan involve faking Scott's death?
Scott carries out a dangerous plan. Meanwhile, Malia confronts her past.
Under the Dome (10 PM, CBS)
Now we're under under the Dome:
When Barbie descends into the unknown abyss in the mysterious tunnel to look for Sam, he discovers a world that is familiar but filled with unanswered questions.
Alien Sharks: Return to the Abyss (9 PM, Discovery)
Bioluminescent sharks? Sign us up for this special:
In Alien Sharks: Return to the Abyss, shark researcher Paul Clerkin heads to the Indian Ocean to investigate the ocean's darkest depths in search of shark species that scientists never even knew existed and get a glimpse of the last known group of bioluminescent sharks in the world.
The Wil Wheaton Project (10 PM, Syfy)
For the first season finale of his comedy talk show, Wil Wheaton looks at the big screen battle of Guardians of the Galaxy vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Spawn of Jaws 2: The Birth (10 PM, Discovery)
Okay, the title's a little silly, but we'd love to watch the birth of a great white shark:
Dr. Michael Domeier has spent years scouring the Pacific Ocean hoping to solve one of the greatest mysteries of shark science: the location of great white pupping grounds. In 2013, he set the process in motion by successfully tagging a pregnant female shark that he called Gil Rakers. Now he's returning to the sea in Spawn of Jaws 2: The Birth to follow her journey and be the first to capture the birth of a baby great white shark.
Extant (10 PM, CBS)
Ah yes, the android moving beyond his programming to something unexpectedly human—because this show hasn't met a scifi cliche it didn't like.
Molly uncovers footage that may reveal the real reason the ISEA chose her for the solo mission. Meanwhile, Ethan experiences his first dream, an unforeseen advancement for which he was not programmed, and Julie distracts herself from work with a mysterious man she meets at the gym. Tessa Ferrer guest stars as Katie Sparks, Alan Sparks' astronaut daughter.
Teen Titans Go! (6 PM, Cartoon Network)
Which Titan will prove the most curmudgeonly senior citizen?
Raven is delighted when the other Titans are magically turned into old people during a battle.
Adventure Time (7 PM, Cartoon Network)
What was life like before Finn and Jake came along? Joshua and Margaret take center stage in this week's episode.
Finn and Jake's parents hunt an unearthly menace in the woods.
Defiance (8 PM, Syfy)
Nolan and Rafe race against the clock to rescue Amanda and Pottinger trapped in a deadly mine collapse.
Sharkageddon (10 PM, Discovery)
Upwell recommends this special, but believes it may inspire shark terror:
Hawaii is thought of as an idyllic vacation destination, but recent spikes in shark attacks are turning these shores into a shark hot spot. Hawaiian native and surf legend Kala Alexander knows these waters better than anyone, and he hopes to uncover the reason behind this sudden shark invasion in Sharkageddon.
Mission Blue (Netflix, Streaming)
This documentary follows oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle in her quest to create a global network of marine protected areas—and exposes the human impact upon our oceans from overfishing, pollution, and acidification. It's a perfect companion to Shark Week, focusing on what we must do to protect our waters and the life that inhabits them.
The Legend of Korra (Nick.com, Streaming)
Korra and her allies will need to outwit Zaheer—and it's going to be great fun watching him plot against her.
The Red Lotus intends to use Mako and Bolin as leverages against Korra to make her come to them willingly. Lin, Zuko, and Tonraq appear to find and stop them but Zaheer has an even more dangerous plan up his sleeve.
Sailor Moon Crystal (Hulu, Crunchyroll, Neon Alley, Streaming)
This week, the Sailor Scouts attend a ball in search of the Silver Crystal.
Outlander (9 PM, Starz)
Having healing skills makes Claire valuable—too valuable to leave Castle Leoch.
Claire is introduced to the Laird, but suspicions about her grow as she makes a friend of the mysterious Geillis Duncan and the clan discovers her skills at healing.
The Real History of Science Fiction (9 PM, BBC America)
This week, the exploration of science fiction tropes returns to celebrate all things time travel:
What if we could travel not just through space, but through time itself? If you could travel through time, would you change the past or the future? What if you found it couldn't be changed? What price does the time traveller — and the people they are closest to — pay? This is a journey from H. G. Wells' The Time Machine through ideas like The Grandfather Paradox and The Butterfly Effect to the professional time traveller that is the ever popular Doctor Who. Steven Moffat, David Tennant, Karen Gillan, and Neil Gaiman offer a unique perspective on the Doctor. Edward James Olmos reveals the hidden meaning of the language he created for the vision of the future that is Blade Runner. Bob Gale and Christopher Lloyd take us behind the scenes of Back to the Future, while Ed Solomon describes the joy of solving a time travel conundrum for Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure. But what would be the physical and emotional cost to the time traveller? Audrey Niffenegger explains what inspired her novel The Time Traveller's Wife. And what if someone from the future tried to travel back in time to warn us? Would we believe them? From the apocalyptic tones of 12 Monkeys to the drama of Quantum Leap and the comedy of Groundhog Day, time travel is a subject that has been irresistible to the creators of every type of science fiction.
The Great White Matrix (9 PM, Discovery)
This is another terror show; be sure to follow real shark scientists for the facts behind the special:
Great White Matrix features legendary shark attack survivor Paul de Gelder and cameraman Andy Casagrande on an expedition into the deadly shark infested waters of Australia. Their mission is to investigate a series of bizarre shark attacks in an area swarming with great white sharks. Paul and Andy explore what's bringing these great whites so close to shore and what's responsible for the surge in attacks in this area.
Space Dandy (12:30 AM, Adult Swim)
This week's episode is "Rock 'n' Roll Dandy, Baby."
The Last Ship (9 PM, TNT)
This week, we've reached the human guinea pig stage:
Rachel and Chandler ask for six volunteers to participate in human trials of her vaccine, but the tests could be a living hell as the virus and the vaccine do battle inside their bodies. Meanwhile back in the States, Chandler's wife and father are doing everything they can to keep their family alive.
True Blood (9 PM, HBO)
We're getting dangerously close to the final episode. Who will survive to the very end?
Sookie (Anna Paquin) retreats in confusion. Sam (Sam Trammell) makes a choice. Jason (Ryan Kwanten) exercises uncharacteristic restraint, while Eric (Alexander Skarsgård) faces a dilemma after being caught in a lie.
Witches of East End (9 PM, Lifetime)
Joanna and Alex must put their past aside and focus on finding the Mandragora. Freya asks Dash to help save Ingrid. Skeptical of Freddie's loyalty, Wendy is wary of his actions.
Falling Skies (10 PM, TNT)
While members of the 2nd Mass attempt to dig out a shot-down Beamer, Tom and a small team follow the Volm to a supply cache in search of equipment to expedite the process. Along the way, they encounter a friend, and must decide whether or not to trust her. Back at camp, Maggie and Ben grow closer as he teaches her to hone her new skills, while Pope and Sara (guest star Mira Sorvino) continue to clash, resulting in a fight from which they may never recover.
The Leftovers (10 PM, HBO)
Everyone is out of control on The Leftovers, which is more or less the status quo.
Kevin fears he's losing touch with reality after inexplicably finding himself in a difficult situation involving Patti Levin (Ann Dowd), a leader of the Guilty Remnant. Meg (Liv Tyler) loses control during another encounter with Matt (Christopher Eccleston); Jill confronts Aimee (Emily Meade) about her relationship with Kevin; Nora stands up to Laurie (Amy Brenneman), and finds her privacy invaded.
The Lottery (10 PM, Lifetime)
Even if you are a finalist, it's unlikely that there will be any real winners in this lottery:
The President and First Lady announce the two hundred lottery finalists and prepare for the opening night reception. Meanwhile, Vanessa uncovers disturbing information connected to the kidnapping in China; Alison and James get closer to learning the truth about the fertility crisis; and Kyle and Tracy fight for custody of Elvis.
Manhattan (10 PM, WGN)
The arrival of a high-profile guest shakes things up; Frank is haunted by his past.
Masters of Sex (10 PM, Showtime)
Hendricks bans Masters from using black participants in his study, but Masters contacts a journalist to aid his efforts. Meanwhile, Johnson is forced to accept DePaul's choice to end her chemotherapy treatments; Gene learns the truth about Betty and Helen's relationship; and Libby fires Coral after discovering she lied about Robert being her lover.
The Strain (10 PM, FX)
After warning Kelly to leave the city with Zack ahead of the spreading plague, Eph is arrested by the FBI. Eichhorst has one final job for Gus, while Setrakian realizes that the coming eclipse is the tipping point for virus infection and the beginning of the end.
Robot Chicken (11:30 PM, Adult Swim)
This week's punny title: "Chipotle Miserables."