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Wipeout is right amount of silly for summer fare

By Michael Storey

This article was published August 3, 2014 at 3:05 a.m.


WIPEOUT - "Blind Date: Falling For You" -- Slick your hair back and spray on your sexiest perfume, "Blind Date Wipeout" returns for a 5th edition with 12 paired contestants who are single and ready to mingle, on "Wipeout," SUNDAY, JULY 27 (7:00-9:00 p.m., ET). These 12 teams including "The Love Bugs," "Sweet Talkers," and "The Elephant Lovers," will be eager to fall in love and find their true soul mates through a full day of romantic activities. They will be frolicking gracefully through the "Angry Organ Grinder," followed by an Italian dinner reservation at "Splergios," while all hoping to be swept off their feet by "The Sweeper." The top 4 contestants will move on to take on the Wipeout Zone, however, only 1 couple will walk away with the cash prize and a spot to compete in the epic "Tournament of Champions" battle at the end of the season. (ABC/Mike Weaver) CONTESTANT

Here we are finally into August -- the dog days of summer. Or maybe they're just the "puppy days" since we're still getting the occasional wacky 75-degree day.

The new fall season is still six long weeks away. Are you comfortably settled in with your summer fare? Are you watching the new stuff the networks and cable outfits are offering in hopes of keeping you interested?

If you're not averse (as I am) to watching pro football when it's 98 degrees outside, there's the NFL Hall of Fame Game from Canton, Ohio, from 7 to 10 p.m. today on NBC.

You can watch the Buffalo Bills and New York Giants melt on the field. That'll be fun.

Too soon for football? Maybe you're using the summer doldrums to boldly explore programs up in those higher number channels you seldom visit during the regular season. Spike, for example, will have the season finale of Frankenfood at 9:30 p.m. today.

If you're out of the Frankenfood loop, it's too late to explain.

Meanwhile at 7 p.m. today, Fusion will air a new episode of Microtopia. That's a series where architects "explore the limits of traditional houses and the possible solution of micro homes."

Not familiar with Fusion? It's a joint cable venture between Disney and Univision. The target audience consists mainly of millennials. The dog days are a perfect time to check Fusion out if your cable provider carries it.

For some viewers, nothing says summertime better than watching a gaggle of silly people getting whacked on the obstacle course and splat into the mud on ABC's Wipeout.

The new season splashed down last week and a new episode, "Bachelors vs. Bachelorettes," debuts at 7 p.m. today.

I'd be hard-pressed to pick a sillier show than Wipeout. Perhaps that's its appeal. If you're going to do silly, plant your tongue firmly in your cheek and fully commit to it without apology.

Each Wipeout episode showcases 24 contestants "of all shapes and sizes" as they try to make it across what's billed as the world's largest extreme obstacle course. Very few make it. The vast majority faceplant in the mud as obstacles such as the Shed Zone, Sucker Punch, Big Balls (with Rumble Bridge Motivator), Play Pound and Dino Dash send them sprawling.

For the first time, weekly winners will be brought back at the end of the season for a "Tournament of Champions," during which they will compete for the title of Ultimate Wipeout Champion.

There will also be special theme episodes, including a chance to win a date with co-host Jill Wagner, and the return of some of old favorites, like "Boss & Employee."

The action is called by co-hosts John Anderson (SportsCenter) and John Henson (Talk Soup).

Season 2 finale. Episode 6, the season finale of Last Tango in Halifax, airs at 7 p.m. today on AETN. The BBC One romantic comedy, starring Derek Jacobi and Anne Reid as widowed septuagenarians, has gotten positive reviews for showing old folks can still be fun.

New season. Looking to start something tonight? Season 7 of Chasing Classic Cars drives in at 8 p.m. on Discovery's Velocity Channel. If you get the Velocity Channel.

The series follows "collector car archaeologist" Wayne Carini showcasing such vintage vehicles as an iconic Mercedes Gullwing and a luxurious Maserati Ghibli.

Carini demonstrates how to ferret out stashed-away high-end autos, negotiate to buy them, and resell them at auction or privately.

More food. Yet another food series debuted last week. Eating America With Anthony Anderson airs at 8 p.m. Monday on Food Network.

I neglected to inform you in time that the first episode was set in Arkansas at the Magnolia Blossom Festival and World Championship Steak Cook-Off. If you missed it, Food Network frequently puts old episodes online, so check out the roster at

Each week, food lover Anderson (Law & Order) visits different food festivals "that serve to highlight delicacies that are associated with particular regions of the country." Future fests on the schedule include the Long Grove Strawberry Festival in Illinois, Ribfest Chicago, the South Carolina Poultry Festival, and the Rockwood Ice Cream Festival in Wilmington, Del.

Note: Anderson stars in a new ABC sitcom, Black-ish, this fall opposite Tracee Ellis Ross and Laurence Fishburne. The series debuts at 8:30 p.m. Sept. 24.

Boldly go. Finally, one last obscure new series from up in the nosebleed section of the channel listings.

Blog Cabin debuts at 8:30 p.m. today on DIY Network. The series uses viewer voting and blog entries at DIY's website to determine the features used in transforming a home into a modern vacation retreat. After it's finished, a sweepstakes entrant wins the getaway.

Program note: The season finale of AMC's outstanding adult drama Halt and Catch Fire airs at 9 p.m. today. I highly recommend the series when it comes out online or on DVD.

The TV Column appears Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Email:

Style on 08/03/2014

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