Let apocalyptic social experiments, and one big disastrous TV movie, save you from venturing outdoors this coming Labor Day weekend. We've piled up the best that television has to offer next holiday weekend, including some science fiction marathon madness.
9/11: Science and Conspiracy -
Conspiracy theories abound about the tragedy of 9/11. Tonight, experts weigh in on how plausible any of the most prominent theories really are, plus some thrilling simulations. That's on the National Geographic Channel at 9 PM.
Miss The Storm's original airing on NBC this summer? Don't worry Spike is giving you another chance. It's a typhoon of "that guy from that show" style actors in the two-parter made for TV movie. The ensemble cast of Treat Williams, James Van Der Beek, Luke Perry, John Larroquette, and the dude from JAG all play a part in controlling the Earth's weather, which I'm pretty sure will spiral out of control along with some mad grab power struggle culminating in a giant wet mess over a famous statue or building of some kind. Don't miss the first half at 8 PM, followed quickly by the second.
Weird, True & Freaky -
The second of two new episodes of this show profiles people who've had plastic surgery to look like animals, including leopards and tigers. Fill your cat-people quota, on Animal Planet at 6:30 PM — long before AVATAR comes out.
Warehouse 13 -
Joe Morton from Eureka guest stars, and Claudia ... changes a light bulb? Meanwhile Pete and Myka head out to the prison system of Florida to explain some unexplained suicides. Fingers crossed it's a better version of The Happening, which wouldn't be too hard. Find out at 9 PM on Syfy.
Nova scienceNow -
Michel Gondry would do well to watch when Nova tackles the real science of sleep and the role memories play into it; also, paleontologist Jonathan Bloch's search for the pre-primate missing link on PBS at 9 PM.
Surviving Disaster -
The series premiere is tonight. This how-to show features a host acting out alternative history and what-if scenarios on camera, to teach the audience how to handle themselves during tragic moments. The first episode is at 10 PM, but if it doesn't tackle angel wars, zombie attacks, The Day After Tomorrow type storms and plagues, then what good is it?
The Colony -
We're really sorry we didn't find this series earlier, only because we would have been including it in the roundups. So apologies all around. The Colony is a social experiment, reality TV series where a random crew of people are forced to rebuild a society after a viral attack has left the world devastated. The Discovery Channel show is on at 10 PM, and while the mentality of the survivors doesn't seem all that believable, because the world didn't actually end, and there aren't any real threats — and we're pretty sure the marauders can't beat up the old man with bats and leave him to die in front of the others — it's still interesting at times. This week, the colonists trek across the river and encounter missionaries and new arrivals, who of course cause some tension. And the group is forced to make a sacrifice.
John Travolta's super brain powers are tested on Encore at 8 PM, in Phenomenon. Or as we call it, the worst genius movie ever that we always end up watching over and over, for no real reason.
Weird, True & Freaky -
The medicinal value of animals around the globe is investigated, on Animal Planet at 6:30 PM.
Kurt Russell and James Spader headline the original 1994 film about discovering other worlds after deciphering the code on an Egyptian artifact in Stargate on AMC at 8 PM. And if you haven't had enough space-operatic thrills, hang on because Star Trek: Nemesis is on the same channel at 10:30 PM. (Although "thrills" is used loosely in connection with that second movie.)
Animal Armageddon -
The Animal Planet show about prehistoric creatures returns after a hiatus with volcanic eruptions more than 250 million years ago, and the impact they had on the animal life at the time. Be there or be extinct at 6:30 PM.
Mel Brooks' classic parody of the horror genre Young Frankenstein, starring Gene Wilder, is on AMC at 8 PM.
False alarm — there's no new ep, but let the mourning of Nathan Stark commence all over again with an all-day Eureka marathon with random episodes beginning on Syfy at 8 AM and airing all night, including the pilot episode at 11 PM.
Earth is attacked by Martians in the original The War of the Worlds at 8 PM on TCM.
Labor Day weekend means fewer new shows and more marathons. Case in point: Mythbusters runs throughout the night beginning on Discovery at 6 PM, and on and on.
The Matrix is on A&E at 3 PM, and later part two (Remember when the Coen brothers tried to call it a trilogy?), The Matrix: Reloaded is on 8 PM over at Bravo.
Defying Gravity -
No NEW TRUE BLOOD means I may actually see what the fuss is about this show. This week, Halloween aboard ship brings hallucinations instead of treats, and may hinder Goss' plans for worldwide promotion of the mission, on ABC at 10 PM.
There is no True Blood tonight.
Watch Peter Parker begin his descent into angst, Spider-Man 2 airs at 7:30 PM on FOX.