A select viewing guide for Monday, April 30
DRAMA Blackstone Showcase, 7 p.m. ET/PT Looking for some truly authentic Canadian TV drama? Originally broadcast on APTN, this show set in a First Nations community in Western Canada debuts on regular cable tonight. Told entirely from the aboriginal perspective, the series documents daily life on the fictional Blackstone reserve, a close-knit society forced to deal with alcoholism and other social woes at the same time it's struggling with the corruption of its governing body. Tonight's series opener introduces the pivotal characters of Andy (Eric Schweig), the residing Blackstone chief who exerts his control through charm and physical intimidation, and the earnest Gail, played by Gemini-winner Michelle Thrush, who helps run the local rec centre while struggling with her new-found sobriety. Highly recommended viewing.
DRAMA Bones Fox, Global, 8 p.m. ET/PT Now in its seventh season, this low-key crime procedural has recently enjoyed an upward ratings spike, no doubt due to the arrival of an adorable baby born to the central characters of buttoned-down FBI guy Booth (David Boreanaz) and forensics whiz Brennan (Emily Deschanel). In tonight's new episode, the pair investigate the discovery of a corpse in the woods, which eventually connects to a century-long feud between two wealthy families. On the home front, Booth turns protectively paternal when Brennan suggests her erratic father Max (Ryan O'Neal) babysit their infant daughter.
REALITY Moonshiners Discovery, 9 p.m. ET; 11 p.m. PT Never underestimate the appeal of good ol' boys and illegal activity. Already a hit on the U.S. Discovery Channel, this new series follows a handful of country boys brewing homemade liquor deep in the mountains of rural Virginia. Tonight's opener takes place mid-June at the beginning of the brewing season and introduces viewers to the veteran moonshiner Tim, his son JT and their partner, known only as “Tickle,” as they roam the backwoods for a discreet location to set up their still. At the same time, a separate camera team follows the government agent Jesse, whose job is to bring down the moonshiners, even though he displays grudging respect for their ingenuity. Watch to see how far reality TV has come.
REALITY Ridiculousness MTV, 10 p.m. ET/PT Welcome back to “greatest viral-video show in the history of humankind.” Or at least that how this show is described by its host, professional skateboarder Rob Dyrdek. The series still ranks among MTV's highest-rated programs and maintains a fervid online fan following, which sort of makes sense since its entire content emanates from the Internet. Similar to Tosh.0, the format features the hyperbolic Dyrdek introducing videos of people performing incredibly dangerous stunts and failing miserably. The difference here is that each episode features two celebrity guest judges who determine which video is the coolest; tonight's second-season opener has boxer Floyd Mayweather and the pride of Stratford, Ont., himself: Justin Bieber. The kid has a good agent.
MOVIE Columbo: Death Hits the Jackpot Vision, midnight ET; 9 p.m. PT Peter Falk will forever be associated with Columbo. All told, the late actor began playing the rumpled detective on a semi-weekly basis in 1968 and was still wearing his trademark trench coat in a series of TV movies as late as 2003. This 1991 TV-movie stands out as one of the franchise's better outings, if only because by that time Falk was clearly delivering a tongue-in-cheek portrayal. In his inimitable rambling fashion, Columbo looks into the murder of a photographer named Freddy (Gary Kroeger) who was murdered shortly after winning $30-million in the state lottery. The obvious suspect is Freddy's soon-to-be ex-wife, but Columbo sets his sights on the dead man's uncle Leon, played with evil glee by Rip Torn.