Phil Morris, who created a Johnnie Cochran-esque portrayal of lawyer Jackie Chiles on NBC's "Seinfeld," begins a new job hosting "You Asked for It!" Sunday at 8 on NBC. The eight-week summer series is based on a show of the same title that first aired from 1951-59.
"You Asked for It!" features bizarre rituals, amazing animals, dangerous stunts and unusual behavior in new segments, paired with footage from earlier versions. From the latter: a Chinese family that is a magnet for metal objects, a girl who cries glass tears, a church built from thousands of human bones, a snake charmer who lets a snake slither up his nose and the collapse of the greatest bridge in history.
Art Baker hosted "You Asked for It!" from 1951-58; Jack C. Smith hosted during its final season and from 1971-72. The "All New `You Asked For It' " was telecast from 1981-83 with Rich Little as host. In the '90s, the show was hosted by Jim Brogan.
Monday at 8:30 on CBS
She may have a small role, but veteran character actress Cloris Leachman could turn out to be the star of "Thanks," a sitcom from Phoef Sutton ("Cheers") and Mark Legan ("Grace Under Fire") debuting Monday at 8:30 on CBS.
Leachman, 73, has won Emmy Awards in five categories, the only actress to accomplish such a feat.
In this summer series, Leachman plays Grammy, who has accompanied her Pilgrim son, his wife and their children to the New World, but this senior still likes to ogle young men.
In the premiere, James and Polly Winthrop have survived their first Massachusetts winter in a rustic cabin. Now, along with their fellow settlers, they must decide whether to remain in the uncivilized land and face yet another year of disease and starvation or catch the next ship back to England.
James Winthrop, played by Tim Dutton, is an affable Pilgrim father who wants to stay and fulfill his dreams of building a new nation -- although he can't even build a house. Jim Rash plays his best friend, Cotton, the bumbling village idiot who wreaks more havoc than a New World winter (and talks like a surfer).
Polly Winthrop, played by Kirsten Nelson, wants to stand by her man, but her patience is tried by his unwavering optimism as well as the 50 percent mortality rate. Their three children are boy-crazy Abigail (Erika Christensen), so-smart-she-may-be-burned-at-the-stake Elizabeth (Amy Centner) and slow-witted William (Andrew Ducote).
As the supply ship sails into the harbor, the rest of the villagers decide it's time to forego the New World and head back to England. But the Winthrops may not.
Andrew Weyman directed the premiere from a script by Sutton and Legan, who are the executive producers of the series.
ONE LIFE TO LIVE
Tuesday at 2 on ABC
Robin Christopher, who played Lorna on NBC's now-defunct "Another World," joins "One Life to Live" to reprise the role of Skye Chandler, whom she played on "All My Children" from 1987-91. Skye arrives in Llanview on Tuesday scheming to destroy the happiness of an old flame.
VAN GOGH'S VAN GOGHS
Wednesday at 8 on WETA
If you managed to see the National Gallery of Art's blockbuster Van Gogh exhibition earlier this year, revisit your favorite paintings. If you didn't, tune in for the experience you missed. This high-definition guided tour blends art history with a look at the artist's troubled but brilliant career as it follows his early work in the Netherlands, his exposure to French Impressionism in Paris, and his intensely creative period in the south of France. Featured works among the 70 in the exhibit are "The Potato Eaters" (1885), "The Bedroom" (1988), "Self-Portrait as an Artist" (1887-1888) and "Wheat Field With Crows" (1890), one of the last works he painted before his suicide at 37.
Passages from Vincent Van Gogh's correspondence with his brother Theo, who supported him financially and emotionally, reveal the artist's despair about ever becoming successful. That his family owned most of his work was largely because he had sold virtually nothing, Many of these paintings came from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, founded by his nephew.