May TV: New Shows And Specials On Cable

May 5, 2015

[Written by Shavonne Jeffries, Bermuda CableVision]

A world of choice awaits you once again this month as new shows and specials are cropping up all over. Here is a small selection.

“Caring for Mom and Dad”– Premieres Thursday, May 7 on PBS

[Check onscreen guide for start time]

This new PBS series, narrated by actress Meryl Streep, examines the challenges many people are facing today as they find themselves caring for aging parents. Soon, in the U.S. at least, older adults will outnumber young people.

Family caregivers are providing 90 percent of the care these older adults need as they age, and most caregivers are trying to balance work, finances and other family obligations.

This series asks how we can ensure that adequate care is provided for both the caregivers and for those being cared for. It will explore the emotional, health and financial challenges that many caregivers face every day, and offer ideas for coping. The show’s website is also loaded with tips and resources for caregiver support.

“Caring for Mom and Dad” trailer:

“Say it to My Face” – New series premieres Saturday, May 9 at 10.00pm on FYI [formerly Biography Channel]

In today’s Internet-dominated world, restaurants face tough challenges coping with difficult, often faceless, online critics. One mistake and one unhappy diner can cause an avalanche of problems that will have everyone scrambling to get customers back in the door.

This new series gives chefs and restaurant owners a chance to redeem themselves in face-to-face encounters with their most difficult online critics, whom they would normally never meet. Co-hosts Andrew Gruel and Anthony Dispensa, who are themselves restaurant owners and chefs, will work with a different establishment each week, mentoring the owner and chef and making over everything from the menu, to the décor and staffing.

The two have more than 18 years in the culinary business, as owners/managers of a group of restaurants Their lesson is about listening to a customer’s criticism and keeping an open mind, while diligently working to improve and enhance the restaurant’s reputation. Today, social media rules and these tough critics can make or break a business, so they must be heard.

“Say it to My Face” video:

“What the Fung?” – Premieres Saturday, May 23 at 10.00pm on FYI

FYI will debut another new original series this month, this one representing an entirely new genre, born online: culinary comedy. The series follows Asian-American brothers, comedians, foodies and YouTube sensations Andrew and David Fung. The brothers have always had a three-way passion for comedy, hip-hop and food. After college, they started doing original sketches, rap songs and food videos and ended up with a YouTube fan base that is one million strong.

That success online brought them striaght into this gig. Now the TV cameras will be following them as they eat their way across the US with a budget of just fifty dollars each, per city visited – from New Orleans, to Tampa, Asheville and more. They’ll also meet chefs and fans and go behind the scenes in kitchens for hands-on lessons in making signature dishes.

“Love and Hip Hop Live: The Wedding” – Special, Monday May 25, at 9pm on VH1

This event is being billed as VH1′s first-ever live wedding special. TV audiences have been following “Love & Hip Hop: New York” veterans and fan favourites Yandy Smith and Mendeecees Harris through every aspect of the couple’s relationship over the years as they became parents, dealt with family drama, faced the challenges of Mendeecees’ incarceration and their separation and finally, his conditional release.

Now, VH1 invites fans to be present for the couple’s happiest day ever, with an over-the-top celebration as they finally join hands in matrimony. VH1′s “Love and Hip Hop” franchise is all over social media, and Yandy has allowed fans to pick her dress for her. Expect lots of posting and Tweeting throughout the events.

“Love and Hip Hop Live: The Wedding” trailer:

“30th Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony” – Special – Saturday, May 30 at 9.00pm on HBO

This is the fourth year that HBO is carrying this special, one of the most-anticipated events in the world of rock. Scheduled performers include: Beck; Dave Grohl; Joe Walsh; Tom Morello; John Legend, and Jimmie Vaughan. Special guests will be Paul McCartney; Stevie Wonder; Patti Smith; Peter Wolf; Fall Out Boy; John Mayer and Steve Cropper.

This year’s inductees are: Ringo Starr; The 5 Royales; The Paul Butterfield Blues Band; Green Day; Joan Jett and the Blackhearts; Lou Reed; Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble; and Bill Withers.

“30th Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony” trailer:

“The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe” – Special 2-Episode Miniseries – Premieres Saturday, May 30 at 10.00pm on Lifetime; second episode May 31 at 10.00pm

In this four-hour miniseries, based on J. Randy Taraborrelli’s book by the same title, Kelli Garner plays the role of Marilyn Monroe, while Susan Sarandon plays her mentally ill mother. The series starts with a portrait of the young Norma Jeane Mortenson facing a lonely and loveless existence with an absent mother.

In spite of this and against tremendous odds, she eventually becomes a Hollywood star. As she gains fame, she grows more fragile, and all three of her marriages fall apart, very publicly, including her relationships with Joe DiMaggio and Arthur Miller.

In Monroe’s later obsession with President John F. Kennedy, the depth and complexity of her own mental illness is revealed, and she ultimately ends up in a mental institution. The miniseries promises to tell this poignant story in a new way that offers fresh insight into the hidden aspects of the iconic star’s troubled personality.

“The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe” trailer:

“5th Annual Critics’ Choice Television Awards” – Special Live Event – Sunday, May 31 at 9.00pm on A&E

While the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards have been around for 20 years, the Television Awards are only in their fifth year. Both are produced by the Broadcast Television Journalists Association. This year’s Critics’ Choice Television Awards will be broadcast live on A&E from the Beverly Hilton Hotel, along with the one-hour Red Carpet Live show that precedes the Awards.

For more information and a list of nominees, which were just announced May 6, visit here.

Happy viewing! See you back here next month for more picks.

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