Pop Culture

What to watch July 13-19: 'The Strain' premiere and '24' finale

There's almost too much great programming on TV to keep up with. Each Sunday, we suggest whether to watch some of the week's best bets live or let the DVR do its job so you can enjoy shows at your leisure.

'The Strain'

When to watch: Well, everyone's gonna be talking about it Monday ...

Halloween may not be until the end of October, but why wait that long for some quality small-screen horror? The new series from Guillermo del Toro explores a parasitic outbreak (in other words, those disgusting worms crawling into eyeballs everywhere) in Manhattan, and is "a modern take on the vampire myth," the writer/director explains. (And no, there aren't enough blood-sucking vamps on TV!) The thriller stars Corey Stoll as the CDC's Canary Project boss Dr. Ephraim Goodweather, David Bradley as pawnbroker Abraham Setrakian, Sean Astin and Mia Maestro as CDC employees, and many more. (Premieres 10 p.m. on FX.)

Sign up for top Entertainment news direct to your inbox

'Masters of Sex'
When to watch: Are you watching 'The Strain' as it airs? No? Then watch this.

Sex researchers William Masters and Virginia Johnson are back for season two! How will Ginny respond to Bill's declaration? Is Bill going to be a good dad? What happens with Barton and his electroshock therapy treatments? You'll get your answers soon enough. According to show creator Michelle Ashford, the season picks up right where the finale left off for about six episodes, then jumps forward three years in episode seven. (Airs 10 p.m. on Showtime.)

'24: Live Another Day'

When to watch: It depends. How do you feel about spoilers?

Can you believe the day is almost over? Fans will finally see whether Jack can save the world in the season finale of the show's relaunch. However the season wraps up, star Yvonne Strahovski, who plays Kate Morgan, told TV Guide, "There's going to be a lot of action and some dramatic twists, and not everyone is going to make it in the end." So prep some hankies just in case. (Airs 9 p.m. on FOX.)

Major League Baseball All-Star Game

When to watch: Grab some beer and your buds, and enjoy the game live.

The American League finally busted up the National League's three-year winning streak last year, but can they keep the streak going at Target Field in Minneapolis? But more than that, it's going to be Derek Jeter's final All-Star Game (unless he decides to unretire after this season). Watch to see how he does, and if he'll be named MVP again. (Airs at 7:30 p.m. ET on Fox; game starts at 8.)

'Inside The Walking Dead: Walker University'
When to watch: No spoilers here, so feel free to set that DVR!

We've still got a ways to go before the zombie drama returns for season five, so get a fix now to last you until the fall. This special episode will go behind the scenes to explore what it takes to be a zombie on the hit show. (Hint: It involves "zombie school.") (Airs 10 p.m. on AMC.)

'American Fringe'

When to watch: DVR it.

In the second episode of National Geographic's six-part docuseries exploring some of the country's most divisive groups, the network takes a look at the Westboro Baptist Church, which has made headlines for their anti-gay stance and picketing at funerals. Cameras will also follow the group's members as they deal with leader Fred Phelps' death, which happened while the episode was filming. (Airs 10 p.m. on National Geographic Channel.)


When to watch: DVR it and save the laughs for later.

No marriage is perfect, but FX's new comedy is perfectly funny. The show stars Nat Faxon and Judy Greer as married couple Russ and Lina Bowman, who are "miserably in love." This isn't a network sitcom, so expect some crude (and giggle-worthy) humor. (Premieres 10 p.m. on FX.)

Follow Anna Chan on Twitter and Google+.