Tube Talk: TV tidbits, ‘Carol Burnett Show’ mini-reunion June 26

By Paula Hendrickson
Contributing Writer

While I’m working on something special for next week’s column, here are a few television tidbits that might interest you:

• Last April, Robert Irvine brought his Food Network show, Restaurant Impossible, to Woodstock, Ill. Their task: refresh the menu at Angelo’s — a 40-year-old Greek-style restaurant — rework the business plan and redesign the actual restaurant all in two days. Their budget: $10,000.

The episode, called “It’s All Greek to Me,” premiered last week. If you missed it, there’s still time to catch it when Food Network repeats the episode Wednesday, June 26, at 8 p.m.

• Also June 26, TVLand’s popular sitcom, Hot in Cleveland will include a mini-reunion of The Carol Burnett Show when Burnett guest stars as Victoria’s (Wendie Malick) mother, Penny, and Tim Conway returns as Elka’s (Betty White) former boyfriend, Nick.

Together or alone, White, Burnett and Conway prove that classic comedy is ageless. The episode airs Wednesday, June 26, at 9 p.m.

• Super wealthy socialites are a staple on USA’s summery series Royal Pains, but this season, Frances Conroy (Six Feet Under, How I Met Your Mother, American Horror Story: Asylum) plays Blythe Ballard, a recurring character intent on causing a different kind of pain to the HankMed team (Mark Feuerstein, Paulo Constanzo and Reshma Shetty). As Ballard — and in her role as a raven-haired, red-lipped Death on American Horror Story — Conroy is the total opposite of the parts she’s best known for: earthy, flats-wearing Six Feet Under matriarch, Ruth Fisher, and Barney’s free-spirited mom on How I Met Your Mother. It should be fun watching her try on a totally new persona.

Conroy’s first episode, “Blythe Spirits,” has already run (available OnDemand, but it should be up soon, click on videos and look for “Blythe Spirits”), but Blythe Ballard will be back. Royal Pains airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on USA.

• If you like the board game Clue or playing armchair detective, ABC has a summer reality show you should enjoy, Whodunnit?. Like those murder mystery dinners and weekends where the guests have to solve a complicated mystery, Whodunnit? pits a group of “guests” against one another in solving more than just one murder.

Perhaps the most interesting part about the show is that it was created by CSI co-creator Anthony Zuiker, so the contestants will use actual crime scene investigation techniques to sift through the “evidence” of each week’s crime. The last investigator standing walks away with $250,000. It airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on ABC.

Paula Hendrickson is a regular contributor to Emmy magazine and Variety, and has been published in numerous national publications, including American Bungalow, Television Week and TVGuide. Follow her on Twitter at P_Hendrickson and send your suggestions to

From the June 26-July 2, 2013, issue

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