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Earth in danger of asteroid collision on Salvation

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Weary of summer game shows with their screaming, overly frenzied contestants? Here's a summer suspense thriller to help while away the time until Game of Thrones returns Sunday.

In Salvation, the earth will be destroyed by an asteroid in a mere six months unless a small band of intrepid geeks and billionaires can find a way to stop it. The series debuts at 8 p.m. Wednesday on CBS. Amazon Prime Video will be the exclusive streaming service for Salvation; episodes will be available four days after they broadcast on CBS.

This sounds a bit like 1998 films Deep Impact or Armageddon, right? This series also may remind some of Sean Connery's 1979 disaster flick Meteor, or even 2012's Seeking a Friend for the End of the World with Steve Carell and Keira Knightley.

The point is that TV is nothing if not derivative. It started out as visual versions of existing radio programs and little has changed in the almost 70 years since.

In Salvation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate student Liam Cole (Charlie Rowe, Neverland) discovers an asteroid headed toward Earth with the collision calculated to be in 186 days.

Cole joins forces with tech billionaire Darius Tanz (Santiago Cabrera, Merlin) and the Pentagon to try and stop it before it ends life as we know it. Jennifer Finnigan (Tyrant) plays Pentagon press secretary Grace Barrows.

Meanwhile, Tanz recruits sci-fi writer Jillian Hayes (Jacqueline Byers, Roadies) to work on a theoretical approach to saving humanity. CBS notes her assignment is "a project that might prove to be all too real."

Naturally, in the course of their labors, the Scooby team stumbles upon the greatest conspiracy the world has ever known.

They'll have 13 episodes to stop the asteroid or die. I'm betting they stop the asteroid.

Added bonus: Rock star astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson (the Carl Sagan for the 21st century) guest stars as himself.

This gives CBS the lead in summer thrillers as alternatives to such shows as Candy Crush on CBS and ABC's The Gong Show, Boy Band and Battle of the Network Stars.

The other CBS sci-fi adventure is Zoo at 9 p.m. Thursday (streaming carried by Netflix). In that one, life as we know it is threatened by a global pandemic that began with animals attacking humans and has evolved into monstrous hybrids running amok.

I'd rather face the asteroid.

• The Fosters, 7 p.m. today, Freeform. This is the Season 5 premiere for the series starring Teri Polo as police officer Stef Foster, wife of Lena Foster (Sherri Saum). Stef is the biological mother of Brandon, while she and Lena are adoptive mothers to twins Jesus and Mariana and biological siblings Jude and Callie. Family drama ensues.

• The Bold Type, 8 p.m. today, Freeform. This new series follows three young, telegenic employees of the women's magazine Scarlet as they "explore life, love and the world of fashion." A second episode follows at 9 p.m.

The series stars Aisha Dee as Kat Edison, Meghann Fahy as Sutton Brady and Katie Stevens as Jane Sloan.

Added bonus: Melora Hardin (Monk, The Office, Transparent) portrays Jacqueline Carlyle, editor-in-chief of Scarlet.

Outdaughtered, 8 p.m. today, TLC. It's Season 3 of the unscripted series that follows Danielle and Adam Busby as they attempt to wrangle their all-girl quintuplets and 6-year-old daughter. A third season has been ordered.

American Ripper, 9 p.m. today on History Channel. Was Jack the Ripper also Herman Mudgett, America's first serial killer? His great-great-grandson, Jeff Mudgett, teams with a former CIA analyst to investigate the theory.

Halt and Catch Fire. For the three who asked, the AMC drama will begin its fourth and final season with a two-hour premiere at 8 p.m. Aug. 19.

The series stars Lee Pace and Mackenzie Davis. The final season will find the gang "navigating the early days of the internet and web browsers, pondering their destinies both personally and professionally."

Added bonus: For the final season, Anna Chlumsky (My Girl, Veep) will portray Katie Herman in a role that's being billed as crucial to the plot's end game.

Better Call Saul In case there were any doubts, AMC has also ordered a fourth season of one of the most outstanding dramas on television. Only 3.6 million watch each week. The rest don't know what they're missing.

The TV Column appears Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Email:

mstorey@arkansasonline.com

Style on 07/11/2017

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