Critic’s corner: What’s on TV Thursday


The Sixties 9 p.m., CNN

Here’s a new weekly 10-part summer series from CNN, and it’s about the so-called decade of change. And everything about that last sentence is not inviting. CNN has very little credibility these days, and nostalgic documentaries about the 1960s are just too common. But the series is coproduced by Tom Hanks, whose imprimatur (unlike that of J.J. Abrams) still has some value. The first episode focuses on TV and the role it played in bringing history into our homes; next week, the Bay of Pigs. Pictured: 1960 Kennedy-Nixon debate.

National Spelling Bee 8 p.m., ESPN


How do you spell “Tonight”? 2NTE. How do you spell “Tomorrow”? TOM. Tonight is the finals of Scripps’s annual spelling event, whose purpose, according to the website, is “to help students improve their spelling, increase their vocabularies, learn concepts, and develop correct English usage that will help them all their lives.” And to them, I say: GD LUK.

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Maron 10 p.m., IFC

The original Hot Lips.

The Killer Speaks 10 p.m., A&E

An Idunit.


Citizen Kane 8 p.m., TCM

Rose “Bud” Melman.

Matthew Gilbert can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert.