TV THIS WEEK: Face Off returns, Phineas and Ferb do Star Wars, and more!

It's time for more amazing Face Off creations, and for an animated trip to a galaxy far, far away.

Syfy's hit unscripted series returns for its seventh season this week, with a big twist right off the bat for the contestants. Plus, Disney and Star Wars combine in ways you might not have expected in Phineas and Ferb: Star Wars, WGN takes us inside the Manhattan Project with a new series, Ice King organizes a road trip on Adventure Time, an exorcism must be performed on Dominion, and Mega Shark returns to Syfy.

Check out the week in TV below. What's on your watchlist?

Highlights of the Week

Face Off (Syfy) Tuesday, 9 p.m. - "Life and Death"

Season premiere! - Though Syfy has taken some heat in the past from viewers who'd like to see less unscripted programming and more stuff in the vein of Battlestar GalacticaFace Off has remained a consistent hit for the network. Over three years and six seasons the show's ratings have remained strong, and it still holds many fans in its thrall, including some who might not otherwise visit a network like Syfy. Now, as season seven dawns, we'll see if it can maintain that strength. This time around we're promised "higher stakes," new judges and new challenges, including a season premiere surprise that'll be particularly hard on the contestants: The first episode is not their first challenge. It's their final audition. Check out a preview below.

Extant (CBS) Wednesday, 9 p.m. - "Wish You Were Here"

Before Extant premiered, I noted that last summer CBS picked up a pretty impressive genre hit with Under the Dome, and wondered if Extant could climb to those same heights in its debut. With a star like Halle Berry and executive producer Steven Spielberg's name tacked to just about every TV spot, it seemed to have a chance. So, how's the show doing as it enters its third week? Well, nearly 10 million viewers watched the series premiere, and while that number's not as strong as the more than 13 million viewers who tuned in for Under the Dome's debut, it's still impressive for a summer show existing in an age when we never stop hearing about the erosion of live TV audiences. In the key 18-49 demographic, the show pulled in a 1.6 score with its premiere, which is less than half what Dome got with its premiere last summer, but still good enough to put it in second place for the night behind network mate (and lead-in) Big Brother. Episode two's numbers revealed the show retained a pretty solid chunk of its premiere audience. It lost only about 1.5 million viewers, dropping only a tenth of a demo point, and still came in second behind Big Brother. That might not be enough to call it a smash, but so far the show's holding up pretty well. We'll see how things go this week, as Molly considers telling John about her mysterious pregnancy. Check out a preview below.

Phineas and Ferb: Star Wars (Disney) Saturday, 9 p.m.

One-hour special! - We don't generally cover the adventures of Phineas and Ferb here, but this particularly special episode of the series might be of interest to you, as it takes the titular heroes to a galaxy, far, far away. Featuring special guest stars Simon Pegg and MythBusters hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, this episode places Phineas and Ferb in the Star Wars universe, living on a Tatooine moisture farm right next door to Luke Skywalker's. When R2-D2 (and the Death Star plans he's carrying courtesy of Princess Leia) somehow winds up in their speeder instead of Luke's, Phineas and Ferb are sent on an intergalactic adventure featuring all of your favorite Star Wars characters. Hey, it's no Episode VII, but the Force might be with it anyway. Check out a preview below.

Falling Skies (TNT) Sunday, 10 p.m. - "Door Number Three"

When Falling Skies debuted in the summer of 2011, it was one of the two (along with American Horror Story) biggest new cable shows of the year in the all-important 18-49 demographic, marking a major original programming hit for TNT and launching an ambitious new sci-fi series that's continued to deliver strong numbers for its network and heavy storytelling for its viewers. Unfortunately, though its ratings are still nothing to scoff at, Falling Skies has not kept up its "biggest cable show of the year" reputation in recent seasons, and it's not just because things like The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones have overtaken it. Some shows grow as cultural phenomenons as the seasons pass, while others level off, and still others decline but remain viable. Falling Skies is in the latter category. Nearly 6 million people tuned in for the series premiere, and nearly 4.5 million returned for season two's debut. After that premiere, though, the show didn't top 4 million viewers for the rest of the season, and though season three's premiere hit the 4 million mark again, the rest of that season also failed to climb that high again, and one episode dipped below 3 million. Those are still respectable numbers, but then we come to season four. So far this season the show has only crested 3 million viewers one time, in its premiere. With that in mind, it's not surprising that TNT announced that Falling Skies will get one more season next year, and then that'll be it. It's paid dividends for its network, but it also seems to be running its course. In the meantime, though, we've still got a lot of season four left to get through. This week, Lexi faces a health crisis and Tom gets a reunion. Check out a preview below.

Manhattan (WGN) Sunday, 9 p.m. - "You Always Hurt The Ones You Love"

Series premiere! - This, like Halt and Catch Fire and Crossbones, isn't a genre series in the strictest terms, but it skews close enough to genre interests that we think you might want to check it out. Earlier this year WGN America debuted its first original series, the supernatural drama Salem, and it proved a strong enough show to get another year at the network. Now WGN is welcoming its second original series in Manhattan, a period drama exploring the lives of the people who worked on the Manhattan Project, the government program to develop the atomic bomb in the 1940s that still holds a mythic place in American culture. Though the show will not attempt complete historical accuracy (characters are often composites of real people, and the show's executive producers have said they're not aiming to make a docudrama), it will attempt to explore the ultra-secretive nature of the project. In a remote New Mexico town that the rest of the nation doesn't know about, scientists will have to deal with a government that only tells them what they need to know, then go home and try to keep secrets from their own families. We don't know yet how far the show will skew into the actual scientific development of the bomb, but a good drama about government secrets is always welcome (because hey, we still miss The X-Files). Check out a preview below.

Monday, July 21

Under the Dome (CBS) 10 p.m. - "Revelation"

As conditions grow worse in Chester's Mill, Rebecca and Big Jim start thinking about extreme measures to control the population under the Dome.

Teen Wolf (MTV) 10 p.m. - "I.E.D."

Lydia seeks help with her powers. Scott, Stiles and Kira play their first game of lacrosse.

Tuesday, July 22

The Wil Wheaton Project (Syfy) 10 p.m. - "Wilraiser: Revelations"

New time! - Wil shifts back to a later time to make room for Face Off, and Kevin Smith stops by. 

Wednesday, July 23

Wilfred (FXX) 10 p.m. - "Patterns"

Ryan gets caught up in the "End Game."

Thursday, July 24

Defiance (Syfy) 8 p.m. - "This Woman's Work"

Pottinger recruits Nolan to lead a salvage mission to the latest Arkfall crash.

Dominion (Syfy) 9 p.m. - "Black Eyes Blue"

Alex asks Michael and Claire to help him exorcise angels from captive eight-balls.

Teen Titans Go! (TOON) 6 p.m. - "I See You"

Hoping to get a kiss, Robin takes Starfire on a stakeout. Cyborg and Beast Boy have a stakeout of their own to discover Raven's dark secret.

Adventure Time (TOON) 7 p.m. - "Thanks for the Crabapples, Giuseppe"

Ice King takes a band of wizards on a mystical road trip.

Friday, July 25

Legend of Korra (Nick) 8 p.m. - "The Terror Within" & "The Stakeout"

Zaheer and his gang try to kidnap Korra.

The Almighty Johnsons (Syfy) 10 p.m. - "God's Gift to Zebras"

Axl meets a librarian who claims to be Frigg.

Crossbones (NBC) 10 p.m. - "Beggarman"

Balfour makes an unexpected alliance. Lowe's in jeopardy because of Nenna's escape plan.

Saturday, July 26

Mega Shark vs. Mecha Shark (Syfy) 9 p.m.

Original movie! - While you wait for Sharknado 2 to hit next week, get your shark on with this film, in which a giant shark-shaped submarine is dispatched to battle the Mega Shark.

Sunday, July 27

The Strain (FX) 10 p.m. - "Gone Smooth"

Setrakian puts his plan in motion, while Eph and Nora try to save Captain Redfern.

True Blood (HBO) 9 p.m. - "Karma"

Eric and Pam make a new, unlikely alliance. Sookie makes a shocking discovery.

The Leftovers (HBO) 10 p.m. - "Gladys"

Kevin turns down help. Laurie's resolve is tested by a crime.

Witches of East End (Lifetime) 9 p.m. - "The Brothers Grimoire"

Frederick's old friends arrive in Fair Haven. Wendy and Tommy meet up.

The Lottery (Lifetime) 10 p.m. - "Rules of the Game"

Vanessa, Dariius and the president's advisors have a debate. Alison faces consequences.

The Last Ship (TNT) 9 p.m. - "Lockdown"

When Lt. Green comes down with a mysterious illness, people on the ship panic.

Halt and Catch Fire (AMC) 10 p.m. - "Up Helly Aa"

New complications and adversaries threaten everything the Cardiff team has achieved thus far.

What are you watching this week? Let us know in the comments!


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