BLASTS FROM THE PAST IGNITE THREE RETURNING SERIES
-- Nostalgia sells. Few series incorporate viewers' memories of past sitcoms quite as much as "Hot in Cleveland" (10 p.m., TV Land, TV-PG), a genial, if aggressively old-school comedy with a cast (Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves, Wendie Malick and Betty White) handpicked to generate moments of recognition. If this collection wasn't evocative enough, the show has been shot through with guest stars (Carol Burnett, Mary Tyler Moore, Sean Hayes, Carl Reiner and Wayne Knight, to name a few) from beloved past sitcoms.
While regularly filmed before a live studio audience, tonight's episode, the summer season premiere, will air live on the East Coast, and repeat on the West Coast, live-to-tape, at 10 p.m. PST.
Tonight's live offering doesn't stint on retro cameos. William Shatner ("Star Trek") will be on hand. Brian Baumgartner will also guest-star. He's best known (make that, only known) as Kevin from "The Office," which aired its series finale just last month. So he barely qualifies as a star from television's past.
-- The jokey legal procedural "Franklin & Bash" (9 p.m., TNT, TV-14) also relies on casting familiar faces. Look for Heather Locklear as a hotshot lawyer who humiliates both men on Piers Morgan's (as himself) CNN talk show and then marches into their professional lives as their new boss.
For the uninitiated, Breckin Meyer plays Elmo Jared Franklin, a shoot-from-the-hip lawyer given to embarrassing asides about nerdy obsessions. Mark-Paul Gosselaar is Peter Bash, his more buttoned-down buddy. Both men call each other "dude" without apparent irony. Their pop culture-saturated bickering is neither as silly, nor as believable as that between Gus and Shawn on USA's "Psych." But this series is much more whimsical than other fare on TNT. Some of the familiar faces in the regular and recurring cast include Malcolm McDowell as a legal senior partner and Beau Bridges as Franklin's father.
-- While William Shatner joins the fun on "Hot in Cleveland," his "Star Trek" cast mate George Takei will guest-voice during this season of "Futurama" (10 p.m., Comedy Central), beginning the second part of its seventh and final season tonight. The last episode will air on Sept. 4.
Other guest-voices to cameo this season include Larry Bird, Dan Castellaneta, Emilia Clarke, Sarah Silverman, Adam West and Burt Ward.
TONIGHT'S OTHER HIGHLIGHTS
-- The Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins meet in Game 4 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals (8 p.m., NBC).
-- The remaining contestants work on foreign menus and visit the set of "Glee" on "MasterChef" (8 p.m., Fox, TV-14).
-- Molly Shannon guest-stars as Frankie's sister on "The Middle" (8 p.m., ABC, r, TV-PG).
-- Deathstroke joins Oliver on the island on "Arrow" (8 p.m., CW, r, TV-14).
-- Claire's history of Halloween horrors mobilizes the neighbors on "Modern Family" (9 p.m., ABC, r, TV-PG).
-- An Arkansas family suspects that a neighborhood bungalow may be haunted on "Ghost Hunters" (9 p.m., Syfy, TV-PG).
-- Adam and Jamie use duct tape to test their desert survival skills on "MythBusters" (9 p.m., Discovery, TV-PG).
-- A news anchor dies during a live broadcast on "CSI" (10 p.m., CBS, r, TV-14).
-- "Through the Wormhole With Morgan Freeman" (10 p.m., Science, TV-PG) ponders alien intelligence.
A widow (Katharine Hepburn) guards her late husband's reputation as a hero from a reporter (Spencer Tracy) in the 1943 drama "Keeper of the Flame" (10 p.m., TCM), directed by George Cukor. The film was controversial for its wartime depiction of pro-fascist Americans.
Bread making on "The American Baking Competition" (8 p.m., CBS, TV-PG) ... Jack and Darren hash it out on "Family Tools" (8:30 p.m., ABC, TV-PG).
A killer escapes and resumes his carnage on "Criminal Minds" (9 p.m., CBS, r, TV-14) ... The gang battles Crowley and his demons on "Supernatural" (9 p.m., CW, r, TV-14) ... Elaine feels ignored on "How To Live With Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life)" (9:30 p.m., ABC, TV-PG) ... Consumer news on "ABC's The Lookout" (10 p.m., TV-14).
Dawn Porter is scheduled on "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart" (11 p.m., Comedy Central) ... George Stroumboulopoulos is booked on "Chelsea Lately" (11 p.m., E!) ... The Postal Service performs on "The Colbert Report" (11:30 p.m., Comedy Central).
Jeff Daniels and Jim James appear on "Late Show With David Letterman" (11:35 p.m., CBS) ... Jay Leno welcomes David Gregory and the winner of "The Voice" on "The Tonight Show" (11:35 p.m., NBC).
Craig Ferguson hosts Rosie Perez on "The Late Late Show" (12:35 a.m., CBS) ... Kevin Hart, Olivia Munn and Chvrches visit "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" (12:35 a.m., NBC).
(Kevin McDonough can be reached at email@example.com.)