For the past four years, comedians Jonah Ray and Kumail Nanjiani have hosted a weekly show from NerdMelt, a small space in the back of Los Angeles comic book shop Meltdown. Launched by Chris Hardwick (creator of blog/podcast-turned-digital entertainment network The Nerdist; Talking Dead host) — NerdMelt may not be your typical L.A. comedy club. But in addition to hosting Nerdist events like comic panels, this humble space has welcomed the likes of Dan Harmon, Jim Gaffigan, Louis C.K. and other greats and has been a platform for aforementioned up-and-comers like Ray and Nanjiani, who are bringing their popular live comedy show to TV.
For those who can’t make the trip to Sunset Strip, The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail (Series Premiere, 12:30 a.m. Thursday — that’s Wednesday night — Comedy Central) will feature all the elements of their popular weekly event. Shot documentary-style at NerdMelt, the show will feature Marc Maron, Nick Offerman, Garfunkel and Oates and other funny folks testing out new material, and will also go behind the scenes of the show for more backstage, off-the-cuff comedy.
Silicon Valley fans will recognize Nanjiani as Dinesh from the HBO comedy; he’s also hosted a slew of podcasts — covering everything from video games to The X-Files — and guest starred as various Portlandia characters. Ray is a frequent Nerdist contributor with a writing background; he has performed sketch comedy and stand-up at L.A.’s Upright Citizens Brigade Theater.
WEDNESDAY JULY 23
Make or Break: The Linda Perry Project (10 p.m., VH1) – Accomplished singer-songwriter Perry is known as one-fourth of ’90s lady rockers 4 Non Blondes and, as of late, Mrs. Sara Gilbert. After spending years working alongside established performers like Alicia Keys, Christina Aguilera, Gwen Stefani and P!nk, she’s setting her sights on the next big artist.
Of all the music competitions with celebrity mentors, Perry’s feels the most authentic. Plus, it’s great to see The Real L Word alumnae Hunter Valentine onscreen again.
THURSDAY JULY 24
Project Runway (Season Premiere, 9 p.m., Lifetime) – The landmark reality show carries over many familiar elements to its 13th season: Host Heidi Klum, judges Nina Garcia and Zac Posen and mentor/light of my life Tim Gunn all return. Gunn will continue to play a larger role than in earlier seasons, with the opportunity to save one designer from the judges’ elimination. Runway Redemption is also back; Ken Laurence (Season 12), Alexander Pope (Season 12) or Amanda Valentine (Season 11) will return for another shot at the grand prize (which includes $100,000 compliments of Red Robin, so get ready for some awesomely bad promotional challenges — burger-inspired couture, anyone?). Get to know the contestants during the casting special at 8 p.m. During the premiere, the designers are shocked with another round of auditions to secure their spots on the show.
Last Comic Standing (10 p.m., NBC) – The comic-testants roast Gilbert Gottfried.
Married (10 p.m., FX) – When Lina and Russ finally have an adult night out, A.J. and Jess interrupt the date, pulling them in different directions.
You’re the Worst (10:30 p.m., FX) – Jimmy takes Gretchen out to a movie, where the duo premieres its “Let’s Be Horrible” production for an audience.
SUNDAY JULY 27
True Blood (9 p.m., HBO) – So I guess everyone has Hep V, including Bill. But how did he get infected? It probably has something to do with that time he drank a bunch of old vampire blood and thought he was god.
Halt and Catch Fire (10 p.m., AMC) -– Trouble follows the foursome to Las Vegas, where more challenges threaten the Giant’s chances at COMDEX.
The Leftovers (10 p.m., HBO) – Laurie is tested when the Guilty Remnant is involved in a hate crime; Kevin rejects an offer of help for Mapleton; without a physical church, Matt takes his preaching to the streets.
MONDAY JULY 28
Love Child (9 p.m., HBO) – Valerie Veatch (Me @ the Zoo) looks at Internet addiction and the obsessive nature of gaming in this documentary about a South Korean couple using the theory as a defense for neglecting their infant daughter.
TUESDAY JULY 29
Nathan For You (10:30 p.m., Comedy Central) – The episode we’ve been waiting for: Dumb Starbucks.
CONTACT Jac Kern: email@example.com or @jackern