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What to Watch on Sunday: ‘Last Ship’ sails on TNT, ‘True Blood’ back on HBO

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- Richard Foreman/SMPSP
Eric Dane and Christina Elmore in the TNT action-drama “The Last Ship.”

The Last Ship (9pm, TNT) - The debut of a new series executive produced by Michael Bay, about the crew of a lone U.S. naval ship trying to save humanity when a deadly virus wipes out most of the world population. It stars Eric Dane as the smoking hot (er, McSteamy?) and very capable ship’s captain and Rhona Mitra as the British research scientist traveling onboard the ship, who may be able to come up with the cure. There’s some suspense, a few twists and whole lot of explosions (see above: Bay, Michael). It’s not groundbreaking television, but it’s a solid summer diversion. The more you watch, the more you get into the story. The whole “world pandemic” angle is perfect if you didn’t already have enough to worry about, and if you’re in the mood to hate on some Russian leaders – while not detracting from your healthy disgust for Al Qaeda – they’ve got you covered there, too.

Also on . . .

N.C. Bookwatch (Noon, UNC-TV) - UNC-Chapel Hill Professor John Kasson talks about his book, “The Little Girl Who Fought the Great Depression: Shirley Temple and 1930s America.”

True Blood (9pm, HBO) - The seventh season begins with the vampire-human mixer at Bellefleur’s in full swing, but a gruesome attack by a band of H-vamps throws Bon Temps into chaos and prompts a wave of spiteful finger-pointing at one of its most well-known residents.

Rising Star (9pm, ABC) - The series premiere of *another* reality competition show in which aspiring singers perform. In this one, the contestants are judged by TV viewers, who use an app to vote on the performances in real time.

Miracle Landing on the Hudson (9pm, National Geographic Channel) - This two-hour special tells the story of the landing of a U.S. Airways plane in New York’s Hudson River -- downed by a flock of geese -- entirely through firsthand stories of the passengers onboard. There’s no narration, but there are “dramatic re-creations” of the crash.

Drop Dead Diva (9pm, Lifetime) - Season 6 ends with Owen and Kim trying to talk some sense into Jane about her relationship with Ian.

Falling Skies (10pm, TNT) - Season 4 begins with the Masons and 2nd Mass under brutal attack by a new Espheni war machine and a menacing creation. Before long, the Masons must each establish new relationships and survival techniques.

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