5 for Friday: ‘Great Performances,’ ‘Ninja Warrior’ ‘Tanked’ and More

NBC filming segment with Sean Bryan, “The Papal Ninja,” for “American Ninja Warrior”

It’s the weekend again, and what is there that’s suitable for the family to watch together? Fear not, we got you — and you don’t even need to subscribe to a streaming service. (All times Eastern)

Great Performances: Grammy Salute to Music Legends — Friday, 9 p.m., PBS (check local listings for time and channel in your area)

Kids won’t have heard of a lot of the folks receiving the Grammy’s Special Merit Awards for 2017, but if you start singing and dancing around the living room, they may join in. Few things bond a family more than sharing music. This year’s honorees include Shirley Caesar, Ahmad Jamal, Charley Pride, Jimmie Rodgers, Nina Simone, Sly Stone, and the Velvet Underground.

Performers include Caesar and Pride; the Velvet Underground’s John Cale and Maureen “Moe” Tucker; Kirk Franklin; Le’Andria Johnson; Randy Newman; Vernon Reid; Catherine Russell; Valerie Simpson; Russell Thompkins Jr.; Neal McCoy; Dionne Warwick; Charlie Wilson; and Dwight Yoakam.

“American Ninja Warrior” — Friday, 8 and 9 p.m., MNT; and Saturday, 8 and 9 p.m., NBCSN

The NBC reality-competition show — in which only the eventual winner (if there is one) gets any prize money — attracts dedicated athletes from around the country who train on their own, striving to achieve incredible feats. The show is very family- and faith-friendly, allowing competitors to talk about their families, backgrounds, lives and beliefs. Just be prepared for young ones wanting to jump from every piece of furniture. Some parents have even built “Ninja” courses in their backyards or taken their kids for lessons at a local gym

Sure beats video games!

Among the top competitors are several dedicated Christians, including Catholics Joe “The Weatherman” Moravsky, and one of FTP’s good friends, Sean “The Papal Ninja” Bryan.

Here’s a couple recent videos we did with Bryan.

“Tanked” — Friday, 8 and 9 p.m. (new episode), Animal Planet

Currently in its 13th season, the show follows Las Vegas-based brothers-in-law and business partners Wayde King and Brett Raymer as they travel around the country, installing outrageous and elaborate aquariums for businesses, attractions and celebrities. The show is fast, clean, funny and demonstrates the values of hard work, family, dedication to quality and teamwork.

There’s also an online aquarium game, where kids can design and build the virtual aquarium of their dreams.

Here’s a recent clip:

“Halloween Wars” — Food, Saturday 8 p.m. and 9 p.m.; Sunday, 9 p.m. (new episode)

In the reality-competition show, six teams made up of an expert pumpkin carver, a cake artist and a sugar artist go into battle to create mind-blowing Halloween-themed displays — but only one team can win! Scary but tasty … and know your kids’ tolerance for Halloween spooks and scares before you tune in.

Guy’s Grocery Games — Sunday, 8 p.m. (new episode)

I’ll admit to getting hooked on this one at the nail salon (note to self: always eat before going to the nail salon). Host Guy Fieri sends chef competitors down the aisles of a specially built supermarket set with orders to create original dishes for judges to sample. As we’ve seen in recent years, kids go crazy for cooking shows, and a lot of them turn out to be excellent in the kitchen. Well, anything good starts with good ingredients, so the sooner kids learn their way around a grocery store, the less time they’ll spend living on ramen noodles when they’re older.

Sunday’s episode is a Halloween special. From Food Network:

Aisle of Terror

In this spooktastic Halloween episode, four chefs must create dishes that don’t scare the judges! Starting off with a hearty lunch is not an easy feat when Guy shocks them with a daunting Red Light Special. In the next game, Guy tricks the chefs into making a savory treat with sweets in Single Aisle Showdown. In the final game, Guy hands the chefs his Grocery List filled with spooky items like bone marrow, blood orange and black garlic and tells them to make their best dish. Which chef will get to go on the Shopping Spree and which will be scared straight out of the grocery store?

Here’s a clip from an earlier season:


Image: Kate O’Hare for Family Theater Productions

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