As anxious as ever, Larry David once said of his acclaimed comedy "Curb Your Enthusiasm" that he's "always in competition with the previous season."
With the eighth season looming (10 p.m. Sunday, HBO), David has a lot of competition to face. "In a way you are competing with yourself," he said once of the show's advancing years, which makes it HBO's longest-running scripted series, "and that's good. It keeps you on your toes."
The new season opens with business as usual. David is his usual obnoxious self. He's up in arms when he learns his lawyer isn't kosher, and a cookie order turns into a giant mess that David only makes worse. Now divorced and on the prowl, David also spends an episode on a date, but, of course, it's not quite a spectacular romance.
By the season's third episode, David moves to New York City temporarily, mainly to avoid an invitation to do a charity event in Los Angeles. This opens the show to numerous guest stars such as Rosie O'Donnell, Wanda Sykes, Michael J. Fox, Ricky Gervais and Jo Anne Worley.
Only David would go to such lengths to simply dodge a good deed.
But the move doesn't mean David is a changed man. He's as paranoid as ever. One friend even admires David for his skills as a "social assassin."
David dismisses the notion that he and his TV self are of the same ilk.
"I'm just trying to make the fictional David funny," he deadpanned to a group of reporters once. "But, I will say the real Larry is an extremely nice guy. You can ask anyone."
Other highlights for the week of July 10-16. All times Eastern. Listings subject to change. Check local listings:
"The Indestructibles" (10 p.m. National Geographic Channel). How do some people physically survive disastrous events? This new series looks at possible theories and includes a skydiver who survived a fall from three miles high.
"The Closer" (9 p.m. TNT). Major changes arrive when Brenda (Kyra Sedgwick) faces a civil lawsuit, a departmental reorganization and a new boss. She also has a stack of cases on her desk waiting for attention.
"Bad Girls Club: New Orleans" (9 p.m. Oxygen). In season seven, high-strung women, all claiming to be the ultimate "bad girl," must learn to compromise when they share a home in New Orleans.
"Alphas" (10 p.m. SyFy). From the writer behind "X-Men: The Last Stand," ordinary folks with extraordinary abilities work for the government while trying to overcome their differences and personal grudges.
"Surviving the Cut 2" (10 p.m. Discovery Channel). Back for a second season, this reality show reveals the challenges behind special operations training, which most people can't master. For example: almost 75 percent of the students taking basic and advance courses in the Naval Special Warfare Combatant-craft fail.
"One Man Army" (10 p.m. Discovery Channel). A U.S. Army Special Forces veteran puts contestants through the paces of the harshest training. The victor earns a $10,000 prize.
"Rescue Me" (10 p.m. FX). The seventh and final season of the Dennis Leary drama about troubled firefighters begins.
"America's Most Desperate Landscapes" (10 p.m. DIY). Jason Cameron of "Desperate Landscapes" takes on his biggest challenge -- changing a Michigan couple's plain yard into a paradise.
"Sweet Home Alabama" (9 p.m. CMT). You've probably wondered: What if "The Bachelorette" was set in the South? Well, here it is: a small-town Alabama lady has bachelors vying for her heart in this new reality series. Maybe one of the challenges will be hog calling.
"Haven" (10 p.m. SyFy). FBI agent Audrey Parker (Emily Rose) learns about her secret ties to Haven, a place where people with supernatural afflictions dwell.
"Keeping Up With the Randalls" (9 p.m. Hallmark Channel). A budding designer (Kayla Ewell) meets her biggest obstacle to date: her beau's disapproving family.
"Super Eruption" (9 p.m. SyFy). A geologist and a park ranger must deal with an erupting volcano underneath Yellowstone.
"Home By Novogratz" (10 p.m. HGTV). A wife-and-husband designing duo juggle seven children and dozens of clients. However, they do make room for fabulous tips, which they will share, for almost any home.