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Whatever happened to Thursday night TV?

By Kevin McDonough Thursday nights traditionally featured TV's most popular series. For four decades, from "Cheers" to "ER" to "The Big Bang Theory," it was the night to find them. Tonight, we have three ABC game shows and "Celebrity Watch Party" … more

'Spelling the Dream' spotlights masters of the bee

By Kevin McDonough People's love of puzzles and spelling bees has inspired a small niche of beloved films and documentaries. Netflix adds to the list with "Spelling the Dream," streaming today. It focuses on four Indian American competitors at … more

Amanda Peet is at her best as 'Betty Broderick'

By Kevin McDonough Sometimes it takes a good role to make you see a familiar performer in a new light. Amanda Peet is not to be missed in "Dirty John: The Betty Broderick Story" (9 p.m., USA Network, TV-14). It's not just the 1980s hairdos and … more

Weekend's standouts include 'Quiz,' 'Laurel Canyon'

By Kevin McDonough Sunday brings two notable series: a documentary on a celebrated American music scene and a series about a celebrated pop culture phenomenon that passed America by. AMC debuts "Quiz" (10 p.m. Sunday, TV-14) from director … more

Reality trumps comedy on misguided 'Space Force'

By Kevin McDonough With the thousand or so new series emerging every year, there are bound to be stinkers. And most of them are quickly forgotten. Nobody is going to mourn, much less remember, CBS's quickly canceled "Broke." Netflix's new series … more

When does a stream become a dribble?

By Kevin McDonough Is the launch of a new streaming service a really big deal? Or a tree falling in an empty forest? That noise you may not have noticed yesterday was the launch of HBO Max, a premium streaming network offering everything from … more

Discovery, Science both offer 'Space Launch Live'

By Kevin McDonough Nothing says TV event quite like a countdown and blastoff. "Space Launch Live: America Returns to Space" (2 p.m., Discovery, Science, TV-PG) will capture the launch of the mission to send veteran astronauts Bob Behnken and … more

'America's Got Talent' ushers in a new summer

By Kevin McDonough Summer television returns in earnest as "America's Got Talent" (8 p.m., NBC, TV-PG) returns for its 15th season. Host Terry Crews and judges Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum and Howie Mandel are joined this season by Sofia Vergara of … more

ESPN's '30 for 30' offers profile on Lance Armstrong

By Kevin McDonough "30 for 30" (9 p.m. Sunday, ESPN, TV-MA) offers "Lance," a two-part series (concluding Sunday, May 31) profile that offers frank interviews with disgraced Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong. The makers of "Lance" get right … more

'AKA Jane Roe' profiles woman behind controversy

By Kevin McDonough FX has found a larger-than-life character for its first documentary feature. "AKA Jane Roe" (9 p.m., TV-MA) interviews and profiles Norma McCorvey, the woman at the center of the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that struck down state … more

Addictive legal melodrama 'The Split' returns

By Kevin McDonough Can this marriage be saved? That question has inspired a million advice columns and too many radio and TV series to mention. But that remains the central question in the legal melodrama "The Split" (midnight, Sundance, TV-MA), … more

Entertaining 'At Home With Amy Sedaris' returns

By Kevin McDonough Olly, olly oxen free! The absence of professional sports has reduced fans and sportscasters to desperation. Fox introduces "Ultimate Tag" (9 p.m., TV-PG), a variation on the backyard game played in an elaborate studio setting. … more

'Story of Soaps' recalls genre's rich history

By Kevin McDonough Equal parts history, celebration and eulogy, "The Story of Soaps" (8 p.m., ABC, TV-14) enjoys the participation of dozens of current and former soap stars. Actors Alec Baldwin, Jon Hamm and Bryan Cranston describe their work on … more

Weekend TV offers virtual graduation, murder mysteries

By Kevin McDonough Here's something you don't see every day. Since the pandemic has closed so many schools, and social distancing doesn't allow for mass gatherings, "Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020" (8 p.m. … more

'The Great' is visually pleasing, but terminally glib

By Kevin McDonough Is "The Great" any good? Elle Fanning stars in this period satire, an epic look at the reign of Russia's Catherine the Great, the second, after HBO's miniseries starring Helen Mirren, in the space of a year. Streaming in its … more

Are viewers ready for more 'Misery Index'?

By Kevin McDonough Things are bad and are probably going to get worse. But that's not what you want to read in the TV column. Or see on TV. Or do you? It's difficult to see how the entertainment industry is going to adjust to a plague or … more

Will 'Survivor' survive COVID-19 impact to produce a season 41?

By Kevin McDonough Apparently, you can't outwit or outlast a virus. A winner emerges and receives a $2 million prize on the 40th season finale of "Survivor" (8 p.m., CBS, TV-PG). But production on the 41st season of the durable reality … more

ABC offers profile of Garry Marshall, maker of stars

By Kevin McDonough Viewers in search of distraction might turn to "The Happy Days of Garry Marshall" (8 p.m., ABC, TV-PG). A prolific producer of movies and television, Marshall was adept at packaging fantasies and discovering major … more

'I Know This Much Is True' offers a harrowing tale

By Kevin McDonough Mark Ruffalo stars in the limited series adaptation of Wally Lamb's novel "I Know This Much Is True" (9 p.m. Sunday, HBO, TV-MA). He's cast in two roles, that of identical twin brothers Dominick and Thomas Birdsey. Set in 1990 … more

Netflix imports French musical thriller 'The Eddy'

By Kevin McDonough Given the gravity of a global pandemic, the evolution of "entertainment" may not amount to a hill of beans. But you can feel the ground shifting under the business of show, leaving many confused about just what separates a … more
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