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What to Watch on TV Now

See Steve Martin, Martin Short, Israel's '24,' and other don't-miss shows

Steve Martin and Martin Short

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Steve Martin and Martin Short perform in a newly filmed concert.

What’s New

Steve Martin and Martin Short: An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life

(Netflix, May 25, then streaming anytime)

In real life, SNL and Three Amigos costars Steve Martin, 72, and Martin Short, 68, whom the New Yorker just called “the greatest talk-show guest of all time,” are such good pals, they have raucous, health-promoting pre-colonoscopy prep parties with Tom Hanks and other close chums. (Really, they do.) On stage in this filmed concert, they have even more fun, doing sketches, telling stories about their lives, making music, and doing the Ed Grimley dance, the "Happy Feet" dance and, of course, “King Tut.”

Meredith Vieira at the Library of Congress

Stephanie Berger/PBS

Meredith Vieira at the Library of Congress.

The Great American Read

(PBS, May 22, 8 p.m. ET)

On Tuesday, PBS kicks off its eight-part TV series with a two-hour premiere about the country’s favorite 100 books, chosen in a national survey. Meredith Vieira, 64, narrates, and special guests (Margaret Atwood, 78; Lesley Stahl, 76; Morgan Freeman, 80) pop in to offer their own favorites. It all wraps up in September, after a nationwide vote, with the unveiling of America’s 10 most beloved books. Contenders range from the obvious (To Kill a Mockingbird) to the “Are you kidding?” (Fifty Shades of Grey).

The Split

(Sundance Channel, May 23, 10 p.m. ET)

A bit like America’s The Good Wife, this Brit hit about divorce (which already has 4.5 million viewers in the U.K.) is a legal drama — with a case of the week — and an ongoing highbrow soap opera. Made by a female creative team, the show features a family of lawyers, with Nicola Walker (The UnforgottenFour Weddings and a Funeral) as a rival to the firm of her mom (Cranford’s Deborah Findlay, 70). When her dad (Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Anthony Head, 64) returns after a 30-years absence, emotional objections are raised.

Picnic at Hanging Rock

(Amazon, May 25, then streaming anytime)

This six-part miniseries is a remake of the classic 1975 film by Peter Weir, about schoolgirls who mysteriously go missing on Valentine’s Day 1900 at the famously uncanny Australian landmark Hanging Rock. This time, Natalie Dormer of Game of Thrones plays the girls school headmistress, a prim woman with psychological problems and big secrets.

Catch Up With


(Netflix, May 24, then streaming anytime)

You can’t ask for a more timely show about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. And after its first season, this thriller series has passionate fans in both Israel and the West Bank — because it’s serious about characters on both sides, like a 24 with a brain and respect for reality. The second season, starting this week, features Arabic-speaking Israeli commandos operating undercover in Palestinian territory.

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