(Paramount Network, June 20, 9 p.m. ET)
Tycoons battling troublesome offspring are big on TV lately: Brian Cox in Succession, Donald Sutherland in Trust, and now Kevin Costner, 63, as Montana rancher John Dutton in the 10-part Yellowstone, a cross between Dallas and The Sopranos directed by Oscar nominee Taylor Sheridan (Sicario, Wind River). It’s the priciest show in the network’s history, the look is epic, and Costner is just right as a guy who rides the range in a helicopter — though, as Costner says, “he would prefer to be on his horse. He’s a little bit old school.” He's beset by politicians, developers and an ambitious young native chief, and his daughter (Kelly Reilly), a business shark, asks him, “Just tell me who to fight.” The patriarch says, "Everyone."
Richard DuCree/Warner Bros./OWN
(Oprah Winfrey Network, June 19, 10 p.m. ET)
This 10-episode show by award-winning producers Mara Brock Akil, 48, and Salim Akil, 53, dramatizes their 1990s courtship in Hollywood (where they created Girlfriends, which launched Diana Ross' daughter Tracee Ellis Ross), switching from the young couple to their grownup selves today, played by Clarke Peters, 66 (The Wire, Treme) and Wendy Davis. "If you liked Mad About You and 30something, you'll love this show," says Ms. Akil. "It's like 10 movies, and really we're making the mid-budget movies studios won't make anymore, like When Harry Met Sally. It's not just about how to get someone, it's how you stay together. It's about, OK, growing older can still be fun and sexy and about growth." It's also a fun time trip to the rise of black Hollywood.
What’s Coming Back
(Comedy Central, June 19, 10 p.m. ET)
The inspired series that gets celebrities to study serious history books, get drunk on camera, and hilariously attempt to explain what happened as actors perform their sozzled spiels (complete with belches) returns for a new season. The first subject: World War II. John Lutz guzzles dirty gin martinis and explains the "ghost army" of fake inflatable tanks that fooled Hitler, and Randall Park talks about a rebel at the U.S. Japanese internment camps, saying, "Take it from a drunk guy, this is ridiculous!" (If you prefer history told by sober narrators, try Smithsonian Channel's The Pacific War in Color miniseries, June 24, 8 p.m. ET.)
Catch Up On
Amazon Prime Video
(Amazon, streaming anytime)
OK, I've watched all eight episodes of the Raymond Chandleresque crime show starring Billy Bob Thornton, 62, and it's better than last year's season, way more twisted, boasting not one psychotic crime lord but two, one of whom (played by rising indie-film star/auteur Mark Duplass) has a sexual fetish that leads to his highly ironic demise (no spoilers). Thornton has an intriguingly steamy affair with a stunning beauty destined to be L.A.'s mayor, and the characters are all rich and strange. The acting might be too stoic for some, especially the finale, but don't start binging this one if you really need to go to bed early tonight. It's addictive.
(Showtime, streaming anytime)
Granted, last season was awful, and I'm not sure I would've tuned into the new fourth season unless I had to — but good thing I did, because it's a distinct improvement, more emotionally realistic, without sacrificing any lurid wildness. Once again, the best thing about the show is how it depicts the same events as witnessed by two characters — in this week's second episode, the travails of Cole (Joshua Jackson) and his ex Alison (Ruth Wilson), who are partners in a new restaurant venture with Cole's new wife, Luisa (Catalina Sandino Moreno), who lives in terror of being deported. What could go wrong? Plenty!