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What to Watch on TV This Week

Steve Buscemi’s ‘Miracle Workers: Dark Ages,’ ‘The Masked Singer’ and more

62nd Annual Grammy Awards

(CBS, Jan. 26, 8 p.m. ET)

The music industry’s biggest event isn’t just a youthquake. Aerosmith and Bonnie Raitt, 70, will perform, and nominees include Barbra Streisand, 77, Elvis Costello, 65, Tool (fronted by Maynard James Keenan, 55), Tanya Tucker, 61, Willie Nelson, 86, Rubén Blades, 71, Chick Corea, 78, Vince Gill, 62, Rosanne Cash, 64, Randy Newman, 76, John Williams, 87, Linda Perry, 54, and Dolly Parton, 73. —Tim Appelo (T.A.)

Miracle Workers: Dark Ages

(TBS, Jan. 28, 10:30 p.m. ET)

In the spirit of the late Terry Jones’ Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Saturday Night Live producer Lorne Michaels presents a comedy by Simon Rich (Inside Out) about the 5th to 15th centuries, a time of inequality, bad health care and massive ignorance. Will the king (Harry Potter’s Daniel Radcliffe) behead his town’s most beloved and optimistic villager (Steve Buscemi, 62)? Charming dark humor for a dark era. —T.A.

Prince Harry Duke of Sussex and Meghan Markle Duchess of Sussex depart Canada House on January 7 2020 in London England

Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Harry & Meghan: The Royals in Crisis

(Fox, Jan. 29, 8 p.m. ET)

Fox’s TMZ investigation features over a dozen interviews with people tied to Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and the rest of the queen’s increasingly tense inner circle, and shines a light on Harry and Meghan’s moves to go into the world of entertainment. Sounds like it will be royally entertaining. —T.A.

The Masked Singer, Season 3

(Fox, Feb. 2, after the Super Bowl, about 10:30 p.m; thereafter on Wednesdays, 8 p.m ET)

Eighteen celebrities don outrageous outfits as the Mouse, Frog, Llama, Banana, Kangaroo, Turtle and (our favorite) Miss Monster, and sing their hearts out for judges Ken Jeong, Robin Thicke, Nicole Scherzinger and Jenny McCarthy, as well as rotating guest judges including Jamie Foxx and Scientology exposer Leah Rimini. We can’t tell you who the celeb contestants are but, collectively, they’ve earned 88 gold records, 69 Grammy nominations, 11 Super Bowl appearances and three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. They also have more than 160 tattoos among them — but who’s counting? The clues this year will be harder to guess. Last year, critics panned the judges as the worst in reality TV history — but the premiere was the highest-rated unscripted show in over seven years. —T.A.

The Three Christs

(Streaming on Amazon, iTunes, Vudu, Google Play, Microsoft)

This movie by famous producer-director Jon Avnet (Justified, Risky Business), based on a classic psychiatrist’s memoir about treating three paranoid schizophrenics in 1959 — each of whom is convinced he is Jesus — is a bit clunky. But it’s still fascinating, and a marvelous challenge for the actors playing the patients (Peter Dinklage, 50, Walton Goggins, 48, and Bradley Whitford, 60), as well as for the guy playing the psychiatrist (Richard Gere, a new father at 70). Gere is the quiet center of an actors’ riot, and he tells AARP he doesn’t mind. “I got to go crazy and climb the walls and go all over the place emotionally years ago in Mr. Jones. I’ve done enough of that.” This film is more like Pretty Woman, whose director Garry Marshall once interrupted Gere’s rehearsal with Julia Roberts. “We were acting our little hearts out, and Garry said, ‘In this movie, one of ya moves — and you don’t move.’ ” Roberts credits Gere’s stillness with her whirling character’s success. And as the three Christs’ shrink, he does something similar. “This is not an out-of-control guy,” Gere says. “Sometimes it’s about learning how to listen.” —T.A.


Catch Up With

The Conners

(ABC, Tuesdays, 8 p.m. ET)

Despite losing Roseanne Barr, the classic family sitcom remains fresh and cutting-edge, and its 2020 return features two bits of headline-making news in coming episodes: Noel Fisher, the second new Conners cast member from Showtime’s Shameless, plays the half brother of Dan (John Goodman, 67), resenting Dan for not helping enough to care for their aged dad (Ned Beatty, 82). The other big news: On Feb. 11, the show will be broadcast live, and the characters will watch ABC News coverage of the New Hampshire primary. Risky! But an experiment you’ll want to watch. —Tim Appelo (T.A.)

Star Trek: Picard

(CBS All Access, new episodes on Thursdays, streaming anytime)

Sir Patrick Stewart, 79, who hasn’t played Capt. Jean-Luc Picard since 2002, comes back big time in a hotly awaited new show executive produced by Michael Chabon, 56, the only top blockbuster auteur (Spider-Man 2, Unbelievable) who’s also a Pulitzer-winning author. —T.A. READ PATRICK STEWART INTERVIEW

AARP Movies for Grownups Awards

(PBS, streaming anytime)

AARP’s 19th annual movie awards show is our answer to the Oscars — in fact, it helps predict and influence who will win Oscars, and drives Hollywood to make more movies by and for grownups. You can stream it on pbs.org/moviesforgrownups and the PBS Video app. And the scene of Conan O’Brien mercilessly teasing his pal Adam Sandler, best actor winner for Uncut Gems, is the most entertaining thing you’ll see this week. SEE THE TOP 10 MOMENTS FROM THE AARP MOVIES FOR GROWNUPS AWARDS

Sanditon

(PBS, Sundays, 9 p.m. ET)

Miss Downton Abbey? Try PBS Masterpiece’s adaptation of Jane Austen’s unfinished last novel, Sanditon. “It will become the next Downton Abbey, maybe,” says creator Andrew Davies, 83, who wrote the best and most popular Pride and Prejudice miniseries (with Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy). Set in the Downton-like Sanditon House, it features a rich, tart-tongued dowager (Anne Reid, 84) who steals scenes like Maggie Smith and a Mr. Darcy-like young hunk (Theo James, who played the lover who dies in Lady Mary’s Downton Abbey bed) for heroine Charlotte (Rose Williams) to quarrel with and then fancy, against her better judgment. “He gives Charlotte, who is this smart, buoyant, lovely person, two tongue lashings. By the end of the series, you will grow to like him.” But you’ll probably like the dowager even better. —T.A.

The New Pope

(HBO, Mondays, 9 p.m. ET)

Not to be confused with the smart, fact-based film The Two Popes, this totally wacky series stars John Malkovich, 66, as a punk rocker who finds himself pontiff, while the previous pope, Jude Law, is in a coma in the first episodes. Guest stars include Marilyn Manson, 51, and Sharon Stone, 61, who when she gets an audience with the pope is ordered not to uncross her legs. A punk turned pope has to guard against basic instincts. —T.A.

Grace and Frankie, Season 6

(Netflix, streaming anytime)

In the new season of Grace and Frankie, Jane Fonda’s Grace and Lily Tomlin’s Frankie have a new business venture: the Rise Up, a toilet seat that helps mature folks get to their feet and on their way. The entrepreneurs even land a slot on Shark Tank. Mary Steenburgen, 66, will guest star, and maybe even Dolly Parton (though that’s not confirmed). Fonda, 82, has said she knows why even non-grownups love the hit show: “Young people get a kick out of seeing people their grandmother’s age behaving in unexpected ways.” —T.A.

9-1-1: Lone Star

(Fox, Mondays, 8 p.m. ET)  

Rob Lowe, 55, who in real life has a men’s skin-care line, plays a skin-care-obsessed Manhattan firefighter, the sole survivor of his firehouse after 9/11, who gets sent to hipster capital Austin, Texas, to help rebuild a firefighter team after a tragedy — with help from Liv Tyler, 42, as a chief paramedic. The show breaks out with a special two-night premiere. —T.A.

Avenue 5

(HBO, Sundays, 10 p.m. ET)

Veep creator Armando Iannucci, 56, presents another subversive comedy, starring House’s Hugh Laurie, 60, as the hilariously incompetent captain of a luxury spaceship, struggling to get his tourists back to Earth without too many of them dying on the way. —T.A.

Schitt's Creek: Season 7

(Pop TV, Tuesdays, 9 p.m. ET)

This show about a rich soap opera star and video-store magnate (SCTV 's Catherine O'Hara, 65, and Eugene Levy, 73) who go broke and move to a remote rural town was a word-of-mouth hit. Then it earned an unexpected four Emmy nominations, so a lot more viewers will tune in for its final season. It's a rich-fish-out-of-water comedy classic. —T.A.

FBI: Most Wanted

(CBS, Tuesdays, 10 p.m. ET)

Producer Dick Wolf's Law & Order spin-off Law & Order: SVU spawned the spin-off FBI — and now that's got a new spin-off, about a grownup investigator (FBI's Julian McMahon, 51) whose Fugitive Task Force hunts the worst bad guys on the FBI's top 10 criminals list. It's got a better cast than some Dick Wolf shows, whose spin-offs tend to become hits. —T.A.

The Good Place, Season 4

(NBC, Thursdays, 8:30 p.m. ET)

Many critics think this comedy about a young woman (Kristen Bell) who wakes up in the afterlife with Ted Danson, 72, as her angelic (or demonic) adviser is the best show on TV. It's certainly the least predictable, and its final season is not to be missed. —T.A.

Lost in Space, Season 2

(Netflix, streaming anytime)

Have a happy holiday, Will Robinson — but there's still danger! In the Christmas-themed premiere of Season 2, Will (Maxwell Jenkins) is a teenager now (a foot taller than last season), manipulative Dr. Smith (Parker Posey, 51) may get in touch with her less-evil side, the Robinson clan is stranded on an ocean planet, and there are carnivores out there salivating for a feast of Robinsons tartare. Yet shipwrecked or not, the family summons holiday spirit with a little bioluminescent moss and a lot of love. Way better than the campy 1960s TV series — grownups can watch it with youngsters and not feel martyred.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Season 3

(Amazon, streaming anytime)

America's favorite imaginary 1950s female stand-up comic, Midge Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan), gets her act together and takes it on the road — Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami and Las Vegas — alongside a Nat King Cole-like singer (Leroy McClain). Her dad (Tony Shalhoub, 66) leaves his Columbia University job and lovely apartment, and Midge's manager (Alex Borstein, 48) may be eyeing a potential new client: Midge's Phyllis Diller-like rival Sophie Lennon (Jane Lynch, 59). Also joining the cast, in top-secret roles: Gilmore Girls’ Lauren Graham, 52; and Sterling K. Brown (This Is Us, Black Panther). —T.A.

Mad About You

(Spectrum TV, streaming anytime)

Paul (Paul Reiser, 63) and Jamie (Helen Hunt, 56) are back in the reboot of their 1992-1999 sitcom, still in their old Manhattan apartment 20 years later. Their kid (Abby Quinn) is at NYU, but the old gang is still around: John Pankow (Cousin Ira), Anne Ramsay (Jamie's sister), Richard Kind (Mark Devanow), plus newcomer Kecia Lewis from the Broadway musical Leap of Faith as Mark's new wife. Reiser and Hunt still have chemistry — where has she been, anyway? — and even though their characters have empty-nest syndrome, that doesn't mean mama Jamie won't be invading her daughter's college life to give her a piece of her mind. —T.A. PAUL REISER INTERVIEW

The Crown, Season 3

(Netflix, streaming anytime)
Yes, the first two seasons of the smash hit about Queen Elizabeth were great, but the third is better still. Olivia Colman (taking over for young Claire Foy) won an Oscar as England’s queen in The Favourite, and she’s likely to win an Emmy for this bravura performance as the grownup Elizabeth from 1964 to 1977. Game of Thrones’ Tobias Menzies plays Prince Philip, and Helena Bonham Carter, 53, gives Princess Margaret just the right insecurely arrogant, reckless swagger. When she charms LBJ and the world with a vulgar liveliness that reminds LBJ of himself, it’s Elizabeth who feels insecure. We meet young Prince Charles (Josh O’Connor) and his new girlfriend — Camilla (Emerald Fennell). Sorry, Diana won’t arrive until Season 4. —T.A.

The Morning Show

(Apple TV+, streaming anytime)

Apple launches its huge new streaming service with the first show since Friends to star Jennifer Aniston, 50 — and it's must-viewing, by turns dark and comic, definitely compelling. She and Reese Witherspoon play TV news hosts, and Steve Carell, 57, the anchor who gets sacked for alleged sexual misconduct. Martin Short, 69, plays a predatory director; Billy Crudup, 51, is a nasty exec; and Grace Under Fire's Brett Butler, 61, portrays Witherspoon's mom. Plus, you get to see Apple open a new chapter in TV history. —Bruce Fretts (B.F.) FULL REVIEW

The Kominsky Method, Season 2

(Netflix, streaming anytime)

How could this killer comedy-drama about two old friends — an actor and teacher (Michael Douglas, 75) and his agent (Alan Arkin, 85) who quarrel incessantly in youth-obsessed Hollywood — get any better? By bringing in A-list guest stars: Paul Reiser, 63, as Douglas’ daughter's lover; Jane Seymour, 68, as Arkin's rekindled old flame; and Kathleen Turner, 65, as the ex-wife of her War of the Roses and Romancing the Stone costar Douglas. This is must-see grownup TV.

Living With Yourself

(Netflix, streaming anytime)

Paul Rudd, 50, stars in this comedy by The Daily Show writer Tim Greenberg. Rudd plays a sad ad man who goes to the Top Happy Spa, which promises to make him a new man — and emerges with a replica of himself who's better than him in all ways (in Gemini Man, Will Smith also confronts his double, but that film is mostly a bust). At first he's glad to send the new him to deal with things at work and with his wife's pals that he doesn't want to do, but serious problems arise. Nobody could play this role better than Rudd. —T.A.

NCIS

(CBS, Tuesdays, 8 p.m. ET)

If a show can still shock you after 16 seasons, it came last spring when — to the delight of longtime fans — Cote de Pablo's character Ziva David had suddenly reappeared. De Pablo had left the show in 2013 and her character seemed to have killed in an explosion in 2016. But she's back — and apparently, understandably, determined to go after the responsible parties in the new season's first two episodes. Mark Harmon's Agent Gibbs is happy to help. —R.C.

Carol's Second Act

(CBS, Thursdays, 9:30 p.m ET)

Patricia Heaton, 61, plays Carol, a divorced 50-year-old who decides to go into medicine, her lifelong dream. Her younger fellow interns all scoff. “I am getting tired of being treated like a meddling old lady,” Carol says. “I am a meddling old doctor. And I was good at it because I'm old. You think a woman my age should just disappear into the woods and knit. But I see the world in a different way than when I was 28. I know all kinds of stuff that you won't know for another 20 years. And guess what? My age is what's going to make me a great doctor.” —R.C.

Godfather of Harlem

(Epix, streaming anytime)

Forest Whitaker, 58 (Platoon, Black Panther) brings movie-star charisma to the role of the actual 1960s gangster Bumpy Johnson, with Vincent D'Onofrio, 60, as mafioso Vincent “The Chin” Gigante and Breaking Bad's Giancarlo Esposito as Adam Clayton Powell Jr. —T.A.

Unbelievable

(Netflix, streaming anytime)

Amazing, enraging and utterly absorbing, this eight-episode series by the writer of Erin Brockovich and the director of The Kids Are All Right dramatizes the horribly true story of a Lynnwood, Washington, teen (Booksmart’s skyrocket star Kaitlyn Dever) who was raped by a man obsessed with recreating Princess Leia’s chained-by-Jabba the Hutt scene in Return of the Jedi. Pressured by male cops to recant her testimony, she was disgraced. But female Colorado detectives (Merritt Wever and Toni Collette) nabbed the rapist, who also attacked women in their 60s in several states and got him a prison sentence of 327 ½ years. The series is based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning report that was also featured on the radio show This American Life. —T.A.

Mindhunter, Season 2

(Netflix, streaming anytime)

Damon Herriman, who plays Charles Manson in Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood, also plays him in David Fincher's hit adaptation of the true-crime book Mindhunter: Inside the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit. The show also focuses on the BTK Killer, Son of Sam killer David Berkowitz, and the Atlanta Child Murderer — with a reprise appearance of the most interesting real-life monster from Season 1, the Co-Ed Killer Ed Kemper, whose IQ is 145. —T.A.


Movies Now Streaming on TV

The Report

(Amazon, streaming anytime)

Annette Bening, 61, AARP The Magazine's latest cover subject and the latest Movies for Grownups Career Achievement Award winner, brings her new film about the Senate's investigation of the CIA's Detention and Interrogation Program to the tube. As Bening told AARP, “When you make movies, you want to make an impact on people, not just entertain them.” The Report is entertaining as well as thought-provoking. —T.A.

Moonlight Sonata: Deafness in Three Movements

(HBO, streaming anytime)

A deeply personal family story about Emmy-winning, Oscar-nominated filmmaker Irene Taylor Brodsky's young son's deafness and his quest to master Beethoven's “Moonlight Sonata,” this fascinating documentary is also a 300-year history of deafness and a deep look at how dementia affects her deaf father — the subject of her Peabody and Sundance award-winning 2007 documentary Hear and Now—Gayle Jo Carter (G.J.C.) READ BRODSKY INTERVIEW

The Irishman

(Netflix, streaming anytime)

Netflix’s biggest-ever theatrical release, Martin Scorsese’s career-capstone Mafia drama about a hitman who kills Teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa, is now also on TV, and it’s just as good on the small screen. It’s like a grownup, 3-hour, more reflective Goodfellas, with Robert De Niro, 76, Al Pacino, 79, Joe Pesci, 76, and Ray Romano, 61, in peak form. —T.A.

The Two Popes

(Netflix, streaming anytime)

The wittiest fact-based movie of the year is a world-class acting duel between Jonathan Pryce, 72, as an Argentine cardinal who asks Pope Benedict (Anthony Hopkins, 81) to bless his retirement — only to be ordered to become the next pope, Francis. In a fascinating debate that affected the fate of a billion Catholics, traditionalist Benedict and his toughest, most liberal critic face off. In these bitterly divided times, this sweet tale of reconciliation through respectful intellectual combat feels downright redemptive. —T.A.

Marriage Story

(Netflix, streaming anytime)

At 50, director Noah Baumbach has made his grownup masterpiece, loosely based on his divorce from Jennifer Jason Leigh. Scarlett Johansson has seldom been better as the loving but thwarted ex-bride. Hollywood skyrocket Adam Driver is her arguably self-absorbed director ex-groom. But they're no better than Alan Alda, 83, Ray Liotta, 65, and Laura Dern, 52, as their lawyers — most pundits predict Dern will win an Oscar for her sympathetic yet cynical role. Better than Kramer vs. Kramer—T.A.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

(Amazon, Apple TV, YouTube, Google Play, Vudu, Fandango, streaming anytime)

As the underpaid stuntman and best friend to washed-up TV star Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, 55, steals Quentin Tarantino's sweetly nostalgic love letter to 1969 Hollywood. Though it's an alternative history fable about the Manson murders, it's nowhere near as upsetting as you'd think. It could win the Oscar for best picture. —T.A.

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