Wednesday TV: Grim ‘The Last Panthers’

samantha-morton-3_3485512bAn audacious series of jewel heists in the 1990s by ex-Yugoslavs from Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia earned a gang of thieves the nickname the Pink Panthers. Interpol named them after the comedy films, though there was nothing funny about their action, nor the arresting six part crime thriller “The Last Panthers” (Sundance, 10 p.m.).

It is, rather, a grim and darkly colored crime saga about a diamond heist in Marseille, France, that goes wrong. It ties to the Balkan conflict of the 90s and traverses around some of the ugliest landscapes of Eastern Europe.

An international cast (some of whom actually speak in English without subtitles) include Samantha Morton, Tahar Rahim, John Hurt and Goran Bogdan. The series, which was nominated for a BAFTA award, inspired David Bowie to write the title track to his final album “Blackstar.” which is the show’s theme song. John Renck, who directed all six episodes, also directed Bowie’s striking video for the song.

At a moment temporarily without the hamster track cages of national ninja challenges, there is the new “Strong” (NBC, 9 p.m.), in which ordinary women are paired with gung-ho trainers to get them in shape and across another one of those jerry-rigged extreme conditioning courses. Among the producers of the new series: Sylvester Stallone. Gabrielle Reece hosts.

For the two-part season finale of “Broad City” (Comedy Central, 10 p.m.), Abby and Ilana take a trip, though getting to the airport is hard enough.

The comeback of the once-endangered Asiatic lions of Western India is the subject of a new report on “Nature” (PBS, 8 p.m., check local listings) titled “India’s Wandering Lions.”

Then, “Nova” (PBS, 9 p.m., check local listings) looks at the latest treatments of Alzheimer’s.

Phillip makes a tough choice regarding Martha on “The Americans” (FX, 10 p.m.).

Claire brings home a stray on “Modern Family” (ABC, 9 p.m.).

Lucious is about to shoot a music video on “Empire” (Fox, 9 p.m.).

Raven-Symons stars as Dre’s sister who is planning a marriage to her girlfriend on “Blackish” (ABC, 9:30 p.m.).

“Rosewood” (Fox, 8 p.m.) considered his own mortality.

Turner Classic Movies begins a Wednesday night survey of German filmmaking during the Weimar Republic, “From Caligari to Hitler,” that naturally begins with “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” (8 p.m.) and a documentary “From Caligari to Hitler: German Cinema in the Age of the Masses” (9:30 p.m.), “Nosferatu” (11:30 p.m.), “Faust” (1:15 a.m.), “The Adventures of Prince Achmed” (3:15 a.m.) and “The Blue Angel” (4:30 a.m.).

The NHL begins its conference playoffs with games one of Detroit at Tampa Bay (NBC Sports, 7 p.m.), Rangers at Pittsburgh (USA, 8 p.m.) and Chicago at St. Louis (NBC Sports, 9:30 p.m.).

Basketball ends its regular season with Miami at Boston (ESPN, 8 p.m.), Utah at Lakers (ESPN2, 10:30 p.m.), featuring Kobe Bryant’s last appearance, and Memphis at Golden State (ESPN, 10:30 p.m.).

Baseball includes Miami at Mets (MLB, 1 p.m.) and Baltimore at Boston (ESPN2, 7 p.m.).

Daytime Talk

Kelly & Michael: Kevin Costner, Ken Jeong, Dalton Rapattoni. The View: John Cena, Joey Lawrence, Yara Shahindi, Marcus Scribner, Miles Brown, Marsal Martin. The Talk: George Lopez, Jaymes Vaughan, Charlie Puth. Ellen DeGeneres: Sylvester Stallone, Gabrielle Reece, Abbi Jacobson, Ilana Glazer. Wendy Williams: Dr. Mehmet Oz, Laura Vitale. The Real: Lizzo. Meredith Vieira: Natalie Morales, Alicia Ybarbo, Mary Ann Zoellner.

Late Talk

Stephen Colbert: Sally Field, Jerrod Carmichael, Esperanza Spalding (rerun). Jimmy Kimmel: Robert Downey Jr., Don Cheadle, Emily Van Camp, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bethany, Mayer Hawthorne. Jimmy Fallon: Ice Cube, Ellie Kemper, Conrad Sewell. Seth Meyers: Tom Hiddleston, Maisie Williams, Rooney, Fabrizio Moratti. James Corden: Paul Rudd, Diane Lane (rerun). Carson Daly: Danica Patrick, the Bots, All Them Witches (rerun). Tavis Smiley: Robert Greenwald. Trevor Noah: Ken Jeong. Larry Wilmore: Sen. Bernie Sanders.


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