Sunday TV: Two Presidential Portrayals

KillingReagan_013The latest adaptation in the never ending conveyor belt of Bill O’Reilly celebrity-killing books, “Killing Reagan” (National Geographic, 8 p.m.) looks at the shooting early in his presidency which certainly didn’t kill him but had him hospitalized for a couple of weeks while a power struggle ensued back at the White House. It was also a super weird shooting since it was done to get the attention of actress Jody Foster (the assailant was recently released from decades in a mental institution).

Mostly it’s a pretty good replication of the character by Tim Matheson, while Cynthia Nixon goes a little bit method in her portrayal, not trying to sound or particularly look like Nancy Reagan at all, but sort of acting like her. Director Rod Lurie plays it down the middle, though he has a tough time replicating Washington in Atlanta, where the whole thing was shot. Here’s an interview I did with Lurie that ran last week.

Someone who was worse than Reagan as president is the central figure of the fictional “Graves” (Epix, 10 p.m.) in which Nick Nolte plays a sodden ex-President who wrecks his Presidential Library before he vows to make up for his terrible term. Sela Ward is pretty good as the first lady and the comedy takes a couple of interesting turns in early episodes, but it does seem a little wrong-headed (or maybe yet another warning against electing erratic characters to the office).

On the same network is the new “Berlin Station” (Epix, 9 p.m.) a new spy drama from Olen Steinhauer starring Richard Ermitage as a CIA agent in Germany charged with finding the high stakes leaker. The cast is full of nice surprises from Michelle Forbes to Richard Jenkins.

Something else new on cable: “Eyewitness” (USA, 10 p.m.), a ten-episode series adapted from a Norwegian drama about a pair of teens (James Paxton and Tyler Young) who witness a triple homicide but do not come forward because they don’t want to be outed. But one of their moms is the investigating sheriff (Julianne Nicholson).

The new series “Wolf Creek” (Pop, 10 p.m.) is an update of the horror movie of the same name, starring Lucy Fry as the daughter of the couple who got killed by a crazy man in the Australian outback and is now returning to get revenge.

Under the all purpose Sunday night “Masterpiece” moniker comes a new drama about a British woman (Keeley Hawes) who moves her family to a Greek island in the 1930s. “The Durrells in Corfu” (PBS, 8 p.m., check local listings) is light hearted enough to be played for laughs. It accompanies the latest episode of “Poldark” (PBS, 9 p.m., check local listings).

“The Simpsons” (Fox, 8 p.m.) is up to “Treehouse of Horror XXVII” and its 600th episode (!). Its parodies include “Hunger Games” Lisa’s imaginary friend as a killer and Bart as a secret agent.

Sunday Night Football has Indianapolis at Houston (NBC, 8:20 p.m.). Earlier games have Philadelphia at Washington (Fox, 1 p.m.), Baltimore at Giants (CBS, 1 p.m.) and Dallas at Green Bay (Fox, 4:25 p.m.).

The robots are going haywire on “Westworld” (HBO, 9 p.m.).

“The Circus” (Showtime, 8 p.m.) tries to catch up with all the Trump allegations after taking last week off.

Issa is still avoiding going home on “Insecure” (HBO, 10:30 p.m.).

Cornelia and Walter look into the L.A. draught on “Blunt Talk” (Starz, 8:30 p.m.).

Johnson wants to get her relationship with Masters back on track on “Masters of Sex” (Showtime, 10 p.m.).

Looks like things are just going to be ugly for a while on “Divorce” (HBO, 10 p.m.).

Kevin helps start a topless maid service on “Shameless” (Showtime, 9 p.m.).

“Madam Secretary” (CBS, 9 p.m.) gets involved in regime change.

Lord Hawthorne is not happy about being set on fire on “Indian Summers” (PBS, 10 p.m., check local listings).

If he really was “The Last Man on Earth” (Fox, 9:30 p.m.), Phil wouldn’t have to install an alarm system on his house.

To prepare you for next week’s return, here’s a survey of the first six seasons on “The Walking Dead: The Journey So Far” (AMC, 9 p.m.). Hint: they haven’t gotten too far.

“Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown” (CNN, 9 p.m.) explores Sichuan cuisine with Eric Ripert.

The first season of “Rob & Chyna” (E!, 9 p.m.) comes to an end.

A pregnancy test marks the finale of “Basketball Wives LA” (VH1, 8 p.m.).

“Food Paradise” (Travel, 8 p.m.) looks for the best tacos in the country.

A Homeland Security agent is poisoned on “NCIS: Los Angeles” (CBS, 8 p.m.).

Holmes is kidnapped by a gang on “Elementary” (CBS, 10 p.m.).

The four remaining teams on “Halloween Wars” (Food, 9 p.m.) try to depict a two-faced monster

Hook helps Belle on “Once Upon a Time” (ABC, 8 p.m.).

Teresa bids farewell to her husband, off to do his own time in prison on “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” (Bravo, 8 p.m.).

“Manzo’d with Children” (Bravo, 9 p.m.) travels to San Francisco.

“WAGS Miami” (E!, 10 p.m.) go to the Bahamas.

The Sunday night salute to Frankenstein on Turner Classic Movies moves to the Peter Cushing era with “The Curse of Frankenstein” (8 p.m.) and “The Revenge of Frankenstein” (9:45 p.m.).

The silent movie at midnight is “Kurutta Ippeiji” (TCM, midnight). It’s followed by two other films from Japan, “Goke, Body Snatcher from Hell” (TCM, 2 a.m.) and “The X from Outer Space” (TCM, 3:30 am.).

In Game 2 of the National League Championship Series of Dodgers at Cubs (Fox Sports 1, 8 p.m.).

Game 4 of the WNBA Finals has Minnesota at Los Angeles (ESPN2, 8:30 p.m.).

Hockey has Buffalo at Edmonton (NHL, 7 p.m.).

Preseason basketball has Atlanta at Orlando (NBA, 6 p.m.) and Denver at Portland (NBA, 9 p.m.).

Sunday Talk

ABC: Tim Kaine, Newt Gingrich, former CIA director David Petraeus. CBS: Mike Pence, Kaine. NBC: Joe Biden, Pence. CNN: Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Rudy Giuliani. Fox News: Pence, Kaine.

 

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