Sunday TV: Queens, Past and Current

victoriaJust as it did in its first season, the lavish and well wrought “Victoria” falls a bit under the shadow of the regal doings in the Netflix series “The Crown.” But Jenna Coleman’s luminous Queen Victoria is just as compelling as she enters season two finding her footing on the throne and asserts herself against her husband Prince Albert (Tom Hughes) in the splendid looking series on “Masterpiece” (PBS, 9 p.m., check local listings) — especially for those who have already completed the other streaming series. The addition of Diana Rigg as a wry Duchess seems intended to add a “Downton Abbey”-Maggie Smith type role.

Speaking of queens, Queen Elizabeth II, who is the subject of “The Crown,” speaks out on her own in a rare interview recalling her own coronation 65 years ago in a special about the ceremony and a close up look at the Royal Jewels in “The Coronation” (Smithsonian Channel, 8 p.m.). Here’s a story I wrote about it for Smithsonian Magazine.com.

Second seasons begin tonight for two HBO comedies that really came into their own before their first seasons ended.  “Divorce” (HBO, 9 p.m.), written by Susan Horgan of “Catastrophe,” has made Thomas Haden Church and Sarah Jessica Parker into nuanced and knowing comic actors, seem to hint that they’re sorry on occasions that they broke up.

On the accompanying “Crashing” (HBO, 10:30 p.m.), Pete Holmes has successfully created a likable standup comic (which is tough enough to create) whose struggle is something we root for. The new season which will continue to include a number of familiar guest star comedians, most playing fictionalized versions of themselves. First up: Penn Jillette talks theology.

Hey, here’s a Spanish variant “MasterChef Latino” (Telemundo, 8 p..m) that uses a past winner of “MasterChef,” Claudia Sandoval, as a judge.

“Family Guy” (Fox, 9 p.m.) reaches its 300th episode with a Brian and Stewie war. The cartoon stays true to its history and avoids the funny. “I don’t know that anyone ever really expected this show to go this long,” creator Seth MacFarlane said at the TV Critics Association winter press tour, my coverage of which can be found here.

Game show scandals weren’t only in the 1950s: “Cover Story: Press Your Luck Scandal” (GSN, 10 p.m.) tells of the time an out of work ice cream driver in Ohio won a record $110,000 in one day’s work avoiding Whammys.

Russia is blamed for a sonic attack at the U.S. in “Madam Secretary” (CBS, 10 p.m.).

Hetty is tortured by captors in Vietnam in “NCIS: Los Angeles” (CBS, 9 p.m.).

One good thing about the aircraft explored in the special “Air Force One: America’s Flagship” (National Geographic, 9 p.m.), it won’t go bankrupt, as the Trump Shuttle did.

Frank tries to cash in on Ian’s fame on “Shameless” (Showtime, 9 p.m.).

The end of the world is nigh on “The Simpsons” (Fox, 8 p.m.).

The group searches for Jasper on the winter finale of “The Last Man on Earth” (Fox, 9:30 p.m.).

It’s girls’ night out on “Bob’s Burgers” (Fox, 8:30 p.m.).

Two new episodes of “Shark Tank” (ABC, 9 and 10 p.m.) run back to back.

On the second episode of “The Chi” (Showtime, 10 p.m.), Brandon reels from a loss.

Gadgets can’t help the “Worst Cooks in America” (Food, 9 p.m.).

Kourtney considers a trip to Egypt on “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” (E!, 9 p.m.).

On “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” (Bravo, 8 p.m.), Shereé invites Kim and NeNe to dinner.

In the NFL playoffs, it’s Jacksonville at Pittsburgh (CBS, 1:05 p.m.) in the AFC and New Orleans at Minnesota (Fox, 4:40 p.m.) in the NFC.

It may be your final chance to see “Wisdom of the Crowd” (CBS, 8 p.m.), which wasn’t picked up for a full season.

Another oft-told crime is retold again on the true crime series “Jodi Arias: An American Murder Mystery” (Investigation Discovery, 10 p.m.).

In the new “Seeking Sister Wife” (TLC, 10:10 p.m.) three families look to add a new wives to the households, in the manner of the accompanying “Sister Wives” (TLC, 8 p.m.). How about a series on the polygamy police who might put an end to this banned and archaic practice?

Speaking of abhorrent practices, the documentary “Trophy” (CNN, 9 p.m.) by Christina Clusiau and Shaul Schwarz, concentrates on big game hunting and wildlife conservation in Africa.

It’s a Gene Tierney double play on Turner Classic Movies with “The Ghost and Mrs. Muir” (8 p.m.) and “Rings on Her Fingers” (10 p.m.). Then comes the 1929 silent “The Flying Fleet” (midnight) and two from Japan, “Being Two Isn’t Easy” (2 a.m.) and “Good Morning” (3:45 a.m.).

NBA action has Portland at Minnesota (ESPN, 9 p.m.).

Hockey has Detroit at Chicago (NBC, 12:30 p.m.) and Rangers at Pittsburgh (NBC Sports, 7:30 p.m.).

Men’s college basketball includes Army at Navy (CBS, Sports, 2:30 p.m), Davidson at Fordham (NBC Sports, 3 p.m.), Northwestern at Indiana (CBS, 4:30 p.m.), Saint Joseph’s at Massachusetts (NBC Sports, 5 p.m.), North Carolina State at Virginia (ESPNU, 6 p.m.) and Utah at USC (ESPNU, 8 p.m.).

Women’s games include Army at Navy (CBS Sports, noon), UCF at South Florida (ESPNU, noon), Tennessee at South Carolina (ESPN2, 1 p.m.) and Saint Louis at Dayton (ESPNU, 2 p.m.), Virginia at Duke (ESPN2, 3 p.m.), Alabama at Mississippi State (ESPNU, 4 p.m.) and Butler at DePaul (CBS Sports, 4:30 p.m.).

In tennis, early round play begins in the Australian Open (ESPN2, 7 p.m.).

Sunday Talk

ABC: Sens. Jeff Flake and David Perdue, Rep. John Lewis. CBS: Sens. Tom Cotton, Cory Gardner and Joe Manchin. NBC: Sen. Rand Paul. CNN: Rep. Mia Love, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe. Fox News: Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, California Attorney Gen. Xavier Becerra.

 

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