Friday TV: ‘The Romanoffs’ Take Off

RomanoffsOnce a moribund empty spot, streaming services have made Fridays a big day in TV fare.

Most anticipated today is “The Romanoffs” (Amazon, streaming), the first work from Matthew Weiner since “Mad Men.” It’s a contemporary anthology series set all around the world about people who think they are connected with the storied Russian royals. Its revolving all star cast includes Diane Lane, Isabelle Huppert, John Slattery and Kathryn Hahn. The first two episodes, available today, are 90 minutes each. The first, with Marthe Keller, Ines Melab and Aaron Eckhart, concerns an elderly and stylish aunt whose lavish Paris apartment upstages almost everything else.

Just in time for Halloween season is a new series based on the 1959 Shirley Jackson novel of the same name, “The Haunting of Hill House” (Netflix, streaming) about siblings who return back to the haunted house in which they were raised. The cast in Mike Flanagan’s 10-episode series include Michael Huisman, Carla Gugino, Elizabeth Reaser, Henry Thomas and  Timothy Hutton.

Also for Holloween is the goth baking series “The Curious Creations of Christine McConnell” (Netflix, streaming) in which the author, artist and photographer hosts a darkly whimsical cooking show in which she makes spooky confections surrounded by puppet monsters.

Taking a break from “The Deuce” Maggie Gyllenhaal stars as “The Kindergarten Teacher” (Netflix, streaming) who takes a little too much interest in a student she thinks to be a poetic genius. Gael Garcia Bernal also stars in the thriller from Sara Colangelo (“Little Accidents”).

In Gareth Evans’ film “Apostle” (Netflix, streaming), Dan Stevens plays a man in 1905 who travels to a remote island to rescue his sister from a religious cult. It also stars Michael Sheen and Kristine Froseth.

The fifth and final season of “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” (CW, 8 p.m.) begins in jail.

“Pod Save America” (HBO, 11 p.m.), the pointed and funny political podcast from ex-Obama staffers Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett, Dan Pfeiffer and Tommy Vietor, makes its TV debut in the first of four specials, taped live in key midterm states.

The scholarly series “Shakespeare Uncovered” (PBS, 9 p.m., check local listings) returns with two episodes. First Helen Hunt looks into “Much Ado About Nothing,” and then F. Murray Abraham tackles the tricky issues behind “The Merchant of Venice.”

Johanna Demetrakas’ documentary “Feminists: What Were They Thinking?” (Netflix, streaming) looks back at the many feminists included in a 1977 Cynthia McAdams book of portraits and what they’re thinking today. The group includes Lily Tomlin, Gloria Steinem, Michelle Phillips, Jane Fonda, Kate Millett, Meredith Monk and Laurie Anderson.

In the new series “Fightworld” (Netflix, streaming), Frank Grillo goes to a different country in each episode, and trains with its toughest fighters.

A new music documentary series “ReMastered” (Netflix, streaming) will cover various artists each month, starting with one about the 1976 shooting of Bob Marley. Future subjects include Sam Cooke, Johnny Cash, Victor Jara, Robert Johnson and JamMaster Jay.

A new “Real Time with Bill Maher” (HBO, 10 p.m.) has Omarosa Manigault Newman, Steve Kornacki, Eddie Glaude Jr., Reihan Salam and Rebecca Traister.

The First elder is looking for a totem on “Van Helsing” (Syfy, 10 p.m.).

“Blindspot” (NBC, 8 p.m.) returns for its fourth season, with the FBI hunting an enemy operative.

The Carringtons’ legacy is in Fallon’s hands on the second season premiere of “Dynasty” (CW, 8 p.m.).

Eddie tries to get buff on “Fresh Off the Boat” (ABC, 8 p.m.).

The surprise Friday night hit of the season so far is the rebooted “Last Man Standing” (Fox, 8 p.m.). But “Blue Bloods” (CBS, 10 p.m.) is still the most watched network series on Fridays.

“MacGyver” (CBS, 8 p.m.) smokes out a college campus operation.

Charlie and Hank create dating profiles on “The Cool Kids” (Fox, 8:30 p.m.).

“Speechless” (ABC, 8:30 p.m.) is still in London.

The ninth season of “Gold Rush” (Discovery, 9 p.m.) begins in the Yukon.

On “Hell’s Kitchen” (Fox, 9 p.m.), chefs serve Marines items from the air, land and sea.

A heatwave hits Oahu on “Hawaii Five-0” (CBS, 9 p.m.).

Warren tries to find her way to Newmerica on “Z Nation” (Syfy, 9 p.m.).

Drake joins LeBron James and Maverick Carter for talk and a haircut on the second episode of “The Shop” (HBO, 9:30 p.m.).

Two films from the 70s, “The Candidate” (8 p.m.) and “Straight Time” (10:15 p.m.) start the night on Turner Classic Movies, followed by the noir “Invisible Stripes” (midnight) and two rare films about the LGBT life nearly half a century ago, Japan’s “Funeral Parade of Roses” (2:15 a.m.) and “Portrait of Jason” (4;15 a.m.).

Baseball’s League Championship Series begins in the National League with Dodgers at Milwaukee (Fox Sports 1, 8 p.m.).

Preseason basketball includes Houston at Memphis (NBA, 8 p.m.) and Lakers vs. Golden State (ESPN2, 10:30 p.m.).

College football includes South Florida at Tulsa (ESPN, 7 p.m.), Air Force at San Diego State (CBS Sports, 9 p.m.) and Arizona at Utah (ESPN, 10 p.m.).

Soccer has Saudi Arabia at Brazil (beIN Sports, 2 p.m.) in an international friendly and Croatia vs. England (ESPN2, 2:30 p.m.).

Men’s college soccer has Connecticut at UCF (ESPNU, 4 p.m.).

Women’s college volleyball includes Virginia at North Carolina State (ESPNU, 6 p.m.).

Daytime Talk

Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest: Jeff Daniels, Rachel Bloom, Adam Trent. The View: Amanda Peet, Yvette Nicole Brown. The Talk: Grant Show, Skyler Samuels, Roselyn Sanchez. Steve Harvey: Tim Allen, Joe Zee. Ellen DeGeneres: Ryan Gosling, Lenny Kravitz. Wendy Williams: Marcus Scribner. The Real: Drew & Jonathan Scott.

Late Talk

Stephen Colbert: John Krasinski, Yvonne Orji (rerun). Jimmy Kimmel: Jennifer Garner, Romany Malco, Carrie Underwood (rerun). Jimmy Fallon: Alec Baldwin, Anthony Mackie, Leclerc Andre. Seth Meyers: Kenan Thompson, Jameela Jamil, cast of “Mean Girls,” Daxx Nielsen (rerun). James Corden: Mel B, Dr. Phil McGraw, Olivia Munn, Good Charlotte (rerun). Carson Daly: Chuck Liddell, Flora cash, Y’lan Noel (rerun).


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