Friday TV: McQueen’s ‘Small Axe’ Strikes

The documentary “COVID: Race Against the Virus” (Smithsonian, 8 p.m.) comes as the pandemic numbers reach new highs.

“20/20” (ABC, 9 p.m.) takes a deeper look at the shortened life of Breonna Taylor, murdered by police fire in Louisville. 

A new special “The Real Right Stuff” (Disney+, streaming) looks at the Mercury space program that was the basis of “The Right Stuff” (Disney+, streaming), which has its first season finale today.

Last summer’s hack of high-profile Twitter accounts by a 17 year old is explored on a new edition of “The New York Times Presents” (FX, 10 p.m.). 

The 18th season finale of “Real Time with Bill Maher” (HBO, 10 p.m.) features Michael Eric Dyson, Alex Wagner and Jon Meacham. 

In a new two hour competition, “Holiday Crafters Gone Wild” (HGTV, 9 p.m.) creative types deck the halls for a cash prize. 

A third season comes for “Flavorful Origins” (Netflix, streaming). 

“How to with John Wilson” (HBO, 11 p.m.) has hints on splitting the check. 

In the British import “Beast-Kept Secrets” (Animal Planet, 8 p.m.), a pair of former snowboarders travel the world to seek answers on odd creatures, starting with the electric eel.

Mia Vandals stars in a new holiday romance “A Taste of Christmas” (Lifetime, 10 p.m.), set at an Italian restaurant on Christmas Eve. 

Vegan fast food is pitched to the “Shark Tank” (ABC, 8 p.m.).

On “The Blacklist” (NBC, 8 p.m.), Liz pushes a source for answers.

The Friday night series of circus film on Turner Classic Movies continues with “Man on a Tightrope” (8 p.m.), “Merry Andrew” (10 p.m.) and “La Strada” (midnight). They are followed by two 1988 films from Southern California, “Earth Girls are Easy” (2 a.m.) and “Alien from L.A.” (3:45 a.m.). 

Earlier today are movies with prominent parts for butlers: “Broadway Hostess” (6 a.m.), “Woman Wanted” (7:15 a.m.), “The Animal Kingdom” (8:30 a.m.), “Nothing But Trouble” (10 a.m.), “Make Your Own Bed” (11:15 a.m.), “One Night at Susie’s” (12:45 p.m.), “Breakfast for Two” (2 p.m.), “A Successful Calamity” (3:15 p.m.), “The Last of Mrs. Cheyney” (4:30 p.m.) and “Paradise Lagoon” (6:15 p.m.).

College football includes Syracuse at Louisville (ESPN, 7 p.m.), Massachusetts at Florida Atlantic (CBS Sports, 8 p.m.) and Mexico at Air Force (Fox Sports 1, 9:30 p.m.). 

In major league soccer playoffs, it’s Montreal at New England (Fox Sports 1, 6:30 p.m.) and Inter Miami at Nashville SC (ESPN2, 9 p.m.).

Daytime Talk

Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest: Chris Sullivan, Phil Rosenthal, Katie Brown. The View: Gloria Estevan. The Talk: Jenna Elfman, Simone Missick. Ellen DeGeneres: Ludacris, Dr. Ruth Wertheimer, Tabitha Brown, Tiffany Haddish. Drew Barrymore: Miranda Kerr. Kelly Clarkson: Kristen Stewart, Clea DuVall, Mary Steenburgen, Mackenzie Davis, Mary Holland, Martha Stewart, Tegan and Sara. Tamron Hall: LaurDIY, the Crafty Lumberjacks (rerun). Wendy Williams: Joe Morton. The Real: Killer Mike, Jesse Jesse Williams, Pamela Slaton, Eboni K. Williams. 

Late Talk

Stephen Colbert: Michael Moore, Sara Bareilles (rerun). Jimmy Kimmel: Dr. Phil McGraw, John King, Maren Morris (rerun). Jimmy Fallon: Leslie Mann, Colin Quinn, Saint Jhn. Seth Meyers: John Legend, Sarah Cooper (rerun). James Corden: Vin Diesel, Jack Peñate (rerun). Lilly Singh: Dr. Phil McGraw (rerun).

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