Thursday: B.J. Novak’s Anthology Series

Anthology series jump a couple levels in quality with the premiere of B.J. Novak’s sly new series “The Premise” (Hulu, streaming) which concocts little morality plays peopled with talented actors. Novak, a sharp writer (in addition to a cast member of “The Office”) finds unusual twists in contemporary subject matters with results that can be funny, chilling, or just make one think.

In the first of the two episodes released today, Ben Platt plays a guy so anxious to prove himself an ally of Black Lives Matters, he agrees to allow an embarrassing sex tape to prove police brutality in a pinnacle of cringe comedy. The second is a much more tense meditation on the gun lobby, starring Jon Bernthal. Like “The Twilight Zone” without the sci-fi, future episodes are likely to be just as unexpected.

Less promising is what looks like a muddled adaptation of “Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol” (Peacock, streaming) full of the usual symbols and puzzles. Ashley Zukerman takes on Tom Hanks’ old role as symbolist Robert Langdon from Brown’s previous “Angels & Demons” and “The Da Vinci Code.” Ron Howard, director of those film adaptations, is executive producer here. Valorie Curry, Sumalee Montano, Rick Gonzalez and Eddie Izzard also star. 

An end comes to the Andy Samberg cop comedy “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (NBC, 8 p.m.) after eight seasons on two networks (it began on Fox). Expect the hour-long episode to provide a suitable series finale. 

“The Harper House” (Paramount+, streaming) is a 10-episode adult animated series about a family in small town Arkansas. Rhea Seehorn, Jason lee, Tatiana Maslany and Gabourey Sidibe are among the high-end voice talent. 

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