Wednesday TV: ‘Lucifer’ Moves to Netflix

LuciferSatan has been around a long time. So maybe it wasn’t a surprise when “Lucifer” (Netflix, streaming) was picked up by a popular streaming service after it was canceled on Fox a year ago, after three seasons. Tom Ellis revives his role as the Devil turned club owner and police consultant. And there’s some business to resolve after season three’s big jolt: Lauren German’s Det. Chloe Decker finally getting wise to the devil’s identity. New in season four is the introduction of the Biblical Eve (Inbar Lavi). Being on Netflix theoretically means more freedom in storytelling, but also no commercial breaks, and the ability to watch the next episode (or all of the season’s ten) in one setting.

Otherwise, finales dominate terrestrial TV.

The tenth season finale of “Modern Family” (ABC, 9 p.m.) has everyone looking back on how they celebrated their birthdays.

On the fifth season finale of “Empire” (Fox, 8 p.m.), Cookie and Lucious determine the future of their relationship.

It’s the finale, too, on “The Goldbergs” (ABC, 8 p.m.) where there is  breakdancing battle and a plan to follow the Grateful Dead for the summer.

Glascott faces removal as principal on the first season finale of “Schooled” (ABC, 8:30 p.m.).

On the third season finale of “Star” (Fox, 9 p.m.) two acts battle for the top spot at the ASAs.

“Single Parents” (ABC, 9:30 p.m.) ends its first season with an appearance by Angie’s ex.

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Maren Morris Goes Pop at The Anthem

marenMaren Morris paused a couple times in her splashy headlining show at The Anthem in D.C. to take it all in.

It was her largest sellout to date, with 6,000 people, and just about everybody in the young, largely female crowd knew every lyric of her new album, which she only released a couple months ago.

Its messages of empowerment, love and occasional loss strikes a chord, even if its genre transcends its Nashville roots. There was nary a note in the 100 minute show you’d identify with country music. Even when she picked up an acoustic guitar to sing “A Song to Everything” solo, its references were to Springsteen, Katy Perry and Coldplay.

Maren may have come up writing songs recorded by Tim McGraw, but she’s no more country than Taylor Swift these days. In fact, it’s her voice on last year’s ubiquitous dance record, “The Middle,’ with which she closed her big show, setting off that big earworm again.

Her main pop influence, though, judging from how often it surfaced in the show, though, is Beyonce, particularly her uplifting “Halo,” which was not only covered at the tail end of “Second Wind,” but seemed to have incorporated into the title song to her new album, “Girl,” which kicked off the show.

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Tuesday TV: Behind the China Trade Mess

U.S. President Trump Visits ChinaSometimes, the reports on “Frontline” (PBS, 10 p.m., check local listings) are so prescient, they illuminate what’s happening in the headlines that moment. The one tonight on the trade war between the U.S. and China, years in the making, surfaces at a time when imposed tariffs are again causing economic waves days before a White House summit. There’s a peek inside the chaotic meetings that set policy (in part from people like Steve Bannon) and a look back at how Trump characterized the world’s largest country (“rapists” was a word used, but he has a limited vocabulary).

“Foster” (HBO, 8 p.m.), a new documentary by Deborah Oppenheimer and Mark Jonathan Harris, takes a detailed look at the fraught foster care system in Los Angeles County.

The latest crop of women who become focus of a glossy reality series are Mexican-Americans who live in San Antonio. “Texicanas” (Bravo, 10 p.m.), which begins on a Cinco de Mayo party (presumably from last year) may show that women here battle over petty snubs, charity events and gossip, just like “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” (Bravo, 9 p.m) or from anywhere else in the U.S.

A 1973 beach house retreat in Southhampton is meant for relaxation for Bob on “Fosse / Verdon” (FX, 10 p.m.), but he spends the time mulling whether he’ll do “Lenny” or “Chicago.”

“The Voice” (NBC, 9 p.m.) shaves down the Top 13.

Scarlet is hacked on “The Bold Type” (Freeform, 8 p.m.).

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Monday: The Mother of Nuclear Disasters

chernobylGrim is the overlying feel of “Chernobyl” (HBO, 9 p.m.), a new miniseries that revisits the 1986 Russian nuclear disaster, which begins with the suicide two years later of a scientist that looked into the event and then goes back to the initial explosion, dismissed at the time by locals as a roof fire. Jared Harris and Emily Watson star, but aren’t seen much in the debut.

“State of the Union” (Sundance, 10 p.m.), a lively back-and-forth among a couple grabbing a drink before their marriage therapy sessions. As written by Nick Hornby, it’s full of funny and snide dialogue and stars Rosamund Pike and Chris O’Dowd are more than up for delivering it. It’s rather like that old HBO series about a therapists’ sessions, “In Treatment,” except way more entertaining. The oddest thing about the series is that it is cut up into teeny episodes that literally only last 10 minutes each. I watched it all wrong — all 10 episodes at once; about the same length as a movie — and was just as please; I don’t know how it will play out in bite-sized portions weekly.

The “E! Live from the Red Carpet” (E!, 5 p.m.) covers an event where what people are wearing is actually the story, the annual Met Gala. Fabulous costumes from invited celebrities and guests are expected at the Metropolitan Museum of Art fundraiser, whose theme this year is camp.

In the imported South Korean series, “Abyss” (Netflix, streaming) two recently deceased people return to Earth in new bodies better suited to their personalities.

The franchise rather revels in its hyperbole, hence the special “Bachelorette Reunion: The Biggest Bachelorette Reunion in Bachelor History Ever!” (ABC, 8 p.m.).

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Sunday TV: Yet Another Potential Queen

SpanishPrincessCharlotte Hope stars as Catherine Aragon in the time before she met Heny VIII in the latest historic drama series, “The Spanish Princess” (Stars, 8 p.m.). Harriet Walter and Laura Carmichael are also featured. Action begins in England where Catherine arrives to wed Prince Arthur.

A winner is crowned on the season three finale of “World of Dance” (NBC, 8 p.m.) among troupes from India, Canada and the Philippines.

There’s some postwar analysis following the most watched episode of “The Game of Thrones” (HBO, 9 p.m.) (also the networks most watched episode of anything). And they prepare for battling Cersei Lannister, which should be easy, right? No dragons, no armies of the dead.

Cosette is all grown up and wants to see Paris on “Les Misérables” (PBS, 9 p.m., check local listings).

“Barry” (HBO, 10:20 p.m.) is not entirely free of his troubles.

Another topical issue tackled by “Veep” (HBO, 10:50 p.m.) are the anti-vaxxers.

The least successful of the franchise series, “The Real Housewives of Potomac” (Bravo, 9 p.m.), returns with its various issues.

Nurse Crane has back troubles on “Call the Midwife” (PBS, 8 p.m., check local listings).

The Mi6 team makes a deal to get information from the Ghost on “Killing Eve” (BBC America, AMC, 8 p.m.).

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Saturday TV: Kentucky Derby Time

kentuckyPut on a big flowery hat and pour a mint julep. Today’s the day for the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby (NBC, 6 p.m.) from Churchill Downs in Louisville. One of the favorites, Omaha Beach, has been scratched. But some remaining names this year include Cutting Humor, Improbable, Maximum Security and both Game Winner and Win Win Win. The Derby, whose actual post time is 6:50 p.m.,  is preceded by a series of undercard races, first on NBC Sports Network at noon, then on NBC at 2:30 p.m. for what amounts to be five hours of coverage of two minutes of racing.

It’s part of a big sports day that includes  a couple of primetime second round playoff games on broadcast TV with Golden State at Houston (ABC, 8:30 p.m.) in the NBA, opposite Columbus at Boston (NBC, 7:15 p.m.) in the Stanley Cup.

“Surviving R. Kelly” (Lifetime, 10 p.m.) gets an update. The original series in January led to 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse against four victims and a remarkable interview with Gayle King. This special, subtitled “The Impact,” is hosted by Soledad O’Brien hosts.

“The Disappearance of Susan Cox Powell” (Oxygen, 7 p.m.) looks into the disappearance of a young mother in Utah.

Jen Lilley and Dan Jeannotte play competitors in an international wine competition who find some common ground in “Paris, Wine & Romance” (Hallmark, 9 p.m.), the rare original Hallmark romance not shot in Canada.

Pulled from its original time slot for low ratings and sidelined for weeks, LeBron James’ “Million Dollar Mile” (CBS, 8 p.m.) resurfaces on Saturday nights, where the remaining episodes will play out.

At least it’s not in competition with his other series, “The Shop: Uninterrupted” (HBO, 10 p.m.), the talk show set in barbershops, where Seth Rogen and Travis Scott are guests

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Friday TV: Gymnasts Speak Out on Abuse

at_the_heart_of_goldEvery Olympics, they fly through the air effortlessly, full of power and in complete control, earning gold medals representing the U.S.A. But in reality scores of the young gymnasts were also being ritually abused for decades. Dr. Larry Nassar may have been the perpetuator but

Erin Lee Carr ’s calling documentary “At the Heart of Gold: Inside the USA Gymnastics Scandal” (HBO, 8 p.m.) makes clear that his sexual abuse was allowed by a number of officials who were willing to cover it up, ignore girls’ complaints and keep the gold coming. Like “Leaving Neverland,” this is difficult but necessary viewing that can keep this from happening again. But it’s also heartening in how many abused women found their voice and spoke out at the trial that concludes the documentary.

If the bird like characters in the new animated series “Tuca & Bertie” (Netflix, streaming) look familiar, it’s because they’re from the character designer of BoJack Horseman, Lisa Hanawalt. It features Tiffany Haddish and Ali Wong as a pair of 30-year-old bird women who live in the same apartment building.

Rito Moreno, Patti LaBelle, Cyndi Lauper, Quincy Jones and a raft of young Latin singers, from Gian Marco to Emily Estefan, help salute “Emilio & Gloria Estefan: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song” (PBS, 9 p.m., check local listings). The event, recorded in March at the DAR Constitution Hall in D.C., also featured a lot of participation from the honorees. Here’s a longer piece about the show I wrote after its taping.

In the new “Dead to Me” (Netflix, streaming), Christina Applegate stars as a real estate agent and widow who wants to find out who killed her husband in a hit and run, aided by a freer spirit she meets in a support group, played by Lnda Cardellini. The comedy series from Liz Feldman (“2 Broke Girls”) also stars James Marsden and Ed Asner.

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Thursday TV: A Pageant Plunges On

Miss-USA-2019-Competition-Nick-Lachey-Vanessa-Lachey-FOX-Crop-1As recently as four years ago, it was a pageant run by your current president of the United States. Today’s Miss USA (Fox, 8 p.m.) is without him at the top, on the judging table or in their dressing rooms. Still, it’s all a bit outmoded by now, right? Nonetheless, here it is, live from the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, hosted by Nick and Vanessa Lachey. Among the performers is the winner of “The Masked Singer,” T-Pain. Carson Kressley and Lu Sierra serve as commentators.

The fifth season of “iZombie” (CW, 8 p.m.) begins with Liv and Clive investigating a murder case with no body and hence, no brains to eat.

Designers build a vacation wardrobe for actress Morena Baccarin on “Project Runway” (Bravo, 9 p.m.).

Sam reminisces on “Better Things” (FX, 10 p.m.).

I’m sure there’s more than a few stories to fill a show called “Dating App Horrors: The Untold Story” (A&E, 10 p.m.).

On “The Big Bang Theory” (CBS, 8 p.m.), Kripke looks into a plagiarized thesis

Been invites his pastor to host an Earth Day booth at the “Superstore” (NBC, 8 p.m.).

Things are still bumbling along on “Double Shot at Love with DJ Pauly & Vinny” (MTV, 8 p.m.).

In what looks like a crossover, the staff at “Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC, 8 p.m.) treats someone from “Station 19” (ABC, 9 p.m.).

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Wednesday TV: Billboard Music Awards

TaylorThe least surprising trophies in the music biz probably comes from the Billboard Music Awards (NBC, 8 p.m.) where the year’s chart toppers serve as winners. Kelly Clarkson hosts; Maria Carey receives the Icon Award. There are a lot of duets planned on stage, starting with Taylor Swift paired with  Brendon Ure, doing her new single “Me!” to kick off the show. Also pairing up: Madonna with Maluma, BTS with Halsey, and Dan + Shay with Tori Kelly. Other performers include Paula Abdul, Ariana Grande, Jonas Brothers, Khalid, Ciara and Lauren Daigle. Cardi B leads with 21 nominations; Drake and Post Malone each have 17.

The unexpected star of Fox News, which seems terrified by her every move, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is featured in the Rachel Lears’ award-winning documentary “Knock Down the House” (Netflix, streaming), about four women who ran winning grass roots campaigns for Congress in 2018.

The next two episodes of “On Tour with Asperger’s Are Us” (HBO, 8 and 8:30 p.m.) are on the night after the premiere.

The second documentary of concentration camp survivors in as many days is “Liberation Heroes: The Last Eyewitnesses” (Discovery, 7 p.m.)

Cable news will be all over the testimony of Attorney General Bill Barr at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing (CNN, MSNBC, CSPAN, Fox News, 10 a.m.).

“Brockmire” (IFC, 10 p.m.) urges Charles to leave a toxic relationship.

The Baron awakens from his sleep and wants to go clubbing on “What We Do in the Shadows” (FX, 10 p.m.)

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Returning to 1960s Laurel Canyon

IMG_6813Jakob Dylan grew up amid his own small-town musical crossroads — Woodstock — but the subject of his new documentary is the one that flourished on the other side of the country in Los Angeles’ bohemian Laurel Canyon in the late 1960s. An added treat to his bringing the film to festivals ahead of its release is accompanying it with a live performance much like the one captured in “Echo in the Canyon” — accompanied by Cat Power and Jade Castrinos.

Their eight song set at the Lincoln Theater Saturday, kicking off the Washington D.C. International Film Festival, included some of the highlights from the film, which had its origins with a 2015 all-star concert saluting the era that also included Beck and Regina Spektor. But it also veered into areas the film did not because of time.

A documentary on Laurel Canyon could focus on the singer songwriter heights of Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt, the Eagles and the eventual formation of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. Or it could look at the epicenter of experimentalism that was Frank Zappa’s home base. Or that Jim Morrison wrote “Love Street” for the Doors about the vicinity.

Instead, the directoral debut of Andrew Slater, the former president of Capitol Records, with Dylan the interviewer, focuses intently on a few bands — the Byrds in particular, but also Buffalo Springfield, the Mamas and the Papas, and the Beach Boys, whose Brian Wilson lived there while writing “Pet Sounds.”

The focus was the electrification of folk music, which the Byrds helped pioneer (but who Dylan’s dad had more than a little to do with as well). But the film also stresses the cross-fertilization of ideas among bands, hence the “Echo in the Canyon.”

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