Friday TV: Kat Dennings Looks for Friends

DollfaceKat Dennings gets to show some of her comic prowess in the new series “Dollface” (Hulu, streaming), about a young woman who has to rediscover her girlfriends once her boyfriend dumps her. It has some funny moments, but also some extreme flights of fancy it didn’t have to take (a cat lady who is a cat?).

Need another Christmas movie? Jason Shwartzman, Rashida Jones and J.K. Simmons lend their voices to the animated “Klaus” (Netflix, streaming) which also uses the talents of Joan Cusack, Will Sasso and Norm Macdonald.

On the six-episode series “I’m with the Band: Nasty Cherry” (Netflix, streaming) follows the early days of the girl group Nasty Cherry, whose members were hand-picked by pop star Charli XCX.

The thriller “Earthquake Bird” (Netflix, streaming), set in 1969 Tokyo, stars Alicia Vikander, Naomi Kobayashi and Riley Keough.

From India comes the comedy film “House Arrest” (Netflix, streaming), with Ali Fazal as a guy who has been in his house for six months, who is suddenly getting a lot of visitors.

The fourth and final season of “The Man in the High Castle” (Amazon Prime, streaming) begins circa 1964 in the alternate universe where Germany and Japan won World War II – about a year after season three ended.

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Thursday TV: Latin Grammys from Vegas

RickyNineteen years after performing at the inaugural event, Ricky Martin hosts The 20th Latin Grammys (Univision, 8 p.m.) from Las Vegas with Roselyn Sánchez and Paz Vega. Performers include Paula Arenas, Bad Bunny, Alessia Cara, Alex Fernández, Vicente Fernández, Draco Rosa, Ximena Zariana, Sech, Alejandro Fernández, Natalia Jimènez and Olga Tañón.

This week has proven that the world hasn’t moved far beyond “Star Wars,” which had a new series, and now “Star Trek,” whose latest permutation, “Star Trek: Short Takes” (CBS All Access, streaming) are 10- to 15-minute stories about individual characters from their “Star Trek: Discovery” (CBS All Access, streaming).

A new series from Thailand, “The Stranded” (Netflix, streaming) concerns trapped students at a private school following a devastating tsunami.

Tamera Mowry-Housley stars as a single mom who finds romance while researching a magazine assignment to write about a Christmas miracle in the new  TV movie “About a Christmas Miracle” (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, 8 p.m.), also starring Brooks Darnell and Barry Bostwick.

There are no impeachment hearings today, but there is the third season start for people I guarantee didn’t watch yesterday: “Floribama Shore” (MTV, 10 p.m.).

“Thanksgiving Pie Fight” (Food, 9 p.m.) isn’t as fun as it sounds; it’s another holiday baking competition.

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Wednesday TV: The Impeachment Hearings

Andrew_Johnson_impeachment_trialThe first public hearings in the House Impeachment Inquiry (ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, CSPAN, 10 a.m.) looking into actions of the Trump administration are by their definition important television.

So your broadcast network soap operas and morning chat shows will have to wait to allow testimony today from George Kent, a deputy assistant to the Secretary of State who previously testified to a “campaign of lies” against a former Ukraine ambassador; and Bill Taylor, a former ambassador and the top US diplomat in Ukraine, who essentially corroborated many of the claims made by the whistleblower who brought the case to light.

Networks will want to get in as much commentary as possible (but also some commercials). PBS, which famously reran the Nixon impeachment hearings at night, will not do so this time (to the chagrin of some of its former leading lights, such as Bill Moyers). But if you’re connected at all to cable you can likely watch the replay all night on CSPAN. Hearings pick up again on Friday.

Women is a theme of The 53rd Annual CMA Awards (ABC, 8 p.m.) with an opening performer where Carrie Underwood will join the event’s two hosts Dolly Parton and Reba McEntire, as well as a raft of country women including Crystal Gayle, the Highwaymen, Tanya Tucker, Martina McBride, Sara Evans, Terri Clark, Jennifer Nettles and Gretchen Wilson. It’s all meant to hint at an equality never heard on country radio, but Underwood is the only female up for Entertainer of the Year.

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The New Streaming Disney+ Adds a Lot

maldolorianThe streaming world cracks open with the debut of a new service, and it’s a big one.

Disney+ not only has all the rich holdings of the Disney company, which pulled its famous family fare from other services for just this reason, but the output of its holdings that includes Pixar, Marvel, the “Star Wars” franchise and National Geographic. It amounts to almost 500 movies and 7,500 episodes on opening day.

And in addition to all of that, they will try to lure $7-a-month subscribers with a slate of original shows.

Chief among them is the first live action TV spin-off for the “Star Wars” franchise, “The Mandalorian” (Disney+, streaming), about a bounty hunter in the outer reaches of the galaxy, beyond the reaches of the New Republic, five years after the events of “Return of the Jedi.” The series, created by Jon Favreau, features Pedro Pascal, Gina Carano, Giancarlo Esposito, Nick Nolte, Bill Burr, Carl Weathers and Werner Herzog. New episodes will drop each Friday; it’s got a huge budget.

Other new things starting today:

A Christmas film that looks like it might actually be good: Anna Kendrick is Santa’s daughter in “Noelle” (Disney+, streaming) a comedy that also stars Bill Hader, Billy Eichner, Julie Hagerty and Shirley MacLaine.

“High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” (Disney+, streaming) is the exhausting title of a new scripted series made out of the popular 2006 Disney Channel movie. During the 10-episode about a contemporary class at the same Utah high school decides to put on its own production of said musical.

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Also on Tuesday: All About Dolly Parton

DollyRobertsThe country star gets a profile on the special “Dolly Parton: Here She Comes Again!” (ABC, 10 p.m.) in which she sits down with Robin Roberts and talks about her long career and life. It serves as a prelude of the CMA Awards on the network Wednesday, on which Parton will co-host with Reba McEntire.

In another feature biography, “Very Ralph” (HBO, 9 p.m.), Ralph Lauren talk candidly about his 50 years in the fashion business.

“Frontline” (PBS, 10 p.m., check local listings) assembles stories of migrant children detained under current immigration policies.

The funnyman and co-star of “The Goldbergs” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm” returns to standup comedy in “Jeff Garlin: Our Man in Chicago” (Netflix, streaming).

On “This is Us” (NBC, 9 p.m.), Rebecca visits Randall in Philadelphia.

A wildlife biologist and professional animal trainer offer themselves to stings and bites in the new series “Kings of Pain” (History, 10 p.m.), first by visiting the Bolivian jungle, where they go after a warrior wasp and a bird-eating tarantula.

Joel McHale goes “Running Wild with Bear Grylls” (National Geographic, 10 p.m.) in the Arizona desert.

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Kinky Friedman: A Resurrection at 75

IMG_1460He’s been a popular detective novelist, a singer, a columnist, Peace Corps volunteer, animal rescuer, and a politician. He played at the Grand Ole Opry, “Saturday Night Live” and the Rolling Thunder Revue. He’s the only performer in 45 years to record an episode of “Austin City Limits” that was never aired. And he won 12.6 percent of the vote when he ran for Governor of Texas in 2006.

Kinky Friedman is back on the road and playing music, with the latest of a revived recording career and a new album that’s in the Americana Top 10.

In a typically laconic solo show at the Pearl Street Warehouse in Washington, D.C., Thursday, days after he turned 75, he placed himself in the tradition of Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, with wisecracks out of Mark Twain (he fiddled with a cigar that he never lit indoors).

That notion probably comes from starting with Woody Guthrie’s “Pretty Boy Floyd,” a populist Robin Hood anthem, that begins with the invitation, “If you’ll gather ‘round me, children, a story I will tell..”

That’s the same way another staple of his set began, Peter LaFarge’s “The Ballad of Ira Hayes,” another song about social import, about a Pima Indian who became a forgotten World War II hero.

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Monday TV: Leaving Interpreters Hanging

Interpreters_Sig_Image-1920x830More than 50,000 Afghan and Iraqi people risked their lives by serving as interpreters for U.S. troops during missions in their countries. “The Interpreters”, a documentary by Andrés Caballero and Sofia Khan, looks into the risks and whether the U.S. protected them after their duties through the story of an Iraqi fixer who made his way to Minnesota through a years-long navigation through the Special Immigrant Visa Program. It makes its debut on “Independent Lens” (PBS, 10 p.m., check local listings)

The four-part miniseries “Catherine the Great” (HBO, 10 p.m.) starring Helen Mirren and Jason Clarke, concludes with the reign of the Russian empress also drawing to an end.

Last week’s debut of “His Dark Materials” (HBO, 9 p.m.) drew the most viewers for a Monday series on its network since “Chernobyl” and way more for the co-sponsoring BBC. Tonight, Lyra arrives to her new life in London.

A third season starts at “The Good Karma Hospital” (Acorn TV, streaming).

Live playoffs begin on “The Voice” (NBC, 8 p.m.) with performances by the Top 20.

Let’s call what has kept Shaun Spicer in “Dancing with the Stars” (ABC, 8 p.m.) what it is: Voter fraud. He’s scored far lower than the last three who have been eliminated, the latest of which was Kate Flannery. Tonight is boy band and girl group night.

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The New Pornographers Rise to Challenge

IMG_1451From the big sound that comes from The New Pornographers you’d almost expect more people on stage. But just seven were there Wednesday at the Lincoln Theatre in Washington D.C., covering songs from eight different albums before a happy, largely seated audience.

It was the rare second day in the city to satisfy demand. Even more rare was that they were inside a theater rather than a big nightclub. “In 15 years I don’t think we’ve ever not played the 9:30 Club,” frontman Carl Newman said. It was such a topsy turvy thing, he sang a line from “Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down)” from “Hamilton,” perhaps inspired by being in the Nation’s Capital an extra day.

But doing a second night’s show, though, they were determined to present a different show than the night before. “It’s only polite,” said Newman, ever the Canadian.

So people didn’t hear the new “Leather on the Seat” from their new album “In the Morse Code of Brake Lights.”

Instead of “Dancehall Domine” from “Brill Bruisers” they played “You Tell Me Where”; two things were heard from “Challengers” including the title track that they hadn’t played the night before; they did a rare “Use It” but not “Stacked Crooked” from “Twin Cinema.” “Avalanche Alley” instead of “High Ticket Attractions” from “Whiteout Conditions”; and “Sweet Talk, Sweet Talk” instead of “Crash Years” from “Together.”

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Sunday TV: Back from Prison, Readjusting

back-to-lifeBest known in the states for an unforgettable sour face (and sound) she made on “Episodes,” the U.K.’s Daisy Haggard stars in a new series of her own devising, about a woman just released from prison after an 18 year sentence for a murder that rocked her sleepy seaside town. But readjusting to life there in her parents’ house isn’t so easy. “Back to Life” (Showtime, 10 p.m.) shares a producer with the hit “Fleabag,” but this is much darker. It begins with a pair of half hour episodes.

In another new series “Dublin Murders” (Starz, 8 p.m.), Killian Scott and Sarah Greene star as a couple of detectives investigate a child’s murder on the outskirts of the Irish capital in 2006, based on the first two books of Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad series.

Normally, E! presents a red carpet show for something that airs on another channel. Tonight, for the second year in a row, The 2019 E! People’s Choice Awards (E!, Bravo, USA, 9 p.m.) is on its own channel, so there’s no need to switch over following its two hour “E! Live from the Red Carpet” (E!, 7 p.m.). “Game of Thrones” is up for TV show of the year, but so is “WWE Raw.” Gwen Stefani, Jennifer Aniston and Pink will each receive special awards.

It’s kind of a strange time for “The Circus: Inside the Wildest Political Show on Earth” (Showtime, 8 p.m.) to end its season, just as impeachment is heating up.

But it’s the 10th season start for “Shameless” (Showtime, 9 p.m.), with Debbie now the self-elected leader of the Gallagher family.

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Saturday TV: ‘Sesame Street’ Turns 50

sesameStreet50Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Patti Labelle, Whoopi Goldberg, Meghan Trainor, Sterling K. Brown and Elvis Costello lend their hand in celebrating Sesame Street’s 50th Anniversary Celebration (HBO, 7 p.m.), though all that kids will want to see are Big Bird, Elmo, Oscar and the rest, none of whom look like they’ve aged a bit. It airs on PBS Nov. 17; new episodes begin Nov. 16.

Football dominates prime time broadcast TV once more, with Clemson at North Carolina State (ABC, 7:30 p.m.) and Iowa State at Oklahoma (Fox, 8 p.m.). Other games are listed below. Just about everything else is a rerun.

“Planet Earth: Blue Planet II” (BBC America, 9 p.m.) looks into a wale nursery in Mexico.

It’s not live anymore but “The Little Mermaid Live!” (Freeform, 8 p.m.) gets a rerun if you missed it earlier this week.

“Pit Bulls and Parolees” (Animal Planet, 9 p.m.) rescues a stray on the train tracks.

The King Arthur story is told once more on “The Kid Who Would Be King” (HBO, 7:50 p.m.), with Louis Ashbourne Serkis, Tom Taylor Patrick Stewart and Rebecca Ferguson, making its premium cable debut.

Elsewhere, Johnny Depp stars as “The Professor” (Showtime, 8 p.m.), about a teacher who upon learning his has cancer begins acting recklessly.

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