Friday TV: ‘Graceland’s 25th, Yo Yo Does Bluegrass

For the 25th anniversary of his most successful album, Paul Simon returned to South Africa to reconnect with the musicians on “Graceland,” prepare a tour, and shot a documentary at the same time.

He may be 70, but the guy can multitask (possibility: he’s got diamonds on the soles of his shoes).

The resulting “Paul Simon’s Graceland Journey: Beneath African Skies” (A&E, 10 p.m.) is a very musical offering, even as it makes time for interviews with many of the participants along the way, revisiting the political controversy of the original work.

In another instance of musical stretching, esteemed classical cellist Yo-Yo Ma performs bluegrass music with Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer and Chris Thile on the special “Goat Rodeo Live” (PBS, 9 p.m., check local listings). The singer Aoife O’Donovan also stops by. It’s followed by Steve Martin’s odyssey, “Give Me the Banjo” (PBS, 10 p.m., check local listings).

May sweeps and their finales are over, so it’s mostly reruns on broadcast TV except for the newsmagazines “Dateline” (NBC, 9 p.m.) and “20/20” (ABC, 10 p.m.) and the news show that’s actually more of a prank game show, “Primetime: What Would You Do?” (ABC, 9 p.m.).

Jeffrey Gettleman, Kevin Nealon, Michelle Bernard, Paul Krugman and Arthur Laffer are the scheduled guests on a new “Real Time with Bill Maher” (HBO, 10 p.m.).

Not sure this has been on ad-supported cable yet: “Avatar” (FX, 6:30 p.m.). In glorious 2D.  And how about Johnny Depp in “Alice in Wonderland” (AMC Family, 8:30 p.m.)?

Flash floods cause havoc on a new “Goldfathers” (National Geographic, 10 p.m.).

A barbecue is thrown for her mom’s new marriage, complete with mechanical bull, on “Jennie Garth: A Little Bit Country” (CMT, 9 p.m.).

Karl discusses the essence of being English on a new episode of “The Ricky Gervais Show” (HBO, 9 p.m.).

The first of the holiday weekend marathons is “Magic City” (Starz, 9 p.m.), replaying the first five episodes in order until 3 a.m., leading up to next week’s finale.

In the new “Scandalicious” (Logo, 8 pm.), they count down the top celebrity rants.

“Alien 3” (IFC, 8 p.m.) actually plays opposite the director’s cut of “Alien” (More Cinemax, 9 p.m.), which pauses for bonus footage and other extras.

Memorial Day Weekend gets a war movie weekend starting with “Patton” (AMC, 1 p.m.), “The Green Berets” (AMC, 5 p.m.), “The Dirty Dozen” (AMC, 8 p.m.) and “Midway” (AMC, 11:30 p.m.) as well as “Inglourious Basterds” (TNT, 8 p.m.), if that counts. “Charlie Wilson’s War” (TV Guide Network, 10 p.m.), “Star Wars Episode IV” (Spike, 8 p.m.) and “Troy” (Oxygen, 8 p.m.) definitely don’t.

Director Frank Borzage gets the spotlight tonight on Turner Classic Movies with three of his own wartime films, “Three Comerades” (8 p.m.), “The Mortal Storm” (10 p.m.) and “Strange Cargo” (midnight).

It’s game 6 of Rangers at Devils (NBC Sports, 8 p.m.). Nothing tonight in the NBA Playoffs.

Daytime Talk

Kelly Ripa: Bill Paxton, Judith Light, Seth Meyers. The View: John Slattery, Train, Donald Trump. The Talk: Howie Mandel, Justin Klosky. Ellen DeGeneres: Matt LeBlanc, Olivia Munn.

Late Talk

David Letterman: Billy Crystal, Alabama Shakes (rerun). Jay Leno: Gen. Colin Powell, Greg Gadson, All American Rejects. Jimmy Kimmel: Josh Brolin, Bethenny Frankel, Kimbra. Jimmy Fallon: Dr. Phil McGraw, Carrie Underwood (rerun). Craig Ferguson: Jason Alexander, Angela Kinsey. Tavis Smiley: Kevin Costner. Carson Daly: Dev, “The Moth,” White Denim (rerun). Chelsea Handler: Craig Ferguson, Brody Stevens, Sarah Colonna, Josh Wolf (rerun).

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