Dispatches: Weekly TV news
WarnerMedia joins the streaming space with this week’s debut of HBO Max. Look for a mix of shows that include WarnerMedia’s deep back catalog (“Friends,” “The O.C.”), HBO’s current offerings and original content, including “Love Life” and documentary, “On the Record,” mentioned in this column last week.
If Michael Jordan can do it … On the heels of ESPN’s breakout hit, “The Last Dance,” the network has ordered a nine-episode series focused on Tom Brady. Titled “Man in the Arena,” the show will feature the star quarterback’s reflections on his career. It is scheduled to air in 2021.
Contenders: Shows to keep on your radar
Inspired by President Donald Trump’s push to create another branch of the military, Steve Carell and “The Office” creator, Greg Daniels, team up for comedy, “Space Force” (May 29, Netflix). In addition to Carell, the show stars John Malkovich, Lisa Kudrow, Ben Schwartz and Jimmy O. Yang.
Josh Gad and “Bob’s Burgers” alum Loren Bouchard and Nora Smith are the creative force behind the new, and very funny, animated series “Central Park” (May 29, Apple TV+).
Three-part drama series “Quiz” (May 31, AMC, 10 p.m. ET) tells the true story of British army veteran Major Charles Ingram (Matthew Macfadyen, “Succession”), who was accused in 2001 of cheating in the U.K. version of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?”
“Laurel Canyon” (May 31 and June 7, Epix, 9 p.m. ET) features the legendary musicians who lived in the famed Hollywood Hills neighborhood in Los Angeles during the late 1960s and early 70s. The docuseries includes original interviews with Jackson Browne, Graham Nash, Don Henley, and Michelle Phillips, among others.
In one of the biggest upsets in the history of the Olympics, Wyoming native Rulon Gardner defeated three-time Olympic wrestling champion Aleksandr Karelin of Russia during the 2000 games. Dubbed the “miracle on the mat,” the win made Gardner a household name, but his remarkable story didn’t end there. In “Rulon Gardner Won’t Die,” (June 3, Olympic Channel), he recounts how his instant fame was soon followed by tragedy including multiple near-death experiences, debilitating weight gain and bankruptcy. Gardner, who now coaches high school wrestling in Utah, speaks candidly of his past and thoughtfully reflects on his legacy.
AXS TV debuts “Final 24” (June 3, 9 p.m. ET). The celebrity docuseries, which was acquired from Cineflix Rights, uses dramatizations and archival footage to explore the last hours of some of pop culture’s most iconic and infamous figures. With a focus on in-depth analysis as a way to understand their thoughts, feelings and actions, each episode takes a detailed look at the subjects’ lives and accomplishments before examining the events surrounding their deaths. The season begins with Sid Vicious and continues with episodes on Nicole Brown Simpson, Tupac Shakur and Anna Nicole Smith.
Report Card: Ratings winners and losers
Winners: FX renewed “What We Do in the Shadows” and Fox renewed “Prodigal Son.”
Losers: ABC canceled “Bless This Mess,” “Schooled,” “Single Parents,” and “Emergence.”
Melissa Crawley is the author of “Mr. Sorkin Goes to Washington: Shaping the President on Television’s ‘The West Wing.’” She has a Ph.D. in media studies and is a member of the Television Critics Association. To comment on Stay Tuned, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter at @mcstaytuned.