1) “The Movies” debut, 9 p.m. ET, CNN (barring breaking news), rerunning at midnight. This is like the former Disney World ride that zipped us through Hollywood history — fast and fun, but never really staying anywhere for long. The opener takes us through the 1980s. It has fresh interviews with the great filmmakers – Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, Rob Reiner, Tim Burton, Ridley Scott, the late John Singleton – and a few actors, critics and historians. It has a few insights — Tom Hanks calls “Roger Rabbit” (shown here) the most difficult filmmaking ever — and lots of quick, fun clips.
2) “Masterpiece: Endeavour” season-finale, 9-10:30 p.m., PBS. The season started with Morse’s life in shambles. His colleague (Fancy) was killed, his mentor (Thursday) had been cheated by a crooked brother and they’re now working for a jerk. Now a smart (if complicated) episode manages to bring most things together. The crimes range from a library murder to a construction cheat. In the show’s style, everything – even the showdown/shoot-out – is slow and talky … yet smart and fairly satisfying.
3) “The Loudest Voice,” 10 p.m., Showtime. In last week’s opener, Roger Ailes (Russell Crowe) pushed Fox News through its shaky start. Now we jump ahead five years, to Sept. 11, 2001. Ailes, living in downtown New York – is stunned … then springs ino action. He gets secret calls from Karl Rove in the White House: Fox would soon be talking war and weapons of mass destruction; it would secure its conservative niche. Crowe gives us a deep portrait of a man with personal flaws and TV smarts.
4) “What Just Happened?” 9:30 p.m., Fox. Last week’s debut was fun in a strange way. It was full of people raving about “The Flare,” a show that doesn’t exist. Fred Savage said he’d studied the “Flare” books, before auditioning (unsuccessfully) to star in the series. Now he hosts, startled that the star and the co-host had done nothing. It was sometimes oddly funny … and sometimes just odd. Tonight’s guests are Kevin Smith and Vince Gilligan, the creators of “Breaking Bad” and “Clerks.”
5) And moon flurry, cable. Tonight starts the surge of space documentaries that peaks on July 20, the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. A full story and list is included in “stories:”; this start has one film on National Geographic (9-11 p.m. July 7, rerunning 8-10 p.m. ET July 11) and two on Smithsonian — 8 p.m. (rerunning at 11) and 9.