1) “Hemingway” debut, 8 p.m. today through Wednesday, PBS, rerunning at 10. Ernest Hemingway (shown here) took a unique approach to fiction – cool, efficient, often macho. We see that often here, in brilliant passages read by Jeff Daniels. But Hemingway also molded another fiction – his own image. Yes, he was an outdoors guy, with big torso and regal visage. But he was also a doctor’s son from suburbia, an insecure guy who exaggerated his life. Ken Burns tells the story brilliantly, tracing a life of contrasts.
2) “American Masters,” 9-11 p.m. Friday, PBS. This is a week when the Burns brothers deliver great biography. Two days after Ken’s Hemingway film ends, Ric profiles Oliver Sacks. In 2015, Sacks, 81, learned he was dying of cancer. He spent 80 hours with Burns, who then added other interviews. We see the gentle neurologist (depicted by Robin Williams in the movie “Awakenings”) who was a record-setting weightlifter, an amphetamine addict and someone who painfully buried his homosexuality.
3) “Kung Fu” debut, 8 p.m. Wednesday, CW. All that remains from the 1972 series is the idea of a Chinese-American studying at a monastery in China, then returning home after a teacher is slain. Now that gets a modern spin: It’s an all-woman monastery; Nicky returns to San Francisco with stunning skills and a hint of the supernatural. The visuals and fights are spectacular, but “Kung Fu” also has balance. Nicky’s brother, sister and ex-boyfriend are far from her martial-arts world, adding depth.
4) “Home Economics” debut, 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, ABC. For writer Michael Colton, real life turned into a TV comedy. He was collecting unemployment, his sister was doing social work … and their brother, a finance guy, had just sold his company for $7 million. Fictionalizing heavily, Colton co-created this series about siblings who love each other, despite huge differences in circumstances. The opener is fairly funny show, with Topher Grace (“That ‘70s Show”) starring as the struggling writer.
5) “Rebel” debut, 10 p.m. Thursday, ABC. Back in 1993, Erin Brockovich was a law-office clerk, a former beauty-pageant winner with no legal training. Then she led the effort that brought a $333 million settlement against a utility giant. She’s gone on to other cases and to fame; Julia Roberts won an Academy Award for portraying her. Now she’s one of the producers of this series: Katey Sagal plays someone a lot like Brockovich, with John Corbett (as her husband) and Andy Garcia co-starring.
6) Basketball, 9 p.m.ET today, CBS. For one more night, college basketball rules the sports world. It’s the NCAA championship game, with the winners of Saturday’s games. Then the pros get their sport back. First is cable, with NBA games at 7:30 and 10 p.m. ET on Tuesday (TNT), Wednesday (ESPN) and Thursday (TNT). After that, ABC returns to its 8:30 p.m. ET Saturday games. That starts with the Lakers (hobbled by injuries to LeBron James and Anthony Davis) facing James Harden and the Nets.
7) “Soul of a Nation” finale, 10 p.m. Tuesday, ABC. This excellent, five-week series has viewed awide range of Black experiences, joyful and tragic. Now its finale includes Steve Osunsami’s report on a deep tragedy: Tulsa had a thriving community, known as “Black Wall Street.” Then came a massacre; by various estimates, 800 people were wounded, 75 to 300 were killed and 35 square blocks were in ruins. Osunsami also has a podcast and PBS plans a film for May 31, the massacre’s 100th anniversary.
8) “Chad” debut, 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, TBS. Sometimes painfully funny (and sometimes just painful), “Chad” has a fresh view of teen angst. A 14-year-old wants high school to be a new start; he’s shed his braces and wants to shed his Persian roots. He’s changed his name and his attitude. Surprisingly, this teen boy is played (convincingly) by a 39-year-old woman, Nasim Pedrad, who also wrote and directed it. Some moments are wonderfully clever; others are so over-the-top that we just wince with empathy.
9) “Everything’s Gonna Be Okay” season-opener. 10-11 p.m. Thursday, Freeform. Cable comedies have a knack for teen complexities. Here, Josh Thomas plays an Australian, suddenly raising his teen half-sisters in America. He has no clue how to do it (or how to navigate his own gay romance) and these are complicated kids. Matilda, who is autistic, is beautifully played by Kayla Cromer, who’s on the autism spectrum. Last season, she tried to go to Juilliard, then panicked; now we find her in a funk.
10) ALSO: Two dramas have their finales: “Wynonna Earp” (10 p.m. Friday, Syfy) had four seasons; “Shameless” (9 p.m. Sunday, Showtime, leading into a strong “City on a Hill”) had 11. But we also get the start of shows mentioned above and more: There are season-openers for “Queen of the South” (10 p.m. Wednesday, USA) and “Fear the Walking Dead” (9 p.m. Sunday, AMC). Sunday also starts “The People V. The Klan” (9-11 p.m. ET, CNN, repeating at midnight) and “The Nevers” (9 p.m., HBO).
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