What's Worth Watching: Ken Jennings, Red Noses and More for Thursday, May 26

Matt Roush
Ken Jennings on 500 Questions
Adam Taylor/ABC

500 Questions (8/7c, ABC): Here’s a trivia question: In the 74 consecutive Jeopardy! games that Ken Jennings won, how many questions did he actually answer correctly? (I don’t know; I’m just wondering.) The quiz-show know-it-all takes on perhaps his toughest challenge yet in the second-season opener of this endurance test, which returns in a five-night prime-time stunt (ending next Wednesday). The goal is to try to answer 500 questions without getting three in a row wrong. Tweaks to the show for this season: replacing last year’s belligerent host with the much more agreeable Dan Harris of ABC News, and adding a two-minute “lightning round,” which also sounds like a good idea, because sometimes it took forever to get to the next question.

The Red Nose Day Special (9/8c, NBC): Music, comedy and heart-tugging testimonials fill an all-star evening devoted to raising money to help children and others living in poverty. Craig Ferguson hosts, with performances by Elton John and Blake Shelton, and comedy sketches featuring Tracy Morgan (doing a take on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs) and the cast of The Walking Dead, among many others.

Showing Roots (10/9c, Lifetime): As a curtain-raiser to next week’s honorable remake of the historic miniseries Roots (airing on History and A&E as well), comes this schmaltzy oddball of a movie that feels like a cross between The Help and Steel Magnolias. Lost’s Maggie Grace and Emmy winner Uzo Aduba (Orange is the New Black) star as unlikely friends in a small Southern town who take inspiration from watching Roots on TV to integrate the struggling beauty shop they just opened, across the street from arch nemesis Elizabeth McGovern. Only worth watching for the scene in which Cicely Tyson, who appeared in the original Roots, literally flips her wig after watching the series, declaring, “I want to celebrate my roots, not hide them!” Some things you just have to see to believe.