Star Power in ‘The First Lady,’ Lizzo on ‘SNL,’ ‘Fear’ Returns, ‘Force’ Signs Off
Three great actresses—Gillian Anderson, Michelle Pfeiffer and Viola Davis—portray iconic first ladies in Showtime’s anthology drama The First Lady. Larger-than-life Lizzo doubles as host and musical guest on Saturday Night Live. AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead resumes its seventh season with a fan-favorite character waiting in the wings. Spinoff crime drama Power Book IV: Force wraps its first season with an eventful chapter of the Chicago gang war.
The First Lady
SUNDAY: No one’s going to put these dynamic first ladies in an East Wing corner. Three remarkable actresses—Gillian Anderson as Eleanor Roosevelt, Michelle Pfeiffer as Betty Ford, Viola Davis as Michelle Obama—portray three of American history’s more outspoken presidents’ wives, each refusing to be pigeonholed into traditional roles. The series somewhat awkwardly shifts among the decades in reflecting their personal and political lives, but it’s still one of the more captivating historical spectacles since The Crown. As their mates, Kiefer Sutherland is FDR, Aaron Eckhart is Gerald Ford and The Handmaid’s Tale’s O-T Fagbenle impresses as Barack Obama. (See the full review.)
Saturday Night Live
SATURDAY: One of music’s biggest personalities, whose Prime Video competition series Watch Out for the Big Grrrls has generated positive buzz, Grammy winner Lizzo returns to SNL not just as musical guest, but as host. Let’s hope her monologue, and the show’s trademark music-video parodies, live up to expectations.
Fear the Walking Dead
SUNDAY: The horror thriller resumes its seventh season still in a nuclear winter, with a paranoid Strand (Colman Domingo) making life miserable for survivors within his fiefdom. Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey), further beset with a mysterious illness, could really use a mother’s care. Which makes the news that Kim Dickens is returning sometime this season as her presumed-dead mother Madison even more exciting.
Power Book IV: Force
SUNDAY: In the spinoff’s violent Season 1 finale, the relocated Tommy Egan (Joseph Sikora) is desperately trying to recruit allies in his impending Chicago gang war with the Flynns and the Four Horsemen. What happens next will forever alter the power balance in the city’s drug trade—and likely attract the attention of local cops and federal agents.
Inside Weekend TV:
- USFL Football (Saturday, 7:30/6:30c, Fox, NBC, streaming on Peacock): If it’s spring, it must be… football? The new United States Football League is the latest iteration of the alternate pro-football league, kicking off a 10-week season with the New Jersey Generals taking on the Stallions at Birmingham’s Protective Stadium.
- Wrath: A Seven Deadly Sins Story (Saturday, 8/7c, Lifetime): The Deadly Sins movie anthology series returns with Destiny’s Child star Michelle Williams as a lawyer named Chastity, whose fellow-lawyer boyfriend Xavier (Antonio Cupo) is prone to jealous fits of, yes, wrath.
- Love, Classified (Saturday, 8/7c, Hallmark Channel): The Office’s Melora Hardin is a widowed romance novelist hoping to reconnect with her adult offspring, including plant-show owner Taylor (Katherine McNamara), who doesn’t expect love to blossom when she connects with a woman (Arienne Mandi) through a classified app.
- 60 Minutes (Sunday, 7/6c, CBS): Reports include Bill Whitaker’s investigation into the threat of Russian cyberattacks on the U.S. as the war continues in Ukraine. Anderson Cooper takes a ride on an eVTOL—electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft—which could be the next big thing in green transportation. Lesley Stahl interviews the CEO of Volkswagen.
- The Equalizer (Sunday, 8/7c, CBS): Robyn (Queen Latifah) enlists her ex-husband, Dr. Miles Fulton (Being Mary Jane’s Stephen Bishop), to help treat a gunshot victim on her latest mission of mercy, involving two witnesses to a robbery.
- 90 Day Fiancé (Sunday, 8/7c, TLC): A ninth round of international love stories commences, with partners arriving from Serbia, Venezuela and other exotic locations. Adding to the pressure: Multiple couples share children, including 90 Day vets Ari and Bini, giving it one last shot for the sake of love (and son Avi).
- NCIS: Los Angeles (Sunday, 9/8c, CBS): The crime drama goes to the dogs when the team investigates the kidnapping of Master Sergeant Boomer, a military canine.
- Shining Vale (Sunday, 10/9c, Starz): The hybrid horror-comedy closes its first season by revealing the shocking end to Pat’s (Courteney Cox) book, while her entire family takes on the supernatural forces threatening their very souls.
- Annika (streaming on PBS Passport and Masterpiece Prime Video Channel): A six-part crime drama brings Unforgotten’s Nicola Walker back into the Masterpiece fold as witty Scottish detective Annika Strandhed, who heads up Glasgow’s Marine Homicide Unit. She often breaks the fourth wall while linking crimes to her knowledge of classic literature—including a Moby Dick connection to a harpoon murder in the opening episode. The series will air as part of Masterpiece on PBS later this fall.