Naomi Judd Tribute, Billboard Music Awards, ‘Time Traveler’s Wife,’ ‘Conversations with Friends,’ Season Finales
Famous friends gather in Nashville to celebrate and mourn the country star Naomi Judd. In Las Vegas, Sean “Diddy” Combs hosts the Billboard Music Awards. New series include HBO’s adaptation of The Time Traveler’s Wife and Hulu’s Conversations with Friends. Both renewed for next season, CBS’s The Equalizer and The Rookie wrap until fall.
Naomi Judd: A River of Time Celebration
SUNDAY: Family and famous friends gather at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium to pay tribute to country-music superstar Naomi Judd, whose tragic passing from a self-inflicted firearm wound April 30 has brought new attention to those suffering from mental illness. Robin Roberts hosts the live ceremony (repeated at 10 pm/9c on CMT) with guests and performers including Brandi Carlile, Emmylou Harris & Allison Russell, Little Big Town, The Gaithers and Ashley McBryde, with messages and testimonials from daughters Ashley and Wynonna, Bono, Oprah Winfrey and more.
Billboard Music Awards
SUNDAY: Sean “Diddy” Combs is host and executive producer of the music spectacular, broadcast live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Mary J. Blige receives this year’s Icon Award and joins a roster of performers including Red Hot Chili Peppers, Megan Thee Stallion, Latto, Rauw Alejandro and Burna Boy.
The Time Traveler’s Wife
SUNDAY: Sanditon fans who yearned to see more of one-and-done star Theo James will get their wish in this uneven adaptation (the second) of Audrey Niffenegger’s best-seller. Poor Henry DeTamble (James) has a genetic disorder that causes him to time-travel at inopportune moments—and wherever and whenever he lands, he’s buck naked. If that weren’t awkward enough, he establishes a relationship with love-of-his-life Clare (Rose Leslie of Game of Thrones and The Good Fight) when he jumps into and disrupts her childhood, but when they meet IRL in real time, he doesn’t recognize her because he hasn’t started jumping her way yet. Confused? If you haven’t read the book, figuring out who is what age and when will be as baffling as the lack of palpable chemistry between the leads in the early going. An odder romance you’re not likely to witness on TV this year.
Conversations with Friends
SUNDAY: All 12 episodes drop at once of a drama based on Sally Rooney’s (Normal People) first novel. And while the chapters are short (30 minutes), it’s still a bit of a slog as college student and fledgling poet Frances (Alison Oliver) finds herself drawn to married actor Nick (Joe Alwyn) while her BFF and slam-poet partner Bobbi (Sasha Lane) crushes on Nick’s wife, Melissa (Girls’ Jemima Kirke). These are conversations I’m not sure we need to be eavesdropping on.
SUNDAY: Renewed for two more seasons, the action/crime drama ends its second year with McCall (Queen Latifah) risking it all to catch the villainous Mason Quinn (Chris Vance), who orchestrated the plane crash that killed her mentor Bishop (Chris Noth). Her daughter Delilah (Laya DeLeon Hayes) gets to meet the rest of Robyn’s vigilante team when she needs help to take down a student who’s targeted her friend with revenge porn.
SUNDAY: Also guaranteed to return next season, the police drama’s Season 4 finale finds Nolan (Nathan Fillion) behind bars, remanded to spend a week in solitary confinement in a dead-end border town after a run-in with the head of the police union. The cop-turned-inmate should come in handy when the town is visited by a dangerous criminal.
SUNDAY: Making his first appearance on the gripping Starz Watergate drama Gaslit is Reed Diamond as associate FBI director Mark Felt. (If that name rings a bell, he revealed many years later that he was reporter Bob Woodward’s “Deep Throat” source.) While things get tense for the Watergate burglars facing trial, the voluble Martha Mitchell (Julia Roberts) is still shaken by her California captivity, drifting in a fog of sedatives until a sympathetic reporter reminds her, “If you keep quiet, other people will do the talking for you.”
The First Lady
SUNDAY: Watergate also looms large in the busy fifth episode of Showtime’s The First Lady when Betty Ford (the brilliant Michelle Pfeiffer) flips out after husband President Gerald Ford (Aaron Eckhart) pardons Nixon, which she rightly sees as political suicide. “Do you realize how this makes our family look?” she rants. Betty later makes headlines when she is diagnosed with breast cancer. In other eras, Eleanor Roosevelt (Gillian Anderson) breaks ground by holding a press conference for women reporters only, and Michelle Obama (Viola Davis) joins her daughters in pressing husband Barack (O-T Fagbenle) on the gay-marriage issue.
Inside Weekend TV:
- Top Gun (Saturday, 8/7c, CBS): In anticipation of the May 24 launch of the Top Gun: Maverick sequel, Tom Cruise’s blockbuster original from 1986 airs in prime time as a CBS Saturday Night Movie.
- Love & Marriage: D.C. (Saturday, 9/8c, OWN): The network’s first franchise spinoff follows The Real Housewives of Potomac alums Monique and Chris Samuels, who’ve been wed for a decade, and their similarly committed pals in the nation’s capital.
- Saturday Night Live (Saturday, 11:30/10:30c, 8:30 pm/PT, NBC): Selena Gomez, who revealed her comic chops on Only Murders in the Building, is guest host of the season’s penultimate episode, joined by musical guest Post Malone.
- The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Celebration (Sunday, 3:30 pm/ET, BritBox): The monarch’s remarkable 70-year reign is celebrated in a live theatrical arena event, featuring 1,300 performers and 500 horses. The four acts will be hosted by Tom Cruise, Damian Lewis, Adjoa Andoh and Alan Titchmarsh, with the historical pageant reaching back to the era of Queen Elizabeth I, to be played by Helen Mirren. Musical performers accompanied by a 75-piece orchestra include Keala Settle, Gregory Porter and Katherine Jenkins.
- 60 Minutes (Sunday, 7 pm/ET): A two-part segment features Lesley Stahl’s report on a family in Virginia who bought a large house only to discover that their ancestors had once been slaves on the property, prompting a genealogical search for more information.
- The Simpsons (Sunday, 8/7c, Fox): An impressive array of guest voices—John Lithgow, Seth Green, Succession’s Nicholas Braun, Krysten Ritter, Edi Patterson, Paul F. Tompkins and Charli D’Amelio as herself—participate in an episode exploring Grampa’s dark past, which has something to do with fast food.
- Lucy Worsley Investigates (Sunday, 8/7c, PBS, check local listings at pbs.org): The engaging British historian scans evidence and consults experts to poke into very cold cases from Olde England’s past—such as who actually killed two princes in the Tower of London in 1483? Maybe not who you’d think.
- Barry (Sunday, 10/9c, HBO): While Gene Cousineau (Henry Winkler) becomes an unlikely hero in Hollywood because of his history with Barry (Bill Hader), the unwilling hit man is roped back into the conflict between the Chechens and Bolivians in an explosively amusing way. He won’t be laughing should he learn that Funches (Stephen Root) is back in town, stirring up trouble.
- Joe Pickett (Sunday, streaming on Paramount+): The terrific series adaptation of C.J. Box’s thrillers about a Wyoming game warden (For All Mankind’s Michael Dorman), previously a Spectrum Originals exclusive, makes its streaming debut.