Finale Fever, ‘Ipcress File,’ Emmy Rossum is ‘Angelyne,’ PGA Championship
The season is over for NBC’s Law & Order lineup, ABC’s Station 19 and Big Sky, FX’s Atlanta and Halo on Paramount+ in a flurry of season finales, while canceled CBS comedies The United States of Al and How We Roll take their final bow. AMC+ presents a stylized series version of the 1960s-era spy caper The Ipcress File. Emmy Rossum stars in and produces Angelyne, a limited series about a woman who sought fame by putting her image on L.A. billboards. In the tradition of the Manning brothers during Monday Night Football, Joe Buck and golf analyst Michael Collins provide conversation and commentary in an alternative telecast of the PGA Championship for ESPN.
Law & Order
All three series in Thursday’s L&O franchise have been renewed for next season, and the rebooted mothership wraps its first season (officially the show’s 21st) with the murder of an off-duty NYPD detective sending Detective Cosgrove (Jeffrey Donovan) to SVU’s Benson (Mariska Hargitay) for help in solving the case. On Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (9/8c), former prosecutor Rafael Barba (Raúl Esparza) returns, acting for the defense when Rollins (Kelli Giddish) asks him to represent a domestic-violence victim that her boyfriend Carisi (Peter Scanavino) has charged with a crime. In the Season 2 finale of Law & Order: Organized Crime (10/9c), Stabler (Christopher Meloni) puts aside his daddy issues to help the Task Force take down drug kingpin Preston Webb (Mykelti Williamson) and the corrupt cops in the Brotherhood.
In more season finale news, firefighter Andy Herrera (Jaina Lee Ortiz), on trial for manslaughter, tracks down another victim of the would-be rapist she killed in self-defense, in hopes of getting her to testify. The rest of the crew stays busy dealing with a major car wreck.
The Western-set thriller, renewed for a third season, finishes its second year by welcoming a new sheriff in town. All while undersheriff Jenny (Katheryn Winnick), keeps looking for undercover operative Travis (Logan Marshall-Green) to try to stop him from doing something he’ll regret, while the case against the drug-dealing Bhullars comes to a head.
United States of Al
Relationships get complicated in the sitcom’s Season 2, now series finale. For Riley (Parker Young), this means confessing to Freddy (Brian Thomas Smith), who’s engaged to his ex-wife Vanessa (Kelli Goss), that the ex-couple has been hooking up again. Ouch. For Al (Adhir Kalyan), the problem is how to deal with new girlfriend Cindy (Jayma Mays), whose possessiveness is getting too close for comfort. Followed by back-to-back episodes of the first and only season of bowling comedy How We Roll (9/8c), where Tom (Pete Holmes) is torn between tending to his coach-mentor Archie (Chi McBride), who’s just had a heart attack, or competing in the World Series of Bowling, the biggest tournament in his career to date.
The peculiar third season of the edgy comedy ends on a surreal note that feels inspired by the visionary Luis Buñuel. Donald Glover, who directed the episode, appears only at the end in a mysterious coda, while rapper Paper Boi (Brian Tyree Henry) is glimpsed on a concert poster as the action moves to Paris, where Van (Zazie Beetz) has gone native francaise. When friends from Atlanta unexpectedly cross the newly christened Vanessa’s path, they embark on a perversely bizarre odyssey that involves a certain Emmy-winning actor playing an extreme version of himself, and a dinner party that may have you covering your eyes with your hands.
Yet another season finale, as the streaming hit Halo ends its first season with John 117 (Pablo Schreiber) leading the Spartans on what could be a suicide mission to find the Halo and save humanity. (The show is returning for a second season, so somebody’s bound to survive.) Also streaming on Paramount+: the third episode of the satisfying space saga Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, in which Capt. Pike (Anson Mount) and Spock (Ethan Peck) are stranded during an ion storm on a planet notorious for its experiments in gene modification. To save the day, Number One (Rebecca Romijn) will need to do some soul-searching of her own.
The Ipcress File
You might find yourself crying U.N.C.L.E. (as in The Man From) while watching this stylized 1960-era spy caper based on Len Deighton’s bestseller (which inspired a 1965 film that helped make Michael Caine a star). Peaky Blinders’ Joe Cole has insolent charm to spare as bad-boy agent Harry Palmer, plucked from prison by a rogue bureau (led by the sly Tom Hollander) to find a kidnapped scientist during the height of the Cold War nuclear arms race. Harry’s partner is the alluring pro spy Jean Courtney (Lucy Boynton) as they flit from London to Beirut to a Pacific testing atoll. A movie marquee advertising The Manchurian Candidate teases where this keen, kitschy six-part romp is heading.
Before there were Kardashians, there was Angelyne, a mysterious self-styled diva who sought fame in L.A. in the 1980s, gaining notoriety with billboards plastered around town selling her hot-pink image to a celebrity-obsessed culture. “I’m not a woman. I’m an icon,” purrs star/executive producer Emmy Rossum (Shameless) as this five-part limited series begins, seeking to explore what makes this curious exhibitionist tick.
Inside Thursday TV:
- PGA Championship (1 pm/ET, ESPN; 2-5 pm/ET, ESPN2): Taking a cue from the successful chat-along-with-sports format of Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli, ESPN presents an “alternative” telecast of the PGA Championship from Tulsa with Joe Buck and America’s Caddie host Michael Collins leading the conversation. Among the guests expected to drop in: Peyton and Eli Manning (naturally) plus Troy Aikman, Charles Barkley, Fred Couples and Jon Hamm.
- Young Sheldon (8/7c, CBS): No one hates change more than child genius Sheldon Cooper (Iain Armitage), and in the Season 5 finale, he’s in for a shock, because puberty has arrived. Meanwhile, parents Mary (Zoe Perry) and George Sr. (Lance Barber) look for new jobs.
- Naomi Judd: A River of Time Celebration (9/8c, CMT): For those who missed Sunday’s live broadcast, the tribute to the late country superstar (CMT’s highest-rated music special in more than two years) gets a commercial-free replay. Wynonna and Ashley Judd are joined by host Robin Roberts and celebrities including Bette Midler, Bono, Brandi Carlile, Brad Paisley, Emmylou Harris and Allison Russell, Reba McEntire, Oprah Winfry, Reese Witherspoon and Little Big Town paying their respects.
- Grey’s Anatomy (9/8c, ABC): Meredith’s sisters welcome Nick (Scott Speedman) by throwing a dinner party at Casa Grey, which is either going to be a blast or a catalyst to sending him back to Minnesota.
- Bull (10/9c, CBS): In the series’ penultimate episode, Bull (Michael Weatherly) and his TAC team are conflicted by their latest case involving a building owner accused of killing tenants by carbon monoxide poisoning. Making matters worse, the prosecutor (Erich Bergen) is Chunk’s (Christopher Jackson) ex-boyfriend.
On the Stream:
- Hacks (streaming on HBO Max): In back-to-back episodes, Ava (Hannah Einbinder) suffers the consequences of confessing all to Deborah (Jean Smart), but tables turn when Deborah learns the gay cruise she’s been booked on is populated not by adoring men but by wary lesbians who find Ava better company.
- The Found Footage Phenomenon (streaming on Shudder): A new documentary explores the phenomenon of horror films using the found-footage technique, spurred by the success of The Blair Witch Project.
- The Boss Baby: Back in the Crib (streaming on Netflix): In a 12-episode CGI-animated brand extension, the Boss Baby (voiced by JP Karliak) is framed for embezzlement and fights to keep Baby Corp from being destroyed by his latest enemies, the Uncuddleables.
- The G Word with Adam Conover (streaming on Netflix): The Adam Ruins Everything host trains his irreverent gaze on the U.S. government and how it impacts our everyday life in areas from food, money and weather to tackling disease. In the docuseries finale, he visits President Barack Obama (an executive producer) to discuss if change is even possible.
- Kingdom Business (streaming on BET+): Gospel star Yolanda Adams stars in an eight-episode All About Eve-style drama as faith-music diva Denita, whose reign is challenged by an upstart (Serayah) with a scandalous past as an exotic dancer.
- Ghost Adventures: House Calls (streaming on discovery+): The paranormal team behind Ghost Adventures goes domestic in a spinoff where they visit homeowners seeking relief from unexplained terrors. First stops: haunted houses in Long Beach, California and Ellington, Connecticut.
- The Offer (streaming on Paramount+): It’s the first day of filming on The Godfather, which doesn’t go smoothly thanks to studio and Mafia interference.