Finale Fever (Hugh Jackman on ‘The Simpsons’ and More), Animal Dynasties, D.C. Drama in ‘Gaslit’ and ‘First Lady’
This weekend brings the curtain down on series of all sorts, including Fox’s animated hits, Saturday Night Live, American Idol, CBS’s procedurals, Hallmark’s When Calls the Heart and the Masterpiece thriller Ridley Road. BBC America revives its nature series Dynasties with a study of Patagonian pumas. Watergate, the ERA and same-sex marriage are among the political hot buttons tapped in new episodes of Gaslit and The First Lady.
SUNDAY: In a weekend overrun with season finales, we start with the immortal animated hit bringing star power to close its 33rd season. The Greatest Showman’s Hugh Jackman, currently packing Broadway houses in The Music Man, appears as a magical janitor who teams with former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich to sing about economic disparity while Homer tries to teach Bart the value of money. The animation finale train chugs on with The Great North (8:30/7:30c) celebrating Father’s Day by Beef (Nick Offerman) joining a local mom group, Bob’s Burgers (9/8c) delving into Tina’s (Dan Mintz) erotic sci-fi fan fiction, and Family Guy (9:30/8:30c) staging a typically skewed production of Romeo and Juliet at Adam West High.
SUNDAY: The 20th season of the singing competition goes out on a high note—several, actually—crowning a winner among the finalists (HunterGirl, Noah Thompson, Leah Marlene) in a three-hour finale airing live coast to coast. Featured performances include judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie, Idol winner Carrie Underwood with guest appearances by the likes of Sara Bareilles, Michael Bublé, Earth, Wind & Fire, Melissa Etheridge, Flo Rida, Ben Platt, Thomas Rhett and more.
NCIS: Los Angeles
SUNDAY: Deepfakes be damned in the Season 13 finale, because the real Callen (Chris O’Donnell) is planning to take a big step with girlfriend Anna (Bar Paly). In other domestic news, Kensi (Daniela Ruah) and Deeks (Eric Christian Olsen) get promising adoption news. Followed by the Season 5 finale of S.W.A.T. (10/9c), which moves to Fridays in the fall, but not before the team goes after extremists who take over a university chemistry lab to plot a terror attack.
When Calls the Heart
SUNDAY: Need something a little more heartwarming? The ninth season of the Canadian period drama complies with Bill (Jack Wagner) stepping up to help Henry (Martin Cummins) following a mine explosion. While schoolteacher Elizabeth (Erin Krakow) frets about her romance with Lucas (Chris McNally), married muckrakers Rosemary (Pascale Hutton) and Lee (Kavan Smith) learn something that could make for happy headline news.
SUNDAY: In the tense finale of Masterpiece’s 1960s-set thriller, undercover snoop Vivien (Agnes O’Casey) goes all Jane Bond as she attempts to escape from neo-Nazi leader Colin Jordan (Rory Kinnear) with a suitcase full of incriminating documents. Her lover Jack (Tom Varey) and Uncle Soly (Eddie Marsan) of the anti-fascist 62 Group are also in danger as the action comes to a head.
Planet Earth: Dynasties
SATURDAY: A second season of the nature docuseries delves into the world of fascinating animals, with filmmakers following a specific creature’s life for as much as two years. In the premiere, the ubiquitous naturalist Sir David Attenborough narrates the story of a mother puma, Rupestre, who’ll do anything to help her large litter survive blizzards and rival pumas in the wilds of Patagonia.
SUNDAY: In another lively episode of the Watergate drama, a liberated Martha Mitchell (Julia Roberts) blabs her theories to anyone who’ll listen, including TV hosts Mike Douglas and Tom Snyder, causing more headaches for the Nixon administration, which is looking for a scapegoat within the White House. Lawyer John Dean (Dan Stevens) resists taking the fall, especially once he lets Mo (Betty Gilpin) in on the details of the debacle during a Camp David honeymoon.
SUNDAY: These first ladies of different eras really know how to stir things up. For Eleanor Roosevelt (Gillian Anderson), that means continuing her relationship with reporter Lorena Hickok (Lily Rabe) even while the FBI shadows her as “a matter of national security.” In the 1970s, Betty Ford (Michelle Pfeiffer) rallies for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, which administration hacks see as a liability, and in more recent times, Michelle Obama (Viola Davis) pressures her husband to put politics aside and do what’s right what it comes to supporting same-sex marriage.
Inside Weekend TV:
- True Crime Watch: CBS’ 48 Hours (Saturday, 10/9c) questions whether a Black man recently released from a Louisiana prison after 44 years for the attempted aggravated rape of two sisters may have been wrongly convicted. Over seven episodes, the three-night Investigation Discovery docuseries Two Shallow Graves (Sunday, 9/8c, continuing Monday and Tuesday) follows the sensational 2019 murder trial of Charles “Chase” Merritt, accused of murdering the McStay family (including two young sons) and burying them in the California desert. A special edition of Dateline NBC (Sunday, 9/8c) investigates the 2015 bludgeoning murder of Florida Dr. Teresa Sievers.
- Saturday Night Live (Saturday, 11:30/10:30c, 8:30 pm/PT, NBC): Closing out the 47th season: first-time guest host Natasha Lyonne (Russian Doll), with Japanese Breakfast also making their debut as musical guest.
- Sunday Morning (Sunday, 9 am/ET, check local schedules, CBS): The most marvelous of cultural news magazines presents its annual “By Design” edition from the historic El Fureidis estate in Montecito, California and locations in Santa Barbara.
- French Open (Sunday, 1 pm/ET, NBC): Tennis action begins on the red clay courts of Roland-Garros in Paris.
- In the News: CBS’ 60 Minutes (Sunday, 7/6c) reports on the broken pharmaceutical system, with shortages of essential drugs caused when companies reduce production of live-saving generics because they’re not profitable. Showtime’s Vice (Sunday, 8/7c) investigates the alarming proliferation of homemade “ghost guns.”
- Rip in Time (Sunday, 9/8c, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries): Now here’s a curious coupling, when organic farmer Sarah (Torrey DeVitto) falls for a literally old-school romantic: Rip Van Winkle Jr. (Niall Matter), who claims he’s from 1787.
- Barry (Sunday, 10/9c, HBO): Just renewed for a fourth season, the macabre Emmy-winning dark comedy finds “human pressure cooker” Barry (Bill Hader) struggling to be a better person, unaware that Fuches (Stephen Root) is rallying past victims to target the repentant hit man. Elsewhere in L.A., his girlfriend Sally (Sarah Goldberg) and mentor Gene (Henry Winkler) experience the highs and lows of fickle Hollywood fame.