Watergate Hearings on ‘Gaslit,’ Memorial Day Concert, Indianapolis 500, ‘Transplant’ Transplanted

As the Starz docudrama Gaslit hits its stride, John Dean begins his public testimony in the nationally televised Watergate hearings. Live events over the holiday weekend include PBS’s annual broadcast of the National Memorial Day Concert and the Indianapolis 500 on NBC and Peacock. The Canadian medical drama Transplant finds a new home on Saturdays.

Dan Stevens and Betty Gilpin as John and Mo Dean
Starz

Gaslit

SUNDAY: My new obsession is this vivid recreation of the 1970s Watergate era, when all eyes turned to Washington, D.C. for the biggest TV show of its day: the nationally televised Watergate hearings. Taking center stage is nervous-wreck lawyer John Dean (an amusingly flustered Dan Stevens), too oblivious to realize the private pain his wife Maureen (the fabulous Betty Gilpin) is enduring. On another front, provocateur Martha Mitchell (Julia Roberts) heads home to Arkansas for a viewing party and doesn’t get the warm welcome she expects. Reflecting the series’ offbeat perspective is a strong subplot involving security guard Frank Wills (an endearing Patrick Walker), whose life derailed after becoming insta-famous for busting the hapless burlers. Is he a hero, or just a footnote to history?

The First Lady Gillian Anderson Eleanor Roosevelt
Daniel McFadden/Showtime

The First Lady

SUNDAY: More D.C. drama in this triptych about historic presidential spouses, as Eleanor Roosevelt (Gillian Anderson) confronts racism when Black opera star Marian Anderson is barred from performing at Constitution Hall—but how to rationalize the Black servants in her own White House? In more modern times, Betty Ford (Michelle Pfeiffer) enjoys her public popularity during campaign season, though her drinking is becoming a liability, and the issue of gun violence becomes personal for Michelle Obama (Viola Davis).

Getty

National Memorial Day Concert

SUNDAY: Or you could put politics aside altogether and revel in the patriotic and musical spectacle of the annual concert from the U.S. Capitol lawn. Joe Mantegna and Gary Sinise host a ceremony that includes a tribute to Gen. Colin Powell featuring Dennis Haysbert, a segment honoring gold star families with Emmy winner Jean Smart, and a celebration of the Lincoln Memorial’s 100th anniversary. Performers include Broadway stars Lea Salonga, Norm Lewis and Brian Stokes Mitchell, Grammy winner Rhiannon Giddens and American Idol alum Pia Toscano, with the National Symphony Orchestra led by pops conductor Jack Everly.

Hamza Haq as Dr. Bashir Bash Hamed in Transplant
Yan Turcotte/Sphere Media/CTV/NBC

Transplant

SATURDAY: The Canadian medical drama struggled to find an audience on Sundays in its second season on NBC, which is why it has been banished to Saturdays for the remainder of its run. (For those bemoaning the lack of scripted network programming on the night, here’s your chance.) As the series resumes, Bash (Hamza Haq) goes to bat for an emancipated teen whose kidney is failing, but is told by mentor Dr. Bishop (John Hannah) to play it safe when a patient’s parent starts making noise.

Inside Weekend TV:

  • Indianapolis 500 (Sunday, 12:30 pm/ET, NBC, Peacock and Universo): Racers, start your engines for the 106th running of the iconic 500, with six-time Indy Car champion Scott Dixon taking the pole position. Will it be enough to spoil last year’s winner, Helio Castroneves, in his quest for a fifth career win?
  • Old News: In timely rebroadcasts from CBS News, 48 Hours (Saturday, 10/9c) revisits a report on the trial of Michelle Carter, recently dramatized in Hulu’s The Girl from Plainville, when she was charged with involuntary manslaughter after sending text messages to her boyfriend who later took his own life. In the wake of the Texas elementary school massacre, 60 Minutes (Sunday, 7/6c) updates Scott Pelley’s 2018 segment on the damage done by AR-15 style weapons.
  • Murdoch Mysteries (Saturday, 8/7c, Ovation TV): Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse makes a cheeky cameo as a locker-room attendant in an episode of the Canadian period mystery, in which Team Murdoch (Yannick Bisson) investigates the murder of Toronto’s mayor, who’s found crushed under a barbell in a gymnasium equipment room.
  • 61st Street (Sunday, 10/9c, AMC): The gritty crime drama ends its first season with the trial of accused cop killer Moses (Tosin Cole), with his drug-dealing brother Joshua (Bentley Green) taking the stand and defense lawyer Franklin (Courtney B. Vance) getting potentially helpful evidence. Will the verdict go Moses’s way?