A ‘Dangerous Liaisons’ Prequel, Phil Spector and His Victim, Lifetime Joins the Christmas Rush, World Series Climax
Starz presents a steamy prequel to the 18th-century Dangerous Liaisons, revealing how the venomous Marquise de Merteuil and Valmont got that way in their youth. A four-part docuseries revisits the 2003 murder of actress Lana Clarkson by famed music producer Phil Spector. Lifetime enters this year’s Christmas movie sweepstakes with a Switzerland-set romance. The World Series returns to Houston for the final games on a busy sports weekend.
SUNDAY: We’ve barely said goodbye to The Serpent Queen, and here we are again in period costume following the manipulative antics of classically devious characters. Glenn Close and John Malkovich immortalized the roles of the poisonously manipulative Marquise de Merteuil and the Vicomte de Valmont in the 1988 film version of the iconic Laclos novel, but how did they get that way? Creator Harriet Warner’s delicious spin, already renewed for a second season, presents the characters as young and not yet entirely corrupted in 1783 Paris. The future Marquise is Camille (Alice Englert), forced into prostitution, and Valmont is known as Pascal (Nicholas Denton), a disinherited aristocrat who supplants his mapmaking income with trysts as a gigolo. One of his clients is the current Marquise Genevieve (the grand Lesley Manville), and when she takes Camille under her wing as part of an elaborate blackmail scheme, the game is on.
SUNDAY: Lesley Manville is on a roll. Lusty and conniving in Dangerous Liaisons, she’ll be seen later this week as a tart Princess Margaret in the latest season of The Crown on Netflix, and she continues her run in this clever Masterpiece Mystery! series as book editor Susan Ryeland, who’s trying to solve the murder of her most famous author while seeking the missing last chapter of his final manuscript, Magpie Murders. In this episode, Susan discovers to her horror just how closely events in the fictional book mirror actual people’s lives, including her own.
SUNDAY: What really happened on February 3, 2003, the night music producer Phil Spector shot and killed actress Lana Clarkson? A four-part docuseries revisits the infamous murder and ensuing trail, but also takes pains to humanize the victim as well as the better-known perpetrator.
The World Series
SATURDAY: The Fall Classic heads back to Houston for Game 6, with the Astros leading the Phillies three games to two. If the Phillies tie it up again, the final game will be played SUNDAY, with coverage starting at 7 pm/ET. In other sports highlights, NBC airs NASCAR’s Cup Series Championship on Sunday (3 pm/ET), with the best finisher among the four eligible drivers (Joey Logano, Chase Elliott, Ross Chastain and Christopher Bell) claiming the season title in Phoenix. Later, the Sunday Night Football matchup (8:20 pm/ET) pits AFC contenders Tennessee Titans against the Kansas City Chiefs.
The White Lotus
SUNDAY: “This is the Italian dream,” gushes the neurotic Tanya (Emmy winner Jennifer Coolidge) as she realizes her movie-star Monica Vitti fantasy and takes a wild ride through Sicily on a Vespa with husband Greg (Jon Gries) in a highlight of the delicious dramedy’s second episode. As usual with this basket case, Tanya’s excursion has a bumpy landing, and things aren’t much more stable among the other conflicted couples in paradise.
SATURDAY: At least this network had the decency to wait until after Halloween to start unleashing its catalog of new holiday movies. This year’s “It’s a Wonderful Lifetime” roster opens with Full House alum Jodie Sweetin as a Chicago architect who heads to Switzerland (Montreal filling in) to help her mom open an inn. She naturally falls for the inn’s manager, a single dad (Tim Rozon) who introduces her to all the Swiss Christmas traditions, which helps her get past the awkwardness of her BFF (Makaela Lily Davies) showing up, now dating her ex (David Pinard). The Lifetime fun continues Sunday with Well Suited for Christmas (8/7c), in which a fashion designer (Mercedes de la Zerda) competes to style a tuxedo for a well-off bachelor (Franco Lo Presti), who turns out to be more than an empty suit.
Other entries in this weekend’s Yule Log:
- On Hallmark Channel: Lights, Camera, Christmas! (Saturday, 8/7c): Kimberley Sustad is a shop owner who gets a gig designing costumes on the romcom shooting in her town when she falls for the leading man (John Brotherton). In All Saints Christmas (Sunday, 8/7c), Ledisi is an R&B star dodging media rumors that she’s engaged to her producer (Roger Cross), who her family wants her to bring home to New Orleans for Christmas.
- On Hallmark Movies & Mysteries: A Maple Valley Christmas (Saturday, 10/9c) stars Peyton List and Andrew Walker in a ranch-based romance.
- On Great America Family: A Royal Christmas on Ice (Saturday, 8/7c) takes a twirl with a prince (Jonathan Stoddard) who escapes to upstate New York, where he’s smitten by a former Olympic ice skater (Anna Marie Dobbins). In Love at the Christmas Contest (Sunday, 8/7c), Samantha Cope is Angie, who plans to honor her late mom by winning the tree-decorating contest on Christmas Eve at the town square. Also competing: her high-school sweetheart (Ross Jirgl)
Inside Weekend TV:
- An American in Paris (Saturday, noon/ET, Turner Classic Movies): A new weekly “Musical Matinee” series, hosted by Dave Karger, kicks off in high style with 1951’s Oscar-winning Gershwin-fest, starring Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron.
- Toxic Love: The Gabby Petito Tragedy (Saturday, 10/9c, HLN): The HLN Investigates series explores last year’s August murder of Gabby Petito during her cross-country road trip with fiancé Brian Laundrie.
- Saturday Night Live (Saturday, 11:30/10:30c, 8:30 pm/PT, NBC): Amy Schumer, who recently revived her Inside Amy Schumer sketch comedy on Paramount+, returns as guest host for the third time. She’s joined by Steve Lacy for his musical guest debut.
- 60 Minutes (Sunday, 7:30/6:30c, 7 pm/PT, CBS): Before Tuesday’s midterm elections, Bill Whitaker investigates the toxic polarization fueled by social media platforms. Anderson Cooper examines the fallout from thousands of migrants bused from the border to New York City. Jon Wertheim goes inside the growing trend of disaster prepping, which has spread from the fringes of society to the mainstream.
- FBI (Sunday, 8:30/7:30c, CBS): Airing one time on a different night, the crime drama focuses on Agent Scola (John Boyd), who tries to get a mother to reveal why her 5-year-old son was kidnapped, while also working on his relationship with Agent Nina Chase (Shantel VanSanten).
- Family Karma (Sunday, 9/8c, Bravo): The third season of the docu-soap about upscale Indian Americans in Miami begins with lavish Bollywood-style nuptials looming for underwear model Vishal and Richa, while Amrit and his fiancé Nicholas plan their own union, the first Indian gay wedding for their community.
- Fever Pitch: The Rise of the Premier League (Sunday, 9/8c, Smithsonian Channel): In advance of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, a four-part docuseries charts the founding and rise of the breakaway league and how it transformed English soccer. The first episode looks back to the Premier League’s first season in 1992.