Speaking ‘Truth’ to Power, ‘Real Time’ and ‘Game Theory’ Back on HBO, ‘S.W.A.T.’ Teams with FBI, ‘Fauda’ on Netflix
Oscar winner Octavia Spencer welcomes Gabrielle Union to the cast of the Apple TV+ drama Truth Be Told for Season 3. HBO’s long-running Real Time with Bill Maher is back for a 21st season, joined by the sports-focused Game Theory with Bomani Jones in late night. The FBI enlists CBS’ S.W.A.T. team for a task force to combat terrorists. The international hit thriller Fauda drops its long-awaited fourth season on Netflix.
Truth Be Told
“Say her name!” That chant, disrupting a political debate, informs the third season of the topical drama starring Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer as true-crime podcaster Poppy Scoville. Her latest cause: stirring up media coverage of Black girls who’ve gone missing in the Oakland, CA community. (Meanwhile, a case involving a missing white woman commands all the headlines.) Poppy joins forces with Eva (Gabrielle Union), an outspoken high-school principal who’s just as determined that attention by paid to these girls. Poppy suspects trafficking is to blame, and enlists Detective Billy Aames (David Lyons) to investigate, while using her Reconsidered podcast to spread the word.
Real Time With Bill Maher
The provocative talk/commentary show returns for a 21st season, with Bill Maher grilling former Attorney General William Barr. Expect fireworks. Author Andrew Sullivan and South Carolina Congresswoman Nancy Mace join Maher for a panel discussion. Followed by the Season 2 premiere of Game Theory with Bomani Jones (11/10c), where the sports journalist skewers the sports world with his unflinching take on current events, joined by FS1 host Nick Wright for an interview.
While not a crossover with the Dick Wolf franchise, Team Hondo (Shemar Moore) plays nice with the FBI when asked to join a task force taking on terrorists behind a car bombing that suggests an even bigger attack may be targeting Los Angeles. Elsewhere, things get heated between Luca (Kenny Johnson) and brother Terry (Ryan Hurst) over some family business.
It’s been a long wait for Season 4 of the Israeli thriller, which returns with a disillusioned Agent Doron (Lior Raz) assigned by Captain Ayub (Itzik Cohen) to accompany him to Brussels to debrief a Lebanese source. The ensuing intrigue takes Doron to Lebanon on a dangerous mission and confrontation with a terrorist cell.
INSIDE FRIDAY TV:
- RuPaul’s Drag Race (8/7c, MTV): It’s double the fun for the queens, who participate in a “supersized Snatch Game” with two rounds of the mock game show. Actress Amandla Stenberg is guest judge. Followed by the series premiere of The Real Friends of WeHo (9/8c), an LGBTQ+ variation on Real Housewives-style reality TV, featuring West Hollywood denizens including entertainer Todrick Hall and stylist Brad Goreski.
- BMF (8/7c, Starz): Just renewed for a third season, the fact-based crime drama depicts a chaotic Devil’s Night in Detroit, where a drug drought leads to a spike in mayhem.
- Young Rock (8:30/7:30c, NBC): In a 1986 flashback, Rocky (Joseph Lee Anderson) visits Andre the Giant (Matthew Willig) on the set of The Princess Bride, while young Dewey (Adrian Groulx) experiences a troubling growth spurt.
- True Crime Watch: ABC’s 20/20 (9/8c) reports on the 2015 murder-for-hire of Kelley Clayton, whose 7-year-old daughter was the sole witness. Correspondent Byron Pitts interviews the hit man convicted of the crime, who says he’s innocent. Dateline NBC (9/8c) follows the reopening of a 40-year-old cold case as investigators seek answers to the 1982 ax murder of wife and mother Cathy Krauseneck.
- Criss Angel’s Magic with the Stars (9/8c, The CW): The celebrity magic competition moves to Fridays, with Donny Osmond taking on fellow former pop star Debbie Gibson as they tackle a vanishing act titled “Enigma.”
- Kindred Spirits (9/8c, Travel Channel): The paranormal team launches their seventh season with a visit to a Pennsylvania cultural center that was once a poorhouse whose ill-treated residents may be haunting the building.
- Blue Bloods (10/9c, CBS): Erin (Bridget Moynahan) gets the endorsement of a prominent Harlem pastor (Broadway’s Quentin Earl Darrington) in her bid for D.A., but it comes with strings attached.
ON THE STREAM:
- Returning to Netflix: a second season of Bake Squad, where a team of four expert bakers go over the top with their outrageous designs. And reality show Bling Empire moves from L.A. to New York for a new season, profiling a different group of upscale Asian-Americans.
- The Legend of Vox Machina (streaming on Prime Video): In the second season of the animated fantasy series, the ragtag half-elves, druids and bards of Vox Machina save the world from the sinister dragons of the Chroma Conclave. New guest voices include Henry Winkler, Cheech Marin, Lance Reddick and Alanna Ubach.
- Violent Night (streaming on Peacock): Ho-ho-yo! The holiday action-comedy, released in theaters in December, stars Stranger Things’ David Harbour as a combative Santa who comes to the rescue when mercenaries take a wealthy family hostage on Christmas Eve.