Bob Odenkirk is ‘Lucky Hank,’ Young Marie Antoinette, ‘Sanditon’ Final Season, ‘Blacklist’ Hits 200
Better Call Saul’s Bob Odenkirk returns to AMC as a disgruntled college professor in Lucky Hank. A full night of Sunday PBS drama includes the return of Call the Midwife, the final season of the Jane Austen-inspired Sanditon and a series depicting the early days of Marie Antoinette in a hostile Versailles court. NBC’s The Blacklist marks its 200th episode.
SUNDAY: Shifting gears from the slippery con man he played for years (never getting the Emmy he deserved) on Better Call Saul, Bob Odenkirk returns to the network as a frustrated professor in a droll dramedy adapted from Richard Russo’s Straight Man. Hank Devereaux Jr. (Odenkirk) would never consider himself “lucky,” a one-novel wonder who has long lived in the shadow of his distant father, a renowned critic. Chairing an English department of malcontents at a Pennsylvania college he considers “mediocrity’s capital,” Hank gets in trouble when he mouths off to an easily triggered student, causing a spiral that will either unlock his chronic writer’s block or put a premature end to his academic career. The Killing’s Mireille Enos is his cool yet concerned spouse, a high-school vice principal who deserves better. Laced with irony, Lucky Hank is a character study of a man in middle-age crisis mode, saying (and possibly believing) that “Being an adult is 80 percent misery.” Are we supposed to be laughing?
SUNDAY: The ill-fated French queen keeps her head, at least so far, in this tongue-in-rouged-cheek period biography, focusing on the Austrian teenager’s introduction to a hostile Versailles court when she’s wed for political reasons to the diffident young Dauphin, later King Louis XVI. It’s shrug at first sight between Marie (a splendidly saucy Emilia Schüle) and Louis (gawky Louis Cunningham), who flees in sexual panic every time he happens across his bride. The premiere is enlivened by James Purefoy’s wry performance as Louis’ lusty father, Louis “Papa Roi” XV, and Gaia Weiss as the king’s possessive mistress, the fabled Madame Du Barry. The Favourite’s Deborah Davis writes the stylized series, which adopts a powerfully feminist sensibility amid jarringly modern vernacular. (Was “Wham, bam, thank you ma’am” part of anyone’s vocabulary back then?)
SUNDAY: The Masterpiece continuation of Jane Austen’s unfinished final novel has never quite recovered from the loss of its hunky first love interest (Theo James’ Sidney). That cycle continues in the third and final season, opening with spunky heroine Charlotte’s (Rose Williams) return to the seaside resort town of Sanditon for heiress friend Georgiana’s (Crystal Clarke) 21st birthday. Her lavish party is the catalyst for tangled new relationships to form in time-honored fashion. Charlotte brings along her puppy-dog-besotted fiancé Ralph (Cai Brigden) from her rural hometown, an obvious rebound from her unrequited romance with her former employer, brooding widower Alexander Colbourne (Ben Lloyd-Hughes). A newly arrived family of fortune-hunters fleeing scandal hopes to stir things up, setting a coy tone of melodrama befitting Bridgerton when the matriarch (Emma Fielding) laments, “There are no worse bedfellows in this sorry world than good breeding and destitution.” Do tell. Or don’t.
SUNDAY: The long-running thriller marks its 200th episode with a challenging puzzle for former international criminal Raymond “Red” Reddington (James Spader). His task: secure a late financier’s fortune that’s safeguarded by a series of tricky clues. A professional assassin is also after the loot, which brings the FBI Task Force into the picture as they try to protect the endowment’s true heirs.
INSIDE WEEKEND TV:
- The Hillsdale Adoption Scam (Saturday, 8/7c, Lifetime): Cosby Show alum Keshia Knight Pulliam is Bethany, who with hubby Terrence (Michael Strickland) would like to add to their family, and she’s right to suspect something’s up when pregnant Georgia (Danika Frederick) suddenly turns up on their doorstep.
- A Winning Team (Saturday, 8/7c, Hallmark Channel): Soccer is the backdrop for a romance between Emily (Nadia Hatta), a former pro player, and Ian (channel regular Kristoffer Polaha), her niece’s small-town coach.
- 48 Hours (Saturday, 10/9c, CBS, time approximate after college basketball): In “Remembering the Chowchilla Kidnapping,” Jodi Heffington recalls in an interview recorded before her 2021 death how she was one of 26 children (plus driver) who were kidnapped on a school bus in 1976 and buried alive for nearly 16 hours.
- Inside with Jen Psaki (Sunday, noon/ET, MSNBC): The former Biden administration White House press secretary segues into interviewing newsmakers in a weekly show. Her first guests include House Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffreys, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and New York City mayor Eric Adams.
- 60 Minutes (Sunday, 7/6c, CBS): In a double-length segment, anchor/reporter Norah O’Donnell visits the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier, stationed in the Western Pacific near Taiwan and China, where tensions remain high.
- Call the Midwife (Sunday, 8/7c, PBS): Season 12 takes the long-running drama into 1968, when the nuns and nurse midwives of Nonnatus House in East London welcome Sister Veronica (Rebecca Gethings), though Nurse Crane (Linda Bassett) remains skeptical. And Jamaican-born Nurse Lucille (Leonie Elliott) is among those unnerved by England’s rising anti-immigration movement.
- All the Beauty and the Bloodshed (Sunday, 9/8c, HBO): Laura Poitras’ Oscar-nominated documentary profiles artist-activist Nan Goldin, notably her crusade to expose the pharmaceutical Sackler family and hold them accountable for the opioid crisis, urging museums to refuse their philanthropic donations.
- Bob’s Burgers (Sunday, 9/8c, Fox): It’s double the fun for the Emmy-winning series in an hourlong episode of back-to-back animated stories, including an April Fool’s Day incident in which Mr. Fischoeder (Kevin Kline) challenges Bob (H. Jon Benjamin) to prank him or risk losing his lease.
- Your Honor (Sunday, 9/8c, Showtime): The crime melodrama closes shop with fallen New Orleans judge Michael Desiato (Bryan Cranston) testifying in the murder trial of his son’s killer, Eugene (Benjamin Flores Jr.), exposing shattering truths likely to have an impact on the Baxter mob family and the Desire Gang drug cartel.
- Magnum P.I. (Sunday, 9/8c, NBC): Suspended Honolulu detective Gordon Katsumoto (Tim Kang) heads to a hearing in hopes of resurrecting his law-enforcement career.
- NCIS: Los Angeles (Sunday, 10/9c, CBS): WWE’s Sheamus guests when Sam (LL Cool J) goes undercover as a fighter to expose the leader of a drug-dealing gang.
- The Company You Keep (Sunday, 10/9c, ABC): Clandestine crook Charlie (Milo Ventimiglia) meets covert CIA agent Emma’s (Catherine Haena Kim) family, but duty calls when he’s forced to take risks during a deep-pocketed poker game aboard a yacht.