Sydney Sweeney as Whistleblower ‘Reality,’ Profiling FDR, New CW Imports, Betrayal in ‘Happy Valley’

Euphoria’s Sydney Sweeney gives a remarkable performance as whistleblower Reality Winner in a film version of a play taken directly from FBI transcripts of her initial interrogation. A three-part History docuseries profiles Franklin D. Roosevelt, the longest-serving U.S. president. The CW looks abroad for new content with the supernatural British thriller The Rising and the Australian surf drama Barons. BBC America’s Happy Valley takes a grim turn when Sgt. Catherine Cawood is made aware of a betrayal within her own family.

Sydney Sweeney in 'Reality'
Courtesy of HBO


Movie Premiere

Two-time Emmy nominee Sydney Sweeney (The White Lotus, Euphoria) is likely to get a third bid for her detailed, restrained performance as 25-year-old Reality Winner, a former Air Force member turned intelligence specialist who is confronted at her home in Augusta, Georgia by FBI agents (Josh Hamilton, Marchánt Davis), charging her with mishandling classified information. Adapted by director/writer Tina Satter from her acclaimed play Is This a Room, the text is taken verbatim from FBI transcripts (at times redacted) of their interrogation on June 3, 2017. The tone slowly evolves from awkward small talk to a serious confrontation when she is accused of leaking a report about Russian interference in the 2016 election to a news website. Her mood of quietly peeved confusion shifts to one of overwhelmed terror at the consequences of her impulsive act.

Christian Mckay in 'FDR'


Series Premiere

Over three nights (continuing Tuesday and Wednesday), a documentary executive-produced by historian Doris Kearns Goodwin explores the life and eventful presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who held the office from 1933 at the height of the Great Depression through his death in 1945 on the cusp of victory in World War II. Christian McKay portrays FDR in dramatic re-enactments, with Alice Bounsall as his influential, outspoken wife Eleanor.

Clara Rugaard in 'The Rising'
Rekha Garton/Sky Studios

The Rising

Series Premiere

Under new management, The CW doubles down on its search for new programming from beyond our shores. In The Rising, Clara Rugaard stars as Neve, a young woman whose realization that she is not only dead but murdered sets her on a supernatural quest for justice. Followed by Barons (9/8c), an Australian drama set amid the surf culture of the 1970s. Trotter (Sean Keenan) and Snapper (Ben O’Toole) are best buds on the water, but things go sour when they launch competing surfwear brands, inspired by the rivalry of Billabong and Quiksilver.

Sarah Lancashire in 'Happy Valley'
Lookout Point/AMC/James Stack

Happy Valley

The emotional shock waves are intense when Sgt. Catherine Cawood (the sensational Sarah Lancashire) discovers that her sister Clare (Siobhan Finneran) has been escorting grandson Ryan (Rhys Connnah) to prison to see his father, and her sworn enemy, Tommy Lee Royce (James Norton). Simmering in disappointment and anger, Catherine would also be none too pleased to learn that a local pharmacist (Amit Shah) is feeding the addiction of Ryan’s coach’s wife (Mollie Winnard) in a most ill-advised affair.


  • America Ninja Warrior Women’s Championship (8/7c, NBC): 12 elite female competitors battle it out on two grueling courses, with the Top Four advancing to the Power Tower and a chance to win $50,000.
  • America’s Hidden Stories (8/7c, Smithsonian Channel): A six-part docuseries revisits underexplored chapters of our nation’s past, starting with filmmaker David Bishop’s investigation into murders within the Osage Nation that inspired the book and film Killers of the Flower Moon.
  • Hoarders (9/8c, A&E): The 14th season opens with a medical emergency that could turn deadly when empty-nester Lia realizes her extreme collection of family memorabilia is a danger to her and her husband.
  • The Curious Case of Natalia Grace (9/8c, Investigation Discovery): Over three consecutive nights, a true-crime docuseries examines the stranger-than-fiction tale of Natalia, adopted by Indiana couple Kristine and Michael Barnett in 2010 when they thought she was a 6-year-old Ukrainian orphan. As they begin to suspect she’s really a grown-up con artist with sinister designs on the family, the case turns into (as one observer puts it) “the stuff of a horror movie.”