What’s On: ‘Masterpiece’ returns to the world of the Brontë sisters in a dramatic biopic, and the return of ‘Grace and Frankie’ on Netflix
To Walk Invisible: The Brontë Sisters (Sunday, 9/8c, PBS, check local listings at pbs.org): Where would Masterpiece be without the Brontë sisters? Their enduring novels have been prime fodder for the British anthology series for years, with Emily’s Wuthering Heights adapted twice. In To Walk Invisible, from the prolific Sally Wainwright (Happy Valley, Last Tango in Halifax), the sisters’ own compelling story is the stuff of grand drama. They toil in obscurity in a Yorkshire parsonage (Jonathan Pryce is excellent as their doting, doddering father), the sisters cloaking their identities with male pseudonyms to get their passionate manuscripts published. Finn Atkins is especially memorable as dour, diminutive Charlotte, bristling with ambition and anger over 19th-century gender inequities. Their triumph is laced with tragedy as they cope with a dissolute yet beloved brother whose unhappy fate would inform their works.
Grace and Frankie (Friday, Netflix): The golden-age buddy comedy returns for a third season with Grace (Jane Fonda) and Frankie (Lily Tomlin) going into business, with the sort of invention that might give the Shark Tank investors pause: a vibrator for seniors called Menage a Moi. How did The Golden Girls never think of that?
RuPaul’s Drag Race (Friday, 8/7c, VH1): Hard to imagine anyone who would be more at home in the world of this boisterous drag-fashion competition than Lady Gaga. The pop icon serves as guest judge for the ninth-season opener, which introduces 13 drag superstars-in-the-making and promises a “shocking opening that will go down as one of the most jaw-dropping moments in Drag Race herstory” (Logo’s words). Who’ll end up on the edge of glory? The paparazzi want to know.
Inside Weekend TV: Rock and country mesh in CMT Crossroads: John Mellencamp and Darius Rucker (Friday, 10/9c), taped in February at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena. … The Showtime documentary American Jihad (Saturday, 9/8c) takes a disturbing look at home-grown Jihadism and how susceptible Americans become radicalized to the terrorist cause. … BBC America’s Planet Earth II finishes its glorious season with a focus on “Cities” (Saturday, 9/8c) and how animals cope with life in the urban jungle. The finale is followed by a Making of Planet Earth II special (Saturday, 10:10/9:10c), which reveals the pioneering filming techniques used to capture unspoiled nature. … On ABC’s searing American Crime (Sunday, 10/9c), Luis (Benito Martinez) learns more about his missing son’s fate after arriving at the Hesby farm, where Coy (Connor Jessup) witnesses terrible abuses. … Noah Wyle researches his past on TLC’s Who Do You Think You Are? (Sunday, 10/9c), focusing on his ancestors’ participation in the Civil War.