What’s On: ESPN’s ‘Mike and the Mad Dog,’ ‘Boy Band’ Goes Live
Mike and the Mad Dog (8/7c, ESPN): Where would sports be without sports talk radio? A new 30 for 30 documentary goes inside the on-air partnership of two of the most influential broadcasters in the game: Mike Francesa and Chris Russo, whose combative afternoon sports-talk radio show on WFAN 660 ran for 19 years. Both are interviewed in depth for the program, which took two years to produce, including commentary from CBS Sports’ Jim Nantz, Alex Rodriguez and former NBA Commissioner David Stern, who are all likely very pleased to be getting the last word.
Boy Band (8/7c, ABC): The singing competition goes live for the first time, with three groups of five performing for “architects” Emma Bunton, Nick Carter and Timbaland. From the pool of 15, a bottom two will sing “battle songs” to earn America’s vote and stay in the game.
Hooten and the Lady (9/8c, The CW): Hey, at least it’s not another game show. The CW turns to England for this imported action-adventure swashbuckler, pairing an irreverent treasure hunter (Michael Landes) with an aristocratic British Museum curator (Ophelia Lovibond) as they travel the globe and risk their necks to seek ancient artifacts. Any resemblances to Indiana Jones and Romancing the Stone are probably not accidental.
Inside Thursday TV: Streaming service Britbox premieres the BBC’s film adaptation of Zadie Smith’s novel NW, following four childhood friends in Northwest London whose paths diverge in adulthood. … A&E’s Akil the Fugitive Hunter (10/9c), airing back-to-back episodes, finds a new visual language for true-crime TV, blending live action with animation to tell the stories of bounty hunter and L.A. community activist Akil Muhammed as he takes felons off the street.