What's On: NAACP Awards, James Baldwin on ‘Independent Lens,’ ‘Detectorists,’ finale of ‘Gifted’
A critical checklist of notable Monday TV:
The 49th NAACP Image Awards (9/8c, TV One): What better way to commemorate the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday in the 50-year anniversary of his death than with the award ceremony celebrating achievement in the arts by people of color, which also acknowledges those dedicated to social justice. Actor/activist Danny Glover receives the President’s Award during the live program, hosted by Anthony Anderson of black-ish. The NAACP Vanguard Award will be presented to the surviving sanitation workers who participated in the Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike of 1968, which brought King to Memphis for his “Mountaintop” speech a day before his assassination in April 1968. Nominees for Entertainer of the Year include director/producer Ava DuVernay (Queen Sugar), Insecure’s Issa Rae, Bruno Mars, Chance the Rapper, Jay-Z and actor Chadwick Boseman (Black Panther).
I Am Not Your Negro (10/9c, PBS, check local listings at pbs.org): Martin Luther King, Jr. also looms large, along with fellow slain civil-rights leaders Medgar Evers and Malcolm X—in Raoul Peck’s Oscar-nominated documentary, premiering on Independent Lens. Inspired by the writings of James Baldwin, whose words are read by Samuel L. Jackson, this impressionistic work plays like a cultural history of race in America as seen by one of its most visionary social critics.
Detectorists (streaming on Acorn TV): “Is there a Nobel Prize for metal detecting?” wonders Lance (Toby Jones) to Andy (Mackenzie Crook), his loyal companion in forlorn treasure-hunting. Maybe not, but this wonderfully droll comedy series collected a few well-earned BAFTA Awards on its way to the third and final season, all six episodes available for binge-watching. With their hobby being threatened by a solar farm being built on their favored patch of history-steeped land, the lads contend with domestic complications, including Andy and Becky (Rachael Stirling) chafing at sharing quarters with her mom (Diana Rigg, Stirling’s real-life mother).
Inside Monday TV: Expect plenty of action as Mutant HQ comes under attack in the two-hour season finale of Fox’s The Gifted (8/7c). Don’t worry about the show’s early exit. Fox has already renewed it for a second season. … National Geographic’s new eight-part docu-series Chain of Command (9/8c), narrated by Captain America himself Chris Evans, takes advantage of deep access within the Pentagon to profile heroes in the U.S. military battling extremism in global hotspots. The premiere goes inside the battle for Mosul, Iraq. … Dr. Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore), aka ABC’s The Good Doctor (10/9c), faces an uneasy homecoming after last week’s road trip. In the OR, the twins face more setbacks after their life-altering surgery.