Bruce Willis Gets Roasted, ‘Succession’ Gathers for a Wedding, Shark Week Finale Gets ‘Naked’
A critical checklist of notable weekend TV:
The Comedy Central Roast of Bruce Willis (Sunday, 10/9c, Comedy Central): Dying hard is easy compared to being grilled to a profane crisp by a dais of smart-alecky celebrities. This year’s panel includes Roast Master Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who once played a younger version of Bruce Willis in Looper; Edward Norton, whose snarky set got the best reviews; surprise guest and ex-wife Demi Moore, who has certainly earned the right to roast; and Moonlighting sparring partner Cybill Shepherd, along with the inevitable Jeff Ross, plus Martha Stewart and an ill-prepared Dennis Rodman, who reportedly earned boos. There will be bleeping.
Succession (10/9c, HBO): The great Tony-nominated British actress Harriet Walter (Clementine Churchill in The Crown) adds a new level of venom to the penultimate episode of the increasingly addictive drama about a powerful media dynasty collapsing from within. Walter plays the viciously witty Caroline, ex-wife of mogul Logan Roy (Brian Cox) and the hostess with the most wicked attitude as the family — minus Logan, scandalously — gathers at the ancestral castle in England for the less-than-blessed wedding of Shiv (Sarah Snook) and Tom (Matthew Macfadyen). Intrigue and vitriol run thicker than blood as estranged son Kendall (Jeremy Strong) plots a hostile takeover, and several attendees become alarmed at the closeness of Shiv and her fellow political consultant, Nate (Ashley Zukerman). Little wonder Caroline’s idea of small talk is placing bets on how long the marriage will last.
Naked and Afraid of Sharks (Sunday, 9/8c, Discovery): Well, this was probably bound to happen. The 30th Shark Week swims off with a hybrid special, crossing over with the blur-tastic reality franchise. Five Naked and Afraid all-stars-is that a thing? — are stranded on the usual barren island, this time amid the most shark-infested water on Earth. Their challenge: survive 14 days on only what the ocean provides. And oh yeah, don’t get bit.
Preacher (Sunday, 10/9c, AMC): This twisted supernatural thriller gets more bizarre by the week. In the prologue, a long-absent character reappears — but to what diabolical purpose? Back in Angelville, Jesse (Dominic Cooper) enlists Tulip (Ruth Negga) in an elaborate caper to keep both her and his evil Gran’ma (Betty Buckley) alive, while in New Orleans, Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun) meets his match within a vampire cult, “Les Enfants du Sang (the Children of Blood).” Is all of this leading anywhere? Hard to say, but the ride is gruesomely exhilarating.
Inside Weekend TV: Vivica A. Fox takes The Wrong Cruise on Lifetime (Saturday, 8/7c), when a port excursion with her daughter goes awry and they’re on the run for their lives in a foreign country… Hallmark Channel goes global with Love on Safari (Saturday, 9/8c), filmed in scenic South Africa, starring Hallmark fave Lacey Chabert (Party of Five) as a Chicago web designer who inherits an animal reserve and flips, as one does, for the local ranger (Jon Cor)… The final stage of the Tour de France (Sunday, 9:30 am/8:30c, NBCSN) takes the riders to the Champs-Élysées in Paris for the ultimate victory lap… In the season finale of Endeavour on PBS’s Masterpiece (Sunday, 9/8c, check local listings at pbs.org), the young sleuth (Shaun Evans) investigates a public school after a teacher mysteriously vanishes.