Worth Watching: ABC Revisits ‘1969’ Moon Shot, a ‘Young and Restless’ Farewell, ‘Mary Jane’ Finale
A selective critical checklist of notable Tuesday TV:
1969 (10/9c, ABC): What a year it was. ABC News launches a six-part series looking back at iconic events from a half-century ago with “Moon Shot,” one of many TV retrospectives this year that will relive the July 1969 moon landing of Apollo 11. Among those interviewed: astronaut Michael Collins, NASA mathematicians Katherine Johnson and Christine Darden (from the movie and book Hidden Figures), pioneering female software engineer Margaret Hamilton, and Mission Control’s Charlie Duke and Gerry Griffin. Future episodes will revisit the Chappaquiddick scandal, the Charles Manson murders, Woodstock and the Stonewall Uprising.
The Young and the Restless (12:30 pm/11:30c, 11:30 am/PT, CBS): The daytime drama bids sad farewell to one of its most beloved longtime stars with a weeklong storyline acknowledging the passing of Kristoff St. John, who played Neil Winters on the series for 28 years. (St. John died Feb. 3 of hypertrophic heart failure.) On the soap, Genoa City learns of Neil’s death, which brings back S.W.A.T. star Shemar Moore as his brother, Malcolm, in memorial episodes airing Thursday and Friday. A special tribute episode honoring St. John airs next Monday.
Being Mary Jane (8/7c, BET): After four seasons, the popular drama about the personal and professional travails of broadcast journalist Mary Jane Paul (Gabrielle Union) comes to an end with a two-hour movie finale. Will she get her happy ending? And will it include Justin (Michael Ealy), whose surprise marriage proposal ended the fourth season — but not before she had her frozen embryos implanted.
Mary Jane’s finale will be followed by the premiere of BET’s new guilty-pleasure drama Games People Play (10/9c), starring Lauren London as basketball wife Vanessa King, who’s embroiled in a murder investigation being followed by blogger-turned-editor Nia Bullock (Karen Obilom). The third wheel in this female-driven melodrama is aspiring actress Laila James (Parker McKenna Posey), who turns to social media to escalate her desire for fame. These players are in for quite a ride.
Inside Tuesday TV:Raven-Symoné guests on ABC’s black-ish (9/8c) as Dre’s (Anthony Anderson) sister, Rhonda, who takes sheltered twins Jack (Miles Brown) and Diane (Marsai Martin) to her more urban neighborhood for a reality check. Laila Ali appears as herself… PBS’s Frontline examines The Abortion Divide (10/9c, check local listings at pbs.org) by returning to the same community featured in the program’s 1983 documentary Abortion Clinic, to see how the conflict over a woman’s right to choose has intensified over the decades. The program interviews women dealing with unplanned pregnancies, doctors and nurses who provide abortions, and anti-choice activists who counsel women against the procedure… HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel (10/9c) turns the spotlight on a most unusual competition: the 66-year rivalry between Cambridge and Oxford universities in blind wine-tasting. That’s a sport? I’ll drink to that.