Worth Watching: A Final Prayer for ‘Preacher,’ Discovery Goes to ‘Serengeti,’ ‘CMA Fest’
A selective critical checklist of notable weekend TV:
Preacher (Sunday, 9/8c, AMC): Apocalypse is nigh as the wild supernatural comedy/action thriller embarks on its fourth and final season with a two-hour premiere. There’s an epic feel to the irreverent shenanigans as Jesse (Dominic Cooper) and Tulip (Ruth Negga) suspend their search for God to try to save vampire buddy Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun) from a fate of endless, and exceedingly graphic, torture in ancient Masada. Naturally — or unnaturally — taking on the Grail and malevolent Herr Starr (Pip Torrens) leads to more bouts of insanely grueling combat, but that’s child’s play compared to the threat of a capricious deity (Mark Harelik) ending the human experiment with nuclear punishment. God only knows how it’s all going to end.
Serengeti (Sunday, 8/7c, Discovery; simulcast on Animal Planet and Science Channel): With Shark Week swimming into the horizon for another year, Discovery moves on to the majestic and unspoiled African plains of Tanzania. In a visually striking six-part series filmed over the course of a year, Serengeti follows the survival stories of several wildlife families. Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o narrates the compelling journeys of Kali the lioness, Shani the zebra, Zalika the hyena, Tembo the young male elephant and Bakari the baboon, with original music by Will Gregory.
CMA Fest (Sunday, 8/7c, ABC): It’s all about the music in the 16th annual concert special featuring highlights of June’s country-music festival from Nashville. Thomas Rhett and Kelsea Ballerini host with special guest Bobby Brown, and highlights include a memorable collaboration of chart-topping rapper Lil Nas X with Billy Ray Cyrus and Keith Urban on “Old Town Road.” Another unexpected duet teams Carrie Underwood with Joan Jett for an eight-minute medley of Jett’s greatest hits. It’s the next best thing to being there.
Grantchester (Sunday, 9/8c, PBS, check local listings at pbs.org): New vicar Will Davenport (Tom Brittney) is a bit of a mystery to Geordie (Robson Green), but much about who he is — or was — will be revealed when the detective inspector follows Will home to his family’s estate. “I yearn for the days when you were still interesting,” Will’s disapproving father (Nathaniel Parker of The Inspector Lynley Mysteries) says of his son’s “dog collar hoopla.” This being a Masterpiece Mystery!, a murder soon embroils Will’s family with far-reaching consequences.
Inside Weekend TV: Grand Hotel‘s Roselyn Sanchez stars in Hallmark Channel’s foodie-friendly romance A Taste of Summer (Saturday, 9/8c), playing a sous chef-turned-restaurateur whose new venture is upstaged by a rival eatery owned by a local baseball hero (The Rookie‘s Eric Winter). … Candace Cameron Bure is back for a new round of Aurora Teagarden Mysteries as the titular librarian and amateur sleuth in three new movies on consecutive Sundays. In A Game of Cat and Mouse (Sunday, 9/8c, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries; simulcast on Hallmark Channel), someone is toying with Aurora, leaving clues at crime scenes and targeting loved ones including her mom (Marilu Henner). Could any of this have something to do with her burgeoning romance with psychology professor Nick Miller (Niall Matter)?… Food Network welcomes a new batch of Worst Cooks in America (Sunday, 9/8c), with Bobby Flay and Anne Burrell leading a culinary boot camp through a new season of competition… FX’s The Weekly (Sunday, 10/9c) takes the pulse of the progressive movement energizing, but also potentially splintering, the Democratic Party as it seeks a viable presidential nominee… As Showtime docudrama The Loudest Voice (Sunday, 10/9c) nears the end, Roger Ailes (Russell Crowe) is in a win-some/lose-some situation as he rallies his Fox News Channel behind Donald Trump‘s presidential campaign, while Gretchen Carlson (Naomi Watts) enlists a sexual-harassment lawyer after taping her boss’s unwanted advances for the past year.