Worth Watching: Steve Kroft '60 Minutes' Retrospective, Newhart & Valerie Harper Marathons, 'Live at Ryman' Concert
Bob Newhart and Valerie Harper
A selective critical checklist of notable weekend TV:
60 Minutes (Sunday, 7/6c, CBS): After 30 years and nearly 500 assignments for the iconic newsmagazine, Steve Kroft is retiring at the age of 74, and 60 Minutes celebrates the journalist’s award-winning career with a retrospective, including such historic moments as his sit-down with Bill and Hillary Clinton on 1992’s Super Bowl Sunday at the height of the Gennifer Flowers scandal. Other subjects include Chernobyl, Clint Eastwood, Jerry Seinfeld, Clarence Thomas and Beyoncé—and a rebroadcast of his Edward R. Murrow Award-winning piece, “the Isle of Eigg,” about life on a Scottish island. “I felt that this was the time for me to go,” he tells colleague Lesley Stahl. “That there were other things that I wanted to do that I still had the energy to do.” Godspeed, Steve.
Country Music: Live at the Ryman (Sunday, 8/7c, PBS, check local listings at pbs.org): Subtitled “A Concert Celebrating the Film by Ken Burns,” this two-hour performance special, filmed in March on the former Grand Ole Opry stage, features many of the legendary country-music stars who appear in Burns’ mammoth 16-hour Country Music documentary, premiering Sept. 15. The roster includes Rosanne Cash, Dwight Yoakum, Rodney Crowell, Rhiannon Giddens, Vince Gill, Kathy Mattea, Ricky Skaggs, Dierks Bentley, Old Crow Medicine Show’s Ketch Secor and Marty Stuart, who nearly steals Burns’ series with his pithy observations.
Saluting Bob: (starts Saturday, 1 pm/12c, Decades): To honor Bob Newhart on the occasion of his 90th birthday (which was Thursday), the nostalgia channel devotes much of the weekend—from Saturday afternoon through Monday morning at 7 am/6c—to the comedian’s TV career, with select episodes from the three sitcoms that bore his name: the iconic The Bob Newhart Show (1972-78), his absurdist follow-up comedy Newhart (1982-90) and the shorter-lived Bob (1992-93), all originally on CBS. Excerpts from his interviews on The Dick Cavett Show will also appear.
Remembering Valerie: (Sunday, 5 pm/4c, MeTV): Another fond wallow in comedy nostalgia awaits fans of Valerie Harper, who passed away Aug. 30 at 80. “The Best of Rhoda” is a three-hour tribute to Harper’s most famous role, Rhoda Morgenstern, which won her four Emmys (three as supporting actress, one as lead). Rhoda-centric episodes of The Mary Tyler Moore Show will air over the first two hours, and the third will feature the two-part “Rhoda’s Wedding,” a ratings blockbuster from October 1974.
Succession (Sunday, 9/8c, HBO): Our feelings exactly: “Watching you people melt down is the most deeply satisfying activity on planet Earth,” observes a member of the respected Pierce media family as they welcome the more disreputable Roy clan into their country estate to negotiate Waystar Royco’s buyout of PGM. “Relax, it’s only life or death,” quips PGM CEO Rhea Jarrell (the fabulous Holly Hunter) as the tension mounts once Pierce matriarch Nan (the equally sensational Cherry Jones) presses her rivals to announce an actual plan for, you know, succession. Succession is such a gas whenever the Roys leave their discomfort zone for a field trip. This brilliant episode truly feels like a game-changer.
Inside Weekend TV: If the latest season of GLOW whetted your appetite for “real” women’s wrestling, a new season of WOW: Women of Wrestling (Saturday, 8/7c, AXS TV) opens with a Triple Threat Number One Contender Match, as rivals plot to take down current World Champion Tessa Blanchard. … A&E’s five-hour docuseries The Day I Picked My Parents (Sunday, 10 am/9c), airing in its entirety, spotlights an adoption program in California in which older kids who’ve been in the foster-care system most of their lives get a say in choosing their own parents. … Hoping to boost the late-night show’s profile, NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon (Sunday, approximately midnight/11c), rides Sunday Night Football’s considerable coattails with the first of five post-game Tonight Show originals through the fall. Guests include Jamie Foxx, Kelly Clarkson and actor Michael B. Jordan.