What’s Worth Watching: The Tonys, ‘Hell on Wheels’, ‘Penny Dreadful’ and more for the weekend, June 10-12.
The 70th Annual Tony Awards (Sunday, 8/7c, CBS): Never a ratings powerhouse among awards shows, though often one of the best-produced, this year’s salute to Broadway might get a bit of a ratings bump, thanks to several factors. One being the host-of-the-moment, late night’s James Corden (himself a Tony winner), whose Broadway Carpool Karoake stunt earlier this week has already amassed upwards of 5 million YouTube views. How will he stop the show in front of the live audience at New York’s Beacon Theatre? Chances are it will have something to do with Hamilton, Broadway’s biggest phenom in years, with a record 16 nominations. The Hamilton factor may also draw additional eyeballs to the show, given that it’s almost impossible to score tickets to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hip-hop historical pastiche.
The cast of Hamilton will perform during the show, one of 10 scheduled performances from the season’s musicals, both new productions and revivals, including Shuffle Along, School of Rock, Bright Star, Waitress, Fiddler on the Roof, She Loves Me, The Color Purple, Spring Awakening and Gloria Estefan joining the cast of the autobiographical On Your Feet.
For those who (like me) can’t get enough Hamilton, a replay of November’s 60 Minutes segment (Sunday, 7/6c) is billed as a “director’s cut,” that’s nearly double the length of Charlie Rose’s original report, with more interview and production footage.
Wall to Wall O.J.: If you missed this year’s sensational docudrama miniseries The People v. O.J. Simpson, FX is replaying all 10 episodes Saturday, starting at 2 pm/1c—acting as a curtain-raiser for the equally impressive five-part 30 for 30 documentary series O.J.: Made in America, which begins its run on ABC Saturday night at 9/8c (here’s the full review) and then moves to ESPN on Tuesday (9/8c, with the first part replayed at 7/6c) for the remaining chapters. This exhaustive account of Simpson’s rise and fall plays out against a sociological study of the black community’s history of injustice at the hands of the LAPD, providing context for the polarizing outcome of his notorious murder trial.
Inside Weekend TV: It’s almost the end of the long, grueling road for AMC’s Western drama Hell on Wheels (Saturday, 9/8c), with only seven more episodes to go before the Transcontinental Railroad is completed, along with the story of Cullen Bohannon (Anson Mount), who in the midseason premiere has a long-awaited showdown with the Swede (Christopher Heyerdahl). This is followed by AMC new docu-series The American West (Saturday, 10/9c), with Robert Redford among the executive producers, opening with vignettes about Jesse James, the doomed Custer, and Crazy Horse. … Voluptuous in its dark romanticism and emotional power, Showtime’s Penny Dreadful (Sunday, 10/9c) scores again as the soulful Creature (Rory Kinnear) nervously attempts a family reunion, while Vanessa (Eva Green) comes to a fateful reckoning with “the Dragon” she knows as Dracula (Christian Camargo), even as she’s appearing in the alarming visions of Apache warrior Kaetenay (Wes Studi). He sees her as “the woman of all our dreams and of all our night terrors,” which sounds about right. … On HBO’s killer Sunday-comedy combo, Richard (Thomas Middleditch) feels betrayed by Erlich (T.J. Miller) on Silicon Valley (10/9c), which leads to a confrontation almost as ugly as the Pied Piper jacket Jared (Zach Woods) so proudly models. And on Veep (10:30/9:30c), Selina (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) packs the family off to Camp David for a Christmas getaway, while also trying to conduct secret negotiations with the Chinese. When paths invariably cross, can an international crisis be far behind?