Worth Watching: 40 Seasons of 'Survivor,' 'Lego Masters,' Black Cinema Retrospective on Netflix
A selective critical checklist of notable Wednesday TV:
Survivor at 40: Greatest Moments and Players (8/7c, CBS): They survived and lived to tell about it. As the trailblazing show, which inspired an ever-expanding genre of prime-time reality competitions, marks its 40th season — the two-hour premiere airs next week — Jeff Probst and some of the most famous players look back on Survivor's most epic moments. Among the highlights: the love story of Rob and Amber Mariano, both winners (above); Parvati Swallow reliving the Black Widow alliance that convinced dupe Erik to give up his immunity necklace; Ciera Eastin voting out her own mom in the "Blood vs. Water" season.
In Season 40, legendary winners are once again competing to be named Sole Survivor.
Lego Masters (9/8c, Fox): On a somewhat sillier, yet unexpectedly impressive, level, an upbeat new competition series challenges Lego experts to build mammoth and intricate contraptions, under the droll supervision of host Will Arnett (BoJack Horseman), who drips comic irony as he tries to muster up suspense throughout the proceedings. Hours whip by as teams struggle to create workable rides in sections of a Dream Park Theme Park setting. Teams include a father and grown son, newlyweds, BFFs, cosplayers, and the usual gathering of nerdy enthusiasts who love to play with Legos. It really does feel like kids in a toy store, with higher stakes.
'It's such a natural extension of what I've been doing for 10 years,' says host Will Arnett, the voice of Batman for the 'Lego' movies.
Party of Five (9/8c, Freeform): In a typically emotional episode of the reimagined family drama, eldest son Emilio (Brandon Larracuente) is so overwhelmed at playing dad to everyone — especially baby Rafa — while running the restaurant that everyone jumps at the chance to hire an experienced nanny. If Big Brother doesn't run her off. In another groundbreaking scene of the notably diverse series, the undocumented Matthew (Garcia) reveals to Lucia (Emily Tosta) yet another reason why he is reluctant to file for DACA status.
Is the reboot better or just as good as the original series?
They've Gotta Have It (streaming on Netflix): A docuseries timed to Black History Month canvases the breakthroughs and challenges still facing black cinema, featuring interviews with the late Diahann Carroll and John Singleton, as well as Harry Belafonte, Robert Townsend, David Oyelowo and more. Subjects include the blaxploitation trend, "Hood" movies and the rise of Spike Lee.
Find out who has been unmasked so far and sound off with your best guesses!
Inside Thursday TV: The Oscar-nominated Toy Story 4 premieres on Disney+… The Netflix docuseries The Pharmacist profiles small-town pharmacist Dan Schneider, who after seeking justice for his son, who was killed in a drug-related shooting, turns his attention to the opioid crisis and takes on Big Pharma… Jason Biggs (Outmatched) is guest panelist on Fox's The Masked Singer (8/7c), coming down off a post-Super Bowl high as the remaining members of Group A perform again in a playoff round… PBS's Nova series time-travels millions of years to explore Polar Extremes (8/7c, check local listings at pbs.org). Paleontologist Kirk Johnson hosts the two-hour special, which reveals a surprising story of changing climates at the ends of the Earth dating back 650 million years… Investigation Discovery's In Pursuit with John Walsh (10/9c) gets personal when John and son Callahan Walsh look into the murder of a close family friend, 21-year-old Lindsay Harris, who grew up with the Walsh children in Skaneateles, N.Y.