Worth Watching: 'Frontline' on 'Amazon Empire,' Cabin Fever on 'This Is Us,' 40 Years of Eric Braeden on 'Y&R'
A selective critical checklist of notable Tuesday TV:
Amazon Empire: The Rise and Reign of Jeff Bezos (9/8c, PBS, check local listings at pbs.org): TV’s premier investigative news program takes a hard look at the company that has changed American—and, to a degree, global—commerce forever, affecting the way millions of us shop daily. Filmmakers James Jacoby and Anya Bourg, who took on another digital powerhouse in The Facebook Dilemma, chart the rise of Jeff Bezos and his company, Amazon’s impact on other companies, and workplace exploitation in its flotilla of warehouses. Top executives, former insiders, regulators and critics all weigh in. Because who doesn’t have an opinion about Amazon?
This Is Us (9/8c, NBC): The Big Three are now beginning to call themselves “The Sad Three,” after recent events have shaken the worlds of Pearson siblings Randall (Sterling K. Brown), Kevin (Justin Hartley) and Kate (Chrissy Metz). Because misery loves company, they decide to meet up at the family cabin, the setting for many a memorable episode. We expect no less from this one.
The Conners (8/7c, ABC): How do you follow a successful live episode? By officially reopening Lanford’s Lunch Box—although with this family, no celebration comes without setbacks, such as the chef having an accident that forces Dwight (Stephen Monroe Taylor) to fill in last minute. Back home, Ben (Jay R. Ferguson) and Darlene (Sara Gilbert) have a serious talk about babies.
Inside Tuesday TV: CBS’s enduring daytime drama The Young and the Restless (12:30 pm/11:30c, 11:30/PT) marks the 40th anniversary of Eric Braeden (aka Victor Newman) on the show with three days of special episodes, featuring clips dating back as far as 1980 and return appearances by characters close to Victor. … The inspirational HBO documentary We Are the Dream: The Kids of the Oakland MLK Oratorical Fest (7/6c) follows preparations for the 40th annual festival, in which hundreds of kids from pre-K to 12th grade in the Oakland (Calif.) Unified School District perform poetry and speeches inspired by the life and works of Martin Luther King Jr. … Gina Gershon checks into NBC’s New Amsterdam (10/9c) to begin a guest arc as Dr. Lauren Bloom’s (Janet Montgomery) alcoholic mom. … truTV’s Hot Ones: The Game Show (10:30/9:30c) takes sweating out a trivia contest to the next level. Based on a web series, Hot Ones subjects trivia teams to gastrointestinal torture, as they’re fed extra-hot wings between questions. … It’s “Justin Bieber Week” on CBS’s Late Late Show with James Corden (12:37 am/11:37c), with the singer participating in special segments through Thursday. His mini-residency begins with the ever-popular Carpool Karaoke.