Sunday’s overcrowded with great TV, but what to watch the rest of the time? Each Monday, we bring you this guide to five worthy — or at least noteworthy — highlights from the other six days of the week.
Directed by Jean Negulesco
TCM, Monday, April 30th at 8pm
Turner Classic Movies is showing a marathon of four early films from the Romanian-born Jean Negulesco, better known for his later, glossier work like “How to Marry a Millionaire,” “Three Coins in the Fountain” and “Daddy Long Legs.” This selection is from his stint directing for Warner Bros. in the 1940s, kicking off with the film noir “Nobody Lives Forever,” with John Garfield as a racketeer home from World War II. It’s followed by “Casablanca” reunion (sans Bogart and Bergman) “The Conspirators,” Joan Crawford romance “Humoresque,” and “The Mask of Dimitrios,” Negulesco’s unofficial directorial debut, starring Peter Lorre as a Dutch mystery novelist.
“The Pitch”: Series Premiere
AMC, Monday, April 30th at 9pm
The real “Mad Men”? AMC delves into the unscripted side of the advertising world with the premiere of this series pitting two top agencies against each other each week in a competition to secure a new client. The network’s earlier 2012 venture into nonfiction television was the less-than-successful Kevin Smith “Comic Book Men,” but “The Pitch” is from the producers of “Undercover Boss,” who at least know their way around a workplace reality show. The first episode, which is also up online, finds the Durham, NC-baesd McKinney going head-to-head with Seattle’s WDCW in a bid for a Subway account — it airs alongside episode two, in which Las Vegas’ SK+G competes with New York’s The Ad Store for the business of the environmental company Waste Management. Safe to say that no matter how good these people are, they probably won’t be coming up with anything as poetic as Don Draper’s Kodak Carousel pitch.
“Suburgatory”: “Hear No Evil”
ABC, Wednesday, May 2nd at 8:30pm
ABC’s sitcom spoof of New York City’s high-end suburbs continues its amusing arc reuniting “Clueless” failed romantic partners Jeremy Sisto (a series star) and guest Alicia Silverstone. In this week’s episode, Sisto’s character George continues his complicated relationship with Silverstone’s Eden, who happens to be the surrogate bearing his best friend Noah’s (Alan Tudyk) baby, introducing his new girlfriend to his daughter Tessa (Jane Levy) and trying to set boundaries with Noah.
CNBC, Thursday, May 3rd at 9pm
CNBC goes the doc route with “Cocaine Cowboys,” Billy Corben’s seedily entertaining 2006 nonfiction feature about the rise of cocaine in Miami in the ’70s and ’80s and explosion of crime that came with it. The film features interviews with both those involved in law enforcement and those tied into the drug trade, looked at the advanced ways in which narcotics were brought into the country and distributed, indirectly boosting the local economy. “Cocaine Cowboys” features a score by “Miami Vice” theme composer Jan Hammer, and contains a great section on the terrifying Columbian drug lord Griselda Blanco, and if it takes a little too much glee in its accounts of vice and violence, it’s nevertheless a great time.
Set to a lilting score from alt-country band Calexico, Aaron Schock’s documentary debut follows Mexico’s Ponce family circus, which was founded in the late 19th century but today struggles to survive in the face of smaller audiences and larger debt. The ringmaster and head of the family tries to train his children up to take places in the circus, while his wife has come to resent the hard life into which she married and to which she’s consigned her kids, who have no time for education — “They give us too much,” she observes. The film’s a beautiful, melancholy portrait of a way of life that’s passing and the people who are trying to hold on to it with all their might.
Also worth a look: BBC America’s copycat killer crime series “Whitechapel” has its season finale Wednesday, May 2nd at 10pm; Eva Markvoort’s 2009 personal doc about her battle with cystic fibrosis “65_Red Roses” premieres on the OWN Thursday, May 3rd at 9pm; Syfy’s miniseries take on “Treasure Island,” starring Eddie Izzard as Long John Silver, premieres Saturday, May 5th at 7pm.