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5 Best Bets on TV This Week: New Docs on Sondheim, Kiddie Golf, Maurice Clarett and the Music of 'Inside Llewyn Davis'

Photo of Alison Willmore By Alison Willmore | Indiewire December 9, 2013 at 10:20AM

It's a good week for docs on TV, with promising nonfiction film premieres on ESPN, HBO, Netflix and Showtime.
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Jarvis Cocker in 'Six By Sondheim'
Ken Regan/courtesy of HBO Jarvis Cocker in 'Six By Sondheim'

Sure, Sunday tends to be overcrowded with high-end TV, including "Homeland," "Masters of Sex," "Getting On," "Treme" and more, but what to watch the rest of the time? Every Monday, we bring you five noteworthy highlights from the other six days of the week.

"Six By Sondheim"
Monday, December 9th at 9pm on HBO

Directed by frequent Sondheim collaborator James Lapine, this doc looks at the theater legend by way of performances of six of his songs, interwoven with interviews with the composer spanning years. "Something's Coming," "Opening Doors," "Send in the Clowns," "I'm Still Here," "Being Alive" and "Sunday" are performed in archival and new stagings by Audra McDonald, Jarvis Cocker, America Ferrera, Bernadette Peters, Mandy Patinkin, Dean Jones and more. Autumn de Wilde and Todd Haynes directed two of the new segments.

'Sons of Anarchy'
'Sons of Anarchy'

"Sons of Anarchy": Season Finale
Tuesday, December 10th at 10pm on FX

Showrunner Kurt Sutter directs "A Mother's Work," the sixth season finale of his motorcycle gang drama "Sons of Anarchy" that will find Jax's (Charlie Hunnam) choices putting the club and his family in jeopardy. The giant finale installment will run almost two hours, with Kurt Sutter and cast members Katey Sagal and Maggie Siff then taking a look back at the season in the after show "Anarchy Afterword," the first eight minutes of which will air before continuing online in a live stream.

"The Short Game"
Thursday, December 12th at 3:01am ET on Netflix

Netflix will make its debut into the world of original documentaries with "The Short Game," its second nonfiction film acquisition (after "The Square") and its first to be premiered exclusively on the streaming service. This doc about an under-seven golf tournament won the audience award at SXSW in March and is directed by Josh Greenbaum, who also created and helmed Hulu's original docuseries "Behind the Mask."

'Another Day, Another Time'
'Another Day, Another Time'

"Another Day, Another Time: Celebrating the Music of Inside Llewyn Davis"
Friday, December 13th at 9pm on Showtime

This concert doc was shot at a September 29th show in New York in which Joan Baez, Patti Smith, Jack White, Marcus Mumford, "Inside Llewyn Davis" star Oscar Isaac and others performed music from the Coen brothers' latest, which takes place in the '60s Greenwich Village folk scene. The film's produced by the Coens and T-Bone Burnett -- check out the trailer.

"30 for 30": "Youngstown Boys"
Saturday, December 14th at 9pm on ESPN

Filmmaking brothers Jeff and Michael Zimbalist traced the stories of Columbian soccer star Andrés Escobar and the Medellín Cartel, run by Pablo Escobar, in "The Two Escobars," one of the best docs in the first round of "30 for 30" films. The Zimbalists are back this week with new installment in the ESPN series centered on another pair of intersecting tales -- those of one-time promising running back Maurice Clarett and former elite head coach Jim Tressel, both from Youngstown, Ohio and both part of a great 2002 season for Ohio State University. They don't end well.

Also worth a look: A&E, History and Lifetime's "Bonnie & Clyde," which has attracted controversy for suggesting that Bonnie Parker steered the pair's crime spree, comes to a bloody conclusion on all three networks on Monday, December 9th at 9pm; "Key & Peele" wraps what's been a very solid third season on Comedy Central on Wednesday, December 11th at 10:30pm; "Lilyhammer," the dramatic comedy that actually kicked off Netflix's original programming in 2012, returns for a second season on the streaming service on Friday, December 13th at 3:01am ET.

This article is related to: Television, TV Features, ESPN, 30 For 30, Jeff Zimbalist, Michael Zimbalist, HBO , Stephen Sondheim, Showtime, Inside Llewyn Davis, Sons of Anarchy, FX, The Short Game, Netflix





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