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5 Best Bets on TV This Week: Celebrating Billie Jean King and Seeing a Different Side of Ricky Gervais

5 Best Bets on TV This Week: Celebrating Billie Jean King and Seeing a Different Side of Ricky Gervais

Sure, Sunday tends to be overcrowded with high-end TV, including “Breaking Bad,” “Boardwalk Empire,” “The Newsroom,” “Dexter,” “Ray Donovan” 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.

The Heart, She Holler”: Season Premiere
Tuesday, September 10 at 12:30am on Adult Swim

Like if David Lynch directed a ’80s soap opera set in an offensive, supernaturally-tinged version of Appalachia starring Patton Oswalt and it was all meant to be funny, “The Heart, She Holler” is uniquely weird and sometimes nightmarish television from the makers of “Wonder Showzen.” The second season, which kicks off this week and airs throughout the month, finds Amy Sedaris taking over a role for Kristen Schaal in her first regular TV gig since “Strangers With Candy.” Check out our interview with series creators Vernon Chatman and John Lee.

“American Masters”: “Billie Jean King”
Tuesday, September 10 at 8pm on PBS

PBS doc profile series “American Masters” tends to be about distinguished figures from the arts, writers and musicians, photographers and producers, but this week, for the first time ever, it will focus on someone from the world of sports: Billie Jean King. We’re approaching the 40th anniversary of the infamous “Battle of the Sexes” match, not to mention that of the founding of the Women’s Tennis Association by and the U.S. Open becoming the first Grand Slam tournament to award equal prize money to men and women thanks to King’s activism, so it’s a great time to celebrate the legendary athlete’s achievements both on and off the court.

Sons of Anarchy”: Season Premiere
Tuesday, September 10 at 10pm on FX

While no longer as sharp or fresh as it used to be, Kurt Sutter’s FX motorcycle drama “Sons of Anarchy” continues, in its sixth season, to be highly rated, unstintingly brutal and well-acted in its portrayals of the struggle of an outlaw biker club based out of a small town in California. Lead Charlie Hunnam, who plays Jax Teller, the president of the club, is set to get a lot of additional attention since being cast as the lead in Focus Features’ adaptation of “50 Shades of Grey.”

“Derek”: Series Premiere
Thursday, September 12 at 12:01am PT on Netflix

Ricky Gervais sets aside the smugness and the cringe comedy in his new series to explore kindness in the ignored outskirts of society. He plays the title character, a naive man whose cheery outlook on life helps him and his friends (played by Kerry Godliman, Karl Pilkington and David Earl) get by at their jobs at a nursing home. The series aired on Channel 4 in the UK earlier this year, but the rest of the world, or at least its Netflix territories, will get it as a Netflix original, with all seven episodes premiering on the streaming service at once. Take a look at the trailer.

“Burn Notice”: Series Finale
Thursday, September 12 at 9pm on USA

While never a series to attract major think pieces or win major Emmys, “Burn Notice” was emblematic of the type of show that USA has done incredibly well — the consistent, entertaining and lively hour-long comedic drama. Matt Nix’s spy series closes out the story of sardonically competent burned CIA operative Michael Westen (Jeffrey Donovan) and his cohorts this week after an impressive seven seasons, not to mention a TV movie focused on Sam Axe (Bruce Campbell) and directed by Donovan.

Also worth a look: Table tennis world championship doc “Ping Pong” airs on PBS doc series “POV” on Monday, September 9th at 10pm; Scott Hamilton Kennedy doc about the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts “Fame High” premieres on Showtime on Thursday, September 12th at 7pm; animated favorite “The Legend of Korra,” the sequel series to “Avatar: The Last Airbender,” returns to Nickelodeon on Friday, September 13th at 7pm; “Jersey Strong,” the new series from the producers of the acclaimed “Brick City,” premieres on Pivot on Saturday, September 14th at 10:30pm

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