Sure, Sunday tends to be overcrowded with high-end TV, including “Boardwalk Empire,” “Homeland,” “Masters of Sex,” “The Walking Dead” 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.
Jackie “Moms” Mabley was a comedy pioneer, an African-American female stand-up who broke out of the “chitlin’ circuit” to appear on “The Ed Sullivan Show” and “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour” and a civil rights activist who slyly brought racial commentary to white audiences. In her directorial debut, Whoopi Goldberg helms this celebratory doc portrait of Mabley that enlists Bill Cosby, Eddit Murphy, Joan Rivers, Robin Williams and more to talk about the comic’s influence.
Can you have a crossover episode if no one from the property with which you’re crossing paths is slated to appear? “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” gives it a go with “The Well,” which takes place in the aftermath of the events of the currently in theaters “Thor: The Dark World” and deals with some dangerous fallout, with Peter MacNicol slated to make a guest appearance and Jonathan Frakes (yes, Riker from “Star Trek: The Next Generation”) directing. You’ll note no Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman or Tom Hiddleston in that lineup, though hope springs eternal in the breasts of Marvel fans pointing out November’s a sweeps month.
“Betas”: Series Premiere
Friday, November 22nd at midnight on Amazon
Amazon’s second original series is this Silicon Valley comedy about four friends trying to strike it rich with a new mobile social networking app. The single-camera comedy was written by Evan Endicott and Josh Stoddard, and the first three episodes will be available for streaming for free on Amazon, with the additional eight rolling out weekly exclusively for Amazon Prime members.
The odd time slot for the premiere of this much-hyped 50th anniversary “Doctor Who” special is due to the ambitious plans by the BBC to broadcast it simultaneously in multiple countries, including the U.K. and U.S. Written by Steven Moffat, the special unites departing Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith) with his predecessor the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant), with current companion Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman) joined by Billie Piper, reprising her role as Rose Tyler.
Bill Cosby’s first full-length stand-up special in 30 years hits Comedy Central this week. Directed by Robert Townsend (“Eddie Murphy Raw’), the special is compiled from material that Cosby performed at the Cerritos Performing Arts Center earlier this summer. Cosby’s last special was 1983’s “Bill Cosby: Himself.”
Also worth a look: “Independent Lens” doc “Indian Relay” looks at Native American horse racing on PBS on Monday, November 18th at 10pm; “The League” closes out its fifth season on FX on Wednesday, November 20th at 10:30pm; Ava DuVernay directs this week’s episode of “Scandal” on ABC on Thursday, November 21st at 10pm; season four of USA’s reliable “Covert Affairs” comes to an end on Thursday, November 21st at 10pm; BBC America has a scripted film about the start of “Doctor Who” entitled “An Adventure in Space and Time” on Friday, November 22nd at 9pm; and the network hopes to capture some of those “Who” audiences with the premiere of new supernatural series “Atlantis” on Saturday, November 23rd at 9pm.