Sure, Sunday tends to be overcrowded with high-end TV, including “Boardwalk Empire,” “Eastbound and Down,” “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.
Charlie Brooker’s acclaimed British anthology series about the dark side of technology and the future (a self-described “twisted parable for the Twitter age”) finally makes it to U.S. television via DirecTV’s exclusive network. The six-part series begins with “The National Anthem,” in which a member of the royal family is kidnapped and the Prime Minister asked to perform a shocking public act in order to secure her freedom. “Black Mirror” is being paired with the American premiere of another U.K. series — “Secret State,” a four-part conspiracy thriller starring Gabriel Byrne, which airs at 10pm.
“Alpha House”: Series Premiere
Friday, November 15th at 12:01am
Amazon’s official entry into the world of original series takes place this Friday with “Alpha House,” written by Garry Trudeau of “Doonesbury” and centered on four senators turned roommates played by John Goodman, Clark Johnson, Matt Malloy and Mark Consuelos. The company’s second original comedy, “Betas,” will premiere the week after on November 22.
“Great Performances”: “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!”
Friday, November 15th at 9pm on PBS
Before he was a movie star, Hugh Jackman was a stage actor whose breakout musical role was as Curly in Trevor Nunn’s Royal National Theatre production of “Oklahoma!” A filmed version of the show was shot in 1999, and PBS is rebroadcasting it in high def, retransferred from the original print, this week, so that everyone can bask in the pre-Wolverine glory of Jackman singing “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’.”
Spike Lee directs former heavyweight champ Mike Tyson in a filmed version of his one-man show about his storied career and controversy-filled life. The show was written by Tyson’s wife, Kiki, and toured the U.S. before a run on Broadway.
“The Challenger Disaster”
Saturday, November 16th at 9pm on Science Channel/Discovery Channel
Science Channel becomes the latest unlikely source of scripted programming with its first feature film, “The Challenger Disaster,” also set to be simulcast on Discovery Channel. William Hurt stars as Nobel Prize-winning scientist Dr. Richard Feynman, whose book “What Do You Care What Other People Think?” is the basis of the film. Directed by James Hawes, “The Challenger Disaster” follows Feynman’s efforts to uncover the cause of the 1986 Challenger explosion, and co-stars Bruce Greenwood, Brian Dennehy, Joanne Whalley and Eve Best.
Also worth a look: British action comedy series “The Wrong Mans” kicks off on Hulu on Monday, November 11th; HBO doc “Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1,” about a hotline that receives more than 22,000 calls a month from veterans contemplating suicide, premiere on Monday, November 11th at 9pm; the June Diane Raphael-led second season of web series-turned-TV series “Burning Love” premieres on E! on Wednesday, November 13 at 10:30pm; Chris Elliott returns as U.S. Marshal Chris Monsanto in the third season of “Eagleheart” on Adult Swim on Thursday, November 14th at midnight.