Between network, cable and streaming, the modern television landscape is a vast one. Here are some of the shows, specials and movies coming to TV this week, June 13 – 19. Details and times are subject to change.
DEADLY FRIEND (1986) 6:15 pm on TCM. Two years after “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” the filmmaker Wes Craven released this artificial-intelligence fable about a young computer wiz (Michael Sharrett) who implants a microchip into the brain of his injured teenage neighbor (Kristy Swanson). The chip is meant to save her life – and it does, sort of, but it puts others’ lives in danger. (The story is based on a novel by Diana Henstell.) In her 1986 review for The New York Times, Caryn James praised the “unpredictable goofiness” of the film. She called it “a witty ghoul story, a grandson of ‘Frankenstein’ that plays off the conventions of recent teen-age horror movies while paying homage to the classic starring Boris Karloff.”
AMERICAN MASTERS: BRIAN WILSON – LONG PROMISED ROAD 9 pm on PBS (check local listings). A reflection of the depth of influence of the Beach Boys singer-songwriter Brian Wilson, this documentary includes interviews with music figures as disparate as the Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins (who died in March) and the star classical-music conductor Gustavo Dudamel. Those interviews and many others, including ones with Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, Don Was and Al Jardine, accompany an extended conversation between Jason Fine, the editor of Rolling Stone magazine, and Wilson, who drive around Los Angeles together discussing Wilson’s life and career .
EIGHTH GRADE (2018) and LADY BIRD (2017) 5:45 pm and 7:25 pm on Showtime. Here’s a double feature with enough coming-of-age awkwardness to fill a few college-ruled composition books. “Eighth Grade,” from the comic and filmmaker Bo Burnham, follows a very online adolescent (played by Elsie Fisher) navigating her final week of middle school in suburbia; “Lady Bird,” from the actress and filmmaker Greta Gerwig, follows a high school senior (Saoirse Ronan) balancing school drama (in multiple senses) and a complicated relationship with her mother (Laurie Metcalf) in the suburbs of Sacramento, Calif., in the early 2000s.
THE OLD MAN 10 pm on FX. Jeff Bridges, long an old soul (see “True Grit,” “The Big Lebowski” and “Crazy Heart”), is a natural fit for the title role of this new series – though he’s not often quite this imposing. He plays Dan Chase, a former CIA operative who abandoned the agency long ago. When we meet him, he’s grizzled and living off the grid. But his past catches up with him, as pasts are wont to do, and he finds himself being hunted by an FBI director (John Lithgow). Amy Brenneman and Alia Shawkat also star alongside Bridges, in his first regular role in a series.
GREAT PERFORMANCES AT THE MET: RIGOLETTO 9 pm on PBS (check local listings). The Tony-winning director Bartlett Sher relocates Verdi’s “Rigoletto” from Renaissance Italy to Weimar Berlin in this version of that dark three-act opera. The production, which opened at the Metropolitan Opera at the beginning of this year, stars the baritone Quinn Kelsey and the soprano Rosa Feola as the jester Rigoletto and his beloved daughter, Gilda, under the conducting of Daniele Rustioni. Anthony Tommasini’s review for The Times was positive, with some caveats. “If shifting the opera’s setting from Renaissance Italy to 1920s Berlin was not entirely convincing, this was still a detailed, dramatic staging, full of insights into the characters,” Tommasini wrote. Rustioni, he added, “led a lean, transparent performance that balanced urgency and lyricism.”
WATERGATE: HIGH CRIMES IN THE WHITE HOUSE 9 pm on CBS. It was through the mouths of CBS reporters including Walter Cronkite, Lesley Stahl and Dan Rather that many Americans heard of developments in the Watergate scandal – and about the infamous break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington, which happened 50 years ago this week. This new feature-length documentary about the events takes advantage of the reams of footage in CBS’s archives. It also features new interviews with Stahl, the reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, the FBI investigator Angelo Lano and others, including Hugh W. Sloan Jr., a treasurer of President Nixon’s re-election committee who was a major source of information for Woodward and Bernstein.
ACROSS THE UNIVERSE (2007) 8 pm on HBO Signature. Paul McCartney turns 80 on Saturday. Consider tipping your hat (or your mop-top hairdo) to him by revisiting this oddball jukebox musical from Julie Taymor, in which the visually sumptuous love story between a Liverpool bloke (Jim Sturgess) in search of his father and a young American activist ( Evan Rachel Wood) is peppered with Beatles songs. It’s a “phantasmagoria,” Stephen Holden wrote in his review for The Times. “Somewhere around its midpoint, ‘Across the Universe’ captured my heart,” Holden wrote, “and I realized that falling in love with a movie is like falling in love with another person. Imperfections, however glaring, become endearing quirks once you’ve tumbled. ”
JUNETEENTH: A GLOBAL CELEBRATION FOR FREEDOM at 8 pm on CNN. Sunday is Juneteenth, and many networks have programming lined up to recognize the holiday. One of the highlights is this blowout concert, which is slated to include the Roots; Earth, Wind and Fire; Mickey Guyton; Robert Glasper; Yolanda Adams; Billy Porter; and many more performers. Questlove and the producer, songwriter and instrumentalist Adam Blackstone are the night’s music directors. Other Juneteenth-related programming throughout the day includes BET SPECIAL: THE RECIPE: JUNETEENTH at 1 pm on BET; a Juneteenth episode of the family show YOUNG DYLAN at 7 pm on Nick; and the 30TH ANNUAL TRUMPET AWARDS, which honor Black performers and other figures (this year’s honorees include the actor Courtney B. Vance and Senator Raphael Warnock of Georgia), at 7 pm on Bounce TV.