TV Best Bets

Friday, Sept. 14: Sean Penn Is on a Mission to Mars in Hulu’s ‘The First’

Alan Markfield/Hulu

ALSO SEE: NFL Regular Season Schedule 2018

All Times Eastern.

Friday, Sept. 14

The First
New Series!

Sean Penn leads an ensemble cast in this near-future drama about a crew of astronauts attempting to become the first humans on Mars. Under the direction of visionary aerospace magnate Laz Ingram (Natascha McElhone), the crew contends with peril and personal sacrifice as they undertake the greatest pioneering feat in human history.

BoJack Horseman
Season Premiere!

The animated cult hit boasting Will Arnett, Aaron Paul and Amy Sedaris among its voice cast returns for Season 5.

The Dragon Prince
New Series!

Aaron Ehasz, of Avatar: The Last Airbender fame, is behind this animated fantasy series about two human princes who forge an unlikely bond with the elfin assassin sent to kill them. Ultimately, they embark on an epic quest to bring peace to their warring lands.

Season Premiere!

Kate del Castillo is back as Emilia Urquiza, ex-first lady on the run. In Season 2, she becomes a true revolutionary leader and realizes that corruption is not only found in her country, but also within her own family.

Sunday’s Best: Celebrating 40 Years of “CBS Sunday Morning”
CBS, 8pm

Jane Pauley anchors this special, which features CBS Sunday Morning’s award-winning lineup of correspondents delivering insightful reporting on issues that matter to Americans; profiling top entertainment figures; taking an in-depth look at the world of art, design and architecture; and much more.

The Wrong Friend
LMN, 8pm
Original Film!

When Riley (Li Eubanks) meets Chris (Jared Scott), she thinks he is basically perfect. But after a party at his house, she sees that he has a darker side. When his adoration turns to obsession, and her dream into a nightmare, Riley must figure out what Chris is after. Vivica A. Fox plays a school principal in the film and is also a producer.

American Masters: “Basquiat”
PBS, 9pm

Discover the anonymous graffiti artist turned rock star of the early ’80s New York art scene whose work ultimately commanded millions. It took less than a decade for the accountant’s son from Brooklyn to rise to dizzying heights.

Wynonna Earp: “Undo It”
Syfy, 9pm

History keeps repeating itself when Wynonna (Melanie Scrofano) has to make an impossible choice. Waverly (Dominique Provost-Chalkley) and Nicole (Katherine Barrell) visit a jeweler, and a familiar face returns to Purgatory.

Mexico Untamed
Nat Geo Wild, 10pm
New Miniseries!

Situated at the crossroads of the Americas, Mexico has been a magnet for animal species, and this three-part miniseries event journeys through the country’s diverse landscapes — from the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea to mountains, deserts and tropical forests — to discover that incredible array of creatures.

Killjoys: “The Kids Are Alright”
Syfy, 10pm

Team Awesome Force sneak onto the RAC to rescue Westerly’s stolen children. Meanwhile, Zeph (Kelly McCormack) and Pip (Atticus Mitchell) grow closer.

Haunted Live
Travel Channel, 10pm Live
New Series!

This live interactive series features the paranormal investigative team the Tennessee Wraith Chasers, who take viewers to a secret haunted location every week (via live-streaming social feeds), where viewers can monitor the activity and help guide the investigation in real time.

Saturday, Sept. 15

College Football
ABC, CBS, ESPN, FOX, FS1 & NBC, beginning at 12pm Live

Top college football matchups this Saturday include Kent State at Penn State (FS1), Vanderbilt at Notre Dame (NBC), LSU at Auburn (CBS), Houston at Texas Tech (FOX), Alabama at Ole Miss (ESPN), USC at Texas (FOX), Ohio State at TCU (ABC), Washington at Utah (ESPN) and Fresno State at UCLA (FS1).

Major League Baseball
FOX & FS1, beginning at 1pm Live

The MLB regular season is winding down, and FOX and FS1 combine for a Saturday doubleheader. Viewers will see either the Detroit Tigers at the Cleveland Indians or the L.A. Dodgers at the St. Louis Cardinals in an afternoon regional game on FOX. Then in primetime, FS1 airs the Minnesota Twins at the Kansas City Royals.

Unspeakable Crime: The Killing of Jessica Chambers
Oxygen, 7pm
New Series!

This docuseries takes a deep dive into the December 2014 murder of Jessica Chambers, a Mississippi teen who was doused with gasoline and set on fire, and the investigation into the horrific crime. The five-part series is inspired by the reporting of BuzzFeed News’ investigative reporter Katie J.M. Baker and directed by Emmy Award-winning and Academy Award-nominated Joe Berlinger. It explores Chambers’ murder, the trial of Quinton Tellis — a local black man accused of the crime — and the tense racial divide that split their small Mississippi town.

Love in Design
Hallmark Channel, 9pm
Original Film!

Familiar Hallmark movie staple Danica McKellar is back, this time playing Hannah, who hosts a TV renovation series called Love in Design, in which she modernizes outdated spaces. With the show’s ratings slipping, Hannah’s boss wants her to host the show from her hometown of Lewisburg, a quaint community Hannah says doesn’t do modern. Tasked with renovating the town’s historic manor into a B&B, Hannah is up for the challenge but not ready to work with the architect overseeing the project — her ex-boyfriend Jeff (Andrew W. Walker).

Nat Geo Wild, 10pm
New Series!

This tail-wagging three-part miniseries follows renowned “dogtographer” Kaylee Greer as she photographs the silly side of man’s best friend. In addition to snapping ad campaigns for major brands and pics of pampered pooches for private clients, Kaylee loves to pluck shelter dogs from obscurity and transform them into canine supermodels in the hopes of helping them find forever homes.

Sunday, Sept. 16

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series: South Point 400
NBCSN, 3pm Live

It’s playoff time for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, as the top 16 drivers who’ve qualified for the postseason start the race for the championship today at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Verizon IndyCar Series: Grand Prix of Sonoma
NBCSN, 6:30pm Live

The 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series champion is crowned tonight at the Grand Prix of Sonoma in California, with Scott Dixon, Alexander Rossi, Josef Newgarden, Will Power and Ryan Hunter-Reay the top contenders for the title.

No One Would Tell
Lifetime, 8pm
Original Film!

This remake of a 1996 cautionary teen dating movie of the same name stars Shannen Doherty as a mother who must fight for justice against her daughter’s seemingly perfect boyfriend. Mira Sorvino also stars.

The Circus: Inside the Wildest Political Show on Earth
Showtime, 8pm
New Episodes!

This season, the reporting team hits the campaign trail for the midterm elections, following multiple individual stories and key characters from the campaigns, capturing their unique perspectives in weekly half-hour shows.

Warriors of Liberty City
Starz, 8pm
New Series!

NBA star LeBron James is an executive producer behind this six-part series about the titular Liberty City, a crime-ridden Miami neighborhood that is also known as having produced some of the biggest names in the NFL. The series follows a season with the Liberty City Warriors, a youth football program founded by an unlikely mentor: hip-hop pioneer Luther Campbell, better known as “Uncle Luke.” Life, like football, is a contact sport, and for the kids and families of Liberty City, being a Warrior holds the key to both.

NFL Football: N.Y. Giants at Dallas
NBC, 8:20pm Live

A Week 2 matchup of NFC East rivals is in store tonight on NBC’s Sunday Night Football as Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys host Saquon Barkley and the N.Y. Giants at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

The Miniaturist
PBS, 9pm

Johannes makes a confession to Nella, promising no more secrets — but his enemies are already closing in. Otto disappears, and Marin reveals her own secret.

Monday, Sept. 17

Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Nickelodeon, 6:30pm
New Series!

This reboot of the classic kids’ series — which features the voices of Ben Schwartz as Leo, Omar Miller as Raph, Josh Brener as Donnie, Brandon Mychal Smith as Mikey and Kat Graham as April O’Neil — finds the turtles at the beginning of their superhero journeys and learning to master their newfound powers. The look of the series returns to the franchise’s comic book roots and features hand-drawn 2D animation, but Nickelodeon’s Executive Vice President of Corporate Communications David Bittler reassures fans, “The show’s premise remains the same — it’s about turtle ninjas who live in sewers.”

Castaways: “Hindsight” and “The Search”
ABC, 8pm

Airing on this special date and time, the two-hour block begins with tensions reaching a boiling point as food and resources dwindle. In the second episode, “The Search,” a fight divides a camp, and starvation forces two castaways to search for resources that may still exist on the islands. Two castaways approach their breaking point, unsure of whether or not they can continue.

Inside the Manson Cult: The Lost Tapes
FOX, 8pm

Liev Schreiber hosts this two-hour, true-crime special on Charles Manson and his gang of blindly loyal followers. Culled from more than 100 hours of footage, the special goes inside the cult’s Spahn Ranch to offer an intimate and terrifying look into America’s most murderous group. New and archival interviews with former Manson cult members, such as Catherine “Gypsy” Share and Dianne “Snake” Lake, and an exclusive interview with Bobby Beausoleil from prison, where he is serving a life sentence for a murder he committed in association with the Manson family, are included.

70th Primetime Emmy Awards
NBC, 8pm Live

Saturday Night Live stars Colin Jost and Michael Che host this installment of TV’s biggest night. Game of Thrones leads the pack with 22 nominations, followed closely by SNL and Westworld, each with 21. For the first time in nearly 20 years, HBO did not have the most nominations as a network — this year it was dethroned by streaming service Netflix, which has 112 nominations, followed closely by HBO’s 108 (with broadcast net NBC a distant third with 78).

NFL Football: Seattle at Chicago
ESPN, 8:15pm Live

Monday Night Football heads to Chicago’s Soldier Field as Mitch Trubisky and the Bears take on Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks in Week 2.

Better Call Saul: “Something Stupid”
AMC, 9pm

Jimmy (Bob Odenkirk) expands his business, but runs into a problem that only Kim (Rhea Seahorn) can solve. Gus (Giancarlo Esposito) intervenes in Hector’s (Mark Margolis) medical care. Mike (Jonathan Banks) deals with a setback.

Elementary: “Whatever Remains, However Improbable”
CBS, 10pm
Season Finale!

In “Whatever Remains, However Improbable,” the conclusion of a two-episode Season 6 finale event, Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) and Watson (Lucy Liu) face their greatest challenge to date when a murder investigation threatens to destroy their partnership.

X Company: “Promises”
Ovation, 10pm

Sinclair (Hugh Dillon) orders his team to follow Faber (Torben Liebrecht) to Poland and zero in on Operation Marigold. But the road to get there proves to be deadly.

POV: “93Queen”
PBS, 10pm

Visit the Hasidic enclave of Borough Park, Brooklyn, and meet a group of tenacious women who are smashing the patriarchy in their community by creating the first all-female volunteer ambulance corps in New York City.

Tuesday, Sept. 18

Beat Shazam
FOX, 8pm
Season Finale!

Jamie Foxx hosts the finale episode of the season, where contestants try to identify popular songs faster than their competition, including the music identification app Shazam. Foxx’s daughter Corinne serves as the series’ DJ. FOX has already renewed the series for a third season.

America’s Got Talent: “Live Show Finals”
NBC, 8pm

The two-night season finale begins tonight to determine who will win this season. Live finals continue tomorrow night.

The Great American Read: “Who Am I?”
PBS, 8pm

Explore the ways that America’s best-loved novels answer the age-old question, “Who am I?” From life lessons to spiritual journeys, these books help us understand our own identities and find our place in the world.

Love Connection: “Be & John”
FOX, 9pm
Season Finale!

Andy Cohen hears the juicy details of first dates attended by looking-for-love singles, who then decide if they made a love connection with any of their dates. If the studio audience correctly picks which of the three dates they connected with, the singleton wins a cash prize. Tonight’s season finale features a marketing coordinator and a sales director.

Castaways: “We Got This”
ABC, 10pm
Season Finale!

In this final episode, two castaways come across an abandoned camp full of journals and resources left by other survivors. Deep reflection forces all castaways to question their ability to stay, forcing yet another to quit. The remaining survivors reflect on their time on the island and how their lives will change if they are ever rescued.

Comedy Central, 10pm
Season Premiere!

Daniel Tosh dives into all aspects of the internet from the absolutely absurd to the incredibly ingenious as a new season begins.

The Paley Center Salutes “This Is Us”
NBC, 10pm

Ahead of the hit drama’s third season premiere next week, this one-hour special will feature clips, interviews with the stars and creators, and a behind-the-scenes look at how the series comes together each week. Highlights of the first two seasons will also be featured for viewers who may need a refresher.

Sweet Home Sextuplets
TLC, 10pm
New Series!

Courtney and Eric Waldrop, their three older boys and their sextuplet babies are the subject of this new six-episode series. Viewers are invited to join the family from just before they give birth through their high-risk delivery, the babies’ admittance to the NICU and the family adjusting to a new normal after bringing the babies home.

The Purge: “The Urge to Purge”
USA Network, 10pm

Penelope (Jessica Garza) prepares for her sacrifice. Rick (Colin Woodell) and Jenna (Hannah Emily Anderson) weigh the cost of closing their business deal.

The Hunt for the Trump Tapes With Tom Arnold
Viceland, 10:30pm
New Series!

In this docuseries described as “All the President’s Men meets Curb Your Enthusiasm,” actor Tom Arnold searches for the truth behind the rumored and potentially damaging recordings of Donald Trump. As his search among the people who may have or know of these tapes unfolds, the series becomes a fun-house mirror snapshot of our current media and political landscape. Showbiz insiders, journalists and Trump associates make appearances, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Judd Apatow, Jane Mayer, Felix Sater and Anthony Scaramucci.

Wednesday, Sept. 19

FOX, 8pm
Season Finale!

In the two-hour season finale, this season’s three remaining home cooks prepare a showstopping three-course menu for the judges. At stake is $250,000 and the title of MasterChef.

The Amazing Human Body
PBS, 8pm

This three-hour series airs all in one night and uses amazing graphics to demonstrate the various bodily processes that allow us to stay alive. The three hours are divided by topic: “Grow,” which shows how humans grow from a single cell to beings of more than 37 trillion cells; “Survive,” a look at the miraculous ways the body works to stay alive and healthy; and “Learn,” which shows how experience teaches our brains and bodies to work together and develop new skills.

Total Divas
E!, 9pm
Season Premiere!

Big news on the Diva front! After a career-threatening injury, Paige returns for Season 8, where she looks to Brie and Nikki Bella for help in dealing with her past mistakes and building her confidence back up.

Suits: “Managing Partner”
USA Network, 9pm

When Harvey (Gabriel Macht) and Zane (Wendell Pierce) can’t stay on the sidelines, Donna (Sarah Rafferty) does what’s best for the firm.

Big Food Truck Tip
Food Network, 10pm
New Series!

Andrew Zimmern travels the country looking for food truck entrepreneurs who are chasing the American dream of being their own boss and sharing their food with the public. Zimmern has a surprise in store for one lucky food truck operator: a $10,000 tip and the Food Network seal of approval.

I Feel Bad
NBC, 10pm
New Series!

Amy Poehler is an executive producer on this comedy that follows Emet (Sarayu Blue), a woman trying to come to terms with not being perfect in her various roles as mom, boss, wife, friend and daughter. Paul Adelstein, Madhur Jaffrey and Brian George also star. Another new episode follows.

The Sinner: “Part VIII”
USA Network, 10pm
Season Finale!

Heather (Natalie Paul) and Ambrose (Bill Pullman) continue their search for Julian (Elisha Henig) as Marin’s (Hannah Gross) past is unraveled.

Thursday, Sept. 20

Dead Lucky
Sundance Now
New Series!

Rachel Griffiths and Yoson An star in this crime thriller told from multiple perspectives. Detective Grace Gibbs (Griffiths) is obsessed with catching the armed robber who killed her junior officer. Charlie Fung (An), her new trainee, blames Grace for the death of his best friend. Over one week, the paths of these and other characters collide, with devastating consequences.

College Football: Tulsa at Temple
ESPN, 7:30pm Live

This Thursday night American Athletic Conference matchup has the Tulsa Golden Hurricane visiting Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field to take on the Temple Owls.

NFL Football: N.Y. Jets at Cleveland
NFL Network, 8:20pm Live

This Thursday Night Football matchup at Cleveland’s FirstEnergy Stadium might be a glimpse at the future, as Browns rookie QB Baker Mayfield could be the starter against N.Y. Jets rookie QB Sam Darnold.

Bite Club: “Japanese Hibachi Grill Thrills”
Food Network, 9pm

In this episode, Tyler Florence brings together five of the best chefs in Indianapolis to compete outside their comfort zones in a Japanese hibachi restaurant. Using the unique style of grill for the first time, they’re pushed to the limits with secret ingredients like sweet bourbon and fruity guava paste. In the final round, the two remaining chefs must combine crawfish tails, Yukon gold potatoes and anything else they can find to make the best dish possible.

St. Vincent
TNT, 10pm

Maggie and her son Oliver move in next to the eccentric Vincent while trying to start a new life. While Vincent initially pushes all the wrong buttons, Maggie befriends him to help care for her child after school. It’s that relationship between Vincent and Oliver that blossoms into something special. Great actors in a solid situation make for a truly enjoyable film. Stars Bill Murray, Melissa McCarthy and Naomi Watts.

Friday, Sept. 21

Dragon Pilot: Hisone and Masotan
New Series!

This anime series follows recently stationed Air Self-Defense Force rookie Hisone Amakasu, who is chosen by a dragon concealed within Gifu Air Base to be his pilot.

The Good Cop
New Series!

Tony Danza makes his return to television (again playing a character named Tony, of course) in this hourlong dramedy series. He plays Tony Sr., a disgraced former NYPD officer who never followed the rules. He lives with his son, Tony Jr. (Josh Groban), an earnest, obsessively honest NYPD detective who makes a point of always following the rules. This “odd couple” become unofficial partners as Tony Sr. offers his overly cautious son blunt, streetwise advice on everything from handling suspects to handling women.

New Series!

This animated series based on Luke Pearson’s acclaimed graphic novels follows the adventures of a fearless blue-haired girl (voiced by Bella Ramsey) as she travels from her home in a vast magical wilderness full of elves and giants to the bustling city of Trolberg, where she meets new friends and mysterious creatures who are stranger — and more dangerous — than she ever expected.

New Series!

In this limited series, Annie (Emma Stone) and Owen (Jonah Hill) are two strangers drawn to the late stages of a mysterious pharmaceutical trial, each for their own reasons. Neither of their lives has turned out quite right, and the promise of a new, radical kind of treatment — a sequence of pills inventor Dr. James K. Mantleray (Justin Theroux) claims can repair anything about the mind, be it mental illness or heartbreak — draws them and 10 other strangers to the three-day drug trial that will, they’re assured, permanently solve all of their problems.

Nappily Ever After
Original Film!

Sanaa Lathan also serves as a producer of this original film in which she plays Violet Jones, a woman with a seemingly perfect life complete with a high-powered job, an eligible doctor boyfriend and a meticulously maintained, flawless hairdo. But after a life-changing event doesn’t go according to her plan, and following a hair-raising incident at the hairdresser, Violet’s life begins to unravel. Eventually, she realizes that she was living the life she thought she was supposed to live, not the one she really wanted.


Iconic musician Quincy Jones is the subject of this documentary co-directed by his daughter Rashida Jones. The film is an intimate look that threads personal vérité moments with private archival footage to reveal a legendary life like no other. Quincy will also have a limited theatrical release.

Elena of Avalor: Song of the Sirenas
Disney Junior, 7pm
Original Film!

In this special, one-hour animated adventure, Elena travels to Nueva Vista and reconnects with her cousin Duke Cristóbal (Javier Muñoz of Broadway’s Hamilton), who has been keeping watch over the city. While there, she encounters a group of mermaid-like sea creatures called sirenas (voiced by Gina Rodriguez, Edward James Olmos, Rita Moreno, Prince Royce and Rosario Dawson) and learns about their complicated history with humans. Elena befriends the sirenas and enlists their help to defeat evil sorceress Shuriki (voiced by Jane Fonda).

My Lottery Dream Home: “My Lottery Dream Stable”
HGTV, 9pm
Season Premiere!

When Jorge, Jackie and their daughter Jillian won a staggering $5 million on a Florida scratcher, they could finally buy the horse ranch that they had only dreamed about. Host David Bromstad meets up with them in Loxahatchee, Fla., to help find the perfect house, land and stables.

Wynonna Earp: “The Other Woman”
Syfy, 9pm

A mysterious woman who knows a little too much about the Earps arrives on the Homestead with a special mission for Wynonna (Melanie Scrofano) and Waverly (Dominique Provost-Chalkley). Meanwhile, the rest of the team must wrangle a deadly fire witch.

Killjoys: “Sporemageddon”
Syfy, 10pm
Season Finale!

Aneela brings the Jaqobis brothers into Greenspace to defeat the Lady.

Saturday, Sept. 22

Unspeakable Crime: The Killing of Jessica Chambers: “A Dying Declaration”
Oxygen, 7pm

As the trial unfolds, shocking testimony from first responders reveals that Jessica uttered a dying declaration that may spawn new leads.

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series: Federated Auto Parts 400
NBCSN, 7:30pm Live

Richmond Raceway in Virginia is the site of the Federated Auto Parts 400, the second race in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs.

The Shape of Water
HBO, 8pm

In the Cold War era, Elisa, a mute American woman, works in the cleaning department of a high-security government laboratory. Her life changes when she encounters a classified experiment. Stars Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon and Octavia Spencer.

Truly, Madly, Sweetly
Hallmark Channel, 9pm
Original Film!

Hallmark’s annual “Fall Harvest” programming stunt kicks off when Natalie (Nikki Deloach), the owner of a San Francisco food truck business selling cupcakes, and Eric (Dylan Neal), a finance manager and divorced dad with a young daughter, are brought together by the unusual bequest in a will. When Eric’s aunt, who was a longtime customer of Natalie’s, leaves them a building — the site of a once-famous bakery — they decide to renovate the bakery, and discover that they might also be baking a scrumptious romance.

Mind Your Business with Mahisha
OWN, 10pm

Mahisha Dellinger turned a creative idea into the multimillion-dollar hair company Curls, which makes organic hair care products for women embracing their natural textures. Now she’s helping other female entrepreneurs live out their dreams and take their small business to greater heights. In tonight’s episode, “It’s Poppin’ Off at Aunt Emma’s Popcorn,” Mahisha visits a small popcorn company with a big production problem.