TV Best Bets

Monday, Aug. 31: The Life of Queen Elizabeth II on ‘Being the Queen’

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Monday, Aug. 31

Being the Queen
Nat Geo, 9pm

When it comes to Queen Elizabeth II, “Our curiosity is never quite satiated,” says director Tom Jennings. For this new documentary on the 94-year-old royal, he tracked down 100-plus rare audio interviews with friends, family and staff. No talking heads — “You’re hearing them tell the stories in first person,” he notes.

black-ish: “Purple Rain”
FXX, 9:30am

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today … to teach clueless twins Diane (Marsai Martin) and Jack (Miles Brown) about music icon Prince. Yes, for the family sitcom’s jaw-dropping 100th episode (in 2018), the cast paid homage to classic videos from the Purple One.

Tennis: US Open: Early Rounds
ESPN & ESPN2, beginning at 12pm Live

The US Open keeps its original spot on the calendar Aug. 31-Sept. 13 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens, N.Y. Both reigning singles champions, Rafael Nadal and Bianca Andreescu, have bowed out of the 2020 competition. ESPN and ESPN2 air the tournament.

SundanceTV, 4pm
Catch a Classic!

Mel Gibson directed and stars in this acclaimed 1995 historical epic based on the true life of William Wallace (Gibson), the 13th-century warrior who led the first war for Scottish independence from England. The film won five of the 10 Oscars for which it was nominated, including Best Picture, and Best Director for Gibson.

Planet Earth: A Celebration
BBC America, AMC, IFC and SundanceTV, 8pm

What a remix! This montage of eight unforgettable vignettes from the Emmy-winning BBC wildlife shows Planet Earth II and Blue Planet II features surfing dolphins, a Himalayan snow leopard protecting her cubs and a plucky iguana vs. a pack of hungry snakes. Plus: new narration by the incomparable Sir David Attenborough.

Independent Lens: “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”
PBS, 8pm

Celebrate the legacy of icon Fred Rogers in a film from Academy Award winner Morgan Neville. Beamed daily into American homes, Rogers and his cast of puppets and friends spoke simply and directly to children about some of life’s weightiest issues.

Below Deck Mediterranean: “Whole New Ballgame”
Bravo, 9pm

Baseball legend Johnny Damon returns to charter in Ibiza, putting pressure on Tom to rectify the Damons’ poor experience with the food they were served last season. With Aesha onboard, Bugsy ups her expectations for the interior team. Meanwhile, Rob’s personal life begins to interfere with his work, and Jess notices some red flags with his behavior.

Botched: “Melting Mounds & Unlucky Charms”
E!, 9pm

A Southern belle who wants to look like Dolly Parton hopes to change the shape of her breasts, while Dr. Paul Nassif helps a woman from Northern Ireland who thinks her nose makes her look strange. A woman with breasts that appear to be melting off her body forces Dr. Terry Dubrow to think outside the box.

The 93 Victims of Samuel Little, Part 1
Investigation Discovery, 9pm

This two-part Serial Killer Week program looks at Samuel Little, one of the most prolific and elusive serial killers of all time. He was convicted of murdering four women but is thought to have killed as many as 93 women over four decades. For the first time ever, viewers will have exclusive access to investigators, stories from families and chillingly detailed descriptions from Samuel Little himself. Part 2 airs tomorrow night.

Pawn Stars: “One Man’s Trash Is Another Pawn Treasure”
History, 10pm

A $2 million Monet. An unopened treasure chest. A trove of signed Beatles memorabilia. This special episode rounds up Pawn’s most impressive treasures — and the biggest fakes.

Beyond the Unknown: “Spaceship on a Beach, Secrets of Nostradamus and the Phantom of 27th Street”
Travel Channel, 10pm
Season Finale!

Don Wildman investigates an otherworldly artifact that washed up on a South Carolina beach, unravels the predictions of a puzzling prognosticator and recounts the tale of a bizarre floating phantom who put a city on edge.

Into the Unknown: “The Jersey Devil”
Travel Channel, 11pm
Season Finale!
The sprawling Pine Barrens of New Jersey are said to be home to the Jersey Devil — a terrifying mythical creature with bat wings, a long tail and a horse’s head. The legend first surfaced 300 years ago, and with a recent spike in sightings, Cliff Simon is determined to track it down for himself.

Tuesday, Sept. 1

Paris, Wine and Romance
Hallmark Channel, 8pm
Original Film!

A winemaker from Oregon travels to Paris to compete in a major wine competition. Stars Jen Lilley, Dan Jeannotte, Atanas Srebrev, Pierre Rousselet, Alexandra Guelff, Edward Baker-Duly, Maxim De Villiers and Roxanne McKee.

Lifetime, 8pm
New Episodes!

During these uncertain times as families are dealing with quarantine and homeschooling, parents are reaching out more than ever for help. Luckily Jo Frost is back with new episodes! Armed with 30 years of experience and strategies, Jo helps parents tackle social and behavioral challenges and everything else that is thrown their way.

America’s Got Talent: “Live Show 4”
NBC, 8pm Live

Live from Universal Studios Hollywood, 11 performers compete for America’s vote and a $1 million prize as judging is turned over to the viewing audience.

Special Theme: Women Make Film: “Openings and Tone”
TCM, 8pm
Catch a Classic!

This is the series premiere of a 14-episode revisionist history of cinema told through the lenses of the world’s greatest female directors. The series features clips from 183 filmmakers, both well-known and forgotten, to illuminate the scope of women’s contributions to the art form. Tilda Swinton, Jane Fonda, Adjoa Andoh, Sharmila Tagore, Kerry Fox, Thandie Newton and Debra Winger narrate the series, with each episode unpacking various topics. The premiere episode’s subject is “Openings and Tone,” and it — like every episode in the series — will be followed by a lineup of films directed by women that exemplify the theme.

Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles: “Hollywood Royalty”
Bravo, 9pm
Season Finale!

Altman and Tracy team up to co-list a historic Hollywood estate once owned by Hollywood legend John Barrymore. James and David go all-in on their new East Coast traditional, a $20 million stunner in a celebrity enclave, and all the agents stop by to check out the competition.

The 93 Victims of Samuel Little, Part 2
Investigation Discovery, 9pm
The final two hours of this four-hour special that began last night, and which is part of ID’s Serial Killer Week, air this evening. Samuel Little may not be the first name that comes to mind when thinking of serial killers, but he is one of the most prolific and elusive of all time. He was convicted of murdering four women but is thought to have killed as many as 93 women over four decades. For the first time ever, viewers will have exclusive access to investigators, stories from families and chillingly detailed descriptions from Little himself.

Eddie Eats America: “Philadelphia”
Cooking Channel, 10pm

World’s Strongest Man 2017 winner Eddie Hall gets roped into a strength test with legendary boxing coach Buster Custus at a famed Philadelphia gym before he gets a double hit of delicious Philly cheesesteak. For an hors d’oeuvre, it’s a butter-drenched pretzel twist on the classic from the city’s Reading Terminal Market. Finally, the main course is the colossal 2-foot-long monster cheesesteak challenge at gastro-institution Tony Luke’s.

NBC, 10pm
New Series!

This hit Canadian medical drama makes its U.S. premiere. It centers on Dr. Bashir “Bash” Hamed (Hamza Haq, Quantico), a Syrian doctor with battle-tested skills in emergency medicine who fled his country with his younger sister, Amira (Sirena Gulamgaus). Together they struggle to forge a new life in Canada as Bash strives to rebuild his career in medicine. In its first season on CTV, Transplant was the most-watched Canadian original series and saw audience growth as the season progressed, and NBC will certainly be hoping for similar success for the show in the States as it helps bolster the network’s fall lineup. John Hannah also stars.

The Son
AMC, 1am (late-night)

If you missed Pierce Brosnan’s terrific return to television as powerful oilman Eli McCullough, record this final-season wrap-up of the extra-ordinary life of the so-called “First Son of Texas,” who fights to save his fractious family and his business in 1915-16. AMC airs all 10 of the drama’s 2019 episodes in late-night through Wednesday.

Wednesday, Sept. 2

America’s Got Talent: “Results Show 4”
NBC, 8pm Live

Five acts from last night’s show will move on to the semifinals round of the competition. Viewers will have one last chance to send their favorite performer of the night into the next round by participating in the Dunkin’ Save by using the America’s Got Talent official app or going to

Into the Wild Tibet
Smithsonian Channel, 8pm

Life is rough for animals in the unforgiving Tibetan Plateau, which lies three miles above sea level and has long, brutal winters. This special documents a year in the survival struggle of wolves, snow leopards (who prey on the local blue sheep), antelopes, yaks and cute, rabbit-esque pikas.

Directed by Bob Fosse
TCM, beginning at 8pm
Catch a Classic!

Legendary choreographer/director/actor Bob Fosse is celebrated tonight with a number of his notable films, most of which display his mastery of staging and filming musical numbers. The night begins with his feature film directorial debut Sweet Charity (1969), and also includes All That Jazz (1979), for which Fosse received Best Director and Best Original Screenplay Oscar nominations; Cabaret (1972), which earned Fosse a Best Director Oscar win; and the biographical drama Star 80 (1983), the last film he directed before his passing in 1987.

Final 24: “Keith Moon”
AXS TV, 9pm
Season Finale!
The last hours in the life of Keith Moon, the hard-partying percussionist for The Who, are explored in the Final 24’s Season 1 finale.

Tough as Nails
CBS, 9pm
Season Finale!

The final five competitors battle to be crowned the champion of Tough as Nails Season 1 and win the $200,000 prize. Plus, the finalists get a much-needed boost when their loved ones cheer them on in the two-hour season finale episode “Finish the Job.” Tough as Nails has been renewed for Season 2.

Food Paradise: “Meals Over Miami”
Cooking Channel, 9pm

Get ready to dance with the diverse flavors that color Miami! There’s a pepita-topped Cuban street food favorite, a pepper-packed burger that brings the heat, bold burritos, decadent mac and cheese, and more!

Coroner: “All’s Well”
The CW, 9pm

Toronto coroner Jenny Cooper’s (Serinda Swan) gathering for friends and family takes a macabre detour when a corpse turns up on her property. But there’s still one thing to be grateful for: Hot handyman Liam (Éric Bruneau) was already there to fix the plumbing.

Dodgeball Thunderdome
Discovery Channel, 9pm

For generations, dodgeball was a game of either fun or fear, depending on where you stood in the middle school pecking order. Discovery has transformed the game into an epic sporting adventure. On an isolated 13.8-acre specially constructed site, winners are not determined simply by their strength, and the losers aren’t always picked last. Here, contestants have a chance to claim glory in extraordinary challenges where strength matters but so do strategy, quick thinking and the willingness to leave everything on the field. David Dobrik hosts this all-new competition series along with cohosts Erin Lim and Andrew Hawkins.

The Butcher Baker: Mind of a Monster
Investigation Discovery, 9pm

A seemingly mild-mannered family man, Robert Hansen ran a successful bakery and held hunting trophies. But behind this carefully cultivated exterior lurked a coldblooded serial killer. When big-game animals no longer satisfied his urge to kill, Hansen sought out women in Anchorage’s red-light district and flew them out to the Alaska wilderness, where he hunted them down for sport. Hansen eventually confessed to the murders of 17 women. Tapes of this confession have been lost for 35 years, but now, with the testimony of his friends, victims and the officers involved, this two-hour special finally pieces together the truth about Hansen.