David Ortiz’s World Series victory lap will include a couple of talk show appearances this week: he’ll be on Late Show with David Letterman on Monday night, and on Live with Kelly and Michael on Tuesday morning.
Monday, November 4
Above the Law (8-10 pm, AMC)
Ooh, I guess it’s a Steven Seagal week on AMC. These movies range from rather ludicrous to just completely awful. That said, I admit that I have watched some of them, primarily to laugh at how bad they are. The rest of the week features Under Siege, Out for Justice, Exit Wounds, and Hard to Kill. (It’s too bad the lineup doesn’t include Under Siege 2, which features a hilariously over-the-top villain performance from Eric Bogosian.)
Tuesday, November 5
American Masters (9-11 pm, PBS)
Gather ‘round, kids: school’s in session. One of the greatest musicians of the 20th century, or maybe any century, is profiled tonight. Jimi Hendrix: Hear My Train a Comin’ includes previously unseen concert footage from a 1968 festival.
Wednesday, November 6
Tales From the Organ Trade (8-9:30 pm, HBO2)
This documentary tells the stories those who traffic in black-market body parts, those who buy them, and those who choose to sell their own organs.
Thursday, November 7
The Greatest Event in Television History (12-12:30 am, Adult Swim)
Adam Scott is the mastermind behind these spoof-homage recreations of vintage TV show opening credit sequences, which are really nostalgic love letters to the collective memory of shows watched by millions while growing up. The previous GETH “honorees” were Simon & Simon and Hart to Hart. There have been some fairly obvious hints issued for the subject of this installment, including the image above.
Friday, November 8
Great Performances (9-11 pm, PBS)
Sometimes I worry that I lean too heavily on PBS for my suggestions, but my goal is to highlight the stuff that stands out from the week-to-week programming that you probably already watch. Tonight is a fine example: Stephen Sondheim’s Company, about a bachelor celebrating his 35th birthday with his married-couple friends, won the Tony Award for best musical in 1971. This version, performed with the New York Philharmonic, features Neil Patrick Harris, Patti LuPone, Jon Cryer, Martha Plimpton, Stephen Colbert, and Christina Hendricks. I have never cared much for musicals, but I think this is a terrific show with outstanding performances throughout.
Saturday, November 9
Diner (8-10:30 pm, Sundance)
Tonight doesn’t offer a broad selection of watchable movies like last Saturday, so I’m just going with this 1982 classic about a group of friends coping with the challenges of young adulthood in 1959 Baltimore. The cast includes Kevin Bacon, Mickey Rourke, Steve Guttenberg, Paul Reiser, and Ellen Barkin.
Sunday, November 10
Killing Kennedy (8-10 pm, NatGeo)
There’s a barrage of material this month to mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States. This drama is based on the book coauthored by Bill O’Reilly, and while I am reluctant to recommend anything that he’s connected to, however tangentially, the event was a key moment in our nation’s history, one that’s important for younger generations to understand. Rob Lowe and Ginnifer Goodwin play Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline.
Aziz Ansari: Buried Alive
Like many other comedians, Ansari has chosen a different distribution path for his new stand-up special, opting to present it as a Netflix streaming exclusive. I haven’t watched this one yet so I don’t know how good it is relative to his other material, but if you’re already a Netflix subscriber you don’t really have an excuse not to watch it.
(Note: this information is accurate as of publication time, but programming is subject to change at the discretion of channels and networks. All times listed are Eastern time.)