This is a huge week for Doctor Who fans, with a raft of programming on BBC America, including marathons of selected seasons, leading up to the world premiere of the 50th anniversary special on Saturday. Also this week, the quirks of the NFL schedule give us two prime-time Patriots games: visiting the Carolina Panthers on Monday Night Football (ESPN) and at home versus the Denver Broncos on Sunday Night Football (NBC).
Monday, November 18
Rich Man, Poor Man (8-10:40 pm, Encore)
Back in the 1970s, TV producers loved to adapt sprawling novels into miniseries. One of the earliest and most successful was Rich Man, Poor Man, a melodramatic story, spanning more than two decades, about two brothers (played by Peter Strauss and Nick Nolte) struggling to overcome their upbringing and find their way in the world. Encore is airing the complete series (which ran 12 hours when originally broadcast) this week over five consecutive nights. (IFC’s upcoming The Spoils of Babylon is a spoof of this type of program.)
Also tonight: Doctor Who: Tales from the TARDIS, a retrospective look back at the show’s 50 years, airs at 9 pm on BBC America, followed at 10 by The Science of Doctor Who with Brian Cox.
Tuesday, November 19
Shallow Grave (7:15-9:15 pm, Sundance)
Director Danny Boyle’s first feature film is a creepfest that will resonate with anyone who has ever had to deal with roommates.
Wednesday, November 20
Conan (11 pm-12 am, TBS)
Conan’s guest is legendary anchorman Ron Burgundy.
Thursday, November 21
30 Days of Night (8-10:15 pm, FX Movies)
Vampires feast on an Alaska town that spends a month out of the year in total darkness.
Friday, November 22
An Adventure in Space and Time (9-11 pm, BBC America)
This original movie tells the story of the creation of the landmark sci-fi series.
Saturday, November 23
Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor (2:50-4:10 pm, BBC America)
The worldwide simulcast of the 50th anniversary special features the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors; later, the channel leverages the attention generated by this week’s events to launch the fantasy series Atlantis at 9 pm.
Also tonight: Bill Cosby’s first stand-up special in 30 years, Far From Finished, airs from 8-9:30 pm on Comedy Central.
Sunday, November 24
Carol Burnett: The Mark Twain Prize (8-10 pm, PBS)
TV legend Carol Burnett receives the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Joining her to pay tribute are her variety show costars Vicki Lawrence and Tim Conway; Maya Rudolph; Amy Poehler; and others.
Side Effects (2013)
In this thriller directed by Steven Soderbergh, a depressed young woman is prescribed an experimental medication by her psychiatrist. Starring Rooney Mara, Channing Tatum, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Jude Law, this is one of those movies where the less you know about it ahead of time, the better your experience with it will be.
(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.)