Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Friday, April 15 and Saturday, April 16. All times are Eastern.
Confirmation (HBO, 8 p.m., Saturday): No one needs any confirmation (or dumb jokes about the title of this HBO movie) that Kerry Washington and Wendell Pierce are tremendous actors. So their performances as Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas in this dramatization of the controversial confirmation hearings of current, legendarily silent Supreme Court Justice (along with those of costars like Jeffrey Wright, Jennifer Hudson, Zoe Lister-Jones, Greg Kinnear, Eric Stonestreet, and Bill Irwin) promise a compelling take on the still-divisive subject. Directed by Dope’s Rick Famuyiwa, the film is sure to stir up the blood, as Washington’s Hill stands up to the grilling of the all-male Senate Judiciary Committee about years of still adamantly alleged sexual harassment at the hands of former boss Thomas. Joshua Alston is on hand with a review.
Hear My Song (CBS, 8 p.m., Saturday): This new film about a troubled kid whose rambunctious behavior hides an angelic singing voice was originally intended as a theatrical release (under the title Boychoir), only to be picked up for a TV premiere by Hallmark Hall Of Fame. That… might not seem like something to concern yourself with. And maybe it’s not—how many inspirational singing movies do we need anyway? But it does star an A-list cast, including Dustin Hoffman as the crusty choirmaster who discovers the little imp’s talents, alongside the uniformly impressive likes of Debra Winger, Kathy Bates, Josh Lucas, and Eddie Izzard, so that’s not nothin’.
Premieres and finales
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix, 3:01 a.m., Friday): Kimmy’s back! Sorry, it’s just pretty frickin’ exciting to have Ellie Kemper’s irrepressible, not to say unbreakable, doomsday cult survivor and all-around snappy dresser back for a second season. Details are being guarded by show creator Tina Fey with Liz Lemon-like ferocity (don’t touch her night cheese) but the trailer promises the return of Emmy nominee Tituss Burgess’ best-possible best pal Titus Andromedon, Jane Krakowski’s now-uncoupled trophy wife Jacqueline Voorhees, and Carol Kane’s loopy but loyal landlady Lillian. (And that’s not to mention guest stars like Fred Armisen, Jeff Goldblum, Anna Camp, Zosia Mamet, David Cross, and Fey herself.) Anyone who knows Kimmy knows she’s binge-worthy, so, in addition to Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya’s return for daily episode reviews, our own Gwen Inhat is taking on TV Club Binge duties. And just because you can’t get enough Kimmy, Joshua Alston pre-games the season with his pre-air review.
Kong: King Of The Apes (Netflix, 3:01 a.m., Friday): We’ll just let the synopsis of this new animated Netflix series speak for itself: “Set in 2050, this modern take on the classic has Kong as a framed fugitive who teams up with three kids to save the world from robotic dinosaurs.” Need more? Look… at this.
Tanked (Animal Planet, 10 p.m., Friday): There were some of you who scoffed that the television marketplace could sustain a reality show about guys who make weird, overelaborate fishtanks. Season ten premiere. Shame on you.
Childrens Hospital (Adult Swim, 11 p.m., Friday): After seven seasons of being the damnedest comedy on television, Childrens Hospital is no longer going to be on your television. For a show that quickly transcended its roots as a Grey’s Anatomy parody to become a free-wheeling comedic concept machine peopled by one of the funniest casts on TV, Childrens Hospital has consistently packed more ambitiously insane laughs into its 11-minute episodes than an entire season of The Big Bang Theory. (Now that’s a theoretical conundrum). LaToya Ferguson’s been walking the halls of Childrens Hospital for a few years now, and even she’s not sure what could possibly sum up this weird world, even in a two-episode finale. Creator and terrifying clown doctor Rob Corddry, who decided it was time to pull the plug, had this to say:
This season I came up with this idea that uses both our Childrens Hospital world and our behind-the-scenes world and is really just a more plausible exploration of this whole reality. The very final moment was one of my favorite moments anyway, but now it really puts a bow on the show.
While you’re at it, check out Brandon Nowalk’s TV Club 10 feature picking out the most essentially insane Childrens Hospital episodes.
Beowulf (Esquire, 10 p.m., Saturday): After 13 episodes of loosely adapted intrigue and monster mayhem, the fantasy epic from across the pond concludes. There’s a siege, and—just guessing here—more monsters.
The Vampire Diaries (CW, 8 p.m., Friday)
Grimm (NBC, 9 p.m., Friday)
Banshee (Cinemax, 10 p.m., Friday)
Adventure Time (Cartoon Network, 7 p.m., Saturday)
Outlander (Starz, 9 p.m., Saturday)
Saturday Night Live (NBC, 11:30 p.m., Saturday)
Sports Night: “Mary Pat Shelby”/“The Head Coach, Dinner And The Morning Mail.” (Hulu). Long before he was having his characters advise women not to report their sexual assaults (you know, to spare their delicate feelings), Aaron Sorkin took a big, satisfying swing at the issue of sexual harassment and assault in the public eye in this two-parter from the perpetually underrated sort-of sitcom Sports Night. When energetic, ambitious assistant producer Natalie is accosted by a pro football asshole while doing an interview, she and her principled sports reporter colleagues weigh the consequences of going public. Think of it as a moderately triumphant (and therefore fictional) dessert to the real-life awfulness at the heart of Confirmation.