Between network, cable and streaming, the modern television landscape is vast. Here are some of the shows, specials, and movies hitting TV this week, January 21 through February. 6. Details and times are subject to change.
INDEPENDENT LENS: MISSING IN BROOKS COUNTY (202) 10pm on PBS (check local listings). Over the past two decades, hundreds of people have died trying to migrate from Mexico to the United States through Brooks County, Tex. This documentary looks at what makes the southern Texas region so dangerous for those crossing the border, and examines the work activists and community members are doing to address the crisis. It focuses on two families who turn to Eddie Canales, the founder of the South Texas Human Rights Center, for help finding missing relatives.
CELEBRATING BETTY WHITE: AMERICA’S GOLDEN GIRL 10 p.m. on NBC. This one-hour special celebrates the life and career of comedic actress Betty White, who died in December at the age of 99. Many famous people will pay tribute to White, including Drew Barrymore, Cher, Bryan Cranston, Ellen DeGeneres, Tina Fey, Goldie Hawn, Anthony Mackie, Tracy Morgan, Jean Smart and President Biden.
BARBARA LEE: TELLING THE TRUTH AGAINST POWER (202) 8pm on Starz. “A Super Bowl touchdown roar.” That’s how DailyExpertNews described the reception Representative Barbara Lee received from an audience in Oakland, California, at a community meeting in October 2001. The reason for the crowd’s enthusiasm: Lee was the only congressman who opposed the invasion of Afghanistan. voted in the days following the September 11 attacks. This documentary looks at Lee’s life both before and after that crucial step. Interviewees include Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, DailyExpertNews commentator Van Jones and actor Danny Glover.
Remembering Betty White
The actress, whose pioneering career spanned seven decades, died on January 31. She was 99.
- Obituary: After creating two of the most memorable characters in sitcom history, White continued to be a much-loved presence on television.
- Remembered with love: Hollywood stars, comedians, a president and seemingly the entire internet paid tribute after her death was announced.
- Last joke: People magazine found themselves in an awkward spot when a cover for White’s upcoming 100th birthday hit newsstands just before her death.
- From the archive: In a 2011 interview, White shared the memory of a relationship she held dear — with an elephant.
LUCY IN HEAVEN (2019) 19:15 and 21:50 on FXM. Earlier this month, “Fargo” and “Legion” showrunner Noah Hawley released a dark new novel, “Anthem,” which portrays teenage characters several years after the Covid-19 pandemic. For a double feature film in multiple formats, combine the book with Hawley’s film “Lucy in the Sky,” in which Natalie Portman is an astronaut in love.
SISTERS WITH TRANSISTORS (202) 6:30 p.m. on Showtime. When the multimedia musician and composer Laurie Anderson speaks of ‘radical sounds’ during the narration of this documentary, the expression has a clear double meaning. Not only did synthesizers and other digital technology, a focus of the film, create sounds never heard before in the 20th century, but it also gave female composers such as Daphne Oram, Maryanne Amacher and Clara Rockmore the opportunity to innovate beyond the traditional, through male-dominated music industry. The film examines the work of these women and more, arguing that their importance in shaping electronic music has been overlooked. The result, Glenn Kenny wrote in his review for The Times, is “informative and often fascinating.”
SHOUT (1996) 8pm on BBC America. The cries came with a laugh in “Scream,” the horror parody by Wes Craven that revived the slasher genre when it hit theaters just over 25 years ago. The film spawned a slew of sequels — the latest of which came out earlier this month — but even this first entry feels like a sequel, so full of references and callbacks to previous genre-defining films, including “Halloween” and “Friday the 13th.” .” It introduced the character Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), a suburban teen who is stalked by a long-faced masked killer. BBC America airs it alongside the first sequel, SHOUT 2 (1997).
2022 OLYMPIC WINTER OPENING CEREMONY 6:30 am and 8 p.m. on NBC. The Beijing Winter Olympics officially kick off on Friday with an opening ceremony featuring the traditional cauldron lighting and parade of nations. (Except for the athletes, U.S. attendance at the games will be moderate: The United States is one of several countries whose governments have planned a diplomatic boycott of the games, citing human rights violations.) The ceremony will be held at 6:30am live, and rebroadcast at 8pm as a more polished special.
STAND AND DELIVERY (1988) 10 p.m. on TCM. Actor Edward James Olmos took a break from the glamor of “Miami Vice” to play a wimpy (but very gifted) math teacher in this late 80s drama. Directed by Ramón Menéndez and based on actual events, stars the film Olmos as Jaime Escalante, a teacher at a public high school in East Los Angeles whose ability to motivate his students leads to impressive test scores that have been questioned by biased standardized testing authorities. Olmos plays the part to “inspiring great effect,” said Janet Maslin in her review for The Times in 1988. (He later received an Oscar nomination for his performance.) “If ever a movie prompted its audience to study calculus, Maslin wrote, “This is it.”
NIGHTMAREALAY (202) 8 p.m. on HBO. After its recent theater release, Guillermo del Toro’s latest haunted house of a movie will hit smaller screens Saturday night via HBO. Mainly set amid a dingy carnival, Nightmare Alley revolves around a 1930s con man (Bradley Cooper) who finds success by putting on a mentalist act. The real star may be the setting: In her review for The Times, Manohla Dargis praised del Toro’s textured, polished world build, but was less than thrilled with the rest of the film. “The carnival is distracting, and Del Toro’s fondness for its residents helps to give these alleged freaks a human face,” she wrote. “But once he’s done with the preliminaries, he struggles to bring the many standout parts together into a living, breathing whole.”
GUY’S CHANCE FOR A LIFETIME 9 p.m. on Food Network. Some competition shows offer their winners a cash prize upon which they can retire. “Guy’s Chance of a Lifetime” presents an opportunity: Contestants compete for ownership of a Guy Fieri chicken in Nashville. A winner will be announced during Sunday night’s season finale.