Between network, cable and streaming, the modern television landscape is vast. Here are some of the shows, specials and movies that will air on TV this week, April 5-11. Details and times are subject to change.
HEMINGWAY 8 p.m. on PBS (check local listings). Lynn Novick and Ken Burns reflect on the life of Ernest Hemingway in this new three-part documentary, which airs on three consecutive nights starting Monday. The program aims to give an unbiased assessment of Hemingway’s life and legacy, recognizing the uglier elements (racism and anti-Semitism) while paying homage to his work. The result is a documentary that is “clear on its subject matter and moving about its heritage,” wrote James Poniewozik in his review for the New York Times. “He celebrates his gifts, lists his flaws (which includes the use of racist language in his correspondence) and chronicles his decline with the tragic relentlessness his subject would give to the death of a bull in the ring.”
FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL (1994) 10 p.m. on TCM. Director Mike Newell and screenwriter Richard Curtis worked together on this classic British romantic comedy, about two people (played by Hugh Grant and Andie MacDowell) whose love grows in spurts. It is, writes Janet Maslin in his review for The Times, “elegant, festive and very, very funny.”
EXTERMINE ALL BRUTES 9 p.m. on HBO. Raoul Peck (“I’m not your nigger”) mixes archival footage, Hollywood movie clips, scripted scenes and animation into a rumination on the history of European colonialism and American slavery in this new four-part series. The first two parts are broadcast on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. the other two will air Thursday evening at the same times.
THE SPONSOR OF MARIO PUZO, CODA: THE DEATH OF MICHAEL CORLEONE (1990) 6:45 p.m. on Showtime. Should “The Godfather, Coda” be considered a 1990 or 2020 release? It’s both, really. This re-released version of “The Godfather Part III,” released last year, is more than a standard director’s version: revisiting the film three decades after its original release, director Francis Ford Coppola has fine-tuned the opening. And the end. And a lot of material in between as well. The changes are meant to refine an end-of-trilogy movie that never achieved the kind of acclaim that the original “Godfather” and “The Godfather II” did. Coppola initially envisioned the film as “a summary and interpretation of the first two films, rather than a third film,” he said in an interview with the Times last year. He had never wanted to use the “Part III” label in the first place. The headline, he explained, “was the thread hanging from the sock that annoyed me, which caused me to pull on the thread.”
DOING THE MOST WITH PHOEBE ROBINSON 11 p.m. on Comedy Central. Actress Phoebe Robinson, known to many as one of the podcast’s former co-hosts “Two queens dope,” is the only one to animate this new comic series. Well, sort of: every episode sees Robinson spending time with a different famous face. She goes horseback riding with the Whitney Cummings comic book. She meets Kevin Bacon at a ropes class. The first season also includes appearances by fashion designer Tan France, model Ashley Graham, comedian Hasan Minhaj, actress Gabrielle Union and several other guests.
AMERICAN MASTERS – OLIVER SACKS: HIS OWN LIFE (2021) 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings). Ken Burns and Lynn Novick are on PBS earlier this week with their new documentary, “Hemingway,” but on Friday night Burns’ younger brother Ric Burns takes over as director. He is the filmmaker behind this feature-length documentary, which portrays the neurologist and writer Oliver Sacks, whose many explorations of the mind have made him a successful author. Burns explores the life of the deceased Sacks in 2015 to 82, through a “skillfully edited mix of archival footage, stills, talking heads interviews and in-the-moment stories,” Glenn Kenny wrote in his review for The Times. Kenny added that, “although the film explains in great detail how Sacks after fame became something of a brand, it beautifully portrays his compassion and bravery.”
NEVER RARELY SOMETIMES ALWAYS (2020) 5:45 p.m. on HBO Signature. A young woman takes a long journey to have an abortion in this latest film from filmmaker Eliza Hittman. The story follows Autumn (Sidney Flanigan), a 17-year-old who boards a bus to New York after learning she needs parental permission to get an abortion in her home state of Pennsylvania. She is accompanied by a cousin, Skylar (Talia Ryder), who helps her overcome the many obstacles along the way. The result is a film that “tells a rarely told story about abortion,” Manohla Dargis wrote in his review for The Times. He does it, Dargis added, “without kisses, without speech, without fiery emotions and – most powerfully – without excuses.” She included it in her list of the 10 best movies of 2020.
THE PEOPLE V. THE KLAN 9 p.m. on CNN. After his son Michael Donald was killed by the Ku Klux Klan in 1981, Beulah Mae Donald successfully sued the hate group for $ 7 million, in what became a revolutionary case. His drive for justice is at the heart of this four-part documentary series, which looks at the work of civil rights activists to dismantle Klan power in the 20th century. The program links the work of these activists with modern movements for justice.
BAFTA PRIZE 2021 8 p.m. on BBC America. Chloé Zhao’s Oscar favorite, “Nomadland” and the British film “Rocks”, by director Sarah Gavron, are the two most nominated films for this year’s EE British Academy Film Awards, the British equivalent of the Oscars. They lead a particularly diverse list of nominees, which comes after BAFTA’s voting rules were revised to respond to criticism of last year’s ceremony, when no person of color was nominated in major actor categories and no women were nominated. was nominated for best director.