TV best bets with ‘Bates Motel’ series finale, ‘Dear White People,’ ‘The Handmaid’s Tale,’ JFK, Einstein revisited

This was originally posted Sunday, April 23, 2017 by Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

The buzziest show of the week is not on Netflix. It’s on Hulu. Called “The Handmaid’s Tale,” the series is based on Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel and stars “Mad Men’s” Elisabeth Moss. The series shows what life would be like if the country became a fascist state with only a few fertile females left. Entertainment Weekly gives it an A, saying the “nightmarish narrative grips from the very first scene, and Moss is a brilliant muse, bringing texture and humanity to a quasi-fictional fable made suddenly, stunningly real.” Metacritic has it at a very impressive 91 out of 100.

But Netflix does have a hot show as well. It unspools a “continuation” of the 2014 film “Dear White People” in series form on Friday. This version has received an 86 out of 100 on Metacritic so far.

After five seasons, A&E bids farewell Monday to Norman Bates and “Bates Motel” after five seasons, an unusually successful reboot of a classic movie.

And in a reality show that has somehow survived its premise, CBS brings back an eighth season of “Undercover Boss” Friday. By now, you’d think employees would see this show from a mile away. But why not? Play along and you might get some freebies!

History explores the JFK assassination, claiming new declassified information on Tuesday. And NGC takes an ambitious look at Albert Einstein’s life on Tuesday.

Music buffs won’t stop believing that Journey has been inducted in the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame, airing on Saturday. (Steve Perry shows up but, sadly, does not sing.)

This covers Monday, April 24 through Sunday April 30, 2017.

MONDAY

“Dancing With the Stars” 8 p.m. ABC — Former Atlantan Erika Jayne was cut last week. Is former Brave David Ross on deck?

“The Voice” 9 p.m. NBC — The top 12 perform.

“APB” 9:01 p.m. Fox (first season finale) — Gideon is blamed for recent terrorist attacks, so he and Conrad must work quickly to find the real culprit.

“Bates Motel” 10 p.m. A&E (series finale) — Norman Bates comes home after five seasons.

“Better Call Saul” 10 p.m. AMC — Jimmy decides to represent a new client, much to Kim’s dismay.

“Booze Traveler” 10 p.m. Travel (new series) — Jack Maxwell tours his favorite dockside bars, starting with the largest waterfront bar in Florida and a British-style pub on the docks of Baltimore.

“Real Story With Maria Elana Salinas” 10 p.m. ID (new series) — The premiere tells the story of Martin Tankleff, who was convicted in 1990 of murdering his parents after confessing to the crime during a grueling interrogation by homicide detectives

“T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle” 10 p.m. VH1 — Niq Niq considers whether she should use her mug shot for merchandising for her new album

“Quantico” 10:01 p.m. ABC— Fresh off the shock of recent events, the team uses a party as a ruse to corner the collaborators.

TUESDAY

“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” 8 p.m. Fox — Jake and Charles go to extremes to apprehend a local bike thief in what could be their last case as partners.

“The Voice” 8 p.m. NBC — Live results.

“Pretty Little Liars” 8 p.m. Freeform — Spencer learns more about her connection to Mary Drake.

“Genius: Einstein” 9 p.m. NBC (new series) — The premiere of a dramatic series about Albert Einstein’s tumultuous life reveals the man behind the mind. Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson star.

“Great News” 9 p.m. NBC (new series) — Cable news producer Katie Wendelson (Briga Heelan) is horrified when her mother (Andrea Martin) gets an internship at her news show in the series premiere of this workplace comedy that explores mother-daughter relationships.

“Prison Break” 9:01 p.m. Fox — Michael, Whip and Ja make their last attempt to break from Ogygia, but must make a deal with the devil to do so.

“48 Hours: NCIS10 p.m. CBS — The premiere of this docuseries explores how real NCIS agents track killers, crack fraud cases and hunt terrorists using street smarts and technology.

“The Americans10 p.m. FX — A secret brings Elizabeth and Paige together.

“JFK Declassified10 p.m. History (new series) — An investigation into the connection between JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald and Russia begins with the discovery of a declassified CIA document that reports Oswald meeting with Soviet officials in Mexico City weeks before the murder.

“Love Kills10 p.m. ID (new series) — When Judy and Duane meet, they both long for excitement and to escape the lives they live. Turns out, fate has more in store for them than they desire.

WEDNESDAY

“The Handmaid’s Tale” 3:01 a.m. Hulu (new series)  — A dystopian tale about women being completely subjugated.

“Shots Fired” 8 p.m. Fox — Tension heats up in Gate Station as a violent riot erupts between the citizens and police.

“Survivor” 8 p.m. CBS — The final 11 find alliances fraying and shifting. Can Zeke avoid the line of fire this week?

“Black-ish” 9 p.m. ABC — Bow’s sister comes to town after filming a stint on a reality show, and they couldn’t have less in common.

“Criminal Minds” 9 p.m. CBS — Government employees are succumbing to the same symptoms of a heart attack; Reid anxiously awaits his trial date.

“Empire” 9 p.m. Fox — Cookie gives Lucious unexpected news that makes him feel uneasy about the future.

“Designated Survivor” 10 p.m. ABC — As President Kirkman considers candidates for vice president, Kimble Hookstraten finds herself embroiled in scandal.

“Underground” 10 p.m. WGN — Noah struggles to devise a new plan; and Ernestine forms an unlikely bond.

“Fargo” 10 p.m. FX — Gloria deals with the aftermath of a crime; Vargas makes a move; and Ray and Nikki move on to Plan B.

“Reasonable Doubt” 10 p.m. ID (new series) — Rapper Mac Phipps was on the fast track to fame when a young fan was shot and killed at one of his concerts. Mac was convicted of the murder, but his parents believe he’s the victim of old-fashioned southern justice.

“Greenleaf” 10 p.m. OWN — The anniversary of Faith’s death is at hand and Grace shows no sign of giving up her pursuit of Mac. Basie and Jacob, meanwhile, receive bad news regarding Triumph Two’s finances.

THURSDAY

“The Big Bang Theory” 8 p.m. CBS — Penny’s job offer from a former boyfriend doesn’t sit well with Leonard.

“Fire Island” 8 p.m. Logo (new series) — Six friends travel to Fire Island to have the summer adventure of a lifetime. This sounds based on that descriptive to be like a gay “Jersey Shore.”

“Grey’s Anatomy” 8 p.m. ABC — Bailey and April work to fix things between Richard and Catherine.

“60 Days In Atlanta” 9 p.m. A&E — A chaotic mass evacuation drill in 500 turns dangerous when inmates slip their restraints, and a rumor about the program in the women’s pod puts two participants in a vulnerable position.

“Chicago Med” 9 p.m. NBC — A complicated case centers on a sick family.

“Kicking & Screaming” 9:01 p.m. Fox (first season finale) — The top two teams emerge and battle it out in the final elimination challenge.

“Scandal” 9:01 p.m. ABC — Peus’ iron grip seems inescapable to Olivia and everyone she holds dear, but then a shocking threat to the White House turns everything on its head.

“Mom” 9:01 p.m. CBS —When Marjorie takes a break from the group, Bonnie becomes the go-to for everyone’s problems.

“The Catch” 10 p.m. ABC — Alice’s attention to her recent case forces Ben to confront her about their relationship.

“Lip Sync Battle” 10 p.m. Spike TV — Ne-Yo and Taye Diggs face off.

“Soundtracks” 10 p.m. CNN  — Music tied to 9/11.

“Inside the FBI” 10 p.m. USA (new series) — A Dick Wolf docuseries.

“Married at First Sight: Second Chances” 10:17 p.m. Lifetime (new series) — Set in Atlanta, singles hope to win the hearts of “Married at First Sight” fan favorites David and Vanessa.

FRIDAY

“Catastrophe3:01 a.m. Amazon (third season debut) — This season features the last small-screen appearance of Carrie Fisher, who had recurred since Episode 2 as Rob’s tough-to-please stateside mom.

“Dear White People3:01 a.m. Netflix (new series) — The satirical series — which picks up where the acclaimed 2014 film by the same name left off – follows a group of Winchester University’s students of color as they navigate a diverse landscape of social injustice, cultural bias, political correctness (or lack thereof) and sometimes misguided activism in the millennial age.

“Rosewood8 p.m. Fox (second season finale) A highly skilled group of criminals are the prime suspects in a jewelry store heist.

“The Toy Box8 p.m. ABC — Inventions include a walking dinosaur; a multigenerational dolls; and a slingshot with a parachute.

“Undercover Boss8 p.m. CBS (eighth season debut)  Michael Roper, President and CEO of Taco Bueno, goes undercover to be certain everything at his company is “bueno.”

“Let It Fall: Los Angeles 1982-929 p.m. ABC — A look at the decade leading up to the L.A. riots of 1992. This documentary examines the era’s racial tensions, the rise of gangs, the crack epidemic and the efforts of the LAPD to clamp down on the violence.

“Ancient Aliens9 p.m. History (10th season debut) They’ve been with us all along.

“Blue Bloods10 p.m. CBS — Danny and Baez team up with Russian operatives to search for a dangerous man who entered the U.S. on a diplomatic visa.

WEEKEND

“2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony” 8 p.m. Saturday HBO — Honorees include Joan Baez, Electric Light Orchestra, Journey, Pearl Jam, Tupac Shakur and Yes.

“Full Frontal With Samantha Bee” 10 p.m. Saturday TBS — A spoof of the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

“The Real Housewives of Atlanta” 8 p.m. Sunday Bravo — The men show up to face off with the ladies.

“NCIS: Los Angeles” 8 p.m. Sunday CBS — A gold heist investigation has the NCIS team working with Hetty’s former Vietnam War colleagues.

“American Gods” 9 p.m. Sunday Starz (new series) — This fantasy drama posits a different kind of war brewing – one between Old Gods and New.

“Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown” 9 p.m. Sunday HBO (ninth season debut) — An alternative tour of Los Angeles by Bourdain focuses on the impact and contributions of its less photographed and often overlooked Latino communities.

“Superheroes Decodes” 9 p.m. Sunday History — The story of the American superhero begins with the creation of a number of them, including Superman, Batman, Captain America, Wonder Woman and Spider-Man, and details how they’ve endured through the decades.

“The Leftovers” 9 p.m. Sunday HBO — As the Departure anniversary approaches, Kevin Garvey Sr. is inspired to wander the Australian outback in an effort to save the world from apocalypse.

“American Crime” 10 p.m. Sunday ABC (third season finale) — Kimara counsels Dustin to tell the police about the crime that occurred in the Webcam house.

“Into the Badlands” 10 p.m. Sunday AMC — Sunny confronts his inner demons while his friends struggle to help him.

“Shades of Blue” 10 p.m. Sunday NBC — Harlee learns that someone is texting Cristina as her dead ex, Miguel.

“United Shades of America” 10 p.m. Sunday CNN (second season debut) — W. Kamau Bell meets immigration and refugees as well as white nationalist Richard Spencer.

“Silicon Valley” 10 p.m. Sunday HBO — Richard clashes with Dinesh when the latter’s new position goes to his head.

“Veep” 10:30 p.m. Sunday HBO — Selina helps monitor the first free and democratic election in the former Soviet republic of Georgia.

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