The most ambitious project this week is the new Roots mini-series. This is a fresh look at the original Alex Haley novel about his family’s origins in Africa and how they were brought over as slaves. A four-night event, this sprawling epic stars Forest Whitaker, Anna Paquin, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Anika Noni Rose, Chad L. Coleman, Erica Tazel, Derek Luke and newcomers Malachi Kirby and Regé-Jean Page. The original mini-series changed the TV landscape when half the US population tuned in to watch, a completely unfathomable number in today’s media landscape. Still, the History channel is hoping that history repeats itself when this new version airs simultaneously on sister networks Lifetime and A&E.
Memorial Day also marks HBO’s annual marathon of its excellent Band of Brothers which is always worth watching. (Bonus points for seeing Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy and Tom Hardy in the ensemble). TNT is also marathoning The Last Ship which begins its third season in mid-June.
AMC is launching a new drama, Feed the Beast, which stars Jim Sturgess and David Schwimmer as restauranteurs who get entangled with the mob.
Staring Iain Glen (Ser Jorah from Game of Thrones) and Frances O’Connor, Cleverman is a new fantasy series airing on Sundance. Ancient mythology creatures live and battle with humans for survival.
Tonight Arrow season finale (The CW), Supernatural season finale (The CW), Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders season finale (CBS), Nashville series finale (ABC), Wayward Pines season premiere (Fox), Rosewood season finale (Fox), Law & Order: SVU season finale (NBC), Chicago PD season finale (NBC), Heartbeat series finale (NBC)
Friday: Bloodline season premiere (Netflix)
Sunday: Undercover Boss season finale (CBS), The Carmichael Show season finale (NBC)
Monday: The Last Ship marathon (TNT), Band of Brothers marathon (HBO), Roots (History, Lifetime, A&E), Mistresses season premiere (ABC), So You Think You Can Dance season premiere (NBC), Scream season premiere (MTV)
Tuesday: America’s Got Talent season premiere (NBC), Feed the Beast debut (AMC), Powers season premiere (PlayStation Network)
Wednesday: America Ninja Warrior season premiere (NBC), Night Shift season premiere (NBC), Masterchef season premiere (Fox), Baby Daddy season premiere (FreeForm), Cleverman debut (Sundance), Kingdom season premiere (DirecTV)
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