This Week in TV: Ryan Murphy's 'Hollywood,' 'Parks and Rec' Special, 'Rick and Morty'

Hollywood Still 1 - Netflix Publicity -H 2020
Courtesy of Netflix

A handful of broadcast series have their season finales in the week of April 27, and several high-profile streaming series make their debuts — everything from Ryan Murphy's alternate history of Tinseltown to an adaptation of a best-selling novel.

Here is The Hollywood Reporter's rundown of some of the coming week's highlights. It would be next to impossible to watch everything, but let THR point the way to worthy options each week. All times are ET/PT unless noted.

The Big Show

Hollywood is the second show from mega-producer Ryan Murphy to premiere on Netflix (and the first that falls under his huge overall deal with the streamer; The Politician is produced Murphy's previous employer, 20th Century Fox TV). And as with all things Murphy, it's likely to be provocative.

Set in the 1940s, the series mixes real-life figures with fictional characters to tell a story in which Rock Hudson (Jake Picking) can be open about his sexuality, a woman (Patti LuPone) is running a major studio and an African American woman (Laura Harrier) is being groomed as a major star. "I've always been interested in this kind of buried history, and I wanted to create a universe where these icons got the endings that they deserved," Murphy told THR. "It's this beautiful fantasy." Hollywood debuts Friday.

Also on streaming …

It's a big week for streaming debuts, with several high-profile series premiering. Among them are Mindy Kaling's coming-of-age comedy Never Have I Ever (Monday, Netflix), Hulu's adaptation of Sally Rooney's acclaimed novel Normal People (Wednesday), The Office boss Greg Daniels' afterlife comedy Upload (Friday, Amazon) and the British comedy Trying (Friday, Apple TV+). Netflix also has the cooking show Nadiya's Time to Eat, featuring former Great British Baking Show winner Nadiya Hussain (Wednesday).

On broadcast …

Special: Five years after Leslie Knope and company left the air, Parks and Recreation is returning to NBC for a one-time-only special at 8:30 p.m. Thursday, featuring Leslie (Amy Poehler) trying to keep in touch with her friends and colleagues during the coronavirus pandemic. Along with Poehler, the rest of the show's core cast — Rashida Jones, Nick Offerman, Chris Pratt, Aubrey Plaza, Rob Lowe, Adam Scott, Retta and Jim O'Heir — are set to appear in the special, which will raise money for Feeding America.

Returning: A second season of Spy in the Wild, the nature show that puts animatronic spy cameras in groups of animals to better record their behavior, premieres at 8 p.m. Wednesday on PBS.

Movie night: CBS is reaching back to broadcasting's past with a five-week run of beloved theatrical movies (all from corporate sibling Paramount Pictures) on Sunday nights. First up is Raiders of the Lost Ark at 8 p.m. May 3.

Finales: The season ends for Prodigal Son (9 p.m. Monday, Fox), Last Man Standing (8 p.m. Thursday, Fox), Charmed (8 p.m. Friday, The CW), Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist (9 p.m. May 3, NBC) and Good Girls (10 p.m. May 3, NBC).

On cable …

Returning: The second half of Rick and Morty's fourth season kicks off at 11:30 p.m. May 3 on Adult Swim. The five episodes will feature lightsaber duels, uncomfortable dinner conversations and, as noted in the trailer below, at least one "unnecessarily badass suit-up."

Also returning: Showtime's Billions begins an abbreviated fifth season at 9 p.m. May 3; seven episodes will air in the spring, with the remainder to come after production is able to resume. Bravo also debuts a new season of The Real Housewives of Potomac at 8 p.m. May 3.

New: Betty (11 p.m. Friday, HBO) is inspired by the 2018 indie film Skate Kitchen and follows a diverse group of young women navigating the predominantly male-oriented skateboarding culture of New York City. Several actors from the pic reprise their roles.

In case you missed it …

It's not as star-studded or wide-reaching as the college admissions bribery scandal, but the real-life story behind Bad Education is in itself a juicy morality tale. THR's review said the film, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival last year before HBO snapped it up, "plays like a slow-burn investigative thriller with comic touches and a major comeuppance in the last act." It's available on HBO platforms.