12:00pm PT by Rick Porter
This Week in TV: 'Little Fires Everywhere,' 'Roswell,' 'The Plot Against America'
The week of March 16 was supposed to feature the early rounds of March Madness. That's no longer happening as the NCAA has canceled the men's and women's basketball tournaments because of the coronavirus pandemic.
TV will, however, likely be the primary source of entertainment and distraction in the coming weeks. This week brings the debut of a high-profile streaming series, the return of a couple of broadcast-network favorites and several cable premieres.
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
Based on Celeste Ng's best-selling novel, Hulu's Little Fires Everywhere centers on two women, played by Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington, whose lives intertwine in ways neither expects when they first meet, and not necessarily for good. Witherspoon plays Elena Richardson, a well-off wife and mom in Shaker Heights, Ohio, who rents an apartment to nomadic artist Mia (Washington) and her teenage daughter, Pearl (Lexi Underwood).
THR critic Inkoo Kang notes that comparisons to HBO's Big Little Lies (which also starred Witherspoon) are inevitable — and not unwarranted — but "Little Fires Everywhere takes care to uncover the many layers of racial and class privilege that make motherhood easier, if seldom easy," she writes. "Its exploration of why women often feel more alienated from than connected to one another is far from lean-in aspirational, but at least it's honest." The first three episodes of the limited series premiere Wednesday, with subsequent episodes debuting weekly.
Also on streaming …
Octavia Spencer stars in the limited series Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker (Friday, Netflix), about the pathbreaking African American entrepreneur. Other Netflix releases include the romantic dramedy Feel Good (Thursday), the coming-of-age adventure The Letter for the King (Friday) and The English Game (Friday), Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes' drama about the origins of English football. On Thursday, BET+ debuts Tyler Perry's Ruthless, a spinoff of his series The Oval, which airs on the linear BET network.
On broadcast …
Returning: The first season of Roswell, New Mexico ended on a cliffhanger. The show begins its second season at 9 p.m. Monday on The CW, where it will begin to deal with the fallout from that finale. It is preceded by the return of Supernatural, which is moving from Thursdays for its final run of episodes.
Also returning: 911 (8 p.m. Monday, Fox) and The Blacklist (8 p.m. Friday, NBC) resume their seasons after a three-month break.
New: Historian Niall Ferguson connects the rise of social media in the 21st century to events dating back several hundred years in Networld (8 p.m. Tuesday, PBS).
On cable …
New: HBO's The Plot Against America (9 p.m. Monday) adapts Philip Roth's alternate-history novel about the rise of fascism in pre-World War II America. THR critic Daniel Fienberg calls the limited series from David Simon and Ed Burns (The Wire) "a six-hour nightmare with an insidious creep" as it tracks the gradual unraveling of supposed American ideals.
Also new: Speaking of alternate histories, Freeform's Motherland: Fort Salem (9 p.m. Wednesday) imagines a United States where witches, in exchange for no longer being persecuted, have protected the country for some 300 years.
Final season: IFC's baseball comedy Brockmire (10 p.m. Wednesday, IFC) flashes ahead to 2030, where Jim Brockmire (Hank Azaria) has become commissioner of baseball and is trying to rescue the game from climate change, fan apathy and other obstacles.
Series finale: It's the end of the line for Nickelodeon's Henry Danger, which airs its last episode at 8 p.m. Saturday on Nickelodeon. (A spinoff is on the way in a week's time.)
Returning: HBO's Italian drama My Brilliant Friend begins its second season, subtitled The Story of a New Name, at 10 p.m. Monday. Bravo's Top Chef kicks off an all-star season at 10 p.m. Thursday.
In case you missed it …
The docuseries Dirty Money takes on financial crimes. Its second season, which premiered Wednesday, includes investigations into Wells Fargo issuing credit cards without customers knowing, Malaysia's 1MDB scandal and the real-estate empire of New York's Kushner family. Both seasons are streaming on Netflix.