Stay Tuned column: Drama ‘Noughts + Crosses’ reimagines racial power
Bad superheroes and the boys who hunt them return, puppets host a talk show, a live action “Mulan” debuts for a price, and an alternative history flips the racial power structure.
Dispatches: Weekly TV news
The cast of “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” are celebrating the show’s 30th anniversary with a reunion special to be aired on HBO Max. Filming is scheduled for Sept. 10, with a debut around Thanksgiving.
Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed on as the lead of a new spy series. The global adventure will focus on a father and daughter, with no news yet on who will play Schwarzenegger’s daughter. The show is currently under the banner of Skydance Television and will be shopped around to streaming channels.
Contenders: Shows to keep on your radar
“The Boys” are back in town (Sept. 4, Amazon Prime). In season two, the ragtag group is on the run from the law and the show’s collection of not-so-upstanding superheroes. Meanwhile, Homelander (Antony Starr) meets his match in a media savvy new Supe named Stormfront (Aya Cash).
From The Jim Henson Company comes “Earth to Ned” (Sept. 4, Disney+). Alien commander Ned and his lieutenant, Cornelius, decided not to invade Earth after they fell in love with human culture and instead, settled on hosting a talk show. Among the celebrity guests taking turns to chat with the puppets are Rachel Bilson, RuPaul and Taye Diggs.
Also on Disney+ on Sept. 4, is the live-action remake of “Mulan.” Viewers can pay $29.99 for early access to the film, which will become available to Disney+ subscribers at a later date.
Peacock premieres the BBC adaptation of author Malorie Blackman’s award-winning YA novels, “Noughts + Crosses” (Sept. 4). The story imagines a world where Africa invaded Europe centuries ago and enslaved its people. In present day London, a ruling class of Black “Crosses” reign over an oppressed white underclass called “Noughts.” It’s a thought-provoking idea that forms the backdrop for a story of revolt and forbidden love.
When conductor Ronald Braunstein’s career was cut short after he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, he and his wife created the Me2/Orchestra so that musicians like him could work in a judgment-free zone. “Orchestrating Change” (Sept. 5, World Channel, 8 p.m. ET) follows the group’s successes and challenges over a two-year period. The 90-minute film will also air on public television stations across the country this fall (check local listings).
“Power Book II: Ghost” (Sept. 6, Starz, 9 p.m. ET) picks up after the events of “Power.” In this first of several spinoffs, Tariq St. Patrick (Michael Rainey Jr.), who is now attending an Ivy League university to get his inheritance, must learn to deal with life after his father’s murder.
Nate Geo Wild’s “Big Cat Week” programming event kicks off on Sept. 7 with the film “Jade Eyed Leopard” (8 p.m. ET), narrated by Jeremy Irons.
Report Card: Ratings winners and losers
Winners: ABC’s broadcast of “Black Panther” and a tribute to its star, the late Chadwick Boseman, topped Sunday night ratings.
Losers: AMC canceled “NOS4A2” after two seasons.
Melissa Crawley is the author of “Mr. Sorkin Goes to Washington: Shaping the President on Television’s ‘The West Wing.’” She has a Ph.D. in media studies and is a member of the Television Critics Association. To comment on Stay Tuned, email her at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter at @mcstaytuned.