TV Insider is a weekly roundup of what’s happening in the world of television. From ratings winners and losers to the latest news items to what shows are generating buzz, TV Insider keeps you up to date on all things television.
Dispatches: Weekly TV news
Can’t wait until Sept. 25 for the third season premiere of “This Is Us?” NBC is here for you. The network will air “The Paley Center Salutes This Is Us” on Sept. 18 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. The one-hour special highlights the first two seasons of the popular drama and includes interviews with cast members, writers and producers who comment on the show’s events and the choices they made with characters and plot.
Sharing is caring or during pilot season, promotion. CBS is offering advanced access to the pilot episode of “God Friended Me.” The show, starring Brandon Michael Hall, follows atheist Miles Finer after God sends him a Facebook friend request. The pilot is available on CBS.com, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram’s IGTV.
Comic book fans rejoice. DC Universe will launch its subscription service on Batman Day, Sept. 15. Designed for the DC fan, the service will showcase DC’s characters as well as original live-action and animated series, classic films and TV series, animated movies, a curated selection of digital comic books and access to exclusive merchandise.
Contenders: Buzz worthy shows worth your time
Ryan Murphy’s “American Horror Story: Apocalypse” returns this week (FX/Wednesday, Sept. 12). Touted as a crossover between the “Murder House” and “Coven” seasons, the new story focuses on nothing less than a nuclear apocalypse and the coming of the anti-Christ. The creepy images released on social media suggest that Murphy won’t disappoint the show’s rabid fanbase.
Things are less scary over on Hulu with the Sept. 14 premiere of “The First.” An optimistic look at boldly going where no one has gone before, the Mars expedition drama features Sean Penn as an astronaut on the first manned mission to the red planet. The series is notable because it applauds honorable ambition but also explores the emotional toll it takes.
Starz documentary “America to Me,” a 10-part series from Steve James, covers a year at Chicago’s Oak Park and River Forest High School, one of the most diverse suburban public high schools in the country. Called “one of the most important shows to debut this year,” and “an invaluable look at where inequity begins,” the show is an insightful depiction of teenage students and their committed teachers. Airing now.
Report Card: A look at winners and losers
Winners: Men and motorcycles won the week for FX. The premiere of “Mayans M.C.” on Sept. 4 was the highest rated episode of any new cable series this year. Total viewers for the biker series from “Sons of Anarchy” creator Kurt Sutter numbered 6.8 million across all platforms. USA Network also had reason to celebrate. The all-crime-is-legal-for-12 hours premise of film franchise “The Purge” drew in 1.39 million viewers for its TV series version. The premiere was one of the network’s best series or season debuts so far this year. New comedy series “Rel” got a nice bump from NFL Football on Fox but it was NBC’s first Sunday Night Football broadcast of the season that won Sunday night with 19.74 million viewers.
Losers: The women of the annual Miss America competition failed to draw viewers for ABC. The broadcast had its lowest-ever ratings.
— 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter at @MelissaCrawley.