With one week to go before the kick-off of fall TV, it’s slim pickings. Highlights include the premiere of “American Horror Story’s” latest installment and a treat for “Downton Abbey” fans.
Dispatches: Weekly TV news
“Seinfeld” will move from Hulu to Netflix in 2021. Netflix secured worldwide rights to the sitcom in a five-year deal with distributor Sony.
A spokesperson for “Saturday Night Live” announced on behalf of executive producer Lorne Michaels that comedian Shane Gillis will not be part of the show’s cast. Gillis was criticized for using racial and homophobic slurs in a conversation on a podcast.
“Sons of Anarchy” star Charlie Hunnam is set to play the lead in “Shantaram” on Apple TV+. Based on the best-selling book of the same name, the series focuses on Hunnam’s character Lin, an escapee from an Australian prison who tries to find a new life in Bombay.
Contenders: Shows to keep on your radar
Ryan Murphy’s horror anthology series begins its ninth season with “American Horror Story: 1984” (Sept. 18, FX, 10 p.m. ET). The latest installment focuses on 1980s slasher horror with a killer-on-the-loose-in-the-woods story.
New streaming service BET+ debuts “Bigger” and “First Wives Club” (Sept. 19). “Bigger” is a scripted comedy set in the East Atlanta neighborhood, Little Five Points. It focuses on a single black woman and her group of friends who take a deeper look at their lives after the sudden death of a college acquaintance. “First Wives Club” is a remake of the 1996 revenge comedy, which follows a group of best friends who reunite to help each other navigate a divorce, a cheating husband and a bad marriage.
The late Phil Hartman is the subject of “The Last Days of Phil Hartman” (Sept. 19, ABC, 9 p.m. ET). Hartman, who starred in the sitcom “News Radio,” voiced the character of Troy McClure on “The Simpsons” and is perhaps best remembered for his impersonations of Bill Clinton on “Saturday Night Live,” was shot and killed in 1998 by his wife who then committed suicide. The ABC News special focuses on his life, legacy and tragic death.
Fans of “Downton Abbey” can start prepping for the release of the feature film with “Return to Downton Abbey: A Grand Event” (Sept. 19, NBC, 8 p.m. ET). The one-hour special is set on the grounds of Highclere Castle where host Derek Hough talks to the cast about the series and the upcoming movie.
Netflix takes on the mind of Bill Gates in “Inside Bill’s Brain: Decoding Bill Gates” (Sept. 20). Gates talks about his influences and his goals.
It’s fashion and trophies at the “71st Emmy Awards” (Sept. 22, Fox, Live @ 8 p.m. ET, 5 p.m. PT).
“Cake” is a new series featuring live action and animated short-form comedy programs (Sept. 25, FXX, 10:30 p.m. ET). By way of title explanation, the show is described as “a handcrafted assortment of bite-sized shorts carefully curated and served up as a tasty treat for the mind.”
Report Card: A look at ratings winners and losers
Winners: “Wendy Williams Show” was renewed for two more seasons, keeping the talk show on daytime TV through 2022.
Losers: Ratings for the second week of “Dog’s Most Wanted” were slightly down from week one.
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 @mcstaytuned.