This week’s TV: A ‘Beat the Press’ podcast, Uber CEO’s mad dash and words from Frederick Douglass

One of the benefits of a podcast is greater freedom – the freedom to talk long about a topic if warranted, the freedom to talk about topics that might be too explicit as far as TV standards go. Additionally, podcasts offer the potential for national audiences and national voices.

The first episode (this is available here, and elsewhere online) captures the flavor of the TV show. It includes a discussion of the CNN controversy over Chris Cuomo’s firing and Dave Chappelle’s anti-trans jokes. I guess once production starts – the premiere is a soft launch – the next episodes will be more timely. The objective is a weekly release, on Fridays.

It is a positive development. Now, perhaps more than ever, keeping a critical eye on the media is essential.


1. Showtime presents a new anthology series that will focus each season on a major event in business history. The first standing “Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber,” based on the book by Mike Isaac. It tells the story of Travis Kalanick, the company’s co-founder who would eventually be ousted as CEO, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Kyle Chandler plays his mentor, Bill Gurley, and Uma Thurman plays Arianna Huffington, a member of Uber’s board of directors. Also in the game: Elisabeth Shue, Kerry Bishé, Hank Azaria, Ben Feldman, Jessica Hecht, Richard Schiff and John Michael Higgins. Oh, and the narration is by Quentin Tarantino. It will premiere Sunday at 10 p.m. By the way, the show has already been renewed, and the second season will take off on Facebook.

Henry Louis Gates Jr., as seen in “Frederick Douglass: In Five Speeches”.HBO

2. The HBO documentary “Frederick Douglass: in five speeches” is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning biography “Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom” by David W. Blight and produced by Henry Louis Gates Jr. It is structured around five speeches given by Douglass, excerpts of which will be performed by Denzel Whitaker, Jonathan Majors, Nicole Beharie, Colman Domingo and Jeffrey Wright. The hour-long show, which also includes narration by André Holland, premieres Wednesday at 9 p.m.

3. Morena Baccarin — she played Damian Lewis’ wife on ‘Homeland’ — stars in new network drama, NBC’s “The Endgame.” She plays a captured arms dealer plotting a series of captive bank robberies. Premiering Monday at 10 p.m., the show, according to NBC, “reveals how far some people will go for love, justice, and the most precious possession in the world: the truth.” But can we deal with the truth?

Anthony Anderson and Jeffrey Donovan in ‘Law & Order’, back on NBC 12 years after it was canceled.Eric Leibowitz/NBC

4. The mothership come back this week, 12 years after NBC canceled it. Thursday at 8 p.m., it will be “Law and order” again, with returning stars Sam Waterston and Anthony Anderson as well as newcomers Jeffrey Donovan, Camryn Manheim and Hugh Dancy.

5. Set 100 years after “Vikings”, the new “Vikings: Valhalla” depicts the adventures of the most famous Viking who ever lived, a Mr. Leif Eriksson, played by Sam Corlett. Netflix has ordered at least 24 episodes of the show, and it’s premiering the first eight of them on Friday.


“Snowfall” The two-hour season five premiere. FX, Wednesday, 10 p.m.

“All American: Homecoming” An “All American” spin-off series about two elite college athletes. The CW, Monday, 9 p.m.

“Someone Somewhere” The first season finale of Bridget Everett’s charming show. HBO, Sunday, 10:45 p.m.

“Killing Eve” The final season begins with two episodes. BBC America, Sunday, 8 p.m.


“Break” What if we could divide our identities into a me at work and a me at home? AppleTV+

“Inventing Anna” A look at a complicated con artist, starring Julia Garner. netflix

“Pam & Tommy” The sex tape story tackles sexism and early viral videos. Hulu

“Suspicion” A thriller that is neither tense nor particularly logical. AppleTV+

“The After Party” An inventive thriller played for laughs. AppleTV+

“Drunk Single Woman” A sympathetic comedy-drama about sobriety. free form

“How I Met Your Father” A hideout comedy that lacks overall magic. Hulu

“Golden age” Old Money vs. New Money in 1880s New York, by Julian Fellowes. HBO

Matthew Gilbert can be contacted at Follow him on Twitter @MatthieuGilbert.

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