‘History of the World’ Sequel, HBO’s ‘Perry Mason’ Returns, New Coaches on The Voice, Lightning Strikes on ‘9-1-1’

'History of the World: Part II' Episode 1 with Wanda Sykes

Tyler Golden/Hulu

History of the World: Part II

The shamelessly joke-a-minute spirit of legendary clown Mel Brooks (now 96) fuels a four-night sequel (through Thursday) to his 1981 sketch-comedy romp through world history. Brooks is seen only briefly, his head attached CGI-style to buff bodies, but he’s heard throughout, narrating a show that, like Brooks, will do anything and roast any sacred cow for a laugh. Nick Kroll, Ike Barinholtz and Wanda Sykes lead a starry cast as the first night sets up most of the running gags, involving the Civil War, the Russian Revolution, Shirley Chisholm’s historic run for the presidency—and most memorably, the story of Jesus, introduced as a Larry David parody (“Curb Your Judaism”) with Kroll as a nebbishy Judas who squirms at the thought of foot-washing. (See the full review.)

Matthew Rhys - 'Perry Mason'


Perry Mason

Matthew Rhys returns as a Depression-era, and often depressed, Perry Mason in HBO’s revisionist version of Erle Stanley Gardner’s iconic lawyer, who in Season 2 must be convinced to return to criminal law. The case that brings him back to court: the murder of an oil-dynasty scion, pinned on two Latino brothers who reside in a Hooverville slum. Helping Perry combat racism, bigotry and assorted corruption among L.A.’s 1930s elite: partner Della Street (Juliet Rylance), who’s very much not his secretary, and investigator Paul Drake (Chris Chalk), whose family has hit hard times.

Blake Shelton of The Voice

Trae Patton/NBC

The Voice

Chance the Rapper and One Direction alum Niall Horan are the latest musical superstars to take a turn on those revolving red chairs as Season 23 begins, marking the final go-round for the last remaining original coach, Blake Shelton. (Later in the season, Blake’s first “Battle Advisor” Reba McEntire returns as Mega Mentor.) The Blind Auditions are the most enjoyable part of any season, as the coaches listen for a voice that inspires them to fight to put them on their team.

Angela Bassett as Athena Grant in 9-1-1 Lone Star



Lightning strikes cause mayhem during a “dry” thunderstorm, keeping the 118’s crew busy in the first-responder drama’s midseason return. Capt. Bobby (Peter Krause) has an iron in a very different fire, enlisting cop wife Athena (Angela Bassett) and her daughter May (Corinne Massiah) to infiltrate a rehab center as they investigate the death of his AA sponsor. In more domestic news, Maddie (Jennifer Love Hewitt) awaits her parents (Gregory Harrison and Dee Wallace) when they come to inspect her and Chimney’s (Kenneth Choi) new home, still a work in progress.



The Good Doctor

A familiar face visits St. Bonaventure Hospital when Chuku Modu returns as Dr. Jared Kalu, who left the series early on under a cloud. He’s back with a billionaire patient, which might put him back in the staff’s good graces. Elsewhere, Dr. Park (Will Yun Lee) struggles with a conflict of interest, treating the guy with whom his wife cheated on him.


  • Spring Baking Championship (8/7c, Food Network): The Bachelor’s Jesse Palmer hosts a new season of seasonally inspired baking challenges, with a dozen bakers hoping to impress judges Kardea Brown, Nancy Fuller and Duff Goldman. The two-hour opener is followed by the premiere of Spring Baking Championship: Easter (10/9c), hosted by Sunny Anderson. No Peeps presumably allowed.
  • Rock the Block (9/8c, HGTV): Ty Pennington hosts the fourth season of the renovation competition featuring network stars as contestants, all working to convert identical properties. In the premiere, Fixer to Fabulous stars Dave and Jenny Marrs judge who did the best job on the kitchen and dining area.
  • Jared from Subway: Catching a Monster (9/8c, ID): A three-part true-crime docuseries, airing in its entirety, retraces the investigation that led to ubiquitous Subway spokesman Jared Fogle being convicted of child endangerment and possessing child pornography.
  • Rain Dogs (10/9c, HBO): A gritty, bittersweet British dramedy stars Daisy May Cooper as Costello, a single mom barely getting by in London, escaping creditors while trying to keep a roof over her daughter Iris’ (Fleur Tashjian) head. Poldark villain Jack Farthing is a standout as Selby, her dissolute gay protector, who’s just been released from prison.
  • Quantum Leap (10/9c, NBC): It’s a tricky mission for hologram sidekick Addison Augustine (Caitlin Bassett) when she accompanies fiancé Ben Song (Raymond Lee) on a leap into 1989 aboard a naval battleship during war-games training. Turns out the XO is her dad, Alexander (Brandon Routh).
  • Holding (streaming on Acorn TV): Game of Thrones’ Conleth Hill is a small-town Irish sergeant who gets the case of his career when human remains are found on a local farm in a four-part mystery, available for binge-watching.

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