Home Television A ‘Winning Time’ with the Lakers, Return of ‘Outlander,’ ‘Transplant,’

A ‘Winning Time’ with the Lakers, Return of ‘Outlander,’ ‘Transplant,’

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A ‘Winning Time’ with the Lakers, Return of ‘Outlander,’ ‘Transplant,’

HBO performs a slam dunk with Winning Time, an irreverent dramatization of the 1980s’ Los Angeles Lakers dynasty. A weekend of series comebacks is led by Outlander, joined by NBC’s Canadian import Transplant and Hallmark’s Canada-set When Calls the Heart. Also back: Showtime’s political-insider show The Circus.

Winning Time

Warrick Page/HBO

Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty

SUNDAY: When the L.A. Lakers hit their NBA stride in the 1980s, it was all about showmanship. The same goes for this rollicking dramatization of the team’s glory days, starring John C. Reilly as brash new team owner Jerry Buss, who regularly breaks the fourth wall to brag and wink at the camera. (We first see him at the Playboy Mansion, so he’s already living the dream.) In the opening episode, Quincy Isaiah makes a strong impression as charismatic college recruit Magic Johnson, and Jason Clarke is a literal scream as volatile head coach (but for how long) Jerry West, a former star player who never got the championship he felt he deserved. Adam McKay directs the pilot with the same brio and irreverence he brought to The Big Short. So far, this is a slam dunk of entertainment.

Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty - HBO Outlander Season 6 Sam Heughan Caitriona Balfe

STARZ

Outlander

SUNDAY: Ach, ye wee sassenachs, the long wait is over. After a nearly two-year hiatus, the epic historical romance of Claire (Belfast’s Caitriona Balfe) and Jamie (Sam Heughan) Fraser continues on Fraser’s Ridge in North Carolina in the 1770s, with the Revolutionary War looming and plenty of conflict on their own patch of land. While Claire continues processing last season’s rape trauma, Jamie faces an adversary from his Scottish past when Tom Christie (Mark Lewis Jones), a fellow Ardsmuir Prison inmate 25 years earlier, leads a new settlement of fisherfolk on the Ridge.

Outlander - Starz Hamza Haq as Dr. Bashir in Transplant Season 2

Yan Turcotte/Sphere Media/CTV/NBC

Transplant

SUNDAY: The Canadian medical drama kicks off its second season with trauma on all fronts. The ER is still reeling from its chief, Dr. Bishop (John Hannah), being felled by a stroke. But the docs are preoccupied when a bus full of students crashes, bringing in a flurry of complicated cases: An internal decapitation! A hemophiliac! Amid the hubbub, Syrian refugee transplant Dr. Bash (Hamza Haq) is confronted by a mystery woman (Nora Guerch) from his past who he believed didn’t survive the Syrian conflict.

Transplant - NBC Erin Krakow as Elizabeth in When Calls the Heart

David Dolsen/Crown Media

When Calls the Heart

SUNDAY: Gentler souls can head to Hope Valley for the ninth season of the heartwarming period drama, with a four-month time jump from when schoolteacher Elizabeth (Erin Krakow) turned her love triangle into a straight line connecting her to businessman Lucas (Chris McNally). The new order of business: electing a mayor of the Canadian town, with several familiar faces entering the race.

When Calls the Heart - Hallmark Channel Nicole Remy The Courtship poster

NBCUniversal

The Courtship

SUNDAY: With new seasons of Bridgerton and Jane Austen’s Sanditon arriving later this month, NBC cashes in on the Regency fad with this quaint twist on the dating-show genre. Meet Nicole Remy, “a modern girl tired of modern dating,” who is transported back to a recreation of 19th-century England in an elegant countryside castle, where eligible suitors will woo her. Instead of honeymoon suites, we get masquerade balls, carriage rides, archery and fencing and even handwritten letters. And before it’s over, the lucky gent will need to get a seal of approval from Nicole’s “court,” which includes her immediate family and best friend, Tessa.

The Courtship - NBC Shining Vale Courteney Cox Starz

Starz

Shining Vale

SUNDAY: Not to be confused with The Shining, this misfire of a horror comedy stars Courteney Cox as Pat Phelps, a creatively blocked writer of trashy softcore-porn bestsellers who relocates her family (including chipper husband and cuckold Greg Kinnear) to an enormous Connecticut mansion that appears to be haunted. Or is she going crazy? Mira Sorvino plays the glamorous 1950s spirit who possesses Pat, helping her churn out pages of sophomoric drivel. Neither funny nor scary, this would-be Blithe Spirit is merely blah.

Shining Vale - Starz

Inside Weekend TV:

  • Stolen by Their Father (Saturday, 8/7c, Lifetime): Grey’s Anatomy’s Sarah Drew stars as Lizbeth Meredith, a divorced mother desperate to retrieve her daughters, whose dad kidnapped and took them to Greece during a non-custodial visit. Lizbeth appears on a “Beyond the Headlines” special that follows the movie.
  • Saturday Night Live (Saturday, 11:30/10:30c, 8:30/PT): Oscar Isaac, an actor equally at home in prestige and fantasy/comic-book drama, is first-time guest host. Charli XCX returns for a second gig as musical guest.
  • 60 Minutes (Sunday, 7/6c, CBS): The ever-timely newsmagazine provides updates on the Ukraine situation and the state of the pandemic. On a lighter note, Sharyn Alfonsi profiles Jacob Smith, who at 15 is the only blind competitive free-rider skier in the U.S.
  • Killing Eve (Sunday, 8/7c, BBC America): Villanelle’s (Jodie Comer) alleged religious conversion is tested when she goes on a Christian camping retreat. (And we do mean camp.) Eve (Sandra Oh) is on her own quest, tracking down the assassin Helene (Camille Cotton), who could be her lead towards getting revenge on The Twelve.
  • The Circus: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth (Sunday, 8/7c, Showtime): The inside-political-baseball series returns for a seventh season, in the wake of President Biden’s first State of the Union speech amid the Russian attack on Ukraine.
  • Bill Barr: In the Eye of the Storm (Sunday, 9/8c, NBC): More politics in store when Lester Holt sits for an exclusive interview with former U.S. Attorney General William Barr, who discusses working under the previous administration, which he describes in his new memoir One Damn Thing After Another.
  • The Walking Dead (Sunday, 9/8c, AMC): The brilliant but emotionally naïve Eugene (Josh McDermitt) takes the spotlight when he falls to pieces after his beloved Stephanie (Margot Bingham) goes missing. His search for answers exposes unsettling truths about the Commonwealth. Also digging into dangerous secrets: intrepid journalist Connie (Lauren Ridloff). Former cast member Michael Cudlitz directs the episode.

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