Between network, cable and streaming, the modern television landscape is a vast one. Here are some of the shows, specials and movies coming to TV this week, May 24-30. Details and times are subject to change.
INDEPENDENT LENS: THE DONUT KING (2020) 10 p.m. on PBS (check local listings). The filmmaker Alice Gu tells a rags-to-riches immigrant story with a sugary glaze in “The Donut King,” her documentary about the California entrepreneur Ted Ngoy. A Cambodian war refugee, Ngoy arrived in America in the 1970s, where he became a multimillionaire with a network of successful doughnut shops in Southern California — and subsequently struggled with gambling. Gu’s film “doesn’t quite manage to connect the dots between Ngoy’s financial troubles and the voracious capitalism that enabled his rise,” Devika Girish wrote in her review for The New York Times. “The result is a cheery portrait of immigrant entrepreneurship that lacks political punch.”
BARS AND BALLADS FOR GEORGE FLOYD 8 p.m. on BET. Tuesday is the one-year anniversary of the murder of George Floyd. Several networks will air programming that recognizes the day. On BET, Jon Batiste, Nas and Andrew Young, the former Atlanta mayor and ambassador to the United Nations, are among those who will take part in “Bars and Ballads for George Floyd,” which will feature musical and spoken-word performances honoring both Floyd and the activism that his murder continues to galvanize. At 10 p.m., ABC will air SOUL OF A NATION: AFTER FLOYD: THE YEAR THAT SHOOK THE WORLD, a special co-hosted by the anchors Tamron Hall and T.J. Holmes that will include interviews with members of Floyd’s family alongside guests including the Rev. Al Sharpton and the poet Terrance Hayes. Also at 10 p.m., PBS will air RACE MATTERS: AMERICA AFTER GEORGE FLOYD, a news program that looks at activism in Minneapolis and other cities around the country over the last year.
FAST FIVE (2011) 7:05 p.m. on USA. The latest chapter of the “Fast & Furious” franchise, “F9,” finally squeals into theaters next month (sorry) after some delays. The new movie will see the return of the director Justin Lin, who has helmed several “Fast & Furious” movies but has been absent from the series since 2013. In 2011, Lin brought a haywire energy to “Fast Five,” which was a slight departure: It pays less attention to souped-up cars than previous movies in the series had, opting for a more straightforward action plot with minimal street racing (for better or worse). “Lin, having come of cinematic age in the maximalist era of Jerry Bruckheimer and Michael Bay, cleaves to the principle of more,” Manohla Dargis wrote in her review for The Times. “About the only silence you hear in this movie, amid the crunch of metal and the hard rain of shattering glass, is the one between Dom’s ears.” That’s Dom, the Iron Giant of a racer played by Vin Diesel, of course.
INHERIT THE WIND (1960) 10:30 p.m. on TCM. When this adaptation of Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee’s play first came to movie theaters, The Times’s Bosley Crowther called the work of its stars, Spencer Tracy and Fredric March, “one of the most brilliant and engrossing displays of acting ever witnessed on the screen.” Under the direction of Stanley Kramer, the two actors play a statesman (March) and his lawyer foe (Tracy) who argue in court over a case involving a high school educator (Dick York) put on trial for teaching his students about Darwinism. (The story is based on the 1925 Scopes Trial.) TCM is showing the film alongside another classic courtroom story, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (1962), which airs at 8 p.m.
MOLLY’S GAME (2017) 5 p.m. on FX. A year before his “To Kill a Mockingbird” adaptation debuted on Broadway, Aaron Sorkin made his film directorial debut with “Molly’s Game,” a biographical drama about Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain), the poker entrepreneur who ran illicit high-stakes poker games for celebrities and others before getting busted in the early 2010s. Bloom documented her own fall from grace in a 2014 memoir, upon which Sorkin’s script is based.
MOONLIGHT (2016) 7 p.m. on Showtime 2. The filmmaker Barry Jenkins returned this month with “The Underground Railroad,” his streaming series adaptation of the Colson Whitehead novel of the same name. Showtime 2 is airing Jenkins’s Oscars best-picture winner, “Moonlight,” alongside another contemporary Florida coming-of-age fable: Trey Edward Shults’s WAVES (2019), at 4:30 p.m. In her Times review of “Waves,” Manohla Dargis wrote that both Shults and Jenkins belong to “a group of young American expressionists who, despite the differences in their subjects, share a commitment to visual storytelling.” These filmmakers, Dargis added, “use visual style to express inner worlds, and show interiority instead of explaining it.” Here’s a chance to watch the two films back to back, and see what connections arise.
OSLO (2021) 8 p.m. on HBO. Bartlett Sher directs this film adaptation of “Oslo,” J.T. Rogers’s Tony-winning play about secret peace talks between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization that led to the Oslo Accords during the first half of the 1990s. (Sher also directed the stage version, which ran at Lincoln Center in 2017.) Ruth Wilson and Andrew Scott play the married Norwegian couple who had a pivotal role in initiating the talks, in a cast that also includes Waleed Zuaiter (“Baghdad Central”) and Jeff Wilbusch (“Unorthodox”).
TULSA BURNING: THE 1921 RACE MASSACRE 8 p.m. on History. May 31 is the 100th anniversary of the start of the 1921 race massacre in Tulsa, Okla., in which white mobs killed Black people and burned Black-owned businesses. Up to 300 people are estimated to have died in the massacre, which also left homes and churches in ruins. Stanley Nelson Jr. (“Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool”) and Marco Williams co-direct this documentary, which looks at the lead-up to the massacre, its fallout, and contemporary efforts to locate unmarked coffins of victims.