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 10-16. Details and times are subject to change.
POV: THROUGH THE NIGHT (2020) 10 p.m. on PBS (check local listings). In this documentary, the director Loira Limbal captures life at Dee’s Tots day care center in New Rochelle, N.Y. To do so involved filming around the clock: The center operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, under the watch of a couple, Deloris and Patrick Hogan, who runs the business out of their home. Limbal shows both the warmth and the extreme labor required to keep the business running. She also follows some of the parent clients, whose own demanding lives — working multiple jobs, taking on night shifts — led them to the center in the first place. The documentary “bears witness to the struggles of these working people, to their tenderness and mercy,” Teo Bugbee wrote in her review for The New York Times. Limbal, Bugbee added, “keeps her gaze steady, and her vérité rigor becomes an act of solidarity.”
LIFETIME PRESENTS VARIETY’S POWER OF WOMEN THE COMEDIANS 8 p.m. on Lifetime. The performers honored in Variety magazine’s “Power of Women” issue this year are Mindy Kaling, Maya Rudolph, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Sofía Vergara, Michaela Coel and Kate McKinnon. This companion special is built around conversations with the honorees. Interviewers will include Aidy Bryant, Bowen Yang and Natasha Lyonne. Tina Fey will also lead a tribute to Gilda Radner.
THE RELUCTANT FUNDAMENTALIST (2012) 5:30 p.m. on Showtime. Riz Ahmed has had perhaps his biggest professional year yet thanks to his Oscar-nominated performance as the main character in the drummer drama “Sound of Metal.” Before that, Ahmed was better known for supporting parts, but he had a lead in this film adaptation of “The Reluctant Fundamentalist,” Mohsin Hamid’s 2007 monologue-novel about a Pakistani professor telling a mysterious American about his disenchantment with the United States. In the film, directed by Mira Nair, Ahmed plays the professor opposite Liev Schreiber as the American, a journalist with ties to the U.S. government. Conversation between the men is monitored by a team of C.I.A. operatives. In her review for The Times, Manohla Dargis wrote that “the agents, their guns, the sweat pouring off them, the urgency of their voices and gestures — an urgency mirrored by the restless camerawork, brusque edits and percussive music — give these scenes the flavor of a thriller.” While those elements add Hollywood flair, Dargis wrote, they also drain Hamid’s story of its compelling ambiguity.
EXTRA LIFE: A SHORT HISTORY OF LIVING LONGER 8 p.m. on PBS (check local listings). This four-part series looks at the scientific and medical innovations that have helped increased life expectancies since the 19th century. The first installment, debuting Tuesday night, focuses on vaccines. Subsequent episodes focus on antibiotics and antiviral drugs; the use of public-health data; and public engagement during times of crisis.
HOME (2015) 8:30 p.m. on FXM. Jim Parsons, known for playing the geeky Sheldon Cooper on “The Big Bang Theory,” voices a purple extraterrestrial who befriends a young Earthling voiced by Rihanna in this animated DreamWorks adventure. The plot pairs these two characters in a quest to reunite the human child with her mother (Jennifer Lopez) and to save the planet from Parsons’s character’s less benevolent ilk. The result, Neil Genzlinger wrote in his review for The Times, “is a charming concoction with positive messages for younger children about conquering fears, understanding outsiders and knowing yourself.”
144 (2021) 9 p.m. on ESPN. Like much of the sports world in 2020, the pandemic bubble in which W.N.B.A. teams played out their season was filled with voices of players calling for racial justice. This new ESPN documentary looks at life inside the bubble, where players had to balance their pandemic-era health with the rigors of the court, while keeping their larger movement alive.
PRIDE 8 p.m. on FX. Six directors explore about six decades’ worth of movements for L.G.B.T.Q. rights in America in this new mini-series. The first three episodes, which will air back-to-back on Friday night, cover the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s. They look at activism on behalf of L.G.B.T.Q. rights, the government’s now-infamous efforts to drive gay government employees out of their jobs, and early pride marches. Later episodes focus on marriage equality, queer communities in 1980s Manhattan and more.
THE PERSONAL HISTORY OF DAVID COPPERFIELD (2020) 8 p.m. on HBO. The Scottish writer-director Armando Iannucci (“Veep”) took a break from satire to cook up this Charles Dickens adaptation, which stars Dev Patel as the story’s titular Englishman. (The cast also includes Tilda Swinton, Hugh Laurie and Ben Whishaw.) Iannucci adds his own playfulness and pacing to Dickens’s famously long tale, trimming the story down, peppering it with contemporary humor and charm, and giving the Dickensian setting a sumptuous visual glaze. “What Armando wanted to do with the world,” Patel told The Times last year, “was give it a real buoyancy and some real color — just extracting every piece of humor from Dickens’s work that I hadn’t seen as a child.”
2021 MTV MOVIE & TV AWARDS 9 p.m. on MTV. Leslie Jones will host this year’s MTV Movie & TV Awards live from Los Angeles. Some of the categories that will be awarded, like best show and best movie, are standard. But look out for some oddball contests, too. Nominees for best kiss include Jodie Comer and Sandra Oh (“Killing Eve”), and Lily Collins and Lucas Bravo (“Emily in Paris”). And Aya Cash, Ewan McGregor, Giancarlo Esposito, Kathryn Hahn and Nicholas Hoult will compete for the best-villain prize.