Stay Tuned column: Disney+ film ‘Clouds’ is an uplifting look at life and death
Chimps take center stage in a documentary, a Marvel adaptation debuts and a film inspired by a true story offers a thoughtful take on living life to the fullest.
Dispatches: Weekly TV news
Ewan McGregor announced during a Zoom appearance on the BBC’s “The Graham Norton Show” that he will once again be playing Obi-Wan Kenobi in Disney+’s untitled Obi-Wan Kenobi series. Filming is scheduled to start in March 2021.
A special broadcast of “The West Wing” will feature members of the show’s original cast performing the season three episode “Hartsfield’s Landing” on stage (Oct. 15, HBO Max). The special benefits the nonprofit organization, When We All Vote.
Contenders: Shows to keep on your radar
The world’s only binational professional baseball team, the Tecolotes de los Dos Laredos, is the subject of the documentary, “Bad Hombres” (Oct. 16, Showtime, 9 p.m. ET). With a home stadium in Laredo, Texas, and one in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, the Tecolotes strive for success on the field as they face the challenges of life in each border town.
More than 300 chimpanzees are given a second chance at Chimp Haven, a 200-acre refuge in the forests of Louisiana. Their lives are chronicled in “Meet the Chimps,” a National Geographic production screening on Disney+ (Oct. 16). The chimps are the stars in this six-part series that combines natural history and observational-documentary filmmaking.
Also on Disney+ Oct. 16, is a film about a talented high school student with a rare bone cancer who decides to pursue his musical dreams. “Clouds” is inspired by a true story and features Zach Sobiech (Fin Argus), who finds out at the start of his senior year that his disease has spread. With the help of a mentor and teacher, Zach gets a record deal and embarks on a journey of music, love and friendship. It’s an inspirational tearjerker that has a mature take on life and death.
A filmed version of Heidi Schreck’s award-winning play, “What the Constitution Means to Me” debuts Oct. 16 on Amazon.
Marvel adaptation, “Helstrom,” premieres (Oct. 16, Hulu). The horror drama is about the complicated dynamic between Daimon (Tom Austen) and Ana Helstrom (Sydney Lemmon), the son and daughter of a mysterious serial killer, who track down very bad people.
A small-town gossip living in an idyllic English fishing village causes an uproar after telling one too many stories in comedic drama, “The Trouble With Maggie Cole” (Oct. 18, PBS, 8 p.m. ET). Dawn French stars as the titular character who shares lots of juicy details about her fellow residents during a local radio interview, much to their dismay.
On ABC, it’s the return of three series with season eight of “The Goldbergs” (Oct. 21, back-to-back episodes from 8 p.m. – 9 p.m. ET), season three of “The Conners” (9 p.m. ET) and season seven of “black-ish” (9:30 p.m. ET).
Pandas kick off the season 39 premiere of “Nature” on PBS. “Nature-Pandas: Born to Be Wild” (Oct. 21, 8 p.m. ET) was filmed over three years and captures new wild panda behavior on screen.
Report Card: Ratings winners and losers
Winners: Kevin Iso and Dan Perlman got a straight-to-series order from Showtime for their new half-hour comedy series, “Flatbush Misdemeanors.”
Losers: In two renewal reversals, Netflix cancelled “Glow” and Showtime cancelled “On Becoming a God in Central Florida.”
Melissa Crawley is the author of “Mr. Sorkin Goes to Washington: Shaping the President on Television’s ‘The West Wing.’” She has a Ph.D. in media studies and is a member of the Television Critics Association. To comment on Stay Tuned, email her at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter at @mcstaytuned.