Sean Penn stars in a new series "The First."

TV best bets with Sean Penn, Shannen Doherty, Maya Rudolph

Originally filed Sunday, September 9, 2018 by RODNEY HO/ on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Sean Penn enters the TV game for the first time with his Hulu series “First,” in which he plays an astronaut plagued with family problems. His character is dark and plenty damaged, which is classic Penn.

Over on Amazon, “SNL” alums Fred Armisen and Maya Rudolph ditch their sketch-comedy roots and reunite playing a normal married couple facing some odd situations in “Forever.”

And the critically acclaimed, quite warped animated series “Bojack Horseman” returns to Netflix Friday. Plus, yet another “SNL” vet Norm MacDonald has a talk show on the service. 

Yes, this is what a TV preview is now. My first four references are for streaming services. 

Over on the cable and broadcast networks (remember those?), HBO looks at online dating on Monday, History unveils a new 9/11 documentary 17 years after that awful day on Tuesday, FX brings back the eighth season of “American Horror Story” Wednesday, HGTV returns with season two of “Flip or Flop Atlanta” Thursday and CBS honors its “CBS Sunday Morning” show in primetime Friday.

On Sunday, Shannen Doherty jumps into a classic Lifetime “women in peril” film and George Stephanopoulous takes part in “$100,000 Pyramid.”

This covers Monday, September 10 through Sunday, September 16, 2018. 


“America Ninja Warrior” 8 p.m. NBC (10th season finale) — Finalists vie to win a cash prize of $1 million.

“So You Think You Can Dance” 8 p.m. Fox (15th season finale) — The final four dancers show the judges and the country what they've got one last time before the winner is crowned.

“Better Call Saul” 9 p.m. AMC — While Jimmy daydreams about reconstituting Wexler-McGill, Kim sets out to secure her own future. Mike puts a plan into motion for Gus.

Elementary” 10 p.m. CBS — Holmes and Watson's deadly conflict with Sherlock's former friend Michael intensifies when their newest victim looks to be the serial killer's latest prey.

Swiped: Hooking Up in the Digital Age” 10 p.m. HBO — A look at the online dating industry features candid interviews with twentysomething men and women.

Lodge 49” 10:05 p.m. AMC — Dud’s new relationship goes well. Ernie prepares for the Sovereign Protector ceremony, despite Larry’s growing madness.


“Beat Shazam” 8 p.m. Fox — The Demi Lovato episode that was supposed to air weeks ago but was postponed after she landed in the hospital.

“The Great American Read” 8 p.m. GPB (new series) — Join host Meredith Vieira in the search for America's best-loved novel.

“9/11: Escape From the Towers” 9 p.m. History — Survivors from two World Trade Center floors, many speaking publicly for the first time, tell their stories.

“Carter” 10 p.m. WGN — Harley, Sam and members of a wedding party are trapped in the police station during a storm.

“Castaways” 10 p.m. ABC — Robbie and Kenzie are convinced Eric is on their island and wonder if he is looking for a companion or would rather be alone.

“Wrecked” 10 p.m. TBS — It's "Hunt Day," and the survivors must face off against each other in a battle royale to the death.

“Mayans M.C.” 10 p.m. FX  — The Mayans seek answers from a local crew as the Galindo worlds north and south of the border collide.

“The Purge” 10 p.m. USA — Jane considers the morality of Purge. Miguel searches for Pete the Cop.


“America’s Got Talent” 8 p.m. NBC — The second group of finalists named. 

“Masterchef” 8 p.m. Fox — The Top Five home cooks face a series of pressure-filled skills tests using an incredibly common protein—beef.

“Suits” 9 p.m. CBS — An old foe backs the firm into a corner. Samantha and Alex try to broker a peace between clients.

American Horror Story” 10 p.m. FX (eighth season debut) —  A Coven/Murder House crossover season. 

Greenleaf” 10 p.m. OWN — Lady Mae visits world famous Pastor Maxine Patterson and endures the Bishop's final attempt to win her back at a Round Table party.

“The Sinner” 10 p.m. USA — Cora journeys into the past, finally remembering the night in question.

“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” 10 p.m. FXX — To boost productivity, Dee hires an at-home Escape Room Experience service to come to Dennis and Mac's apartment.


“Reversing Roe” 3:01 a.m. Netflix — A documentary on the history of the abortion debate. 

“Five Stripe Fever” 8 p.m. WSB — A look at the rise of the Atlanta United.

“The Oslo Diaries” 8 p.m. HBO — This docudrama is a re-enactment of the 1993 Oslo Peace Accords, which were conducted in secret.It draws from the diaries of the Israeli, Palestinian, and American officials.

“Flip or Flop Atlanta” 9 p.m. HGTV (second season debut)  Ken Corsini and Anita Corsini are back. 

“Match Game” 9 p.m. ABC (third season finale)  Pamela Anderson, Ali Wentworth, Tisha Campbell-Martin, Adam Carolla and Mark Duplass.

“Queen of the South” 9 p.m. USA (first season finale)  Reeling from a surprise attack, Teresa makes a bold move to seize the throne.

“Shooter” 10 p.m. USA (third season finale) — Bob Lee attempts to put an end to Atlas, all while trying to save his marriage and tie up the remaining threads from his past. Isaac, Nadine, and Harris find new roles for themselves in D.C.

“Snowfall” 10 p.m. FX — Franklin receives some devastating news. 


“Bojack Horseman” 3:01 a.m. Netflix (fifth season debut)  A peer group for teens with autism helps Sam cope with changes, including Casey’s move to a new school, his parents’ separation and college plans.

“Norm MacDonald Has a Show” 3:01 a.m. Netflix (new series)  His guests include Drew Barrymore, David Spade, Judge Judy, David Letterman, Jane Fonda, Chevy Chase, M. Night Shyamalan, Michael Keaton, Billy Joe Shaver and Lorne Michaels.

“The First” 3:01 a.m. Hulu (new series)  Sean Penn leads an ensemble cast in this near-future drama about a crew of astronauts attempting to become the first humans on Mars. And “Gilmore Girls” fans will recognize one of the astronauts with Penn’s character. 

“Forever” 3:01 a.m. Amazon (new series)  Married couple June (Maya Rudolph) and Oscar (Fred Armisen) live a comfortable but predictable life in suburban Riverside, California. For 12 years they've had the same conversations, eaten the same meals and taken pleasant vacations at the same rented lake house. But after June talks Oscar into shaking things up with a ski trip, the pair suddenly find themselves in completely unfamiliar territory.

“Sunday's Best” 8 p.m. CBS — Celebrating 40 years of "CBS Sunday Morning."

“The Paynes” 9 p.m. OWN — Curtis reconciles within his household.

“Wynonna Earp” 9 p.m. Syfy  History keeps repeating itself when Wynonna has to make an impossible choice.

“Killjoys” 10 p.m. Syfy — Team Awesome Force slip onto the RAC to save Westerly's stolen children. Zeph and Pip grow closer.


“Love in Design” 9 p.m. Saturday Hallmark — When old flame Jeff is assigned to make sure Hannah's design preserves the historical manor, the two must find harmony between the old and the new.

“No One Would Tell” 8 p.m. Sunday Lifetime — Shannen Doherty plays a single mom trying to protect her tormented daughter. 

“Married to Medicine” 8 p.m. Sunday Bravo — When her ailing father visits, Contessa discovers his health is even worse than she thought.

“$100,000 Pyramid” 9 p.m. Sunday ABC — George Stephanopoulous vs. Ali Wentworth and Bethenny Frankel vs. Ana Gasteyer. 

“Fear the Walking Dead” 9 p.m. Sunday AMC — Difficult decisions lead the group into uncertainty. Meanwhile, Alicia delivers on a promise to Charlie.

“The Deuce” 9 p.m. Sunday HBO — Confronted with the changing realities of prostitution and porn, C.C. doubles down on his assets, while fellow pimp Larry Brown eyes a new opportunity.

“The Last Ship” 9 p.m. Sunday TNT — Thrust back to WWII-era military technology, Nathan James must think fast to survive a fight with limited weapons capabilities.

“Shameless” 9 p.m. Sunday Showtime — The Chatsworth residents are fighting to save the estate from being destroyed, and Karen gives everyone hope when she reveals a secret weapon that could help their case against the council.

“Kidding” 10 p.m. Sunday Showtime  — Jeff makes a rash decision that could affect the ability of the show to continue.

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About the Author

Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.