TV This Weekend

Streamers Bring Their A-Game with The Underground Railroad and Halston

ALSO: The Woman in the Window, High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, Pride, and more.
  • Thuso Mbedu  and Aaron Pierre in The Underground Railroad (Kyle Kaplan/Amazon Studios), Ewan McGregor in Halston (Atsushi Nishijima/Netflix)
    Thuso Mbedu and Aaron Pierre in The Underground Railroad (Kyle Kaplan/Amazon Studios), Ewan McGregor in Halston (Atsushi Nishijima/Netflix)

    It’s a battle for streaming dominance this weekend as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video square off with two high-profile limited series. In one corner is Halston, Netflix’s biography of the legendary fashion designer, played by Ewan McGregor; in the other, Barry Jenkins’ The Underground Railroad, based on Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. With Emmys voting just around the corner, a mid-May release date all but ensures that these limited series will be at the center of the conversation throughout the summer.

    Also this weekend: Amy Adams’ The Woman in the Window finally sees the light of day, Disney+ returns to East High for High School Musical: The Musical: The Series Season 2, and FX explores the struggle for LGBTQ+ rights in Pride. Here’s what’s new and noteworthy on TV this weekend:

    FRIDAY MAY 14

    COMPLETE LIMITED SERIES: Moonlight director Barry Jenkins makes his Peak TV debut with The Underground Railroad, a limited series based on Colson Whitehead’s award-winning novel of the same name. The ten-part series tracks Cora Randall (Thuso Mbedu) as she escapes a Georgia plantation and seeks freedom along the railroad buried beneath the Southern soil. Watch trailer. Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

    COMPLETE LIMITED SERIES: Ewan McGregor leads a star-studded cast in Halston, Ryan Murphy's stylish new limited series exploring how the iconic ‘70s fashion designer became synonymous with luxury, sex, and status. Watch trailer. Streaming on Netflix

    ORIGINAL MOVIE: More than 18 months after it was originally scheduled for theatrical release, The Woman in the Window is finally reaching audiences as a Netflix original film. Based on A.J. Finn’s bestseller, the film stars Amy Adams as an agoraphobic psychologist who suspects her neighbor is the victim of foul play. Julianne Moore, Gary Oldman, Anthony Mackie, and Jennifer Jason Leigh also star. Watch trailer. Streaming on Netflix

    SEASON PREMIERE: Disney+ reminds fans that “we’re all in this together” with the premiere of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. Season 2 kicks off with a bang when shocking revelations come to light at the Wildcats’ New Year’s Eve party. Watch trailer. Streaming on Disney+

    DOCUSERIES PREMIERE: FX takes a decade-by-decade look at the struggle for LGBTQ+ civil rights in Pride, a six-part documentary series that explores everything from FBI surveillance of gay men during the 1950s to the battle over marriage equality. Three episodes air back-to-back tonight, followed by three more next Friday. Read our review. 8:00 PM ET on FX

    SPECIAL PRESENTATION: In the wake of Prince Philip’s death, Gayle King looks to the future of the British monarchy in The Queen Carries On: A Gayle King Special, a CBS news primetime special. 8:00 PM ET on CBS

    ORIGINAL MOVIE: Angelina Jolie returns to the world of action cinema in Those Who Wish Me Dead, a neo-Western thriller about a survival expert (Jolie) and a young boy (Finn Little) being pursued by assassins. The Warner Bros. film, which also stars Nicholas Hoult, John Bernthal, and Tyler Perry, debuts on the small screen day-and-date with its release in theaters. Watch trailer. Streaming on HBO Max

    COMPLETE SECOND SEASON: Netflix tells eight new stories of Love, Death & Robots in Volume 2 of David Fincher and Tim Miller’s adult animated series. Watch trailer. Streaming on Netflix

    SATURDAY MAY 15

    NEW EPISODE: Funnyman Keegan-Michael Key takes the stage in Studio 8H for the first time in the penultimate episode of Saturday Night Live's 46th Season. With musical guest Olivia Rodrigo. Watch promo11:30 PM ET/8:30 PM PT on NBC

    SERIES PREMIERE: Narrated by Oscar nominee Vanessa Kirby, China: Nature’s Ancient Kingdom gets up close and personal with the breathtaking wildlife in China’s national parks. 8:00 PM ET on BBC America

    HBO MOVIE PREMIERE: Veep creator Armando Iannucci reimagines Charles Dickens’ classic novel in The Personal History of David Copperfield, starring Dev Patel as the author’s impoverished orphan David Copperfield. Watch trailer. 8:00 PM ET on HBO

    SUNDAY MAY 16

    AWARDS SHOW: MTV hands out its Golden Popcorn statues during night one of the 2021 MTV Movie & TV Awards. Sunday’s awards will focus on the year in scripted shows and movies, with the showcase shifting to unscripted titles on Monday. Watch preview. 9:00 PM ET on MTV

    SERIES PREMIERE: Four Black women in Harlem navigate their personal and professional relationships in Run the World. The unapologetically female comedy, from Leigh Davenport (Wendy Williams: The Movie) and Yvette Lee Bowser (Living Single), stars Amber Stevens West, Andrew Bordeaux, Bresha Webb, and Corbin Reid. Watch trailer. 8:30 PM ET on Starz

    SERIES PREMIERE: Matthew Rhys, Jamie Dornan, and Ann Skelly shine in Death and Nightingales, a three-part limited series set in 1885 Northern Ireland. The period drama originally aired on Ireland’s RTÉ One and BBC2 in November 2018, but makes its U.S. debut Sunday night on Starz. Watch trailer. 10:00 PM ET on Starz

    SEASON FINALE: Amalia’s (Laura Donnelly) origin story is finally revealed in the Part 1 finale of The Nevers on HBO. Due to COVID-19 delays, the next six episodes will air at a later date. Watch preview. 9:00 PM ET on HBO

    SEASON FINALE: Zoey (Jane Levy) faces a difficult goodbye in the Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist Season 2 finale. At press time NBC had yet to renew the musical dramedy, so it’s possible that the episode will also serve as the series finale. Watch preview. 9:00 PM ET on NBC

    DOCUSERIES PREMIERE: Epix revisits the three murders that shocked a small Massachusetts town in Fall River about the 1979 crime and the man who was implicated, cult leader Carl Drew. As Primetimer's Sarah D Bunting writes, the new four-part docuseries features evidence and interviews that shed new light on a town gripped by Satanic Panic. 10:00 PM ET on Epix

    SEASON FINALE: Despite his best efforts, Jackie (Kevin Bacon) discovers that he can’t escape his past as Showtime wraps City on a Hill second season . Meanwhile, DeCourcy (Aldis Hodge) pursues justice as Boston mourns another loss. Watch preview. 9:00 PM ET on Showtime

    SEASON PREMIERE: With the Shahs of Sunset crew still reeling from last year’s drama, Reza and MJ plan a trip to Palm Springs to help heal their fractured friend group. London Laed, a new friend and life coach, joins the cast for Season 9. Watch trailer. 8:00 PM ET on Bravo

    SEASON PREMIERE: Return to the bucolic suburb of Middleton with the premiere of The Good Witch on Hallmark. In Season 7, the curse hanging over Donovan (Marc Bendavid) and Abigail (Sarah Power) has finally been broken, allowing their relationship to deepen and expand. Watch trailer. 9:00 PM ET on Hallmark Channel

    MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL: The St. Louis Cardinals and the San Diego Padres conclude their three-game series in this primetime Sunday Night Baseball matchup. 7:00 PM ET on ESPN

    Claire Spellberg Lustig is the TV Editor at Primetimer and a scholar of The View. Follow her on Twitter at @c_spellberg.

    TOPICS: The Underground Railroad, Amazon, Netflix, Halston (2021 series)