Start of something new
If the new Disney+ streaming service really wanted to attract subscribers before its Tuesday launch, it would have offered a free preview of the “Star Wars” spinoff “The Mandalorian.” Instead, curious viewers are getting the first episode of “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series,” a mockumentary about teens hoping to become the next Zac Efron or Vanessa Hudgens. There may indeed be a future star in the cast, but the sophomoric humor doesn’t give any of the fresh-faced cast members a chance to prove it.
7 p.m. Friday, KSTP, Ch. 5, Disney Channel, Freeform
Shall we dance?
Three hours is a long time to commit to a TV musical, even one as grand as Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “The King and I,” but the chemistry between Ken Watanabe and Tony winner Kelli O’Hara will keep you from dozing off. Watanabe, who earned an Oscar nomination for his role in “The Last Samurai,” doesn’t have much of a singing voice, but he more than keeps up with his co-star in the climactic dance scene.
8 p.m. Friday, TPT, Ch. 2
Daisy Haggard, best known for playing a perpetually constipated TV executive in “Episodes,” is the star and co-creator of “Back to Life,” a new comedy about a recently released convict hoping to be forgiven by her sleepy English town. Haggard is so terrific in scenes where she tries readjusting to the outside world that you keep wondering why she saddled herself with a script that relies too much on a subplot mystery about what landed her behind bars in the first place.
9 p.m. Sunday, Showtime
Dennis Miller is curating a lineup of comedy classics every Friday this month — and he’s recruited some famous friends to help him make the introductions. Martin Short tags along this week to chat about “The Big Picture,” a sidesplitting sendup of Hollywood with Short nearly stealing the show as a slimy agent. That’s followed by “Tootsie” and “Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House.”
7 p.m. Friday, TCM