Make room for daughter
Actors of a certain age are naturally drawn to King Lear and Willy Loman. It may be time to add Winston Churchill to the list. John Lithgow is the latest thespian to tackle the prime minister and his blustery performance adds punch to “The Crown,” a not-so-refined dramatization of the transition of power between King George VI and his newlywed daughter, Elizabeth. What could easily be a stuffy drama gets some much needed air from both Lithgow and writer Peter Morgan, who pulled off the same parlor trick with “The Queen” and “That Special Relationship.”
Now streaming on Netflix
My knowledge of dance doesn’t extend far beyond “Singin’ in the Rain,” but I was mesmerized by the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater when it hoofed its way to Northrop auditorium earlier this year. Those not lucky enough to catch that sold-out appearance can get a taste of the troupe’s stellar work in the latest rich offering from “The 2016 PBS Fall Arts Festival.”
8 p.m. Friday, TPT, Ch. 2
Close to you
You know “Karen Carpenter: Goodbye to Love” is a British documentary when the characters in the dramatized scenes casually calculate the shrinking singer’s weight in “stones.” You also know it’s one of those quickie overseas productions by its focus on her illness rather than her lighter-than-air voice and her lofty place in pop music. ReelzChannel, owned by Minnesota’s Hubbard family, may have made some savvy business moves in recent years, but until it stops dominating its schedule with these fallen-star docs, it’ll never be taken seriously as a quality cable destination.
8 p.m. Saturday, Reelz
MTV’s Europe Music Awards returns to the Netherlands for the third time, with Beyoncé leading the pack with six nominations. The queen is not expected to meet her court, but she’s been known to float in at the last minute. Those scheduled to perform include Bruno Mars, OneRepublic and Afrojack.
7 p.m. Sunday, MTV