Running on empty
If the Hubbard-owned ReelzChannel wants to be a player in the big leagues, it has to stop relying so heavily on D-list documentary series like “Under the Influence,” which chronicles the downside of stardom. The premiere, which focuses on River Phoenix and Heath Ledger, clearly didn’t have a budget for film clips or enough weight to attract commentary from anyone other than entertainment journalists you’ve never heard of and psychologists who seem to be basing their analyses on yellowing copies of People magazine.
8 p.m. Friday, Reelz
Big blue ball
For two hours, “Earth Live” will showcase the best of the animal kingdom, as it happens, from around the world. The special is being billed as the Olympics of the natural world, which means co-host Phil Keoghan might finally get tested for steroids.
7 p.m. Sunday, National Geographic
How sweet it is
You may be tempted to look up from your cellphone long enough to check out the debut of “Candy Crush,” a game-show version of the addictive app, hosted by Mario Lopez. Fan favorites from “Survivor” and “Big Brother” will be on hand to help out contestants, or at least tell them when their battery bar is running low.
8 p.m. Sunday, WCCO, Ch. 4
CNN’s latest history course may be called “The Nineties,” but it’s slapped together with 1980s MTV attitude, moving at such a fast clip that viewers may think they’ve been propelled into the 21st century. Episode 1, “The One About TV,” crams in everything from “Twin Peaks” to “Beavis and Butthead” with barely enough time for a coffee break at Central Perk.
8 p.m. Sunday, CNN