The play's the thing

Jon Robin Baitz may have created the moderately successful ABC soap "Brothers & Sisters," but he's primarily a playwright whose long list of impressive credits includes "Other Desert Cities." His theatrical background is on full display in "The Slap," a limited series that's big on contemplation and dialogue, and short on action. The centerpiece is the discipline of a child at a back-yard party and the reaction of various family members. This is not the usual route for NBC, which likes dramas with "Law" and "Fire" in their titles. But if the impressive cast, led by Peter Sarsgaard, can lure in viewers, I'll be pleasantly surprised. 7 p.m. Thursday, KARE, Ch. 11

The interview

HBO doesn't usually turn over its Sunday prime-time schedule to a documentary series, but "The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst" is as riveting as most fictionalized dramas. Filmmaker Andrew Jarecki grills brilliant billionaire Durst, who is either a mass murderer or the unluckiest man alive. 7 p.m. Sunday, HBO

Breaking the ice

The story of the U.S. men's hockey team taking gold at the 1980 Winter Olympics is legendary around these parts, but what about the Soviet Union players who returned home in shame? "Of Miracles and Men," a documentary that's part of "30 for 30," looks at the aftermath the Russians faced after being upset in a semifinal match. 8 p.m. Sunday, ESPN

Calm and steady

It's been a couple of weeks now, and I'm still trying to get used to the rhythm of "The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore." The amiable host is much more low key than we're used to in the Fallon-fueled world of late night. Wilmore's more tethered approach eventually may work for him, but right now I find myself drifting over to catch the last months of David Letterman. 10:30 p.m. Mon.-Thu., Comedy Central

Neal Justin