From the Golden Globe-winning “Jane the Virgin” to Eva Longoria’s nice-try sitcom “Telenovela,” American TV has cribbed from Latin America’s most popular form of entertainment for years. “My Life Is a Telenovela” goes straight to the source, tracking a group of Hispanic performers trying to compete in a genre while avoiding having their personal lives serve as inspiration for future soap scripts.
9 p.m. Friday, WE
Ava DuVernay, the force behind “Selma” and the engaging new soap “Queen Sugar,” flexes her documentary muscle with “13th,” which looks at racial inequality in America’s prison system. With ambitious projects like this on her résumé — and much more on the docket — no wonder she’s become part of Oprah Winfrey’s inner circle.
Now streaming on Netflix
Brooke Burns, former fashion model and “Baywatch” lifeguard, has developed into an engaging lead actress, at least based on her continuing role as San Francisco homicide detective Maggie Price in “Death al Dente: A Gourmet Detective Story.” The mystery wouldn’t cause Columbo to lose any sleep, but Hallmark viewers tune in for slow-cooked romances with moderately complex characters. Price and her would-be suitor — a roguish chef — fit the bill.
8 p.m. Sunday, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries
One of the girls
Larry Wilmore fattens his application for TV’s Entertainer of the Year with “Insecure,” a biting new sitcom co-created with Issa Rae. It may find a wider audience than his brilliant but polarizing “The Nightly Show,” largely because its main character, played by Rae, is reminiscent of the posse on HBO’s signature series “Girls” — with a purseload of racial issues to boot. The series is peppered generously with the “N” word, but it’s used less for shock value than to reinforce that this is a woman deeply embedded in black culture, whether she likes it or not.
9:30 p.m. Sunday, HBO