Eric Deggans

I never really understood why so many people saw The Crown as a superior TV show last season.

Yes, the Netflix drama has the production values and ambition of an epic motion picture, tracing the long reign of Queen Elizabeth II. And for those who miss the aristocratic soap opera of Downton Abbey, a big-budget recounting of the royal family's turmoil over marriages and abdications is quite a replacement. Who can argue with 13 Emmy nominations?

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

The latest powerful man to be accused of sexual misconduct is the hip-hop mogul who introduced us to sounds like this.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "I NEED A BEAT (REMIX)")

One of the most difficult tasks in Hollywood is to get someone who is successful to admit they are dead wrong.

That's a lesson comic Hari Kondabolu learned the hard way, while making his compelling, layered, highly entertaining documentary airing on truTV Sunday, The Problem with Apu.

On the surface, it's kind of a comedy primal scream: a passionate exploration of why the Indian character on The Simpsons, Kwik-E-Mart clerk Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, is racist.

ABC's Grey's Anatomy might be the best show on television that TV critics rarely talk about.

Daniel "Hondo" Harrelson has a way with words that borders on magic. At least, it seems that way after watching a few episodes of CBS's newest police drama reboot, S.W.A.T.

In the new show, beefcake star Shemar Moore is Hondo, a nonwhite guy (the show isn't more specific) from a tough neighborhood in South Central Los Angeles who winds up leading a Special Weapons and Tactics police unit. Every chance he gets, he defuses tension with suspects or crime victims (often people of color) by telling them about his hardscrabble background.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

If you aren't caught up on The Walking Dead, be warned: This review discusses plot points from the seventh season.

What kind of Walking Dead will we see this season? Considering what the show's producers put fans through last season, it's a fair question.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

A new comedy premieres Sunday on Showtime called "White Famous." It's the story of a black performer's struggle to succeed in Hollywood. NPR TV critic Eric Deggans reviews an exploration of race in Hollywood.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Space isn't quite the final frontier for Star Trek: Discovery. Instead, the first new Star Trek series to come to television in a dozen years faced a more challenging frontier: the skepticism of all us sci-fi nerds who wanted new Trek, but were wary producers might mess the whole thing up.

What, exactly, is The Orville supposed to be?

Is it, as some promotional ads on Fox suggest, an in-your-face satire of classic Star Trek-style science fiction shows – with trash-talking starship officers and a gelatinous blob of a life-form played by Norm MacDonald – crafted by the guy who created Family Guy and Ted?

Journalist-turned-TV producer David Simon is particularly good at two things: exposing the mindless, brutal institutions and systems that grind many Americans down, and humanizing people who normally exist at the margins of polite conversation.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

DWANE BROWN, HOST:

Like a lot of kids in high school, Sam worries that he doesn't fit in.

"I'm a weirdo. That's what everyone says," declares the 18-year-old character at the center of Netflix's new dramatic comedy series Atypical.

One reason Sam struggles to fit in: He has autism.

As his character explains at the start of the first episode, sometimes he doesn't understand what people mean when they say things. And that makes him feel alone, even when he's not.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

It may be the most explosive response ever to a TV show that hasn't shot a frame, doesn't have a script, or even a plot written yet.

All we know is HBO's Confederate will be a TV show set in a modern America where the Confederacy never lost the Civil War and slavery still exists. After days at the center of the controversy, Executive Producer Nichelle Tramble Spellman says the experience has been like getting "a crash course in crazy."

What to feel, now that we know O.J. Simpson soon will be a free man?

That was the question, as cameras focused on a gray-haired, still-charming Orenthal James Simpson, near tears as he thanked members of a Nevada parole board Thursday afternoon. The board told him he could leave Lovelock Correctional Center as soon as this fall after serving nine years.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This is the network TV definition of too little, too late.

On Wednesday, CBS announced the names of three new actors who will be joining the cast of its long-running cop drama Hawaii Five-0. To no one's surprise, all three actors are nonwhite: Ian Anthony Dale is half Japanese, Meaghan Rath is half South Asian and Beulah Koale is of Samoan descent.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "GAME OF THRONES")

MAISIE WILLIAMS: (As Arya Stark) When people ask you what happened here, tell them winter came for House Frey.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

It's a depressing question to ask on a Father's Day weekend: What does it mean that a superstar comic and philanthropist once "America's Dad" just saw his prosecution on sexual assault charges end in a mistrial?

The trial against Bill Cosby ended Saturday, when a deadlocked jury was unable to reach a verdict on three counts of aggravated indecent assault after several days of deliberations. Until and unless the jurors speak, we won't know if just one or two of them declined to convict or if there was more widespread disagreement.

It sounds like the title to an awful, self-confessional memoir: Everything I learned about fatherhood, I learned from TV. But, as Father's Day approaches, this TV nerd finds himself reflecting on exactly that, the surprising lessons about fatherhood and parenting that came to me from iconic figures on the small screen.

Pages