Between network, cable and streaming, the modern television landscape is a vast one. Here are some of the shows, specials and movies coming to TV this week, May 3-9. Details and times are subject to change.
AMERICAN MASTERS: AMY TAN — UNINTENDED MEMOIR 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings). The filmmaker James Redford was just completing this documentary about the writer Amy Tan (“The Joy Luck Club,” “The Bonesetter’s Daughter”) when he died in October at 58. That fact adds a layer of melancholy to this portrait of Tan, which is built around interviews with the author and with other writers including Kevin Kwan and Isabel Allende. The film also contains a multitude of family photos and home videos, of which Tan is a particularly rich source. “I never throw away photos, unless they are blurry,” she wrote in “Where the Past Begins,” her 2017 memoir. “All of them, even the horrific ones, are an existential record of my life.”
THE HURT LOCKER (2009) 6:45 p.m. on Showtime 2. At the Oscars last month, Chloé Zhao became the second woman ever to win the Academy Award for best director, and the first woman of color ever to do so. In 2010, Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to win that directing award with “The Hurt Locker,” Bigelow’s tense drama about an Army unit that detects and disposes of I.E.D.’s in Iraq. In an article in The New York Times after Bigelow’s victory, Manohla Dargis wrote that the film “didn’t just punch through the American movie industry’s seemingly shatterproof glass ceiling; it has also helped dismantle stereotypes about what types of films women can and should direct.”
THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS (1991) 5:45 p.m. on Showtime. Anthony Hopkins won his second best-actor Oscar last month, in an upset over Chadwick Boseman, who had been favored to win posthumously. The first time Hopkins won the award, it was for his performance in this horror classic, in which Hopkins plays the serial killer Hannibal Lecter opposite Jodie Foster’s up-and-coming F.B.I. operative, Clarice Starling. Interestingly, while Showtime is airing “The Silence of the Lambs” on Tuesday, the alternate channel Showtime 2 will show “21 Bridges” (2019), an action flick with Boseman as an N.Y.P.D. detective, starting at 5:30.
KIDS SAY THE DARNDEST THINGS 8 p.m. on CBS. Tiffany Haddish hosts the latest version of this variety show, which gives children a chance to discuss their thoughts on life. (The show’s title sounds especially quaint in the era of TikTok and Instagram.) Wednesday night’s Season 2 premiere includes a crossover with Drew Carey and “The Price Is Right,” another legacy show.
WEST SIDE STORY (1961) 8 p.m. on TCM. Audiences got their most substantive look yet at Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story” adaptation in April, when the first trailer for the film was shown during the Oscars. That version, which is due out in December, will of course have stiff competition in the form of this classic Hollywood take on the musical, with Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer as the story’s central star-crossed lovers. When this “West Side Story” was released in 1961, The Times’s Bosley Crowther opened his review by declaring the film “nothing short of a cinema masterpiece.”
GREAT PERFORMANCES: UNCLE VANYA 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings). In a normal year, this adaptation of Chekhov’s “Uncle Vanya” from the Irish playwright Conor McPherson (“Girl From the North Country”) might have transferred to Broadway: It opened to terrific reviews in London’s West End at the beginning of 2020. (The Guardian’s Arifa Akbar wrote that McPherson’s script has a “stripped, vivid simplicity,” and called the production, which was directed by Ian Rickson, “exquisite.”) Instead, the show closed early, a victim of the coronavirus pandemic. Luckily for U.S. audiences, the cast, led by Toby Jones and Richard Armitage, reunited in the West End in August for this filmed version, which was recorded onstage at the Harold Pinter Theater.
CRAZY RICH ASIANS (2018) 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. on TNT. The Hollywood version of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “In the Heights” is due out next month, and the trailers released so far promise a lavish production. Given that it was directed by Jon M. Chu, that’s no surprise. Lavishness was baked into every frame of Chu’s previous movie, “Crazy Rich Asians,” the super successful romantic comedy about an N.Y.U. professor (Constance Wu) who travels to Singapore to meet the family of her boyfriend (Henry Golding), who turns out to be ludicrously wealthy. The film made enough cash at the box office to make its moneyed characters blush, and much of its immediate appeal lies in the over-the-top set pieces and characters. But in a 2018 interview with The Times, Kevin Kwan, who wrote the best-selling novel upon which the movie is based, pointed to another meaning in the story’s title. “The story at the heart of it is about a family, a couple, a mother and a son,” he said. “And there’s where the true crazy richness lies in the story.”
VAX LIVE: THE CONCERT TO REUNITE THE WORLD 8 p.m. on ABC and CBS. Selena Gomez is slated to host this benefit concert, which aims to celebrate the increasing availability of coronavirus vaccines and to encourage viewers to seek them. The headliners are Jennifer Lopez, H.E.R., Eddie Vedder, J Balvin and the Foo Fighters. No word yet on whether the performance will feature Dave Grohl getting vaccinated in one arm while making “rock on” devil horns with the other.
DJ CASSIDY’S PASS THE MIC: BET MOTHER’S DAY EDITION 9 p.m. on BET. Since July, DJ Cassidy has hosted remotely produced shows where R&B artists perform in front of webcams. Artists set to contribute to this Mother’s Day edition include Patti LaBelle and Johnny Gill. The full list of performers has been kept under wraps.