The lead-up to fall TV includes a new true crime series, an animated first, a country music primer from Ken Burns and lots of football.
Dispatches: Weekly TV news
USA Network announced that the second installment of anthology series “Dirty John” will star Amanda Peet and Christian Slater. In this new, true tale of love gone wrong, titled “Dirty John: The Betty Broderick Story,” dangerous love and violent control are once again explored through the explosive breakdown of a marriage.
Gillian Anderson will play Margaret Thatcher in season four of Netflix’s “The Crown,” now in production.
BET Networks and Tyler Perry Studios announced that the joint venture BET+ will launch on Sept. 19. The subscription video-on-demand service will feature new original programming and fan-favorite TV series, movies and specials from BET Networks.
In a new twist to the long-running “Survivor” series, former champions “Boston” Rob Mariano and Sandra Diaz-Twine will return as mentors to the latest group of castaways on “Survivor: Island of the Idols.”
Milo Ventimiglia (“This Is Us”) will star in the limited USA Network series “Evel,” playing the 1970s daredevil Evel Knievel. The story will focus on his death-defying jump across Snake River Canyon.
Contenders: Shows to keep on your radar
If you’re ready for some (more) football, “Monday Night Football” (Sept. 9, ESPN, 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT) and “Thursday Night Football” (Sept. 12, NFL Network, 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT) kick off, joining the Sunday line-up for the start of the NFL season.
Showtime’s first true crime docu-series, “Murder in the Bayou” (Sept. 13, 9 p.m. ET), investigates the unsolved murders of eight women whose remains were found between 2005 and 2009 in and around Jennings, Louisiana.
“Undone” is Amazon Prime Video’s first animated series for adults (Sept. 13). It tells the story of a young woman who finds out that she can travel through space and time after a car accident. It’s the first episodic TV series animated through the rotoscoping technique, which has been featured in the films “Waking Life” and “A Scanner Darkly.”
Toni Collette and Merritt Wever play two detectives who investigate a teen accused of lying about a rape on “Unbelievable” (Sept. 13, Netflix).
Ken Burns is back with new film “Country Music” (Sept. 15, PBS, 8 p.m. ET). Told in eight parts, it explores the development of country music from its roots in ballads, hymns and the blues to its current popularity. Featured artists include the Carter Family, Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Charley Pride, Dolly Parton and Garth Brooks.
Veteran storm chaser Josh Morgerman puts himself in the center of the action on “Hurricane Man” (Sept. 15, Science Channel, 9 p.m. ET, subsequent episodes on Sundays at 10 p.m.). The series takes a look at the destructive impact hurricanes have around the world and follows the stories of those who survive, and those who risk their lives to save others.
Alec Baldwin is the latest celebrity target of his entertainment industry peers on “Roast of Alec Baldwin” (Sept. 15, Comedy Central, 10 p.m. ET).
Report Card: A look at ratings winners and losers
Winners: HBO renewed “The Righteous Gemstones” for a second season.
Losers: “BH90210” continued its ratings slide.
Melissa Crawley is the author of “Mr. Sorkin Goes to Washington: Shaping the President on Television’s ‘The West Wing.’” She has a Ph.D. in media studies and is a member of the Television Critics Association. To comment on Stay Tuned, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter at @mcstaytuned.