Stay Tuned: This week’s viewing is lots of finales, a few premieres
Season finales fill the week, a sneaky conman returns, and an acclaimed Staten Island rap crew get the docuseries treatment.
Dispatches: Weekly TV news
YouTube announced that its original series and specials will soon be available to watch for free with ads. Chief Business Officer Robert Kyncl discussed the decision at YouTube’s annual Brandcast event. “While every other media company is building a paywall, we are headed in the opposite direction,” he said.
The “Downton Abbey” team of Julian Fellowes, Gareth Neame and Michael Engler are partnering with HBO for their new series “The Gilded Age.” The 10-episode period drama (previously slated for NBC) follows the orphaned daughter of a Southern general who moves to New York City and quickly gets caught up in the lives of her fabulously wealthy neighbors.
ABC has given an early series order to “Mixed-ish.” The “Black-ish” prequel spinoff will focus on a young version of Tracee Ellis Ross’ Rainbow character and her experience growing up in a mixed-race family in the 1980s.
Elizabeth Banks will host ABC’s “Press Your Luck” reboot, which is set to air June 12.
Kanye West is developing a Showtime anthology series called “Omniverse.” The first season, described as “examining the many doors of perception,” will feature Jaden Smith as a young Kanye West in an alternate reality.
Contenders: Shows to keep on your radar
A slew of ABC, Fox and CBS shows say goodbye for the summer. On Fox, “Empire” ends its fifth season on May 8 at 8 p.m. ET followed by “Star’s” season three finale at 9 p.m. ET. Fox’s other finales take place on May 10 with “Last Man Standing” (8 p.m. ET), “The Cool Kids” (8:30 p.m. ET) and “Proven Innocent” (9 p.m. ET). May 8 on ABC sees the finales of “The Goldbergs” (8 p.m. ET), “Schooled” (8:30 p.m. ET), “Modern Family” (9 p.m. ET) and “Single Parents” (9:30 p.m. ET). On CBS, it’s the season six finale of “Mom” (May 9, 9 p.m. ET), season three ender of “MacGyver” (May 10, 8 p.m. ET) and season nine finale of “Blue Bloods” (May 10, 10 p.m. ET).
“Sneaky Pete” returns for its third season (May 10, Amazon Prime). It’s been 14 months since the premier of season two, so remembering this excellent show’s complicated story structure takes some time but an introductory catch-up in the premiere helps. In the new season, Marius/Pete (Giovanni Ribisi) helps his pretend family save their bail-bond business and a woman from his past persuades him to get back into the con game.
Seminal rap group Wu-Tang Clan is the subject of “The Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men” (May 10, Showtime, 9 p.m. ET). The four-part docuseries explores the globally successful group’s history and impact.
Report Card: A look at ratings winners and losers
Winners: CBS has renewed all five of its daytime shows. The line-up is on track to be the most-watched network daytime slate for the 32nd straight year.
Losers: With mediocre ratings and cast and production issues, Fox’s “Lethal Weapon” may have reached the end of the line.
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 email@example.com or follow her on Twitter at @mcstaytuned.