CLEVELAND, Ohio - An impressive cable series about the Knights Templar, the return of "The Crown" and a mother-daughter team from Northeast Ohio competing on "The Wall" are among the week's top viewing choices:
"Fifty Years of 60 Minutes" (7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 3, WOIO Channel 19): Wait a second. This isn't the 50th anniversary for the iconic prime-time newsmagazine. It premiered on Sept. 24, 1968, so expect a louder commemoration in about 10 months. But it is the CBS show's 50th season, and that's reason enough for this retrospective that features comments and recollections from executive producer Jeff Fager and the "60 Minutes" correspondents. Sen. John McCain's poignant reflection on his life as he struggles with a brain tumor comes from this 50th season, but other moments include guilt-ridden Secret Service Agent Clint Hill talking about the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Ed Bradley's interview of Mick Jagger, and Bill and Hillary Clinton's post-Super Bowl appearance.
"The Wall" (10 p.m. Monday, Dec. 4, WKYC Channel 3): Titled "Deck The Wall," the holiday-themed edition of executive producer LeBron James' NBC game show will feature a mother-daughter team from Aurora. Cassandra McFarland, the pastor of a church in Shaker Heights, teams up with her daughter, Victoria Meneese, a social worker, to take on the challenge of "The Wall." All questions for this special episode will be keyed to a holiday. Chris Hardwick ("The Talking Dead") is the host for this prime-time competition series that premiered on Dec. 19, 2016. A team of two contestants plays each game, answering questions, with a potential top prize of more than $12 million. Get a question right, and a green ball falls down a slot on the huge wall, adding to the players' total. Get a question wrong, and a red ball falls and deducts value. The NBC rundown on the contestants says: "They regularly find ways to give back to the community - whether it's adopting a nursing home for the holidays, supporting the local fire department, or providing cars when people need rides, they always have their doors open to everyone."
"Knightfall" (10 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 6, History): Tom Cullen, Sam Hazeldine, Simon Merrells, Ed Stoppard, Padraic Delaney, Olivia Ross and Jim Carter are among the stars in the superb cast for this gripping 10-episode cable series from actor-turned-executive producer Jeremy Renner ("Dahmer," "The Town"). The handsomely detailed dark drama is set in the early 14th century, a crucial historical moment for the Knights Templar. The Templars' position as the most powerful, wealthy and mysterious military order of the Middle Ages is being questioned and threatened. Cullen (Anthony Foyle on "Downton Abbey") is particularly effective as Sir Landry, a valiant warrior discouraged by the Knights' failures in the Holy Land but given renewed purpose by reports of the Holy Grail resurfacing. The sprawling production explores the fall of the notoriously clandestine Knights Templar, examining their complex and ultimately tragic relationship with Philip IV of France (played by Stoppard).
"The Crown" (Friday, Dec. 8, Netflix): The second season of the acclaimed drama about the reign of Queen Elizabeth II (played by Claire Foy) will cover the Suez Crisis in 1956 and the 1963 retirement of Elizabeth's third prime minister, Harold Macmillan (Anton Lesser), after the Profumo affair political scandal. It has been reported that this will be Foy's last season in the lead role. The first season won former Akronite John Lithgow a sixth Emmy, this one for his portrayal of Winston Churchill. The second-season cast will feature Michael C. Hall as John F. Kennedy, Jodi Balfour as Jacqueline Kennedy and Matthew Goode as society photographer Anthony Armstrong-Jones....Read more