Tune in Tonight: Do we need another ‘Orphan Black’?

It’s the year 2052, and people are still eating SpaghettiOs. I’m afraid that’s one of my main takeaways from the pilot episode of the spinoff series “Orphan Black: Echoes” (10 p.m., Sunday, AMC, TV-MA).

Krysten Ritter (“Marvel’s Jessica Jones”) takes on the difficult job of starring as the mystery woman. Tatiana Maslany received near-universal praise in the original “Orphan Black,” playing numerous incarnations of a cloned character. She set the bar rather high for the multiple-personality performance. And that was at a time when FX’s “The Americans” required its stars to play at least three characters, affecting several different languages and accents, in each episode.

As the new series opens, Lucy (Ritter) is awakened on a leather couch by a therapist, nurse or doctor, and asked a series of basic questions that reveal that Lucy has no memory of her name or origins. Not to give too much away, but Lucy appears to have been created using a special 4D printer. (Cloning is so 2016!) She’s the rogue product of a super high-tech company that “prints” organs for those in need of transplants. She is, to use a tired expression, the total package.

Look for Keeley Hawes as the head of the secret company, a woman more than a little invested in Lucy in ways both emotional and financial.

“Echoes” follows Lucy’s life on the run as she seeks answers and connection and a sense of identity that may have been beyond the abilities of the Big Printer. Ritter is convincing as Lucy as a tough survivor. But a series built on big difficult questions has a hard time answering just why we needed another incarnation of “Orphan Black.”

— Former New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter steps to the plate as television producer with “The Icons That Built America” (10 p.m., Sunday, History). Over the course of seven episodes, “Icons” offers profiles of individuals who approached their lives and careers from slightly different angles and became, what the network calls, “pillars of American culture.”

“Icons” begins with daredevil Evel Knievel, who broke out of a humdrum existence of running car dealerships to pull off attention-getting stunts. “Icons” to come include actor and martial artist Bruce Lee, radio personality Howard Stern, hip-hop artists NWA and comedian Richard Pryor.

If these men (and there are no women listed yet) are among Jeter’s “pillars of American culture,” one cannot be surprised if “Biography” (9 p.m., Sunday, A&E) should dedicate an hourlong profile to Dee Snider. His contribution to the musical canon includes the 1984 song and music video “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” a repetitive anthem of unfocused defiance that reached No. 21 on the Billboard charts.

— TCM’s Saturday night double feature programmer for the week is director Todd Haynes (“Far From Heaven,” “May December”). He has chosen two films from 1971, “The Go-Between” (8 p.m.), starring Alan Bates and Julie Christie, and “Sunday Bloody Sunday” (10:15 p.m.) starring Peter Finch and Glenda Jackson.

Haynes scored one of the most audacious movie breakthroughs of all time with his 1987 Super-8 film “Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story,” profiling the life, career and early death of the pop singer, using Barbie dolls as “actors.”

Cast into legal limbo by its unauthorized use of Carpenter’s music, it became one of the more bootlegged and talked-about videos of its time. “Superstar” can be streamed on YouTube. In many ways, the film anticipated the free-for-all quality and creative potential of YouTube and similar media.

While its use of dolls could be seen as camp, “Superstar” treats its subjects, both Carpenter and her anorexia, with utmost seriousness. In many ways, “Superstar” jump-started a critical reappraisal of the singer. And not in an ironic fashion.

Its strange, raw, punk use of copyrighted material, its mimicry of documentary style and tiny Barbie doll set design startled viewers.

It’s no exaggeration that the film suddenly made listening to Carpenter’s music seem hip — something the group had never achieved in Karen’s lifetime. Often dismissed as pop saccharine, Carpenter’s voice rang through with a sad, rich soulfulness when emerging from a plastic doll. Within a short period, Karen was the subject of a song by Sonic Youth, and a 1994 tribute album, “If I Were a Carpenter,” featuring covers by worshipful contemporary artists.

Haynes’ “Superstar” is vastly superior to any other “Barbie” movie.


— The New York Yankees host the Atlanta Braves in MLB action (7 p.m., Fox).

— U.S. Olympic Trials (NBC) feature Swimming (8 p.m.) and Track & Field (9 p.m.).

— Doting parents regret their decision to adopt an 8-year-old in the 2024 shocker “The Bad Orphan” (8 p.m., Lifetime, TV-14). Not to be confused with “Cradle of Deception” (10 p.m., LMN, TV-14), also from 2024.

— While on vacation, a chef falls for a handsome man as well as his culture in the 2024 romance “Two Scoops of Italy” (8 p.m., Hallmark, TV-G).


— Previously aired segments scheduled on two episodes of “60 Minutes” (CBS): Russian exiles in Vilnius, Lithuania; paying for the Social Security Administration’s billing errors; mining the seabeds (7 p.m.); war with the Houthi militias and looting Cambodia’s culture (8 p.m.).

— U.S. Olympic Trials (NBC) feature Swimming (8 p.m.) and Track & Field (8:30 p.m.).

— On two episodes of “Elsbeth” (CBS, TV-14): a reality TV star is found dead in a bathtub (9 p.m.); matchmaking can be murder (10 p.m.).

— Uruguay takes on Panama on the 2024 Copa America (9 p.m., Fox).

— A lonely boy and his cranky widowed neighbor (Ed Asner) take to the skies in the 2009 Pixar fantasy “Up” (9 p.m., ABC).

— A foundling child is discovered on “Grantchester on Masterpiece” (9 p.m., PBS).

— Targaryens say the darndest things on “House of the Dragon” (9 p.m., HBO, TV-MA).

— A new plan to flush out an outlaw on the season finale of “Billy the Kid” (9 p.m., MGM+, TV-MA).

— Those in comas can’t spill the beans on “Hotel Cocaine” (10 p.m., MGM+, TV-MA).


A posh mental institution is the setting for the 1955 drama “The Cobweb” (1:15 p.m., Sunday, TCM), directed by Vincent Minnelli and starring Richard Widmark, Lauren Bacall, Charles Boyer and Gloria Grahame. The supporting cast includes silent star Lillian Gish, pianist Oscar Levant and the Actors Studio’s Susan Strasberg.


Kidnappers seize Americans vacationing in Tuscany on “FBI: International” (8 p.m., CBS, r, TV-14) … Three hours of “Shark Tank” (8 p.m., ABC, r, TV-PG) … Two hours of “48 Hours” (9 p.m., CBS).


“COPA Tonight” (8 p.m., Fox) anticipates the big game … “America’s Funniest Home Videos” (8 p.m., ABC, r).