What’s On TV? – Sunday (08/18/2019) – A Dark Evangelical Empire is Born in HBO’s ‘The Righteous Gemstones’

This Sunday brings one of HBO’s highly anticipated new dark comedies in “The Righteous Gemstones.” But there’s also plenty to say goodbye to – several network and premium cable shows have their finales airing as the summer television season draws to a close. If all of this change is disappointing, fear not: we’re also being treated to one of the ultimate comfort films.


“The Righteous Gemstones” (HBO) at 10:00 PM ET

There’s always room in HBO’s lineup for more family dysfunction, right? “The Righteous Gemstones” is a dark comedy that delves into the lives of a powerful televangelist dynasty, led by John Goodman as the family patriarch. They’re at the top of their very unique industry, and they’ll stop at nothing to stay there. Created and produced by Danny McBride (who also stars as the eldest Gemstone son and heir to the religious empire), “The Righteous Gemstones” looks to be a biting satire of good old-fashioned evangelical hypocrisy. And who’s not here for that?


“City on a Hill” (Showtime) at 9:00 PM ET

“City on a Hill,” a 1990s Boston police drama starring Kevin Bacon, is ending its first season tonight. Although the show got off to an ambitious but uneven start, it gained an audience over the course of the season and gradually grew more and more compelling. At any rate, fans of the fledgling procedural can breathe a little easier: earlier this month, Showtime announced that “City on a Hill” would be renewed for a second season likely to air sometime next year.

“Sweetbitter” (Starz) at 9:30 PM ET

Somehow, “Sweetbitter” has yet to find a devoted audience. The sophomore drama on Starz about a young woman following her dream of working in a high-profile NYC restaurant struggled this year, and its future is as yet uncertain. Creatively, the show has shown a willingness to adapt, shifting its focus from lead character Tess to highlight more of her fellow colleagues, building a compelling ensemble piece in the process. Fans are hoping that Starz will give it another chance, and that the showrunners will be able to further tweak the format in the show’s third season.


“Dirty Dancing” (Paramount) at 6:30 PM ET

There are certain movies that you turn to when you’ve had a bad day, or just need an escape, or can’t help but keep watching after discovering it on cable even though it’s already halfway through. “Dirty Dancing” is one of them. It’s the classic romantic drama; intelligent girl finds herself through the power of dance and, of course, the power of Patrick Swayze’s sultry energy. The ’80s film remains a pure, uncynical gem, and there’s an unspoken rule that when it’s on TV, you have to watch it.


Nothing caught your eye yet? Fear not – there’s plenty more new shows on television tonight!

  • “Witness” (Paramount) at 7:05 PM EDT
  • “The Rook” (Starz) at 8:00 PM EDT
  • “Good Witch” (Hallmark) at 8:00 PM EDT
  • “Big Brother” (CBS) at 8:00 PM EDT
  • “Celebrity Family Feud” (ABC) at 8:00 PM EDT
  • “Serengeti” (DSC) at 8:00 PM EDT
  • “Ghost Adventures” (Travel) at 8:00 PM EDT
  • “The Movies” (CNN) at 9:00 PM EDT
  • Instinct” (CBS) at 9:00 PM EDT
  • “The $100,000 Pyramid” (ABC) at 9:00 PM EDT
  • “Fear the Walking Dead” (AMC) at 9:00 PM EDT
  • “Succession” (HBO) at 9:00 PM EDT
  • “I Am Patrick Swayze” (Paramount) at 9:00 PM EDT
  • “Ted Bundy: Mind of a Monster” (ID) at 9:00 PM EDT
  • “Cola Wars” (History) at 9:00 PM EDT
  • “To Tell the Truth” (ABC) at 10:00 PM EDT
  • “Gordon Ramsey: Uncharted” (NGC) at 10:00 PM EDT
  • “Hawaii Hunters” (HGTV) at 10:00 PM EDT
  • “Preacher” (AMC) at 10:10 PM EDT
  • “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver” (HBO) at 11:00 PM EDT

What do you plan on watching tonight? Please share your thoughts in the comments section!