Entertainment

What to Watch on Sunday: Great cast, fresh format make ‘Valley of the Boom’ a fun watch

(Left to right) Matthew Harrison as an AOL executive meeting with John Karna as Marc Andreessen and Bradley Whitford as James Barksdale in Buck’s of Woodside in National Geographic’s VALLEY OF THE BOOM. (National Geographic/Ed Araquel)
(Left to right) Matthew Harrison as an AOL executive meeting with John Karna as Marc Andreessen and Bradley Whitford as James Barksdale in Buck’s of Woodside in National Geographic’s VALLEY OF THE BOOM. (National Geographic/Ed Araquel) National Geographic/Ed Araquel

Valley of the Boom (9 p.m., National Geographic) - This entertaining new scripted series is set in Silicon Valley in the late 1990s at the start of the dot com boom and follows through to the inevitable bust. It focuses on a few prominent tech leaders at the time: Jim Barksdale of Netscape, Stephan Paternot and Todd Krizelman of the social networking site TheGlobe.com, and the colorful Michael Fenne of the streaming company Pixelon. The format of this series really makes it stand out — using cutaway interviews with some of the actual people involved in the events to add context to the drama unfolding in the story (Nat Geo uses a similar format with “Mars”). It’s really the perfect way to tell the story. Another clever device is the hilarious use of Lamorne Morris (Winston from “New Girl”) as a sort of composite character who breaks the fourth wall to speak directly to the viewer about what’s going on in the scene. The great cast also includes Bradley Whitford (as Barksdale) and Steve Zahn (as Fenne). A second new episode follows at 10 (there are six episodes in all).

Also on tonight . . .

Critics Choice Awards (8 p.m., The CW) - The 24th annual awards show honors achievements in movies and television. Hosted by Tase Diggs.

Victoria on Masterpiece (9 p.m., PBS / UNC-TV) - In the Season 3 premiere, revolution sweeps across Europe as pressure mounts on Victoria with new arrivals at the palace. “Victoria & Albert: The Wedding,” which reconstructs the royal wedding of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, premieres at 10.

Some programming descriptions are provided by networks.

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