Entertainment

What to Watch on Friday: A new Ted Bundy 20/20 doc and a new Kelsey Grammer series

As a child, serial killer Ted Bundy, mutilated dogs and cats. As an adult, he murdered at least 30 women.
As a child, serial killer Ted Bundy, mutilated dogs and cats. As an adult, he murdered at least 30 women. Associated Press

20/20: Bundy (9 p.m., ABC) - This week’s two-hour true crime documentary focuses on one of the most infamous serial killers of all time: Ted Bundy. Bundy, whose horrifying murder spree in the 1970s spanned several states, admitted to murdering 30 women and girls, but authorities believe he may have been responsible for as many as 100 homicides. As we’ve just passed the 30th anniversary of Bundy’s execution in Florida, there’s a lot of Bundy stuff out there right now: Netflix released “The Ted Bundy Tapes” in January and the Zac Efron movie “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile” premiered at Sundance the same month (the film is due to get a wide release and Netflix premiere date later this year). This 20/20 special feeds the hunger for Bundy material while waiting for “Extremely Wicked.” Tonight’s documentary features interviews with surviving victims and those who were instrumental in putting Bundy behind bars, including former FBI special agent Bill Hagmaier, who interviewed Bundy on death row for over 200 hours. They also talk to one of the first Florida State University officers to arrive at the Chi Omega sorority house after Bundy’s killing spree there, and with detectives, prosecutors and others connected to the case. NOTE: If you miss tonight’s program — the seventh in 20/20’s series of 12 two-hour documentaries on notorious crimes and criminals — you can watch online at abc.com (you’ll need to sign in with a cable, satellite or streaming service password, at least for the first week or so after the show airs; after that, the 20/20 specials all seem to be unlocked) or through a streaming service such as Hulu or Sling.

Proven Innocent (9 p.m., Fox) - Kelsey Grammer returns to television in the role of villainous Chicago District Attorney Gore Bellows, who (based on the two episodes provided for review) essentially seems to specialize in putting innocent people behind bars. Rachelle Lefevre is Madison Scott, an attorney for the wrongly convicted who, along with her brother, was wrongly convicted herself — by Bellows — for the murder of her best friend Rosemary Lynch while in high school. We don’t learn right away what sprung Madison and her brother from prison, but we’re told pretty quickly that her brother hasn’t adjusted to freedom nearly as well as she has. It looks like each episode will have Madison and her team (which includes Vincent Kartheiser of “Mad Men” and Russell Hornsby of “Grimm”) working to free someone they believe to be wrongly imprisoned by Bellows, in an effort to not just serve justice, but to keep Bellows from being elected attorney general. The flashbacks about Rosemary’s murder, and the very small amount of each episode devoted to Madison wondering who the real killer might be (“investigating” is too strong a word for what we witness) are the most interesting parts of the show. Let’s hope there’s more of that going forward.

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PROVEN INNOCENT: L-R: Rachelle Lefevre and Kelsey Grammer in the “Pilot” series premiere episode of PROVEN INNOCENT airing Friday, Feb. 15 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2019 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Jean Whiteside/FOX Jean Whiteside FOX

Movies For Grownups Awards (9 p.m., PBS / UNC-TV) - AARP Magazine gives awards to actors, films and filmmakers whose work appeals to “those with a grownup state of mind.”

Lorena (Amazon Prime) - This new 4-episode documentary series reexamines the story of Lorena Bobbitt, who cut off her husband’s penis in 1993 and became the topic of late night comedy show monologues for years. But this series, directed by Joshua Rofe and executive produced by Jordan Peele, approaches the story from the perspective of Lorena with a focus on the issue of domestic violence (Lorena says he suffered from longterm physical and emotion abuse from her husband, John). It’s an entirely new way to look at the case.

The Umbrella Academy (Netflix) - Based on the popular Gerard Way / Gabriel Ba comics and graphic novels, this new Netflix series follows seven of 43 infants who were born on the same day in 1989 to random women who showed no sign of pregnancy the day before. The seven at the center of the show are adopted by a billionaire industrialist who creates The Umbrella Academy to prepare his young charges to save the world. It doesn’t work out and the group falls apart, but they reunite in their 30s to solve the mystery of their father’s death. It stars Ellen Page, Tom Hopper, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Robert Sheehan, David Castaneda, Aiden Gallagher, Cameron Britton and Mary J. Blige.

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Cameron Brodeur, Aidan Gallagher, Blake Talabis, Dante Albidone, Eden Cupid and Ethan Hwang as young members of “The Umbrella Academy,” and Colm Feore, far right, as their adopted father. Christos Kalohoridis Netflix

Some programming descriptions are provided by networks.

Brooke Cain is a North Carolina native who has worked at The News & Observer for more than 20 years. She writes about TV and local media for the Happiness is a Warm TV blog, and also covers local retail.


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