New to streaming this week: 'The Starling,' William Shatner and Billy Bob Thornton
Here's a collection curated by The Associated Press' entertainment journalists of what's arriving on TV, streaming services and music platforms this week.
• The best way to remember Norm Macdonald, who died last week at age 61, is probably to surf YouTube for late-night and "Saturday Night Live" clips, sift through Twitter for anecdotes and read some of the many fine tributes written about the comedian. But while movies were a smaller part of Macdonald's output, his plain-spoken, deadpan comedy could be all the more distinct on the big screen. If his singular rhythm stood out on "SNL," he was totally out of place in studio comedies. His first film was Adam Sandler's "Billy Madison" (available for digital purchase), the first of many with Sandler. Macdonald mostly sat by the pool playing a drunk; as Sandler told it, Macdonald fell asleep in their first scene together. "Dirty Work" (1999), currently streaming on HBO Max, was one of Macdonald's few starring roles. The Bob Saget-directed film, released on the heels of Macdonald's infamous "SNL" exit, suggests a movie path that never unfolded for Macdonald. To some, it's a cult classic.
• Writer-director Theodore Melfi and Plainfield native Melissa McCarthy came together in 2014's "St. Vincent," in which she played the single-mother neighbor to Bill Murray. It was an early hint at McCarthy's talent as a dramatic actor, several years before her great performance in "Can You Forgive Me?" In Melfi's "The Starling," which debuts Friday on Netflix, the two reunite with McCarthy starring as half of a couple, Lilly and Jack (Chris O'Dowd) ruined by grief after the death of their infant. Lilly becomes obsessed with battling an annoying starling that nests in her backyard, which becomes an unlikely mode of healing for her. Reviews out of the film's Toronto International Film Festival have been suggested this Melfi-McCarthy collaboration isn't as fruitful.
-- AP Film Writer Jake Coyle
• William Shatner keeps going where no man has gone before, this time with his new spoken word album, "Bill," out Friday. Like the "Star Trek" star's other albums, there's that unmistakably choppy, emphasis-added words to music and lyrics that explore aging, fame and the very nature of existence. It veers right to the edge of camp and then beams away. Shatner has brought some famous friends along, too: "Clouds of Guilt" features Joe Jonas, "Made in the Shade" features Joe Walsh and "So Far From the Moon" features Brad Paisley.
• Alt-rockers X Ambassadors will release their third studio album, "The Beautiful Liar," on Friday. This time, brothers Sam Nelson Harris and Casey Harris created a concept album that pays homage to the radio dramas and books-on-tape they listened to as kids. It tells the tale of a blind teenage girl discovering her long-dormant superpowers and punctuates a variety of music styles -- from the unhinged and catchy "Adrenaline" to the ballad "Okay" -- with a series of interludes.
• Diddy has new music dropping Friday, the album titled "Off the Grid Vol. 1." It's Diddy's first release since his 2015 mixtape "MMM," which featured artists including Travis Scott, Future, Lil' Kim, Big Sean, Ty Dolla $ign and Wiz Khalifa. The rapper has not put out a full album since 2010's "Last Train to Paris." Diddy -- whose name has morphed from Puffy to Puff Daddy to P. Diddy, to Diddy and then P. Diddy -- changed his middle name to "Love" and announced the album with the slogan "Welcome to the Love Era!"
-- AP Entertainment Writer Mark Kennedy
• The Fox Business Network series "How America Works," which debuted at 7 p.m. Monday, is part of a slate of new programs the network says will celebrate "American industry and ingenuity." Narrated by Mike Rowe, the hourlong "How America Works" will focus on those who labor around the clock to keep the country's infrastructure in order. Among the other new series: "American Gold: The Legend of Bear Gulch" (7 p.m. Wednesday), about a family's Montana mining venture, and "The Pursuit! With John Rich" (8 p.m. Wednesday) with the country music star interviewing fellow musicians, celebrities and entrepreneurs.
• "Goliath" and the struggles of lawyer Billy McBride are coming to an end. The Amazon series, starring Billy Bob Thornton in the title role, has seen McBride chase redemption for a case that ended in tragedy and undermined his career, psyche and health. In the final season, he returns to his law-firm roots and, with legal partner Patty (Nina Arianda), goes after the opioid industry. The eight-episode conclusion will be released Friday, with Bruce Dern, Jena Malone and J.K. Simmons aboard for the final chapter.
• It's not business as usual for Broadway or the Tony Awards. The ceremony that has long aired on CBS will instead be carried on the network's corporate sibling, the Paramount+ streaming service, at 7 p.m. Sunday. Audra McDonald will host the event honoring the best of the pandemic-truncated 2019-20 season. CBS is keeping its hand in with "The Tony Awards Present: Broadway's Back," airing at 8 p.m. Sunday with host Leslie Odom Jr. The special promises a celebration of live theater with "superstar Broadway entertainers," songs from nominated shows and the presentation of three Tony Awards.
-- AP Television Writer Lynn Elber