Before the internet and viral videos made it easy for aspiring comics to get their material seen, they had to travel and perform at comedy clubs to rise through the ranks of stand-up comedy and make a name for themselves. This drama series explores the famed Los Angeles stand-up scene of the 1970s as the comedy hopefuls stand alone on stage, "dying" for fame, fortune and -- if they're lucky -- a shot on Johnny Carson's show. Oscar winner Melissa Leo leads the ensemble cast as Goldie, a comedy-club owner who mentors a competitive but close-knit group of comics. She leads her business with an iron fist but nurtures the comics with tough love because she knows that there's no such thing as an easy laugh in their chosen profession.
National Public Radio's long-running documentary series makes the leap to TV, telling stories culled from all across the nation. Host Ira Glass (who's pulling double-duty on the TV show as he's also the host on radio) and a team of filmmakers spend months on the road finding stories they think would be interesting to viewers -- stories involving Iowa pig farms, an Illinois hot-dog stand and a man who spends several hours a day in his family's mausoleum, among other tales. Many of the stories featured on the show were originally told on the radio show, with video added for the TV audience.
Picking up where the movies left off, "Barbershop" the series follows the life of Calvin and the oddball employees and customers of his South Side Chicago barbershop. Between dealing with his opinionated crew and the demands of his family, Calvin sometimes has to struggle to maintain his sanity.
In the 21st century, most people use the Internet on a daily basis, but there is more to the worldwide network than what is at its surface. This documentary series explores that often-disturbing darker side of the Internet. The dark web, as it's known, was originally intended to be a hidden area where members of the intelligence community could privately meet, but it is increasingly being exploited by online predators and criminals. Each half-hour episode details a particular theme, which include cyberkidnapping, digital warfare, online cults and pornography addiction. "Dark Net" intends to raise thought-provoking conversations about technology and privacy.
People are mortal, which is a point driven home by this series that follows people who are facing their imminent death. The ill people on "Time of Death" are supported by family, friends, health care professionals, and hospice workers. The stories told include those of a single mother with invasive breast cancer; a psychotherapist specializing in death and dying but who, herself, has pancreatic cancer; a veteran with a rare form of cancer; and a young woman who has metastatic melanoma.
Comedian Andrew "Dice" Clay attempts a career resurgence in this semiautobiographical scripted comedy series. Living in the Las Vegas suburbs, he tries to balance living a normal life with trying for a comeback to the glory days when he was at the height of his fame. Now, though, he has other things to worry about, including repaying gambling debts, managing his son's heavy metal band and fending off pumped-up fans. With the show's setting being Las Vegas, it features a bevy of guest stars, including comedian Michael Rapaport, legendary crooner and Vegas mainstay Wayne Newton, and illusionist Criss Angel.