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‘Expanse’ Final Season, New ‘Peanuts’ Special, Cyberattack on ‘Blue Bloods,’ Sandra Bullock in ‘Unforgivable’

Jacob Scott

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The epic sci-fi drama The Expanse launches its final season on Prime Video. Good grief: Apple TV+ presents a new Peanuts special set on New Year’s Eve. Cyberattacks plague CBS’ Blue Bloods and Magnum P.I. in their final 2021 episodes. Sandra Bullock plays an ex-con seeking redemption in the Netflix film The Unforgivable.

Amazon Studios

The Expanse

The colonized solar system is at war in the sixth and final season of the Hugo Award-winning sci-fi drama, with Captain Holden (Steven Strait) and the crew of the salvaged warship Rocinante caught in the conflict. When zealot Marco Inaros (Keon Alexander), on behalf of the downtrodden Belters in the asteroid belt, launches asteroid attacks on Earth and Mars, U.N. secretary-general Chrisjen Avasarala (Shohreh Aghdashloo) sends former Martian Marine Bobbie Draper (Frankie Adams) on a secret mission to even the fight. But beyond the Rings, there’s a new threat lurking.

Snoopy Presents: For Auld Lang Syne

The streamer’s first new original holiday special from the beloved Peanuts franchise is set on New Year’s Eve, when Lucy Van Pelt decides to throw the best party ever to make up for a disappointing Christmas. For good old Charlie Brown, the clock is ticking as he tries to accomplish even one of the resolutions he made on New Year’s Eve a year ago.

CBS

Blue Bloods

ER’s Alex Kingston returns as Sloane Thompson, former Commander of the City of London Police, enlisted by her good friend Frank (Tom Selleck)—who she once invited to her hotel room for a nightcap (!)—to get to the bottom of a cyberattack hacking the NYPD that forced Danny (Donnie Wahlberg) to release a suspect. An hour earlier on Magnum P.I. (9/8c), there’s another cyberattack, this time a ransomware scheme targeting the Honolulu P.D. on Christmas Eve, leading to Det. Lia Kaleo (Chantal Thuy) revealing a secret to Magnum (Jay Hernandez) and fellow detective Katsumoto (Tim Kang). Both series return in early January, while S.W.A.T. (8/7c) prepares for a move to Sundays in the new year.

NETFLIX

The Unforgivable

Oscar winner Sandra Bullock stars in a grim, character-driven mystery as Ruth Slater, who’s just been released from prison on parole after serving 20 years for a terrible violent crime. The outside world isn’t willing to forget let alone forgive, so she seeks redemption by seeking her younger sister, the only family she knows. The impressive supporting cast includes Viola Davis, Richard Thomas, Vincent D’Onofrio and Jon Bernthal.

West Side Story

As Steven Spielberg’s terrific new version of the classic musical hits movie theaters, with more inclusive casting and many bold changes, TCM presents Robert Wise’s 1961 movie as a fascinating contrast. Among the 10 Academy Awards the film won, still a record for a musical, was Rita Moreno’s Supporting Actress triumph as the fiery Anita. Her role in the new film, as the widowed drugstore proprietor, could land her an historic second nomination at the very least. Both versions are worth your time.

ABC News

20/20

On the heels of last week’s exclusive interview with Alec Baldwin by George Stephanopoulos, the newsmagazine follows with a two-hour report on the fatal shooting on the set of Rust. Parts of the Baldwin interview will be replayed, along with new interviews, including Thell Reed, veteran Hollywood armorer and father of Rust’s set armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, and from Rust, actor Devon Werkheiser, special effects coordinator Thomas Gandy, chief of lighting Serge Svetnoy and costume designer Terese Davis. 20/20 also checks in with Santa Fe County’s district attorney and sheriff.

More true-crime TV:

Dateline NBC (9/8c, NBC): A two-hour report investigates allegations of international sex trafficking involving fashion mogul Peter Nygard, including interviews with accusers, former employees and members of his family. Tiger King: The Doc Antle Story (streaming on Netflix): The gift that keeps on giving… us headaches: Another spinoff of the hit docuseries focuses on embattled private-zoo operator Doc Antle, with disturbing allegations of abuse and intimidation painting him as one of the worst of Tiger King’s cast of miserable miscreants.

The Yule Spool:

A Dickens of a Holiday! (8/7c, Hallmark Channel): Channel regular Kristoffer Polaha stars as an action movie star invited back to his hometown to play Scrooge in A Christmas Carol that marks the 100th anniversary of the local Victorian festival. Holiday in Santa Fe (8/7c, Lifetime): Mario Lopez and Aimee Garcia are siblings who work to keep the family holiday-decoration business going after the passing of their matriarch.

Inside Friday TV:

Ricky Powell: The Individualist (8/7c, Showtime): As part of Showtime’s “Hip Hop 50” initiative, a new documentary celebrates the life and career of photographer Ricky Powell, seen in some of his last interview footage before passing away earlier this year. He became known as “The Rickster” as he captured and embodied the hip-hop and pop art scenes of the 1980s and ’90s, with indelible images of the Beastie Boys, Run-DMC, Basquiat, Madonna and more. Craft in America (9/8c, PBS, check local listings at pbs.org): The Peabody-winning series that honors the creative spirit offers back-to-back hours: the first dealing with “Harmony” and music played on lovingly crafted instruments, the second all about “Jewelry.” Encounter (streaming on Prime Video): Aliens are all the rage. Riz Ahmed (Sound of Metal) stars in a thriller about a decorated Marine on the run from the military as he races to save his young sons from an alien invasion. Similar threats occupy the characters on the Apple TV+ series Invasion, which airs its Season 1 finale, having just been renewed for a second. Saturday Morning All Star Hits! (streaming on Netflix): Saturday Night Live’s Kyle Mooney is co-creator and star (as twins) of a surreal send-up of ’80s and ’90s Saturday morning TV, mixing live action and adult animation. Twentysomethings: Austin (streaming on Netflix): Reminiscent of The Real World, this reality series brings together seven young adults in the Texas capital as they seek purpose and romance. Six episodes drop this week, with six more next Friday. Play-Doh Squished (streaming on IMDb TV): Modern Family’s Sarah Hyland hosts a holiday-themed competition special in which teams of kids and adults engage in physical and creative challenges on a Play-Doh winter wonderland set. Crossing Swords (streaming on Hulu): The Great’s Nicholas Hoult returns for a second season of animated medieval mayhem as Patrick, the hapless squire who suffers many a humiliation to win the favor of brutal King Merriman (Luke Evans).

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‘Moon Knight’ Took Marvel in a Different Orbit, but It Didn’t Rise to the Occasion

Jacob Scott

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Before anyone writes that off as an anomaly, “Eternals” tackled a similar introduction of a dense mythology on the bigger screen, with equally mixed results. It’s a reminder that while film-goers have had more than a decade to get to know characters like Iron Man, Captain America and Thor, introducing some of these lesser-known heroes can pose a more formidable challenge beyond catering to the most ardent fans.
For Marvel, there are warning signs in that, since “Moon Knight” will be followed by several series based on second-tier characters, although the next two on the horizon, “Ms. Marvel” (which is due in June) and “She-Hulk,” at least have the benefit of sharing franchises and name recognition with existing Avengers.
Ultimately, “Moon Knight’s” murky storytelling appeared to squander its principal assets, which included the cool look of the character — a costume that was too seldom used — and the presence of Isaac, who possesses additional genre credentials via the “Star Wars” sequels.

Taking its time in peeling back the layers of the character’s complicated backstory, “Moon Knight” took a weird plunge into the Egyptian mythology behind it, in ways that became increasingly confounding and surreal.

By the time the protagonist’s two halves, Steven Grant and Marc Spector, wound up in a psychiatric hospital talking to an anthropomorphic hippo in the penultimate chapter, the question wasn’t so much being able to keep up with the story as whether bothering to do so was worth the effort.

The sixth and final episode brought the plot to a messy close, seeking to stop the goddess Ammit from proceeding to “purify the souls of Cairo, and then the world.” In the customary credit sequence, the producers capped that off by introducing a third personality, Jake Lockley, also rooted in the comics. While that seemingly spelled the end for the show’s villain (Ethan Hawke), the finish — giving the god Khonshu the protégé he sought — paved the way for further adventures should Marvel so choose.

That last twist might be cause for celebration in narrower confines of the Marvel fan universe, but “Moon Knight” too often felt like it was one long Easter-egg sequence, conspicuously preaching to that choir.

Granted, Marvel has made clear that Disney+ offers the chance to explore different kinds of stories, but “Moon Knight” feels at best like a quirky showcase for Isaac and at worst a failed experiment in terms of execution and tone.

That doesn’t mean this “Moon” won’t somehow rise again, if the closely held streaming data justifies it. But the promise that surrounded this property has faded, providing further evidence that even Marvel isn’t immune from setbacks as it moves into its next phase.

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Start-up Pony.ai says it’s the first self-driving company to get a taxi license in China

Jacob Scott

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Autonomous driving start-up Pony.ai can collect fares for robotaxi rides in parts of two major Chinese cities as of Sunday.

Pony.ai handout

BEIJING — Self-driving start-up Pony.ai announced Sunday it received a taxi license, the first of its kind in China.

The license allows Pony.ai to operate 100 self-driving cars as traditional taxis in the Nansha district of the southern city of Guangzhou, the company said.

The Chinese start-up, which is backed by Toyota, received approval from Beijing city late last year to charge fees to operate a commercial robotaxi business in a suburban district of the city. It is not the same as a taxi licence.

Baidu’s Apollo Go also received approval in the same Beijing district last year.

Pony.ai was valued at $8.5 billion in early March. The company said its Nansha taxi license required 24 months of autonomous driving testing in China and/or other countries, and no involvement in any active liability traffic accidents, among other factors.

The start-up said it plans to launch commercial robotaxi businesses in two other large Chinese cities next year. The company is already testing self-driving cars in those cities and in California. 

Robotaxis in China currently have a human driver present for safety.

— CNBC’s Arjun Kharpal contributed to this report.

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How to watch Timberwolves vs. Grizzlies: TV channel, NBA live stream info, start time

Jacob Scott

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Who’s Playing

Memphis @ Minnesota

Current Records: Memphis 2-1; Minnesota 1-2

What to Know

The Memphis Grizzlies’ road trip will continue as they head to Target Center at 10 p.m. ET this past Saturday to face off against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Memphis will be strutting in after a win while Minnesota will be stumbling in from a loss.

The Grizzlies are hoping for another victory. They beat the Timberwolves 104-95 this past Thursday. The victory came about thanks to a strong surge after the first quarter to overcome a 39-21 deficit. Memphis’ success was spearheaded by the efforts of power forward Brandon Clarke, who had 20 points in addition to eight rebounds, and shooting guard Desmond Bane, who shot 7-for-15 from beyond the arc and finished with 26 points and six boards.

Barring any buzzer beaters, Memphis is expected to win a tight contest. They might be worth taking a chance on against the spread as they are currently on a two-game streak of ATS wins.

Memphis’ win brought them up to 2-1 while the Timberwolves’ defeat pulled them down to a reciprocal 1-2. A couple offensive stats to keep in the back of your head while watching: The Grizzlies come into the game boasting the second most points per game in the league at 115.6. But Minnesota is even better: they rank first in the league when it comes to points per game, with 115.9 on average. Tune in for what’s sure to be a high-scoring contest.

How To Watch

When: Saturday at 10 p.m. ET Where: Target Center — Minneapolis, Minnesota TV: ESPN Online streaming: fuboTV (Try for free. Regional restrictions may apply.) Follow: CBS Sports App Ticket Cost: $76.96

Odds

The Grizzlies are a slight 2.5-point favorite against the Timberwolves, according to the latest NBA odds.

The oddsmakers had a good feel for the line for this one, as the game opened with the Grizzlies as a 3-point favorite.

Over/Under: -110

See NBA picks for every single game, including this one, from SportsLine’s advanced computer model. Get picks now.

Series History

Memphis have won 19 out of their last 28 games against Minnesota.

Apr 21, 2022 – Memphis 104 vs. Minnesota 95 Apr 19, 2022 – Memphis 124 vs. Minnesota 96 Apr 16, 2022 – Minnesota 130 vs. Memphis 117 Feb 24, 2022 – Minnesota 119 vs. Memphis 114 Jan 13, 2022 – Memphis 116 vs. Minnesota 108 Nov 20, 2021 – Minnesota 138 vs. Memphis 95 Nov 08, 2021 – Memphis 125 vs. Minnesota 118 May 05, 2021 – Memphis 139 vs. Minnesota 135 Apr 02, 2021 – Memphis 120 vs. Minnesota 108 Jan 13, 2021 – Memphis 118 vs. Minnesota 107 Jan 07, 2020 – Memphis 119 vs. Minnesota 112 Dec 01, 2019 – Memphis 115 vs. Minnesota 107 Nov 06, 2019 – Memphis 137 vs. Minnesota 121 Mar 23, 2019 – Minnesota 112 vs. Memphis 99 Feb 05, 2019 – Memphis 108 vs. Minnesota 106 Jan 30, 2019 – Minnesota 99 vs. Memphis 97 Nov 18, 2018 – Memphis 100 vs. Minnesota 87 Apr 09, 2018 – Minnesota 113 vs. Memphis 94 Mar 26, 2018 – Memphis 101 vs. Minnesota 93 Dec 04, 2017 – Memphis 95 vs. Minnesota 92 Feb 04, 2017 – Memphis 107 vs. Minnesota 99 Nov 19, 2016 – Memphis 93 vs. Minnesota 71 Nov 01, 2016 – Minnesota 116 vs. Memphis 80 Oct 26, 2016 – Memphis 102 vs. Minnesota 98 Mar 16, 2016 – Minnesota 114 vs. Memphis 108 Feb 19, 2016 – Memphis 109 vs. Minnesota 104 Jan 23, 2016 – Minnesota 106 vs. Memphis 101 Nov 15, 2015 – Memphis 114 vs. Minnesota 106

Injury Report for Minnesota

No Injury Information

Injury Report for Memphis

Dillon Brooks: Game-Time Decision (Foot) Santi Aldama: Out (Knee) Killian Tillie: Out (Knee)

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