The Week’s guide to what’s worth watching

The best programs on TV this week

The Address

Memorizing and reciting the Gettysburg Address is a formidable task. But the students at an all-boys school in Vermont are proving that delivering the speech from memory can be personally transformative as well. In this 90-minute documentary, director Ken Burns captures how President Lincoln’s words motivate the boys at Putney’s Greenwood School, where every student is trying to overcome a learning difference or disability. Tuesday, April 15, at 9 p.m., PBS; check local listings

The Writers’ Room

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The creative teams behind some of television’s best series began sitting down for fascinating conversations with fellow screenwriter Jim Rash last summer. During the show’s new season, Rash will talk shop with peers from House of Cards and The Walking Dead. But first up is Scandal, as series creator Shonda Rhimes, star Kerry Washington, and several collaborators let all of us in on their trade secrets. Friday, April 18, at 9 p.m., Sundance

Billy Crystal: 700 Sundays

Give Crystal credit: Playing dozens of characters in a one-man show that runs two hours looks exhausting. But the 66-year-old actor and comedian makes the performance endearing too, delivering countless Borscht Belt–style punch lines in this reprise of his hit Broadway show, which doubled as a portrait of his New York childhood and a tribute to his departed father. Saturday, April 19, at 9 p.m., HBO

Orphan Black

Who can keep up with Tatiana Maslany? In season one of this fast-paced sci-fi drama, the Canadian actress played seven different characters, all of them clones created in a sinister experiment. One of them, streetwise Sarah Manning, is desperately trying to find her daughter as the new season begins, and she blames fellow clone Rachel for the girl’s disappearance. This is war, and one clone is already dead. Saturday, April 19, at 9 p.m., BBC America

The Real History of Science Fiction

Science fiction has never been more popular as a screen genre. But what do today’s Doctor Who or Hunger Games fans know of Blade Runner, 2001: A Space Odyssey, or even Lost in Space? In this four-part series, an honor roll of sci-fi icons—from writer Ursula K. Le Guin to actor Nichelle Nichols (the original Star Trek’sUhura)—narrate a mind-bending history of our wildest imagined futures. Saturday, April 19, at 10 p.m., BBC America

Other highlights

Metal Hurlant Chronicles

Every episode introduces viewers to a strange new world in this up-and-down new series based on stories from Heavy Metal, the sci-fi comics magazine. Monday, April 14, at 8 p.m., Syfy

Life Below Zero

This year’s long winter may have you feeling like the Alaskans battling the elements in this reality series. Tune in for coping strategies. Thursday, April 17, at 9 p.m., National Geographic

Peter Pan From the Milwaukee Ballet

J.M. Barrie’s tale of wild boys and dastardly pirates gets a sumptuous balletic adaptation set to a beautiful score by contemporary composer Philip Feeney. Friday, April 18, at 9 p.m., PBS; check local listings

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