Feature

The Week’s guide to what’s worth watching

The best programs on TV this week

Samurai
This colorful documentary follows American martial arts champion Mark Dacascos to Japan, where he searches for a spiritual connection to Miyamoto Musashi, a 17th-century samurai who turned from violence to poetry and philosophy late in life. Along the way, Dacascos visits Japanese landmarks, learns secrets of samurai sword-making, and trains with modern masters of Musashi’s two-sword fighting style. Tuesday, March 16, at 8 p.m., History

Justified
In this new drama, former Deadwood sheriff Timothy Olyphant is well cast as a steely United States marshal who’s none too pleased to be reassigned to his hardscrabble Kentucky hometown after killing a fugitive—an act he insists was justified. Based on tales by Elmore Leonard, this neo-Western is filled with compelling characters and dark wit. Tuesday, March 16, at 10 p.m., FX

Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel

As the NCAA basketball tournament gets underway, correspondent Jon Frankel talks with inspirational Michigan State coach Tom Izzo about his Spartans’ prospects for a second consecutive run to the championship game. Also: a profile of Paralympic skier Mike May, who recently regained his sight via a groundbreaking procedure. Tuesday, March 16, at 10 p.m., HBO

Afghan Star
Music and television were anathema in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan, but after the regime’s defeat Afghans got their own equivalent of American Idol, called Afghan Star. This documentary, winner of two awards at Sundance, follows four finalists who risk their very lives to compete on the show—particularly during a controversy caused when a female contestant lets her head scarf slip. Thursday, March 18, at 9 p.m., HBO

Breaking Bad
As this distinctive drama returns, schoolteacher turned meth maker Walter White is grappling with guilt over a disastrous airplane collision for which he is indirectly responsible. Meanwhile, he still struggles to hang on to his crumbling family. Bryan Cranston, who has won two Emmys in the starring role, also directed the atmospheric third-season premiere. Sunday, March 21, at 10 p.m., AMC

Other highlights

South Park
Still stuck in fourth grade, the foulmouthed tykes of South Park, Colo., return for a 14th season of animated satire. Wednesday, March 17, at 10 p.m., Comedy Central

FlashForward

This sci-fi series—about the effects of a worldwide precognitive “flash forward”—has returned from hiatus, and will continue with new episodes to the end of the season. Thursday, March 18, at 8 p.m., ABC

Cold Case

The cold case investigators hope a 2006 arson case is the key to their missing teammate’s whereabouts. This episode of the police procedural features the music of Pink Floyd. Sunday, March 21, at 10 p.m., CBS

Recommended

Zelensky and 'spirit of Ukraine' named Time Person of the Year
Volodymyr Zelensky
decision time

Zelensky and 'spirit of Ukraine' named Time Person of the Year

Why America might face a trade war with its closest allies
Biden and Macron.
Briefing

Why America might face a trade war with its closest allies

Russia blames Ukraine for 3rd drone strike on airbase in 2 days
A bomber lands at Engels air base in Russia in 2008.
Number Three

Russia blames Ukraine for 3rd drone strike on airbase in 2 days

7 so-called vices banned by Iran's morality police
Iran's morality police detain a man with unacceptable hair and clothing back in 2008: In recent weeks, Tehran has cracked down on shopkeepers selling Barbie dolls.
The List

7 so-called vices banned by Iran's morality police

Most Popular

Russian military bloggers are reportedly irate over Ukraine drone strikes
Drone strike inside Russia
Fear Factor

Russian military bloggers are reportedly irate over Ukraine drone strikes

439 Texas churches split from United Methodist Church in widening schism
United Methodist Church
Breaking up is hard to do

439 Texas churches split from United Methodist Church in widening schism

Trump denies calling to 'terminate' the Constitution after doing so
Donald Trump at a rally.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Trump denies calling to 'terminate' the Constitution after doing so