The Week’s guide to what’s worth watching

The best programs on TV this week

How the Beatles Rocked the Kremlin

The Beatles never performed in the Soviet Union—their music was outlawed there—yet this documentary asserts that they still played a key role in undermining communism. Marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, it spotlights Russians who reveal how Beatlemania caught on behind the Iron Curtain and subverted the Soviet system. Monday, Nov. 9, at 10 p.m., PBS; check local listings

Independent Lens: D Tour

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Part rock documentary, part real-life medical drama, this film follows drummer Pat Spurgeon as he tours with his rock band, Rogue Wave—even while suffering a failing kidney. It’s an affecting look at the community of organ donors and recipients, the inadequacies of U.S. health care, and the rock-’n’-roll life. Tuesday, Nov. 10, at 10 p.m., PBS; check local listings

Apocalypse: The Second World War

Much of the footage in this six-hour overview of World War II was shot by amateurs, including British civilians, French refugees, and German soldiers. Now converted to high-definition video, it presents dramatic perspectives on the London blitz, the German invasion of Russia, Nazi-occupied France, and more. Wednesday–Monday, Nov. 11–16, at 8 p.m., Smithsonian Channel


Coming the same week as Smithsonian Channel’s Apocalypse, this five-night, 10-hour documentary makes an excellent complement. Rare color footage is paired with diary extracts and interviews to follow World War II from the perspectives of 12 U.S. veterans—including an infantryman, a seaman, a nurse, and one of the famed Tuskegee Airmen. Some images are graphic. Sunday–Thursday, Nov. 15–19, at 9 p.m., History

Masterpiece: Collision

From the creator of Foyle’s War, this clever puzzler concerns a fatal multi-vehicle accident on a British highway and the lives it disrupts. Douglas Henshall (Primeval) and Kate Ashfield (Poirot) play police officers (and former lovers) who are out to uncover the secrets of the various motorists—which involve smuggling, corporate corruption, and murder. Sundays, Nov. 15 and 22, at 9 p.m., PBS; check local listings

Other highlights

Lopez Tonight

Comedian George Lopez enters the late-night fray with a new Monday–Thursday talk show. Guests on the premiere are Ellen DeGeneres, Eva Longoria Parker, and NBA superstar Kobe Bryant. Monday, Nov. 9, at 11 p.m., TBS

Sesame Street 40th Anniversary

First Lady Michelle Obama guest-stars, as the landmark children’s education series begins its new season, 40 years to the day since its

first episode. Tuesday, Nov. 10, PBS; check local listings


Jeff (Joel McHale) joins the Greendale Community College debate team, while Pierce (Chevy Chase) uses hypnotherapy to help a schoolmate quit smoking. Thursday, Nov. 12, at 8 p.m., NBC

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