The Week’s guide to what’s worth watching

The best programs on TV this week


This taut, well-mounted docudrama in the mode of The Right Stuff and Apollo 13 premieres on the 40th anniversary of the first manned moon landing. Recounting the Apollo 11 mission, it blends documented fact with speculation, much as it combines dramatizations with archival and news footage. Australian actor Daniel Lapaine is Neil Armstrong; James Marsters plays Buzz Aldrin. Monday, July 20, at 8 p.m., History

Prom Night in Mississippi

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The high school in Charleston, Miss., has only 415 students. Nevertheless, ever since being integrated in 1970, the school has had two proms—one for white students and one for black. This documentary follows what happened when Charleston’s most famous resident, actor Morgan Freeman, offered to pay for the entire event—on the condition that it be integrated. A 2009 Sundance Film Festival selection. Monday, July 20, at 9 p.m., HBO

The Wanted

Even before airing, this new documentary series has stirred controversy over its journalistic practices and the line between news and entertainment. It follows an investigative journalist, a counterterrorism expert, and an ex–Navy SEAL on the trail of terrorists and international criminals. They head to Norway in search of their first target: Mullah Krekar, original leader of Ansar al-Islam, an armed Islamist group thought to be responsible for the deaths of many Westerners. Monday, July 20, at 10 p.m., NBC

The Ascent of Money: Risky Business

Examining the role of risk in global finance takes historian Niall Ferguson from Scotland, birthplace of the modern insurance industry, to New Orleans, where insurance companies were unable to cover claims related to Hurricane Katrina. He also looks at Japan’s and Chile’s welfare states and traces how financial derivatives laid low giant corporations such as AIG. Wednesday, July 22, at 9 p.m., PBS; check local listings

Being Human

What would happen if a ghost, a werewolf, and a vampire set up house together and tried to help one another get along in the world of humans? Appealing young actors Lenora Crichlow, Russell Tovey (Little Dorrit), and Aidan Turner play those respective roles in this smart, entertaining, and surprisingly affecting six-episode series. Saturday, July 25, at 9 p.m., BBC America

Other highlights

Three Sheets

Comic Zane Lamprey participates in imbibing customs around the world in this “drinkumentary” series, now on a new network. Monday, July 20, at 10 p.m., Fine Living Network

Wide Angle: The Market Maker

The story of an Ethiopian economist who tried to find a market-based solution to famine in her country. Wednesday, July 22, at 10 p.m., PBS; check local listings

Hunting the Anthrax Killer

An examination of Bruce E. Ivins, whom the FBI thought responsible for anthrax-laced letters that killed five people. Sunday, July 26, at 10 p.m., National Geographic Channel

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