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Worth Watching: ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race,’ Remembering Betty White, Lyle Lovett Returns to ‘Blue Bloods,’ Final ‘Search Party’

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RuPaul’s Emmy-winning drag-stravagazna returns for a 14th season of fabulous sashaying. A weekend of vintage episodes saluting the late, great Betty White begins with a broadcast of her 1978 celebrity roast. Lyle Lovett is back on CBS hit Blue Bloods as Texas Ranger Waylon Gates. The party is over for HBO Max’s cult comedy Search Party after five seasons.

'RuPaul's Drag Race' Season 14 Cast, Season Trailer

RuPaul’s Drag Race

Season Premiere8/7c

Do not sashay away from this Emmy-winning drag competition as it gears up for a 14th season of triumphantly bawdy antics. The cast is big enough this season for the contestants to be divided into two groups, introduced over two weeks. (The first lineup reportedly includes such concoctions as June Jambalaya, Kornbread “The Snack” Jeté and Willow Pill.) The show will later stir the pot by featuring its first cisgender heterosexual male competitor (Maddy Morphosis). Adding to the fun: Outspoken Grammy-winner Lizzo appears in the premiere as the guest judge.

Dean Martin Celebrity Roast: Betty White

9/8c

While streaming aficionados can relive the legendary Betty White’s signature work on The Golden Girls and The Mary Tyler Moore Show anytime on Hulu, cable’s nostalgia channels offer more opportunity to appreciate this beloved talent, who passed away on New Year’s Eve at 99. First up, Decades replays her roast from 1978, when luminaries including Milton Berle, Phyllis Diller, Orson Welles (!) and her Mary Tyler Moore Show co-star Georgia Engel showed up to rib the first lady of television. (Decades will air select episodes of MTM on Saturday and Sunday, with MeTV following suit on Sunday with some of White’s best episodes as MTM’s “Happy Homemaker” Sue Ann Nivens.)

Undercover Boss

Season Premiere8/7c

The Emmy-winning reality series returns for an 11th season of clandestine peeks into the inner workings of companies on the frontlines. In the opener, the two co-founders of College HUNKS Hauling Junk & Moving embark on some heavy lifting on their separate assignments to get first-hand knowledge about the strength of their company as they plot to expand it over the next few years.

Blue Bloods

10/9c

An odd couple reassembles when Texas Ranger and Major Waylon Gates (Grammy-winning performer Lyle Lovett) returns to New York City on the heels of an illegal drug shipment, partnering again with Det. Danny Reagan (Donnie Wahlberg). In the executive offices, Frank (Tom Selleck) has his hands full with Mayor Chase (Dylan Walsh), who’s unhappy with the commissioner’s handling of a brawl between demonstrators and the police during a protest.

Search Party Season 5 Alia Shawkat, Meredith Hagner, John Early, John Reynolds

Search Party

Season Premiere

The genre-busting cult satire throws its last shindig in a fifth and final season, when Dory (Alia Shawkat) emerges from her near-death experience to go into business with tech billionaire Tunnel Quinn (the ever-mercurial Jeff Goldblum). As her sometimes frenemies Portia (Meredith Hagner), Elliott (John Early) and Drew (John Reynolds) come along for the ride, expect plenty of darkly comic mayhem—and colorful guest appearances from the likes of Kathy Griffin and John Waters.

Inside Friday TV:

  • Shark Tank (8/7c, ABC): The ever-excitable Kevin Hart joins the sharks to help decide on the viability of pitches, including an online social network that would let fans connect with celebrities and influencers and a Black publishing company intended to help people learn more about African history.
  • 2022 Toyota U.S. Figure Skating Championships (8/7c, NBC): With the Winter Olympics looming, top U.S. female figure skaters compete for the national title in the women’s free round.
  • Stars on Stage from Westport Country Playhouse (9/8c, PBS, check local listings at pbs.org): A new concert series from the historic Connecticut stage begins with Tony-winning Broadway favorite Gavin Creel (Hello Dolly! and Hair revivals) performing an eclectic set including an original composition, “Unfinished World,” he wrote for a project commissioned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
  • Magnum P.I. (9/8c, CBS): Freud alert: Higgins (Perdita Weeks) is distracted from the latest case by trying to keep secret her romantic dream about her crime-solving partner, Thomas Magnum (Jay Hernandez).
  • 20/20 (9/8c, ABC): Deborah Roberts revisits the 2018 Missouri murder of Molly Watson, found dead two days before she was to marry James Addie, who it turns out was already married with children and who later was convicted of the crime. The two-hour report includes an interview with Addie’s ex-wife, Melanie.
  • Ladies Who List: Atlanta (9/8c, OWN): A new reality series profiles six professional Black women breaking into the boys’ club of high-end Atlanta real estate.
  • The Tender Bar (streaming on Prime Video): George Clooney directs this sentimental coming-of-age story, recently released in theaters, starring Ben Affleck as bartender Uncle Charlie, who takes young fatherless J.R. (Tye Sheridan) under his wing. Lily Rabe and Christopher Lloyd co-star.
  • El Deafo (streaming on Apple TV+): A three-part animated family series, based on an award-winning graphic memoir, tells the story of young Cece (voiced by Lexi Finigan, who is also deaf), who loses her hearing and learns to adapt with the help of a superhero alter ego, El Deafo. Jane Lynch and Pamela Adlon are among the supporting voice cast.
  • Hype House (streaming on Netflix): A reality series goes inside the L.A. collective where teenage TikTok stars hang out and hope to amplify their fame. A hard pass.
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