Friday’s best TV: Will & Grace; Rome Unpacked

The veteran sitcom’s comeback episode will delight hardcore fans (if nobody else); plus an adventure in one of the world’s truly great cities

Will & Grace
10pm, Channel 5

The first joke, as the sitcom returns 11 years after season eight, is that nothing has really changed: Grace is living with her gay best friend, Will, in his flat opposite his gay best friend, Jack. What’s not the same is that W&G now happens in Trump’s America, something the comeback episode heavy-handedly tackles by contriving to visit the White House. Rather too many self-consciously modish exclamations, too (“You are so woke!”), but the reunited cast’s evident delight is infectious. Jack Seale

Rome Unpacked
9pm, BBC Two

Travelogue, cuisine, art: it is as hard for a series like this to go wrong as it is easy to envy those who get to present it. Andrew Graham-Dixon and Giorgio Locatelli continue their Italian adventure, gadding about the nation’s capital by moped, beginning at the Trevi fountain. Locatelli acts as guide, insisting on Rome as very much a city of the people, whose soul can be found not just in the art of Caravaggio but in districts such as Garbatella, with its bustling market stalls. David Stubbs

The Big Soap Quiz: Coronation Street v Emmerdale
9pm, ITV

It’s the annual inter-soap quiz: team captain Mark Charnock (Emmerdale’s chef Marlon Dingle) leads a face-off against Jack P Shepherd (the hilariously deranged David Platt in Coronation Street). It’s competitive stuff as each soapmeister must prove they know their art better than the other team. Chirpy Stephen Mulhern hosts and if you have no idea who killed Emma Barton, you won’t stand a chance. Hannah Verdier

Top of the Pops: The Story of 1985
9pm, BBC Four

BBC Four continues its irresistible trawl through the TOTP years. Tonight, the snare sounds are as chunky as the shoulder pads, but there’s also a schism at the heart of pop culture which mirrors wider 80s Britain. It’s Red Wedge v Thatcherite aspiration. Billy Bragg v Duran Duran. And John Peel v everyone. Shameless nostalgia, but potent social history, too, as technology, politics and pop merge to give a real flavour of the times. Phil Harrison

Graham Norton’s Good Guest Guide
10.35pm, BBC One

Our Graham has become the king of UK chat by turning his big red couch into a chemistry set, placing Hollywood A-listers cheek-by-jowl with domestic celebs to see what unexpected reactions result. In this rather gratuitous special, Norton offers a handy checklist for potential guests to help them get with the programme, while sofa veterans Joan Collins, Ricky Gervais and Miriam Margolyes reflect on past appearances. Graeme Virtue

9pm, Fox

Season 15 of NCIS begins in a hail of gunfire, as Gibbs and McGee find themselves reluctantly abandoned while fighting a rebel group in Paraguay. Two months later, and despite clear orders to the contrary from on high, the crew are desperately searching for their whereabouts as Vance and Torres are called before Congress to explain what happened. Elsewhere, a man is shot dead in a phone booth while calling in to NCIS to report a crime. It’s a puzzler. Ben Arnold

War on the EPA
9pm, PBS America

The United States’ Environmental Protection Agency was never likely to prosper under the presidency of Donald Trump, and so it has proved; Trump’s pick to lead the EPA was Scott Pruitt, a hardcore climate change-denier who, as attorney general of Oklahoma, had repeatedly sued the EPA. This film examines Pruitt’s efforts to do to the EPA from the inside what he’d previously tried to do from the outside, and the EPA’s efforts to save itself from its own boss. Andrew Mueller

Hugh Jackman in Logan.
Hugh Jackman in Logan. Photograph: Allstar

TV films

Logan (James Mangold, 2017) 11.50am, 8pm, Sky Cinema Premiere

There’s poignancy to this final instalment of the razor-clawed X-Man’s adventures. Hugh Jackman’s Logan, AKA Wolverine, is lying low, as a limo driver in Mexico, while caring for frail old Prof Xavier (Patrick Stewart). Superheroes are “assholes in leotards”, Logan sneers; but faced with Richard E Grant’s evil eugenicist, he’ll have to unsheathe those claws once more.

Live Sport

Biathlon: World Cup 1pm, Eurosport 1. Featuring the men’s sprint from Oberhof.

FA Cup Football: Liverpool v Everton 7.30pm, BBC One. A Merseyside derby in the third round of the Cup, and Everton now look more competitive than might have been imagined.

Ashes Cricket: Australia v England 11pm, BT Sport 1. The third day from the SCG. Are England still in the contest?


Jack Seale, David Stubbs, Hannah Verdier, Phil Harrison, Graeme Virtue, Ben Arnold, Andrew Mueller

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Friday’s best TV – Paul Daniels: My Life in Magic; Travel Man: 48 Hours in Rome
A profile of the late magician; and Richard Ayoade in the eternal city with Matt Lucas – which really does sound magic

Ben Arnold, Ali Catterall, John Robinson, Jonathan Wright, Mark Gibbings-Jones

20, Oct, 2017 @5:00 AM

Article image
Friday’s best TV: Mastermind; Lethal Weapon
Hitchcock and Seinfeld feature in the bumper final of this year’s brainbox showdown. Plus: the classic cop-buddy franchise gets a TV reboot, 30 years on

Andrew Mueller, Phil Harrison, Mark Gibbings-Jones, Hannah J Davies, Ali Catterall, Jonathan Wright, David Stubbs

03, Mar, 2017 @6:09 AM

Article image
Friday’s best TV: The Nutcracker, Coastal Path
Magical storytelling to keep the kids entertained in this annual festive offering. Plus: fossil-hunting, glorious views and a swanherd in Devon and Dorset

Hannah Verdier, Jonathan Wright, Jack Seale, Graeme Virtue, David Stubbs, Andrew Mueller and Paul Howlett

16, Dec, 2016 @6:10 AM

Article image
Friday’s best TV: Unreported World; The Level
Bombing in Yemen has disrupted the food supply and raises questions about Britain’s role in supplying arms to the Saudis. Plus a tense new cop drama with Philip Glenister

Jonathan Wright, Jack Seale, John Robinson, Ali Catterall, Ben Arnold, Graeme Virtue, David Stubbs and Paul Howlett

30, Sep, 2016 @5:20 AM

Article image
Friday’s best TV: The Last Leg; Lethal Weapon
Return of the cheerful, topical comedy hosted by Adam Hills; Riggs and Murtaugh investigate the death of a pop star’s bodyguard. Plus: Graham Norton welcomes Tom Cruise back to the sofa

John Robinson, Graeme Virtue, Mark Gibbings-Jones, Jonathan Wright, Jack Seale, Ali Catterall and Paul Howlett

26, Jan, 2018 @6:00 AM

Article image
Friday’s best TV: Versailles, Lethal Weapon, Hospital People
There’s more regal rumpy pumpy in the palace, plus Riggs faces ghosts of Christmas past and Tom Binns’s multi-role medical comedy continues

Ben Arnold, Ali Catterall, Mark Gibbings-Jones, Paul Howlett, John Robinson, Jack Seale, Jonathan Wright, Hannah Verdier

28, Apr, 2017 @5:10 AM

Article image
Friday’s best TV: People’s History of Pop; Gogglebox
The Libertines, Amy Winehouse and Travis feature in the final part of Sara Cox’s splendid series. And will SS-GB come under the Goggleboxers’ scrutiny again? We can only hope so

Ali Catterall, Mark Gibbings-Jones, John Robinson, Ben Arnold, Graeme Virtue, Jonathan Wright

10, Mar, 2017 @6:10 AM

Article image
Friday’s best TV: Gogglesprogs; Versailles; The Last Leg
The junior TV critics cast an eye over this year’s election campaign. Plus: snatch more laughs from the fallout with Adam Hills and co; and Louis XIV reconsiders all that lovemaking

Ali Catterall, Mark Gibbings-Jones, Phil Harrison, Paul Howlett, John Robinson, Jack Seale, Jonathan Wright

09, Jun, 2017 @5:20 AM

Article image
Friday’s best TV: The Crystal Maze, Radiohead at Glastonbury
The return of a cult gameshow favourite, as Oxford’s finest hit the Pyramid Stage

Ali Catterall, Phil Harrison, Paul Howlett, Ellen E Jones, Jack Seale, David Stubbs, Hannah Verdier, Jonathan Wright

23, Jun, 2017 @5:10 AM

Article image
Friday’s best TV: Mastermind; Only Connect; Scott Walker Prom
Friday night quiz night is back, while Jarvis Cocker leads performers through highlights from the unconventional musician’s solo albums. And, after eight long and nondescript weeks, it’s the Big Brother live final

Phil Harrison, Graeme Virtue, Ali Catterall, Mark Gibbings-Jones, Hannah Verdier, John Robinson, Jonathan Wright, Paul Howlett

28, Jul, 2017 @5:00 AM