TV picks: Weekend, Nov. 16-18
“The Dust Bowl”
DOCUMENTARY. The dust storms that decimated farmland in Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Colorado in the 1930s are examined in this two-part, four-hour documentary by Ken Burns, who calls the catastrophes America’s worst ecological disaster. Harrowing historian accounts of walls of dirt devastating the Great Plains are made more sobering by vintage newsreel footage and interviews with survivors. Part two airs Monday.
Sunday, 8 p.m., PBS
American Music Awards
SPECIAL. The AMAs celebrate 40 years of honoring music’s Top 40 hit-makers. Taylor Swift and One Direction are slated to perform at the live show, while Rihanna and Nicki Minaj lead nominations. Look out for the Awards’ first-ever winner in the Electronic Dance Music category, to be selected from a pool of nominees that includes David Guetta Calvin Harris and Skrillex.
Sunday, 8 p.m., ABC
“Sofia the First: Once Upon a Princess”
KIDS. Disney unleashes yet another princess upon your impressionable daughters. Is it asking too much for “Sofia the First: Once Upon a U.S. President?”
Series premiere, Sunday, 7 p.m., Disney Channel
Like the holiday decorations at [enter the name of your favorite store here], the deluge of incredibly mushy Christmas movies starts early this year — and to be honest, they’re hard to resist. Marilu Henner and Harry Hamlin star in the sappy “Holiday High School Reunion” about — you guessed it — a high school reunion taking place over the holidays (Saturday, 8 p.m., Lifetime). Meanwhile, Hallmark Channel packs two new feel-good films into this weekend: “Matchmaker Santa” follows a Kris Kringle who plays Cupid to a baker unsure in her love life (Saturday, 8 p.m., Hallmark Channel) and “It’s Christmas, Carol!” is an update on the Charles Dickens classic featuring a Scrooge-y female book publisher visited by her former boss, played by Carrie Fisher (Sunday, 8 p.m., Hallmark Channel).