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What to Watch Monday: 'Roots' takes over Memorial Day

Plus: Matt LeBlanc assumes ‘Top Gear’

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Casey Crafford/History

Your daily guide to the most interesting stuff happening on TV and streaming. All times Eastern.

PICK OF THE NIGHT

Roots

History, A&E, and Lifetime, 9 p.m.

Back in 1977, the groundbreaking Roots miniseries gripped a nation and helped shape the country’s dialogue on race. The new, rebooted Roots, staring Malachi Kirby as central protagonist Kunta Kinte, likely won’t have quite the same reach and effect as the iconic original — the media landscape has changed far too much for that — but the emotional historical tale still manages to provoke thought and refresh its core issues for a new generation that, sadly, is still in roiled by many of those same issues. For more on the multiple-night event, read our full review here.

SEASON PREMIERE

Top Gear

BBC America, 9 p.m.

Say hello to the weirdly popular British car show’s new host Matt LeBlanc, whom most of you know as a star of the bygone popular comedy Episodes Friends.

BUDDY DRAMA

The Dresser

Starz, 9 p.m.

Sir Ian McKellen. Anthony Hopkins. If they were a couple, their couple name would Sirthony McKellkins, but that’s not what we’re here to talk about. No, the real story here is that these two screen giants are acting together for the first time in this new feature-length film based on the play (and movie) of the same name. Find out more about The Dresser with a video in which McKellen reveals what working with Hopkins is really like.

SEASON PREMIERE

Scream

MTV, 10 p.m.

Thinking she might have recovered from the murders of last season, Emma returns to Lakewood only to find that the town is terrorized by yet another homicidal maniac. The scariest part: The town’s real estate values are plummeting.

SEASON PREMIERE

Mistresses

ABC, 10 p.m.

The show’s fourth season brings in guest star Jerry O’Connell to play a sexy male nanny. This is terrific news for members of the Jerry O’Connell fan club, who, of course, call themselves The Jerry-atrics. 

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