Critic’s corner: What’s on TV this weekend

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Great Performances: Barrymore Friday, 9 p.m., Channel 2

Christopher Plummer received a Tony Award for his portrayal of the famed actor John Barrymore (of the theatrical Barrymore clan including actress Drew) and he reprises that performance here (above) in this 2011 cinematic adaptation of William Luce’s play. Plummer recently told reporters at the Television Critics Association press tour that Barrymore’s fourth wife, Elaine, came to the play one night and he was terrified. “I was determined to sound exactly like Jack. I could do it if I wanted to, but normally, I wouldn’t have done a cheap imitation, but that day I had to so that she would know who I was,” said Plummer. “Afterward she came backstage with a friend, and all she said was — and it was the nicest compliment I think I’ve ever got —“Jack would have loved to have done the town with you.”

Billy Joel: A Matter of Trust — The Bridge to Russia Friday, 9 p.m., Showtime


The piano man’s 1987 mini-tour of the former Soviet Union — the first fully staged rock shows there — was immortalized in his song “Leningrad” and the live “Kohuept” album. This film documents the high points and difficulties of Joel’s excursion back in the USSR.

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The Gabby Douglas Story Saturday, 8 p.m., Lifetime

No woman in jeopardy here, just a member of the Olympic “Fierce Five” getting the biopic treatment.

Kitten Bowl Sunday, Noon, Hallmark Channel

Feline groovy.


Puppy Bowl Sunday, 3 p.m., Animal Planet

Canine competition.