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This week’s TV: ‘Friends’ and a Brandeis gift, Maya Rudolph’s ‘Loot,’ and honors for Jon Stewart

From left: Joel Kim Booster, Maya Rudolph, and Ron Funches in "Loot," premiering Friday.APPLE TV+

Your TV GPS, Globe TV critic Matthew Gilbert’s look at the week ahead in television, appears every Monday morning on BostonGlobe.com. Today’s column covers June 20-26.

She is, as they say, putting her money where her mouth is.

Over the years, many people have criticized “Friends” for its lack of diversity —including one of the creators of the show, which ran from 1994-2004 on NBC. In 2020 at the ATX Television Festival, Marta Kauffman said, “I wish I knew then what I know today. I would make very different decisions.” She also said, “We’ve always encouraged people of diversity in our company but I didn’t do enough.”


Then, last year, in CNN’s documentary series “History of the Sitcom,” Kauffman said, “It was, to a certain extent, a product of the time period and of my own ignorance. There were Black shows and there were white shows. There weren’t a lot of shows that were interracial.”

Now, Kauffman, whose other series include “Grace and Frankie” and “Dream On,” is giving $4 million to her alma mater, Brandeis University, to endow a professorship in the African and African American Studies Department. According to a Brandeis statement, “The Marta F. Kauffman ‘78 Professorship will support a scholar with a concentration in the study of the peoples and cultures of Africa and the African diaspora.”

In a statement about the gift, Kauffman said, “It took me a long time to begin to understand how I internalized systemic racism. I’ve been working really hard to become an ally, an anti-racist. And this seemed to me to be a way that I could participate in the conversation from a white woman’s perspective.”


1. This six-episode psychological thriller is about a woman who stalks her childhood friend — “Chloe” — on social media. When Chloe suddenly dies, the woman, Becky, infiltrates Chloe’s life to find out what happened to her. The British co-production, which premieres Friday on Amazon, stars Erin Doherty, who has been playing Princess Anne on “The Crown.” Here is the trailer.


Jeremy Allen White and Liza Colon-Zayas in "The Bear."Matt Dinerstein

2. Jeremy Allen White, who was Lip on “Shameless,” gets his own series with “The Bear.” Premiering Thursday on Hulu, the eight-episode series has White playing a star chef who comes home to Chicago to run his family’s sandwich shop after the death of his brother. (If the trailer is any indication, there will be food, lots of food.) From writer-director-producer Christopher Storer (“Ramy,” “Dickinson”), the comedy-drama finds White’s character trying to win the respect of the long-time staff while pushing them to improve.

3. Maya Rudolph stars in the new workplace comedy “Loot,” from creators Alan Yang (“Master of None”) and Matt Hubbard (“30 Rock”). Rudolph — who always makes me laugh — plays a woman whose husband (Adam Scott) leaves her for another woman — and with billions of dollars. She decides to do charity work, and gets an education on how the other 99.999999 percent live. Michaela Jae Rodriguez, Ron Funches, and Joel Kim Booster also star. It premieres Friday on Apple TV+. The trailer is here.

4. On Monday at 10 p.m., HBO is premiering a six-part docuseries called “Mind Over Murder.” It takes on the story of six people who were convicted of the 1985 murder of a 68-year-old grandmother, Helen Wilson, in Nebraska. Despite five of them having originally confessed to the crime, the “Beatrice Six” were exonerated by DNA evidence in 2009. Directed by Nanfu Wang, the series will raise questions about the reliability of confessions and memory in criminal cases.


Jon Stewart is shown April 24 at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to receive the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.Kevin Wolf/Associated Press

5. Jon Stewart was given the Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor earlier this year. Among those who showed up to celebrate him: Samantha Bee, Ed Helms, Steve Carell, Jimmy Kimmel, Pete Davidson, and Olivia Munn, with musical tributes from Bruce Springsteen and Gary Clark Jr. Now the taped ceremony, “Jon Stewart: The Mark Twain Prize,” will air on GBH 2 on Tuesday 9 p.m.


“The Future Of” Jurnee Smollett narrates this docuseries about new and emerging tech trends. Netflix, Tuesday

“The Umbrella Academy” Season three arrives. Netflix, Wednesday

“Chernobyl: The Lost Tapes” Re-examining the 1986 disaster through newly uncovered footage. HBO, Wednesday, 9 p.m.

“Mormon No More” Two married Mormon women fall in love and leave the faith in this docuseries. Hulu, Friday

“Westworld” The drama returns for season four, with Ariana DeBose joining the cast. HBO, Sunday, 9 p.m.


“The Old Man” Jeff Bridges and John Lithgow shine in this thriller. FX, Hulu

“Queer as Folk” A reboot of the LGBTQ soap opera. Peacock

“Dark Winds” An atmospheric six-part mystery set in 1970s Navajo Nation. AMC, AMC+

“Girls5eva” In season two, the sweet spot between silliness and satire. Peacock


“Now and Then” A pulpy whodunit with lots of twists. Apple TV+

“The Time Traveler’s Wife” An unsatisfying adaptation of the novel. HBO

“Ten Percent” The British adaptation of “Call My Agent!” stays close to the original. AMC

“Conversations With Friends” A melodrama from the makers of “Normal People.” Hulu

“I Love That for You” Vanessa Bayer stars in this sendup of home shopping networks. Showtime

“The Staircase” Colin Firth stars in a stellar adaptation of the Michael Peterson case. HBO Max

“Gentleman Jack” Suranne Jones continues to shine in season two. HBO

“We Own This City” A potent miniseries about crooked cops in Baltimore. HBO

Matthew Gilbert can be reached at matthew.gilbert@globe.com. Follow him @MatthewGilbert.