‘KISS,’ activist nuns and a Hitchcock marathon |

Having hitched its venerable “Biography” franchise to the outsized characters of professional wrestling, it’s only…

Having hitched its venerable “Biography” franchise to the outsized characters of professional wrestling, it’s only natural A&E present “Biography: KISStory” (8 p.m. Sunday, A&E, TV-14). The two-hour special offers a glance at the band’s 50-year run and interviews founders Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons.

Similar to wrestling, KISS has packaged the “shocking” as a predictable, costumed performance, presented with a disciplined attention to detail. Neither their brand of rock nor professional wrestling has much room for modesty or subtlety, so “KISStory” is presented as the story of “one of the most successful and influential bands of all time.”

• Among the peculiarities of 1960s pop culture was the wild popularity of nuns. Debbie Reynolds was “The Singing Nun” and future Oscar-winner Sally Field was “The Flying Nun.” Rosalind Russell starred as a nun in “The Trouble With Angels.” In 1963, French nuns had a No. 1 pop hit with “Dominique,” and in 1965, the world fell in love with Julie Andrews as a singing novitiate in “The Sound of Music.”

The period that witnessed this nun boom coincided with changes in Catholicism that opened up many orders to the outside world, ending a cloistered life for some. Such changes were reflected in the 1969 cult film “Change of Habit,” starring Mary Tyler Moore as an activist nun, and Elvis Presley (in his last scripted role) as a clinic doctor unaware the woman he’s falling for is a sister in street clothes.

The 2021 documentary “Rebel Hearts” chronicles the activism of the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, an L.A.-based order that challenged a conservative cardinal and church hierarchy in the 1960s to take a more active stand for social justice. The sisters marched in Selma in 1965 and have been active since, redefining their order’s relationship to an organization that all but exemplifies the word “patriarchy.” A film some time in the making, “Rebel” includes interviews conducted during several decades. Directed by Pedro Kos, “Rebel Hearts” had its theatrical debut Friday and streams on Discovery+ beginning Sunday.

• TCM spends the entire weekend with a 48-hour marathon salute to the films of Alfred Hitchcock, starting with the 1936 thriller “Sabotage” (5 a.m. Saturday, TV-PG) and concluding with the 1972 shocker “Frenzy” (2:45 a.m. Monday, TV-MA).

Before the rise of the “auteur” theory advanced by French critic-turned-filmmaker Francois Truffaut and others, few movie-goers focused on a film’s director or knew their names. Ask a casual movie buff in 1959 to cite a director and they might know only Cecil B. DeMille, who had been making movies such as “The Ten Commandments” since the silent era, and Alfred Hitchcock, the “Master of Suspense.”

Unlike other film directors of that era, Hitchcock had his own television show, the suspense anthology showcase “Alfred Hitchcock Presents,” which enabled him to tell stories in a brisk and economic fashion. In 1960, he radically departed from lush technicolor epics such as “Vertigo” (4:45 p.m. Saturday, TV-PG) and “North By Northwest” (2:15 p.m. Saturday, TV-PG). Inspired by his television work, he directed the inexpensive black-and-white thriller “Psycho” (7 p.m. Sunday, TV-PG), a film that redefined Hollywood horror.

The marathon offers two chances to catch the 1943 thriller “Shadow of a Doubt” (11:15 p.m. Saturday/early Sunday and 9 a.m. Sunday, TV-PG), about a naive girl (Teresa Wright) who discovers her beloved uncle (Joseph Cotten) is a serial killer. Hitchcock has said of all his movies, “Shadow” was his favorite.

For decades, “best of” surveys have named Orson Welles’ “Citizen Kane” as the finest motion picture ever made. A 2012 survey shocked the film world by naming Hitchcock’s 1958 thriller “Vertigo” as the best film ever produced. But is it the best movie Hitchcock ever made? Viewers have a whole weekend to decide.

• Two detectives (Denzel Washington and Rami Malek) focus on a loner (Jared Leto) after a series of murders in the 1990s in the 2021 thriller “The Little Things” (7 p.m. Saturday, HBO). The film had a limited theatrical release before streaming on HBO Max. The cast includes Natalie Morales (“White Collar”), who recently directed the 2021 comedy “Plan B,” streaming on Hulu.

SATURDAY’S HIGHLIGHTS

• A 19th-century fur trapper (Leonardo DiCaprio) hunts down the man (Tom Hardy) who left his son for dead in the 2015 period adventure “The Revenant” (6:35 p.m., FXM, TV-MA).

• Auto racing (7 p.m., CBS).

• An Idaho couple falls under suspicion after two teens vanish in the 2021 shocker “Doomsday Mom: The Lori Vallow Story” (7 p.m., Lifetime, TV-14).

• A challenge to Swift makes a harsh winter even more challenging on “Meerkat Manor: Rise of the Dynasty” (7 p.m., BBC America).

• U.S. Olympic trials (8 p.m., NBC) include track and field finals.

• “When Nature Calls With Helen Mirren” (8 p.m., ABC, r, TV-PG) offers humorous animal clips.

• A fetching developer tries to buy beachfront property but finds love instead in the 2021 romance “Sand Dollar Cove” (8 p.m., Hallmark, TV-G).

• A surgeon’s lifestyle catches up with him on “The Good Doctor” (9 p.m., ABC, r, TV-14).

SUNDAY’S HIGHLIGHTS

• Scheduled on “60 Minutes” (6 p.m., CBS): strange symptoms attributed to “sonic” attacks; an interview with James Corden; Benjamin Ferencz, the last surviving Nuremberg prosecutor.

• The Dodgers host the Cubs in MLB action (6 p.m., ESPN).

• U.S. Olympic trials (NBC) include track & field finals (6 p.m.) and women’s gymnastics finals (7:30 p.m.).

• A wife worries about her radicalized husband on “The Equalizer” (7 p.m., CBS, r, TV-14).

• Boxing (7 p.m., Fox, TV-14).

• Having streamed on AMC+, the supernatural romance “A Discovery of Witches” (7 p.m., AMC, TV-14) now appears on old-fashioned cable.

• Sessions continue on “In Treatment” (8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., HBO, TV-MA).

• The grand tour concludes on the finale of “Us” on “Masterpiece” (8 p.m., PBS, TV-14, check local listings).

• Roommate woes on “Flatbush Misdemeanors” (9:30 p.m., Showtime, TV-MA).

— OK, that was weird. The least expected story of the week was the scandal involving Felicity Huffman (“Desperate Housewives”) and Lori Loughlin, star of “When Calls the Heart” (7 p.m. Sunday, Hallmark, TV-G), in a bribery/cheating plot to get their respective daughters into elite universities.

This is obviously an ongoing case, and all sides must have their say, or day, in court. But the motivation at the center of this story is worth discussing. It involves some overwhelming need to do anything to get children into elite schools. As if anything “lesser” were unthinkable.

Television plays no small role in this insecurity. I can’t remember how many times I’ve had to describe an ABC legal drama where every single character hails from only the most exclusive Ivy and spends most of the pilot bragging about it.

There was a time, not that long ago, when John Grisham wrote best-selling books about young, barely accredited lawyers from no-name institutions who took on impossible cases against massive corporations and eventually won. And got the girl, to boot.

So, our current era’s neurotic obsession with elitism and inequality is hardly hard-wired.

If anything comes of this sordid affair, it’s an appreciation that shoddy efforts at snobbery are always essentially pathetic. Or on classic TV, comedic. Watching “Gilligan’s Island,” we identified with Mary Ann and the Skipper, and pitied the millionaire and his wife.

— CNN launches the four-hour documentary “Tricky Dick” (8 p.m., Sunday), profiling the life and times of Richard Nixon’s public career, which spanned the decades from the dawn of the Cold War to the Clinton years.

SATURDAY’S HIGHLIGHTS

— An anxious new mother joins a group for solidarity and support, only to discover that it has darker plans on its agenda in the 2019 shocker “Mommy Group Murder” (7 p.m., Lifetime, TV-14).

— The Thunder and Warriors meet in NBA action (7:30 p.m., ABC).

— An old kidnapper returns to form on “Ransom” (8 p.m., CBS, TV-14).

SUNDAY’S HIGHLIGHTS

— Scheduled on “60 Minutes” (6 p.m., CBS): Embassy workers in China and Cuba complain of mysterious ailments; AOL founder Steve Case and his plans to invest in the future of overlooked American small towns and cities; a visit to Monaco.

— The duels begin on “World of Dance” (7 p.m., NBC, TV-PG).

— Auditions continue on “American Idol” (7 p.m., ABC, TV-PG).

— Lex Luthor is on the loose on “Supergirl” (7 p.m., CW, TV-PG).

— Mr. Wednesday prepares for battle on “American Gods” (7 p.m., Starz, TV-MA).

— After learning about her royal lineage, an adopted 10-year-old becomes a little tyrant in the 2019 shocker “Mommy’s Little Princess” (7 p.m., Lifetime, TV-14).

— A secret room holds dangers on “Charmed” (8 p.m., CW, TV-14).

— Hidden secrets revealed on “The Walking Dead” (8 p.m., AMC, TV-MA).

— A new trial is pursued on “The Case Against Adnan Syed” (8 p.m., HBO, TV-14).

— Axe is determined to destroy Taylor on the fourth season premiere of “Billions” (8 p.m., Showtime, TV-MA).

— Ulysses pursues a conspiracy theory on “Now Apocalypse” (8 p.m., Starz, TV-MA).

— “Unsung” (8 p.m., TVONE) profiles the Jets.

— Pacific overtures on “Madam Secretary” (9 p.m., CBS, TV-PG).

— Tensions rise on “Good Girls” (9 p.m., NBC, TV-14).

— Mo’s past is revealed on “Black Monday” (9 p.m., Showtime, TV-MA).

CULT CHOICE

— St. Patrick’s Day inspires many traditions. Syfy offers a marathon of “Leprechaun” movies, from “Leprechaun 5: In the Hood” (4 p.m. Saturday, TV-14) to “Leprechaun 2” (8 p.m.). TCM takes the traditional approach, ladling out the Technicolor blarney of director John Ford’s 1952 romance “The Quiet Man” (7 p.m. Sunday, TV-PG).

SATURDAY SERIES

“Dateline” (7 p.m., NBC, TV-PG) … “NBA Countdown” (7 p.m., ABC) … The kids are all right on “MasterChef” (8 p.m., Fox, r, TV-PG) … “48 Hours” (9 p.m., CBS) … A vintage helping of “Saturday Night Live” (9 p.m., NBC, r, TV-14).

SUNDAY SERIES

A visit from an old friend inspires Miles on “God Friended Me” (7 p.m., CBS, TV-PG) … Homer can’t leave Bart’s virtual realm on “The Simpsons” (7 p.m., Fox, TV-14) … Empathy for all things on “Bob’s Burgers” (7:30 p.m., Fox, TV-14).

A walk down the aisle on “NCIS: Los Angeles” (8 p.m., CBS, TV-14) … On two episodes of “Family Guy” (Fox, TV-14), Meg’s winter Olympics (8 p.m.), fighting over a dowager (8:30 p.m., r) … Aches and pains on “Shark Tank” (9 p.m., ABC, TV-PG).

CULT CHOICE

Convicted for a bank robbery they did not commit, two saps (Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor) adjust to life in the penitentiary in the wildly popular 1980 comedy “Stir Crazy” (8 p.m. Saturday, Starz Encore).

SATURDAY SERIES

Peyton Manning hosts “College Bowl” (7 p.m., NBC, r, TV-PG) … “America’s Funniest Home Videos” (7 p.m., ABC, r, TV-PG) … “48 Hours” (9 p.m., CBS, r).

SUNDAY SERIES

“Celebrity Family Feud” (7 p.m., ABC, TV-14) … Way out West on “D.C.’s Legends of Tomorrow” (7 p.m., CW, TV-PG) … Russian assets on “NCIS: Los Angeles” (8 p.m., CBS, r, TV-14) … “The Chase” (8 p.m., ABC, TV-PG) … Ryan has doubts on the season finale of “Batwoman” (8 p.m., CW, TV-14) … A turf war results in a bar bombing on “NCIS: New Orleans” (9 p.m., CBS, r, TV-14) … “To Tell the Truth” (9 p.m., ABC, TV-PG).

— OK, that was weird. The least expected story of the week was the scandal involving Felicity Huffman (“Desperate Housewives”) and Lori Loughlin, star of “When Calls the Heart” (7 p.m. Sunday, Hallmark, TV-G), in a bribery/cheating plot to get their respective daughters into elite universities.

This is obviously an ongoing case, and all sides must have their say, or day, in court. But the motivation at the center of this story is worth discussing. It involves some overwhelming need to do anything to get children into elite schools. As if anything “lesser” were unthinkable.

Television plays no small role in this insecurity. I can’t remember how many times I’ve had to describe an ABC legal drama where every single character hails from only the most exclusive Ivy and spends most of the pilot bragging about it.

There was a time, not that long ago, when John Grisham wrote best-selling books about young, barely accredited lawyers from no-name institutions who took on impossible cases against massive corporations and eventually won. And got the girl, to boot.

So, our current era’s neurotic obsession with elitism and inequality is hardly hard-wired.

If anything comes of this sordid affair, it’s an appreciation that shoddy efforts at snobbery are always essentially pathetic. Or on classic TV, comedic. Watching “Gilligan’s Island,” we identified with Mary Ann and the Skipper, and pitied the millionaire and his wife.

— CNN launches the four-hour documentary “Tricky Dick” (8 p.m., Sunday), profiling the life and times of Richard Nixon’s public career, which spanned the decades from the dawn of the Cold War to the Clinton years.

SATURDAY’S HIGHLIGHTS

— An anxious new mother joins a group for solidarity and support, only to discover that it has darker plans on its agenda in the 2019 shocker “Mommy Group Murder” (7 p.m., Lifetime, TV-14).

— The Thunder and Warriors meet in NBA action (7:30 p.m., ABC).

— An old kidnapper returns to form on “Ransom” (8 p.m., CBS, TV-14).

SUNDAY’S HIGHLIGHTS

— Scheduled on “60 Minutes” (6 p.m., CBS): Embassy workers in China and Cuba complain of mysterious ailments; AOL founder Steve Case and his plans to invest in the future of overlooked American small towns and cities; a visit to Monaco.

— The duels begin on “World of Dance” (7 p.m., NBC, TV-PG).

— Auditions continue on “American Idol” (7 p.m., ABC, TV-PG).

— Lex Luthor is on the loose on “Supergirl” (7 p.m., CW, TV-PG).

— Mr. Wednesday prepares for battle on “American Gods” (7 p.m., Starz, TV-MA).

— After learning about her royal lineage, an adopted 10-year-old becomes a little tyrant in the 2019 shocker “Mommy’s Little Princess” (7 p.m., Lifetime, TV-14).

— A secret room holds dangers on “Charmed” (8 p.m., CW, TV-14).

— Hidden secrets revealed on “The Walking Dead” (8 p.m., AMC, TV-MA).

— A new trial is pursued on “The Case Against Adnan Syed” (8 p.m., HBO, TV-14).

— Axe is determined to destroy Taylor on the fourth season premiere of “Billions” (8 p.m., Showtime, TV-MA).

— Ulysses pursues a conspiracy theory on “Now Apocalypse” (8 p.m., Starz, TV-MA).

— “Unsung” (8 p.m., TVONE) profiles the Jets.

— Pacific overtures on “Madam Secretary” (9 p.m., CBS, TV-PG).

— Tensions rise on “Good Girls” (9 p.m., NBC, TV-14).

— Mo’s past is revealed on “Black Monday” (9 p.m., Showtime, TV-MA).

CULT CHOICE

— St. Patrick’s Day inspires many traditions. Syfy offers a marathon of “Leprechaun” movies, from “Leprechaun 5: In the Hood” (4 p.m. Saturday, TV-14) to “Leprechaun 2” (8 p.m.). TCM takes the traditional approach, ladling out the Technicolor blarney of director John Ford’s 1952 romance “The Quiet Man” (7 p.m. Sunday, TV-PG).

SATURDAY SERIES

“Dateline” (7 p.m., NBC, TV-PG) … “NBA Countdown” (7 p.m., ABC) … The kids are all right on “MasterChef” (8 p.m., Fox, r, TV-PG) … “48 Hours” (9 p.m., CBS) … A vintage helping of “Saturday Night Live” (9 p.m., NBC, r, TV-14).

SUNDAY SERIES

A visit from an old friend inspires Miles on “God Friended Me” (7 p.m., CBS, TV-PG) … Homer can’t leave Bart’s virtual realm on “The Simpsons” (7 p.m., Fox, TV-14) … Empathy for all things on “Bob’s Burgers” (7:30 p.m., Fox, TV-14).

A walk down the aisle on “NCIS: Los Angeles” (8 p.m., CBS, TV-14) … On two episodes of “Family Guy” (Fox, TV-14), Meg’s winter Olympics (8 p.m.), fighting over a dowager (8:30 p.m., r) … Aches and pains on “Shark Tank” (9 p.m., ABC, TV-PG).