Stay Tuned column: Tom Wolfe’s ‘The Right Stuff’ comes to TV

Melissa Crawley
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"The Right Stuff" explores the early days of the U.S. space program.

Haunted houses and zombies return, a documentary explores the history of African Americans on the road and Tom Wolfe’s take on the space race gets a TV adaptation.

Dispatches: Weekly TV news

Netflix greenlit Ryan Murphy and producing partner Ian Brennan’s limited series, “Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.” The story of the serial killer will mostly be told from the point of view of his victims, but it will also look at the law enforcement apathy that permitted Dahmer’s killing spree to last more than a decade.

“Law & Order: Organized Crime,” the “Law & Order: SVU” spinoff, focusing on Chris Meloni’s Elliot Stabler character, is delayed due to showrunner Matt Olmstead’s departure for creative reasons. The show is still on track for a 2020-21 season debut.

The final season of “Supernatural” was cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic but the cast and crew were recently able to return to work to finish filming. The CW’s longest-running show will air the first of its final seven episodes beginning this week.

Contenders: Shows to keep on your radar

Based on the bestselling book by Tom Wolfe, “The Right Stuff” (Oct. 9, Disney+) explores the early days of the space program. The drama follows a newly formed NASA and the seven military test pilots who are chosen to become astronauts for Project Mercury. Future seasons will move away from Wolfe’s source material to chronicle the evolution of the space program. Originally developed for National Geographic Channel, the Disney+ premiere will be two episodes followed by weekly installments.

The second season of kids’ series, “Ghostwriter,’’ where a ghost haunting a bookstore releases fictional characters into the real world, premieres (Oct. 9, Apple TV+).

“The Haunting of Bly Manor” (Oct. 9, Netflix) serves up some pre-Halloween scares. It’s the second installment of an anthology series (the first being “The Haunting of Hill House),” and is loosely based on Henry James’ “The Turn of the Screw.”

Also on Netflix on Oct. 9 is docuseries, “Deaf U,” which focuses on a group of deaf and hard of hearing students who share their stories and navigate life at Gallaudet University.

AMC has two season premieres this week with “Eli Roth’s History of Horror” at 10 p.m. ET on Oct. 10 and “Fear the Walking Dead” at 9 p.m. ET on Oct. 11.

“The Spanish Princess” debuts its final episodes (Oct. 11, Starz, 8 p.m. ET).

Two-hour documentary, “Driving While Black: Race, Space and Mobility in America,” (Oct. 13, PBS, 9 p.m. ET) examines the history of African Americans on the road from the Depression era to the Civil Rights movement and beyond. Directed by Emmy winner, Ric Burns, the film is based on and inspired by historian Gretchen Sorin’s book on how the car and highways transformed African American life.

Report Card: Ratings winners and losers

Winners: Netflix renewed “Cobra Kai” for season four.

Losers: Fox’s puppet special, “Let’s Be Real,” only drew 1.8 million total viewers in its time slot.

Melissa Crawley is the author of “Mr. Sorkin Goes to Washington: Shaping the President on Television’s ‘The West Wing.’” She has a Ph.D. in media studies and is a member of the Television Critics Association. To comment on Stay Tuned, email her at staytuned@outlook.com or follow her on Twitter at @mcstaytuned.

St. James Plaindealer