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Masterpiece: When Charles III would be king

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What if Queen Elizabeth II does not live forever, as we all suspect she might, and Prince Charles actually gets to become king? The consequences are imagined with King Charles III on Masterpiece at 8 p.m. today on AETN.

Prince Charles is 68 these days, and ever since the 1997 death of his ex-wife, Princess Diana, the royal-watching buzz skipped a generation and settled on their boys, Harry and William -- especially next-in-line Prince William and his comely wife, Kate.

(Will and Kate even made news last week by suing three photographers in France for taking topless sunbathing photos of Kate five years ago. Queen Elizabeth never had that problem.)

So what happens when Elizabeth (who's 91) finally goes to that big throne in the sky? Elizabeth became the longest-reigning British monarch in 2015, so it's all speculation about when or if Charles will get his chance.

This Masterpiece presentation is a two-hour adaptation of the 2014 play of the same name by Mike Bartlett and stars members of the Broadway cast. The Broadway production was nominated for five Tony Awards in 2016, including Best Play.

The plot involves Charles and a monarchy in crisis when he refuses to sign a controversial bill that would have led to limiting the freedom of the press.

Drama ensues that eventually involves such Shakespearean elements as a willful king, a prophetic ghost, family betrayals and revenge. Juicy stuff.

Bartlett adapted his play for this production, and it stars the late Tim Pigott-Smith (The Jewel in the Crown, Downton Abbey) as Charles, Oliver Chris as William, and Charlotte Riley as Kate.

Lego Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu. I well remember the TV watchdogs howling about 30 years ago when our 5-year-old was heavily into Masters of the Universe. The animated TV series starring He-Man was just an excuse to sell the action figures from Mattel, the righteous complained.

And so it seemed. But we still have a couple dozen of them (plus Castle Grayskull) in the attic.

These days (among many other examples) TV has Lego Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu. Season 7 debuts at 7:30 p.m. Monday on Cartoon Network. And, of course, parents can spend a small fortune on the Lego action figures.

The Ninjago Turbo Shredder Set, for example, goes for nearly $70.

The animated series follows the adventures of six teenage ninjas: Kai, Cole, Jay, Zane, Lloyd and Nya, who were trained to save the world by Master Wu.

If it sounds like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, well, that's OK. We can never get enough of this stuff. And, yes, we also have a dozen old Ninja Turtle figures in the attic.

I'm not complaining. I still have fond memories of my Fort Apache stockade from circa 1955. It featured toy figures of Rusty and Rin Tin Tin. That play set would be worth a fortune if I still had it.

What Happens at The Abbey. And now for something totally vapid that will completely waste an hour of your life. But sometimes that's what we feel like watching when we want to decompress on a Sunday night.

What Happens at The Abby debuts at 9 p.m. today on E! and "goes inside the lives of the sexy staff members of world-famous bar The Abbey in the heart of West Hollywood."

E! informs us that The Abbey is "a hot spot for celebrities and VIP guests seeking the ultimate nightlife experience" and "brings hot drama, budding romances, diverse sexuality and the pursuit of Hollywood dreams."

Wait. There's more.

"The Abbey employs a dynamic staff of beautiful and charismatic up-and-coming stars," E! says. So, "when superstars Tori Spelling and Brandi Glanville stop by, newbie Marissa is thrown off her game."

Huh? In what universe is Tori Spelling a "superstar?" And Glanville, a veteran of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and Celebrity Apprentice, is a C-list reality show celeb at best.

SEASON FINALES

Today:

Chicago Justice, 8 p.m. NBC. In "Tycoon," Nagel, Antonio and Battalion Chief Boden (Joelle Carter, Jon Seda, Eamonn Walker) discover that a deadly construction crane collapse was not an accident.

Once Upon a Time, 7-9 p.m. ABC. "The Final Battle Part 1 and Part 2." The series is on the bubble. This could be the last hurrah.

NCIS: Los Angeles, 7 p.m. CBS. In "Unleashed," Sam Hanna (LL Cool J) goes rogue in an attempt to stop terrorist Tahir Khaled (Anslem Richardson).

Monday:

Quantico, 9 p.m. ABC. In "Resistance," Alex (Priyanka Chopra) and the team make a final stand against the collaborators at the Constitutional Convention.

Scorpion, 9 p.m. CBS. In "Scorp Family Robinson," we find out whether the gang will be able to overcome personal conflicts to get rescued off that deserted island.

Man With a Plan, 7:30 p.m. CBS. In "Buzzer Beater," Adam and Andi (Matt LeBlanc, Liza Snyder) contemplate having another baby.

The TV Column appears Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Email:

mstorey@arkansasonline.com

Style on 05/14/2017

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