What’s on TV Wednesday: ‘Mr. Mercedes’ and ‘Transparent’

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Brendan Gleeson in “Mr. Mercedes.”

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James Bridges/AT&T Audience Network

David E. Kelley adapts “Mr. Mercedes,” Stephen King’s first detective novel, for the screen. And the first two seasons of Jill Soloway’s much-lauded “Transparent” arrive on SundanceTV.

What’s on TV

MR. MERCEDES 8 p.m. on Audience Network. Stephen King’s 2014 novel “Mr. Mercedes” — his 62nd, and a departure from his usual supernatural horror — opens with a psychopath in a clown mask plowing a stolen luxury car into a crowd at a job fair in 2009. Then it jumps ahead two years to find Detective Bill Hodges (Brendan Gleeson), taunted out of retirement and into private-eye mode by the killer behind the case he never solved: the deranged Brady Hartsfield (Harry Treadaway), a computer technician and ice cream truck man with a terribly sad childhood. The cast includes Holland Taylor as Bill’s sexually aggressive neighbor; Mary-Louise Parker as his first client; Jharrel Jerome as the Harvard-bound whiz who wants to be Watson to Bill’s Holmes; and Kelly Lynch as Brady’s inappropriately loving mother. David E. Kelley developed the series (the novelists A. M. Homes and Dennis Lehane contributed a couple of episodes), “and he’s in good form,” Mike Hale wrote in The New York Times. “‘Mr. Mercedes’ has the Kelley hallmarks — snappy dialogue, credible characters, a story that adds up, an overall feeling of polished craftsmanship. It may lack the King intensity, but it holds on to a measure of his dark humor.” But, Mr. Hale added, “whether he’ll pull off a hard-boiled thriller remains a mystery.”

THE STORY OF DIANA 9 p.m. on ABC. As the 20th anniversary of the death of Princess Diana approaches, ABC and People team up on this two-night special, a mixture of interviews with Diana and those who knew her, as well as reporting from the magazine, whose cover she appeared on 57 times.

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Jeffrey Tambor in “Transparent.”

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Amazon

TRANSPARENT 10 p.m. on SundanceTV. A Los Angeles family deals with long-held secrets when its aging patriarch, Mort Pfefferman (Jeffrey Tambor), reveals that he is beginning a gender transition in Jill Soloway’s Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning semiautobiographical dark comedy, created for Amazon. The show’s…

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