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


Brendan Gleeson in “Mr. Mercedes.”

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.


Jeffrey Tambor in “Transparent.”


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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