New to streaming this week: Documentaries on Fauci, Bieber and Madonna
Here's a collection curated by The Associated Press' entertainment journalists of what's arriving on TV, streaming services and music platforms this week.
• John Hoffman and Janet Tobias' "Fauci" is the first big-screen documentary of the nation's top infectious disease expert and ubiquitous face of the COVID-19 pandemic. It's an intimate portrait of a longtime public servant whose notoriety in the past 18 months has risen dramatically -- and with that, brought heaps of far-right scorn on the veteran of seven White House administrations. The Nation Geographic's film, which premieres this week on Disney+ after a three-week run in theaters, surveys the doctor's career but focuses particularly on how the AIDS crisis formed him as a public health official.
• It's a funny quirk that one of the highest grossing documentaries ever belongs to Justin Bieber. "Justin Bieber: Never Say Never" made more than $73 million at the box office in 2011, a nonfiction total bested only by "Fahrenheit 9/11" and "March of the Penguins." A lot has changed in the intervening decade for both Bieber and the movies. "Justin Bieber: Our World," which debuts Friday on Amazon Prime, tracks some of those changes in the now 27-year-old pop star while focusing on his preparations for his first full concert in three years -- a New Year's Eve 2020 show in Beverly Hills.
• Bieber isn't the only pop star trotting out a new documentary this week. The concert film "Madonna: Madame X" premieres Friday on Paramount+, showcasing the 63-year-old singer's latest persona, an international secret agent around whom she framed her 2019 album of the same name. The film chronicles her "Madame X" album tour, in which Madonna played a string of smaller, more intimate venues for the first time in decades.
-- AP Film Writer Jake Coyle
• Grammy-winning songwriter Natalie Hemby has made a name for herself in Nashville as a sought-after hitmaker, writing with everyone from Lady Gaga, Miranda Lambert, Kacey Musgraves and Little Big Town. After stepping further into the spotlight as a member of the group The Highwomen, Hemby is releasing her second solo record, "Pins and Needles," on Oct. 8. The album features her intricate and sharp lyrics set over '90s-era country rock influenced melodies. Think Sheryl Crow and Sarah McLachlan with the drama and sass of Lambert. "Pins and Needles" includes co-writes from Lambert, Brothers Osborne and Maren Morris.
• Country group Old Dominion made their mark as excellent songwriters and energetic performers with multiple hits for other artists, as well as their own chart-topping singles. The five-piece band, led by vocalist Matthew Ramsey, wrote all the songs together for their new album, "Time, Tequila and Therapy," out on Oct. 8, during a weeklong trip to Asheville, North Carolina. While recording in the Blue Ridge Mountains town, the group discovered that legendary soul singer Gladys Knight also lived in town. So naturally they recruited her to sing with them on "The Lonely Side of Town," melding the group's backing harmonies with Knight's smooth vocals.
-- AP Entertainment Writer Kristin M. Hall
• CBS' "United States of Al" it tackling a somber story, one it's uniquely positioned to do. The buddy comedy centers on the friendship of Riley, a combat veteran who fought in the Mideast, and Awalmir, aka Al, the Afghanistan translator he helped bring to the U.S. In the second-season debut airing at 7:31 p.m. Thursday, Al and Riley are scrambling to get Al's sister out of Kabul after the Afghanistan capital's fall. CBS said the episode was inspired by the experiences of the show's veterans and Afghan writers who teamed to evacuate family members. The episode then streams Friday on Paramount+.
• Showtime's docuseries "Buried" examines the fallout from a 1969 California murder case that was prosecuted based on a claim of recalled memory. Eileen Franklin alleged that her father had raped and killed a childhood friend, Susan Nason, nearly two decades before, when Susan was 8 years old. The four-part documentary, debuting at 8 p.m. Sunday, recounts the debate the case provoked in the legal and mental health fields about the legitimacy of such memories. Family members, neighbors and experts offer their perspectives on the tragedy that ended with an overturned verdict.
• Brothers Ilmar and Aldo López-Gavilán, born in Cuba in the 1970s, are musicians whose success was accompanied by separation. Ilmar left Cuba as a teenager and became a chamber violinist in the United States (by way of studies in the Soviet Union). Pianist Aldo, tutored by his Cuba's jazz and classical artists, gained respect in his home country. What was missing was the opportunity to collaborate, the victim of U.S.-Cuban relations. The Afro Cuban siblings' journey is told in the acclaimed documentary "Los Hermanos/The Brothers," directed by Marcia Jarmel and Ken Schneider and streaming through October on PBS.org and the PBS app.
-- AP Television Writer Lynn Elber