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Stay Tuned column: Award-winning documentary ‘Ringside’ premieres on Showtime

Melissa Crawley
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Ashland Times Gazette

Stop motion animation goes Medieval, a period drama goes to India, a Grammy-winner performs from home and a compelling sports documentary follows the divergent lives of two promising boxers.

Dispatches: Weekly TV news

HBO and Emmy-winning director, Johan Renck (“Chernobyl”), are working together on new series, “The Last of Us,” which is an adaptation of the popular Sony/Naught Dog video game of the same name. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, the plot centers around the relationship between a smuggler and the teenager girl who he is hired to break out of a quarantine zone. Renck will direct the show’s pilot.

Actor Hartley Sawyer, who played Ralph Dibny on “The Flash,” was fired after a series of tweets he wrote surfaced. The tweets, all posted before he was on The CW show, reference sexual assault and included racist and homophobic language. Showrunner, Eric Wallace, issued a statement on the firing, which was reposted by lead “Flash” actor, Grant Gustin, who added that he was “shocked, saddened and angry” when he saw Sawyer’s tweets.

Contenders: Shows to keep on your radar

“Ringside” (June 12, Showtime, 8:30 p.m. ET) follows two boxing prodigies, Kenneth Sims Jr., and Destyne Butler Jr., as they train for a 2009 spot on the U.S. Olympic Boxing Team. Filmed over the following nine years, the documentary chronicles the choices that put one of them on the road to a promising boxing career and the other on a journey through the prison system.

Adult, animated stop-motion comedy “Crossing Swords” debuts (June 12, Hulu). The series focuses on Patrick, a good-natured peasant who lands a squire position at the castle but quickly discovers it’s no dream job, as he must navigate a royal household of criminals and conmen. Stars lending their voices to the Medieval shenanigans include Nicholas Hoult and Seth Green.

Spike Lee’s newest film, “Da 5 Bloods,” premieres on Netflix (June 12). The action follows a group of Black Vietnam veterans who are searching for the remains of their squad leader and maybe, some buried treasure.

On new “Masterpiece” miniseries, “Beecham House,” (June 14, PBS, 10 p.m. ET), former East India Company soldier, John Beecham lands in Delhi, circa 1795, with the goal of reuniting his family but he’s also keeping a few secrets that threaten those he loves.

Anna Friel returns for season three of London-based detective series, “Marcella” (June 14, Netflix).

Grammy-winner Norah Jones is the latest performer to be featured on “At Home and Social” (June 15, AXS TV, 8 p.m. ET). Jones will deliver an hour-long acoustic session of past hits, new material and songs that inspire her.

“American Masters” explores the work and impact of the intriguing Mae West in “Mae West: Dirty Blonde” (June 16, PBS, 8 p.m. ET).

Report Card: Ratings winners and losers

Winners: The finale of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” helped ABC win its third straight Thursday night among adults 18-49.

Losers: Netflix canceled sketch comedy show, “Astronomy Club.”

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.