Young Rock and Kenan make their debuts

Left: Uli Latukefu in Young Rock (Photo: Mark Taylor/NBC); Right: Kenan Thompson in Kenan (Photo: Chris Haston/NBC)

Left: Uli Latukefu in Young Rock (Photo: Mark Taylor/NBC); Right: Kenan Thompson in Kenan (Photo: Chris Haston/NBC)

Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Tuesday, February 16. All times are Eastern. 

Top picks

Young Rock (NBC, 8 p.m.) and Kenan (NBC, 8:30 p.m.): NBC adds some laughs to its Tuesday lineup, pairing the debuts of two sitcoms with the reliably tearjerking drama of This Is Us.

First up is Young Rock, which was created by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson along with Nahnatchka Khan. The comedy “will follow The Rock from pebble to wrestler to presidential candidate. (That last one is just within the world of the show, for now.) Johnson and Khan have assembled a whole team of personable actors to portray The Rock at ages 10, 15, and 20: Adrian Groulx, Bradley Constant, and Uli Latukefu, respectively. This coming-of-age sitcom is a tad more involved than most; the framing device sees Randall Park (as himself, now a journalist) interviewing the presidential hopeful, which will trigger all kinds of flashbacks to his fanny-packed, mustachioed adolescence. But with Khan, fresh off Fresh Off The Boat, helping to lead the way, Young Rock should offer more than just more ’80s-fashions-based humor.” (See the rest of our February TV preview here.)

As for Kenan, this sitcom follows Saturday Night Live veteran Kenan Thompson, who, as Sam Barsanti describes, “plays a widowed father who hosts a morning talk show, with the stress of his life forcing him to begrudgingly accept help from his sax-loving father-in-law (Don Johnson) who is desperate to spend time with his granddaughters. SNL’s Chris Redd also stops by as Thompson’s brother, presumably offering some of the same kind of chaotic energy that Thompson played so well off of in his Nickelodeon days. It’s hard to get much of a read on the show from this short clip, but come on, Kenan Thompson is finally doing a sitcom again—and it’s about time.” Look for Saloni Gajjar’s thoughts on these freshman series later this week.

Regular coverage

This Is Us (NBC, 9 p.m.) 
Big Sky (ABC, 10 p.m.)

Wild card

Bad Habits, Holy Orders (Hulu, season one): The latest in a series of shows that sound like stole their premise from a 30 Rock bit, this four-part reality series follows a group of party girls making a go at life in a nunnery in rural Norfolk, England. It’s not exactly a Sister Act riff, as these raucous twentysomethings don’t appear to be hiding out from any mobsters. But if you’re expecting a simple clash between uptight nuns and a few libertines, you might be disappointed—both groups remain quite sweet in this negotiation for a night out.

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