This week on the small screen

The royals, the kids and the unreality.

Queen Elizabeth documentary on HOT (photo credit: PR)
Queen Elizabeth documentary on HOT
(photo credit: PR)
Mazel tov to Queen Elizabeth II on her 90th birthday. HOT Channel 37 and the YES Good Life Channel (Channel 31) are presenting several documentaries as a tribute to Her Majesty on June 12.
At 2:45 p.m., Queen Elizabeth II: Reign Supreme, a tribute to the Queen and a look at her personal life, will be aired. It features rare archival footage of the Queen during World War II (when she trained to be a mechanic!) and at her 1947 wedding (where her gown was made of material she obtained with ration cards she had saved up).
The Queen and Prince Philip have been married almost 70 years, but their union was an unlikely one, which caused conflict among the royal family. Born into the Greek and Danish royal families, Philip was educated partly in England and joined the Royal Navy in 1939. A third cousin of the Queen, Philip was considered by many to be an outsider who was not suitable to marry Elizabeth. In the documentary Prince Philip: The Plot to Make a King, which airs at 3:40 p.m., you can learn all about how Philip joined the royal family.
A Right Royal Year looks at Britain’s royal family in the especially newsworthy year of 2012. That was when the Queen celebrated her Diamond Jubilee year. It was also the year of the brilliantly successful London Olympic Games, for which the Queen filmed a video with Daniel Craig, who plays James Bond, and pretended to parachute with him.
There were also a few scandals involving Prince Harry and the happy news that Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge and wife of Prince William, were expecting a child. A Right Royal Year will be shown at 4:30 p.m.
Remember Fergie? Sarah Ferguson, the former wife of Prince Andrew, was one of the livelier members of the royal family. In Finding Sarah: From Royalty to the Real World, she looks back on her life and tries to figure out her next steps, with the help of Dr.
Phil (yes, Dr. Phil), who sends her on challenging hikes. This will be shown at 5:15 p.m.
Don’t forget to watch the John le Carré espionage drama The Night Manager, premiering on the AMC Channels on both HOT and YES on 9 p.m. on Wednesday, June 15, and on VOD. You really need to watch this series in order to enjoy it.
Summer vacation is almost here, and if your kids will be home, you may want to check out some of the children-oriented summer programming.
HOT is offering lots of series for free on HOT VOD Young, starting in June and running throughout the summer.
Both seasons of Born to Dance will be on the channel, as will the second and third seasons of House of Anubis, a fun and suspenseful series about teens at a British boarding school who are haunted by an ancient Egyptian curse.
YES VOD is offering 80 movies through its Disney on Demand service, among them Pixar favorites such as Toy Story, Ratatouille and Finding Nemo. The older classics will also be available, such as Aladdin and The Jungle Book. The service also features live action films, among them The Princess Diaries and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids! The second season of unReal just started running on YES Drama on Tuesdays at 9:15 p.m. and on YES VOD. I wasn’t a huge fan of the first season of this series, which is about two women producers of a reality TV series modeled on The Bachelor, since the subject just seemed too easy a target.
Season Two has started out strong, though, with Rachel (Shiri Appleby, whose mother is Israeli), the schleppy and neurotic but ambitious showrunner, and Quinn (Constance Zimmer, who has been wonderful on so many shows, such as The Newsroom, House of Cards and Entourage), her competitive boss, doing what The Bachelor has never done: bring in an African American as the season’s new bachelor. The appearance of this hunky football player (B.J. Britt) has inspired the writers to sharpen the satire.