Tune In for March 14

Darren Criss (left) portrays Andrew Cunanan and Jon Jon Briones portrays Modesto Cunanan on “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story,” airing at 9 p.m. Wednesday on FX.

FX — Ray Mickshaw

The sins of the father emerge in the powerful penultimate episode of “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” (9 p.m., FX, TV-MA).

This emotionally draining series has unfolded one flashback at a time, with characters’ stories emerging in seemingly random order.

Tonight’s episode focuses on Modesto “Pete” Cunanan (Jon Jon Briones), the con man father of serial killer Andrew Cunanan (Darren Criss). Pete projects a brash belief in the American dream, enlisting in the military so he can arrive as a new citizen from his native Philippines.

His peculiar notion of family values is to lavish all his attention and much of his fortune on Andrew, while his other children languish in cramped quarters in a state of emotional starvation.

It’s clear that Andrew gets his sense of grandeur and entitlement (as well as his contempt for his mother) from his old man, who puts on a brave face as he follows a downward trajectory as a financial adviser

.

Other highlights

  • A creepy cult emerges on “The X-Files” (7 p.m., Fox, TV-14).
  • The Boston Celtics host the Washington Wizards in NBA action (7 p.m., ESPN).
  • A wildlife filmmaker discusses his relationship with a subject on “The Mountain Lion and Me” (7 p.m., Smithsonian).
  • An alderman is slain on “Chicago P.D.” (9 p.m., NBC, TV-14).
  • Tongues wag as Kirkman visits a prison on “Designated Survivor” (9 p.m., ABC, TV-14).

Cult choice

A sad sack (William H. Macy) hired by a tyrannical casino boss (Alec Baldwin) to bring bad luck to gamblers finds a change in fortune after meeting a nice girl (Maria Bello) in the oddball 2003 comedy “The Cooler” (8:40 p.m., Cinemax).

Series notes

Wet and wild on “Survivor” (7 p.m., CBS, TV-PG) ... Liz’s therapy plumbs dark places on “The Blacklist” (7 p.m., NBC, TV-14) ... On two episodes of “Speechless” (ABC, TV-PG), jury duty (7 p.m.), the director’s chair (7:30 p.m.) ... Archie’s dad mulls a mayoral run on “Riverdale” (7 p.m., CW, TV-14).

Politicians play hardball on “NCIS” (8 p.m., CBS, r, TV-14) ... An accident victim’s organs are harvested without permission on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (8 p.m., NBC, TV-14) ... Lifesavers face dating crises on “9-1-1” (8 p.m., Fox, TV-14) ... Phil insists on a floating vacation on “Modern Family” (8 p.m., ABC, r, TV-PG) ... A legal matter on “Life Sentence” (8 p.m., CW, TV-14) ... Party favors on “American Housewife” (8:30 p.m., ABC, TV-PG) ... A peeping tom falls under suspicion on “Criminal Minds” (9 p.m., CBS, TV-14).

Late night

Krysten Ritter appears on “The Daily Show With Trevor Noah” (10 p.m., Comedy Central) ... Jeff Goldblum, Sebastian Maniscalco appears on “Conan” (10 p.m., TBS) ... Paul Giamatti and Brandi Carlile are on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” (10:35 p.m., CBS)

.

© 2018 United Feature Synd.