'Future Man'

Josh Futturman (Josh Hutcherson) is a janitor who outsmarts an unwinnable video game and time travels to the past in “Future Man,” now streaming on Hulu.

Hulu — Smallz and Raskind

Hulu begins streaming the comedy sci-fi spoof “Future Man.” Josh Hutcherson (“The Hunger Games”) stars as ambition-free janitor Josh Futturman. He lives at home with his parents, who assure him he “can do anything,” in spite of the fact that he has no skills and has accomplished nothing.

“Future Man” continues the theme of the 30-ish layabout catapulted into responsibility that began on last night’s “Ill Behaviour” on Showtime. It also features Ed Begley, Jr. as a clueless, well-meaning dad, the same role he plays on “Lady Dynamite,” which recently began its second season on Netflix.

Not content to borrow from recent comedies, “Future Man” is a knowing riff on the 1984 movie “The Last Starfighter,” a film similar to the 1999 cult movie “Galaxy Quest.”

As in “Starfighter,” Futturman is an avid player of an “unwinnable” video game. Once he masters it, he’s visited by beings from the future, who claim that they devised the game as a test to find a “savior” who can rescue their world from dark oppressors. A silly and elaborate plot takes the hapless Futturman and back to Los Angeles in 1969. As in “The Terminator,” he discovers that there are strange and details about his life that mesh with the fearful mythology of his cosmic visitors. And he finds himself in a fistfight with younger versions of his grandparents and his gun-toting uncle.

Silly, profane and shot through with knowing references to pop culture, “Future Man” is executive produced and directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. It’s interesting to see this debut so soon after “The Orville.” Of the two, who knew that Seth MacFarlane would create the sci-fi homage for grownups?

  • A second trial begins and a limited series concludes. Despite starring roles for actors from “The Sopranos” to “ER,” “Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders” (9 p.m., NBC, TV-14) never became must-see TV. It consistently attracted less than half of the audience for its lead-in, the very popular “This Is Us.”
  • Finding Your Roots (7 p.m., PBS, TV-PG) traces the ancestry of three well-known personalities, Lupita Nyong’o, Carmelo Anthony and Ana Navarro, whose fathers were political activists.
  • TV-themed DVDs available today include “CSI: Miami: The Complete Series.”

Other highlights

  • The playoffs continue on “The Voice” (7 p.m., NBC, TV-PG).
  • Big pharma goes on trial on “Bull” (8 p.m., CBS, TV-14).
  • Kevin receives awards from his old high school on “This Is Us” (8 p.m., NBC, TV-14).
  • Tim gets a visit from an old partner in crime on the seventh season premiere of “Moonshiners” (8 p.m., Discovery, TV-14).
  • Wade’s son needs help on “NCIS: New Orleans” (9 p.m., CBS, TV-14).
  • Yvette suffers from celestial static on “Kevin (Probably) Saves the World” (9 p.m., ABC, TV-14).
  • The politically laced seventh season of “American Horror Story: Cult” (9 p.m., FX, TV-MA) ends.

Cult choice

  • A washed-up obituary writer (Dick Powell) suddenly writes headlines that predict future events in the 1944 fantasy “It Happened Tomorrow” (9 a.m., TCM), directed by Rene Clair. This story would be recycled on the “Printer’s Devil” episode of “The Twilight Zone” and the CBS series “Early Edition,” which ran from 1996-2000.

Series notes

Bribery and murder on “NCIS” (7 p.m., CBS, TV-PG) ... Jealousy strikes on “Lethal Weapon” (7 p.m., Fox, TV-14) ... Over the river and through the woods on “The Middle” (7 p.m., ABC, TV-PG) ... Ancient artifacts on “The Flash” (7 p.m., CW, TV-PG) ... Drumsticks and Cupid on “Fresh Off the Boat” (7:30 p.m., ABC, TV-PG).

A fateful reunion on “The Mick” (8 p.m., Fox, TV-14) ... Dre’s godbrother’s release sparks a conversation on “blackish” (8 p.m., ABC, TV-PG).

An ancient muse causes static in Hollywood on “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow” (8 p.m., CW, TV-14) ... Fan fiction rings true on “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (8:30 p.m., Fox, TV-14) ... An old song hits a wrong note on “The Mayor” (8:30 p.m., ABC, TV-PG).

Late night

2 Chainz is booked on “The Daily Show With Trevor Noah” (10 p.m., Comedy Central) ... Ice Cube, Lea DeLaria and Jim Lauderdale appear on “Conan” (10 p.m., r, TBS).

Tyler Perry, Anthony Atamanuik and John Avlon are booked on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” (10:35 p.m., CBS).

Whoopi Goldberg, Susie Essman, Christian Siriano and Michel’le Baptiste visit “Late Night With Seth Meyers” (11:35 p.m., NBC).

Emmy Rossum and January Jones appear on “The Late Late Show With James Corden” (11:35 p.m., CBS).

© 2017 United Feature Synd.