Tune In - South Side

Sultan Salahuddin (left) and Kareme Young mine unglamorous Chicago for comedy in “South Side,” debuting at 9:30 p.m. on Comedy Central.

You can’t say “South Side” (9:30 p.m., Comedy Central, TV-14) isn’t deeply rooted. Sitcoms rarely capture a sense of place. Traditional three-camera series tend to look like they were shot on a Hollywood stage because they are. Even the New York City of “Seinfeld” or the Scranton, Pennsylvania, of “The Office” amounted to a handful of location shots.

“South Side” makes the most of its Chicago setting, and its title and cast make clear that they are talking about a very specific, unglamourous part of the city. Arguments about accents come up early and often. Most scenes are shot in and around the neighborhood and employ South Side residents.

Sultan Salahuddin and Kareme Young star as hapless employees of a rent-to-own furniture company, the kind of usurious outfits that plague low-income neighborhoods. They’re first seen graduating community college (after eight years) and taking a brief moment to bask in glory until returning to the grind of repossessing appliances from hapless customers who have missed one of their 164 weekly payments.

To this grim exploitation add widespread and random violence, corrupt police, gang members and absent fathers. “South Side” takes all of the dreadful things associated with inner city existence and mines them for comedy. To be honest, I’m not entirely sure what to make of that. But perhaps that’s a good thing. Satire is supposed to make people nervous.

  • With the golden anniversary of Apollo 11 in our rearview mirrors, PBS asks viewers to keep watching the skies. Narrated by Zachary Quinto (“Heroes,” “Star Trek,” “NOS4R2), the five-part “NOVA” series “The Planets” offers mini “biographies” of our nearest neighbors. It kicks off with our own inner circle, Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars (8 p.m., TV-PG), the closest planets to the sun, before expanding on the Mars (9 p.m., TV-G) story.

Over the next three weeks “The Planets” will travel deeper into space, using extensive footage and findings from space probes from the past five decades, as well as cinematic CGI renderings.

Viewers will be able to stream “The Planets” on PBS.org and the PBS Video App, available on iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Chromecast.

  • Netflix launches the documentary “The Great Hack,” a sobering look at data mining and its use in political warfare. “Hack” pays particular attention to the entanglement of Facebook with Cambridge Analyitica leading up to 2016 Brexit vote and the U.S. presidential vote.
  • If all goes according to schedule, C-SPAN will rebroadcast Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s testimony before the House Judiciary Committee (7 p.m.).

Other highlights

  • “Ancient Skies” (7 p.m., PBS, TV-PG) reflects on the role of star-gazing from prehistoric times to the dawn of scientific thinking.
  • King crabs reign supreme on “MasterChef” (7 p.m., Fox, TV-14).
  • The docuseries “Who Killed Garrett Phillips?” (7 p.m., HBO, TV-MA) continues its look into the murder of a 12-year-old boy and the racially charged prosecution of the mother’s ex-boyfriend.
  • The Jonas Brothers interview lyricists on “Songland” (8 p.m., NBC, r, TV-PG).
  • Cameras capture “First Responders Live” (8 p.m., Fox, TV-14).
  • Jane’s publishing plans go sideways on “Jane the Virgin” (8 p.m., CW, TV-PG).
  • Samantha joins forces with Katrina on “Suits” (8 p.m., USA, TV-14).
  • The gang rushes to put a damper on a pyromaniac on “The InBetween” (9 p.m., NBC, TV-14).
  • Jamie wants a do-over on “Yellowstone” (9 p.m., Paramount, TV-MA).
  • Jessica’s past complicates a
  • city
  • contract on “Pearson” (9 p.m., USA, TV-14).

Cult choice

An effete, mean-spirited columnist (Clifton Webb) confounds a detective (Dana Andrews) obsessed with the portrait of a slain beauty in the 1944 mystery “Laura” (8:30 p.m., TCM, TV-PG).

Series notes

Tropical distractions on “Love Island” (7 p.m., CBS, TV-PG) ... “Ellen’s Game of Games” (7 p.m., NBC, r, TV-PG) ... “Press Your Luck” (7 p.m., ABC, TV-PG) ... Illusionists audition on “Penn & Teller: Fool Us” (7 p.m., CW, r, TV-PG).

Julie Chen Moonves hosts “Big Brother” (8 p.m., CBS, TV-PG) ... “Card Sharks” (8 p.m., ABC, TV-PG) ... A pride parade inspires a violent reaction on “S.W.A.T.” (9 p.m., CBS, r, TV-14) ... Alec Baldwin hosts “Match Game” (9 p.m., ABC, TV-14).

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