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What’s on TV Thursday: ‘Elián’ and ‘Asian Provocateur’


Federal agents, acting on a court order, retrieving Elián González from his relatives’ Miami home in 2000.

Alan Diaz/Associated Press

A new documentary revisits the contentious custody battle over Elián González. And the British travelogue “Asian Provocateur” makes its American premiere.

What’s on TV

ELIÁN 10 p.m. on CNN, also streaming on CNNgo. In 1999, a 5-year-old Cuban boy, Elián González, fascinated the nation. Fishermen rescued Elián in the Florida Straits after his mother and others drowned attempting to reach the United States. American authorities united the young survivor with some of his relatives in Miami, sparking a contentious custody battle between Elián’s father in Cuba and those relatives. The widely televised battle that ensued absorbed diplomats, Americans and Cubans for months, ending with Elián’s return to Cuba. Co-directed by Tim Golden, a former journalist for The New York Times, and Ross McDonnell, this documentary revisits the tale with testimony from those involved and Mr. González himself.

WHAT CARTER LOST 9:30 p.m. on ESPN. Director Adam Hootnick chronicles the tremendous achievements and swift downfall of the 1988 Dallas Carter High School football team, the Cowboys. For a while, the team seemed unstoppable: They won the state championship after beating the team that later inspired “Friday Night Lights,” and 21 players were offered college scholarships. But an anonymous tip to state investigators challenged one player’s grade qualifications, and the team’s legitimacy. Then several players were arrested for robberies, landing three athletes in prison. This documentary retells the team’s story through the players’ eyes, conveying the troubles and the racial tensions that brought the team down when it was at its peak.

What’s Streaming


Romesh Ranganathan, center, visits a Sri Lankan tribe in “Asian Provocateur.”

Courtesy of Sundance Now

ASIAN PROVOCATEUR on Sundance Now. Having grown up in England, the wry British comedian Romesh Ranganathan has few ties to his parents’ native Sri Lanka. His mother sets out to change that in this BBC Three travel series. In the first season, she challenges him to travel the country to meet relatives and partake in cultural traditions. A less-than-enthusiastic Mr. Ranganathan agrees: He learns an ancient Sri Lankan martial art and attempts to create his own Tamil drama.

PARTY BOAT (2017) on Crackle. The secret to a woman’s heart? A raging party. At least that’s what Max (Brett Davern) has in mind when he throws his best friend and secret longtime crush, Kylie (Katie Leclerc), a raucous birthday party on a boat. Once he learns that Kylie’s pretentious boyfriend is planning to propose that same night, Max becomes determined to win her over with a night to remember.


Peter Dinklage in “Rememory.”


REMEMORY (2017) on Google Play. Peter Dinklage investigates the death of a scientist who is shot dead after disclosing a new invention: a machine that can read and record a person’s memories and display them. Mr. Dinklage visits the scientist’s widow, Carolyn (Julia Ormond), and steals the machine in hopes that it can lead him to the murderer. This sci-fi mystery is streaming free through Sept. 20 and will be released in select theaters on Sept. 8.

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