Netflix unveils the latest addition to its collection of notable original and
exclusive series with "Derek," launching today. As with all Netflix series, every episode is available for viewing.
Series creator Ricky Gervais stars in the title role in this six-part bittersweet comedy, playing a simple-minded 49-year-
old working in a home for the elderly. Derek and the folks he tends to and lives among are on the outskirts of mainstream society, and their troubles -- public and private -- give Derek and his friends and co-workers, including Hannah (Kerry Godliman) and Dougie (Karl Pilkington), plenty to discuss, often in lurid detail.
Like "The Office," the series' narrative structure is based on a document-
ary film, this time looking at the workings of a group home. As on "Extras," a lot of "Derek" consists of commentary about television and, particularly, the reality television genre, Derek's favorite.
In "The Office," "Extras" and "Life's Too Short," Gervais was never afraid to go for the offensive joke and the cruel observation, particularly about the vulner-
Viewers may be a tad confused here. Is Gervais playing the mentally challenged Derek for sympathy or for laughs? Or both? That may be enough to put some off from watching the show.
Gervais' characters have always been designed to inflict a great deal of provocative discomfort upon his audience. But some fans of his approach may never forgive Gervais for this series' sentimentality.
---The popular spy spoof "Burn Notice" (9 p.m., USA, TV-PG) ends its seven-season run. This tale of a CIA spy, Michael Westen (Jeffrey Donovan), exiled from the agency and forced to depend on his own resources, "MacGyver"-like, was most notable for clever narrative asides, allowing Michael to explain the tricks of the spy trade for the audience. And who couldn't love a show that gave Bruce Campbell a steady gig as a somewhat over-the-hill ex-Navy SEAL?
---Auditions continue on "The X Factor" (8 p.m., Fox, TV-14).
---Surfers sing on the sand in the 2013 made-for-television musical "Teen Beach Movie" (8 p.m., Disney, TV-G).
---The New England Patriots host the New York Jets in NFL action (8:25 p.m., NFL Network).
---White House chiefs of staff, past and present, discuss the hard calls, from containing presidential scandals to acts of war and military
retaliation, on "The Presi dent's Gatekeepers" (9 p.m., Discovery, part two of two, TV-14). President George H.W. Bush also speaks publicly about Ross Perot's possible motivations for a third party run in 1992.
---"CBS Fall Preview" (8:30 p.m.) offers a glimpse at five new sitcoms and three new dramas, including "The Crazy Ones," starring Robin Williams and Sarah Michelle Gellar, and "Hostages," starring Toni Collette and Dylan McDermott.
---Designers must create a look for a modern Southern woman on "Project Run- way" (9 p.m., Lifetime, TV-PG).
---A former flame shocks Sherlock on "Elementary" (10 p.m., CBS, r, TV-14).
---A violent attack leaves Oliver missing on the season finale of "Rookie Blue" (10 p.m., ABC, TV-PG).
---Jangles kidnaps a member of the team on the season finale of "Grace land" (10 p.m., USA, TV-14).
Small-town passions erupt after a stranger (William Holden) drifts into view in the 1955 adaptation of William Inge's stage drama "Picnic" (8 p.m., TCM), co-starring Kim Novak and Rosalind Russell.
---Billy Crystal is scheduled on "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart" (11 p.m., Comedy Central).
---Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Kaitlin Olson and Wavves appear on "Conan" (11 p.m., TBS).
---Tim Gunn, Moshe Kasher, Chris Farah and Chris Franjola are booked on "Chelsea Lately" (11 p.m., E!).
---Philip Mudd sits down on "The Colbert Report" (11:30 p.m., Comedy Central).
---Alec Baldwin and Toni Collette appear on "Late Show With David Letter man" (11:35 p.m., CBS).
---Jay Leno welcomes Hugh Jackman, Aisha Tyler and OneRepublic on "The Tonight Show" (11:35 p.m., NBC).
---Jake Gyllenhaal, Dianna Agron and Weekend appear on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" (11:35 p.m., ABC).
---Robert De Niro, Amy Sedaris and Alt-J visit "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" (12:35 a.m., NBC).
---Craig Ferguson hosts Adam Goldberg and Jennifer Carpenter on "The Late Late Show" (12:35 a.m., CBS).
Kevin McDonough can be reached at kevin.tvguy@g mail.com.