The sins of the father emerge in the powerful penultimate episode of "The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story" (10 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 a state of emotional starvation.
It's clear Andrew gets his sense of entitlement (as well as his contempt for his mother) from his old man, who follows a downward trajectory as a financial adviser.
A parallel plot about young Gianni Versace's choice to defy gender roles and follow his mother's steps as a seamstress is pretty much overshadowed by the Cunanan backstory.
I was shocked when I read that members of the Versace family complained "American Crime Story" had defamed the designer's legend.
That's a little like the Abraham Lincoln estate complaining about a biography of John Wilkes Booth.
The Versace complaints are not the only ones dogging FX and series producer Ryan Murphy.
Actress Olivia de Havilland, 101, is suing Murphy's company for her depiction in "Feud," the 2017 miniseries based on the making of "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?"
Her suit alleges that "Feud" violated her privacy and publicity rights and depicted her in a false light.
Should she prevail, creators would be wary of basing characters on living figures. That would curtail the trend of using recent events for dramatic inspiration. Goodbye, "Waco," "The Looming Tower" and "The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story," to name a few.
Best known for her role as Melanie in "Gone With The Wind," de Havilland already had a major victory over Hollywood studios. A 1944 California ruling, known as the De Havilland Law, ended studios' rights to keep a talent under a personal services contract for more than seven years, freeing stars to challenge contracts and become independent agents.
Tonight's other highlights
- A creepy cult on "The X-Files" (8 p.m., Fox, TV-14).
- The Boston Celtics host the Washington Wizards in NBA action (8 p.m., ESPN).
- A wildlife filmmaker discusses his relationship with a subject on "The Mountain Lion and Me" (8 p.m., Smithsonian).
- An alderman is slain on "Chicago P.D." (10 p.m., NBC, TV-14).
- Kirkman visits a prison on "Designated Survivor" (10 p.m., ABC, TV-14).
Wet and wild on "Survivor" (8 p.m., CBS, TV-PG) ... Liz's therapy plumbs dark places on "The Blacklist" (8 p.m., NBC, TV-14) ... On two episodes of "Speechless" (ABC, TV-PG), jury duty (8 p.m.), the director's chair (8:30 p.m.) ... Archie's dad mulls a mayoral run on "Riverdale" (8 p.m., CW, TV-14).
Politicians play hardball on "NCIS" (9 p.m., CBS, r, TV-14) ... Organs are harvested without permission on "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (9 p.m., NBC, TV-14) ... Lifesavers face dating crises on "9-1-1" (9 p.m., Fox, TV-14) ... Phil insists on a floating vacation on "Modern Family" (9 p.m., ABC, r, TV-PG) ... A legal matter on "Life Sentence" (9 p.m., CW, TV-14) ... Party favors on "American Housewife" (9:30 p.m., ABC, TV-PG) ... A Peeping Tom on "Criminal Minds" (10 p.m., CBS, TV-14).
Krysten Ritter appears on "The Daily Show With Trevor Noah" (11 p.m., Comedy Central) ... Jeff Goldblum, Sebastian Maniscalco and Nothing But Thieves appear on "Conan" (11 p.m., TBS) ... Paul Giamatti and Brandi Carlile are on "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert" (11:35 p.m., CBS) ... Jimmy Fallon welcomes Alicia Vikander, Jim Sturgess, Kali Uchis and Tyler, the Creator on "The Tonight Show" (11:35 p.m., NBC).
Ricky Gervais, Lena Waithe and Luke Mitchell visit "Late Night With Seth Meyers" (12:35 a.m., NBC) ... Tony Hale appears on "The Late Late Show With James Corden" (12:35 a.m., CBS).