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The Stream

This image released by Acorn TV shows, from left, Martin Compston, Sophie Rundle and Mirren Mack from the series "The Nest," with new episodes airing every Monday through Aug. 3 on Acorn TV. (Marsaili Mainz/Acorn TV via AP)

—What better distraction than a psychological thriller? In Acorn TV’s The Nest,” Dan and Emily are a happily married Glasgow couple longing for the parenthood that’s eluded them — and 18-year-old Kaya enters their lives. Is her offer to act as a surrogate in exchange for helping her get on the right path an answered prayer or something less benevolent? Martin Compston (“Line of Duty”), Sophie Rundle (“Bodyguard”) and Mirren Mack lead a cast that includes Shirley Henderson ( “Bridget Jones”). Two episodes are out on Acorn TV, with weekly episodes debuting Mondays through Aug. 3.

—Bring out the peanuts and Cracker Jacks, baseball is back! The season is short and fans will be missing from the stands but, let’s face it, any semblance of traditional life is welcome amid the pandemic. The planned 60-game schedule kicks off Thursday night on ESPN with the Washington Nationals, the defending World Series champs, hosting the New York Yankees, and the Los Angeles Dodgers at home against the San Francisco Giants (10:08 p.m. EDT). Other Major League Baseball teams jump in Friday, with nationally televised games carried by ESPN, TBS, Fox, FS1 or the MLB Network.

The Stream

This image released by Amazon Studios shows Jim Gaffigan in a scene from his comedy special "Jim Gaffigan: The Pale Tourist," premiering Friday on Amazon. (Amazon Studios via AP)

—Jim Gaffigan’s observational stand-up is wryly funny and hugely successful but falls well short of groundbreaking. That changes with “Jim Gaffigan: The Pale Tourist,” which is downright daring in its approach if not content. The comedian set himself the challenge of parachuting into a country, sampling its culture, history and food and, based on the one visit, writing and performing a new routine. The two-part Amazon Prime Video special, taped in Spain and Canada and debuting Friday, captures part of the comedian-actor’s 2019-2020 worldwide tour that’s been stalled by the pandemic.

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