'MASTERS OF SEX': Virginia (Lizzy Caplan) learns more about William Masters's troubled childhood. (Michael Desmond/SHOWTIME)

The four-hour miniseries “WWI: The First Modern War” (History at 8 p.m.) looks back at the innovations in technological warfare that set World War I apart from previous conflicts. The series airs in full Saturday night with all four hour-long episodes presented consecutively.

SERIES PREMIERE: Inspired by a hugely popular YouTube cooking show, “Epic Meal Empire” (FYI at 10) focuses on Harley Morenstein (a.k.a. “the sauce boss”) and his kitchen crew as they think up and deliver extreme recipes such as burger-stuffed lasagnas, doughnut casseroles and Jack-and-Coke cupcakes.

Sunday talk shows: “Platts Energy Week” (WUSA at 8 a.m.) interviews Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska); “BioCentury This Week” (WUSA at 8:30) features the University of California at Berkeley’s Jennifer Doudna; “Fox News Sunday” (Fox at 9) hosts Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.); “White House Chronicle” (WETA at 9) has the National Foundation for Cancer Research’s Franklin Salisbury Jr.; “State of the Union” (CNN at 9) features Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

“Government Matters” (WJLA at 9:30) hosts the Internet Innovation Alliance’s Larry Irving; “Newsmakers” ­(­C-SPAN at 10) talks to U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Gil Kerlikowske; “Sunday Morning Futures With Maria Bartiromo” (Fox News Channel at 10) hosts Rep. Peter T. King (R-N.Y.); “This Is America & the World” (WETA at 10 and WHUT at 6 p.m.) talks to the Benin-Niger Backbone Project’s Samuel Dossou-Aworet; “Meet the Press” (NBC at 10:30) has Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.); “Face the Nation” (CBS at 10:30) talks to Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.).

SERIES PREMIERE: Sunday night, the drama “Manhattan” (WGN America at 9 p.m.) centers on the secret program to develop a nuclear bomb in the 1940s, and Post TV critic Hank Stuever notes that “the first episode could not be more crammed with self-seriousness if it tried. . . . There can be no mistaking that this is a serious show about serious men and the women who are fated to wonder what their super-smart husbands are so desperately doing.” The series stars “The Good Wife’s” John Benjamin Hickey and Rachel Brosnahan of “House of Cards.”

SERIES PREMIERE: Six-part series “Escaping Alaska” (TLC at 10) follows five young people of Inuit, Inupiaq and Yupik descent who risk everything to pursue their dreams as they leave their frigid Alaskan homes for sunny San Diego.

After William Masters delivers a baby with ambiguous genitalia, he encourages the parents not to surgically assign the baby’s biological sex on “Masters of Sex” (Showtime at 10).

Rachel Lubitz