From all new housewives to reality romance, we round up the top 10 shows to watch this week
1. Willie Nelson: American Outlaw – Sunday, April 12, 7 p.m. & 11 p.m., A&E
A&EWhen it comes to country music, there aren’t many still-living singers who come close to matching the accomplishments, fame and discography of Willie Nelson. Finding success as a songwriter with such tunes as Patsy Cline’s “Crazy” and Faron Young’s “Hello Walls” before becoming a star in his own right, Nelson gets appropriately fêted during this two-hour tribute concert, which features performances from a wide variety of musicians, including Dave Matthews, Jimmy Buffett, Sheryl Crow, Emmylou Harris, George Strait, Vince Gill and Jack Johnson, among others.
2. Insecure – Sunday, April 12, 9 p.m. & 3:15 a.m., HBO Canada | Season Premiere
HBO CanadaIn the season-four premiere, Issa teams with Condola to throw a mixer so they can find sponsors for their block party. Alas, the partnership is threatened after they stumble upon a “mutual connection.” In other news, Molly surprises herself by developing feelings for Andrew.
3. Run – Sunday, April 12, 9:35 p.m. & 3:50 a.m., HBO Canada | Series Premiere
HBO CanadaIf you’re someone who makes it a point to check out the credits of TV series in order to know which writers, directors and producers are an instant mark of quality, then we’d expect your eyebrows to raise after reading that this new HBO comedy is executive-produced by Phoebe Waller-Bridge. That’s right: the woman who wrote and starred in Fleabag and also created Killing Eve! What you may not know, however, is that Fleabag was based on Waller-Bridge’s one-woman play of the same name, which was directed by Vicky Jones, creator of Run.
Now that we really have your attention, let’s talk about the series itself, which stars Emmy-winner Merritt Wever (Nurse Jackie) as Ruby, a woman whose life is somewhat less than she hoped it would be. That situation looks likely to change, however, when she gets an out-of-the-blue text from her college sweetheart, Billy (Star Wars’ Domhnall Gleeson), which contains but one word: “RUN.” As soon as she sees it, Ruby is on a plane to New York to meet up with Billy and embark on a cross-country train trip. Why? Because of a pact they made 17 years earlier. As it turns out, Billy is just as charismatic as he was in college, which makes it very easy for Ruby to fall back into their old patterns, but given that one of those old patterns involves her winding Billy up whenever the opportunity presents itself, there’s definitely still tension between them... much of it of the sexual variety. It’s part romantic comedy, part mystery, and we can’t wait to watch it all unfold.
4. Celebrity IOU – Monday, April 13, 7 p.m. & 10 p.m., HGTV | Series Premiere
HGTVJust when you thought that the Property Brothers, a.k.a. B.C.’s own Jonathan and Drew Scott, couldn’t expand their home-renovation stardom any further, they’ve gone and hooked up with Brad Pitt. Yup, this new series from the twins is a true A-list endeavour as they invite not only the Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood Oscar winner, but also Melissa McCarthy, Viola Davis, Rebel Wilson and Michael Bublé to roll up their sleeves and pick up the power tools.
But it isn’t your typical celebrity home makeover show—this venture is all about giving back. In each episode, the celeb in question digs deep to find one of their “IOUs”—a person they credit for impacting their lives in a real and meaningful way. And how better to thank that person than with a surprise reno that brings everyone to tears?
5. Songland – Monday, April 13, 7 p.m., City; 10:01 p.m., NBC | Season Premiere
NBCGet ready for season two of the show that takes us inside the process of pop-music songwriting, giving aspiring scribes the chance to learn from the pros. Ryan Tedder, Ester Dean and Shane McAnally return as mentors, along with new guest stars like Bebe Rexha, Usher and Boyz II Men.
6. The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills – Wednesday, April 15, 6 p.m. & 10 p.m., Slice | Season Premiere
SliceGrab the Merlot, whip up a fancy food platter and get ready to feel things. So much ink has been spilled about Lisa Vanderpump and her departure as one of the OG Housewives on this series, but now it’s time to actually face reality and see what a Lisa-less season looks like. Thankfully, there are some new cast members to help spill the tea when the
Garcelle Beauvais, an actress and former model who has appeared in plenty of big projects over the years (she even counts Jamie Foxx as one of her besties), joins as the first-ever black Housewife on the Beverly Hills branch of this reality empire; meanwhile, entrepreneur and event planner Sutton Stracke is also in the mix to up the women’s party game.
And then there’s Camille Grammer, who was one of the main cast members when the show began, but has since only appeared sporadically. She’s on board as a guest this season to stir the pot... and considering some of the previous dramatics she’s caused, we’re sure fans will welcome her back with open arms.
7. Mrs. America – Wednesday, April 15, 7 p.m., 8 p.m. & 10 p.m., FX Canada | Series Premiere
FX CanadaThe Equal Rights Amendment, designed to guarantee equal legal rights for all American citizens regardless of sex, had bipartisan support and was expected to breeze right through Congress in 1970s America. That is, until it met a powerful foe in the unlikeliest of places. Phyllis Schlafly, a staunchly conservative activist and author, asserted that equal rights for women would strip them of gender-specific privileges like alimony, separate restrooms and exemption from the military draft, and she became a key player in the amendment’s ultimate defeat.
In a nine-part limited series that explores the culture wars of the late 1970s, Oscar-winner Cate Blanchett takes on the infinitely fascinating and controversial Schlafly, both as star and executive producer of the show.
8. The Masked Singer – Wednesday, April 15, 8 p.m., CTV & Fox
CTVThe show’s first-ever sing-along special features all of the best season-three performances to date, along with an international call for viewers everywhere to participate from the comfort of their own homes. (Crazy mascot outfits optional.)
9. Too Hot to Handle – Friday, April 17, Netflix | Series Premiere
NetflixNetflix turned the reality dating show genre on its head with Love Is Blind, and the streaming service is doing the same thing with its latest. This time, 10 sexy singles from all over the world are brought together in a seaside paradise for what they think will be the most exotic and erotic summer of their lives. There is, however, a twist, and it’s a doozy. These commitment-averse singletons are looking for nothing more than some casual hook-ups, but they’ll be forced stay celibate for the entire time, foresaking all hanky panky for the entire retreat if they want to win a $100,000 grand prize. The rules are strict: no kissing, no fondling, and contestants are expected to remain, to use the parlance of Seinfeld, masters of their domains. With every slip, the prize money goes down. Will they be able to form deeper emotional connections? Or will the temptation simply be too hot to handle? Viewers will find out in what could be television’s next great guilty pleasure.
10. #BlackAF – Friday, April 17, Netflix | Series Premiere
NetflixAlthough he’d certainly done his fair share in Hollywood before creating black-ish, that ABC sitcom definitely made Kenya Barris into a better-known, Shonda Rhimes-esque name for audiences—big enough to warrant Netflix making a multimillion-dollar deal with him. One of the fruits of that deal is this mockumentary series, in which Barris kinda-sorta plays himself and Rashida Jones plays an approximation of Barris’s now-ex-wife, Rainbow.
Based on the trailer, it could remind some folks of Curb Your Enthusiasm, but—no surprise here—it looks as though it’s more likely to play out like black-ish if Anthony Anderson’s character was a major Hollywood player, resulting in his family having “new money.” Among the high-profile guest stars: Tyler Perry and Selma director Ava DuVernay.