From reality romance to homegrown heroics, we round up the top 10 shows to watch this week
1. CNN Heroes: An All-star Tribute – Sunday, December 13, 5 p.m. & 8 p.m., CNN
CNNEach year since 2007, CNN has paid homage to everyday folks committed to making the world a better place. Now in its 14th year, this year’s edition celebrates the amazing people and extraordinary acts behind the biggest global stories that have dominated 2020: the fight against the coronavirus and the battle for racial equity and social justice. Anderson Cooper and Kelly Ripa host a reimagined special, saluting the frontline workers, advocates, scientists and neighbours who reignited hope during what has been and continues to be one of the most challenging years of our time.
2. Moonbase 8 – Sunday, December 13, 10 p.m., Crave1 | Season Finale
CraveIn the season-ender, several angry ranchers inform the team that their decision to move the moonbase has placed them smack dab in the path of an impending cattle drive. Luckily, Skip has a plan, but it’ll require the entire trio of hapless astronauts to put all their training to work.
3. Celebrity IOU – Monday, December 14, 7 p.m. & 10 p.m., HGTV | Season Premiere
HGTVTis the season of giving, so what better time for the second season of this star-studded home-makeover extravaganza, following a record-shattering first year, in which the show became the highest-rated freshman series in HGTV history. B.C.’s own wonder twins Jonathan and Drew Scott once again team with some of their celebrity friends who want to take a moment and look back at the people who helped them get where they are today, and thank them with a surprise renovation that more often than not is sorely needed.
The first episode back is an extra-special one for the brothers as Jonathan’s real-life partner, actress Zooey Deschanel, stops by to honour her lifelong friend; this therapist and mother of two always puts others before herself, and so Zooey is hoping the guys can help transform her pal’s small home into an open-concept floorplan.
In the weeks to come, Justin Hartley (This Is Us), Allison Janney (Mom) and Rainn Wilson (The Office) are all scheduled to appear, setting up dream renovations that include everything from transforming a drab backyard into a luxurious outdoor oasis, to remodelling a tiny galley kitchen into a Gordon Ramsay-worthy space ideal for cooking and entertaining.
According to Drew, fans can expect the same kind of inspiring stories in this second season, while the celebs are every bit as hands-on as Melissa McCarthy et al. were back in season one.
What’s more, as Jonathan added in a press release: “[The show] is so full of heart and just the kind of feel-good energy we all need right now. The idea of giving back resonates with everyone—and, for us, working with these incredibly thoughtful celebrities is so uplifting.”
4. The Bachelorette – Monday, December 14, 8 p.m., City & ABC
CityGiven that there have been two Bachelorettes (as original choice Clare Crawley was replaced by Tayshia Adams after just a few episodes), this season’s “Men Tell All” special promises to have even more behind-the-scenes gossip than usual. As always, host Chris Harrison keeps it all on track.
5. My Lottery Dream Home – Tuesday, December 15, 6 p.m., HGTV | Season Premiere
HGTVHost David Bromstad is back with a whole new season of helping out those lucky souls who hit it big in the lottery, assisting them in using their newfound wealth to purchase the home of their dreams. As always, expect to see over-the-top abodes suitable for newly minted millionaires in a series that is probably responsible for selling more scratch-off tickets than any other single show on television.
6. Big Sky – Tuesday, December 15, 8 p.m., CTV; 10:01 p.m., ABC
CTVIf you were floored by the gruesome gut-punch that capped episode one of this David E. Kelley thriller, you weren’t alone. But that epic twist was just the first of plenty more shocks to come; we’ll no doubt get another this week, as the show reaches its winter finale.
Tonight’s episode brings us more or less to the season’s halfway point, as the show continues digging into themes of toxic masculinity, female friendship and what it means to be a flawed mother.
While it’d be nice to think that the last new episode until 2021 will end on a chipper, triumphant note, given everything that’s happened so far, it’s more likely we’ll be left with another massive cliffhanger instead. Buckle up!
7. The Masked Singer – Wednesday, December 16, 8 p.m., CTV & Fox | Season Finale
CTVKen Jeong has tried to up his guessing game (with little success), while Nicole Scherzinger has proved she still has the best ears on the panel. So we’re pretty sure we know who’s got the inside track as the final unmasking arrives.
8. Vir Das: Outside In – The Lockdown Special - Wednesday, December 16, Wednesday, Netflix
NetflixThere’s no question that this pandemic has had a massive impact across the entertainment industry, but the artists who’ve suffered most are those who make their living from live performances. Between the limited number of audience members allowed inside venues and the necessity of social distancing even in an outdoor setting, there’s really only one place shows can be held safely: online. As such, Vir Das has been performing gigs from his home in Mumbai, and he’s been so prolific he was even able to craft a whole new Netflix special out of clips from 30 of his at-home sets.
As Das previewed on Instagram: “Honestly, I never planned on people across
the world tuning in to a tiny room in Mumbai. But since when does 2020 care about our plans?”
9. The Mandalorian – Friday, December 18, Disney+ | Season Finale
Disney+It’s been quite a journey for the Mandalorian and Baby Yoda (who got a real name in season two!), but the show drops out of hyperspace this week. Count on a number of skin-tingling cliffhangers, especially since this Disney+ flagship is already prepping production on season three.
10. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom – Friday, December 18, Netflix
NetflixBased on August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning stage play, this drama chronicles a tempestuous recording session in 1920s Chicago as a band of musicians await legendary blues singer Ma Rainey (Oscar-winner Viola Davis). Late to the session, the fearless, fiery Ma engages in a battle of wills with her white manager and producer over control of her music. As the band waits in the studio’s claustrophobic rehearsal room, ambitious trumpeter Levee (the late Chadwick Boseman, in his last screen role) is determined to stake his own claim on the music industry—while also having his eye on Ma’s girlfriend. As they wait, he spurs his fellow musicians into an eruption of stories revealing truths that will forever change the course of their lives. As Netflix notes in its press release, this new movie “celebrates the transformative power of the blues and the artists who refuse to let society’s prejudices dictate their worth.”