From a new honour for an Oscar winner to a stage tribute to the queen of rock, we round up the top 10 shows to watch this week
1. The Ranch – Netflix
NetflixFor a sitcom that initially captured the attention of viewers because of its high-profile cast, Netflix’s The Ranch has evolved into a program which keeps folks coming back because of its characters. Not that anyone would blame people for tuning in to season one simply for the novelty of seeing a reunion between two former stars of That ’70s Show—Danny Masterson and Ashton Kutcher—or to satisfy their curiosity about what kind of series could bring two well-established film stars like Sam Elliott and Debra Winger to the small screen.
As the show enters its sixth season, however, viewers are now invested in the trials and tribulations of Colt and Rooster Bennett (Kutcher and Masterson) as they work on the family farm with their dad (Elliott), and we want to see how things play out with the various relationships the characters have fostered. But there's a switch in the family dynamic this time around, with Masterson having been ousted from the series amidst sexual assault allegations; sent on the run by the vengeful boyfriend of one of his exes in that cliffhanger last episode, Rooster's ultimate fate is revealed in the first few episodes of this new season, which sends his brother, father and mother reeling.
2. The Year: 2018 – Sunday, December 23, 9 p.m., ABC
ABCWith just days left in 2018, it’s hard to believe we’ve already reached the end of another year—especially when you stop to think about all of the newsworthy events (and presidential tweets, oh so many tweets) that have gone down over these past 12 months. Things that not so long ago would have qualified for Story of the Year have been reported, analyzed and forgotten in the span of a week. Lucky for us, ABC News has been keeping a meticulous tally, and it plans to remind us of all the noteworthy goings-on in this week’s two-hour special.
Host Robin Roberts is joined by ABC anchors including George Stephanopoulos, Michael Strahan and David Muir, as they piece together the most "unforgettable and unbelievable" stories that had us congregating at water coolers in 2018.
3. The Queen’s Christmas Message – Tuesday, December 25, 7 a.m., 9 a.m. & Noon, News Network; Noon, CBC
CBCMarking the 51st consecutive broadcast, Queen Elizabeth II delivers her annual Christmas Day message to the Commonwealth, capping off a year that included a royal wedding (followed by a pregnancy announcement), another great-grandchild and more.
4. The 41st Annual Kennedy Center Honors – Wednesday, December 26, 8 p.m., CBS
CherSince 1978, the Kennedy Center has paid tribute to distinguished figures from the world of entertainment, with past honourees ranging from composer Leonard Bernstein to sitcom icon Lucille Ball to rockers Elton John and Led Zeppelin. This year, awards will be presented during a televised ceremony to pop icon and Oscar-winning actress Cher, country music superstar Reba McEntire, jazz saxophonist Wayne Shorter and more.
5. Royal Variety Performance 2018 – Wednesday, December 26, 8 p.m., CBC
Facebook/Tina The MusicalThis year’s Royal Variety Performance—held, as always, at London’s Royal Albert Hall—features Take That, Andrea Bocelli and his son Matteo, the West End casts of both Hamilton and Tina: The Tina Turner Musical and a special performance from Montreal’s acclaimed Cirque du Soleil.
6. I Feel Bad – Thursday, December 27, 8 p.m. & 8:30 p.m., NBC I Season Finale
It’s getting to the point that you never know if series are cancelled anymore, with networks lately preferring to use the less-traumatizing term “concluded,” thereby leading some devoted viewers to rationalize, “Well, until they actually say it’s a series finale, then it might come back!”
That's just what what they want you to think about I Feel Bad, of course. Not unlike CBS's Murphy Brown, NBC has said that I Feel Bad "was always intended as a 13-episode season." However, the network is airing two episodes back-to-back between Christmas and New Year's so... make of that what you will. If you've been enjoying the Amy Poehler-produced series thus far, though, you'll want to tune in nonetheless. In the first episode of the event, Emet desperately tried to find out more about her father, while the guys at work decide to start opening up to each other. After that, episode two finds Emet's job on the verge of upsetting her vacation plans with her family. Luckily, she comes up with a solution; less luckily, that solution entails getting the guys at GamePunch to housesit for her.
7. Selection Day – Friday, December 28, Netflix I Series Premiere
Whether it’s through competitive sports, music, a family-run business or some other activity entirely, it can be tough for a parent to discern when they’re being supportive versus pushing too hard to recapture their own lost youth and abandoned dreams. And for a child, it can be hard to continue doing something they may no longer love. That’s the entry point for this Indian drama bowing on the streaming service this week.
8. Yummy Mummies – Friday, December 28, Netflix I Series Premiere
NetflixThe world-at-large has an insatiable appetite for shows that follow rich housewives (or Housewives, as the case may be) while they guzzle wine, gossip and spend copious amounts of cash on more designer items than anyone could ever really need. This Australian entry though, which features four wealthy moms-to-be as they shop and pull out all the stops for their upcoming arrivals, takes things to a whole new level.
9. You Are Here: A Come From Away Story – Friday, December 28, 8 p.m., CTV
For more than a decade after it happened, the story of how people in the tiny town of Gander, Newfoundland, came together and welcomed over 6,500 citizens of the world who were stranded by grounded flights during the terrorist attacks of 9/11 wasn’t particularly well known. But in recent years, a Tony-winning musical called Come From Away has changed the public’s tune.
The CTV premiere of this Canadian documentary travels even deeper into this point of national pride to showcase the real-life Newfoundlanders and passengers whose lives inspired the musical, finding a rare glimmer of light in the darkness of that notorious day.
10. Popstar’s Best of 2018 – Friday, December 28, 9 p.m, The CW
The CWIn a slightly more upbeat end-of-year round-up, hist Elizabeth Stanton presides over a countdown of the greatest, most memorable moments and trends of 2018, as compiled via polls from teen entertainment mag Popstar!.