From a new judge who's a real legend to Hollywood's biggest night of the year, we round up the top 10 shows to watch this week
1. This Giant Beast That is the Global Economy – Amazon Prime Video
Designated Survivor star Kal Penn hosts this docu-series, which aims to channel the “smart, stylized storytelling of Adam McKay’s The Big Short.” Across eight episodes, Penn and guests like Ted Danson, Zach Galifianakis, Ed O’Neill and Rashida Jones wittily explore issues such as money laundering, the connection between knock-off shoes and terrorism, and whether it’s just plain easier to get rich if you’re a “jerk.”
2. The Oscars – Sunday, February 24, 5 p.m., CTV & ABC
The biggest night in Hollywood is just around the corner but the biggest mystery in the lead-up hasn’t been which film will win Best Picture, but who’s going to follow in the footsteps of Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg and Jimmy Kimmel, taking the stage to emcee the crown jewel of awards shows. As of press time, the answer is: no one.
The 91st Academy Awards did have a host, albeit very briefly. Just two days after it was announced that Kevin Hart would helm the fête on February 24, the comedian withdrew from his position when homophobic tweets from years prior resurfaced in the media. It wasn’t the tweets themselves that did the comedian in—they were old news, having been discovered and debated long before. It was Hart’s reluctance to apologize for opinions he once held, even if they now had evolved, that led to him abandoning the gig.
Among the major nominees? Superhero spectacular Black Panther, rock bio pic Bohemian Rhapsody and regal comedy The Favourite.
3. The Voice – Monday, February 25, 8 p.m., CTV2 & NBC I Season Premiere
CTVThe game of musical chairs continues, as EGOT winner John Legend rotates his way into the coaches’ panel. The “All of Me” singer is rounding out this year’s quartet of Adam Levine, Blake Shelton and Kelly Clarkson.
Legend is certainly no stranger to the series—he’s appeared various times in a guest-starring capacity over the years, including last year’s December finale in which he teamed with Esperanza Spalding for a rendition of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” But this is the first time we’ll have the chance to see him spouting words of wisdom from that spinning red high-back while going toe-to-toe with the other coaches. We’re particularly interested in how he’ll impact the much-written about bromance between Levine and Shelton.
4. The Enemy Within – Monday, February 25, 10 p.m., NBC I Series Premiere
In her most famous role to date—Dexter’s Debra Morgan—Jennifer Carpenter was often hilariously profane... but not this time. Here’s why: yes, her new series is being made for broadcast TV, but more importantly, her latest character doesn’t have much to be amusing about. Premiering Monday in NBC’s plum post-Voice timeslot, The Enemy Within casts Carpenter as ex-CIA agent Erica Shepherd, who was sentenced to life in prison for treason. Alas, she’s also the only person able to solve the dilemma facing FBI agent Will Keaton (Morris Chestnut, rebounding nicely from the cancellation of Fox’s Rosewood), who’s on the trail of a lethal rogue spy she’s very familiar with. It’s the ultimate odd-couple partnership, but with bitter hatred where witty repartée should be. Yet as time goes on, more details come to light about the nature of Erica’s own crime, leaving the feds and the audience unsure of where to stand on this so-called “traitor.”
5. The Masked Singer – Wednesday, February 27, 8 p.m., Fox I Season Finale
What do you get when you disguise singing celebrities as mascots straight out of an acid trip? Ratings gold is what! Fox’s bonkers talent show was easily the top-rated new entry of the winter, so it should come as little surprise that tonight’s two-hour finale is no swan song: the series has just been renewed for a second season.
6. Whiskey Cavalier – Wednesday, February 27, 10 p.m., CTV & ABC I Series Premiere
If you think there’s no crying in spying, meet Whiskey Cavalier. That’s both a secret agent’s code name and the title of a new action-with-humour series that ABC will preview after the Oscars on Sunday, before premiering on Wednesday. Scandal alum Scott Foley returns to the network as said spy: FBI man Will, who’s openly nursing a broken heart from a recently ended relationship while alternately working and colliding with CIA operative Frankie (The Walking Dead’s Lauren Cohan) across Europe, before the pair end up leading an eclectic interagency team.
7. Hollywood Medium – Thursday, February 28, 7 p.m. & 10 p.m., E! I Season Premiere
E!Most 20-somethings are just starting to piece their lives together, trying to figure out who they are as they embark on the universal quest to live life on their own terms—a trial-and-error-filled process that includes starting careers, settling down with significant others, travelling and umpteen other endeavours. It’s a challenging time, and one that can only be further complicated by having a unique “gift” like being psychic. Such is the case for 23-year-old clairvoyant Tyler Henry, whose soothsaying has attracted the attention of celebrities and California dreamers alike.
He returns this week for a fourth season, and there’s plenty going on in that crystal ball to keep audiences spellbound. Among the coming attractions can be counted an attempt by celebrity doctor Drew Pinsky to “read the reader’s mind” by subjecting Henry to a brain scan during a reading in order to see how his “powers” work on a biological level.
8. Broad City – Thursday, February 28, 7 p.m. & Midnight, Much
MuchAbbi and Ilana continue their march toward the series finale, but don’t freak out—there are still a number of loose ends to tidy up before the end is truly nigh. First off, Abbi crosses paths with her college friend Donna, who falls in love with Abbi’s cards and invites her to attend a party which could be a big deal for her. Thankfully, she’s able to get off work from her catering job to be there, but there’s a slight hiccup when Abbi discovers that the event in question is actually being catered by her company. (Just imagine the shenanigans!) Meanwhile, Ilana’s relationship negotiations with Lincoln turn a little sketchy when she once again gets antsy at the thought of shifting things from their casual status into something more permanent, because she’s confident Lincoln isn’t going to let her off the hook. And why would he?
9. How to Get Away With Murder – Thursday, February 28, 10 p.m., CTV2 & ABC I Season Finale
When you have a show with the word “murder” in the title, you obviously have to live up to expectations. This season has certainly done that with the Nate storyline, in which he sought out his own brand of justice for his murdered father with the brutal, Bonnie assisted dispatching of prosecutor Ronald Miller. But was it truly justice? Or was there a whole lot more to Nate, Sr.’s unfortunate end? That’s just one of the questions Annalise and her team endeavour to answer in this season-five finale. If Internet rumours are to be believed, then not all of the main characters will make it out of this season-ender alive, but given the show’s track record we should all be used to that by now. Meanwhile, we’re also awaiting word (at time of press) on whether the series itself will live on to see a sixth season.
10. The Widow – Friday, March 1, Amazon Prime Video I Series Premiere
The cavalcade of A-list movie stars making their mark on television—particularly on streamers like Amazon and Netflix—continues. Over the past year we’ve seen the likes of Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep and Cate Blanchett sign up for new series. Now, Kate Beckinsale is getting in on the small-screen gold rush. This ambitious series from helmers Harry and Jack Williams (One of Us) follows a put-upon widow named Georgia Wells (Beckinsale) who cuts herself off from her previous life in a bid to push through the lingering grief. It seems to be working, until she happens to see her supposedly deceased hubby on the news, and her world is once again turned upside down. To finally learn the truth about what is probably the ultimate betrayal, she heads “into the depths of the African Congo, where danger and revelation greet her at every turn.” (And here we thought Underworld was intense.)