From the hits of hip-hop royalty to a new honour for the queen of rock, we round up our top 10 shows to watch this week
1. The 60th Annual Grammy Awards – Sunday, January 28, 4:30 p.m. & 8 p.m., City & CBS
CBSWhen viewers sit down to the 60th Annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, they may notice a bit of a regional slant to the proceedings. That's because music's biggest night makes its return to New York City and Madison Square Garden following a 15-year stint at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles. And for that, there will be a celebration.
Two-time Grammy winner Patti Lupone will reprise her iconic Evita role to sing "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" and Ben Platt will perform a classic celebration from West Side Story, both in a special Broadway tribute. James Corden returns to host for the second consecutive year, with the roster of musical performers including Lady Gaga, Little Big Town and Childish Gambino.
In terms of the nominations, JAY-Z tops the list with eight noms. Next is Kendrick Lamar with seven; Bruno Mars with six and SZA, with five nods, including Best New Artist. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Tina Turner receives the Lifetime Achievement Award.
2. The Nature of Things – Sunday, January 28, 8 p.m., CBC
CBCTonight's instalment of The Nature of Things, titled Champions vs. Legends, takes today's sports stars and, with the help of technology, pits them against individuals who were once tops in the same sport, making an effort to even the playing field as much as possible. Take, for instance, speed skating: Christine Nesbitt battles Inga Artamonova, with Nesbitt wearing 1960s vintage gear and racing a digital avatar of Artamonova. There are segments for bobsledding, downhill skiing and sit skiing. And, naturally, there's a hockey challenge, as slapshot king Shea Weber dons the gear of Bobby Hull but can't seem to muster the Golden Jet's puck speed, even when switching back to a modern day stick.
3. Independent Lens – Monday, January 29, 10 p.m., KCTS; Tuesday, January 30, 8 p.m., WTVS
PBSDirected by Chinese filmmaker Nanfu Wang, I Am Another You came about as a result of Wang touring the state of Florida for the first time and meeting Dylan, a young drifter who is homeless by choice, having left his well-off family behind in favour of taking to the road. Wang was fascinated by Dylan's decision and all-round "rejection of society's rules," for better and for worse.
4. Pawn Stars – Monday, January 29, 9 p.m. & 9:30 p.m. (repeating at Midnight & 12:30 a.m.), History
HistoryThis week, Pawn Stars celebrates a huge milestone—500 episodes—and there's some very special wheeling and dealing in store to commemorate it. Specifically, Rick heads to Washington, D.C., where a variety of USA-themed treasures are on the table, including a set of silver spoons made by American icon Paul Revere and a couple of items formerly owned by George Washington that are now worth millions. Meanwhile, back on the homestead at the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop, the employees are occupied by a few gems of their own, including a fake flamingo that was given away at the 1946 opening of the Flamingo Hotel & Casino and a talking candle prop from the psychedelic '60s kid show H.R. Pufnstuf.
5. Chicago Fire – Thursday, February 1, 10 p.m., NBC; Friday, February 2, 10 p.m., Global
GlobalThings grow tense between Casey and Severide when they once again disagree on the best course of action during a call. Elsewhere, Dawson arranges a surprise for Brett during her spa getaway, and Hermann finds that his daughter isn't all that impressed during Bring Your Kid to Work Day.
6. Crawford – Friday, February 2, CBC.ca/Crawford | Series Premiere
CrawfordIt might take you a little while to figure out what Crawford, the new quirky Canadian sitcom from co-creators Mike Clattenburg and Mike O'Neill of Trailer Park Boys fame, is all about.
The entertaining ensemble series premieres all episodes Friday at CBC.ca/Crawford and on the CBC TV app. It stars Jill Hennessy (Crossing Jordan), John Carroll Lynch (Fargo), Kyle Mac (Dark Matter), Daniel Davis Yang and Alice Moran. It's loosely about Don (Mac), a man in his 20s trying to find himself, only to discover that, after moving back home with his parents, he has an uncanny ability to relate to raccoons. Technically, that's not even the weirdest part of the show. The father, Owen (Lynch), is a former police chief who is unable to use his voice due to a bullet wound and must communicate through his smartphone. The matriarch, Cynthia (Hennessy), is an award-winning cereal executive struggling to balance the needs of her career, her husband—and her boyfriend. Mascara-wielding Don is temporarily crashing with his parents after being dropped by his record label when he discovers his raccoon-whispering tendencies.
7. Altered Carbon – Friday, February 2, Netflix | Series Premiere
NetflixIn a distant future, hundreds of years from now, human personalities will be downloaded and stored digitally, in order to be transferred from one mortal body—or sleeves, as they are called—to another. And for those who have the financial means, eternal life is no longer a fantasy.
Dystopian or utopian? You decide. But one thing's for sure: in Altered Carbon, a new Netflix series based on the cyberpunk novel by Richard K. Morgan, the atmosphere is hardly euphoric.
Takeshi Kovacs (played in various iterations by William Yun Lee and Byron Mann) is an ex-Envoy—a member of a military unit trained to cope with the re-sleeving without losing their effectiveness. After having his mind imprisoned for centuries, he is woken up by the richest man in the world, Laurens Bancroft (Rome's James Purefoy) who was himself just re-sleeved but is unable to recall the last minutes of his previous life. While his death has been ruled a suicide, Bancroft isn't convinced, so he resurrects Kovacs in the body of disgraced policeman Elias Ryker (The Killing's Joel Kinnaman) and offers him freedom in exchange for solving the mystery.
8. Great Performances – Friday, February 2, 7 p.m., WTVS; 9 pm., KCTS
PBSNas's Illmatic has gone down as one of the most influential hip-hop creations of all time. Now, fans will get the chance to hear the 1994 album in its entirety and like never before, as the rapper teams with the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C. for a unique, genre-blending performance.
9. Hell's Kitchen – Friday, February 2, 8 p.m., City & Fox | Season Finale
FoxThis all-star season ends with a two-hour episode, as Gordon Ramsay tells the final three they'll all be competing in the finale, before whisking them away on a "pampered retreat." Alas, there's a twist. The retreat morphs into a challenge that only two chefs will survive.
10. Strike Back – Friday, February 2, 10 p.m. & 2 a.m., HBO Canada | Season Premiere
HBO CanadaWe thought we'd seen the last of the terrorist-hunters of Section 20 when the fourth—and supposedly final—season of this U.S.-U.K. co-production went out with an appropriately bullet-riddled bang. But in something of a surprise move, Cinemax ordered up more episodes of the high-octane thriller, taking full advantage of the show's unfortunately enduring relevance in this global political climate. And so the series is back for 10 new fifth-season episodes—although it'll undoubtedly look a lot different to longtime fans. Gone are black-ops buddies Damien Scott (Stapleton) and Michael Stonebridge (Winchester), and in their place is a new crew of recruits, including Captain Natalie Reynolds (Game of Thrones' Roxanne McKee) and Sergeant Daniel "Mac" McAllister (Luther alum Warren Brown).