From top new comics to all-star home runs, we round up the top 10 shows to watch this week
1. The Movies – Sunday, July 7, 6 p.m. & 9 p.m., CNN I Series Premiere
CNNTom Hanks is among the producers of this six-part documentary series that explores American cinema through the decades, tracking the cultural, societal and political shifts that framed its evolution. Among those interviewed are Steven Spielberg, Robert De Niro, Alec Baldwin, Tim Burton, Morgan Freeman, Ron Howard, Julianne Moore, Rob Reiner, Julia Roberts, Ridley Scott, Sharon Stone, Robert Zemeckis, Holly Hunter, Bill Hader and more.
2. MotherFatherSon – Sunday, July 7, 7 p.m., Showcase; 7 p.m. & 10:15 p.m., BBC Canada I Series Premiere
BBCMarking his first role on TV since a 1976 guest spot on Kojak, Richard Gere stars in this eight-episode BBC thriller set within the overlapping worlds of politics, media and law enforcement. Gere plays Max Finch, the owner of a London newspaper, for whom information is currency as he freely uses the dirt he digs up about the rich and powerful to increase his own influence. Max’s son Caden (Billy Howle), installed by his father as the paper’s editor, is in way over his head, crumbling under the pressure of his dad’s enormous expectations as he numbs himself with anonymous sex and plenty of cocaine until his excesses cause him to have a stroke, leaving him broken and helpless. Max’s estranged wife (Helen McCrory) sees an opportunity to reconnect with her son in order to enlist him as an ally in her battle against her ex—bad news for Max, since Caden is the keeper of all the nasty secrets that could cause his father’s empire to come crashing down.
3. Homeland – Monday, July 8, 8 p.m. & 9 p.m., Crave 1
CraveThe CIA thriller returns for its eighth and final season this fall. But in the meantime, if you missed season seven’s initial airing on Super Channel, Crave is offering the chance to get all caught up, airing two episodes per week through the summer. Tune in as Carrie, Saul et al., struggle to unravel a presidential conspiracy.
4. Divorce – Monday, July 8, 9 p.m., HBO Canada
HBO CanadaWith his wedding date rapidly approaching, Robert has developed a case of the jitters. Meanwhile, his ex Frances tries to set up a brief getaway with new beau Henry for the weekend; Dallas has a life-changingly disastrous trip to the therapist; and Diane “snags a big spender at her new job.”
5. 2019 MLB All-star Game – Tuesday, July 9, 5 p.m., SportsNet Pacific & Fox
SportsnetJays fans haven’t had much to cheer about, but All-star week is always a spectacle worth spectating. Personally, we’ve got our eye on Dodgers slugger Cody Bellinger, who’s added All-star voting to the list of MLB categories he leads this year.
6. Love Island – Tuesday, July 9 through Friday, July 12, 8 p.m., CTV & CBS I Series Premiere
CTVIf one were to be sequestered on an island, what better reason than the pursuit of true love? Love Island, a British reality franchise that last year gained the most viewers since the 2012 Olympics, is being remade for North America, and while there is monetary gain for the last couple standing, the real prize is finding your soulmate in paradise.
“I actually think there is a sweetness and rootability to the show that’s become a really important part of why it’s so appealing,” says exec producer David Eilenberg. “I think previous shows in this genre—and this is with no disrespect—have been a lot about competition and heightened drama. Love Island is produced more like an ensemble romantic comedy, where you’re just rooting for everybody to find their way to a match.”
While the U.K. version has taken place on the Spanish islands of Mallorca and the Canaries, the North American contestants will fly off to Fiji, where their love quest will be broadcast five nights a week through Wednesday, August 7, with comedian Arielle Vandenberg serving as emcee.
7. Bring the Funny – Tuesday, July 9, 10:01 p.m., City & NBC I Series Premiere
CityIn the past, NBC has provided viewers with lots of laughs through their long-running competition series Last Comic Standing, but that show hasn’t been around since 2015, leaving a comedic vacuum in the reality space that’s never been properly filled. Thankfully, the network is finally trying to remedy that situation with Bring the Funny, a new comedy competition which takes a fresh approach, putting up 40 vastly different acts, including stand-ups, sketch groups, magicians, musicians, puppeteers... basically, no type of mirth-making is off the table.
There’ll be four rounds—Open Mic, Comedy Clash, Showcase and the Live Finale—with the ultimate winner earning a $250,000 prize. Judging their every quip will be Jeff Foxworthy, Chrissy Teigen and Kenan Thompson, while rising standup-comedy force Amanda Seales emcees.
8. Family Reunion – Wednesday, July 10, Netflix I Series Premiere
When NBC decided to drop critically acclaimed sitcom The Carmichael Show after three seasons, it was more than a little disheartening. Here was one of the few modern-day multi-camera comedies on the air that actually felt like it could stand shoulder-to-shoulder with iconic series like All in the Family and The Jeffersons, cut down in its prime.
Thankfully, Loretta Devine—she played the matriarch of the Carmichael family, in case you’ve forgotten—has landed on her feet, thanks to Meg DeLoatch. If you don’t know DeLoatch’s name, she’s had a hand in such series as Fuller House and Eve, and this time she’s put together a multi-generational comedy that underlines just how valuable an extended family can be.
9. Dr. Pimple Popper – Thursday, July 11, 6 p.m. & 10 p.m., TLC I Season Premiere
TLC’Tis the season to shed those bulky winter layers and show off a little more skin... if you have the complexion, that is. Enter chapter three of this dermis-cleansing series with the one and only Dr. Sandra Lee. Each week, she tackles lipomas, cysts and other unsightly ailments that make their hosts feel less than beautiful, transforming lives as she banishes blemishes.
This year promises to show us the good doctor’s biggest, toughest cases yet—a veritable pop-a-palooza—including one in which Lee teams with another M.D. for a complex in-hospital procedure; another in which a patient darkens her door with a potentially life-threatening black mass; and a blast from the past, as Lee is confronted with a “mystery case” she first tackled back in the pilot.
As ever, we want to look away, but we just... can’t.
10. Jersey Shore Family Vacation – Thursday, July 11, 6 p.m. & 7 p.m. (repeating at 11 p.m. & Midnight), MTV Canada I Season Premiere
We really didn’t think we needed more of The Situation, Pauly D, Snooki, JWoww and the rest of this hard-partying crew in our lives, but as fate would have it, we’re still enthralled by this train-wreck revival as it kicks off a third season of #Jerzdays tonight.
Of course, these personalities are far from the wide-eyed group of functional alcoholics we first met a decade ago. As they reunite for yet another vacation (man, they get a lot of time off), their lives are also filled with weddings, divorces and impending jail time, proving that binge-drinking isn’t the only thing holding them and their friendships together. So what, specifically, can we look forward to seeing this year?
Well, for starters: a potential new relationship for JWoww following her public separation from Roger, more lovelife drama from Ronnie, Mike’s upcoming nuptials with Lauren and Snooki adjusting to life with another baby. And to think that not so long ago the biggest problem these guys faced was figuring out whose bed to sleep in after hitting up the clubs.