From soapy dramas to a tribute to the Queen of Soul, we round up the top 10 shows to watch this week
1. Dispatches from Elsewhere — Sunday, March 1, 7:07 p.m. & 10:23 p.m., AMC | Series Premiere
AMCA new anthology series, created by and starring How I Met Your Mother alum Jason Segel, follows a group of people that are struggling with their existence only to stumble on a puzzle that not just gives them a welcome challenge but perhaps even serves a larger purpose. It’s a treasure hunt, a walk down the yellow brick road and a genuine trip—sometimes metaphorical, other times less so.
Segel’s co-stars on the show are as diverse as a tale of this nature demands. OutKast front man André Benjamin plays no-nonsense Fredwynn, who is convinced that their odd quest is a government conspiracy. Oscar winner Sally Field portrays Janice, a retiree who is thrilled to be distracted by this “little game.” And Eve Lindley’s Simone, though confident on the surface, struggles with her identity in ways that are equal parts relatable and unimaginable.
2. The New Pope — Monday, March 2, 8 p.m. & 11:35 p.m., HBO Canada
HBO CanadaTopping the original series, The Young Pope, when it comes to sheer bonkers bravado, would seem to be a tall order, but John Malkovich’s nuanced portrayal of brilliant-yet-tortured Pope John Paul III is so enticingly weird and full of casual creepiness that it’s almost too much to take in.
3. Super Tuesday — Tuesday, March 3, 5 p.m., ABC; 6 p.m., CBS; 8 p.m., KCTS & WTVS; 10 p.m., NBC
PBSRegular programming will be put on hold across the major U.S. networks, covering the flurry of primaries that’ll be key to determining which Democratic challenger will square off against the Donald in November. Tune in as various reporters and pundits dissect the results.
4. The Biggest Loser — Tuesday, March 3, 6 p.m. & 10 p.m., CTV
CTVIt seems fitting that Ohio fitness coach Erica Lugo would be a trainer on the revival of The Biggest Loser. At one point not long ago, she was a loser herself.
Six years ago, the 32-year-old single mom weighed 322 pounds and found she was too exhausted to get off the couch to play with her young son. That was what she calls her “lightbulb moment,” at which point she started exercising and tracking her calories. A 160-pound weight loss followed over the next 13 months and a new life and career were born.
Now, she serves as a trainer on the reimagined version of the iconic NBC series, which returned to TV on February 11th. The series follows the journeys of 12 contestants as they attempt to change their lives, focusing on losing weight and getting healthy, helped by Lugo, fellow trainer Steve Cook and host Bob Harper.
5. Empire — Tuesday, March 3, 9 p.m., Fox
FoxFox’s exquisitely soapy music drama is getting ready to drop the mic. When the Lyons return for the back half of their final season this week, Lucious, Cookie and their kin are marching toward the ominous fates foretold by those early-season flash-forwards—wherein a gun was pointed at Lucious’s head and Cookie’s car exploded.
And there are plenty of other questions to answer leading up to the end game too, including whether disgraced former co-star Jussie Smollett will rejoin the pride as middle Lyon child Jamal; at one time, that seemed downright ludicrous, but recent whispers indicate he just might pop back up for a farewell, with showrunner Brett Mahoney telling TVLine: “It would be weird in my mind to end this family show and this family drama of which he was such a significant part without seeing him.”
6. Big Brother Canada — Wednesday, March 4, 7 p.m., Global | Season Premiere
GlobalHost Arisa Cox is back for a supersized eighth season of the homegrown hit, in which a group of strangers from across the country are sequestered from the outside world inside a house outfitted with wall-to-wall cameras and microphones to capture their every move. Competing for a grand cash prize, each week the houseguests battle in a series of challenges that give them power or punishment, voting each other out until the fate of the final two is at last decided.
7. The Masked Singer — Wednesday, March 4, 8 p.m., CTV & Fox
CTVIf you’ve been following this reality romp for the past two seasons and have been slightly baffled by the new way the show is doing things this year, you’re not alone. Luckily, now that we’re coming up on the championship round of group B, it’s safe to say we’re getting into the swing of things—at least from a formatting perspective. Feast your eyes and ears this week as the top-4 B-boppers are whittled down to three, and see if you can identify the losing celebrity hiding underneath that eccentric mascot get-up before he/she is unmasked.
Here to help our regular panellists (Jenny McCarthy, Robin Thicke, Nicole Scherzinger and Ken Jeong) sift through the clues is the show’s very first winner, T-Pain, who joins as a guest judge to dole out all of his sage advice, best conjecture, and—we’re just guessing, here—a whole lotta puns.
8. Amazing Stories — Friday, March 6, Apple TV+ | Series Premiere
Apple TV+When Amazing Stories first made its debut in 1985, it was considered perhaps the most ambitious TV series of its era. Conceived by Steven Spielberg and featuring a top-tier roster of acting talent not usually seen on the small screen, the NBC anthology served up a genre-mixing assortment of sci-fi, horror and fantasy, with Spielberg even directing the occasional episode himself.
Cancelled in 1987 after its second season, Spielberg is resurrecting Amazing Stories more than 30 years later on a new home, Apple TV+. Described as “a reimagining” of the original, this new iteration promises to “transport the audience to worlds of wonder through the lens of today’s most imaginative filmmakers, directors and writers.”
With Bryan Fuller (Pushing Daisies, Dead Like Me) as exec producer, the 10-episode reboot includes such stars as Dylan O’Brien (Maze Runner), Victoria Pedretti (You), Josh Holloway (Lost), Sasha Alexander (Rizzoli & Isles) and in his final role before passing away last October, Robert Forster (Breaking Bad).
9. Paradise P.D. — Friday, March 6, Netflix | Season Premiere
NetflixWhether you were a fan of Paradise P.D.’s first season or not, you still have to give the creators of the animated cop comedy credit for having good taste in TV: the trailer for the show’s second season features guest star Lance Reddick as Agent Clappers, an FBI guy with a penchant for declaring his love for HBO’s The Wire, which—wait for it—starred Reddick.
If you’re wondering why the FBI is in Paradise, we’ll answer that for you: he’s there to capture the infamous Argyle Meth Kingpin. But that’s just one of the storylines this season, which will also include internal feuds, crazy schemes, disconcerting fetishes and even a nuclear scare, though we’re not even going to begin to try and figure out how that’ll come to pass.
10. Aretha Franklin Remembered: My Music — Friday, March 6, 6 p.m., WTVS
PBSWith two different projects coming up dramatizing the life of Aretha Franklin (Cynthia Erivo will play the Queen of Soul in the next season of National Geographic channel’s Genius, along with Jennifer Hudson’s big-screen Respect), take some time to enjoy the real deal in this special.