From a new Canadian comedy to the return of Idris Elba’s Luther, we round up our top 10 shows to watch this week
1. Renovation Resort – Sunday, March 5, HGTV | Series Premiere
HGTV CanadaWhat would happen if Bryan Baeumler and Scott McGillivray teamed up for a competition series? Well, it would look like this. Tune in for the premiere as four teams revitalize an array of cottages at a beautiful waterfront vacation property.
2. Rain Dogs – Monday, March 6, HBO Canada | Series Premiere
HBO CanadaThis British comedy focuses on the unconventional love story between a working-class single mother (Daisy May Cooper), her 10-year-old daughter (Fleur Tashjian) and a privileged gay man (Jack Farthing), coming together to form a dysfunctional family on the fringes of society. Attempting to go straight in a crooked world, this makeshift swaggerous clan is fed on defiance and chaos, but also a deep yet complicated love.
3. Shelved – Monday, March 6, CTV | Series Premiere
CTVFor as many workplace comedies as we’ve seen pop up in primetime over the years, we here at TV Week are hard-pressed to recall a sitcom that chose a library as its setting. Sure, it’s possible we’re wrong, but either way, one thing’s for certain: this show stands out.
Created and executive-produced by Anthony Q. Farrell (The Office), Shelved—not to be confused with Stacked, the Pam Anderson comedy that took place in a bookstore—stars Lyndie Greenwood (The Expanse) as Wendy Yarmouth, branch head at Jameson, one of the most underserved locations of the Metropolitan Public Library. Wendy’s constantly battling with the bureaucracy, lack of resources and underfunding, and that’s on top of the daily struggle she has with her staff: newly arrived fellow librarian Howard Tutt (Chris Sandiford), junior librarian Jaq Bedard (Dakota Ray Hebert) and assistant branch head Bryce de Laurel (Paul Braunstein). Oh, and let’s not forget their regular patrons, including “Unhoused Wendy” (Robin Duke), who happily describes herself as a “wackadoo”; Alvin (Varun Saranga), a freelance business consultant who arrives early every day to use the study room as his office; and Sheila (Taylor Love), a law student who also works part-time at the settlement desk.
Monday’s premiere kicks off with the introduction of Howard (we suppose he’s our “audience surrogate”) at a time when Wendy is battling to secure even slightly new computers for the branch. And those two storylines end up tying together in rather surprising fashion.
From what we’ve been able to preview of the series, it looks like a lot of laughs, so be sure to check it out. (See what we did there? Because it’s set in a library...?)
4. The Voice - Monday, March 6, CTV2 & NBC | Season Premiere
CTVThe NBC singing competition returns for its 23rd season Monday, with a couple of familiar faces among the coaches in those rotating chairs—though, in one case, not for much longer—and two newcomers. It will be the final season for founding cast member Blake Shelton, who has been with the show from the start, while Kelly Clarkson returns after being absent last season. The two newcomers are superstars Chance the Rapper and Niall Horan.
Shelton enters his last Voice round on the strength of his team’s victory from last season, the ninth time that those he coached won the contest. Bryce Leatherwood, who had been “saved” by Shelton, joined him to perform the latter’s hit “Hillbilly Bone” on the season-22 finale in December. By that time, Shelton had already made the decision to “step away” (as he put it) from the program after this coming season. In a statement, he thanked everyone who has worked on the show—including his wife, former fellow Voice coach Gwen Stefani. He reserved a special shout-out for “the fans, who watch and support these artists, us coaches and everyone at The Voice chasing their dreams. It wouldn’t happen without you!”
As for those joining The Voice in its new season, Grammy-winner Chance the Rapper has earned industry notice for distributing his music his own way, accomplishing that principally through social channels instead of aligning with a major label. Niall Horan, meanwhile, rose to fame as a member of boy band One Direction before embarking on a solo career.
Whichever contestant takes home the crown in this next iteration can, of course, expect to share the stage with Shelton in an emotional final episode.The crooner had been “wrestling with this for a while,” he previously noted. “This show has changed my life in every way for the better and it will always feel like home to me.”
5. MH370: The Plane That Disappeared – Wednesday, March 8, Netflix | Series Premiere
NetflixWhen Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 took off on March 8, 2014, it was supposed to be a routine trip—a red-eye from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 passengers and crew onboard. But shortly after takeoff on a calm night, MH370 vanished from radar screens for good. The shocking disappearance of a commercial airliner made headlines, sparked riots, plunged the passengers’ next of kin into a nightmare and generated a global search for answers that never arrived.
Set across seven countries, this gripping three-part series uses powerful archives to reconstruct the details of that fateful night, giving viewers the opportunity to explore three of the most contentious theories about the plane’s disappearance. In addition, MH370: The Plane That Disappeared features interviews with family members of the vanished passengers, scientists, journalists and even the ordinary people around the world who, after nine long years, refuse to give up hope of ever receiving an explanation. “It’s a story full of conspiracies and rabbit holes, shadowy figures and official silence,” describes Netflix’s synopsis for the docuseries, “but most of all, it’s an opportunity to keep alive the memory of those who were lost in one of the great unsolved mysteries of our time and to keep pushing for answers.”
6. The Confessions of Frannie Langton – Wednesday, March 8, BritBox | Series Premiere
BritBoxIn this four-part British period drama, former slave Frannie Langton (Karla-Simone Spence) is brought from a Jamaican plantation to the grand London mansion of a celebrated scientist and his beautiful wife—and must then prove her innocence when they wind up murdered.
7. Top Chef – Thursday, March 9, Food | Season Premiere
Food Network CanadaWhen your show hits 20 seasons, that’s plenty to celebrate. This venerable culinary competition is no exception, and so for the first time in series history, producers are taking things to a global stage.
When Top Chef kicks off this week, it features a group of 16 cheftestants from previous seasons around the world. Together, in this “World All-Stars” iteration, host Padma Lakshmi and judges Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons are joined by “distinguished judges from the international versions, as well as esteemed global culinary experts.” That means we should put money on Top Chef Canada head judge Mark McEwan making an appearance, right? Either way, the action goes down from the U.K., where local fare like Scottish salmon and Welsh lamb are bound to be on the menu.
8. School Spirits – Thursday, March 9, Paramount+ | Series Premiere
Paramount+Whether you’ve got youth in the house who are in need of a haunting new drama or you just can’t get enough of YA fiction, this series is here to fill a void when it drops the first three of eight episodes this week. (Single weekly episodes will follow.) The Vancouver-shot series revolves around a teen named Maddie (Cobra Kai’s Peyton List) who is stuck in the afterlife. In order to move on, she begins investigating her disappearance alongside a group of fellow Split River High students who are also stuck in limbo—some of them for at least a century.
She’s the only one among her peers who can still communicate with the living, which makes Maddie her peers’ best hope. But the closer they get to the truth, the more secrets and lies they discover. The series is based on an upcoming graphic novel of the same name that’s hitting shelves this fall.
9. Outlast – Friday, March 10, Netflix | Series Premiere
NetflixIf you thought Survivor was tough, Netflix is here to prove that “Outwit, outplay, outlast” is a pretty tame motto. At least in comparison to its version of a survival series. In Outlast, 16 lone contestants are thrown into the Alaskan wilderness for a chance to win a million bucks. The only rule? They must be a part of a team to win. From the first trailer, it looks as though those loose guidelines will lead to plenty of strategic play and backstabbing, especially as one competitor tells a rival to starve during an intense argument over food. Add in a scary medical situation, a moment in which someone else talks about cutting off heads and slicing throats, and a wintery backdrop that is anything but bikini-friendly, and it’s clear we’ve entered the next level of such competition series.
Oh, and did we mention the moment in the trailer where two contestants fire a gun over a body of water? In other words, expect these contestants to push their minds and bodies to the absolute max. Jason Bateman (yes that Jason Bateman) produces.
10. Luther: The Fallen Sun – Friday, March 10, Netflix
NetflixBefore people were talking about Idris Elba as the next potential James Bond, but sometime after he made his mark as Stringer Bell on The Wire, the actor popularized the role of John Luther in this psychological crime drama. Over the course of five seasons, the London detective hunted some seriously disturbed people, battling his own demons along the way. (The show has also been a critical boon for Elba, who was nominated for Critics Choice, Golden Globe, Emmy and SAG awards.) This week, Netflix is here to deliver the next chapter in the Luther saga: a long-anticipated movie.
The film picks up four years after the last episode, and the brilliant copper is, himself, behind bars. Worse yet, the cyber psychopath he failed to capture is taunting him. But when this latest nemesis takes things one step too far, Luther breaks out of prison to finish the job—no matter the cost.
In a fun twist, there are two baddies to look forward to. The Outsider’s Cynthia Erivo and Black Panther’s Andy Serkis join the cast, and together they push the damaged detective to his breaking point in a continuation of the narrative that takes every aspect of the acclaimed TV show to the next level. “With film, the sky is the limit. You can be a little bit more bold with the storylines, and a little bit more international, and a little more up the scale,” Elba previously told BAFTA.
Meanwhile, if you didn’t catch the original show, now is the time to remedy that. “The story in some ways continues—if you binge the series from season one to the film, the story is continuous,” director Jamie Payne tells Entertainment Weekly. “But because the film has got such a larger platform, it was important it had its own story.”