From a new Idol crowned to the finale of TV's biggest show, we round up the top 10 shows to watch this week
1. American Idol – Sunday, May 19, 5 p.m., ABC; 8 p.m., CTV2 & ABC I Season Finale
ABCNo matter who sits at the judges’ table or which A-list crooners come on board to mentor the hopefuls, American TV’s first mega-hit singing competition is still unparalleled in its ability to pump out superstars. While we continue to watch shows like The Voice to see what kind of bromantic happenings are going down with Blake and Adam, or oddball variety shows like America’s Got Talent for the sheer breadth (and eccentricity) of acts, American Idol is still the frontrunner in terms of parlaying its contestants’ careers into something more than a reality show. Just think of past players like Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson or Adam Lambert, who is basically the new Freddie Mercury thanks to his recent gigs with Queen; and as was made abundantly clear when he stopped by the series last month, Lambert still gives Idol the lion’s share of the credit for his success.
2. Game of Thrones – Sunday, May 19, 8 p.m. & 11:35 p.m., HBO Canada I Series Finale
HBO CanadaIt’s been a checkered farewell for the biggest show on TV. As of press time, only one of the fantasy drama’s final six episodes had been indisputably counted among its all-time best. The others? Open for debate, at best. No doubt this last season has offered us some of the most dazzling pure spectacle in GoT history, and there’s surely more of that to come in tonight’s 80-minute send-off. But will the end game live up to the saga it’s capping off? Odds are, no. In cases like this, the journey always tends to prove more intriguing than the destination. But whether the writers stick the landing or not, there’s no denying Game of Thrones, on the whole, is among the most singular achievements in the annals of television—a character-driven epic that routinely, thrillingly subverted the tropes of both its genre and its medium.
3. Charmed – Sunday, May 19, 9 p.m., W Network & The CW I Season Finale
W NetworkThe Charmed Ones conjure up one last dose of toil and trouble, facing their demons—both literal and figurative—in tonight’s finale. The B.C.-shot remake has earned kudos for doubling down on the empowerment, tackling hot-button issues and featuring an all-Latinx trio of heroes. Though some fans have found themselves pining for the original Halliwell sisters, it’s been confirmed that Mel, Macy and Maggie will have a second chance to enchant the doubters next year.
4. The Late Late Show Carpool Karaoke Primetime Special 2019 – Monday, May 20, 10 p.m., CBS
CBSFor James Corden, a Carpool Karaoke with French-Canadian phenom Celine Dion means keeping a firm grip on the steering wheel. A new singing-and-motoring session with one of music’s most powerful voices is the centrepiece of The Late Late Show Carpool Karaoke Primetime Special 2019, airing Monday.
After taking recent spins with such icons as Barbra Streisand and Sir Paul McCartney—both likely to be excerpted during the hour—the usually comedic Corden confirms that the participation of five-time Grammy-winner Dion, who’s planning a new album and her first concert tour in more than a decade (following a Las Vegas residency), lets him check another long-desired Carpool Karaoke guest off his bucket list.
5. Wanda Sykes: Not Normal – Tuesday, May 21, Netflix
NetflixWanda Sykes is a one-woman comedy machine, and if you don’t believe us, check out the trailer for her new special: she tells viewers that before her shows, she’s the one who takes care of every last backstage task, at which point we see her bringing out her stool, mug and table, sweeping the stage, twiddling knobs in the control room, checking the microphone and—last but not least—selling her own tickets in the ticket booth. Obviously, as comedian rituals go, this is, indeed, not normal. But since that happens to be the name of Sykes’ special, it works out perfectly. Hewing much closer to normalcy, however, is her excitement about this new hour of hilarity... or as she put it on Instagram, “Y’all... I’m so excited about this. I’m like a kid waiting for Christmas. I can’t wait for you to see it!” Thankfully, our wait—and Wanda’s—is almost over.
6. The Voice – Tuesday, May 21, 9 p.m, CTV & NBC I Season Finale
Facebook/NBC The VoiceA few days after Idol goes dark, its heir apparent follows suit. After weeks of fierce competition and tearful farewells, the 16th season comes to a close with special performances, a little bit of drama, and what can only be described as an emotional announcement when the winner is crowned.
7. Black-ish – Tuesday, May 21, 8:30 p.m., City; 9 p.m., ABC I Season Finale
CityJunior’s been given a shot at his dream job—working alongside superstar hip-hop group Migos—but it’s a decision that Dre and Bow are against: like any good, slightly overprotective parents, they’d much rather their son return to college.
8. Red Nose Day – Thursday, May 23, 8 p.m., NBC
NBCLove, Actually filmmaker Richard Curtis’s annual fundraiser to end child poverty returns with two hours of star-studded sketches. After the telethon, stay tuned at 10 p.m. for a special Red Nose edition of Hollywood Game Night featuring Kristen Bell, Kelly Clarkson, Sean Hayes, Thandie Newton, Jennifer Garner and more.
9. Elementary – Thursday, May 23, 10 p.m., Global & CBS I Season Premiere
GlobalThe seventh and final season of CBS’s New York-set Sherlock Holmes reimagining is here, following a long hiatus. The action picks up a whole year after the game-changing London twist at the end of last season. Will Holmes and Watson remain across the pond? Or are they inevitably Big Apple-bound?
10. What/If – Friday, May 24, Netflix I Series Premiere
NetflixJulia Roberts, George Clooney, Jennifer Garner... the number of marquee actors coming to TV these days is unprecedented. It makes sense given the variety of rich roles and limited series unrolling as of late, especially as film increasingly turns to superhero fare. That could be one reason Renée Zellweger is headlining What/If, a new neo-noir thriller. She plays a mysterious benefactor who presents a young, cash-strapped couple with an offer too good to refuse, despite its moral and ethical complications.
The impressive ensemble includes Jane Levy (Suburgatory), Blake Jenner (Glee), Dave Annable (Brothers & Sisters) and Louis Herthum (Westworld), in a story that ponders how one poor decision can affect the trajectory of the rest of your life, and what happens when good people, in spite of themselves, start doing bad things.