From new game show Lotería Loca to the return of Loki, we round up our top 10 shows to watch this week
1. FBI True – Tuesday, October 3, CBS
With the coffers nearly empty due to the ongoing Hollywood strikes, CBS is repurposing this documentary series, which debuted earlier this year on streamer Paramount+. Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation talk candidly with each other about the triumphs, tragedies and real truths of their jobs, sharing hair-raising stories of dangerous missions carried out by the FBI, both within the U.S. and worldwide. As agents share their experiences, viewers receive an inside look at some of the biggest cases handled by the FBI, ranging from the hunt for Boston mob boss Whitey Bulger to the 2016 Manhattan bombings.
2. Lotería Loca – Monday, October 2, Global & CBS | Series Premiere
Fans of TV game shows who enjoy following along as everyday contestants get a chance to earn some big money are about to experience a unique era in primetime television. That’s primarily due to the aforementioned WGA and SAG strikes, which have slammed the brakes on production of scripted programming.
As a result, broadcasters are leaning hard into unscripted fare, and that’s particularly true of game shows. This week, that means the introduction of an American version of popular Spanish-language game show Lotería Loca. Per the press release, in each episode, “two players go head-to-head and take turns picking cards to get four in a row”—a winning hand known as the “Lotería.” As they progress through the game, contestants can bank big money. Landing on one of the “Loca” cards, however, creates a devilish twist in which players can add even more cash to their pots by participating in wild and interactive challenges. In the end, whoever gets the most Loterías on the board in the shortest amount of time gets to go on to the final round for a chance to win the ultimate cash prize.
Naturally, a game show, clever though its premise may be, is only as good as its host. In this case, that’s Jaime Camil, best known for portraying wannabe actor Rogelio De La Vega on Jane The Virgin.
3. Haunted Mansion – Wednesday, October 5, Disney+
Of all the long-running Disneyland attractions, few are so iconic as the Haunted Mansion, but trying to capture the spirit of that ride outside of the park—now that has proven to be a challenge. While the Pirates of the Caribbean ride spawned a wildly successful, Johnny Depp-led movie franchise, Disney’s previous attempt with 2003’s The Haunted Mansion was a massive flop, featuring Eddie Murphy as a realtor who finds himself trapped in the titular mansion with his family until they can figure out how to break an ancient curse.
Clearly figuring enough time has passed for another kick at the can, Disney is trying again with this new feature, which debuted theatrically over the summer and now makes its way to streaming. This time, the horror comedy revolves around a recently widowed doctor (Rosario Dawson) and her son who move into the mansion with plans to turn it into a B&B, only to discover that it’s crawling with ghosts. In addition, the all-star cast includes Dan Levy, Jamie Lee Curtis and Jared Leto, with LaKeith Stanfield, Tiffany Haddish, Owen Wilson and Danny DeVito playing a quartet of ghostbusting exorcists hired to rid the house of its spooks. Ultimately, though, reviews were mixed, and the tepid box-office returns likely scared Disney away from any future Haunted Mansion renovations.
4. Bargain – Thursday, October 6, Paramount+ | Series Premiere
With the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes still ongoing at the time this issue of TV Week went to press, television viewers should expect to see an increasing number of international dramas make their streaming service debuts. This week, that includes Bargain, which hits Paramount+ as part of a new partnership deal. The Korean crime thriller revolves around a group of strangers who meet up at a remote hotel. They all have insidious motives, with ruthless self-interest, to boot. But when an unexpected earthquake traps them inside the building, they must work together to figure out how to survive.
The series is an adaptation of director Lee Chung-hyun’s 2015 award-winning short of the same name, and stars Jun Jong-seo (Money Heist: Korea) and Jin Seon-kyu (Extreme Job).
5. Everything Now – Thursday, October 6, Netflix| Series Premiere
After a lengthy hospitalization to recover from an eating disorder, 17-year-old Mia (Sophie Wilde) returns to school, only to discover her peers have experienced so many new things during her absence. In order to catch up with them, she creates a bucket list of “firsts,” from attending her first party to her first kiss. However, she soon comes to realize that life cannot be so carefully orchestrated, when circumstances beyond her control throw her plans into chaos.
6. Reptile – Friday, October 7, Netflix
The trials and tribulations of parenthood are real, but no one knows them quite like a single parent with a teenaged kid. That’s the entry point to this poignant, Dublin-set film about self-identity and the struggle to connect from director and writer John Carney (Sing Street). Eve Hewson stars as single mom Flora, who had her son Max (Orén Kinlan) when she was 17 years old. Now he’s a teenager and she’s desperate to forge a bond with him while putting him on a less troublesome path. One day when she comes across an acoustic guitar in a dumpster she thinks she may have a solution. But when he rejects the gift she decides to use the instrument for herself, with the help of a man who agrees to teach her online (Joseph Gordon-Levitt). Through music Flora does eventually find the connection she needs, surprising herself and Max along the way. Jack Reynor and Amy Huberman also star.
7. Loki – Friday, October 7, Disney+ | Season Premiere
The Marvel Cinematic Universe keeps on unfolding, with Phase Five currently underway and set to continue through to 2025, weaving together theatrical feature films and a variety of new and returning TV series streaming on Disney+.
The latest entry arrives this week with the second season of Loki, in which Tom Hiddleston reprises the trickster god he played in the Thor and Avengers movies.
The new season picks up in the aftermath of that wild season finale, with Loki returning to the Time Variance Authority—the mysterious bureaucratic organization that regulates the flow of the space-time continuum—only to discover he’s altered the timeline. As a result, the TVA is now under the control of a variant of Kang the Conqueror (introduced in the first season of Loki before returning in the big-screen Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania).
Along with Agent Mobius (Owen Wilson), Hunter B-15 (Wunmi Mosaku) and a crew of new and returning characters, Loki must navigate an ever-expanding and increasingly dangerous multiverse, with the god of mischief plunging from one alternate universe to the next as he searches for Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino), Judge Ravonna Renslayer (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) and Miss Minutes, the clock-faced keeper of time. Along the way, notes a press release, he will also discover “the truth of what it means to possess free will and glorious purpose.”
As is typically the case for any project springing from the MCU, details are being kept tightly under wraps. What we do know, however, is that Ke Huy Quan, who reignited his career by venturing into an entirely different multiverse in the Oscar-winning Everything Everywhere All at Once, is joining the cast, apparently playing a mysterious character who may be able to correct a strange malady known as “time-slipping.”
8. Pet Sematary: Bloodlines – Friday, October 7, Paramount+
This gory prequel to the 1989 film (and Stephen King’s 1983 novel) takes viewers all the way back to 1969 to reveal the beginnings of the haunted burial/resurrecton ground. Samantha Mathis, David Duchovny and Henry Thomas star.
9. Desperately Seeking Soulmate: Escaping Twin Flames Universe – Friday, October 7, Prime Video | Series Premiere
Based on journalist Alice Hines’ investigation, this chilling three-part series delves into the world of Twin Flames Universe, an online group run out of suburban Michigan by charismatic YouTube influencers Jeff and Shaleia Divine. The couple promises to match each member of their online community with the perfect partner, but former participants describe the extreme measures they have taken in order to claim their “twin flame” in what’s alleged to be an online love cult. As Hines digs deeper, she comes to discover that the couple’s promise of true love often comes at a very high price.
10. American Masters – Friday, October 7, WTVS & KCTS
Jazz aficionados won’t want to miss this week’s American Masters presentation, Max Roach: The Drum Also Waltzes. Directors Sam Pollard and Ben Shapiro take viewers on a journey through the life of Max Roach, the legendary percussionist, bandleader and bebop trailblazer who revolutionized the genre during the 1940s and ’50s. Roach’s far-reaching ambitions were both inspired and challenged by the racial inequities of the society that surrounded him during that era, and his political consciousness, expressed in his groundbreaking Freedom Suite and other works, made him a fierce advocate for change at a time when the nation was steeped in racism. Meanwhile, the film pulls no punches when addressing the drummer’s turbulent personal life, including his struggles with addiction and his eight-year marriage to jazz vocalist Abbey Lincoln. Roach, who died in 2007 at age 83, believed that music could have a transformative impact on society—evidenced by his late-in-life experiments with hip-hop, which he saw as a powerful musical force to propel change—and used his talent to pave the way for America’s civil rights movement. “Sometimes the music is used to make people feel happy and joy,” Roach says in an interview segment in the film. “But on some occasions, we do use the music as a weapon against man’s inhumanity towards man.”