From a new vigilante crusader to celebrity family secrets, we round up the top 10 shows to watch this week
1. Nikki Glaser: Bangin’ – Netflix
NetflixHere’s fair warning for those of you with delicate sensibilities: you’re probably going to want to bypass the new special from veteran standup Nikki Glaser. We’re basing this on Netflix’s description of the set as focusing on “sex, sobriety and getting over her own insecurities,” which is followed by the additional—and highly accurate—assurance that “she won’t spare you the details.”
Not that this should in any way shock anyone who remembers her series Not Safe With Nikki Glaser, let alone any of her celebrity roast appearances. “I’ve always been the sort of person that’s comfortable talking about anything,” she told Esquire in 2016. “I’m also going to therapy and working on myself; the comfort I’ve always had is now compounded by an interest in sharing as a learning tool. I’m not oversharing for sake of being gross.”
2. Batwoman – Sunday, October 6, 5 p.m. & 8 p.m., Showcase; 8 p.m., The CW | Series Premiere
ShowcaseThe times, they are a-changin’, and superheroes along with them. Look no further than The CW’s bustling DC universe. Over the years, broadcast TV’s most industrious producer of comic book series has been home to a broad array of superheroics, from dark vigilante fare like Arrow, to the downright bubbly adventures of Flash and Supergirl, to the absurdist exploits of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. But in recent years, that diversity has started to expand beyond tone. It began in winter 2018 with Black Lightning, and its primarily African-American cast, and it continues tonight with the arrival of Batwoman, a.k.a. Kate Kane, DC Comics’ most celebrated gay superhero.
As embodied by Orange Is the New Black alum Ruby Rose, the formidable Ms. Kane arrives in Gotham to find a city on the brink, following Batman’s mysterious disappearance. The absence of the Dark Knight (who also happens to be Kate’s cousin) has prompted a paramilitary outfit called Crows Private Security to take over patrolling the streets. They’re led by Kate’s father Jacob (Dougray Scott), whose first wife and other daughter were killed as a result of Gotham crime. So he sent Kate away, but when she’s dishonourably discharged from military school and survival training, she returns home—just in time to see her old man and his company targeted by the Alice in Wonderland Gang. Initially, she’s got no designs on reinventing herself as a masked vigilante, but it quickly becomes apparent that the city needs a hero... and Kate is up to Bat.
3. Mr. Robot – Sunday, October 6, 7 p.m., Showcase | Season Premiere
Showcase“Hello friend. It’s been awhile.” The much-buzzed hacker series is back for a fourth and final season, picking up on the heels of season three’s devastating capper, in which Dominique was unwillingly recruited for the Dark Army, and Darlene and Elliot turned back the clock on Evil Corp, resetting the world to the way it was before they first meddled. But as we all know, things won’t just return to the status quo—not with so many politicians and business tycoons still subtly manipulating the lives of the masses. The first of 13 episodes premieres this week, revolving around the Christmas holidays of 2015, taking place over a single week.
4. The Walking Dead – Sunday, October 6, 6 p.m., 8:14 p.m., 9:28 p.m., 11:42 p.m. & 12:56 a.m., AMC | Season Premiere
AMCWhen this apocalyptic tale first shambled and moaned its way onto TV, the story was told through the eyes of Sheriff Rick Grimes. Now, as we enter season 10, the show looks a lot different—most notably, no more Rick. But his legacy lives on in the family of survivors he created, who, as we pick back up from that season-nine finale, are no doubt headed for a battle with Whisperer queen Alpha (Samantha Morton) and her “army” of walkers. If the comics are any indication, it’ll mark the start of a brutal crucible, and making matters worse, they’ll soon have to face it without the steely leadership of Michonne, as actor Danai Gurira is set to exit the show after a handful of season-10 episodes.
5. All American – Monday, October 7, 8 p.m., W Network & The CW | Season Premiere
W NetworkSeason two of the teen football drama kicks off, and the hits aren’t just happening on the field. Star athlete Spencer faces his biggest decision yet: whether to continue living with and playing for Coach Baker in Beverly Hills, or go back home to play for his dad in South Crenshaw.
6. AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to Denzel Washington – Tuesday, October 8, 5 p.m. & 8:45 p.m., TCM
Paramount PicturesOscar winner Denzel Washington is honoured by the American Film Institute, featuring plaudits from Spike Lee, Morgan Freeman, Julia Roberts, Jodie Foster, Jamie Foxx, Mahershala Ali and many others.
7. Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr. – Tuesday, October 8, 5 p.m., WTVS; 8 p.m., KCTS | Season Premiere
PBSWhen the great Dr. Gates began filming his genealogical series years ago, he never imagined he’d have a celebrity guest who was actually frightened to learn the truth about his family history. But, as we’ll see in this sixth season, there’s a first time for everything.
“I can’t say who it was, but he had a lot of bathroom breaks,” Gates revealed during the Television Critics Association press tour this summer. “Then I started noticing and smelling, like, Listerine coming (because we are in a very intimate setting), and then I noticed that it was more like Johnnie Walker Black; he was so nervous, he was going to the bathroom and taking a shot. When we came back from the break, he had his assistant just put a cup on the counter to calm his nerves because he was so scared.”
Luckily, most of Gates’ super-famous subjects have calmer nerves. The episodes ahead promise plenty of epic reveals for the likes of Queen Latifah, Anjelica Huston, Mia Farrow, Gayle King (who was finally able to verify some of the family stories she grew up with), Nancy Pelosi and Melissa McCarthy (who discovered her third great-grandmother immigrated to America from Prussia and served in the Union army during the Civil War).
8. Riverdale – Wednesday, October 9, 8 p.m., The CW | Season Premiere
The CWTragedy struck the B.C.-shot teen soap last year, when co-star Luke Perry passed away from a stroke. In this fourth-season opener, the show addresses the fate of Fred Andrews and honours the actor who so warmly brought him to life, with an episode titled “In Memoriam,” featuring a guest spot from Perry’s old 90210 pal Shannen Doherty.
9. Temptation Island – Thursday, October 10, 7 p.m. & 1:30 a.m., E!
E! CanadaMark L. Walberg returns to host season two of this reboot, as four unmarried couples at a pivotal point in their relationship decide whether they want to commit forever, or risk it all by giving in to temptation. Episode two arrives this week, but if you missed last week’s steamy debut, catch up on Sunday, 5 p.m. & Midnight, E!.
10. Supernatural – Thursday, October 10, 5 p.m. & 11 p.m., CTV Sci-Fi Channel; 8 p.m., The CW | Season Premiere
The CWThe Winchester brothers battle old enemies and God Himself in their farewell season.
The 15th and final go-round of Supernatural could be the series’ shortest yet, if God has his way. At the end of last season, an angry God (Rob Benedict), a.k.a. the Prophet Chuck, banished Jack (Alexander Calvert) to the Empty, while unleashing every soul from hell. With zombies coming at them from every angle, can Dean and Sam (Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki) and their trusty angelic ally Castiel (Misha Collins) get themselves out of this (un)deadly bind?