From saucy new neighbours to a butler's backstory, we round up the top 10 shows to watch this week
1. 2019 Fox Fall Preview – Sunday, September 1, 6:30 p.m., Fox
FoxWith the new fall TV season right around the corner, Fox is the first network to offer a sneak peek at its new series. Among the shows to be previewed: a new animated comedy titled Bless the Harts (featuring the voice talent of Maya Rudolph, Kristen Wiig and Ike Barinholtz) and Prodigal Son, focusing on a criminal profiler (Tom Payne) who solves cases with the help of his imprisoned father, a notorious serial killer played by Michael Sheen.
2. On Becoming a God in Central Florida – Sunday, September 1, 9 p.m., Crave1
Crave1In episode two of the pyramid scheme satire, Ernie tries bonding with his son, and Stan’s on a quest to find a new supplier for the water park. But the highlight of the week is, most definitely, star Kirsten Dunst’s surreal dance with a pair of snake puppets.
3. Swamp Thing – Monday, September 2, 7 p.m. & 10:50 p.m., Showcase I Series Premiere
ShowcaseIt’s not often a new series premieres after it’s already been cancelled, but that’s the case with this drama based on the cult-favourite DC comic book about a disgraced scientist whose forbidden experiments have transformed him into a human-plant hybrid living in a Louisiana swamp. The show premiered on the DC Universe streaming service (which isn’t available in Canada), but was axed soon after the first episode premiered, despite largely positive reviews. Why? According to reports, the budget was based on existing tax rebates in North Carolina where the show was shooting—when the state unexpectedly reduced said rebates significantly, which led the show to instantly become unprofitable.
4. Backdraft 2 – Tuesday, September 3, 6:15 p.m., Crave1
Crave1A straight-to-video Backdraft sequel? Twenty-eight years later? In a word: Yes! And as another arson investigator (Joe Anderson) unravels another conspiracy within Chicago F.D., original stars William Baldwin (as firefighter Brian McCaffrey) and Donald Sutherland (as serial firebug Ronald Bartel) are very much back in the mix.
5. Pennyworth – Wednesday, September 4, 6 p.m. & 9:32 p.m., Showcase; Friday, September 6th, 9 p.m., Global I Series Premiere
ShowtimeWhile the adventures of top-tier DC Comics characters such as Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman are reserved for big-screen blockbusters, TV series have to make do with ancillary characters, ranging from the Caped Crusader’s sidekick Robin in Titans to the Man of Steel’s granddad in Krypton.
The latest DC series delves into the formative years of an iconic character who has typically been placed in a supporting role: Alfred Pennyworth, loyal butler to billionaire Bruce Wayne and his crime-fighting alter ego. Portrayed by actors including Michael Caine and Jeremy Irons, the elderly butler is known to superhero aficionados for bringing up young Bruce after his parents were murdered, and a new series takes viewers back to the character’s formative years in London during the swingin’ ’60s.
In Pennyworth, Alfred (Jack Bannon) has just completed a stint in the British Special Forces when he lands a gig as a nightclub bouncer. It’s there that he meets wealthy American Thomas Wayne (Ben Aldridge), who recruits Alfred and his fellow military veterans into a caper involving kidnapping, conspiracies, political intrigue and the like.
6. The Real Housewives of Dallas – Wednesday, September 4, 6 p.m. & 9 p.m., Slice I Season Premiere
SliceGrab life by the horns and take no bull. So advises the trailer for the fourth season of this Lone Star spinoff of America’s rampaging Housewives epidemic. And from backstabbing to day-drinking to hair-yanking, the women seem ready to indulge our every guilty pleasure.
While most of the ladies from last season are back to display every moment of their oh-so- glamorous lives, gone is OG cast member Cary Deuber, who will only drop by for the wedding of her pal LeeAnne Locken. Cary left the series to build her business as a Registered Nurse. Filling the void will be new cast member Kary Brittingham, a mother of four from Mexico who comes to the series as D’Andra Simmons’ neighbour.
7. South Side – Wednesday, September 4, 7:30 p.m. & 12:30 a.m., Much
MuchOfficer Turner is abruptly drafted by her father (guest star Earthquake) to serve as his partner in Ed Lover’s Cold Spades and Hot Wings tournament, but she’s disconcerted by how seriously the competitors are taking the whole affair. Her partner on the police force, Officer Goodnight, offers her a wings recipe that he’s sure will bring home the gold. When she starts practicing her game, however, Turner finds herself getting just as carried away by the wing madness as everyone else.
Meanwhile, Stacy’s boss leaves her in charge of the furniture store; as soon as he’s out the door, she and the rest of the staff proceed to slack off, but things take an unexpected turn when one of the employees starts “stepping” and completely embarrasses himself with
his—shall we say “limited”—dance skills.
8. Spin the Wheel – Thursday, September 5, 8 p.m., Fox; 9 p.m. City I Season Finale
Fox What makes a pop-culture trivia game with a 40-foot wheel hosted by the peerlessly charming Dax Shepard even better? A two-hour finale that boasts the potential for one of the largest cash prizes in primetime history, of course.
9. Elite – Friday, September 6, Netflix I Season Premiere
Netflix What if Big Little Lies and Riverdale were tossed into a blender? Well, it would probably look something like this Spanish private school drama. The second, twist-filled season drops in full on the streaming service this week, with plenty of sex, betrayal and rich-vs.-poor melodrama in the curriculum.
10. The Spy – Friday, September 6, Netflix I Series Premiere
NetflixBorat’s Sacha Baron Cohen takes a break from controversial comedy to star as real-life Mossad agent Eli Cohen in this six-part limited series, which traces the agent’s undercover Syrian mission in the early 1960s, cozying up to military leaders to obtain information about secret anti-Israel initiatives.