From new celebs on the dance floor to new disguises at the mike, we round up the top 10 shows to watch this week
1. Dancing With the Stars – Monday, September 23, 8 p.m., City & ABC I Season Premiere
ABCThough the ABC contest didn’t have a 2019 spring season, the show is now back for a 28th “cycle,” along with returning hosts Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews and the judging panel of Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba (now also a host of CBS’s The Talk) and Bruno Tonioli, with an occasional added judge possible.
This season’s celebrities again constitute a diverse group. Competing this time: supermodel Christie Brinkley; actors James Van Der Beek (Dawson’s Creek), Kate Flannery (The Office) and Kel Mitchell (Kenan & Kel); recent Bachelorette Hannah Brown; Queer Eye cast member Karamo Brown; sports legends Ray Lewis and Lamar Odom; singers Lauren Alaina, Ally Brooke and Supremes veteran Mary Wilson; and, the season’s most controversial addition, former White House press secretary Sean Spicer.
2. All Rise – Monday, September 23, 9 p.m., CTV & CBS I Series Premiere
CTVWe’ve seen plenty of courtroom series over the years, from Judge Judy to heavily serialized dramas like The People v. O.J. Simpson to about half-a-dozen Law & Orders. So it’s a challenge to show audiences something they haven’t seen before. This incoming American series from Canadian creator Greg Spottiswood (Remedy) has a shot to do just that, as it tackles the Upstairs, Downstairs perspective of a courthouse, featuring an array of serialized storylines focused on bailiffs, prosecutors, judges, and defenders both public and high-powered. Our entry point to the series is incoming judge Lola Carmichael (Luke Cage’s Simone Missick), who, perhaps a bit naively, aims to do things a little differently in her courtroom. Fans of CBS procedurals will also be tickled to see CSI cornerstone Marg Helgenberger back on the network, playing Lola’s ostensible boss, supervisory judge Lisa Benner. (Expect sparks to fly.)
3. The Voice – Monday, September 23, 9 p.m., CTV2 & NBC I Season Premiere
NBCIf you’ve been tuning in to this musical competition series since the beginning and have been actively avoiding the news, you’re going to want to brace yourself. That’s because when the show returns for a 17th season this week, it will do so for the first time without coach Adam Levine. The pop star was originally supposed to return to his spinning red chair alongside Kelly Clarkson, John Legend and longtime bro Blake Shelton. But per TVLine, Levine had become disgruntled over the course of season 16, which bled over into a disastrous performance at NBC’s annual advertiser presentations in New York, before he and the network parted ways. Luckily, former coach Gwen Stefani has tagged back in. Otherwise, not much else is new about the series other than the contenders; they’ll start their bid to impress the coaches in the two-hour premiere.
4. Empire – Tuesday, September 24, 9 p.m., Fox I Season Premiere
FoxThe soapy music drama kicks of its sixth and final season this week, and following last year’s real-life controversy with Jussie Smollett, the Lyons are down a cub. Jamal’s absence will be addressed though, and it’s pretty simple: he’s on his honeymoon with Kai and working on projects in London.
5. This Is Us – Tuesday, September 24, 9 p.m., CTV & NBC I Season Premiere
NBCGrab a box of tissues and settle in for a fourth season of time-jumps, unexpected twists and heartrending family drama with the Pearson clan. For what it’s worth, Emmy-winner Sterling K. Brown has warned fans to expect a “subversive” premiere episode.
6. American Horror Story: 1984 – Wednesday, September 25, 7 p.m., 8 p.m. & 10 p.m., FX Canada I Series Premiere
FX CanadaFor those who cover television, one of the chief horrors of American Horror Story is that relatively little usually is known about a new season before it starts. On the other hand, that’s a built-in necessity of executive producer Ryan Murphy’s famously bizarre FX anthology as it enters its ninth round.
This much has been confirmed about it: titled 1984, it puts a campy spin on “slasher” movies such as Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street that targeted teen characters during... yes, the 1980s.
That likely accounts for the absence of some American Horror Story repertory members, with Evan Peters missing his first season since the series began. Horror staple Sarah Paulson reportedly has a drastically reduced role, but Emma Roberts, Billie Lourd and Leslie Grossman are among the returnees who will be quite evident again, while John Carroll Lynch also is back.
Notable among the cast additions for the new season are Matthew Morrison—no stranger to the Ryan Murphy camp, thanks to his six seasons as Will “Mr. Schue” Schuester on Glee—and Olympic skier Gus Kenworthy, in his first acting turn.
7. The Masked Singer – Wednesday, September 25, 8 p.m., CTV & Fox I Season Premiere
FoxWho could have guessed that an American version of a wacky Korean singing competition would wind up becoming one of the biggest water-cooler series on-air? Not us, yet each week we couldn’t help but tune in and guess the celebrity identities under those jaw-dropping masks alongside judges Ken Jeong, Nicole Scherzinger, Jenny McCarthy and Robin Thicke. Following up on the killer ratings (and season one’s unexpected winner, T-Pain), is not one but two instalments for the 2019-’20 television season, the first of which kicks off this week.
In the two-hour premiere, we’ll get a closer look at the amazing costumes featured and have a chance to take our first guesses at which celebrities could be hiding within. There are an amazing plethora of designs, naturally, including an egg, an alien-like butterfly, a very feminine flamingo, an Alice in Wonderland-inspired fox, a regal leopard and a creepy skeleton (complete with top hat and suit). And those are just a few.
8. Survivor – Wednesday, September 25, 8 p.m., Global & CBS I Season Premiere
CBSWhen you’ve been on the air for nearly 40 seasons, it’s hard to think of a twist that hasn’t yet been done. Yet here we are at the 39th-season premiere of this social experiment/guilty pleasure, and producers have somehow managed to do it again. When host Jeff Probst welcomes in a new group of hopefuls Wednesday night, they’ll have access to a pair of very valuable resources: “Boston” Rob Mariano and Sandra Diaz-Twine. Between them, these two “idols” have played more than 200 days of the game. Boston Rob notably won Survivor: Redemption Island (and has appeared on numerous other seasons), while Sandra remains the only person to ever win the show twice. Now they’re back, but they’re not in it to win it. Instead, they’re imparting their knowledge to the newbies, in hopes of proving that those who do can also teach.
9. The Unicorn – Thursday, September 26, 8:31 p.m., Global & CBS I Series Premiere
GlobalIf you think you can gain some real insight into Walton Goggins based on the characters he’s played, well, you’re wrong... or at least, you would’ve been wrong before he signed onto CBS’s new sitcom The Unicorn. The erstwhile Justified star plays a widower/single dad who gingerly reenters the dating world at the urging of friends and family; and indeed, Goggins himself a widower in real life–which might make it surprising to some that he’s willing to step into those shoes again. “I was really insecure about it,” the actor admitted to the Sioux City Journal. “It took me asking myself the question, ‘Can you pull that off? Can you pull off just being you?’ And once I got past that fear of it, I said, ‘This is what I think I’ve always wanted to play.’ I have a similar relationship with my son and my group of friends and it’s nice to step outside of hiding behind something.”
10. The Politician — Friday, September 27, Netflix I Series Premiere
NetflixGwyneth Paltrow heads the cast of this new satire from Ryan Murphy, playing the wealthy mother of an ambitious high-schooler (Ben Platt) who is dead set on becoming president of the United States—but first he needs to be elected student body president by outsmarting his ruthless classmates.