From a new spinoff of antihero superhero series The Boys to the arrival of The Golden Bachelor, we round up our top 10 shows to watch this week
1. Global Citizen Festival 23 – Sunday, September 24, ABC
The annual concert event presented by Global Citizen, aimed at calling on world leaders to end extreme poverty, returns. Broadcast from the Great Lawn of Central Park in New York City, this year’s lineup of performers includes Red Hot Chili Peppers, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Stray Kids, Sofia Carson, Anitta, D-Nice and Megan Thee Stallion, along with appearances by such celebs as Busy Philipps, Sophia Bush, Rachel Brosnahan and more.
2. Krapopolis – Sunday, September 24, City & Fox | Series Premiere
There’s no reason to think the programming execs at Fox made their decision to push the premiere of their latest animated series, Krapopolis, to the fall because they knew that Ted Lasso would’ve completed its run and What We Do in the Shadows would’ve wrapped its latest season, but the fact of the matter is that the audiences of both of those series will find something here to love, even if it’s only the voice cast.
Krapopolis is set in Ancient Greece, with a heavy focus on the mythology of the time. By this, we mean that you should be fully prepared for a cast of characters that includes not only the citizens of Greece but also its gods and monsters. And, no, that’s not just an expression: we’re talking actual Greek gods and the mythical creatures you’ve read about in the literature of the period. But let’s get back to that voice cast: in addition to Richard Ayoade, who’s perhaps best known to the casual Britcom viewer for his years on The IT Crowd, you also get What We Do in the Shadows’ Matt Berry and Ted Lasso’s Hannah Waddingham, along with Pam Murphy and Duncan Trussell, creator of animated cult favourite The Midnight Gospel. But don’t worry, non-Anglophiles: the series was created by Dan Harmon of Community and Rick and Morty fame, so you’ll get quirky American sensibilities, too! Perhaps the craziest thing about the series, however, is that Fox has given it a three-season pickup, which virtually never happens for a show that hasn’t even premiered yet.
“Doing a comedy set in Ancient Greece has been a passion of his for a long time,” Michael Thorn, Fox’s president of scripted programming, told Variety. “Animation is a huge priority for us, we have a fantastic legacy and we’re taking on the exciting challenge of continuing that legacy and it really starts with a [creative] voice like Dan Harmon.”
3. The Voice – Monday, September 25 & Tuesday, September 26, CTV2 & NBC | Season Premiere
It’s a big season for fans of this returning singing competition, which has long been about the celebrity mentors (rather than the performers). That’s because, for the first time in 24 seasons, the show kicks off without any of the original coaches. After Blake Shelton took a bow last cycle, now the only O.G. Voice member left is host Carson Daly. That doesn’t mean there won’t be any star power this season, though.
Former One Direction member Niall Horan returns to the swivel chair for his second season, John Legend is back for his eighth round and Gwen Stefani returns for her seventh. So who will fill Shelton’s vacant seat? That would be the legendary Reba McEntire—appropriate, since McEntire first debuted on the show back in season one, as a Battle Advisor to Team Blake. When they were first putting the show together back in 2011, producers actually asked her to mentor before going to Blake, but she turned them down. Turns out it’s hard to say no to a gig like this a second time, because now that red chair has a redhead!
4. Savior Complex – Tuesday, September 26, HBO Canada | Series Premiere
This three-part docuseries chronicles the story of Renee Bach, a young American missionary who set up a charity for malnourished children in Uganda. Years later, shocking allegations arose that she had been treating the sick children herself, despite having no medical qualifications and only a high school diploma.
5. Snake Oil – Wednesday, September 27, CTV & Fox | Series Premiere
With the ongoing WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, we’re going to see a lot more reality shows and formats pop up on our screens in the near future. So get ready for some gems, some returns and some shows that we still don’t know what to make of, like this entry.
Snake Oil slithers from the mind of executive producer Will Arnett, who has made his own mark on the reality genre as of late with projects like LEGO Masters and as a guest judge on The Masked Singer. On this series, he’s relinquishing hosting duties to David Spade, whose last hosting gig was standing in to oversee Bachelor in Paradise in 2021 while Bachelor Nation found its new host (Jesse Palmer).
The format features everyday contestants who take pitches from convincing entrepreneurs with unique products. Some of these business ventures are wild but real, while others are fake and being hawked by “Snake Oil Salesmen.” There are entire presentations to sift through, too, with custom-made infomercials, product visuals and a chance to grill the salespeople with questions. With the help of guest celebrity advisers like Adam DeVine, Bethenny Frankel, JB Smoove and Brad Paisley, contestants must determine which products are real and which ones are a sham. At stake is a life-changing cash prize.
“When Fox asked me to host their new show, I was flattered,” Spade said in a release. “But then they told me it was about a shady snake oil salesman, and I was a little less flattered to be the guy that immediately comes to mind.”
6. Starstruck – Thursday, September 28, Crave | Season Premiere
It’s slightly shocking that viewers are getting to enjoy a third season of Starstruck, in which a non-celebrity woman (series creator and star Rose Matafeo) enters into an improbable romance with an internationally famous movie star (Nikesh Patel). In fact, Matafeo herself had never envisioned such a thing ever coming to pass. “I always thought two and out; it’s the British way,” the New Zealand-born writer, actor and comedian told Radio Times two years ago, insisting she’d always intended to end the series after its second season. “But then [the U.K. sitcom] Stath Lets Flats had an amazing third season,” she explained. “I will go wherever I can make work that I’m proud of.” Once she’d formally committed to doing season three, Matafeo issued a statement: “I’m truly thrilled to bring this incredibly talented cast back for a third instalment, and equally excited to clamber into the director’s seat alongside my nice friend Alice Snedden who I cannot seem to get rid of.”
Appropriately, the premiere opens with a two-minute montage where we find out what’s happened to the characters over the course of the past two years. Let’s just say that once you’re up to date, your jaw will very likely be on the floor—but pick it up and keep watching!
7. The People’s Choice Country Awards – Thursday, September 28, NBC
Broadcast from Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry, the inaugural edition of this new award show features Little Big Town hosting, with Blake Shelton on hand to present the first-ever Country Music Icon award to Toby Keith—so don’t be surprised to see the two perform together on the Opry stage.
8. The Golden Bachelor – Thursday, September 28, City & ABC | Series Premiere
With the 27th season of The Bachelor set to arrive in early 2024, ABC is offering fans a new spin on the format to tide fans over until then: The Golden Bachelor, in which 72-year-old Gerry Turner is presented with a bevy of age-appropriate women in hopes of finding love—or, at least, the reality-show version of it.
Turner has an emotional backstory. He and his high school sweetheart had been married since 1974, raising a family and looking forward to a retirement on the lakefront dream house they’d just completed, when she became ill and died in 2017.
The 22 women whom he’ll be meeting in this week’s series premiere are of various ages, ranging from 60 to 75, and they run the gamut. One is a former NFL cheerleader, while another is a wedding officiant, with others including a dental hygienist, a nutritionist, a realtor, a few educators, and even a “pro-aging coach and midlife speaker.” One woman has a pre-existing connection to the franchise, mother of Matt James, who starred in The Bachelor’s 25th season.
The show has been heavily hyped by ABC—not surprisingly, given the dearth of scripted television this fall due to the still-ongoing writers’ and actors’ strikes—but whether Bachelor Nation embraces Gerry et al. enough to make it a hit remains to be seen.
However, given the notoriously ageist nature of network television, The Golden Bachelor can be seen as groundbreaking and somewhat subversive for simply presenting real people at a stage in their lives that isn’t often put on display in a reality show.
As for Turner, he’s trying to keep an open mind. “At first, I thought, there’s no way. I was really skeptical,” he told Variety of finding a soulmate by handing out roses. “But as I’ve thought about it and I’ve seen the process evolve and so forth, I really do think it’s possible. So we’ll see.”
9. Flora and Son – Friday, September 29, Apple TV+
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.
10. Gen V – Friday, September 29, Prime Video | Series Premiere
Fans of Prime Video’s antihero superhero series The Boys won’t want to miss this intriguing new spinoff. Gen V is set in the Godolkin University School of Crimefighting, a unique post-secondary institution catering to aspiring superheroes, operated by Vought International. While the focus is on the young supes as they learn how to master their abilities, fans can look forward to appearances from Jensen Ackles’ Soldier Boy and Chace Crawford’s The Deep. “In The Boys, we’re seeing a bunch of superheroes where they wound up,” Asa Germann, who plays Sam, one of the young supes, told Entertainment Weekly. “But in this show, we aren’t only following the supes in terms of their journey about becoming supes. We’re following their journey in terms of how they’re becoming people and how they’re growing up and evolving and learning and creating relationships and destroying relationships—and really, at a core, figuring out what it means to be a hero.”