From new musicals to returning animated favourites, we round up our top 10 shows to watch this week
1. The Simpsons – Sunday, September 26, 8 p.m., Fox | Season Premiere
FoxThere will, eventually, come a time when television viewers tune in to Fox on a Sunday night and the Simpson clan is nowhere to be found. But that time is far from nigh. The longest-running scripted series in primetime history returns for season 33, with a 34th already in the works. Tonight’s shenanigans are all about Marge, as the Simpson matriarch is inspired to mount a revival of her old high school musical, only for the production to be undermined by the sudden reappearance of an old rival. Frozen’s Kristen Bell guest-stars as “Marge’s Head Voice.”
2. Bob’s Burgers – Sunday, September 26, 9 p.m., Fox | Season Premiere
FoxFollowing the season-33 premiere of The Simpsons, we get season 12 of Bob’s Burgers, wherein a dog-shaped bouquet forces Linda to face some sins from her past. Elsewhere, Millie calls in a debt from Louise, forcing her to attend the Pixie Princess Promenade.
3. Family Guy – Sunday, September 26, 9:30 p.m., Fox | Season Premiere
FoxThe cavalcade of Animation Domination premieres continues with season 20 of Family Guy, as Peter and Stewie do Stewie’s li’l cohort Doug a solid—taking up the duties of his deadbeat father. Meanwhile, Lois gets Lasik surgery and promptly exploits her temporary blindness to earn a few bucks.
4. Jann – Monday, September 27, 8 p.m., CTV | Season Premiere
CTVCanadian music icon Jann Arden returns for a third season of self-lampooning comedy. As both her life and career circle the drain, Jann decides it’s time to shape up and take charge. Step one: get a personal assistant—which she goes about by sitting in on her sister’s nanny interviews and trying to poach the best candidate.
5. Attack of the Hollywood Clichés – Tuesday, September 28, Netflix
NetflixWhen he’s not busy making new episodes of Black Mirror, British writer Charlie Brooker enjoys poking fun at things in a more pointed way. For instance, last year he had a hand in the Netflix New Year’s special Death to 2020, which assured viewers they were not alone in their desire to end the worst year ever.
Now, Brooker’s got a new special with more of a pop-culture focus: with the help of host Rob Lowe, a collective of actors, screenwriters, critics and academics take a look back at some of the best-known movies in Hollywood history and focus in on some of the most frequently used film clichés.
A few examples: “Females Running in Stilettos,” “Meet-Cutes” and “Walking Away From an Explosion.” Plus, there’s even a Wilhelm Scream montage. Don’t know what that is? Look it up!
6. Grey’s Anatomy – Thursday, September 30, 9 p.m., CTV & ABC | Season Premiere
CTVWhen Dr. Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) and her colleagues scrub back in for an 18th season of high-stakes surgeries and steamy on-call room hook-ups, many fans will be wondering if this is the last hurrah. It’s a legit concern, given how dicey cast negotiations have become the last few renewals. While we don’t have an answer, and probably won’t for some time, last season certainly felt like the start of a farewell tour, what with a COVID-infected Meredith fighting for her life, only to be visited in her dream world by former series regulars like T.R. Knight, Chyler Leigh and McDreamy himself, Patrick Dempsey. This year, Meredith is out of that coma, yet there are more nostalgic reunions in store.
Kate Burton, who played Mer’s mom Ellis before the character died in season three, is returning in a mysterious capacity. Less mysteriously, Dr. Grey’s former rival Dr. Addison Montgomery (Kate Walsh), will also be back.
In other news, Peter Gallagher joins the show as a surgeon who used to be very close with Ellis.
7. Big Sky | Thursday, September 30, 10:01 p.m., CTV & ABC | Season Premiere
CTVDogged sleuths Cassie (Kylie Bunbury) and Jenny (Katheryn Winnick) are back for season two, which centres on a whole new mystery, this one involving a car wreck. But first, we’ll pick up precisely where we left off: as they must deal with the aftermath of serial-killing truck driver Ronald’s (Brian Geraghty) bloody escape.
8. The Problem with Jon Stewart – Thursday, September 30, Apple TV+ | Series Premiere
Apple TV+Although he’s been sorely missed since leaving his longtime post at The Daily Show, it wouldn’t be fair to say Jon Stewart created a vacuum that no other news-centric comedian could fill. Between Trevor Noah, John Oliver, Samantha Bee, Stephen Colbert and Seth Meyers, there’s been no shortage of politically charged late-night laughter. That said, whenever Stewart—who’s kept busy as a writer and director of big-screen flicks—has popped up on the shows of one of those aforementioned hosts, it’s certainly made us pine for the days when he was emceeing a topical comedy half-hour of his own. Luckily Stewart is finally heeding the calls to return to the airwaves via a biweekly Apple TV+ series described as “a multiple-season, single-issue series.”
Since we don’t really understand what that means either, we’ll also add a few more phrases from the streaming service’s press release, which assures us that Stewart’s new gig will be “taking a deep dive on the issues affecting us most,” that he will “be in conversation with the people who are impacted by the issue—as well as those who have a hand in creating the impact,” and that “together they will discuss a more productive path towards action.”
Readers should note that the language seems almost suspiciously dry, making us wonder if Stewart said, “A press release? Why are we bothering with a press release? Well, I’m not writing it. Everybody already knows what I do. If you think we need one so bad, then you write it!”
Suffice it to say: whoever penned the release is far less funny than Jon Stewart, but that actually works in his favour, since it only makes us want him back more than we already did.
9. Diana: The Musical – Friday, October 1, Netflix
NetflixNearly a quarter-century after her death, it’s arguable that Princess Diana’s impact on pop culture has never been as strong as it is now, thanks to Oscar buzz for the upcoming Kristen Stewart-starring biopic Spencer, Emma Corrin’s Emmy-nominated portrayal in The Crown and the recent investigation into the chicanery and deception behind journalist Martin Bashir’s controversial BBC interview.
The tragic story of the People’s Princess is now being told through an entirely different medium, in a Broadway musical aptly titled Diana: The Musical, with a filmed version of the stage production making its screen debut on Netflix this week.
Interestingly enough, the play was scheduled to open on Broadway in March 2020, which never happened due to the pandemic. With the show now scheduled to open in November, TV viewers have the opportunity for a sneak peek, thanks to an audience-free performance filmed for Netflix in 2020.
The live recording, directed by Christopher Ashley, features the original Broadway cast, including Jeanna de Waal as Diana, Roe Hartrampf as Prince Charles, Erin Davie as Camilla Parker Bowles and Judy Kaye as Queen Elizabeth.
The intention behind bringing this new musical to Netflix before its Broadway premiere is to generate interest with theatre-goers once the Great White Way gets back up to speed.
“The chance to share our show, first with Netflix’s global audience, and then welcoming a live audience back on Broadway, is something we’ve all been dreaming about for more than a year,” the producers said in an official statement. “We could not be more thrilled to finally share both the film and the Broadway musical with the world.”
10. Eli Roth’s History of Horror – Friday, October 1, 7 p.m. & Midnight, AMC | Season Premiere
AMCHostel director Eli Roth returns for a third season of his spooky docuseries. In the premiere, genre aficionados make the case for a few maligned sequels that don’t deserve their bad rap—including Psycho II, A Nightmare on Elm Street 3 and The First Purge.