Three once buzz-worthy shows are holding their series finales and a film with some big names is debuting on HBO this week.
Fox’s “Empire,” once the hottest show on TV, will quietly end the series after six seasons, but Tuesday’s “series finale” is not a real one. The show ended production early due to the pandemic and producers hope to create a proper series finale sometime in the future.
NBC’s “Will & Grace,” which ran eight years as a ground-breaking sitcom from 1998 to 2006, returned in 2017 with the original cast to a very different world. It lasted three more seasons and was able to wrap before COVID-19 shut production down. The series finale will air on Thursday.
Showtime's "Homeland" starring Claire Danes opened in 2011 with a lot of critical acclaim and buzz but, like "Empire," quietly faded from the national pop culture conversation. But it soldiered on into 2020 and eight total seasons. The series wraps Sunday night.
Hugh Jackman and Allison Janney star in HBO's 'Bad Education" out Saturday as comically corrupt administrators who steal more than $11 million from a Long Island school system. (HBO reportedly paid $20 million for the rights.) Ray Romano is also in the mix.
Over on Apple TV+ on Friday, Chris Evans stars in a dark, limited eight-episode series as a father and assistant district attorney whose teen son is accused of murder in "Defending Jacob."
CBS on Tuesday is finally airing a January concert honoring Prince featuring an array of stars honoring the late great singer, who passed suddenly four years ago.
And shows ending their seasons this week include AMC’s “Better Call Saul” (Monday); Hulu’s “Little Fires Everywhere” (Wednesday); NBC’s “Superstore,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” and “Law & Order: SVU”; (Thursday) and CBS’s “NCIS: Los Angeles” (Sunday). CBS’s “God Friended Me” did not receive a renewal, so it will air its series finale Sunday as well.
Other shows ending the season:
This covers Monday, April 20 through Sunday, April 26, 2020.
"Cooked With Cannibis" 3:01 a.m. Netflix (new series) — Chefs compete to get the hosts and special guests high on elevated cannabis cuisine with their artful use of leafy herb, THC infusions and CBD sauces.
"The Voice" 8 p.m. NBC — More Knockouts.
"The Bachelor Presents: Listen to Your Heart" 8 p.m. ABC —Jamie, torn between two men, casts her romantic fate with Trevor.
"9-1-1" 8 p.m. Fox — Eddie's journey to rescue a boy from a well turns into a mission to save himself from his past.
"Better Call Saul" 9 p.m. AMC (fifth season finale) — Kim and Jimmy make a sideways move that takes a rather serious turn. Nacho gets closer to the cartel.
"The Plot Against America" 9 p.m. HBO (series finale) — Riots and conspiracies spread across the country in the lead-up to Election Day, so Herman takes measures to keep his family safe.
"Prodigal Son" 9:01 p.m. Fox — After a catastrophic turn of events, Malcolm and Ainsley are convinced there's more to Nicholas Endicott than meets the eye.
"Bull" 10 p.m. CBS — Bull and the TAC team take a difficult pro bono murder case before the holidays and realize it will take a Christmas miracle to win
"The Baker and the Beauty" 10 p.m. ABC — Daniel and Noa's relationship improves.
"Songland" 10:01 p.m. NBC — Multi-platinum, Grammy-nominated Latin Pop sensation, Luis Fonsi, comes to "Songland" to hear unknown songwriters pitch their original material.
"Empire" 9 p.m. Fox (series finale) — In the midst of the Bossyfest launch and the fight to regain control of Empire, Cookie reflects on her life and the woman she has become.
"Let's Go Crazy: The Grammy Salute to Prince" 9 p.m. CBS — Taped in January, the concert features Beck, Common, Usher, John Legend, and Earth Wind and Fire.
"If Loving You Is Wrong" 10 p.m. OWN — The stakes are raised in Kelly's predicament.
"For Life" 10 p.m. ABC — Flashing back to the previous nine years of his incarceration, Aaron's journey from terrified novice prisoner to attorney and social crusader unfold.
"The Last O.G." 10 p.m. TBS — Tray brings Shahzad to watch his first basketball game and teaches him how to get courtside seats; Josh is worried about not being the cool dad to Shahzad.
"Little Fires Everywhere" 3:01 a.m. Hulu (first season finale) — Not clear if a second season is forthcoming.
"Mrs. America" 3:01 a.m. Hulu — As Stop ERA grows and gains media attention, Betty Friedan, the mother of the Feminist movement, makes it her mission to take down Phyllis.
"Saving Our Selves: a BET COVID-19 Relief Effort" 8 p.m. BET — Kelly Rowland, Regina Hall and Terrence J host a benefit for communities of color impacted by COVID-19, with appearances by DJ Khaled, Chance the Rapper, Fantasia and more.
"Survivor" 8 p.m. CBS — One castaway plays double agent and goes undercover to infiltrate a group they want to vote out.
"People Presents Harry & Meghan: Royal Rebellion" 8 p.m. the CW — How will this former royal couple survive together in "the real world"?
"Seal Team" 9:01 p.m. CBS — Bravo Team searches for a new terrorist group leader who is orchestrating violent resistance to peace negotiations in Afghanistan.
"Who Wants to be a Millionaire " 10 p.m. ABC — Nikki Glaser, Jane Fonda and Anthony Anderson.
"S.W.A.T." 10 p.m. CBS — The SWAT team looks for an escaped convict who is planning to kill Tan and the law enforcement team who helped put him in prison several years ago.
"2020 NFL Draft" 8 p.m. ABC, ESPN — The first 32 selections are made, while also fundraising for COVID-19 relief efforts
"Last Man Standing" 8 p.m. Fox —When Kyle and Mandy individually reveal a secret to Mike and Vanessa respectively, they are sworn not to tell the other.
"Superstore" 8 p.m. NBC (fifth season finale) —After Mateo and Cheyenne disagree on the best way to celebrate her 21st birthday, Cheyenne enlists Bo's help.
"Brooklyn Nine-Nine" 8:30 p.m. NBC (seventh season finale) — The entire squad is on high alert when a massive blackout hits Brooklyn.
"Will & Grace" 9 p.m. NBC (series finale) — With the apartment packed up, Will is determined to not reminisce about his life in the city or his ex, McCoy. Grace, on the verge of giving birth, keeps having false alarms of going into labor.
"Broke" 9:30 p.m. CBS — Jackie and Elizabeth are scandalized when they find their mom's secret love letters that suggest she had an affair.
"Tommy" 10 p.m. CBS — Tommy is accused of professional impropriety when her relationship with sports agent Kiley Mills (Katrina Lenk) intersects with the LAPD's arrest of a local sports phenom found possessing an illegal firearm.
"Law & Order: SVU" 10 p.m. NBC (21st season finale) — As Carisi begins the long-anticipated trial of Sir Toby Moore, the SVU faces setbacks in several other cases.
"After Life" 3:01 a.m. Netflix (second season debut) — Golden Globe winner Ricky Gervais reteams with Ashley Jensen ("Extras") in this series he also wrote and directed.
"Beastie Boys Story" 3:01 a.m. Apple TV+ (new series) —A documentary about the legendary rap trio produced by Spike Jonze.
"Defending Jacob" 3:01 a.m. Apple TV+ (new series) —The limited drama series starring Chris Evans and Michelle Dockery is is a thriller based on the 2012 New York Times bestselling novel of the same name by William Landay. An assistant DA's world is shattered when his beloved son gets charged with murder.
"The Blacklist" 8 p.m. NBC — Liz and the Task Force take on a cold case that may have some new victims.
"MacGyver" 8 p.m. CBS — Mac is placed inside a fake prison cell with a top Codex operative.
"RuPaul's Secret Celebrity Drag Race" 9:30 p.m. VH1 (new series) — Three actors compete for the title of "America's Next Celebrity Drag Race Superstar" and $30,000 for the charity of their choice.
"Magnum P.I." 9 p.m. CBS — Magnum and Higgins take the case of recovering the stolen urn of a woman's deceased husband, but they soon find that others believe the urn is worth killing for.
"Blue Bloods" 9 p.m. CBS — Danny and Baez are faced with tracking down a drug dealer after two young models are found dead from an overdose.
"Bad Education" 8 p.m. Saturday HBO — The story follows Frank Tassone (Hugh Jackman) and Pam Gluckin (Allison Janney) who reign over a popular Long Island school district on the verge of the nation's top spot, spurring record college admissions and soaring property values. But when an embezzlement scheme surfaces that threatens to destroy all they've built, Frank is forced to maintain order and secrecy — by whatever means necessary.
"American Idol" 8 p.m. Sunday ABC — The top 20 perform remotely.
"God Friended Me" 8 p.m. Sunday CBS (two-hour series finale) — Miles is forced to examine his lack of faith more than ever before when the God Account sends him his sister, Ali, as a friend suggestion on the eve of her cancer surgery.
"The Real Housewives of Atlanta" 8 p.m. Sunday Bravo — The reunion done remotely.
"Outlander" 8 p.m. Sunday Starz — Claire and Jamie's colonial life in America comes under threat, as they're pinned between their ties to the Crown and a rising undercurrent of unrest.
"When Calls the Heart" 8 p.m. Sunday Hallmark (seventh season finale) — Elizabeth hears news about her book. Lee gets a surprise that stirs up wounds from his past.
"Homeland" 9 p.m. Sunday Showtime (series finale) — Events surrounding Saul and Carrie's final mission come to a conclusion.
"Westworld" 9 p.m. Sunday HBO —A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.
"Zoe's Extraordinary List" 9 p.m. Sunday NBC — Zoey has to figure out a clever way to help her mother with an impossible decision. Max unexpectedly bonds with Leif. Mo hits a rough-patch with Eddie.
"Insecure" 10 p.m. Sunday HBO — While Molly's family celebrates Thanksgiving together, Issa and Ahmal decide to do their own thing.
"NCIS: Los Angeles" 10 p.m. Sunday CBS (11th season finale) —Sam, Callen and Rountree travel to Afghanistan when Marine Lieutenant Colonel Sarah "Mac" MacKenzie (Catherine Bell) asks NCIS to help with a sensitive case after two SEALs claim their chief murdered an unarmed prisoner,
"The Rookie" 10 p.m. Sunday ABC —Officers Harper and Nolan escort four juvenile officers to a Scared Straight program. Nolan is uncertain about his relationship with Grace.
"Penny Dreadful: City of Angels" 10 p.m. Sunday Showtime (new series) —In 1938 Los Angeles, Det. Tiago Vega and his partner investigate a murder, while at City Hall, Tiago's activist brother Raul Vega battles with Councilman Charlton Townsend over the construction of California's first freeway.
Rodney Ho writes about entertainment for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution including TV, radio, film, comedy and all things in between. A native New Yorker, he has covered education at The Virginian-Pilot, small business for The Wall Street Journal and a host of beats at the AJC over 20-plus years. He loves tennis, pop culture & seeing live events.