David Letterman interviews Kim Kardashian while Springsteen films the making of his latest album
While the broadcast networks are slowly bringing back scripted shows, streaming services keep picking up films that had originally been destined for theaters.
On Thursday, HBO Max introduces “Roald Dahl’s The Witches,” which stars Anne Hathaway, Octavia Spencer and Stanley Tucci. A young boy stumbles upon a secret coven of witches led by Hathaway’s character, and with the help of his loving grandmother (Spencer), vies to stop their evil plan to turn all the world’s children into mice. The film was originally supposed to be in theaters this month if the pandemic had not happened.
On Friday, Amazon will roll out the “Borat” sequel, which has already gotten plenty of advance press. The streaming service picked up the film just last month once it was clear the production company no longer felt it was wise to bring it to theaters. On the same day, Sofia Coppola’s charming little comedy “On the Rocks” with Bill Murray and Rashida Jones, lands on Apple TV+ instead of theaters and reminds people of Coppola’s previous Murray vehicle “Lost in Translation.”
In the meantime, ABC introduces the new seasons of “The Conners,” “The Goldbergs” and “black-ish" on Wednesday about a month later than would have occurred if the pandemic hadn’t happened.
Two huge A-list film stars — Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant — play very rich New Yorkers on HBO Sunday in a six-part limited series called “The Undoing." They get embroiled in a tabloid-friendly murder and Grant’s character is the prime suspect.
For kids, there’s an origin story on Disney+ Friday called “Once Upon a Snowman” based on the character Olaf in the “Frozen” films.
While ratings for most sporting events are way down, the election has become a sporting event for many and the cable networks are seeing strong ratings as a result. And while early voting is already happening, the second and final presidential debate will happen Thursday night on multiple networks. If people want a reminder of what could happen next month, HBO offers a time capsule documentary of 2000′s Bush vs. Gore contested election results titled “537 Votes" on Wednesday.
And if you miss music competition shows, “The Voice” is back Monday for its 19th incarnation featuring the return of Gwen Stefani as a coach. Her boyfriend, Blake Shelton, remains the only original coach who has appeared in every season. Country fans should check out Wednesday’s CMT Music Awards on CMT while Bruce Springsteen acolytes will eat up his doc about his latest album “Letter To You” on Apple TV+.
In the horror genre, Hulu offers “Bad Hair" where a woman gets a weave, and it effectively “takes over” her life in both a metaphorical and real sense. Among the stars: Lena Waithe, Laverne Cox, Kelly Rowland, James Van Der Beek, Usher, Blair Underwood and Vanessa Williams. It comes out Friday.
Netflix has plenty of original content this week including David Letterman’s third season of interviews, a romantic thriller (“Rebecca”), another take on zombies (“Cadaver”), historical action (“Barbarians”), dance (“Move”) and animation for kids ("Over the Moon”)
This covers Monday, Oct. 19 through Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020.
“Dancing With the Stars” 8 p.m. ABC — Jesse Metcalfe was the surprise departure last week.
“American Humane Hero Dog Awards,” 8 p.m. Hallmark — The 10-anniversary celebration.
“The Voice” 8 p.m. NBC (19th season debut) — Gwen Stefani joins returning coaches Kelly Clarkson, John Legend and Blake Shelton.
“The Third Day” 9 p.m. HBO (first season finale) — With a fractious battle or power brewing, Helena and her family find themselves trapped in the middle.
“Filthy Rich” 9:15 p.m. Fox — As tension continues to build after the incident with the mysterious stalker, Rose offers the Monreaux home as a safe haven for Ginger and her mother, Tina.
“Soulmates” 10 p.m. AMC — Adam and Libby’s happy but unconventional marriage is disrupted when Libby’s test results come through. When gorgeous, fun Miranda arrives in their lives, Libby struggles to draw lines between her feelings for her husband and her soulmate.
“The Bachelorette” 8 p.m. ABC — Clare left no doubt the first night that she knew what she was looking for and let the men know it! Nine eager suitors get the opportunity to impress Clare as they learn how to communicate through the languages of love.
“Finding Your Roots” 8 p.m. GPB — Henry Louis Gates Jr. solves mysteries in the family trees of Tea Leoni and Joe Madison.
“Transplant” 10 p.m. NBC — After being mishandled by a Zava employee, the A.I. called Next escapes the confined servers of its home company and gains internet access.
“Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” 10 p.m. HBO — Correspondent Soledad O’Brien examines the new generation of teenage video gaming millionaires.
“My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman” 3:01 a.m Netflix (third season debut) — Letterman interviews Kim Kardashian West, Robert Downey Jr., Dave Chappelle and Lizzo.
“Rebecca” 3:01 a.m. Netflix — A young newlywed arrives at her husband’s imposing family estate on a windswept English coast and finds herself battling the shadow of his first wife, Rebecca, whose legacy lives on in the house long after her death.
“CMT Music Awards” 8 p.m. CMT — Kane Brown and entertainer Sarah Hyland will be two of the hosts. Performances include Shania Twain, Brooks & Dunn, Dan + Shay, Little Big Town, Luke Bryan and Maren Morris.
“The Goldbergs” 8 p.m. ABC (eighth season debut) — Beverly surprises the family with an end-of-summer vacation to Miami; and Adam, now a senior, returns to William Penn Academy as he wrestles with the fact that he is a cool kid and no longer a nerd. There will be “Airplane!” jokes.
“The Conners” 9 p.m. ABC (third season debut) — The Conners are back and dealing with the pandemic, and financial troubles loom over the family.
“537 Votes” 9 p.m. HBO — Chronicles the political machinations that led to the unprecedented, contested outcome of the 2000 presidential election, including the chaotic voter recount in Florida that ended with George W. Bush winning by a razor-thin margin.
“black-ish” 9:30 p.m. ABC (seventh season debut) — As a first responder during the global pandemic, Bow receives her family’s praise for her work.
“Equal” 3:01 a.m. HBO Max — True stories of the leaders and unsung heroes who changed the course of American history through their tireless gay rights activism.
“Roald Dahl’s The Witches” 3:01 a.m. HBO Max — Reimagining Roald Dahl’s beloved story for a modern audience, Robert Zemeckis’s visually innovative film tells the darkly humorous and heartwarming tale of a young orphaned boy who, in late 1967, goes to live with his loving Grandma in the rural Alabama town of Demopolis. Cast includes Anne Hathaway, Octavia Spencer, Stanley Tucci, Kristin Chenoweth and Chris Rock.
“Chelsea Handler: Evolution” 3:01 a.m. HBO Max — The hourlong special sees Handler talking about family, friendships and therapy. She filmed the special this summer in her home state of New Jersey. It was filmed in front of a live audience following social distancing protocols.
“Cadaver” 3:01 a.m. Netflix — When a peculiar hotel dinner show draws crowds during a post-apocalyptic famine, one family discovers they’ll pay much more than the price of admission.
“Connecting...” 8 p.m. NBC — With Memorial Day around the corner, Garret has planned a trip to Big Bear for the group.
“Second Presidential Debate” 9 p.m. CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, GPB — NBC News’ Kristen Welker slated to serve as moderator
“Bruce Springsteen’s Letter to You” 3:01 a.m Apple TV+ — The recording of the rocker’s upcoming album.
“On the Rocks” 3:01 a.m. Apple TV+ — A young New York mother (Rashida Jones) faced with sudden doubts about her marriage teams up with her larger-than-life playboy father (Bill Murray) to tail her husband.
“Once Upon a Snowman” 3:01 a.m. Disney+ — The previously untold origins of Olaf, the innocent and insightful, summer-loving snowman who melted hearts in the Academy Award-winning 2013 Disney animated feature “Frozen.”
“Barbarians” 3:01 a.m. Netflix — Torn between the mighty empire that raised him and his own tribal people, a Roman officer’s conflicted allegiances lead to an epic historical clash.
“Move” 3:01 a.m. Netflix — Discover the brilliant dancers and choreographers who are shaping the art of movement around the world in this documentary series.
“Bad Hair” 3:01 a.m. Hulu — This horror satire set in 1989 follows an ambitious young woman who gets a weave in order to succeed in the image-obsessed world of music television. However, her flourishing career comes at a great cost when she realizes that her new hair may have a mind of its own.
“Over the Moon” 3:01 a.m. Netflix — An adventurous girl builds a rocket ship to meet a mythical goddess on the moon.
“Shark Tank” 8 p.m. ABC — An entrepreneur from San Francisco tries to show the Sharks the upside of investing in her women’s undergarment subscription service.
“Undercover Boss” 9 p.m. CBS — Smoothie King’s CEO takes part in the show.
“American Selfie: One Nation Shoots Itself” 9 p.m. Showtime — Filmmaker Alexandra Pelosi travels across the United States chronicling the unprecedented social and political upheaval of 2020 as it unfolds. From political rallies, environmental protests, Black Lives Matter marches and the still-developing COVID-19 crisis, Americans on both sides of the political divide react to events that have defined this turbulent year.
“How to With John Wilson” 11 p.m. HBO (new series) — Documentary filmmaker John Wilson embarks on an odyssey of self-discovery and cultural observation by covertly filming the lives of fellow New Yorkers while trying to share advice.
“Christmas Unwrapped” 8 p.m. Saturday Lifetime — An ambitious yet pragmatic reporter learns the true meaning of Christmas when she investigates a millionaire and beloved member of the town who insists that all the gifts that arrive on Christmas Day every year are from none other than Santa himself. And yes, in these types of movies, journalists fall in love with their interview subjects!
“Chateau Christmas” 8 p.m. Sunday Hallmark — Margot, a world-renowned pianist, returns to Chateau Newhaus to spend the holidays with her family and rediscover her passion for music. While there, her ex-boyfriend and former bandmate, Jackson, convinces her to headline the annual Christmas Concert and working together brings back all their old feelings.
“Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” 9 p.m. ABC — Julie Bowen is in the hot seat.
“The Undoing” 9 p.m. HBO (new series) — Grace Fraser (Nicole Kidman) becomes intrigued by a young mother at her son’s school. Later, news of a tragedy rocks the school community.
“Fear the Walking Dead” 9 p.m. Sunday AMC — Only info at the point of this writing is the title: “Alaska.”
"The Good Lord Bird″ 9 p.m. Sunday Showtime — John and Onion continue their fundraising mission, this time heading to Canada on foot.
"Fargo″ 10 p.m. Sunday FX — Loy goes on the attack; Gaetano pays the piper; Oraetta goes off the deep end; Josto challenges orders, and Rabbi puts his life on the line.
“The Walking Dead: The World Beyond” 10 p.m. Sunday AMC — The group seeks shelter from a storm inside an abandoned high school; while resupplying, they imagine what high school life was once like and encounter new threats both living and dead.
About the Author
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.