A non-profit, non-partisan group When We All Vote, created by Michelle Obama, convinced Aaron Sorkin to bring back the cast of “The West Wing” for a special debuting on HBO Max Thursday to encourage Americans to vote.
The cast is doing a stage adaptation of the season 3 episode “Hartsfield’s Landing.” Martin Sheen, Bradley Whitford, Allison Janney, Janel Moloney, Richard Schiff, Dule Hill and Rob Lowe will be back. Sterling K. Brown of “This Is Us” fame will play Leo McGarry, the role originally played by the late John Spencer.
On a less noble note, a raft of veteran reality shows is back: “The Bachelorette” on ABC Monday (season 16); “The Amazing Race” on CBS Wednesday (season 32), “The Real Housewives of Orange County” on Bravo Wednesday (season 15), “Shark Tank” on ABC Friday (season 12) and “America’s Funniest Home Videos” on ABC Sunday (31st season). ABC is also reviving “Supermarket Sweep” Sunday with Leslie Jones as the host.
On streaming services, CBS All Access brings back season three of “Star Trek: Discovery.” Amazon Prime Tuesday debuts two horror films: “Evil Eye” and “Nocturne.” Hulu on Wednesday has a documentary about a K-pop act “Blackpink.” HBO Max and “Sesame Street” define racism for young children in a special Thursday. Netflix that same day tries an anthology about life in a pandemic called “Social Distance.” On Friday, Amazon tackles mass incarceration of Black men in “Time,” and Netflix brings Syd and Shea McGee to give people a “Dream Home Makeover.”
HBO also concludes the first season of its historical horror drama “Lovecraft Country,” shot in Atlanta, on Sunday.
This covers Monday, Oct. 12 to Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020.
“Dancing With the Stars” 8 p.m. ABC — Anne Heche was cut last week. It’s ’80s theme week.
“The Family Chantel” 8 p.m. TLC (second season debut) — Pedro and Chantel continue to work through their issues and attempt to create a happy life together in Atlanta.
“The Third Day” 9 p.m. HBO — As the islanders prepare for a fateful birth, Helen reveals her true intentions in coming to Osea, and after joining a search party, is pressed on her past.
“Soulmates” 10 p.m. AMC — David, a privileged man, encounters a woman, Alison, who claims to be his soulmate. The two then begin an affair, which unsurprisingly causes drama.
“Evil Eye” 3:01 a.m. Amazon Prime — A superstitious mother is convinced that her daughter’s new boyfriend is the reincarnation of a man who tried to kill her 30 years ago.
"Nocturne 3:01 a.m. Amazon Prime — Sweeney plays Juliet, a withdrawn young pianist at a prestigious music academy, who’s constantly upstaged by her more talented twin sister Vivian. But when Juliet finds a notebook belonging to a dead student, her musical abilities mysteriously improve — leading to increasingly tense moments between her and Vivian.
“The Cabin With Bert Kreischer” 3:01 a.m. Netflix (new series) — Fast-living comic Bert Kreischer heads to a cabin for some self-care and invites his funny friends to join his quest to cleanse his mind, body and soul.
“The Bachelorette” 8 p.m. ABC (16th season debut) — After putting Juan Pablo in his place on the memorable, 18th season finale of “The Bachelor,” and gaining a new sense of resolve and self-worth, Clare is more than ready to put her romantic disappointments in the rearview mirror and start a wild ride to find her happily ever after.
“Finding Your Roots” 8 p.m. GPB (sixth season fall debut) - Henry Louis Gates, Jr. meets fashion’s Diane Von Furstenberg, Narciso Rodriguez and RuPaul Charles.
“Next” 9 p.m. Fox — After being mishandled by a Zava employee, the A.I. called Next escapes the confined servers of its home company and gains internet access.
“Blackpink: Light Up the Sky” 3:01 a.m Hulu — Record-shattering Korean girl band Blackpink tell their story — and detail the hard-fought journey of the dreams and trials behind their meteoric rise.
“The Amazing Race” 9 p.m. CBS (32nd season debut) — CBS actually taped this show in late 2018 so it’s been on ice for nearly two years.
“The Real Housewives of Orange County” 9 p.m. Bravo (15th season debut) — Documenting the highs and lows in the ladies' lives from February to August 2020 with self-shot footage during quarantine.
“Sistas” 9 p.m. BET (second season debut) — The season was shot in July without incident in a lockdown at Tyler Perry Studios.
“The Con”10:02 p.m. ABC (new series) — Hosted by Whoopi Goldberg, this series will take viewers inside some big cases of fraud, how people were fooled, and the cost of their mistrust.
“Freedia Got a Gun” 3:01 a.m. Peacock — A documentary about hip-hop star Big Freedia’s focus on gun violence.
“The Power of We: A Sesame Street Special” 3:01 a.m. HBO Max — This defines racism for younger viewers and shows how it can be hurtful.
“Social Distance” 3:01 a.m. Netflix — Filmed in isolation, this narrative anthology series features both dark and funny takes on how people strive to stay connected while staying apart.
“Star Trek: Discovery” 3:01 a.m. CBS All Access (third season debut) —U.S.S. Discovery crew lands in an unknown future far from the home they once knew.
“The West Wing” 3:01 a.m. HBO Max — For the first time in 17 years, the cast will do a stage presentation of a 2002 episode supporting When We All Vote, a non-profit, nonpartisan organization co-chaired by Michelle Obama.
“Connecting...”'8 p.m. NBC — Pradeep’s struggle to procure a suitable dinner for his picky children reveals some deeper issues among the group. Annie’s online shopping spree results in a surprising delivery.
“Supernatural” 8 p.m. the CW — Castiel and Jack work a case involving members of a local church.
“Time” 3:01 a.m. Amazon — An intimate portrait of mass incarceration in America,
“What the Constitution Means to Me” 3:01 a.m Amazon — Heidi Schreck recreates the speeches and debates about the Constitution she performed at American Legion halls as a teenager in order to raise money for college, while commenting on her experience from her current perspective, and weaving in the ways the document affected her family history.
“Clouds” 3:01 a.m. Disney+ — Teenager Zach Sobiech forms the music group A Firm Handshake and records the inspirational hit single “Clouds.”
“Dream Home Makeover” 3:01 a.m. Netflix (new series) — Dreams come true for real families looking for the perfect home tailored to their own unique style, thanks to Shea and Syd McGee of Studio McGee.
“Grand Army” 3:01 a.m. Netflix (new series) — Five students at the largest public high school in Brooklyn take on a chaotic world as they fight to succeed, survive, break free and seize the future.
“The Trial of the Chicago 7” 3:01 a.m. Netflix — What was supposed to be a peaceful protest turned into a violent clash with the police. What followed was one of the most notorious trials in history.
“The Perfect Weapon” 8 p.m. HBO — Explores the rise of cyber conflict as the primary way nations now compete with and sabotage one another.
“Shark Tank” 8 p.m. ABC (12th season debut) — A father and his 15-year-old son share their solution for storing paint efficiently.
“Undercover Boss” 9 p.m. CBS — The Club Med CEO takes part in the show.
“Bad Hombres” 9 p.m. Showtime — Bad Hombres follows the Tecolotes de los Dos Laredos, the world’s only binational pro baseball team, during a staggering low point in U.S.-Mexico border relations.
“David Byrne’s American Utopia” 8 p.m. Saturday Lifetime — The Talking Heads frontman’s critically acclaimed Broadway show to HBO in a one-of-a-kind film directed by Oscar and Emmy-winner Spike Lee.
"Saturday Night Live” 11:29 p.m. Saturday NBC — Issa Rae hosts; Justin Bieber performs.
“America’s Funniest Home Videos” 7 p.m. Sunday ABC (31st season debut) — Don’t miss the hazards of working from home, including teachers being interrupted in funny ways while trying to teach virtually, parents attempting the “Toddler Temptation Challenge” and the funny things kids imitate after watching their parents.
“Supermarket Sweep” 8 p.m. Sunday ABC (new series) — Leslie Jones hosts a new version of this classic show.
“The Trouble With Maggie Cole” 8 p.m. Sunday GPB (new series) — See what happens when idle gossip escalates out of control and starts to affect people’s lives. Set in a picturesque fishing village, the series centers on Maggie Cole, the self-appointed oracle of this close-knit community.
“Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” 9 p.m. ABC (12th season debut) — Tiffany Haddish is in the hot seat.
“Fear the Walking Dead” 9 p.m. Sunday AMC — Virginia forces Alicia and Strand to clear an unusual walker threat.
"The Good Lord Bird″ 9 p.m. Sunday Showtime — After the battle in Pikesville, John Brown, now one of the most wanted men in America, heads north with Onion to raise funds for the abolitionist cause.
"Lovecraft Country″ 9 p.m. Sunday HBO (first season finale) — The only info right now is the title “Full Circle.”
“The Vow” 10 p.m. Sunday HBO (first season finale) — HBO provided no info on the finale as of this writing.
"Fargo″ 10 p.m. Sunday FX — Josto strikes back, Ethelrida does the right thing, Loy finds himself against the ropes and Deafy shakes the tree.
“The Walking Dead: The World Beyond” 10:06 p.m. Sunday AMC — Burdened by their pasts, members of the group adopt opposing strategies for dealing with a massive obstacle; pressure is put on the group to return home.
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.