The Top 5 TV Stories for the Week of March 20

The return of 'Empire,' the start of PaleyFest and Rihanna checks into 'Bates.'
Jean Whiteside/FOX

Welcome to This Week in TV. In a bid to help prioritize from all the events, premieres, big episodes and finales, The Hollywood Reporter's eagle-eyed TV team every Monday will take a closer look at what to expect from the week ahead — and provide helpful links and context for each. Here's a handy primer for the events that will likely take over the headlines in the week ahead. 

PaleyFest 2017, Now Through March 26 

The annual Paley Festival for Television kicked off Friday at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood with panels for AMC's The Walking Dead as well as The CW's superhero shows, NBC's This Is Us and ABC's Grey's Anatomy over the weekend. The fan-driven festival continues this week with panels featuring James Corden, Westworld and Scandal before wrapping Sunday with American Horror Story. Look for full coverage from Lesley Goldberg and Kate Stanhope on The Live Feed. Click here for full PaleyFest coverage and here for this year's schedule.

A Former Pro-Dancer Competes on Dancing With the Stars, 8 p.m., Monday

Heather Morris, best known for playing a clueless cheerleader on Glee, was actually a backup dancer for Beyonce before being cast on the Fox phenomenon. Can Morris, who memorably appeared behind Beyonce during her 2008 Saturday Night Live "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" performance, among others, take home the show's Mirrorball trophy? Morris' competition includes Olympic gymnast Simone Biles, figure-skating icon Nancy Kerrigan and…Mr. T. Click here for what Dancing exec producers Joe Sungkur and Ashley Edens told THR's Brian Porreca about how the field stacks up this season.

Rihanna Checks in to A&E's Bates Motel, 10 p.m., Monday

Bates Motel superfan Rihanna makes her long-awaited debut as Marion Crane, the character played by Janet Leigh in Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 classic Psycho, during Monday's episode. Will A&E's prequel series drench RiRi with blood in the shower a la Hitchcock or could it veer in a different direction? THR contributor Amber Dowling spoke with showrunners Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin about the singer-actress' arc and will have full coverage of Marion's fate. 

NBC's Summer Press Day, Monday

The network, which just unveiled its summer premiere dates, is coming armed and ready to the Beverly Hilton. Panels include Marlon Wayans' first-year comedy Marlon, the supernatural drama Midnight, Texas based on the book by True Blood author Charlaine Harris and returning critical gem The Carmichael Show. Other notable additions include Jennifer Lopez's dance competition show and USA Network's forthcoming psychological thriller The Sinner, starring and exec produced by Jessica Biel. Look for full coverage from Stanhope and Porreca on The Live Feed.

Empire Returns and Shots Fired Launches, 8 p.m., Wednesday

Fox's Wednesday lineup undergoes a major makeover with the midseason return of Empire and the series premiere of the cop drama Shots Fired. The former returns after a lengthy three-month hiatus, but armed with a slew of A-list guest stars including Demi Moore and Eva Longoria. And Shots Fired has an impressive pedigree of its own. The topical limited series boasts Helen Hunt, Richard Dreyfuss and a praised turn by star Sanaa Lathan, as well as creators Gina Prince-Bythewood and Reggie Rock Bythewood (Love and Basketball). Will it be able to grab the same awards love as ABC's American Crime? Check out Daniel Fienberg's review here.

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