12:00pm PT by Rick Porter
This Week in TV: HBO Max Debuts, 'Space Force,' 'America's Got Talent'
A new player in the streaming wars makes its debut in the week of May 25, as HBO Max marks WarnerMedia's entry into the race. It's not the only thing launching as the summer season kicks into gear, however: A host of broadcast series begin their runs, Netflix's high-profile Space Force takes off and a pair of miniseries kick off on Memorial Day.
Here is The Hollywood Reporter's rundown of some of the coming week's highlights. It would be next to impossible to watch everything, but let THR point the way to worthy options each week. All times are ET/PT unless noted.
The Big Show
HBO Max brings another media conglomerate — WarnerMedia — into the streaming game. The company is betting on the power of the HBO name and a deep library of shows from across WarnerMedia's library — everything from Friends to The O.C. to Game of Thrones, along with all of HBO's current output.
Launch day on Wednesday will also feature a handful of originals, including the rom-com anthology Love Life, starring Anna Kendrick; the feature documentary On the Record; the ballroom competition Legendary; and The Not Too Late Show, a talk show hosted by Sesame Street's Elmo. A trailer for Love Life is below.
Also on streaming …
The Office creator Greg Daniels and star Steve Carell team again for Space Force (Friday, Netflix), a comedy inspired by President Donald Trump's edict to create a sixth branch of the military. John Malkovich, Lisa Kudrow, Ben Schwartz and Jimmy O. Yang also star. Plus: Hannah Gadsby follows up her breakout Nanette with a new special, Douglas (Tuesday, Netflix); the docuseries Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich premieres Wednesday on Netflix; the critically hailed Ramy returns for season two Friday on Hulu; the animated series Central Park, from Josh Gad and Bob's Burgers veterans Loren Bouchard and Nora Smith, premieres Friday on Apple TV+; and Phil Rosenthal seeks more culinary adventure in a new season of Somebody Feed Phil (Friday, Netflix).
On broadcast …
Returning: The first episodes of America's Got Talent (8 p.m. Tuesday) were filmed before the coronavirus pandemic stopped production in mid-March. For the time being, then, NBC's flagship summer show will look like it usually does, albeit with new judge Sofia Vergara and the returning Heidi Klum joining Simon Cowell and Howie Mandel. What happens after those initial installments remains to be seen.
Also returning: A host of veteran summer series start their 2020 runs, including The Titan Games (8 p.m. Monday, NBC), World of Dance (10 p.m. Tuesday, NBC), and the ABC Sunday trio of Celebrity Family Feud, Press Your Luck and Match Game (starting at 8 p.m. May 31).
Final season: With the Marvel Cinematic Universe it was once (tangentially) tied to now on pause, Agents of SHIELD begins its seventh and final season at 10 p.m. Wednesday on ABC with an episode that opens with the agents in New York in 1931.
New: The documentary series The Genetic Detective, produced by ABC News, follows the work of investigative genetic genealogist CeCe Moore as she uses DNA to trace the family trees of criminal suspects and reveal their identities. Game On (8 p.m. Wednesday, CBS) features Venus Williams and Rob Gronkowski leading teams of athletes and celebs in over-the-top physical competition. Keegan-Michael Key hosts.
Special: With salons and barber shops still closed in many parts of the country, CBS presents Haircut Night in America (8 p.m. Friday). Hosted by Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O'Connell, the hour will have top stylists guiding the likes of Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn and Kelly Osbourne, as well as front line health care workers, through a DIY haircut, color and style.
On cable …
New: Based on Annie Proulx's novel, the limited series Barkskins (9 p.m. Monday, National Geographic) follows the lives of several people — from indentured servants to wealthy landowners — in 17th century French Canada. THR critic Inkoo Kang says the series is "crowded with scheming characters but thin on reasons to care about them," although the natural beauty of the show's setting helps.
Also new: History's three-night documentary Grant (9 p.m. Monday) recounts the life of Ulysses S. Grant; Questlove's Potluck (10 p.m. Thursday, Food Network) has the Tonight Show bandleader and Roots drummer cooking for socially distanced friends; Quiz (10 p.m. May 31, AMC) dramatizes a scandal on the British version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire; Laurel Canyon (10 p.m. May 31, Epix) chronicles the singer-songwriter movement of the 1970s and its heart in the titular L.A. neighborhood.
In case you missed it …
Restlessness during stay-at-home orders helped lead to Mythic Quest: Quarantine, an episode of the Apple series that features the characters struggling with work and home life under lockdown and was shot (using 40 iPhones) and edited all remotely. It also features a storyline about a fundraiser that the show's cast, crew and producers have replicated in real life, with $600,000 raised so far. The episode is streaming on Apple TV+.