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The home stretch of the seemingly endless presidential campaign begins in the week of Aug. 17. So do the NBA playoffs, which have are starting about 3 1/2 months later than usual. Netflix’s Lucifer begins a new — but not final, yet — season on Netflix, and HBO Max gets into the stand-up comedy game. 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
The Nov. 3 presidential election is less than 80 days away, and the heavy-duty campaigning kicks off with the Democratic National Convention, which runs Monday through Thursday in Milwaukee (and locations around the country, as no one is packing a convention hall during a pandemic). There will be tons of TV coverage, including an hour each night on ABC, CBS and NBC, starting at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. PBS will devote all of primetime each night, and the cable news networks will offer heavy coverage as well (full nights on CNN and MSNBC and the 10 p.m. hour on Fox News). The Late Show With Stephen Colbert will also go live Monday through Thursday on CBS.
Also on broadcast …
Honestly? Aside from the handful of ongoing summer shows, now much is new. The lone premiere for the week is Dead Pixels (8 p.m. Tuesday, The CW), a British import comedy about three friends and their obsession with a World of Warcraft-like game.
On cable …
New: Miniseries Love in the Time of Corona (8 p.m. Saturday, Freeform) was shot in the homes of its cast, but it’s not a glorified Zoom call. Because the actors for the most part were already living together, intimate scenes were possible, and the production value is top notch. Two half-hour episodes air Saturday, and the remaining two follow on Aug. 23.
Sports: After concluding its regular season in its Orlando bubble, the NBA begins its postseason Monday, and the first round will be a hoops junkie’s delight: Every day will feature four games, starting at 12:30 p.m. ET and spread across ESPN, TNT and NBA TV (ABC will also air a few games on the weekend). With no travel days, the first round will also play out more quickly than usual. Each series will play every other day.
Sports? Though it sounds like a sequel to the 2004 movie, Dodgeball Thunderdome (9 p.m. Wednesday, Discovery) is in fact a new competition series. Hosted by YouTuber David Dobrik, Erin Lim and former NFL player Andrew Hawkins, the show combines the gym-class game with a Wipeout-style obstacle course.
Also: Amy Schumer Learns to Cook some more at 10 p.m. Monday on Food Network; I Quit (10 p.m. Tuesday, Discovery) follows entrepreneurs who give up their day jobs; Growing Belushi (10 p.m. Wednesday, Discovery) profiles James Belushi’s Oregon cannabis farm; RuPaul’s Drag Race: Vegas Revue (8 p.m. Friday, VH1) follows several queens working to mount a Las Vegas stage show; Elena of Avalor ends its run with the special “Coronation Day” (7 p.m. Sunday, Disney Junior); HBO delves into the NXIVM cult with docuseries The Vow (10 p.m. Aug. 23).
On streaming …
Returning: Lucifer begins its fifth season on Netflix Friday. Once upon a time — back in June 2019 — it was intended as the final season of the show. The streamer then had second thoughts, however, and decided to continue the show for a sixth run after showrunners Ildy Modrovich and Joe Henderson and the cast signed up for one more go. So however this season ends, there’s more to come.
Stand-up comedy: HBO built its brand in part on stand-up, and its namesake streaming service, HBO Max, will take the first swing at the space this week. Individual sets from Rose Matafeo, Beth Stelling and James Veitch and multi-act special HA Comedy Festival: The Art of Comedy, hosted by Anjelah Johnson, debut Thursday.
New: Docuseries High Score (Wednesday, Netflix) dives into the history of video games; animated series Hoops (Friday, Netflix) stars Jake Johnson as a foul-mouthed high school basketball coach who thinks reversing his losing program’s fortunes will be his ticket to the big time.
In case you missed it …
Teenage Bounty Hunters is in some respects exactly what it says it is: Twin teenage girls (Maddie Phillips and Anjelica Bette Fellini) take side jobs bringing in bail skippers for a veteran agent (Kadeem Hardison). But the dramedy, set largely in a private Christian high school, also “exhibits far more heart than anyone would reasonably expect,” writes THR critic Inkoo Kang. It’s streaming on Netflix.
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