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A staple of aughts pop culture gets a new look this week when Gossip Girl returns with an update on HBO Max. The coming seven days also feature the return of Shark Week to Discovery, baseball’s All-Star Game and an update of former TNT series Leverage, among other premieres.
Below is The Hollywood Reporter‘s rundown of premieres, returns and specials over the next seven days. It would be next to impossible to watch everything, but let THR point the way to worthy options for the coming week. All times are ET/PT unless noted.
The Big Show
Nine years and change after the original Gossip Girl sent its last “XOXO,” the series gets a new iteration on HBO Max, debuting Thursday, that’s set in the same world (and references some prior characters) but focuses on a new set of privileged kids on New York’s Upper East Side.
The new series features a much more diverse cast than the prior CW series and is run by veterans of the original: Joshua Safran is the showrunner, and creators Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage are executive producers. The series is “half bland rehash … and half perplexing but semi-ambitious premise-overhaul,” THR critic Daniel Fienberg writes, with the young women of the cast (Jordan Alexander, Whitney Peak, Emily Alyn Lind and Tavi Gevinson) again getting the more interesting stories in the early going. Episodes debut weekly.
Also on streaming …
Netflix enters the Resident Evil universe with anime series Infinite Darkness (Thursday). Season two of This Way Up premieres Friday on Hulu, while Netflix has the final run of Atypical and the third season of Hallmark-esque drama Virgin River. Also Friday, IMDb TV rolls out Leverage: Redemption, a continuation of the TNT show featuring much of the original cast plus new addition Noah Wyle.
On cable …
Shark Week: Discovery’s annual programming event kicks off Sunday with a full night of shark-related shows (plus more on streaming service Discovery+). The opening night lineup enlists the Irwins for Crikey, It’s Shark Week! (8 p.m.), followed by Tiffany Haddish Does Shark Week (9 p.m.) and Jackass Shark Week (10 p.m.).
Also: Grown-ish begins its fourth season (8 p.m. Thursday, Freeform). Dark comedy The White Lotus (9 p.m. Sunday, HBO) hails from Enlightened‘s Mike White. Animal Kingdom opens its fifth season (9 p.m. Sunday, TNT). CNN delves into the History of the Sitcom (9 p.m. Sunday). HBO docuseries Catch and Kill: The Podcast Tapes (9 p.m. Monday) expands on Ronan Farrow’s book and podcast about Harvey Weinstein. The third season of Miracle Workers (10:30 p.m. Tuesday, TBS) is subtitled Oregon Trail. Good Trouble (10 p.m. Wednesday, Freeform) returns to finish out its third season.
On broadcast …
Play ball: The annual Major League Baseball All-Star Game (8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT Tuesday, Fox) will feature a player — Shohei Ohtani of the Angels — selected as both a hitter and pitcher for the first time in the game’s history. Ohtani will also take part in the Home Run Derby (8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT Monday, ESPN).
Also: Secret Celebrity Renovation (8 p.m. Friday, CBS) has famous people making over homes of loved ones; Wayne Brady is featured in the premiere. Anthony Mackie hosts the 2021 ESPY Awards (8 p.m. Saturday, ABC). The CW is home to What We Do in the Shadows spinoff Wellington Paranormal (9 p.m. Sunday).
In case you missed it …
Summer of Soul‘s subtitle is (… Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised). The documentary resurrects a trove of footage from the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, a multi-weekend showcase for Black performers ranging from Stevie Wonder to B.B. King to Nina Simone that was filmed for TV but never broadcast. The film, directed by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, also includes remembrances of the festival from not just the performers, but also from several people who attended — providing, as THR critic David Rooney writes, “dazzling evidence of a moment in time that seemingly had been written out of the official story.” It’s streaming on Hulu.
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