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A critically acclaimed limited series with a powerhouse cast, a multi-network telethon to help those affected by the coronavirus and a number of season premieres across all platforms highlight a busy seven days in television for the week of April 13.
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
Mrs. America tells the story of the pitched battle over the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s, with anti-ERA activist Phyllis Schlafly at its center. Cate Blanchett plays Schlafly, and the crazy-deep cast also includes Elizabeth Banks, Sarah Paulson, Rose Byrne, Uzo Aduba, Margo Martindale, John Slattery, James Marsden and Melanie Lynskey.
THR critic Inkoo Kang says the limited series, created by Dahvi Waller (Halt and Catch Fire, Mad Men), is a “tremendously executed balancing act” between laying out the historical context of the fight over the ERA and making its subjects seem like real people and not names from a textbook. The first three episodes debut Wednesday on FX on Hulu, with subsequent installments coming weekly.
Also on streaming …
New: Netflix’s comedy #BlackAF (Friday) comes from Black-ish creator Kenya Barris, and it might be best described as a mix of the ABC show and Curb Your Enthusiasm, with a dash of The Office. Barris plays a version of himself, with Rashida Jones as his wife and one of his daughters filming a documentary about the family.
Also new: The docuseries Innocence Files and the YA drama Outer Banks both premiere Wednesday on Netflix. Friday brings the dating show Too Hot to Handle — in which the contestants can’t do anything romantic or sexual, lest the prize money pot shrink — to Netflix, along with the unscripted series Home (featuring innovative abodes around the world) and the animated Earth Day special Here We Are, featuring the voices of Meryl Streep and Chris O’Dowd, both on Apple TV+.
Returning: Bosch, Amazon’s longest-running original, debuts its sixth season on Friday. It’s based on Michael Connelly’s novels The Overlook and Dark Sacred Night.
On broadcast …
Special: Late-night stalwarts Jimmy Kimmel, Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Fallon will jointly host One World: Together at Home (from their homes) at 8 p.m. Saturday on ABC, CBS and NBC (MTV, YouTube, Amazon and other outlets will also carry it). The special will feature performances and appearances by Alanis Morrissette, Andrea Bocelli, Kacey Musgraves, Elton John, Lizzo and others and raise funds to support the World Health Organization and front-line health care workers during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Also: ABC will present the Disney Family Singalong at 8 p.m. Thursday, with the likes of Christina Aguilera, Auli’i Cravalho, Kristin Chenoweth, Josh Gad and many more leading viewers in beloved songs from the Disney catalog.
New: ABC debuts a pair of shows on Monday: The Bachelor: Listen to Your Heart (8 p.m.) brings together 20 singles who will try to “find love through music.” At 10 p.m., the dramedy The Baker and the Beauty follows the whirlwind relationship between a baker (Victor Rasuk) and a supermodel (Nathalie Kelley) who fall for one another.
Returning: The second season of Songland debuts at 10 p.m. Monday on NBC; season two of The CW’s In the Dark premieres at 9 p.m. Thursday.
Finales: The season ends for NBC’s New Amsterdam (9 p.m. Tuesday) and all three of its Chicago dramas on Wednesday (8 p.m. for Med, 9 p.m. for Fire and 10 p.m. for PD). All four shows cut their seasons short when production shut down due to the pandemic.
On cable …
New: In the absence of live sports, ESPN is relying heavily on its library of documentaries to help fill programming time. The sports giant has moved up the premiere of its heavily anticipated docuseries The Last Dance from early summer to April 19 at 9 p.m. The 10-part series, airing over five weeks, chronicles Michael Jordan’s final season with the Chicago Bulls.
Also new: Josh Hartnett and Bridget Regan star in Paradise Lost, the latest series from Spectrum Originals. They play a couple who move to his hometown in Mississippi and uncover shameful secrets that change the lives of everyone involved.
Special: Sesame Workshop presents a primetime special, Elmo’s Playdate, featuring the Sesame Street character, his Muppet friends and guests Lin-Manuel Miranda, Tracee Ellis Ross and Anne Hathaway. It airs at 7 p.m. Tuesday on HBO, TNT, TBS, Cartoon Network, TruTV and Boomerang.
Returning: New seasons kick off for American Dad (10 p.m. Monday, TBS), Deadliest Catch (8 p.m. Tuesday, Discovery), The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (9 p.m. Wednesday, Bravo) and What We Do in the Shadows (10 p.m. Wednesday, FX).
In case you missed it…
Before it became an Emmy-winning phenomenon, Fleabag was a one-woman show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. A 2019 filmed performance of Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s show is available to rent on Amazon for $5, with proceeds going to charities supporting people affected by COVID-19.
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