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The week of Oct. 19 brings the last televised presidential debate of the 2020, several high-profile movies premiering on streaming platforms, a bit more normalcy on the broadcast networks in the form of several season premieres — and the start of the holiday movie season, two months before Christmas.
In short, it’s a pretty busy week on the TV calendar. 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
After last week’s dueling candidate town halls following a canceled second debate, Donald Trump and Joe Biden are scheduled to meet up for their final debate of the campaign, 12 days before Election Day (though millions of people have already voted, either in person or by mail). It’s scheduled for 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT Thursday and will run on the Big Four broadcast networks, PBS, C-SPAN and a host of cable outlets.
Also on broadcast …
A handful of veteran network series make their debuts this week, ahead of a bigger rush of premieres in late October and November. The Voice kicks off its 19th cycle at 8 p.m. Monday on NBC. On Wednesday, three fourths of ABC’s comedy block debuts with an hour-long premiere of The Goldbergs at 8 p.m., followed by The Conners at 9 and Black-ish at 9:30.
On streaming …
Very nice! Fourteen years after Sacha Baron Cohen unleashed Borat on unsuspecting Americans, he revives his ignorant Kazakh for a new movie. Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan brings Borat (and his daughter, played by Irina Nowak) back to the U.S. for more hijinks. It premieres Friday on Amazon.
More movies: The week brings several high-profile streaming premieres, including a remake of Rebecca (Wednesday, Netflix), Sofia Coppola’s On the Rocks (Friday, Apple TV+), Sundance horror favorite Bad Hair (Friday, Hulu) and Bruce Springsteen’s Letter to You (Friday, Apple TV+), a documentary about the recording of his latest album.
New: The Queen’s Gambit (Friday, Netflix) stars Anya Taylor-Joy as an orphaned chess prodigy who in the 1950s tries to work her way up to becoming a grandmaster, while struggling with addiction. Scott Frank (Godless, Logan) executive produces.
Also new: HBO Max chronicles the LGBTQ civil rights movement in Equal (Thursday), mixing archival footage with actors including Samira Wiley, Sara Gilbert, Anthony Rapp and Cheyenne Jackson (among others) portraying key figures in the movement.
Returning: New episodes of Unsolved Mysteries (Monday, Netflix), David Letterman’s My Next Guest Needs No Introduction (Wednesday, Netflix) and game show The Big Fib (Friday, Disney+) debut this week.
On cable …
Tis the season? Apparently so, as both Lifetime and Hallmark have Christmas movies on the air this weekend. Lifetime kicks things off Friday with Christmas on Ice (8 p.m.) and Hallmark’s Jingle Bell Bride premieres at 8 p.m. Saturday. while Hallmark Movies and Mysteries has Christmas Tree Lane at 9 p.m. Saturday.
New: HBO premieres a trio of new programs: Documentary 537 Votes (9 p.m. Wednesday) takes a fresh look at the 2000 Florida recount. How to With John Wilson (11 p.m. Friday) follows the filmmaker around New York; and limited series The Undoing (9 p.m. Oct. 25) reunites Big Little Lies star Nicole Kidman and writer David E. Kelley (and throws in Hugh Grant for good measure).
Awards: The delayed CMT Awards — initially set for early June — are set to air at 8 p.m. Wednesday on, naturally, CMT. Kane Brown, Sarah Hyland and Ashley McBryde share hosting duties.
Returning: New seasons are on the way for The Misery Index (10:30 Tuesday, TBS) and The Eric Andre Show (midnight Oct. 25, Adult Swim).
In case you missed it …
Though its pacing is “sludgy,” according to THR critic Inkoo Kang, high school drama Grand Army also lets several members of its cast — notably Odley Jean and Odessa A’zion — “shine” by delving deeply into their characters. It’s streaming on Netflix.
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