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Roughly two months after their usual time — and after a year where moviegoing changed radically — the Oscars are set to air on ABC Sunday. They’re part of a TV slate in the next week that also includes a couple of high-profile streaming premieres and the return of a beloved sketch comedy show.
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
The Oscars are hitting at a time when moviegoing has made its first real steps toward normalcy in more than a year, but Sunday’s ceremony (airing at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on ABC) will be unlike any other in the Academy’s 93-year history.
The show’s producers (Steven Soderbergh, Stacey Sher and Jesse Collins) say they’ll do their best to make the awards — originating from L.A.’s Union Station — look “cinematic,” going so far as to call the on-camera talent a cast rather than presenters. Nomadland, Mank, Promising Young Woman and The Trial of the Chicago 7 are among the leading nominees.
Also on broadcast …
The final dishes on Hell’s Kitchen (8 p.m. Thursday, Fox) are served in its season finales. ABC celebrates a half century of Grover, Big Bird, Elmo and friends with the special Sesame Street: 50 Years of Sunny Days (8 p.m. Monday). President Joe Biden makes his first address to Congress at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT Tuesday, with coverage on the big four broadcast networks, PBS and multiple cable outlets.
On streaming …
New: Shadow and Bone (Friday, Netflix) is an adaptation of Leigh Bardugo’s “Grishaverse” novels, both the titular series and the related Six of Crows books. Viewers not already familiar with the world may feel lost amid the extensive world-building of the series, notes THR critic Daniel Fienberg, but the “comfort of its reliable YA plotting” will likely help.
Earth Day: Several environmentally focused programs debut Thursday, including Cher and the Loneliest Elephant (Paramount+), Life in Color (Netflix) and Secrets of the Whales (Disney+).
Also: Peacock’s comedy Rutherford Falls (Thursday) stars Ed Helms, who also co-created it with Mike Schur and Brooklyn Nine-Nine vet Sierra Teller Ornelas. HBO Max’s scammer docuseries Generation Hustle and competition show Ellen’s Next Great Designer both debut Thursday. Feature film Mortal Kombat hits HBO Max Friday, concurrent with its theatrical release. Season four of The Handmaid’s Tale (Wednesday, Hulu) plots new perils and for June (Elisabeth Moss) and continued fallout for her past acts against the repressive Gilead regime.
On cable …
Returning: A Black Lady Sketch Show was on the verge of filming its second season when the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic shut down production. The show returned to production late last year, and the six-episode season debuts at 11 p.m. Friday on HBO.
Also: The Spirit Awards (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT Thursday, IFC) honor the past year’s best independent films. TLC debuts a new season of 90 Day Fiancé: Happily Ever After? at 8 p.m. Sunday. HGTV adds two new home-renovation shows to its roster on Monday: $50K Three Ways (8 p.m.) and Inside Out (9 p.m.).
In case you missed it …
Big Shot is a show about a disgraced college basketball coach (John Stamos) who sees a shot at redemption when he takes a job at a private girls’ school. It’s neither the broad comedy nor the inspirational drama that setup could employ, writes THR critic Daniel Fienberg. Creator David E. Kelley avoids some of the clichés of this kind of show, but there are gaps in the early episodes that make it less than fully realized. It’s streaming on Disney+, with new episodes weekly.
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