(All times eastern)
Dancing with the Stars – 8 to 10pm on ABC, CTV and Bravo Canada – 21st Season Premiere
This season’s “stars” are Tamar Braxton, Gary Busey, Nick Carter, Paula Deen, Victor Espinoza, Andy Grammer, Hayer Grier, Bindi Irwin, Chaka Khan, Alexa PenaVega, Carlos PeneVega, Alek Skarlatos and Kim Zolciak. As for the partners, Karina Smirnoff is back after taking last season off. After being away for five cycles of the series, Anna Trebunskaya and Louis van Amstel have returned, and Lindsay Arnold is back after a four-season break. Artem Chigvintsev and Kym Johnson are taking this season off, and Peta Murgatroyd has been sidelined by an injury and will have to sit this season out.
Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris – 10pm on NBC and CTV – Series Premiere
NBC and NPH want this to be appointment television, something that you have to watch live or you’ll be out of the loop on what everyone’s talking about the following morning. It’s being done live and anything can happen. It started out with Neil wanting to do an old-style variety series, but then he considered our society’s short attention span and need for constant distraction. Then, he heard about a British series called Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway and decided to adapt it for this side of the pond. Now, it’s not just a variety show, it’s a reality show, a game show, a prank show and a few other kinds of shows that will be revealed in the coming weeks. It will have elements of magic (since he’s a magician and it will have musical performance (to capitalize on his successes hosting The Tony Awards). It’s an ambitious idea, but will people give it a chance? That’s the big question.
The Bastard Executioner – 10pm-12am on FX – Series Premiere
In this historical drama series, life changes forever for 14th-century warrior Wilkin Brattle when a messenger implores him to set aside his sword and lead the life of a journeyman executioner. In a time of rebellion and political upheaval, he must walk the line between protecting his identity and serving a mysterious destiny, guided by mystical healer named Annora. In addition to being under Annora’s control, he is manipulated by Milus Corbett, a devious Chamberlain with political aspirations. Wilkin must traverse political and emotional pitfalls on his way to understanding his greater purpose, all while being driven by an increasing romantic connection with Baroness Lady Love Ventris.
South Park – 10pm on Much – 19th Season Premiere
The season premiere is entitled, “Stunning and Brave”, but that’s all that is known about it. As always, the episodes are completed so close to release date (to capitalize on its occasional timeliness) that creators Matt and Trey probably don’t know much more than that either. (Just sort-of kidding.)
Moonbeam City – 10:30 on Much – Series Premiere
This animated comedy parody of Miami Vice-type police shows stars the voices of Rob Lowe, Elizabeth Banks, Kata Mara and Will Forte. Lowe is an idiotic detective who usually ends up committing more crimes than the criminals he’s after.
We Have Issues – 10:30pm pn E! – Series Premiere
In E!’s continuing effort to find a companion show for its other comedy infotainment show, The Soup, this tryout series stars comedians Julian McCullough and Annie Lederman who discuss the week’s entertainment news with other guest comedians. Good luck, guys. Whatever you end up putting on the air has to be better than The Comment Section (which mercifully ended in the same time slot last week).
Empire marathon – 11am to 11pm on FX
If you haven’t seen this past season’s breakout network hit, you can catch up with the exciting and outrageous exploits of the Lyon family. Picture the family dynamic of the Ewings of Dallas, the opulence and over-the-top-ness of the Carringtons of Dynasty and set it all to a hip-hop beat. I was a skeptic when it first premiered, but while I expected my eyes to roll, they widened with excitement during each passing episode. You just have to see it for yourself, and I recommend that you do!
That’s it for this week, but NEXT week, the new fall broadcast TV season begins, and there will be plenty of new stuff to see! I’ll try to have the details posted by Friday night, so you can start planning early! Happy viewing, everyone!