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This Week in TV: ‘The Simpsons,’ ‘Midnight Mass,’ ‘Great British Baking Show’

The Hollywood Reporter
The Hollywood Reporter
 2021-09-23
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"The Star of Backstage" episode of 'The Simpsons.' Courtesy of 20th Television

The rollout of the 2021-22 TV season continues in the coming week, with the two longest-running shows on network TV — The Simpsons and Law & Order: SVU — both opening new seasons. The creator of Netflix’s Haunting series has a new show on the streamer, and on the opposite end of the creepy/comfy spectrum, a new season of The Great British Baking Show begins. The long-delayed Tony Awards also get a slot, albeit (mostly) in a new home.

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 Simpsons has been on so long — this season is its 33rd, the longest run for any scripted show on a broadcast network — without its characters aging, that it periodically resets its timeline. Sunday’s season premiere (8 p.m., Fox) is one of those times. The episode is a musical about Marge restaging her high school play (where she was, naturally, the stage manager) 20 years later. The play’s title? Y2K: The Millennium Bug.

The episode features songs by Elisabeth Kiernan Averick and Jack Dolgen (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) and guest performances from Kristen Bell and Sara Chase.

Also on broadcast …

The season and series premieres in the coming week are Law & Order: SVU and L&O: Organized Crime (8 and 10 p.m. Thursday, NBC); Dateline (9 p.m. Friday, NBC); The Great North, Bob’s Burgers and Family Guy (8:30, 9 and 9:30 p.m. Sunday, Fox); Celebrity Wheel of Fortune, Supermarket Sweep and The Rookie (8, 9 and 10 p.m. Sunday, ABC); The Good Doctor (10 p.m. Monday, ABC); and newcomer La Brea (9 p.m. Tuesday, NBC). The Tony Awards will mostly run on a streaming outlet (see below), but the night’s final awards will be part of CBS’ Broadway’s Back special (9 p.m. Sunday), which features a host of performances from productions that are restarting. The season finale of Big Brother is set for 9 p.m. Wednesday on CBS.

On streaming …

New: Midnight Mass, from creator Mike Flanagan (The Haunting of Hill House and follow-up Bly Manor), will probably not be to everyone’s taste, as it marries its scares with lots of long, talky scenes about grief and addiction. “I found it consistently committed and admirably bonkers, even when it tested my patience,” writes THR critic Daniel Fienberg. “Whatever your reactions to the show happen to be, and some people are going to absolutely hate it, those reactions will come from a very personal and primal place.” It premieres Friday on Netflix.

Also: As mentioned above, most of the Tony Awards ceremony — honoring the 2019-20 Broadway season, the last before the pandemic — will stream exclusively on Paramount+, with the live telecast starting at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT Sunday. The week also brings new seasons of Doom Patrol (Thursday, HBO Max), Creepshow (Thursday, Shudder) and The Great British Baking Show (Friday, Netflix) and the final season of legal drama Goliath (Friday, Amazon). Apple TV+ also debuts its adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s Foundation on Friday.

On cable …

New: Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson has amassed a host of TV producing credits in recent years, including Starz’s Power franchise (he also was a cast regular in the flagship series) and ABC’s drama For Life. His latest effort is BMF (9 p.m. Sunday, Starz), which dramatizes the true story of two brothers in 1980s Detroit who set their sights beyond the drug trade and into the world of hip-hop.

Also: TNT expands its AEW programming with docuseries Rhodes to the Top (10 p.m. Wednesday), following the promotion’s first couple, Cody and Brandi Rhodes. Bravo debuts a new season of Vanderpump Rules at 9 p.m. Tuesday.

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