Good Monday morning! The biggest television event of the year is on next Sunday, that rare time when tens of millions of people watch the same show: I’m referring to the Super Bowl, of course, though Fox is hoping we’ll also be talking about The Masked Singer, which has received the coveted spot after the game, building on its success from last year (it easily beat Survivor head-to-head throughout the fall).
There are other shows premiering, too, though only Animal Planet is premiering reality TV on Sunday night, opposite the Super Bowl—a show that’ll have Animal Planet’s Super Bowl, The Puppy Bowl, as a lead-in.
This week’s reality TV highlights
The Super Bowl LIV airs on Sunday from Miami, as the San Francisco 49ers face off against the Kansas City Chiefs on Fox.
Of course, the real contest starts after it—and we don’t know who’s competing. That’s because it’s The Masked Singer season three.
The new season will air its first episode on Sunday, and then move back into its normal timeslot (Wednesdays at 8), where it’ll air opposite Survivor: Winners at War when the CBS show returns a few weeks later.
Several beloved TV series are ending forever this week: NBC’s The Good Place, which has really recovered from its season-three slump and perked up for its final arc, Netflix’s BoJack Horseman, and The CW’s Arrow.
Also concluding is Joe Kenda’s ID reality series, Homicide Hunter: Lt. Joe Kenda, which ends forever (ID, Wednesday at 9) after nine seasons, with an episode titled “The End.”
When I interviewed him before this finale season premiered, Lt. Joe Kenda told me why he decided to end the show—and also what he’ll do next.
The finale focuses on cases that led Kenda to retire, and includes interviews with his wife, Kathy Kenda, and children, Dan and Kris. It’ll also explore what he talked to me about: how talking about cases on television helped him process.
Also premiering this week
The Biggest Loser makes its return to television this week (USA Network, Tuesdays at 9). The question for me is this: Should it be returning? Considering what happened last time? (I’ll have more in-depth reporting on its return on Tuesday.)
Bravo has Project Runway, Amazon has Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn’s new fashion competition Making the Cut coming later this spring, and Netflix will soon have its own version of a fashion competition.
It’s called Next in Fashion (Netflix, Friday), and it’s hosted by Queer Eye’s Tan France and fashion designer/model/TV host Alexa Chung.
YouTuber Coyote Peterson returns with Coyote Peterson: Brave the Wild (Animal Planet, Sundays at 9), on which he travels around the world to “share incredible animal experiences,” according to the network.
Returning for new seasons:
- I Am Jazz (TLC, Tuesdays at 9)
- Miz and Mrs (USA, Wednesdays at 10)
In murder TV:
- I Am A Killer (Netflix, Friday) has interviews with people on death row who talk about the crimes they committed
- Ted Bundy: Falling for a Killer (Amazon, Friday) tells the story of the serial killer from the perspective of women; Amazon says it focuses on “the disturbing and profound way in which his pathological hatred of women collided with the culture wars and feminist movement of the 1970s”
Cameras go behind the scenes for the recording of Justin Bieber’s new album and his private life in Justin Bieber: Seasons (YouTube, Monday).
Another week, another new natural history documentary series: Night On Earth (Netflix, Wednesday) takes place—you guessed it—at night.
The next 30 for 30 documentary is Vick, and it will air over two weeks (ESPN, Tuesday, Jan. 30 and Feb. 6, at 9). ESPN says it’s “a comprehensive look back at each chapter of former NFL quarterback Michael Vick’s saga: the incredible rise, shocking fall, and polarizing return.”
The First Rainbow Coalition (PBS, Monday, Jan. 27 at 10) tells the story of very different organizations—the Chicago Black Panther Party, the Latino Young Lords Organization, and the Southern and very white Young Patriots—came together in Chicago to address problems they all faced.
The Poison Squad (PBS, Tuesday, Jan. 28, at 9) is based on the book of the same name that profiles a chemist named Dr. Harvey Wiley, who, in 1902, set up experiments on humans to see if chemical additives in food were poisoning people.