What’s on TV This Week: ‘Lovecraft Country’ and the Billboard Music Awards


Between network, cable and streaming, the modern television landscape is a vast one. Here are some of the shows, specials and movies coming to TV Oct. 12-18. Details and times are subject to change.

SHREK (2001) 5 p.m. on Freeform. This modern fairy tale — which has since been spun into a full blown franchise with its own Broadway musical — stars Mike Myers as the voice of the title ogre. Shrek, a crabby and “onionlike” antihero, journeys out of his swamp to save Fiona (voiced by Cameron Diaz), a princess who’s trapped in a dragon-guarded tower. “It at once paid tribute to the fairy tale and deconstructed it,” Mr. Myers said in an interview with The New York Times. “It also did one great move, which is, the traditional villain of a fairy tale is now going to be the hero.”

ANT-MAN AND THE WASP (2018) 8 p.m. on TNT. Part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this movie stars Paul Rudd as Scott Lang (who’s more commonly known as his tiny alter ego, Ant-Man). “An engaging goof that resists bludgeoning you with bigness and instead settles for good vibes and jokes,” Manohla Dargis wrote in her review for The Times. “Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! [Squints.] It’s a surprisingly enjoyable summer romp!”

FINDING YOUR ROOTS 8 p.m. on PBS (check local listings). The sixth season of Henry Louis Gates Jr.’s acclaimed show takes viewers on a deep dive into the ancestors of the fashion world. This premiere features three style luminaries: Diane von Furstenberg, Narciso Rodriguez and RuPaul Charles.

WOMEN MAKE FILM: A NEW ROAD MOVIE THROUGH CINEMA 8 p.m. on TCM. The seventh installment of Mark Cousins’ 14-part documentary, which explores 100 movies from female filmmakers throughout history, focuses on sex and the body.

2020 BILLBOARD MUSIC AWARDS 8 p.m. on NBC. Rescheduled from April, the Billboard Music Awards brings back Kelly Clarkson to host for a third year. Live performances will include ones by Doja Cat, Alicia Keys, Bad Bunny, BTS, Luke Combs, En Vogue, Demi Lovato, Sia, Post Malone, Kane Brown, Swae Lee, Khalid and Saint Jhn.

THE AMAZING RACE 9 p.m. on CBS. Eleven new teams embark on a journey around the world in Season 32 of this Emmy Award-winning series, competing for a $1 million prize. Phil Keoghan returns to host.

THE CON 10 p.m. on ABC. Narrated by Whoopi Goldberg, this new true-crime series pieces together scams and cons with interviews from victims, eyewitnesses, law enforcement and — at times — the criminals themselves. Each episode will piece together a new con, including the high-profile scammer Dr. Paolo Macchiarini and the infamous Fyre Festival.

Credit…Peter Iovino/Columbia Tr-Star Pictures

THE CRAFT (1996) 8:30 p.m. on Freeform. A horror classic, “The Craft” follows a coven of snarky teenage witches. But as Nancy (Fairuza Balk), Bonnie (Neve Campbell), Rochelle (Rachel True) and Laura (Christine Taylor) toy with the fabric of their lives, things begin to unravel. “As the witchcraft escalates,” Stephen Holden wrote in his review for The Times, “the movie exchanges its psychological acuity for garish special effects that hammer home a ponderous warning to once and future witches: Be good or else.”

MILEY CYRUS BACKYARD SESSIONS 7 p.m. on MTV. Miley Cyrus combines her popular, stripped down “Backyard Sessions” with MTV’s “Unplugged” for this special. Along with covers of Britney Spears’s “Gimme More” and songs by Pearl Jam and The Cardigans, Cyrus will be performing acoustic versions of her own songs, including her new single “Midnight Sky.”

SHARK TANK 8 p.m. on ABC. Entrepreneurs take to the pitching floor again in the 12th season of this reality show. Daymond John, Barbara Corcoran, Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, Kevin O’Leary and Robert Herjavec return to judge.

BAD HOMBRES 9 p.m. on Showtime. This new series follows the Tecolotes de los Dos Laredos, the world’s only binational pro baseball team, as they cross a fraught border traveling to home games between stadiums in Laredo, Texas, and Nuevo Laredo, Mexico.

SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN (1952) 8 p.m. on TCM. This classic stars Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor and Debbie Reynolds as actors who are struggling to adapt as Hollywood shifts from silent films to “talkies.” “If anyone can tell us what all of the nonsense that goes on has to do with the title of the picture, we will buy him a new spring hat,” Bosley Crowther wrote in his review for The Times. “But that doesn’t make any difference, for the nonsense is generally good and at times it reaches the level of first-class satiric burlesque.”

DAVID BYRNE’S AMERICAN UTOPIA (2020) 8 p.m. on HBO. Spike Lee directs this film version of David Byrne’s staged concert “American Utopia,” featuring footage that was recorded during its Broadway run. The Talking Heads frontman dons his classic gray suit and is joined by 11 musicians, singers and dancers (but absolutely no shoes).

THE TROUBLE WITH MAGGIE COLE 8 p.m. on PBS. This British comedy-drama focuses on the a coastal village’s local historian, played by Dawn French. The show kicks off as a radio journalist interviews her and she drunkenly spouts gossip about six figures in the community.

LOVECRAFT COUNTRY 9 p.m. on HBO. The finale of Misha Green’s macabre horror-drama wraps up this season’s journey, which followed Atticus (Jonathan Majors) and Letitia (Jurnee Smollett) through the Jim Crow North. “We shield ourselves a lot from having to step into that true horror because it’s really bad. The art in this genre is that it gives you this doorway because the heroine is going to kill him in the end and win,” Green said in an interview with The Times about the show. “That makes you feel safer than the normal horror that is around us. That is what genre is, at its best: It’s the metaphor on top of the real emotions we all experience.”

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