The next series in Marvel’s Disney franchise features hits this week when The Falcon and The Winter Soldier debut. The next installment in National Geographic’s Genius anthology, which focuses on Aretha Franklin, will also premiere over the next seven days, along with Roku’s first original series and the return of the NCAA basketball tournaments one year later.
Below find an overview of premieres, returns, and specials from The Hollywood Reporter over the next seven days. It would be next to impossible to see it all, but let THR lead the way to worthy options for the week ahead. All times are ET / PT unless otherwise stated.
After the successful launch of WandaVision (which is regularly featured in Nielsen’s Streaming Top 10), Disney is releasing its second Marvel series with The Falcon and The Winter Soldier on Friday . The show more or less picks up on the epilogue of Avengers: Endgame and follows Anthony Mackie’s Sam Wilson / Falcon and Sebastian Stan’s Bucky Barnes / Winter Soldier.
Like WandaVision, the new show deals heavily with the aftermath of the films, with Sams Family plays a sizable role and Bucky is still grappling with his past. It also starts off with a strong action sequence and, as THR critic Daniel Fienberg notes, not much screen time shared for the two lead roles in the opening episode. Still, « There’s enough here to be optimistic that The Falcon and The Winter Soldier could emerge as the second Disney winners for Marvel. »
You may have heard: Zack Snyder’s Justice League is now streamed on HBO Max . Also this week: Calls (Friday, Apple) combines abstract graphics with audio that tells a mysterious story. Katharine McPhee plays on the family sitcom Country Comfort (Friday, Netflix). The Roku Channel debuts its first original series with the spy thriller Cypher on Friday.
Insane: Last year’s NCAA basketball tournaments were canceled due to the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic. They’re back this year, though instead of games coming from across the country, both the men’s and women’s events will be centralized (see below for more on the women’s program). CBS, TNT, TBS and TruTV will again be reporting on the men’s tournament. The « First Four » games are scheduled for Thursday from 6:00 pm. ET / 3 p.m. PT on TruTV and TBS and coverage in the first round from 12 p.m. ET / 9 a.m. PT Friday on CBS.
Finals: The season ends for CBS ‘comedy The Unicorn (Thursday, 9:30 p.m.) and two ABC Game Shows: Who Wants To Be A Millionaire (Sunday, 10 p.m.) and To Tell the Truth (Tuesday, 8 p.m.).
New: Season three of Nat Geo’s Genius revolves around Aretha Franklin, her rise to the top the music world, its civil rights activism and the impact it has had on the world. Cynthia Erivo plays Queen of Soul, and THR reviewer Inkoo Kang says the Grammy, Tony and Emmy winner is « a fantastic choice » to star. Genie: Aretha premieres at 9 p.m. Sunday and will air four consecutive nights.
More insane: ESPN is the NCAA women’s tournament with Stanford, Connecticut, South Carolina and North Carolina State as the top seeds. Coverage begins at 12:00 PM ET / 9:00 PM PT Sunday on ESPN and ESPNU; ESPN2 and ABC will also broadcast games (all in Texas) in the first and second rounds, which will last until Wednesday.
Also premiering: The last season of Keeping Up With The Kardashians (Thursday, 8 p.m., E!) ; Final Space (Saturday, 10.30pm, Adult Swim); a 1968 Doctor Who animated restoration: Anger From Below (Sunday, 6pm, BBC America); HBO’s documentaries F: Into the Storm (Sunday, 9pm); and season two of Breeders (10pm Monday, FX).
Last Chance U: Basketball, as the title suggests, focuses on a basketball team rather than the soccer teams that played in the first four seasons. What remains is the series’ commitment to both capturing exciting game actions and showing a lot more extrajudicial lives of its subjects. « It is one of the early highlights of 2021, » writes THR critic Daniel Fienerg, « for all the reasons you expect and some you don’t see it coming. »
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