TV Oct. 11-14: Fear the Walking Dead, Spanish Princess, Great British Baking Show, Howie Mandel doc, Corner Gas Animated, Nocturne, Evil Eye, Finding Your Roots, Driving While Black

I seem to have cut the Wednesday listing off the initial posting of this edition of d2tv. Ever so sorry. Here it is now, with Wednesday intact! Eeesh! 

Sunday Oct. 11

Fear the Walking Dead (season 6 premiere AMC 9pmET/8CT) “Season 6 of Fear the Walking Dead explores what has become of the unlikely family once united by a mission to help those in need. After being torn apart by Virginia (Colby Minifie) and her Pioneers, the group is now dispersed across her far-reaching settlements. Morgan’s (Lennie James) last message at the end of season five implored the group to “Just Live” and this season we’ll see what that means to each of them. Some will find the stability and opportunity within Virginia’s communities to be intriguing, some will sink into darkness, while others will fight back against what has been forced upon them. Life behind Virginia’s walls will test each and every one of them in different ways, forcing them to define who they are in this new world.”

Spanish Princess (Season 2 premiere Starz Crave) “The Spanish Princess” returns viewers to the world of Tudor royal court intrigue, continuing the story from the Starz miniseries “The White Queen” and the Starz limited series “The White Princess.” It’s told uniquely from the perspective of the women, but it also sheds light on the lives of people of color who were living and working in 16th-century London. Teenage Catherine of Aragon, the strong-willed Princess of Spain, is promised in marriage to the English Prince Arthur. When he dies suddenly, the throne seems lost until she sets her sights on the new heir, the charismatic and headstrong Prince Harry.” Great British Baking Show (Season 10 premiere CBC 7:30pmCT & ET) Noel Fielding, Sandi Toksvig, Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith start them off with cake. That’s all you need to know, right? 

Howie Mandel: But Enough About Me (doc premiere 7:30pmCT/8:30ET Crave, streaming next day) “follows Mandel’s path from an odd Toronto kid who got up on stage at a comedy club on a dare from a buddy, to the heights of the entertainment business. But (doc producer Barry) Avrich was particularly struck by Mandel’s admission in the doc that at one point in his life, around the year 2000, he was so discouraged that he was close to walking away from show business for good. “Most people don’t know that there was a stage in his career, not that long ago, where he just decided not to do it any more,” Avrich said. “Nobody was really ringing his bell, and it was really bad. We’ve seen comedians come and go in the industry. And he somehow digs his way out. But it was a very, very dark time. So I wanted people to see a different side of him. I mean, people know the germ side of him, the germaphobe. They don’t know the mental illness side, and the fact that he’s medicated 24 hours a day, and how he deals with it.” In HOWIE MANDEL: BUT, ENOUGH ABOUT ME, Avrich succeeds brilliantly in getting Mandel to talk openly about the highest highs and lowest lows. “When I build out a documentary, I do almost a military wall of index cards, hundreds of them in terms of what I want to cover, it’s like a Rubik’s Cube in terms of structure,” Avrich said. “But I knew I had to deal with the down moments in his life, and all of this with the backdrop of him being on the road, because he does so many days. He still refuses to say no to anybody who wants to book him, whether it’s for a benefit or a paid gig. And you realize that for him, it has nothing to do with money. It’s all about staying distracted and not going down a dark hole. He has to keep moving and not spend time thinking about things.” Avrich also admitted that, a lot of the time, hanging out with Howie Mandel is just plain fun. “I love working with him, I love his energy, he doesn’t sleep, I don’t sleep,” Avrich said. “I remember walking with him in Santa Monica, and he would, you know, go into a hardware store trying to buy fish. I mean, it’s just constant, and I love that about him.””

Monday Oct. 12

Corner Gas Animated (Season 3 premier 8pmCT/9ET) The residents of Dog River are back.

Tuesday Oct. 13

The Cabin with Bert Kreischer (season premiere comedy on Netflix) “Fast-living comic Bert Kreischer heads to a cabin for some self-care and invites his funny friends to join his quest to cleanse his mind, body and soul. Starring:Bert Kreischer, Anthony Anderson, Caitlyn Jenner.

Nocturne (movie premiere on Amazon Prime Video) “Inside the halls of an elite arts academy, a timid music student begins to outshine her more accomplished and outgoing twin sisters when she discovered a mysterious notebook belonging to a recently deceased classmate.” Cast includes Sydney Sweeney, Madison Iseman, Jacques Colimon.

Evil Eye (new on Amazon Prime Video) “A superstitious mother is convinced that her daughter’s new boyfriend is the reincarnation of a man who tried to kill her 30 years ago.”

Finding Your Roots (mid-season premiere 8pmET/7CT PBS) returning with new episodes, Henry Louis Gates Jr.’s detective skills are put to work for Diane Von Furstenberg, Narciso Rodriguez and RuPaul Charles.

Driving While Black (documentary premiere on PBS, 9pmET/8CT) “Discover how the advent of the automobile brought new mobility and freedom for African Americans but also exposed them to discrimination and deadly violence, and how that history resonates today.”

Wednesday Oct. 14

BLACKPINK: Light Up the Sky (new documentary movie on Netflix) “Directed by Caroline Suh,  director of the Netflix docuseries Salt Fat Acid Heat, and produced by RadicalMedia, the film interweaves exclusive interviews with never-before-seen footage of BLACKPINK members Jisoo, Jennie, Rosé and Lisa, from their trainee days to the global sensations they are today. Viewers will get a first look into the recording process of the band’s follow up album, which depicts the highs and lows of being a K-pop idol group, and showcases each member’s incredible talent that when combined, creates the uniquely trailblazing DNA of BLACKPINK. The film culminates with their historic 2019 Coachella performance, where BLACKPINK was the first K-pop girl group to take on the Coachella stage.”

Billboard Music Awards (special NBC 8pmET/7CT) “The three-hour telecast, hosted by Kelly Clarkson, will feature the year’s hottest musical acts, unexpected collaborations and buzzworthy moments. This will mark Clarkson’s third time hosting the hugely popular award show. Country legend Garth Brooks will receive this year’s coveted Icon Award.”

The Con (series premieres 10pmET/9CT) “ABC News is debuting new primetime series “The Con,” narrated by Emmy®, GRAMMY®, Tony® and Oscar® winner and “The View” moderator Whoopi Goldberg. It explores the troubling tales of people taken in by claims and promises that proved too good to be true, from identity fraud and misleading romance to the high-profile college admission scandal and Fyre Festival. It reveals how the victims were fooled and the cost of their false trust – emotional and financial. “The Con” features interviews with the key people caught up in the cons, including victims and eyewitnesses, and, in some cases, law enforcement and the perpetrators themselves. The series lifts the curtain on the people behind some of the most outrageous cons ever. In the series premiere, “The Love Con,” Goldberg introduces viewers to Benita Alexander, an award-winning documentary television producer and single mother, and Paolo Macchiarini, an internationally renowned surgeon. Alexander meets Macchiarini while producing a documentary on his groundbreaking surgical techniques using stem cells in synthetic trachea transplants. Despite crossing professional lines, Alexander finds herself wooed by Macchiarini’s charm, intellect and good looks, and the pair quickly falls in love. After traveling the world together, the couple gets engaged and, according to Alexander, Macchiarini tells her he wants to take over planning the wedding. It quickly becomes a grand, fairy-tale affair with an impressive guest list, including Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and Elton John. He says they’ll even be married by the pope. However, weeks before their Italian wedding, Alexander realizes things aren’t as perfect as they seem and uses her investigative producer skills to uncover the truth behind Macchiarini and the planned wedding.”

What is d2tv anyway? I’m so glad you asked. This is the latest iteration of my TV writing/blogging that began back in 1986 or so? at the Winnipeg Sun, continued briefly in print and on the web at the Montreal Gazette and finally, here, for myself and YOU! Having newly (July 2020) left the full-time journalism business for a brief rest aka vacation and moved myself and d2tv head office to my hometown of Winnipeg (YAY), I am hoping to put more time and features on this blog, which is still currently mostly a collection of Canadian streaming and broadcast programming notes focussing on premieres of new and returning series, specials etc, with the occasional series finale thrown in for sentimental reasons. Reviews are, for the moment, only occasional. If you spot an error or oversight or have a recommendation to share, please do so in the comments or by emailing me at the above address. Glad you’re here. PS: Reminder that I’m trying to keep the ET/CT times straight but sometimes, there will be mixups (I’m a pensioner for chrissakes!) so do let me know if there is a problem and I will makes very sincere empathic (empathetic?) noises. (edit note: please check the previous.)


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