The Toronto Maple Leafs — a drama? A tragedy? Fans can judge for themselves as a new sports documentary on the team gets October off to a something-for-everyone start. As always, check back throughout the month as many more highlights will be added in the coming weeks. UPDATED Oct. 14:
All or Nothing: Toronto Maple Leafs (Prime Video). “Fifty four years since the Leafs last championship,” says narrator and Toronto native Will Arnett. “And yeah, we lost again. But what happens behind closed doors is a story you’ll want to see.” Amazon Prime Video had access to the players, coaches and general managers. The five-episode series is the first in the streaming services planned sports documentaries.
Diana: The Musical (Netflix). This big Broadway production, starring Jeanna se Waal as the late Princess of Wales, was about to open when COVID struck. This performance was recorded without an audience in March of 2020. Netflix audiences will see it now just as it finally comes to the New York stage later this month.
The Many Saints of Newark (HBO Max; Crave). Another production pushed back due to the pandemic. This prequel to The Sopranos hails from creator David Chase and stars James Gandolfini’s look-a-like son Michael as a much younger version of Tony Soprano. Alessandro Nivola, Jon Bernthal, Vera Farmiga, Leslie Odom Jr., Corey Stoll and Ray Liotta are part of the cast. The film is also being released in cinemas.
The Most Magical Story on Earth: 50 Years of Walt Disney World (ABC). Walt Disney did not live to see his second theme park open in central Florida in 1971, but his brother Roy was there, along with Mickey, Donald, Goofy and plenty of tourists.
Returning: Blue Bloods (CBS; CTV), Magnum PI (CBS; CTV), SWAT (CBS), Penn & Teller: Fool Us (The CW).
Saturday Night Live (NBC; Global). Returns for a 47th season with three new cast members ( Aristotle Athari, James Austin Johnson and Sarah Sherman) and one departure after eight seasons: Beck Bennett. So Kyle Mooney is STILL there? Guest host for the opener is Owen Wilson with Kacey Musgraves as musical guest. Kim Kardashian, Jason Sudeikis and Rami Malek will host in the coming weeks. Starting this Saturday, the series will also be available to stream live on Peacock.
iHeartRadio Music Festival Part I (The CW). This Saturday entry marks the expansion of The CW to a full, seven-nights-a-week broadcaster. For if there is one thing TV needs right now it is more CW. Part II airs Sunday.
Returning: America’s Funniest Home Videos (ABC); Call the Midwife (PBS).
Returning: Slasher: Flesh & Blood (Hollywood Suite). The Galloway family gather for their annual reunion on a private island. Patriarch Spencer springs some shocking news on them. Let the dismemberment commence!
Sort Of (CBC Gem, HBO Max; coming later to CBC)). Sabi (Bilal Baig) plays a gender-fluid South Asian millennial who bartends by night and helps raise two young children of a downtown Toronto hipster family by day. As the CBC press notes suggest, Sabi feels like they’re in transition in every aspect of their life. The biggest artistic swing of CBC’s fall premiere schedule.
Among the Stars (Disney+). This six-part documentary series finds astronaut Chis Cassidy on a mission to repair the multi-billion-dollar Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer.
Baking Impossible (Netflix). Host Justin Willman challenges teams of two (one baker, one engineer) to contruct desserts you can land a small plane upon. Four episodes stream immediatley, with more to follow.
CSI: Vegas (CBS). Same as the old show, with William Petersen, Jorga Fox, Wallace Langham and Paul Guilfoyle back for more forensic cash. Who says we won’t get fooled again?
Returning: Digstown (CBC); Tough as Nails (CBS). A group of new contestants all get hammered (end of series).
Ghosts (CBS, CTV). A high concept comedy, shot in Montreal, with Rose McIver and Utkarsh Ambudkar starring as a couple who inherit a rundown country mansion they decide to convert into a bed abd breakfast. Based on a British series and adapted by a pair of New Girl writers. Look for “Ghosts will not be seen tonight,” in the listings.
One of Us is Lying (Peacock). Based on the Karen M. McManus bestseller, this drama is a murder mystery set at a high school. Eight episodes, with the first three streaming immediately.
15 Minutes of Shame (HBO Max; Crave). A documentary that looks at public shaming, a practice that has become more intense thanks to social media. Brought to you by an executive producer who should know: Monica Lewinsky. Bullies, thee media, psychologists, politicians and other experts weigh in.
Craftopia Holiday Showdown (HBO Max; Crave). YouTube sensation Lauren Riihimaki hosts four Halloween-themed episodes where crafters compete in a series of challenges in hopes of winning a $10,000 cash prize. Four more winter-themed episodes drop Nov. 18.
Returning: Bull (CBS); United States of Al (CBS); Young Sheldon (CBS, CTV)
Acapulco (AppleTV+). A bilingual sitcom set at a resort in Acapulco back in 1984 — when it was still cool to travel there.
Madame X (Paramount+). Madonna comes back from the grave in a concert performace shot pre-pandemic in Lisbon in January of 2020.
Muppets Haunted Mansion (Disney+). The ghost of Jim Henson comes back and finds that Disney has buggered up his puppet legacy.
A.RTIFICIAL I.MMORTALITY (Crave). This Cravce original looks at the possibilities, usding robotics, biotech and artificial inteelligence, of creating immortal versions of us humans. But will we run out of batteries?
Returning: 20/20 (ABC), Shark Tank (ABC).
Returning: Whose Line is it Anyway? The CW), World’s Funniest Animals (The CW).
Diana (CNN). Twenty four years after her death, this six-episode documentary looks at the “People’s Princess.” In Part One we learn how this “Girl from Norfolk” tricked “Big Ears” into a doomed marriage.
Bachelor in Paradise Canada (Citytv). You asked for it, you got it. You didn’t ask for it? You got it anyway. Paradise is a love nest somewhere in Ontario cottage country. There are 26 singles, with four crossing the border from the US Bachelor series. Vaccination certificates manditory!
Buried (Showtime; Crave). This four-episode docuseries looks at the strange case of Eileen Franklin, a mother whose sudden remembrance of a rape and murder of her best friend back in childhood led to the reopening of a case that had gone unsolved for 20 years.
Killer Camp (The CW). A reality murder-mystery competition featuring a blend of American and British actors.
Legends of the Hidden Temple (The CW). A kid-friendly game show that blends Raiders of the Lost Ark with Jeopardy. Except this show has settled on a host: Christela Alonzo.
Returning: The Equalizer (CBS, Global); NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS); SEAL Team (CBS)
Roast Battle Canada (CTV Comedy). Hosted by Ennis Esmer, this Just for Laughs co-production pits club comic against club comic. Russell Peters, Sabrina Jalees, and K. Trevor Wilson are the judges. A second season has already been ordered.
The Baby-Sitters Club (Netflix). A new comedy-drama based on the movie.
Returning: We’re Here (Season eight premiere, HBO & Crave).
A Night at the Academy Museum (ABC). Laura Dern and Tom Hanks host this tour of th remarkable nw Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in downtown Los Angeles. The long-awaited opening of this museum, partially located in an old department store on Whilshire Boulevard, is an all-star event with Cheer, Geeena Davis, Danny Glover, Marlee Matlin, Melissa McCarthy, Kumail Nanjiani and others guiding viewers through 120 years of Hollywood movie making.
Returning: The Movies That Made Us Season 3 (Netflix).
Dopesick (Hulu). This eight-episode adaptation of Beth Macy’s book about the opioid crisis stars Michael Keaton, Peter Sarsgaard, Kaitlyn Dever, Rosario Dawson and others. Directed by Barry Levinson.
Returning: Batwoman; DC’s Legends of Tomorrow (The CW).
America’s Big Deal (USA). A new reality competition which features contestants hawking “as seen on TV” type products. Whatever sells the most online to real buyers at home while the show is airing wins the competition. From the inventor of the “Miracle Mop,” Joy Mangano.
Aquaman: King of Atlantis (HBO Max). A new, animated DC series featuring the voices of Cooper Andres, Gillian Jacobs and Thomas Lennon.
The Kids Tonight Show (Peacock). Like Jimmy Fallon’s grown-up version, except children ages 9 to 12 take turns hosting. One of the writers is just 16. Kids named Letterman or Conan need not apply.
What Happened Brittany Murphy? (HBO Max, Crave). This two-part docuseries looks at the short career of Brittany Murphy. The actress, known for “Clueless” and “8 Mile,” died of pheumonia at 32 in 2009.
Pheobe Robinson: Sorry, Harriet Tubman (HBO, Crave). A new stand-up special from the 2 Dope Queens star.
Returning: B Positive (CBS, CTV); Legacies (The CW); Dragon’s Den (CBC); Big Timber (History). Canada’s Drag Race Season 2 (Crave).
Halloween Kills (Peacock). This sequel to the 2018 “Halloween” reboot sees Jami Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Will Patton and Andi Matichak return for more slasher thrills.
Home Sweet Home (NBC). Ava DuVernay is behind this reality show where two families from different walks of life trade places for a week.
I Know What You Did Last Summer (Prime Video). This new adaptation of the teen horror series premieres with four episodes. You know, kids, you could just watch the originals, they aren’t that old.
The Velvet Underground (AppleTV+). Another music documentary, this time about Lou Reed’s hypnotic little rock band that sprung from artist Andy Warhol’s experimental film scene. Surviving members John Cale and Moe Tucker are interviewed. Also in theatres.
“Spiral: From the Book of Saw” (Starz, Crave). The ninth installment from the “Saw” film franchise stars Chris Rock and Max Minghella as detectives on the trail of a series of grisly murders. Why can’t murderers be neater?
Succession (HBO; Crave). Two years since the last new episode, this hit returns with newcomers Sanaa Lathan and Linda Emond joining stars Adrien Brody, Hope Davis and Alexander Skarsgard in this tale ripped off from the real-life Rupert Murdoch clan.
Returning: Heartland; Great Canadian Baking Show (CBC).
Wakefield (Crave). This eight episode Australian drama is set in a psych ward. Rudy Dharmalingam stars as a top psych nurse who begins to lose his own grip.
“The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open” and “The Incredible 25th Year of Mitzi Bearclaw” (Crave). Two moving features from Crave’s Indigenous Stories Collection. Both were well received at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival.
Dune (HBO Max; Crave).
“Oscar Peterson: Black & White” (Crave). Billy Joel, Jon Batiste, Quincy Jones, Ramsey Lewis, Herbie Hancock, and Branford Marsalis join a list of extraordinary musicians paying tribute to the Montreal-born jazz icon. A film by Barry Avrich.