Welcome back to Tune In: our weekly newsletter offering a guide to the best of the week’s TV.
Each week, Variety’s TV team combs through the week’s schedule, selecting our picks of what to watch and when/how to watch them. This week, “Scandal” returns for its final season, while Fox and ABC premiere new fall shows.
“The Gifted,” Fox, Monday, 9 p.m.
This drama, set in the Marvel “X-Men” universe, tells the story of a suburban couple whose ordinary lives are rocked by the sudden discovery that their teenage children possess mutant powers. Forced to go on the run from a hostile government, the family seeks help from an underground network of mutants and must fight to survive. Bryan Singer, who has helmed most of the “X-Men” films, directed the pilot.
“The Mayor,” ABC, Tuesday, 9:30 p.m. (CRITICS’ PICK)
As is the case for all of ABC’s pantheon of remarkably fresh sitcoms, “The Mayor” has a self-assured quality right from the get-go. In this charming pilot, an up-and-coming rapper named Courtney Rose (Brandon Micheal Hall) runs for public office as a publicity stunt — and then wins, throwing him into the executive branch of Fort Grey, Calif. (population 32,184). It’s a fish-out-of-water story that would maybe feel a little less relevant under any other president, but Courtney, at least, is an engaging, lovable protagonist. What Courtney discovers, with some not-so-subtle prodding from his mother, Dina (Yvette Nicole Brown), is that having something to say in hip-hop can translate to having something to say in politics, too. Maybe his mayorship started as a publicity stunt, but as Dina urges him, it doesn’t have to be just for show. (Read the full review here)
“Scandal,” ABC, Thursday, 9 p.m.
Shonda Rhimes’ wildly popular drama series returns for its seventh and final season this week. In the premiere, one hundred days into Mellie’s presidency, Olivia Pope is proving she can run the world. But to avoid an international incident, she may have to make her toughest call yet. Meanwhile, Quinn Perkins & Associates struggle to find their first client.
“Spielberg,” HBO, Saturday, 8 p.m.
Legendary director Steven Spielberg gets the documentary treatment, courtesy of HBO. Directed and produced by “American Masters” alum Susan Lacy, “Spielberg” will chronicle his nearly 50-year career as a filmmaker of such landmark pics as “Jaws,” “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “The Color Purple,” “Schindler’s List,” “Jurassic Park” and “Saving Private Ryan.” The doc will include interviews with many of Spielberg’s past collaborators, including J.J. Abrams, Christian Bale, Drew Barrymore, Francis Ford Coppola, Harrison Ford, Ben Kingsley, Kathleen Kennedy, George Lucas, Liam Neeson, Martin Scorsese, and many more.
“Episodes,” Showtime, Sunday, 10 p.m.
The critically-acclaimed and Emmy-nominated comedy series will end after five seasons this week. In Season 5, star Matt LeBlanc is the host of “The Box,” a wildly successful game show. Unfortunately, the world seems to have forgotten he was ever an actor. Meanwhile, Sean (Stephen Mangan) and Beverly (Tamsin Greig) are forced to work for Sean’s former partner Tim (Bruce Mackinnon), perhaps the worst showrunner in the history of television. Carol (Kathleen Rose Perkins) is out of a job, out of money and possibly out of show business. And Merc (John Pankow), a producer on “The Box,” never resists the opportunity to ruin Matt’s life.