TV This Weekend

Obama Speaks, Taylor Swift Sings, and American Idol Crowns a New Winner

A homebound viewers guide to what's new and noteworthy on TV this weekend.
  • Barack Obama, Taylor Swift and Ryan Seacrest.
    Barack Obama, Taylor Swift and Ryan Seacrest.

    At a time of year usually associated with graduations and the start of the summer concert season, TV is looking to fill the gap this weekend with a star-studded multi-network virtual graduation ceremony, and a sped-to-TV concert from Taylor Swift. Also: American Idol names its new champion, Snowpiercer takes humanity on a frosty ride for survival, and ESPN's epic Last Dance doc airs its final two installments. Here's what's new and noteworthy on TV this weekend:

    SATURDAY MAY 16

    SPECIAL PRESENTATION: High school seniors are missing out on a rite of passage this year, as COVID-19 has forced the cancellation of graduation ceremonies around the world. In an effort to commemorate this important event, broadcast networks and many others are coming together for the special event Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020, featuring a host of dignitaries and celebrities, and a commencement address by none other than President Barack Obama. Watch the preview. 8:00 PM ET on NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox, and others

    CABLE PREMIERE: HBO's big Saturday night movie premiere this week is Joker. The 2019 film stars Joaquin Phoenix in an Oscar-winning performance as a troubled resident of Gotham City whose downward spiral eventually leads to bloodshed and a life of crime as he assumes a new identity. Watch the trailer. 8:00 PM ET on HBO

    MADE FOR TV MOVIE: Marriage counselor and best-selling author Jillian James (Julie Gonzalo) has been taking her husband Justin (Jonathan Chase) for granted in How to Train Your Husband. Can her friends and family show her the error of her ways before it's too late? Watch the trailer. 9:00 PM ET on Hallmark

    MADE FOR TV MOVIE: While attending college orientation, Tess meets Sammy, The Twisted Twin she never knew she had. But when Sammy's adoptive family turns up dead, Tess suspects her long lost sister may have a killer secret, and a plan to take Tess' life as her own. 8:00 PM ET on Lifetime

    SERIES PREMIERE: Kicking off OWN's new "Sisterhood Saturday Nights" is the new series Fear Not with Iyanla Vanzant, in which the star of Iyanla: Fix My Life offers guidance to guests like Oprah Winfrey, Bebe Winan, The Budgetnista, and more. 9:00 PM ET on OWN

    SERIES PREMIERE: Also part of "Sisterhood Saturday Nights" is the unscripted series Girlfriends Check In, which follows a series of virtual gathering of friends as they practice social distancing, while continuing to laugh, love, and gossip together remotely. Watch the trailer. 10:00 PM ET on OWN


    SUNDAY MAY 17

    SEASON FINALE: Though the show was thrown a curveball midway through the season, American Idol found a way to keep the competition running from afar. Tonight, the final seven competitors will be winnowed down to one champion. 8:00 PM ET on ABC

    SERIES PREMIERE: The Great Ark Train Snowpiercer has kept the surviving members of humanity alive for seven years, with its occupants living in a caste system as it circles the globe. When a murder is discovered onboard the train, detective Andre Layton (Daveed Diggs) is called in to investigate. Jennifer Connelly costars in this prequel to the 2013 film. Read our review. 9:00 PM ET on TNT

    SEASON FINALE: ESPN's gift to starved sports fans comes to an end tonight as The Last Dance airs the final two episodes in its ten-episode examination of Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls' 1997-98 season. 9:00 PM ET on ESPN

    SPECIAL PRESENTATION: In September of last year, Taylor Swift fans from around the world were flown to Paris to see her in an intimate concert at L'Olympia Theater. The one-hour special Taylor Swift City of Lover Concert captures that performance, a special treat for fans who'd hoped to see Swift in this summer's now-postponed Lover Fest tour. Watch the trailer. 10:00 PM ET on ABC

    SERIES PREMIERE: When a dead body washes up on a Cape Cod beach in the premiere of Hightown, it causes agent Jackie Quiñones (Monica Raymund) to set aside her alcohol fueled lifestyle to focus on the investigation. Watch the trailer. 8:00 PM ET on Starz

    SEASON PREMIERE: After postponing its originally scheduled return in late March, Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj returns to Netflix for the first of at least seven new episodes taped in Minhaj's home. Watch the preview.

    SEASON FINALE: After losing his job for body-shaming Chris on Family Guy, Principal Shepherd is forced to live with the Griffins. 9:30 PM ET on Fox

    SEASON FINALE: Commander Kane (Dougray Scott) and Batwoman (Ruby Rose) face one of Gotham's former saviors, but when events take an unexpected turn, Kane is unwilling to back down. 8:00 PM ET on The CW

    NEW EPISODE: Caught at a remote crossroads on Run, Ruby (Merritt Wever) and Billy (Domhnall Gleeson) can't agree on their next move. Meanwhile, Laurel (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) makes a shocking discovery. But will we get another appearance from perennial bad TV husband Rich Sommer? 10:30 PM ET on HBO

    Mike Attebery is Senior Editor at Primetimer and the author of seven mystery thrillers. Follow him on Twitter at @mikeattebery.

    TOPICS: Taylor Swift City of Lover Concert , ABC, American Idol, Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020, Barack Obama, Taylor Swift


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