Entertainment Television

‘The Crown’, CMA Awards, ‘Gotham’ and ‘The Strain’ top this week’s TV must-sees

By Bill Harris, Special to Postmedia Network

Claire Foy and Matt Smith in "The Crown."

Claire Foy and Matt Smith in "The Crown."

Bill Harris' TV must-sees for the week of Oct. 30:

1. The Crown

Debut

Queen Elizabeth has reigned for so long, it's easy to forget she once was a young girl who inherited the throne far earlier than expected. This epic series stars Claire Foy as Elizabeth, former Doctor Who Matt Smith as Prince Philip and John Lithgow as Winston Churchill. It's one of my favourite shows of the year.

When: Friday, Nov. 4 on Netflix

2. CMA Awards

Live

The 50th annual Country Music Association Awards, taking place in Nashville, will be hosted by Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley. On another subject, have you heard the new Sunday Night Football song Underwood did this year? I know music is a personal thing, but my God, what a tuneless piece of crap.

When: Wednesday, Nov. 2 on ABC, City

3. Dana Carvey: Straight White Male, 60

Debut

I always liked Saturday Night Live alumnus Dana Carvey, but the entertainment world didn't hear much from him after the Wayne's World movies, in which he played awkward Garth alongside Mike Myers' Wayne. This sees Carvey – who actually now is 61 – starring in a standup special filmed in Boston.

When: Friday, Nov. 4 on Netflix

4. The Story of Cats

Debut

Airing as part of the Nature series, this two-part documentary examines the history of lions, tigers and all kinds of cats, who collectively are the most mysterious, feared and revered creatures on the planet. Part one is subtitled Asia to Africa. Part two, airing next week, is titled Into The Americas.

When: Wednesday, Nov. 2 on most PBS channels

5. Fresh Off the Boat

As the Cattleman's Ranch serves as a polling place for the 1996 presidential election between Bill Clinton and Bob Dole, Jessica (Constance Wu) suspects one of the restaurant employees is an undocumented immigrant. Meanwhile, Eddie (Hudson Yang) and his pals debate who killed Tupac Shakur.

When: Tuesday, Nov. 1 on ABC

6. Masters of Sex

Masters (Michael Sheen) and Johnson (Lizzy Caplan) pose as a random couple to investigate a competing clinic. Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't Masters and Johnson already kind of famous at this stage of their careers? Then again, I guess what we call fame was a different thing back before the internet.

When: Sunday, Oct. 30 on TMN (Showtime in the U.S.)

7. Man with a Plan

The second episode introduces Kevin Nealon as Don, brother and business partner of Adam, Matt LeBlanc's lead character. Adam wants to reward Don for his hard work with tickets to a Pittsburgh Steelers game, but trouble ensues when Don's wife Andi, played by Liza Snyder, thinks the tickets are for her.

When: Monday, Oct. 31 on CBS, Global

8. 2 Broke Girls

When Caroline (Beth Behrs) and Max (Kat Dennings) are asked to speak about their business at Caroline's alma mater, Max decides to introduce Caroline to the college-party scene that she missed the first time around. Meanwhile, Han (Matthew Moy) practises magic with a reluctant Earl (Garrett Morris).

When: Monday, Oct. 31 on CBS, City

9. Gotham

After making contact with a mysterious substance in the hand of the Mad Hatter (Benedict Samuel), Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) is led on a psychedelic trip in which he must face his past, present and future. You know, Incense and Peppermints, In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, Mellow Yellow, that kind of thing.

When: Monday, Oct. 31 on Fox, CTV

10. The Strain

Season-3 finale

Humanity teeters on the edge of destruction. The Master finally reveals himself. Eph (Corey Stoll), Fet (Kevin Durand), Setrakian (David Bradley) and Dutch (Ruta Gedmintas) reunite in a last-ditch effort to vanquish evil. And no, this has nothing to do with the upcoming U.S. presidential election.

When: Sunday, Oct. 30 on FX

Twitter: @billharris_tv

bharris@postmedia.com