Sunday, Aug. 30
2020 MTV Video Music Awards
MTV, 8pm Live
This year’s VMAs will be a sprawling celebration across some of the biggest landmarks in the Big Apple, including the Barclays Center, the iconic Downtown Brooklyn venue, and will feature a limited or “no audience” venue. MTV says that the show will include “epic” performances from all five boroughs — Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island — to honor the spirit and resilience of New York.
Summer Under the Stars: “Charlton Heston”
TCM, beginning at 6am
Catch a Classic!
One of the most iconic leading men in Hollywood history, Charlton Heston is honored in today’s SUTS film lineup. The schedule includes Heston’s Best Actor Oscar-winning lead role in the 1959 epic Ben-Hur, the Orson Welles-directed 1958 film noir Touch of Evil, and the sci-fi classics Planet of the Apes (1968), The Omega Man (1971) and Soylent Green (1973), among other memorable titles.
Home renovation experts Bryan and Sarah Baeumler (Renovation Island) are back with a new series showing how they built their booming home reno business. The duo, with their competing tastes and differing visions, rely on humor and good-natured banter to work together. And they do it while juggling multiple renovation projects, demanding client expectations and a busy family life.
Secrets in the Woods
Sandra is excited to go on a romantic cabin getaway in the woods with her new boyfriend, Brant. Everything is going well until Sandra begins to feel like someone is watching them. Meanwhile, Sandra’s sister, Becky, becomes concerned after she can’t reach her sister for several days. When Becky finally tracks down Sandra, they must find a way to survive this wild ordeal and will do anything — even kill — to get out. Stars Brittany Underwood, Taylor Frey, Jim Klock and Kabby Borders.
Valerie Harper: Behind Closed Doors
Valerie Harper first captured hearts playing the famed role of Rhoda Morgenstern on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and later in the spinoff Rhoda, earning four Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe Award in the process. What many don’t know is that Harper had an impressive stage career both before and after playing Rhoda. In her early years she was a dancer, and then transitioned into comedy and acting. In 2013, Harper revealed news of a terminal cancer diagnosis and that doctors gave her just months to live. But she would defy the odds, living six years longer than anyone had expected. This is the story of how Valerie Harper became one of the most popular television stars of all time and how she persevered through her personal tragedy with grace, positivity and a spirited will to live.
United Shades of America
The series in which sociopolitical comedian W. Kamau Bell explores communities across the country to understand the unique challenges they face ends its fifth season with back-to-back episodes tonight.
Evil Lives Here: “I Didn’t Know It Was Blood”
Investigation Discovery, 9pm
This special 90-minute installment of the series kicks off ID’s Serial Killer Week. When 911 received a call from a young woman claiming she had been abducted, no one knew what a terrifying story would unfold. From the outside, Shawn Grate appeared to be a normal man, but it would soon be revealed that he was covering up a treacherous secret. With exclusive access to Christina Hildreth, Shawn’s girlfriend of six years, this episode delves into how Grate hid his haunting actions, and what caused a seemingly normal man to turn manic.
Over 20 years Richard Scott Smith used the internet to prey on unsuspecting women looking for love, conning them out of money and dignity. This four-episode docuseries follows four of his victims when they band together to bring him down.
Helter Skelter: “The Legend of Helter Skelter”
Charles Manson meets the world, and the media cannot get enough of the hippie killer cult that helps bring an end to the ’60s. Why, 50 years later, does he still command our attention?
Wynonna Earp: “Holy War: Part 2”
The gang races to save one of their own but are hindered by unseen forces.
Monday, Aug. 31
black-ish: “Purple Rain”
Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today … to teach clueless twins Diane (Marsai Martin) and Jack (Miles Brown) about music icon Prince. Yes, for the family sitcom’s jaw-dropping 100th episode (in 2018), the cast paid homage to classic videos from the Purple One.
Tennis: US Open: Early Rounds
ESPN & ESPN2, beginning at 12pm Live
The US Open keeps its original spot on the calendar Aug. 31-Sept. 13 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens, N.Y. Both reigning singles champions, Rafael Nadal and Bianca Andreescu, have bowed out of the 2020 competition. ESPN and ESPN2 air the tournament.
Catch a Classic!
Mel Gibson directed and stars in this acclaimed 1995 historical epic based on the true life of William Wallace (Gibson), the 13th-century warrior who led the first war for Scottish independence from England. The film won five of the 10 Oscars for which it was nominated, including Best Picture, and Best Director for Gibson.
Planet Earth: A Celebration
BBC America, AMC, IFC and SundanceTV, 8pm
What a remix! This montage of eight unforgettable vignettes from the Emmy-winning BBC wildlife shows Planet Earth II and Blue Planet II features surfing dolphins, a Himalayan snow leopard protecting her cubs and a plucky iguana vs. a pack of hungry snakes. Plus: new narration by the incomparable Sir David Attenborough.
Independent Lens: “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”
Celebrate the legacy of icon Fred Rogers in a film from Academy Award winner Morgan Neville. Beamed daily into American homes, Rogers and his cast of puppets and friends spoke simply and directly to children about some of life’s weightiest issues.
Below Deck Mediterranean: “Whole New Ballgame”
Baseball legend Johnny Damon returns to charter in Ibiza, putting pressure on Tom to rectify the Damons’ poor experience with the food they were served last season. With Aesha onboard, Bugsy ups her expectations for the interior team. Meanwhile, Rob’s personal life begins to interfere with his work, and Jess notices some red flags with his behavior.
Botched: “Melting Mounds & Unlucky Charms”
A Southern belle who wants to look like Dolly Parton hopes to change the shape of her breasts, while Dr. Paul Nassif helps a woman from Northern Ireland who thinks her nose makes her look strange. A woman with breasts that appear to be melting off her body forces Dr. Terry Dubrow to think outside the box.
The 93 Victims of Samuel Little, Part 1
Investigation Discovery, 9pm
This two-part Serial Killer Week program looks at Samuel Little, one of the most prolific and elusive serial killers of all time. He was convicted of murdering four women but is thought to have killed as many as 93 women over four decades. For the first time ever, viewers will have exclusive access to investigators, stories from families and chillingly detailed descriptions from Samuel Little himself. Part 2 airs tomorrow night.
Being the Queen
Nat Geo, 9pm
When it comes to Queen Elizabeth II, “Our curiosity is never quite satiated,” says director Tom Jennings. For this new documentary on the 94-year-old royal, he tracked down 100-plus rare audio interviews with friends, family and staff. No talking heads — “You’re hearing them tell the stories in first person,” he notes.
Pawn Stars: “One Man’s Trash Is Another Pawn Treasure”
A $2 million Monet. An unopened treasure chest. A trove of signed Beatles memorabilia. This special episode rounds up Pawn’s most impressive treasures — and the biggest fakes.
Beyond the Unknown: “Spaceship on a Beach, Secrets of Nostradamus and the Phantom of 27th Street”
Travel Channel, 10pm
Don Wildman investigates an otherworldly artifact that washed up on a South Carolina beach, unravels the predictions of a puzzling prognosticator and recounts the tale of a bizarre floating phantom who put a city on edge.
Into the Unknown: “The Jersey Devil”
Travel Channel, 11pm
The sprawling Pine Barrens of New Jersey are said to be home to the Jersey Devil — a terrifying mythical creature with bat wings, a long tail and a horse’s head. The legend first surfaced 300 years ago, and with a recent spike in sightings, Cliff Simon is determined to track it down for himself.
Tuesday, Sept. 1
Paris, Wine and Romance
Hallmark Channel, 8pm
A winemaker from Oregon travels to Paris to compete in a major wine competition. Stars Jen Lilley, Dan Jeannotte, Atanas Srebrev, Pierre Rousselet, Alexandra Guelff, Edward Baker-Duly, Maxim De Villiers and Roxanne McKee.
During these uncertain times as families are dealing with quarantine and homeschooling, parents are reaching out more than ever for help. Luckily Jo Frost is back with new episodes! Armed with 30 years of experience and strategies, Jo helps parents tackle social and behavioral challenges and everything else that is thrown their way.
America’s Got Talent: “Live Show 4”
NBC, 8pm Live
Live from Universal Studios Hollywood, 11 performers compete for America’s vote and a $1 million prize as judging is turned over to the viewing audience.
Special Theme: Women Make Film: “Openings and Tone”
Catch a Classic!
This is the series premiere of a 14-episode revisionist history of cinema told through the lenses of the world’s greatest female directors. The series features clips from 183 filmmakers, both well-known and forgotten, to illuminate the scope of women’s contributions to the art form. Tilda Swinton, Jane Fonda, Adjoa Andoh, Sharmila Tagore, Kerry Fox, Thandie Newton and Debra Winger narrate the series, with each episode unpacking various topics. The premiere episode’s subject is “Openings and Tone,” and it — like every episode in the series — will be followed by a lineup of films directed by women that exemplify the theme.
Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles: “Hollywood Royalty”
Altman and Tracy team up to co-list a historic Hollywood estate once owned by Hollywood legend John Barrymore. James and David go all-in on their new East Coast traditional, a $20 million stunner in a celebrity enclave, and all the agents stop by to check out the competition.
The 93 Victims of Samuel Little, Part 2
Investigation Discovery, 9pm
The final two hours of this four-hour special that began last night, and which is part of ID’s Serial Killer Week, air this evening. Samuel Little may not be the first name that comes to mind when thinking of serial killers, but he is one of the most prolific and elusive of all time. He was convicted of murdering four women but is thought to have killed as many as 93 women over four decades. For the first time ever, viewers will have exclusive access to investigators, stories from families and chillingly detailed descriptions from Little himself.
Eddie Eats America: “Philadelphia”
Cooking Channel, 10pm
World’s Strongest Man 2017 winner Eddie Hall gets roped into a strength test with legendary boxing coach Buster Custus at a famed Philadelphia gym before he gets a double hit of delicious Philly cheesesteak. For an hors d’oeuvre, it’s a butter-drenched pretzel twist on the classic from the city’s Reading Terminal Market. Finally, the main course is the colossal 2-foot-long monster cheesesteak challenge at gastro-institution Tony Luke’s.
This hit Canadian medical drama makes its U.S. premiere. It centers on Dr. Bashir “Bash” Hamed (Hamza Haq, Quantico), a Syrian doctor with battle-tested skills in emergency medicine who fled his country with his younger sister, Amira (Sirena Gulamgaus). Together they struggle to forge a new life in Canada as Bash strives to rebuild his career in medicine. In its first season on CTV, Transplant was the most-watched Canadian original series and saw audience growth as the season progressed, and NBC will certainly be hoping for similar success for the show in the States as it helps bolster the network’s fall lineup. John Hannah also stars.
AMC, 1am (late-night)
If you missed Pierce Brosnan’s terrific return to television as powerful oilman Eli McCullough, record this final-season wrap-up of the extra-ordinary life of the so-called “First Son of Texas,” who fights to save his fractious family and his business in 1915-16. AMC airs all 10 of the drama’s 2019 episodes in late-night through Wednesday.