Monday: Showtime at the Apollo
From 1987 to 2008, the syndicated series Showtime at the Apollo shone a spotlight on R&B, soul, and hip-hop musicians, not to mention the comedians who hosted the show. On Monday, Showtime returns for a special two-hour event, hosted by Steve Harvey and featuring performances by a gaggle of high-wattage acts, including comedians Tracy Morgan, Jay Pharoah, and Mike Epps, and musical acts Rakim, Doug E. Fresh, Bell Biv DeVoe, John Legend, and Flo Rida. Showtime starts at 8 p.m. on Fox.
Wednesday: Hairspray Live!
Move over, The Wiz, there’s a new NBC musical in town. Hairspray Live! airs on NBC this Wednesday at 8 p.m., starring 20-year-old newcomer Maddie Baillio (who, incidentally, is a terrific jazz singer.) The choice is a bit of a safe bet, considering Hairspray will already be familiar to many viewers, whether through the original 1988 John Waters film, the 2002 Broadway musical, or the 2007 movie remake. Baillio stars as Tracy Turnblad, a Baltimore teen circa 1962 who has two dreams: To shake and shimmy on the American Bandstand-like Corny Collins Show, and to mend the city’s racial divide. Good luck, Tracy!
Wednesday: South Park
On Wednesday, creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone wrap up South Park‘s 20th season, which has presented a running commentary on both the election and online trolling. South Park works on a notoriously crunchy production schedule — episodes are written, drawn, and voiced in the week leading up to each new installment, which means the writers can take particular advantage of current events. When Trump won the election early on the morning of Wednesday, November 9, the South Park team scrambled to re-write that night’s episode, which ended up with the revised title, “Oh, Jeez,” and featured the Trump-like Mr. Garrison gloating in the wake of his own presidential election, demanding that all his foes suck his dick. The finale airs this Wednesday at 10 p.m. on Comedy Central.