Tue. Apr 16th, 2024

Robotic marine creatures give insight into underwater life on Nature’s fascinating four-part Spy in the Ocean. An eight-part Netflix series covers eight billion years of evolution and extinction events. The sci-fi drama Invasion wraps its second season with more alien contact. A new season of The Challenge brings back 24 contenders to fight for the crown, facing former champions along the way. The Las Vegas Pawn Stars goes on the road for a second season. The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills are back for a 13th round of glam histrionics.

PBS

Spy in the Ocean: A Nature Miniseries

Immerse yourself, quite literally, in marine life as Nature presents a captivating follow-up to its Spy in the Wild miniseries, with cameras hidden inside remarkably lifelike animatronic robot replicas of underwater creatures including the whale calf, shark, dolphin, manatee, seal and octopus. As these fake animals embed in their communities, interacting with the genuine article, viewers get an unfiltered look at life under the surface. In the first of four parts, titled “Deep Thinkers,” vignettes include a female sperm whale trying to communicate with the spy whale, and a spy octopus forming a relationship with a friendly coconut octopus.

Netflix

Life on Our Planet

For those more into big-picture nature programming, executive producer Steven Spielberg and the team behind the streamer’s Our Planet present an epic eight-part exploration of evolution and survival over roughly 4 billion years on Earth. With narration by Morgan Freeman, intoning “To understand life, we must go back to the beginning,” the visually stunning series uses cutting-edge photorealistic animation to depict species long lost to at least five extinction events that destroyed 99 percent of the planet’s living species. (PBS’s Nova, at 9/8c, also covers the volcanic extinction event known as “The Great Dying” in the “Inferno” episode of its ongoing series, Ancient Earth.)

Apple TV+

Invasion

Slowly but surely—emphasis on slowly—the alien-invasion drama brings its scattered heroes together in the Season 2 finale to plot the next move against the mysterious extraterrestrial interlopers who’ve unleashed panic and destruction upon our planet. As usual, Mitsuki (Shioli Kutsuna) in the Amazonian lab is the most compelling presence, as she prepares another dangerous mind-meld with the alien hive. “If I can learn to control them, we can send people through [the portals],” she believes. Which would be good news to a soldier like Trevante (Shamier Anderson) and Caspar (Billy Barratt), Mitsuki’s young psychic friend in Europe.

Jonne Roriz, courtesy of Paramount

The Challenge

In a new twist for the grueling physical competition, 24 runners-up return to play, each hungry to finally become a champ. Their biggest hurdle: Surviving bouts with legendary previous champs, whose goal is to stop them getting to that next level. In the opener, the contenders learn they’ll be playing together as a team, another Challenge first.

History

Pawn Stars Do America

Look who’s leaving Las Vegas again. Rick Harrison, son Corey and sidekick Austin “Chumlee” Russell step outside their World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop for a second season of adventures on the road, seeking collectibles with rich histories. The two-hour opener takes them to Texas, where they check out an anvil collection, test-drive a 1968 Buick Riviera and meet NFL star Emmitt Smith.

Emily Shur/Bravo

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

The hottest messes on the West Coast are back for an ominous Season 13, with pot-stirrer Lisa Rinna out and a new member, Annemarie Wiley (wife of former NFL pro Marcellus Wiley), joining the gossipy glamour gang. To clear the air after the turbulent 12th season, Dorit Kemsley enlists a spiritual guru to help them heal. Don’t count on that to last for long.

INSIDE WEDNESDAY TV:

Survivor (8/7c, CBS): Hunger is eating away at the castaways, which is an appropriately manipulative time for one member of each tribe to be sent on a journey, where they’ll decide whether to accept sustenance or a personal advantage. Will greed outweigh starvation? Followed by The Amazing Race (9:30/8:30c), where the teams jet 2,000 miles from Vietnam to India.
The Masked Singer (8/7c, Fox): Season 2’s Flamingo, Adrienne Bailon-Houghton, returns to perform an opening number on the Harry Potter-themed Halloween episode.
Chucky (9/8c, Syfy and USA Network): The White House is hosting a Halloween ball, which gives teen heroes Jake (Zackary Arthur), Devon (Björgvin Arnarson) and Lexy (Alyvia Alyn Lind) the cover they need to make their move to stop the demon doll from doing more damage at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Chucky (voiced by Brad Dourif) has other ideas, unnaturally.
The Morning Show (streaming on Apple TV+): Scandal alert! Alex (Jennifer Aniston) is back in damage-control mode when her reputation takes a hit after news of her relationship with Paul (Jon Hamm) goes public. “She’s turning us into a joke,” mutters a morning-show producer. So why is no one laughing amidst the latest round of power games?

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