Reality competition and docuseries dominate Wednesday’s premiere lineup. Gordon Ramsey launches his third series of the week, while A&E’s Court Cam spins off with a series showing trails from the defendant’s POV. The discovery+ streamer follows the journeys of overweight people seeking a life change.
Gordon Ramsay’s takeover of TV continues with his third show arriving in as many days. (Fox’s Hell’s Kitchen: Young Guns and National Geographic’s Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted each premiered Monday.) For the 11th season of MasterChef, Ramsay and fellow judges Joe Bastianich and Aarón Sánchez are joined each week by an iconic culinary legend to assess the talents of the home cooks. In the opener, Emeril Legasse helps narrow the field, with contestants vying for one of only 15 aprons.
Launching with back-to-back episodes, this spinoff (also hosted and executive produced by Dan Abrams) takes the point of view of the defendant in those rare instances when the accused decides to take the stand in their own defense. Episodes will feature the defendant’s testimony, following the trial through cross-examination to the verdict, with exclusive interviews and examination of video and surveillance footage, 911 recordings and forensic evidence.
My favorite of the many game shows filling the networks’ summer lineups got off to a good start last week with two Daily Show veterans going head to head. This time it’s Saturday Night Live’s turn, with former cast member Rachel Dratch and current player Chris Redd (Kenan) swapping clues with contestants. (In the second round, Dr. Mehmet Oz plays against his daughter, Daphne Oz.)
A new docuseries profiles people with extreme obesity, weighing between 400 and 800 pounds, as they consider losing weight through life-changing surgery and lifestyle practices with the help of bariatric surgeon Dr. Charles Procter. The two-hour premiere introduces Meghan and Vanessa, best friends whose weight (Meghan is 496 pounds, Vanessa 440) has created health issues. Meghan, who uses an oxygen tank, hopes to inspire the more skeptical Vanessa to join her on a journey requiring extreme diet and exercise regimens. A companion series, Too Large: Where Are They Now? also premieres Wednesday, providing follow-ups and reflections on life after surgery.
Inside Wednesday TV:
- The Handmaid’s Tale (streaming on Hulu): After last week’s blistering confrontation, June (Elisabeth Moss) faces her former enslavers, Fred (Joseph Fiennes) and Serena Joy (Yvonne Strahovski), in court. Back in Gilead, where repressive life goes on, Lawrence (Bradley Whitford) gifts Aunt Lydia (Ann Dowd) with a newly captured Handmaid.
- Married at First Sight: Couples Cam (8/7c, Lifetime): In a Married franchise two-fer, Couples Cam returns with a two-hour premiere, as 13 Married couples—now including Season 12’s Virginia and Eric, and Briana and Vincent—shoot their own footage to capture new milestones in their lives. Followed by the season finale of Married at First Sight: Unmatchables (10/9c), which in honor of Pride Month follows two LGBTQ men looking for love: shy perfectionist and momma’s boy Frank and his polar opposite, the eccentric and unfocused free spirit Sam.
- Nancy Drew (9/8c, The CW): Cliffhanger alert: Carson (Scott Wolf) joins Ryan (Riley Smith) and the Drew Crew to come to Nancy’s (Kennedy McMann) aid in the second-season finale.
- Ship That Changed the World (9/8c, PBS, check local listings at pbs.org): Nova explores an engineering mystery that could be posed this way: So just how did Columbus sail the ocean blue in 1492? This episode uses a well-preserved wrecked ship found off Sweden’s coast, dating back to the Columbus era, to help explain how a transformation in ship design set the stage for ocean-bound travel, exploration and colonization.
- Family Karma (9/8c, Bravo): The reality series is back for a second season, following nine Indian-American friends seeking fulfillment in love and career while acknowledging the traditions of their parents and grandparents.
- VICE VERSA: The Neglected Pandemic, 40 Years of HIV & AIDS (9/8c, VICE TV): Queer Eye’s Jonathan Van Ness hosts a two-hour documentary that examines the latest scientific advancements in treating the illness while traveling the U.S. to profile those living with HIV/AIDS.
- A Million Little Things (10/9c, ABC): It’s no secret that Gary (James Roday Rodriguez) is everybody’s best friend within his tight Boston circle, always there when it matters. But where does that leave his girlfriend, Darcy (Floriana Lima)? Cracks in their relationship begin to show in the third season’s penultimate episode.