New this week: “Athena”, “Sidney” and “Quantum Leap” return

By The Associated Press

Here’s a curated collection from the Associated Press’ entertainment journalists of what’s coming to TV, streaming services and music platforms this week.


— Less than a year after the death of Sidney Poitier, who died in January at the age of 94, comes the documentary “Sidney”, produced by Oprah Winfrey. Premiering Friday on Apple TV+, it’s a poignant portrayal of the groundbreaking actor who paved the way for countless black actors in Hollywood and revolutionized the way they were portrayed on screen. Filmed largely before Poitiers’ death by director Reginald Hudlin, “Sidney” was made with the cooperation of the Poitiers estate (several of the Poitiers girls appear in the film) and a number of luminaries. Denzel Washington, Spike Lee, Morgan Freeman, George Nelson, Robert Redford and Halle Berry are all interviewed in “Sidney”, as is Winfrey.

— In ‘Athena,’ director Romain Gavras brings dramatic outbursts and long edgy shots to a panoramic thriller about a police headquarters in a fictional housing project in the suburbs of Paris. The film, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival and debuts Friday on Netflix, is a violent urban Greek tragedy but filmed in ballet by the Oscar-winning Greek director’s youngest son, Costa-Gavras. This is the French filmmaker’s third feature film (he has also directed music videos for Kanye West, Jamie xx and others); he wrote with Elias Belkeddar and Ladj Ly, whose 2019 film “Les Miserables” covered similar territory.

– Based on Angie Thomas’ best-selling 2019 young adult novel (“The Hate U Give”), “On the Come Up” is about a 16-year-old girl (Jamila Gray) whose rapping ambitions are both urgent (his family needs money) and poignant (his late father was a hip-hop legend killed by gang violence). The film, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, airs Friday on Paramount+ while also playing in select theaters.

-AP Film Writer Jake Coyle


– Kelsea Ballerini may sound pretty good on her new album but it’s the title of the 15-track set that sounds pretty perfect: “Subject to Change”. On poppy’s first single, “Heartfirst”, she decides to embark on a relationship not knowing if it will last. “Who knows what’s to come / Isn’t it always kinda magical?” she sings. On the ballad “Love Is a Cowboy”, Ballerini sings: “All the bad ones say they’re the good and all the good ones ride the way. The new music comes after she and husband Morgan Evans decided to divorce after nearly five years of marriage. The album comes out on Friday.

— We already had Carrie Underwood’s ‘Denim & Rhinestones’ album so get ready for ‘Denim & Diamonds’ from Nashville singer and songwriter Nikki Lane. For Lane’s first album in five years, she brought in Queens of the Stone Age frontman Joshua Home for production and mixing, with further input from Arctic Monkeys’ Matt Helders. The singles include “Black Widow” and “First High”, with the splendid lyrics: “Take me back to the first dream/501 blue jeans/Tighter than goddamn Springsteen”.

— As fall approaches, a new 5 Seconds of Summer album is coming. ‘5SOS5’ – their fifth album – has already spawned the tracks ‘Blender’, ‘Take My Hand’, ‘Me, Myself & I’ and the pop-rock anthem ‘COMPLETE MESS’. Another debut single is the ballad “Older,” which features vocals and a co-writing credit from singer Luke Hemmings’ fiancee, Sierra Deaton, and the lyrics: “The day you leave me/I’ll ​​bleed forever from love.” The majority of the new album was written by the band with Michael Clifford heading up production.

– Mark Kennedy, AP Entertainment Writer


– “Quantum Leap” returns to television as a sequel to the 1989-93 sci-fi series about a scientist trapped in the past by an experiment gone wrong. Three decades later, physicist Ben Song (Raymond Lee) is part of a team trying to decipher the nature of the quantum-jump accelerator when it suffers a similar fate. But his colleagues (including co-stars Ernie Hudson and Caitlin Bassett) are determined to rescue him. Scott Bakula, star of the original series, has claimed online that he is not related to the NBC newcomer but wishes him “good luck and a good jump!” It starts Monday.

– Hulu’s “Reboot” is a nifty take on the resurrection of a corny family sitcom from the early 2000s and its former stars whose careers didn’t quite thrive. The ensemble cast is appealing — Keegan-Michael Key, Johnny Knoxville, Judy Greer, Paul Reiser, Rachel Bloom, Calum Worthy, and Krista Marie Yu — but the brand name is creator-executive producer Steven Levitan. “Reboot” marks a return to television for the award-winning “Modern Family” co-creator, and he delights in poking fun at network television’s penchant for repeating itself. The series kicks off with three episodes on Tuesday.

— Norman Lear turned 100 last July, but it would be fussy to blame the legendary TV producer and activist for a late party, especially one that goes all out. “Norman Lear: 100 Years of Music and Laughter,” airing Thursday on ABC, will celebrate Lear’s life and accomplishments, including the groundbreaking sitcoms “All in the Family” and “The Jeffersons.” George Clooney, Rita Moreno, Anthony Anderson, Jennifer Aniston, Jimmy Kimmel and Octavia Spencer are among those set to appear in the two-hour special that promises comedy, performances and surprise reunions.

— Lynn Elber, AP Television Writer


This story has been updated to correct that “On the Come Up” will air on Paramount+, not Peacock.


Find AP’s entertainment coverage here: https://apnews.com/apf-entertainment.


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