By The Associated Press, AP News.
Here’s a collection curated by The Associated Press’ entertainment journalists of what’s arriving on TV, streaming services and music platforms this week.
— LeBron James leads the Tunes against the Goons in “Space Jam: A New Legacy,” a sequel to the 1996 movie that had Michael Jordan headlining with Bugs Bunny. Director Malcolm D. Lee didn’t necessarily feel beholden to that first movie though. “I didn’t feel like, ‘Oh, I have to pay homage to that movie.’” It was more about the long legacy of the Looney Tunes more so than that particular film,” he told the AP earlier this year. It’ll be available on HBO Max free for subscribers for 31 days starting Friday, as well as in theaters. Lee said it was the “epitome of a popcorn movie” and even got the stamp of approval from what he says is the toughest audience of all: His 12-year-old son.
— Over on Amazon Prime Video on Friday, “Pose” star Billy Porter plays a non-binary Fairy Godparent named Fab G in the latest version of “Cinderella.” Pop star Camilla Cabello stars as the glass slipper-wearer and Idina Menzel plays the stepmother. Naturally, both are providing original songs for the soundtrack. It’s a stacked cast, too, with Minnie Driver as the queen, Pierce Brosnan as the king, and James Corden and John Mulaney as the mice/footmen. And it was written and directed by Kay Cannon, who wrote the “Pitch Perfect” movies.
— Netflix is closing out its ambitious “Fear Street” trilogy this Friday with the premiere of “Fear Street: 1666” which traces the curse of Shadyside, Ohio back to witch trials. If you’re just hearing about the series now, don’t worry, you’re not far behind. The first two, set around supernatural events in Shadyside in 1994 and 1978, only just debuted over the past two weeks. Janiak told the AP that the series doesn’t necessarily need to be “binged,” but that re-watches will reveal some fun Easter eggs.
— AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr
— John Mayer returns with his first album since 2017’s “The Search For Everything.” The new one is cheekily titled “Sob Rock” and the singer-songwriter-guitarist explores the often maligned genre of soft rock. “Last Train Home,” the superb first single, features Maren Morris on background vocals and has Mayer wielding his axe like Eric Clapton. Don Was helped produce the album and the cover has Mayer in a very ’80s pose, a little “Miami Vice” mixed with Richard Marx.
— The “Space Jam” sequel isn’t only for your eyes. The 16-track soundtrack is packed with new music, like 24kGoldn’s “Control the World” featuring Lil Wayne, the Jonas Brothers’ “Mercy,” and Chance the Rapper’s “See Me Fly” featuring John Legend and Symba. There’s also Lil Uzi Vert’s take on “Pump Up the Jam,” Legend’s “Crowd Go Crazy,” BROCKHAMPTON’s “MVP,” Big Freedia’s “Goin’ Looney,” Leon Bridges’ “My Guy” and Anthony Ramos’ “The Best.”
— AP Entertainment Writer Mark Kennedy
— The always top-notch Guy Pearce is back for the big finish of “Jack Irish,” the Australian crime thriller in which he plays a former criminal lawyer now dabbling in debt collection and trouble. In the four-episode final season debuting Monday on the Acorn TV streaming service, Jack confronts his past — including the violent death of his wife by a former client. Along for the difficult ride are characters from earlier “Jack Irish” seasons and TV movies, among them journalist and ex-girlfriend Linda, played by Marta Dusseldorp; racetrack buff Harry (Roy Billing) and old-school detective Barry Tregear (Shane Jacobson).
— How to mark World Chimpanzee Day on Thursday? Tune in to “Rescued Chimpanzees of the Congo with Jane Goodall” on CuriosityStream, available on TV, desktop and mobile devices. The five-part docuseries delves into Goodall’s extraordinary efforts to rehabilitate chimps saved from illegal wildlife trafficking through the Jane Goodall Institute’s Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Centre in the Republic of the Congo. The series promises rare footage of decades of work by the institute and Goodall, who in a statement invited viewers to discover that each chimpanzee has value and “deserves a good, full life.”
— For wrestling fans, the start of normal life after pandemic lockdowns arrives this week with WWE’s return to live events with in-person audiences. A 25-city summer tour starts in Texas with Houston’s “SmackDown,” airing on Fox at 8 p.m. EDT Friday. Next up is “Money in the Bank” in Fort Worth (8 p.m. EDT Sunday on the Peacock streaming service), and “Raw” in Dallas (8 p.m. EDT, USA). One big announced match for Sunday: Bobby Lashley facing Kofi Kingston for the WWE Championship.
— AP Television Writer Lynn Elber