‘Ultimate Surfer,’ A ‘Witcher’ Origin Story, Lorde Stays Up Late, Renée Zellweger Takes a ‘Joyride’

ABC hangs 10 with a new surfing competition series featuring man-made waves. Netflix revisits its hit Witcher fantasy franchise with an anime origin story. Lorde sets up residence all week with James Corden on CBS’ Late Late Show. Discovery spins off Celebrity IOU with an automotive version.


The Ultimate Surfer

Series Premiere

Surfing fans facing withdrawal now that HBO’s 100 Foot Wave is over can get their fix with a competition series where Mother Nature has been taken out of the equation as each of the competitors—seven men, seven women—try to master the man-made 6-foot waves at California’s landlocked Surf Ranch. Renowned champ Kelly Slater, who’s a consultant and “mentor” on the show, helped develop this cutting-edge technology that provides a perfect wave each time for the surfers to show their stuff. They compete in teams in a Wave Challenge, and the highest scorers with immunity get to pick one team to go to an individual elimination “Surf Off,” and that team gets to pick who they go up against. Inevitably, you’ll hear someone say, “I’m not here to make friends.” At least they have skills, which is more than you can say for the exhibitionistic fools for love on Bachelor in Paradise. (A second episode airs Tuesday.)

Theo James as Vesemir, The Witcher Nightmare of the Wolf

The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf

Series Premiere

An anime spinoff of the cult fantasy series brings fans the origin story of Geralt’s mentor, Vesemir (voiced by Sanditon’s Theo James). Once upon a time, Vesemir was a swashbuckling mercenary monster slayer who faces his own demons when he takes on a mysterious beast terrorizing a fractured kingdom.

Lorde performs at Good Morning America's Summer Concert Series
(Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images)

The Late Late Show With James Corden

Grammy-winner Lorde is the latest musical guest to spend a week in residency with Corden, back from a summer hiatus. She’ll show her funny side in comedy segments, sit for an in-studio chat and perform songs off her new album, Solar Power.


Celebrity IOU: Joyride

Series Premiere

A spinoff with horsepower, IOU: Joyride mashes up the popular pay-it-forward renovation series with a car-crazy twist. Master mechanic Ant Anstead and “car guru” Cristy Lee help celebrities perform magic on wheels to surprise special people in their lives. In the opener, Oscar winner Renée Zellweger (Judy, Cold Mountain) does double duty to gift two cars to brothers Jerome and Jerald, who impressed her as 24-hour caregivers to the actress’ friend and publicist Nanci Ryder during her four-year battle with ALS.

Inside Monday TV:

  • Messyness (7/6c, MTV): The latest spinoff of Ridiculousness revels in awkward moments gone rival, with host Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi gathering a panel including Tori Spelling, Olympian Adam Rippon and comedian Teddy Ray to snark at all they see.
  • American Ninja Warrior (8/7c, NBC): The remaining ninjas face up to 10 extreme obstacles as the semifinals come to an end in Los Angeles. The two top players face off on the Power Tower, with the winner getting a Safety Pass for the National Finals.
  • Born for Business (streaming on Peacock): An inspiring 10-episode docuseries profiles four entrepreneurs with disabilities as they overcome obstacles including the pandemic to make a success out of their small businesses.