What's On: A ‘Love Actually’ Reunion on Red Nose Day, and a Revival of ‘Love Connection’
The Red Nose Day Special (10/9c, NBC): The third annual charity special, raising money to held end the global crisis of child poverty, is as usual an all-star event, blending comedy and music amid the appeals. This year’s centerpiece: a Love Actually cast reunion titled “Red Nose Day Actually,” featuring Colin Firth, Hugh Grant, Keira Knightley, Andrew Lincoln, Laura Linney, Liam Neeson and Bill Nighy. The cast of NBC’s hit This Is Us will also be on hand, along with such mega-stars as Bryan Cranston, Ben Affleck, Orlando Bloom and Julia Roberts, the latter appearing in a special “Red Nose Day” edition of Running Wild With Bear Grylls (9/8c), in which Roberts and Grylls travel to Kenya to deliver vaccines to a remote village. The night begins with a “Red Nose” celebrity edition of American Ninja Warrior (8/7c), with participants including Arrow’s Stephen Amell—my money’s on him—Parenthood’s Erika Christensen, Olympian Ashton Eaton, dancer Derek Hough, former Yankee Nick Swishes and NBC’s own Natalie Morales.
Love Connection (9/8c, Fox): In an age of seemingly non-stop revivals and reboots, this harmlessly cheesy dating show is at least a few rungs less smarmy than the ilk of The Bachelor/Bachelorette, with no pretense other than to riff on the ridiculousness of a TV “Blind-Dating Game.” Bravo’s ubiquitous Andy Cohen hosts, promising this show is “where the swiping stops and the loving starts.” Actually, there’s a fair bit of sniping as well as the contestants happily burn each other if the dates don’t go so well.
The Amazing Race (10/9c, CBS): My, that went fast. After waiting nearly the entire season for CBS to revive Race—which thankfully has been renewed for another year—the 29th cycle is already almost over. In the penultimate leg, the final four teams traverse Seoul, South Korea, hoping to make it into next week’s finale.
Inside Thursday TV: In a new twist on the old Name That Tune format, Jamie Foxx hosts Fox’s Beat Shazam (8/7c), in which teams compete to identify popular songs from various eras, and whoever wins will go up against Shazam, the popular app that can pluck just about any tune out of thin air. … Two of A&E’s popular true-crime franchises return for new seasons. The First 48 (9/8c) heads to Atlanta, where detectives seek witnesses after a stray bullet kills a retired preschool teacher. Cold Case Files (10/9c) exhumes a 20-year-old unsolved murder in Brigham City, Utah, when the victim’s brother, now a police officer, teams with a district attorney to use new DNA technology to solve the crime.