Worth Watching: CMA Awards, a ‘Survivor’ Merge, Reliving the Preppy Murder


A selective critical checklist of notable Wednesday TV:

The 53rd Annual CMA Awards (8/7c, ABC): It’s the ladies’ time to shine on what’s being billed as “Country Music’s Biggest Night,” with 12-time host Carrie Underwood joined by living legends Dolly Parton and Reba McEntire. They’ll team on an opening number, joined in a mega-medley by Terri Clark, Sara Evans, Crystal Gayle, The Highwomen (Brandy Carlile, Natalie Hemby, Maren Morris, Amanda Shires), Martina McBride, Jennifer Nettles, Tanya Tucker and Gretchen Wilson. Another epic collaboration features a performance by Kelsea Ballerini with Lindsay Ell, Little Big Town, Maddie & Tae, Ashley McBryde, Carly Pearce and Runaway June. Though many of the headliners are women, the Lifetime Achievement Award goes to Kris Kristofferson, who will be honored by a special performance of his iconic “Me & Bobby McGee” by Dierks Bentley with Sheryl Crow, Chris Janson and John Osborne.

Survivor (8/7c, CBS): All bets, and maybe a few alliances, are off as the tribes merge in one of the most anticipated moments of any Survivor season. CBS marks the occasion with a two-hour block of back-to-back episodes. Keep those blindsides coming.

The Preppy Murder: Death in Central Park (AMC and SundanceTV): Over three nights (concluding Friday), this five-part docu-series revisits the investigation of the 1996 murder of Jennifer Levin by handsome son-of-privilege Robert Chambers and the sensational trial that ensued, smearing the reputation of the victim in a tabloid media war. The series includes interviews with detective-turned-reporter Mike Sheehan, who died shortly after talking with producers, and Jennifer’s point of view is represented by mother Ellen and sister Danielle.

Inside Wednesday TV: Triumph the Insult Comic Dog joins the panel on Fox’s The Masked Singer (8/7c), and let’s hope he saves his best material for his vapid fellow panelists and unctuous host, Nick Cannon… Two broadcasting legends get down to business in AXS TV’s The Big Interview (8/7c), when Dan Rather debriefs Bob Costas on subjects including the state of sports journalism and his split with NBC in 2018… Alex Rodriguez gives financial advice to controversial Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte on CNBC’s Back in the Game (10/9c). What, his Dancing with the Stars gig in 2016 wasn’t enough to rehab his reputation?