Michael Phelps Looks Back, HGTV’s ‘Bargain Block,’ ‘Conners’ Welcomes Guests, ‘NOVA’ Investigates Bias in Science

With the countdown to the Summer Olympics underway, champion swimmer Michael Phelps shares gold medal memories. Detroit gets a makeover in HGTV’s Bargain Block. Candice Bergen pays another visit to The Conners. PBS’s premiere science program NOVA takes a hard look at systemic bias in fields of science.

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Michael Phelps: Medals, Memories & More

Documentary Premiere

If all goes according to plan, the Summer Olympics will begin in 100 days. NBC’s streaming service Peacock will be there, and is already beating the drums, including with this three-part special that asks Olympic multi-medalist swimmer Michael Phelps (28 medals, 23 of them gold) to look back at his many memorable and record-setting victories. He talks with NBC Sports commentators Rowdy Gaines and Dan Hicks about each of his significant races, starting with his first Olympic heats as a 15-year-old in Sydney and continuing over two decades.

HGTV

Bargain Block

Series Premiere

There grows the neighborhood! Areas of Detroit are getting major upgrades thanks to home-renovation pros Keith Bynum, a designer, and Evan Thomas, a builder and carpenter, who buy up multiple properties on a single block and overhaul them on a budget. With help from Detroit native and real-estate expert Shea Hicks-Whitfield, they then sell the restored digs at affordable prices to first-time homeowners. In the opener, one home’s chipped paint inspires a “desert modern” design.

ABC

The Conners

Guess who’s coming back to Lanford: Murphy Brown’s Candice Bergen as Barb, the ever-opinionated mother of Ben (Jay R. Ferguson), and she has some choice words for Dan (John Goodman). Also trading zip codes: 90210’s Brian Austin Green, who guests as a new employee joining Darlene (Sara Gilbert) at Wellman Plastics.

PBS

NOVA

PBS’s signature science program takes a hard look at gender and racial bias and harassment within the world of science in a timely 90-minute report. The investigation includes personal accounts from geomorphologist Jane Willenbring, Ph.D., whose field work in Antarctica took a dark turn; molecular biologist Nancy Hopkins, Ph.D., who helped form a committee to examine gender inequalities at MIT; and analytical chemist Raychelle Burks, Ph.D., who relates the subtle and not-so-subtle slights she endured as a Black woman in her field. Followed by the documentary short Search Engine Breakdown, in which researchers advocate for inclusivity in the fields of computer science and technology, citing instances of racial and gender bias in common search engines.

Also on the Stream:

  • The Circle (streaming on Netflix): The popular social-media reality competition is back for a second season, with Michelle Buteau again hosting. Eight new contestants, including Chloe from Netflix’s Too Hot to Handle, get to know each other remotely while quarantined in their separate apartments, presenting themselves however they choose—beware catfishing—on a special social-media app. Whoever impresses their neighbors enough to be the ultimate Top Influencer gets $100,000. Unlike most Netflix series, The Circle drops episodes weekly: four episodes this week and the next two weeks, with the finale set for May 5.
  • Dad Stop Embarrassing Me! (streaming on Netflix): Jamie Foxx gets back in the sitcom business with a new series loosely based on his own relationship with daughter Corinne (who executive produces with her dad). Jamie is Brian Dixon, a bachelor businessman who turns to his dad (David Alan Grier) and sister (Porscha Coleman) for parenting advice when he suddenly becomes a full-time father to his teenage daughter, Sasha (Kyla-Drew).

Inside Wednesday TV:

  • Tough as Nails (8/7c, CBS): The reality competition is down to the last four crew members—Scott, Sarah, Zeus and Swifty—and in the season finale, they’ll have to dig deep as they pair off to build an iron structure. Whoever comes out on top will walk away with $200,000 and a 2021 Ford F-150 truck.
  • The Big Interview with Dan Rather (AXS TV, 8/7c, 5/PT): The ninth season of the music-interview series begins with Rather visiting Lady A’s Hillary Scott and her husband, drummer turned stay-at-home dad Chris Tyrrell. Topics include her country music trio’s name change.
  • Expedition X (9/8c, Discovery; streaming on discovery+): Adventurer-explorer Josh Gates does double duty on Wednesdays, launching a third season of his investigative X series, followed by a third season of his Josh Gates Tonight talk show (10/9c). In Expedition X, he joins scientist Phil Torres and paranormal researcher Jessica Chobot in the hunt for Wisconsin’s “Beast of Bray Road.” To kick off Josh Gates Tonight, he welcomes Back to the Future’s Christopher Lloyd.