What to Watch on Wednesday: Survivor finally returns to kick off a new season — and a new era

·4 min read

Survivor

HOW/WHEN & WHERE TO WATCH: 8 p.m. on CBS

Season Premiere
After 16 looooooooooooong months, Survivor is finally back. Although it may look and feel a bit different, and not just due to the pandemic-related layoff. Producers always envisioned season 40 as the end of an era, with season 41 beginning a completely new chapter, and there will be some pretty clear differences on display. Instead of just chatting with the players, Jeff Probst will occasionally talk directly to the viewer. And viewers can also play at home while attempting to solve hidden rebus puzzles in a new feature called The Game Within The Game. Speaking of the game, 18 newbies will be vying for the million-dollar prize in a shortened 26-day season that Probst promises will be just as punishing — if not more so — than the previous standard 39-day installments. If he's right, we could have a season that is not unlike a great playlist: all killer, no filler. —Dalton Ross

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The Wonder Years

HOW/WHEN & WHERE TO WATCH: 8:30 p.m. on ABC

Series Debut
Welcome back to The Wonder Years. ABC's new take on the beloved coming-of-age series follows 12-year-old Dean Williams (Elisha "EJ" Williams) growing up in a middle-class Black family in 1968 Montgomery, Ala. (Don Cheadle narrates the show as Dean's future self.) If it feels familiar, it should: showrunner Saladin K. Patterson brought on original Wonder Years star Fred Savage to direct the show's pilot and executive produce. "We want to keep that same sense of nostalgia and warmth, and really toe that line between comedy and drama that I think the original did so well," Savage explains. But don't call it a reboot or a remake: "I see it as a parallel story that also exists in the Wonder Years universe," says Patterson. —Tyler Aquilina

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Nine Perfect Strangers

HOW/WHEN & WHERE TO WATCH: Streaming on Hulu

Season Finale
As we left last week's penultimate episode of Nine Perfect Strangers, a few elements of unfinished business loomed large: Will the Marconis see their Big Trip through — and will they see Zach on the way? Is Delilah going to get off the grounds of Tranquillum House alive? Will Frances and Tony ever get over their (very tired at this point) we-don't-deserve-love hang-ups and bang for once and for all? And, perhaps most pressing, is Carmel actually Masha's fake-blue-eyed tormentor, or was that another hallucination? Plenty of questions will be answered in tonight's series finale, but it's up to each viewer to decide whether they're satisfied. —Seija Rankin

Nine Perfect Strangers
Nine Perfect Strangers

Vince Valitutti/Hulu

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Dear White People

HOW/WHEN & WHERE TO WATCH: Streaming on Netflix

Season Premiere
Making a single musical episode during normal times is difficult alone. Making a 10-episode musical season in a pandemic? That sounds nearly impossible, and yet Dear White People pulled it off for its fourth and final season. "I think that collectively, psychologically speaking, everybody, myself included, was just trying to deal with the daily trauma of existing in the world during this time, let alone creating a TV show, let alone creating a musical TV show. I mean, it really was crazy," co-creator Justin Simien recently told EW as he reflected on the season. "But it was almost so crazy that… there really wasn't a choice but to surrender to it at a certain point and to just hope that whatever ideas we came up with before the pandemic were good enough to lean into, because there really wasn't a lot of time to think, or wash, or figure out where I was. We just had to go every day." Here's to a successful senior year and final season! —Chancellor Agard

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Hear more on all of today's must-see picks, plus what Hacks' Johnny Sibilly is watching, in EW's What to Watch podcast, hosted by Gerrad Hall.

What ELSE to Watch

12 p.m.

Red Table Talk ("Jada's Surprise 50th Birthday Celebration") — Facebook Watch

8 p.m.

The Goldbergs (season premiere) — ABC

The Real Housewives of Beverly HillsBravo

RiverdaleThe CW

The Masked Singer (season premiere) — Fox

Chicago Med (season premiere) — NBC

Muhammad Ali (docuseries finale) — PBS

9 p.m.

The Conners (live season premiere) — ABC

In the DarkThe CW

Alter Ego (series debut) — Fox

Chicago Fire (season premiere) — NBC

Dr. Mercy (series debut) — TLC

9:30 p.m.

Home Economics (season premiere) — ABC

10 p.m.

A Million Little Things (season premiere) — ABC

Big Brother (special time) — CBS

Jay Leno's Garage (season premiere) — CNBC

Awkwafina Is Nora From QueensComedy Central

American Horror Story: Double FeatureFX

ArcherFXX

Chicago P.D. (season premiere) — NBC

Streaming

Star Wars: Visions (anime series debut) — Disney+

Monsters Inside: The 24 Faces of Billy Milligan (docuseries debut) — Netflix

The Circle (eps 9-12) — Netflix

Movies

IntrusionNetflix

*times are ET and subject to change

We know TV has a lot to offer, be it network, cable, premium channels, or streaming platforms including Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV+, and others. So EW is here to help, guiding you every single day to the things that should be on your radar. Be sure to listen/subscribe to our What to Watch podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Player FM, or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts, or via your own voice-controlled smart-speaker (Alexa, Google Home).

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