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NEW THIS WEEK: 'Tina,' 'Bunny' and 'City on a Hill' to premiere

by The Associated Press | March 25, 2021 at 1:50 a.m.
“The Runaway Bunny” premieres today on HBO Max; “Tina,” a documentary about Tina Turner, premieres Saturday on HBO Max; and “City on a Hill” premieres Sunday on Showtime. (HBO Max/HBO Max/Showtime via AP)

Here's a collection written by The Associated Press' entertainment journalists of what's arriving on TV, streaming services and music platforms this week.


◼️ Most of last week's Oscar nominees are already streaming or available on-demand. Florian Zeller's "The Father," though, is among the most recent arrivals; it becomes available on premium on-demand Friday. (It's also playing in theaters.) Based on Zeller's own much-traveled play, "The Father" largely takes the perspective of its main character, 80-year-old Anthony (Anthony Hopkins), who's in the grip of dementia. Zeller's directorial debut was nominated for best picture, best actor (Hopkins) and best supporting actress (Olivia Colman, who plays Anthony's daughter), as well as nods for production design, editing and adapted screenplay.

◼️ In Dan Lindsay and T.J. Martin's revealing documentary "Tina," Tina Turner surveys her tumultuous and extraordinary life. The film, which debuts Saturday on HBO and HBO Max, includes intimate interviews with the 81-year-old "Queen of Rock 'n' Roll," along with previously unseen footage, audiotapes and personal photos. Turner's life has been much chronicled — including the 1986 autobiography "I, Tina" and its 1993 big-screen adaptation "What's Love Got to Do With It." But time has only made Turner's swings between success, trauma and survival all the more powerful.

◼️ Another Oscar nominee achieved a rare distinction. The piercing Romanian documentary "Collective" was nominated for best documentary and best international film — something only one previous film ("Honeyland," in 2020) — has ever managed to do. Alexander Nanau's film, which arrives today on Hulu, was one of the very best of 2020. It trails the unlikely investigative journalists that doggedly reported on the fallout of a horrifying and deadly fire in a Bucharest nightclub. The film is also available on-demand and for digital rental.

Jake Coyle, AP film writer


◼️ Carrie Underwood's forthcoming album features gospel hymns important to the "American Idol" winner. The 13-song "My Savior" includes "Great Is Thy Faithfulness" with CeCe Winans and "Nothing but the Blood of Jesus" with Bear Rinehart. "The songs on this album are literally songs that I've heard from birth," Underwood shared in a trailer for the album. Also on the album are harmonica legend Buddy Greene, guitarist Mac McAnally, piano virtuoso Gordon Mote and frequent Underwood collaborator Brett James.

◼️ Evanescence is gearing up to release the band's first full-length album of original music in a decade, "The Bitter Truth." It contains the band's signature stew of metal-inspired sounds and strong rock elements, especially in the fiery, independence-minded new single "Better Without You." On "Far From Heaven," singer Amy Lee sings about questioning her faith after suffering so much personal loss. The band worked on the album during the pandemic, with the U.S.-based members traveling via tour bus to Nashville, Tenn., to record alongside Lee. "The Bitter Truth" is slated for a Friday release, the same day the band will release a companion documentary titled "Evanescence: Embracing The Bitter Truth."

Mark Kennedy, AP entertainment writer


◼️ "The Runaway Bunny" gets star treatment in an animated special based based on Margaret Wise Brown's classic book about a bunny eager to leave home. Besides Tracee Ellis Ross' performance of an original lullaby by Brown, the HBO Max show out today incorporates songs by Mariah Carey (a remake of "Always Be My Baby"), Roseanne Cash ("You Are My Sunshine") and Ziggy Marley ("What a Wonderful World"), among others artists. From producer-director Amy Schatz (the "Classical Baby" series), the special uses hand-drawn animation to evoke Clement Hurd's illustrations for the 1942 book.

◼️ Emilio Estevez returns as youth hockey coach Gordon Bombay in "The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers," a Disney+ series follow-up to the 1990s movie franchise. Gordon has a new challenge: help 12-year-old Evan (Brady Morrow) and his mom, played by Lauren Graham ("Gilmore Girls," "Parenthood"), create a new team after Evan gets dropped by the Ducks, who have morphed into a team of winners who lack boundaries. Estevez, who had largely traded acting for directing, promises the series debuting Friday captures the films' "magic" but offers more than nostalgia.

◼️ A drug violence-riddled federal housing project in Boston is at the center of season two of Showtime's "City on a Hill," debuting at 9 p.m. Sunday. Kevin Bacon's FBI agent Jackie Rohr is trying to salvage his career by trading on the city's flawed criminal justice system, with Aldis Hodge's assistant D.A. Decourcy Ward as his formidable opponent. Their hostility is destined to ensnare the office of federal and county prosecutors in "all-out war." Tom Fontana ("Homicide: Life on the Street") is the executive producer in charge of the drama, back with eight episodes.

Lynn Elber, AP television writer


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