What to watch: TV shows premiering in April

Brooke Shields' documentary, "Pretty Baby," airs on Hulu on April 3. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
Brooke Shields' documentary, "Pretty Baby," airs on Hulu on April 3. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

March 31 (UPI) -- Spring has finally arrived and with it, a new spate of TV shows in a variety of genres. Documentaries abound as do return favorites and new limited series with mega-star power. Paramount+ uses a popular film in its vast catalog as the basis for a new series and Prime Video is scheduled to release one of the most expensive shows in streaming history. Country stars gather in Austin, Texas, for their annual viewer's choice awards show. Here's a look at what's debuting in April.

'CMT Awards'-- CBS, Paramount+


Kane Brown and Kelsey Ballerini host the Country Music Television Awards live from the Moody Center in Austin, Texas. All of the awards, which recognize artists for TV and music video performances, are voted on by fans. Lainey Wilson is the top nominee with four nods, while Brown, Jelly Roll, and Cody Johnson have three nominations apiece. Carrie Underwood will perform and is up for Video of the Year for "Hate My Heart." The CMT Awards air live on Saturday starting from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. EDT on CBS and will stream live and on-demand on Paramount+.


'Pretty Baby' -- Hulu

Actress Brooke Shields became a controversial figure after playing a prepubescent prostitute in the 1978 Louis Malle film Pretty Baby. Then, she appeared in a series of popular ads for Calvin Klein Jeans which also generated criticism for sexualizing the then-teenage star. Shields had a distant relationship with her father and a challenging one with her mother, Teri Shields, a 'momager' before any of Kris Jenner's offspring were even born. Shields reflects on her journey in the new documentary Pretty Baby which debuts on Hulu on Monday.

'Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies' -- Paramount+

The same year that Pretty Baby came out, another cultural phenomenon was released. The movie Grease starring Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta became a classic that solidified Travolta as a bankable star and introduced the world to the Australian singer.

Now, Paramount digs into its archives to lure a new generation into the Grease universe. Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies is set at Rydell High four years before the events in Grease. The series stars Jackie Hoffman (Only Murders in the Building) as assistant principal McGee, (taking over for Eve Arden who played the role in Grease and Grease 2.) Marisa Davila is Jane, Cheyenne Isabel Wells is Olivia, Ari Notartomaso plays Cynthia, Tricia Fukuhara is Nancy, and Shanel Bailey plays Hazel. Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies debuts on Paramount+ on April 6.


'Beef' -- Netflix

Ali Wong stars in this road-rage-gone-extreme series that earned a perfect score on Rotten Tomatoes well before its official release. Wong is Alex, who has an encounter on the road with Danny (Steven Yeun), which ends up changing both of their lives. Billed as a comedy thriller, Beef is the latest Netflix film for Wong, who previously partnered with the streamer on Always Be My Maybe, and will voice a character in a just-announced animated film, Jentry Chau vs. The Underworld. Beef starts on April 6.

'Rennervations' -- Disney+

Despite an accident that almost claimed his life, the show must go on for Jeremy Renner. His Disney+ reality show Rennervations, filmed before the accident, will premiere on April 12. In the four-part series "construction aficionado" Renner supervises the reworking of decommissioned government vehicles into spaces that contribute to communities in four cities around the world. Anthony Mackie, Vanessa Hudgens, Sebastián Yatra and Anil Kapoor guest star.

'The Last Thing He Told Me' -- AppleTV+

Jennifer Garner joins the major stars who've found a home on Apple TV+ with her new series The Last Thing He Told Me. Based on the 2021 bestseller by Laura Dave, Garner plays Hannah, a wife with a good-looking husband and a beautiful home in San Francisco. But when Owen (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) disappears, she and his 16-year-old daughter Bailey (Angourie Rice) must go on the run to find out what secrets he was keeping and what happened to him. The Last Thing He Told Me premieres its first two episodes on April 14, with the next five following every Friday through May 19.


'Barry' Season 4 -- HBO

Barry returns for its fourth and final season after the pandemic delayed production on the HBO show. The fourth season opens up with the hitman in jail. "I'm really sorry. I didn't think it would end up like this," Barry Berkman (Bill Hader) says in the trailer.

Hader lamented the show's ending, saying in a statement, "It's been an amazing journey making this show, and it's bittersweet that the story has come to its natural conclusion." Henry Winkler returns as Cousineau, along with Anthony Carrigan (Noho Hank), Sarah Goldberg (Sally Reed) and Stephen Root as Monroe Fuches. Hader directed all eight episodes of the series finale, which kicks off with two episodes on April 16 continuing every Sunday until May 28.

'Judy Blume Forever' -- Prime Video

The beloved young adult author of such classics as Deenie and Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret gets the documentary treatment from Prime Video on April 21. Now 85, Blume is able to reflect on her place as America's most influential living author in a genre that wasn't taken seriously until a few years ago. Participants who lavish praise on Blume include comedian/TV host Samantha Bee, author Tayari Jones, actress Molly Ringwald and writer/producer Lena Dunham. It's good timing for the doc -- the movie adaptation of Are You There God? Its Me, Margaret comes out on April 28.


'Dear Mama' -- FX, Hulu

Director/producer Allen Hughes promises previously unseen footage for his new documentary, Dear Mama, which covers the life and legacy of Tupac Shakur. In the five-episode docuseries, he connects Shakur's short life to that of his mother, Afeni Shakur.

A Black Panther who was tried and acquitted with the Panther 21, she had her own story of activism and addiction. Afeni died in 2016. The documentary explores how their relationship contributed to Tupac's triumphs as well as the missteps that led to his untimely death. Dear Mama's first two episodes premiere on April 21 at 10 p.m. EDT on FX, and will be available on Hulu the day after.

'Citadel' -- Prime Video

Mission Impossible meets True Lies in Citadel starring Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Stanley Tucci and Richard Madden as part of a mysterious spy organization. Chopra plays Nadia Sinh, who was once married to Mason Kane, played by Madden. After a mission goes bad, their memories are wiped. That's until Tucci, as master spy Bernard Orlick, puts them back in play to keep the shadowy group Manticore from taking over the globe.


After some offscreen drama with the original director and showrunners, the Russo Brothers of Captain America and Avengers fame took over, thus the big-time budget. Citadel premieres on April 28.

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