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Around the remote: Chuck Barney’s TV and streaming picks for Aug. 25-31

By CHUCK BARNEY • Aug 23, 2019 at 9:49 AM

DON’T MISS: 2019 MTV Video Music Awards — They’ll be handing out plenty of “Moon Person” statues at the annual trophy-fest — Ariana Grande and Taylor Swift lead with 10 nominations apiece. But it’s the performances we really crave. Set to take the stage in Newark, New Jersey are Shawn Mendes, Lizzo, Camila Cabello, the Jonas Brothers, Missy Elliott, Bad Bunny, Swift and more. Comedian and actor Sebastian Maniscalco is our host. (8 p.m. Monday, MTV).

Other bets:

SUNDAY: Will it be “The Affair” to remember? The strife-filled drama launches its final season — one that chronicles the aftermath of last season’s horrific events. Joining the cast is Anna Paquin, who plays the adult daughter of Alison and Cole. (9 p.m., Showtime).

SUNDAY: Kirsten Dunst shines in the new dramedy “On Becoming a God in Central Florida.” She plays Krystal Stubbs, a lowly water park staffer who, in an act of vengeance, lies and schemes her way up the ranks of a cultish, multibillion-dollar pyramid scheme she claims wrecked her life. (10 p.m., Showtime).

SUNDAY: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson returns for a new round of “Ballers.” When we last saw his character, Spencer Strasmore had resigned from the firm after waging a fierce battle with the NCAA. But we think it won’t be long before he gets his big shiny head back in the game. (10:30 p.m., HBO).

MONDAY: At last, it’s Night 1 of the National Finals on “American Ninja Warrior” as the season’s top competitors face off in Las Vegas. Come for the incredible athleticism — and stay for the wipeouts. (8 p.m., NBC).

TUESDAY: The new real estate series “Stay or Sell” has husband-wife renovation experts Brad and Heather Fox presenting clients with two options — build onto their current home, or buy another nearby property that can be customized. (9 p.m., HGTV).

WEDNESDAY: You’ll likely find yourself murmuring “awwwww” quite a bit while watching “Animal Babies: First Year on Earth.” It’s a three-part nature series that follows six infant mammals — including an elephant and a sea otter — on their challenging journeys to their first birthdays. (8 p.m., PBS).

WEDNESDAY: Buckle up for another season of fast and furious joyrides on “Jay Leno’s Garage.” In the opener, comedian Kevin Hart joins Leno on a perilous journey in one of the world’s most outrageous off-road vehicles. (10 p.m., CNBC).

THURSDAY: “Reef Break” doubles its pleasure with back-to-back episodes tonight. In the first hour, Petra unknowingly finds herself in the center of illegal activity involving Regina, the younger sister of criminal Doug O’Casey. (8 p.m., ABC).

FRIDAY: “The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance” is an epic prequel series to Jim Henson’s 1982 cult classic puppet fantasy film, “The Dark Crystal.” It’s full of wonderfully quirky creatures and is bolstered by an all-star voice cast that includes Taron Egerton, Mark Hamill, Helena Bonham Carter, Andy Samberg, Sigourney Weaver and more. (Netflix).

FRIDAY: Orlando Bloom and Cara Delevingne star in “Carnival Row,” a fantasy series set in a fictionalized Victorian world. There, mythological creatures struggle to coexist with intolerant humans, who restrict their ability to freely live, love, or fly. (Amazon Prime).

SATURDAY: Rowan Atkinson plays the title character in the crime drama “Maigret.” Set in 1950s Paris and based on the novels of Georges Simenon, the show follows stoic police detective Jules Maigret as he takes on hard-to-crack cases. (4 p.m. PT; 7 p.m. ET, Ovation).

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(Email Chuck Barney at [email protected])

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