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TV THIS WEEK: The Expanse returns; The Stand premieres; The Mandalorian finale; SYFY horror & more

By Trent Moore
The Stand CBS All Access

It might not be Christmas just yet, but the geeky gifts are coming to the small screen a little early — namely a new Stephen King adaptation and a fresh season of The Expanse. Oh, and a new holiday horror flick from SYFY. Thanks Satan — oops, we mean, Santa!

The biggest stories this week are arguably the premieres of Season 5 of The Expanse on Amazon Prime and the series premiere of CBS All Access' big budget, eagerly-anticipated event series adaptation of Stephen King's The Stand. Both have a ton of buzz and look to be two of the biggest genre premieres of the winter. Turning to big finales, Season 2 of The Mandalorian is coming to what will certainly be a universe-shaking end, with Mando gunning for Moff Gideon.

On the scary side, SYFY is dropping the new horror flick Letters to Satan Claus, which finds the devil himself causing trouble at Christmastime. Shudder is also surprising everyone with a holiday special of its hit anthology series Creepshow, bringing in stars Anna Camp and Adam Pally for a scary good time.

Digging deeper, Fox has a new episode of neXt; CBS All Access has a new Star Trek: Discovery; Discovery has a new BattleBots; and CBS has a new MacGyver. There are also some great movies on the dial this week, with TNT showing the classic The Wizard of Oz; TMC showing Ex Machina; SYFY showing the new Robin Hood; and TNT has a few airings of Wonder Woman. You know, in case you need a refresher before Wonder Woman 1984 hits HBO Max on Christmas Day.

Check out the full rundown below and let us know what you'll be watching this week.


The Expanse (Amazon Prime), Wednesday - "Exodus," "Churn," "Mother"

SEASON PREMIERE: The future of The Belt has begun as Marco Inaros wages Armageddon against the Inners for a lifetime of oppression and injustice.

The Stand (CBS All Access), Thursday - "The End"

SERIES PREMIERE: Based on the best-selling novel by Stephen King, CBS All Access's The Stand stars Whoopi Goldberg as Mother Abagail, the figurehead of the Boulder Free Zone, and Alexander Skarsgård as Randall Flagg, the leader of the sinister New Vegas. The Stand also stars James Marsden, Odessa Young, Jovan Adepo, and many more. The limited event series will feature an all-new coda written by Stephen King.

The Mandalorian (Disney+), Friday - "Chapter 16"

SEASON FINALE: The Mandalorian and the Child continue their journey, facing enemies and rallying allies as they make their way through a dangerous galaxy in the tumultuous era after the collapse of the Galactic Empire.

A Creepshow Holiday Special (Shudder), Friday

In the holiday themed "Shapeshifters Anonymous," fearing he is a murderer, an anxious man searches for answers for his "unique condition" from an unusual support group. Starring Anna Camp (Pitch Perfect) and Adam Pally (The Mindy Project), the special is written and directed by Creepshow showrunner Greg Nicotero, based on a short story by J.A. Konrath (Last Call).

Letters to Satan Claus (SYFY), Saturday 8PM

PREMIERE: A journalist must confront her past when Satan returns to her hometown to put a damper on the holidays.


His Dark Materials (HBO), Monday 9PM - "The Scholar"

Will and Lyra set out to retrieve what's been lost; Mary takes a leap of faith.


Swamp Thing (The CW), Tuesday 8PM - "The Anatomy Lesson"

Abby and Liz try to locate the secret Conclave facility. Jason Woodrue experiments on Swamp Thing and makes a surprising discovery.

neXt (Fox), Tuesday 9PM - "File #7"

LeBlanc and Shea discover Ted's plan for the NEXT server and race to intervene before it is too late. Meanwhile, Ben and Gina investigate NEXT's latest victims, Congresswoman Elenor Beatty and reporter Harrison Cole, after a freak accident occurs, and Shea reaches her breaking point.

Preview: You're Making A Mistake | Season 1 Ep. 8 | NEXT


The Expanse (Amazon Prime), Wednesday - "Exodus," "Churn," "Mother"

See more in our "Highlights" section above.

The Last Witch Hunter (SYFY), Wednesday 9PM

The fate of the human race hangs in the balance when the Witch Queen (Julie Engelbrecht) rises from the dead, seeking revenge against Kaulder (Vin Diesel), the immortal warrior who slayed her centuries ago.


Star Trek: Discovery (CBS All Access), Thursday - "Terra Firma Part 2"

The second installment of the recent two-parter finds the Discovery crew dealing with the Mirror Universe once again.

The Stand (CBS All Access), Thursday - "The End"

See more in our "Highlights" section above.

BattleBots (Discovery), Thursday 8PM - "Stop! Hammer Time!"

Legendary hammer-bot Beta returns to face off with Rotator, one of the deadliest horizontal spinners on the planet. Later, two rising stars attempt to stake their claim in the contest as Gruff pits its dual-flamethrowers against Hypershock.

District 9 (TMC), Thursday 8PM

NETWORK PREMIERE: A field operative (Sharlto Copley) for a company that oversees extraterrestrial refugees contracts a mysterious virus that begins to change his DNA.

The Movie Show (SYFY), Thursday 10PM - "The Movie Show Does Assassins"

On this episode Deb and Wade catch up with Splinter from TMNT, and Gary gets into jazz.

The Movie Show | FULL EPISODE: Episode 2 - The Movie Show Does Batman | SYFY


A Creepshow Holiday Special (Shudder), Friday

See more in our "Highlights" section above.

The Mandalorian (Disney+), Friday - "Chapter 16"

See more in our "Highlights" section above.

MacGyver (CBS), Friday 8PM - "Eclipse + USMC-1856707 + Step Potential + Chain Lock + Ma"

When Russ is kidnapped, Mac and the team must break out a previously murderous psychopath, now pacifist, from prison to help find him; while on the run, Mac and Desi are forced to confront their relationship issues.

The Osbournes Want to Believe (Travel), Friday 8PM - "Leave It To The Dogs"

Jack pushes his parents to believe using video evidence of alien abductions and poltergeist shenanigans. Plus, Ozzy gets a crash course on the infamous Skinwalker Ranch, and proof of canine spirits may be just the ticket to making Sharon a believer.

Surrogates (Cinemax), Friday 8PM

NETWORK PREMIERE: FBI agents (Bruce Willis, Radha Mitchell) probe a murder case linked to the inventor of technology that allows people to live vicariously though robotic versions of themselves.

Missing media item.


Wendy (HBO), Saturday 8PM

NETWORK PREMIERE: Lost on a mysterious island, a girl fights to save her family, her freedom and the joyous spirit of youth.

The Wizard of Oz (TNT), Saturday 8:30PM

After a tornado whisks Kansas farm girl Dorothy (Judy Garland) to a magic land, she must travel to the Emerald City for help in getting back home.

Letters to Satan Claus (SYFY), Saturday 8PM

See more in our "Highlights" section above.


Wonder Woman (TNT), Sunday 7PM

After leaving her all-female island for the first time, Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) discovers her full powers and true destiny while fighting alongside men in a war to end all wars.

Ex Machina (TMC), Sunday 8PM

A young programmer (Domhnall Gleeson) at an Internet company is chosen to evaluate the capabilities and consciousness of a beautiful and sophisticated robot (Alicia Vikander).

Robin Hood (SYFY), Sunday 9PM

NETWORK PREMIERE: After returning home to England, Robin of Loxley learns that the evil Sheriff of Nottingham has seized his family estate. He soon joins forces with a band of oppressed rebels in a daring plan to rob the Sheriff of his money and take away his power.

*TV listing information via TV Guide, Zap2it and network listings.