By Rick Gables
The four-time Emmy Award-winning musical competition series The Voice returns to NBC on Monday, Oct. 19, from 8 to 10 p.m. ET/PT. The strongest vocalists from across the country have been invited to compete on the show’s 19th season. Carson Daly returns as host, with Kelly Clarkson, Gwen Stefani, John Legend and Blake Shelton serving as coaches. The show’s innovative format features four stages of competition: the first begins with the Blind Auditions (which have already been taped), then the Battle Rounds, Knockouts, and, finally, the Live Performance Shows. During the Blind Auditions, the decisions from the musician coaches are based solely on voice and not looks, as they do not get to see them, thanks to rotating chairs. After many rounds of entertaining competition and interest twists, one will be named “The Voice” and will receive the grand prize of a recording contract.
The daily lives of wild pandas have remained a mystery, until now. PBS’ Nature series will premiere Pandas: Born to be Wild on Wednesday, Oct. 21, at 8 p.m. ET (check your local listings). Filming over three years, two Chinese cinematographers trek through the steep forested trails of the Qinling Mountains to catch a glimpse of wild pandas. With the help of scientists and rangers on this journey, they capture startling new wild panda behavior on screen. Unlike the playful image of captive pandas, wild pandas are solitary and territorial. The film crew also follows the training of a young panda born in captivity learning to be a panda in the wild.
Lorraine Bracco, the OSCAR- and Emmy-nominated actress from Goodfellas and The Sopranos, will take a break from Hollywood for her next gig on the island of Sicily — renovating a 200-year-old home she purchased for only one euro. The new HGTV series My Big Italian Adventure, premiering Friday, Oct. 30, at 9 p.m. ET/PT, will follow Lorraine’s journey to renovate the 1,075-square-foot property in the tiny hilltop town of Sambuca di Sicilia with help from an architect, contractor and other local experts. The Sambuca one-euro program was created by the mayor to help sell the town’s vacant homes quickly and inexpensively. The goal is to encourage families to return to the rural oasis, but the catch is that the homes must be completed within three years of purchase.