Stay Tuned column: In compelling documentary series, ‘Love Fraud,’ a conman’s targets seek justice

Melissa Crawley
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Richard Scott Smith is a conman on the run in "Love Fraud."

A medical drama by way of Canada premieres, the Queen’s private life is revealed, androids and humans clash over religion, and a group of women take down an internet predator.

Dispatches: Weekly TV news

Former Fox News anchor Shepard Smith has landed at CNBC. His new show, “The News with Shepard Smith,” described as a “newscast providing deep, non-partisan coverage and perspective on the day’s most important stories,” will premiere at 7 p.m. ET on Sept. 30.

Comedy Central reversed its January decision to renew “Tosh.0” for four more seasons. Now, the show will end its run with its 12th season. The last 10 episodes return Sept. 15. The announcement comes as Comedy Central is pursuing a new programming strategy, which focuses on adult animation, topical series and made-for-TV feature films.

Contenders: Shows to keep on your radar

Richard Scott Smith has spent the last 20 years using the internet to seduce and swindle unsuspecting women looking for love. Four-part documentary series, “Love Fraud” (Aug. 30, Showtime, 9 p.m. ET), tracks the conman in real time and follows those he wronged as they seek justice. More than a cautionary tale, it’s a compelling account of women who refuse to be victims.

The “2020 Video Music Awards” (Aug. 30, MTV, VH1, The CW, 8 p.m. ET) will be different this year, with outdoor performances around New York instead of inside an arena. Keke Palmer hosts, and BTS, Miley Cyrus and Lady Gaga, with Ariana Grande, are scheduled to perform.

Heavy is the head that wears the crown. “Being the Queen” (Aug. 31, Nat Geo, 9 p.m. ET) takes a look at the very private life of Queen Elizabeth II. Using a first-person storytelling style, along with a wide range of archival material and rare photographs, the one-hour special highlights the Queen’s accession to the throne. It’s an immersive account of her personal life told against the backdrop of British history.

With TV production getting a slow restart, NBC’s newest drama series is a Canadian import. “Transplant” (Sept.1, 10 p.m. ET) focuses on Dr. Bashir “Bash” Hamed (Hamza Haq), a Syrian doctor who fled with his sister to Canada to start a new life and rebuild his career in medicine.

“Raised by Wolves” (Sept. 3, HBO Max) centers on two androids sent to a virgin planet to raise human children as atheists after a war destroys Earth. But the war’s survivors have plans of their own and the androids quickly learn that trying to control humans’ beliefs is a dangerous undertaking. The series is from Ridley Scott.

In “We Got This” (Sept. 3, Sundance Now), George English, a down on his luck American living in Sweden, decides to solve the famous 30-year-old murder of a former prime minister in order to collect the reward money. What could go wrong? A mix of dark comedy and conspiracy, the six-part series stars creator and writer Schiaffino Musarra as English.

Report Card: Ratings winners and losers

Winners: The season finale of “Yellowstone” drew a record 5.2 million viewers, making it the most-watched scripted cable broadcast of the year so far.

Losers: Showtime canceled “Penny Dreadful: City of Angels” after one season.

Melissa Crawley is the author of “Mr. Sorkin Goes to Washington: Shaping the President on Television’s ‘The West Wing.’” She has a Ph.D. in media studies and is a member of the Television Critics Association. To comment on Stay Tuned, email her at staytuned@outlook.com or follow her on Twitter at @mcstaytuned.

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