This Week's TV Best Bets:
Sunday, Jan. 14
Tennis: Australian Open, Early Rounds
ESPN2, 7pm Live
ESPN2 airs early-round coverage of the Australian Open, tennis’ first Grand Slam event of 2018, from Melbourne Park. Reigning men’s singles champion Roger Federer looks to continue his renaissance, and while Serena Williams had been expected to play after giving birth to her first child in September, earlier this month she announced her withdrawal from the tournament. ESPN2 and ESPN combine to air the tournament through Jan. 28.
The Simpsons: “Frink Gets Testy”
Mr. Burns fears that the end of the world is looming, and tasks Dr. Frink with testing all of Springfield to determine who is worth saving.
NCIS: Los Angeles: “Cac Tu Nhan”
In the new episode “Cac Tu Nhan,” Eric (Barrett Foa) and Nell (Renée Felice Smith) find a clue to where Hetty (Linda Hunt) is being held captive in Vietnam, prompting the team to organize a rescue mission.
Family Guy: “Dog Bites Bear”
In the animated series’ 300th episode, Stewie and Brian get into a friendship-ending fight after Brian commits a terrible act to one of Stewie’s beloved toys. Meanwhile, Peter refuses to wash his hand after meeting his favorite breakfast cereal mascot, Boo Berry.
Past Malice: An Emma Fielding Mystery
Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, 9pm
When archaeology Professor Emma Fielding (Courtney Thorne-Smith) is recruited to aid in a groundbreaking discovery beneath the Chandler Castle, she is swept into another mystery when she finds her colleague murdered in the crypts below. Soon, Emma, her students and an FBI agent (James Tupper) find themselves in danger of being buried along with the secrets of Chandler Castle.
Victoria on Masterpiece: “A Soldier’s Daughter/The Green-Eyed Monster”
New mother Victoria is impatient to return to ruling, while Albert attempts to protect her from the news regarding British soldiers in Afghanistan. Victoria is pregnant again, and her equilibrium is threatened by Albert’s friendship with Ada Lovelace.
The Last Man on Earth: “Paint Misbehavin’”
In the winter finale, Tandy (Will Forte) and Todd (Mel Rodriguez) introduce newcomer Karl (guest star Fred Armisen) to the rest of the gang. Meanwhile, the group searches for Jasper (Keith L. Williams), who has gone missing.
Madam Secretary: “Sound and Fury”
When President Dalton (Keith Carradine) hears about a sonic attack at a U.S. embassy, he thinks Russia is to blame and uncharacteristically threatens them with military force. Christine Ebersole guest-stars as the president’s wife Lydia in the new episode “Sound and Fury.”
Frances (Sarah Jessica Parker) and Robert (Thomas Haden Church) accept their uncoupling and move on with their lives in a lighter Season 2 of HBO’s relationship dramedy. “Everybody made a committee decision that we’re just gonna get those documents signed and stamped in the first five minutes and be done with it and move on and see how their lives develop with new and interesting people,” says Church of the show’s retooled sensibility under new showrunner Jenny Bicks, a longtime writer/executive producer on Parker’s fame-making Sex and the City.
Crashing: “The Atheist”
Created by and starring comic Pete Holmes, Crashing returns for an eight-episode second season. Tonight’s episode sees Pete — feeling lost in the universe — having an enlightening conversation with an atheist, which leads him to a night of New York debauchery. Will he finally find his voice?
Monday, Jan. 15
NBA TV & TNT, beginning at 12:30pm Live
The Martin Luther King Jr. holiday is always big for the NBA, and there are five national TV games on the schedule. NBA TV opens the day with the Charlotte Hornets at the Detroit Pistons and the San Antonio Spurs at the Atlanta Hawks. Then a tripleheader on TNT has the L.A. Lakers at the Memphis Grizzlies, the Golden State Warriors at the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Houston Rockets at the L.A. Clippers.
Supergirl: “Legion of Superheroes”
The CW, 8pm
After suffering injuries at the hands of Reign (Odette Annable), Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) remains unreachable in a dreamlike state. Mon-El (Chris Wood) recruits one of the Legion members, Brainiac-5 (guest star Jesse Rath), to try to bring her back. And while Reign rampages on the city, the DEO teams up with the Legion of Superheroes to try to stop her.
Catch the two-hour season finale of the Marvel drama about a family (played by Stephen Moyer, Amy Acker, Natalie Alyn Lind and Percy Hynes White) who escape to an underground network after their children are discovered to have mutant abilities. Those in the geek-iverse will be excited to follow Polaris as she explores the influence of fellow mutant Magneto.
Superior Donuts: “Sofia’s Choice”
An admission from Franco (Jermaine Fowler) and Sofia (Diane Guerrero) on the eve of her first big catering gig shocks everyone in the new episode “Sofia’s Choice.”
Chain of Command
National Geographic, 9pm
Actor Chris Evans narrates this eight-part docuseries, the impactful result of an unprecedented collaboration between the network and the Pentagon. Filmed over 18 months, Chain of Command affords viewers stunning access inside the Pentagon to the front lines of the U.S. military’s mission to fight extremism around the globe. The series also includes a rare on-camera interview with Gen. Joseph Dunford Jr., the 19th chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Better Late Than Never
In Barcelona, the guys look to soak up as much culture as possible. From tango dancing in the streets, to a lunch of traditional Spanish delicacies, to Terry showing Barcelona what a full moon in the middle of the day looks like, the fun doesn’t stop.
Independent Lens: “I Am Not Your Negro”
Watch a film that envisions the book James Baldwin never finished, a revolutionary and personal account of the lives and successive assassinations of three of his close friends: Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr.
The steamy reality series picks up where it left off, with a group of young friends wrapping up a romance and drama-filled summer. But fall brings new arrivals to Siesta Key and changes the dynamic of the group. Love, friendship and fun comes with a cost of heartbreak and betrayal within this newly-minted friend circle.
The Brave: “Grounded”
With Patricia (Anne Heche) out of commission, Noah (Tate Ellington) is at the helm of the D.I.A. when FARC revolutionaries take control of a flight in Colombia. When negotiations mean life or death for the passengers onboard, Hannah (Sofia Pernas) must make her return to the field.
Tuesday, Jan. 16
NHL Hockey: Philadelphia at N.Y. Rangers
NBCSN, 7pm Live
Jakub Voracek and the Philadelphia Flyers are at New York City’s Madison Square Garden for a Metropolitan Division clash against Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers.
The Middle: “Mommapalooza”
Frankie (Patricia Heaton) decides that she needs to find something new that she’s passionate about — life’s third act — and Reverend TimTom (Paul Hipp) offers the perfect solution. Meanwhile, tired of hearing Sue (Eden Sher) and Brick (Atticus Shaffer) argue because of the giant hole between their bedroom walls, Mike (Neil Flynn) orders them to fix it. Also, after Axl (Charlie McDermott) refuses to let rich girlfriend Lexie (Daniela Bobadilla) pay for some extravagant outings, she finds a way to fool him into thinking he’s becoming lucky.
The Flash: “The Trial of the Flash”
The CW, 8pm
Barry (Grant Gustin) stands trial for the murder of Clifford DeVoe, and Iris (Candice Patton) and Joe (Jesse L. Martin) must decide how far they are willing to go to keep him out of prison.
The CW, 9pm
Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams), the principal of an inner-city charter school, thought his crime-fighting days as the electrically powered hero Black Lightning were over, but he makes a valiant return when crime and corruption threaten his family and community. Also starring in the superhero drama based on the DC comic book character are Nafessa Williams and China Anne McClain as Pierce’s daughters, with Christine Adams appearing as Pierce’s ex-wife.
LA to Vegas
Guest Star Alert!
In Captain Dave’s (Dylan McDermott) absence, his rival Captain Steve (guest star Dermot Mulroney) is assigned to cover the flight’s route. Meanwhile, Artem (Peter Stormare) and Nichole (Olivia Macklin) help Colin (Ed Weeks) plan his son’s birthday party.
This Is Us: “Clooney”
Kate (Chrissy Metz) goes wedding dress shopping; Kevin (Justin Hartley) embraces a new lifestyle; Randall (Sterling K. Brown) explores William’s past; Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Rebecca (Mandy Moore) take the kids to the mall.
American Experience: “The Secret of Tuxedo Park”
Explore the life of unknown Wall Street tycoon Alfred Lee Loomis, who led a double life as a scientist and whose secret lab in upstate New York helped develop the radar technology that would alter the course of history in World War II.
This Time Next Year
Just in time for you to make your own New Year’s resolution, Cat Deeley hosts this inspiring series that features ordinary people on extraordinary missions to change their lives for the better in just 365 days. From reconstructive surgeries to heartwarming reunions, infertility to weight loss, no hurdle is too big for the show’s brave participants. But you don’t have to wait a year to find out if they achieved their goals: Deeley reveals the outcomes in every episode.
Wednesday, Jan. 17
As Season 3 begins, a miracle by Eddie Lane (Aaron Paul) has gone viral, and Meyerism has grown exponentially across the world. As the new Guardian of the Light, Eddie is forced to face the question of whether he can grow the movement without becoming a cult leader. Michelle Monaghan and Hugh Dancy also star.
Riverdale: “Chapter Twenty-Three: The Blackboard Jungle”
The CW, 8pm
It’s a new year with new drama as tensions mount when the sudden shutdown of Southside High forces Jughead (Cole Sprouse) and his fellow Serpents to transfer to Riverdale High.
“The Blacklist” 100th Episode
“Abraham Stern,” the 100th episode of the James Spader-led series, guest-stars Nathan Lane as the titular Blacklister.
Nature: “Arctic Wolf Pack”
Discover the white wolf, one of the most hardened predators on the planet, in Ellesmere Island’s unforgiving ice and snow. In a fight for survival, these roaming hunters must travel far from the den to feed their cubs, putting them all at risk.
Modern Family: “In Your Head”
When Luke (Nolan Gould) goes missing after a night out in a sketchy neighborhood, Manny (Rico Rodriguez), Phil (Ty Burrell) and Gloria (Sofía Vergara) team up to track him down. Meanwhile, Haley (Sarah Hyland), desperate to land an interview with the creator of a popular lifestyle website, interrupts Alex (Ariel Winter) during one of her college classes.
SEAL Team: “The Upside Down”
In the new episode “The Upside Down,” Jason (David Boreanaz) and the SEALs are on a mission to retrieve a downed top-secret drone, but they are sidetracked when Clay (Max Theriot) becomes trapped beneath a room full of armed terrorists.
The CW, 9pm
This juicy soap returns with the news that at some point this season, former Desperate Housewife Nicollette Sheridan will play Alexis Carrington, an iconic role that Joan Collins played with shoulder-padded perfection.
The Magicians: “Heroes and Morons”
Eliot (Hale Appleman) embarks on a quest, while Quentin (Jason Ralph), Kady (Jade Tailor) and Josh (Trevor Einhorn) continue their search for magic.
Relative Success With Tabatha
Tabatha Coffey is on a mission to help family-owned businesses succeed so they can be passed on to new generations. In each episode, Tabatha has three intense weeks to force families to put aside their resentment, grudges and personal issues and work toward the common goal of getting their business, and family, back on track.
Criminal Minds: “Bad Moon on the Rise”
The BAU is called to New York City to investigate brutal crimes in Central Park in the new episode “Bad Moon on the Rise.”
Comedy Central, 10pm
This new dark workplace comedy follows Matt (Matt Ingebretson) and Jake (Jake Weisman) as they train to become junior executives at a soulless multinational corporation. Matt and Jake find themselves at the mercy of a tyrannical CEO, his sycophantic underlings and an ever-revolving series of disasters.
The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
The second chapter of executive producer Ryan Murphy’s American Crime Story saga explores the remarkable life of fashion icon Gianni Versace and his senseless death as part of a 1997 cross-country killing spree by Andrew Cunanan. The all-star cast includes Edgar Ramírez as Versace, Penélope Cruz as his sister Donatella, Ricky Martin as Versace’s partner Antonio D’Amico and Darren Criss as Cunanan.
Chicago P.D.: “Captive”
When Atwater (LaRoyce Hawkins) disappears at the house of a convicted felon, the evidence doesn’t look promising — with his belongings and his blood left behind. Intelligence rallies to rescue him before it’s too late, digging into his past to discover why he’s been taken.
Thursday, Jan. 18
Grey’s Anatomy: “Four Seasons in One Day”
Jo (Camilla Luddington) finally faces her estranged, abusive husband Paul Stadler (Matthew Morrison), while Grey Sloan continues to work with the FBI after a hacker has compromised the hospital’s computer system.
Supernatural: “Wayward Sisters”
The CW, 8pm
When Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) go missing, Jody Mills (guest star Kim Rhodes) calls the rebellious rogue hunter Claire Novak (guest star Kathryn Newton), and tells her it’s time to come home — they need to find the Winchesters.
The supernatural drama returns with back-to-back episodes. At the end of Season 1, Holden (Burkely Duffield) seemingly completed his mission within the Realm, allowing him and Willa (Dilan Gwyn) to return to their lives in our world. But is a “normal” life what he truly wants?
Superstore: “High Volume Store”
When corporate announces that the store is getting an upgrade, Amy (America Ferrera), Jonah (Ben Feldman) and Dina (Lauren Ash) set out to discover the pros and cons. Meanwhile, Cheyenne (Nichole Bloom) accidentally volunteers to be Glenn’s (Mark McKinney) surrogate, and tries to get out of it.
Young Sheldon: “A Computer, a Plastic Pony, and a Case of Beer”
When Sheldon (Iain Armitage) asks for a computer, he unwittingly sparks a huge argument between Mary (Zoe Perry) and George Sr. (Lance Barber) over the family’s finances. Annie Potts also stars in the new episode “A Computer, a Plastic Pony, and a Case of Beer.”
The Good Place: “Rhonda, Diana, Jake and Trent”
Eleanor (Kristen Bell), Chidi (William Jackson Harper), Tahani (Jameela Jamil), Janet (D’Arcy Carden) and Jason (Manny Jacinto) head to a destination that may have lasting implications.
The fallout from Rowan’s (Joe Morton) desperate act affects all of Quinn’s (Katie Lowes) loved ones, including a guilt-ridden Olivia (Kerry Washington).
Mom: “Sex Fog and a Mild-to-Moderate Panic Attack”
Bonnie (Allison Janney) and Adam (William Fichtner) attend a traditional wedding and discover they’re not on the same page about their own wedding in the new episode “Sex Fog and a Mild-to-Moderate Panic Attack.”
The CW, 9pm
Despite losing half his team, Oliver (Stephen Amell) remains confident that he, Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) and Diggle (David Ramsey) can stop Cayden James (guest star Michael Emerson) and Black Siren (Katie Cassidy). But when he discovers one of Cayden’s secrets, he decides to team up with an unlikely ally.
Will & Grace: “The Wedding”
Will (Eric McCormack), Grace (Debra Messing), Jack (Sean Hayes) and Karen (Megan Mullally) attend Will’s ex-boyfriend Vince’s (guest star Bobby Cannavale) wedding. While Grace tries to keep Will from making a scene, Jack learns that his wedding hook-up has many strings attached.
Lip Sync Battle Live: A Michael Jackson Tribute
Paramount Network, 9pm Live
Spike relaunches as Paramount Network tonight, and the party gets started with a special live hourlong episode of Lip Sync Battle.
How to Get Away With Murder
Did Laurel’s baby survive? Did Annalise overcome the trauma of the infant’s elevator birth? Find out tonight when Murder returns for the back half of Season 4.
Black Card Revoked
Based on the party game of the same name, this nostalgia-filled show tests players’ knowledge of the nuances of the African-American perspective — from pop-culture milestones and entertainment moments to historical facts and politics. Actor and comedian Tony Rock hosts the 12-episode series.
IFC’s flagship comedy Portlandia, starring Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein as a variety of idiosyncratic Oregonians, debuts its eighth and final season tonight.
Chicago Fire: “Foul Is Fair”
After learning unsettling news, Dawson (Monica Raymund) enlists Severide (Taylor Kinney) to help her out. Elsewhere, Casey (Jesse Spencer) and Dawson struggle with communication issues, while Brett (Kara Killmer) and Kidd (Miranda Rae Mayo) compete to win the heart of Zach (guest star Daniel di Tomasso), a hazmat officer.
USA Network, 10pm
The epic saga set in the 1930s American heartland wraps up its first season tonight.
Friday, Jan. 19
Grace and Frankie
Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin are back in their Emmy-nominated title roles for Season 4 of this comedy.
MacGyver: “Mardi Gras Beads + Chair”
Guest Star Alert!
Mac (Lucas Till) and the team are in New Orleans to track down a con artist (guest star Amy Smart) who’s posing as the wife of one of Jack’s (George Eads) old CIA aliases. Garrett Morris also guest-stars in the new episode “Mardi Gras Beads + Chair.”
ESPN, beginning at 8pm Live
ESPN’s Friday night NBA doubleheader has the Washington Wizards in Detroit to play the Pistons, followed by the N.Y. Knicks in Salt Lake City for a date with the Utah Jazz.
Blindspot: “Balance of Might”
The team races to thwart a deadly terrorist plot with the help of Reade’s (Rob Brown) journalist girlfriend (guest star Reshma Shetty).
Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D: “The Last Day”
Coulson (Clark Gregg) and the team discover that the most unexpected person from S.H.I.E.L.D.’s past may hold the key to stopping Earth’s destruction.
When a plane crashes while carrying Mills (Clive Standen) and a key witness in a murder investigation (guest star Alexander Draper), a wounded Mills must call upon the survival skills his father taught him to overcome the elements, find a way out of the woods and protect the witness from a lethal team of mercenaries on their tail.
American Masters: “Lorraine Hansberry”
Explore the life and work of the A Raisin in the Sun playwright and activist who played a significant role in the civil rights movement. LaTanya Richardson Jackson narrates. Anika Noni Rose provides the voice of Lorraine Hansberry.
Blue Bloods: “Erasing History”
In the new episode “Erasing History,” Danny (Donnie Wahlberg) is annoyed with Henry’s (Len Cariou) meddling in a case until he leads them to valuable information.
NHL Hockey: Los Angeles at Anaheim
NBCSN, 10pm Live
Southern California’s NHL clubs face off at the Honda Center in Anaheim as Anze Kopitar leads the L.A. Kings against Corey Perry and the Ducks.
Based on the web series from Katja Blichfeld and Ben Sinclair, High Maintenance stars Sinclair as “The Guy,” an enterprising pot dealer who uses a bike to make the rounds to his eclectic Brooklyn clients.
Saturday, Jan. 20
CBS & ESPN, beginning at 12pm Live
It’s wall-to-wall college basketball this Saturday as CBS has an afternoon tripleheader with Villanova at UConn, Texas at West Virginia and Arizona at Stanford. ESPN takes over in primetime with Florida at Kentucky and UCLA at Oregon.
ABC, beginning at 3:30pm Live
ABC airs a Saturday NBA doubleheader opening with the Oklahoma City Thunder at the Cleveland Cavaliers in the afternoon, followed by the Golden State Warriors at the Houston Rockets in primetime.
Cocaine Godmother: The Griselda Blanco Story
Catherine Zeta-Jones gives an Emmy-deserving performance as Griselda Blanco, a pioneer in the Miami-based cocaine trade in the late ’70s who was one of the most ruthless women of all time. Her willingness to use violence against her competitors led her rivals to make repeated unsuccessful attempts to kill her. In the end, her drug distribution network spanned across the United States, and she was suspected of ordering over 200 murders.
Planet Earth: Blue Planet II
BBC America, 9pm
Coming off the success of last year’s Planet Earth II, BBC America debuts Planet Earth: Blue Planet II, a mesmerizing and revelatory journey into Earth’s oceans. Using breakthroughs in science and cutting-edge technology to explore this final frontier, the series reveals the oceans’ astonishing characters, otherworldly places and extraordinary new animal behaviors. Natural history filmmaker David Attenborough narrates. Tonight’s premiere episode is also simulcast on AMC, WE tv, IFC and SundanceTV. Subsequent episodes premiere Saturdays on BBC America.
One Winter Weekend
Hallmark Channel, 9pm
Cara, a women’s magazine writer who gets burned by her boyfriend on New Year’s Eve, decides to go on a dating detox. Challenged by her employer to write about it, she hopes a spontaneous ski getaway with her best friend will spark inspiration. Complicating matters, they discover they’ve double-booked their chalet with two eligible men, including Ben, an entrepreneur. When the share-mates get snowed in, Cara and Ben are thrown together. Stars Taylor Cole and Jack Turner.
Falling Water: “Safehouse”
USA Network, 10pm
Tess (Lizzie Brocheré), Taka (Will Yun Lee) and Burton (David Ajala) deal with the pain Shadowman has caused them, both in the real world and in the dream world. Meanwhile, Woody (Kai Lennox) infiltrates the dreams of the mayor.
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