It’s a busy, busy week in TV land: half a dozen new series arrive this week, along with IFC’s miniseries spoof and a number of season premieres. Let the winter hibernation commence…
Monday, January 6
With everything else going on this week, tonight feels a bit neglected; hell, there are two new shows premiering on Friday. But @Midnight returns tonight on Comedy Central (pretty sure I don’t have to tell you what time it’s on), and NBC lines up three repeat episodes of The Blacklist in advance of its return next Monday. If you’re in the mood for something more movie-ish, Live Free or Die Hard (8-10:40 pm, FXMovies) is much better than the fourth installment in a long-running action franchise has any business being.
Tuesday, January 7
Killer Women (10-11 pm, ABC)
Tricia Helfer plays Texas’s only female Ranger in this new crime series that feels like a sassier relative of FX’s The Bridge blended with a dash of Tarantino and a dose of Robert Rodruguez, but that’s a decent recipe for an entertaining hour.
Also tonight: CBS’s Intelligence, starring Lost’s Josh Holloway as a government agent with a microchip implanted in his brain (The Six Billion Dollar Chuck?), debuts at 9 pm before moving to its regular time slot, Mondays at 10 pm, next week; season five of Justified premieres at 10 pm on FX; season five of Cougar Town premieres at 10 pm on TBS.
Wednesday, January 8
Chicago P.D. (10-11 pm, NBC)
Spun off from Chicago Fire (bet you didn’t see that one coming) and spun out of the Dick Wolf TV-show factory, if you fell asleep and happened to wake up in mid-episode, you might think you’d somehow slipped back in time to the era of shows like T.J. Hooker and Hunter; it’s as straight-arrow and predictable as a cop show can be.
Also tonight: the 40th annual (really?) People’s Choice Awards, hosted by Beth Behrs and Kat Dennings of 2 Broke Girls, from 9-11 pm on CBS.
Thursday, January 9
The Spoils of Babylon (10-11 pm, IFC)
After months of promotion, IFC’s winking take on the “epic” TV miniseries of the 1970s and ‘80s is finally here. Is it any good? Who knows? It can be bad and still be good, because that’s how these things work. With a cast that includes Tim Robbins, Tobey Maguire, Kristen Wiig, Haley Joel Osment, Jessica Alba, Michael Sheen, and Val Kilmer, the generation-spanning story follows an oil magnate, his daughter, and an adopted son. Will Ferrell is an executive producer, and also personifies the fake author of the book that allegedly inspired the series.
Friday, January 10
Enlisted (9:30-10 pm, Fox)
There hasn’t been a military comedy on TV in a long time, perhaps because of the changing nature of our country’s armed forces and our society’s relationship to them. But the best of those shows treated the setting as merely a backdrop, a workplace like any other out of which humorous situations develop. Enlisted follows this approach, assigning a sergeant to a base in Florida in charge of a unit filled with misfits, including his two brothers.
Also tonight: the premiere of Helix, a sci-fi thriller from Battlestar Galactica executive producer Ronald Moore about a team of CDC scientists sent to the Arctic to investigate an outbreak, at 10 pm on Syfy.
Saturday, January 11
NFL Playoff Games
The New Orleans Saints go to Seattle to play the Seahawks (4:30 pm, Fox); then the Indianapolis Colts come to Foxboro to take on the Patriots (8 pm, CBS). (Two games on Sunday as well: San Francisco 49ers vs. Carolina Panthers at 1 pm on Fox; San Diego Chargers vs. Denver Broncos at 4:30 pm on CBS.)
Sunday, January 12
True Detective (9-10 pm, HBO)
In this new series, a murder with similarities to one that occurred 17 years ago reunites the two Louisiana State Police detectives, played by Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey, who worked the original case.
Also tonight: season three of Girls premieres at 10 pm on HBO with two episodes; season four of Shameless premieres at 9 on Showtime, followed at 10 by the season three premieres of House of Lies and Episodes; Tina Fey and Amy Poehler host the Golden Globe Awards again from 8-11 pm on NBC.
The Conversation (1974)
Francis Ford Coppola’s moody, low-budget tale of a man who works for others planting bugs and recording conversations takes on new resonance in the aftermath of the recent revelations about the NSA’s surveillance activities. Gene Hackman gives one of his best performances as sound man Harry Caul.